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He doesn’t realise at first, and why would he? It's a randomly chosen apartment, and it had been kept as clean and tidy as the rest of them. He settles what few belongings he has on the made bed, and fails to notice the family photo on his way out to the shower. 

He returns from it, somber, because the only shampoo he could find was the same one his mother had bought for Octavia, all those years ago. More than anything, being back on the Ark reminds him of his mother. 

He finds a bed, one of two in the apartment, and sits. He looks around, and then only does his heart skip a beat. Because now he knows. He knows how cruel the universe can be, bringing her back into his memory. Her frozen smile beams up at him from her table. 

He's in Clarke's room. He wonders how he didn't notice, as he picks up her frame. He stares for a moment, and then stands. Looks around, and berates himself for not figuring it out earlier. 

Her drawings are on the walls. Her family is happy in all their photos. Her paint is splattered just beside her bed, permanently marking the floor. Her sheets. They smell like she did when they first came to the ground. He tries not to make a sound as he urges himself to explore the place. 

He finds a sketchbook on the shared desk. Picks it up. At first he doesn't know if he should open it, if it's too private. But his impulse overpowers his manners, and suddenly he's staring down at her hard lines, blurred pencil, marked paper. He skips through the pages and then he has no doubt in the world— he's reunited with her in those moments. 

It fascinates him to see what used to fascinate her. She was captured by the stars; elements of them were obvious in every page. She thought of trees, and what they might look like. She has landscapes every other page, and then, closer in date to the day they were sent down to earth, her father. 

He assumes it's shortly after his execution, and a mourning daughter found her way to keep her father's memory alive. 

He's already finished going through the book, so he opens up the first page again. He finishes it a second time before he tells himself that surely, there must be more. More books. More drawings. More Clarke. He shuffles through the desk, searches every bookshelf. He finds identical sketchbooks— rows of them. He picks the first one off the shelf and it's from when she was much younger, freer. She's using colour pencils, and her technique isn't honed yet. 

He places one hand on either side of the collection, struggling to efficiently bring the pile down. He settles them on the floor, and sits alongside them. This time, he flips each page slowly. 

He looks up hours later, only then realizing that it was hours later. His neck is stiff from looking down, his throat burning from sorrow trapped within. 

He sets the final book down, and stumbles back towards the bed that smells like her. He lets himself fall onto it. Ironically, he's trying to avoid Clarke now, but her smile beams up at him for a long minute before he realizes he's staring at her photograph. He picks it up, bringing it closer until he's holding it to his chest. 

"I'm so sorry," he whispers. 

He settles, and for the first time since they arrived, he lets the guilt seep through the confinements of his mind, and lets himself sob for her. 


Sometimes she wonders why her mind thinks of him in the most bizarre situations.

Climbing a tree. Hunting for game. Finding the abandoned rover in the woods. Bellamy. 

She enters the rover, exhausted from the three-day trip it took her to get there. She's surprised it's still standing. She tries the engine, but it doesn't work. She's fidgeting in the driver's seat, uncomfortable because it was never her place. She climbs into the passenger seat, and with her eyes closed, imagines what it must be like to turn her head to the left and see him again. Only him. 

It's odd, because of the hundreds of people that had used the car, it still smells like him. She looks in the back seat, wondering if she can find his jacket. She yelps, because there's a girl there instead. 

The sound wakes her up, and suddenly they're both terrified. She tells the girl not to run, but it's too late. She runs out and follows her, until they both come to a halt. 

She feeds her that night, and she thinks, Find a child in the woods and keep her for myself? Bellamy. 

Because she's already thinking of him again. Only him. 

They both sleep in the rover that night, because there really isn't anywhere else for them to go. They talk, once they begin to trust one another, but that too dies out. Just like everything else on earth.

The child falls asleep in the back, but she still finds herself awake. It must be late, she knows that, but her thoughts linger on the man she might have called hers. The life she could have lad. The love she could have had. She doesn't want to think about it anymore, because she knows it's only going to make her cry. She can't stand to do such a thing at the moment.

She jumps out of the rover, deciding to take a walk. She remembers the day they had stopped there, clad in bulky hazmat suits. Despite the thick plastic surrounding them both, she had still seen the look of worry and guilt that had been all over his face when she had sacrificed her helmet. 

"I can't do this without you," she mutters to the sky, and that alone is enough to make her eyes well up. It's exactly what she had been avoiding. 

She opens up the trunk of the rover, hoping to find some of their old supplies. Their walkie system is still intact. She pulls one out and tries to recall which station to tune it to. She mutters his name into it, stops, waits. Nothing. She turns her attention back to their stock, and her heart stills when her eyes stumble over it. She couldn't believe it. She had to jump to reach it, and when it's in her hands she had no idea what to do with it.

The jacket he had worn, day in and day out. She holds it against herself, because it's the only thing she has of him now. His scent ligers on it, just barely, and that's what truly makes her tears flow. 

She sleeps with it by her side, for that night, and many nights to follow.

Chapter Text

The party was in full swing by the time Clarke finally decided to take a rest. The loud music and crowded dancing were doing nothing for her growing migraine, and all she was truly looking for was a few minutes of silence.

"Octavia!" She called over the loudness of the beat, grabbing her friend's arm to get her attention. Long brown hair hit the surrounding dancers as she whipped around to face Clarke. After an exchange of only expression, the two filed wordlessly out into the kitchen, where they took seats at the counter.

"What's wrong? Is everything alright?" Octavia's eyes searched over Clarke for any symptom worrisome enough to get paranoid over.

"I think I'm going to take my leave, O. I don't want to be a bother."

"What? It's the middle of the ni— it's pouring outside! You're not going anywhere!"

Clarke's eyes rolled at her friend's concern. "Octavia, I live one bus stop away. I really can't deal with this music — it isn't helping my migraine at all. Look, I'll even text you when I'm home so you know I'm safe. What do you say?"

"I say no! Listen, babe, you can take mine and Lincoln's room. I'm sure he won't mind crashing on the sofa. We have new toothbrushes somewhere. Come on.” Octavia stood, beginning to lead her friend into her room.

Clarke’s face turned into silent annoyance. Her head had been pounding all night, and her legs were aching from being constantly on her feet. ”O, please. Your room is what, three feet away from your speakers? I just need a quiet lie-down.”

"Clarke—" Octavia sighed, a hand placed softly on her arm. "Okay, hear me out. We both know that no one's allowed in there, but seriously, take the room upstairs."

Clarke scoffed. “You mean Bellamy's room? Are you trying to get me executed?"

Octavia waved away her concern. "He's been away in San Fran for a few months now, for work. He won’t be back for another month or so.”

It seemed to be the only viable option. Clarke's eyes softened as Octavia met her gaze. "Are you sure it wouldn't be an invasion of his privacy? I mean, he had been pretty adamant about keeping us out of there.”

"Privacy Shmivacy, Clarke. And besides, I'm sure he would understand how much you need your rest."

“Alright. Thank you.” They both nodded as they abandoned the kitchen, returning to the beating living room. Octavia rejoined her house guests in their dancing, while Clarke made her way up the wooden spiral staircase.

Of all her years coming to the Blake household, she had never been granted the opportunity to see the interior of Bellamy's room. Her hand paused at his doorknob, hesitating for a moment. With a soft sigh of reluctance, her fingers grasped the cold metal and twisted it open. 

A breeze of icy cold air welcomed her at the door, pushing the hair out of her eyes. The lights were dimmed just enough so that she could confidently navigate her way through the new territory with ease.

The room was a lot cleaner than she had expected it to be. A stark white desk was tucked into the corner, a pile of paperwork littering its top. That, along with a few tossed button-downs, was as far as messy went.

A white fur rug lay in the middle of the room, leading the trail towards the low-rise bed. Clarke made her way to it, sitting on the edge of the mattress to massage her temples.

She felt the bedsheets shift behind her before she heard his voice.

"Clarke?"

“Holy f—!” She whipped around, hand over her racing heart, to face him. He reached over his head to flick on the lamp above the bed. "What are you doing here?"

"Bellamy? I thought you were in San Francisco."

"Clarke... are you pregnant?"

They both looked down at her stomach, which had been highlighted by the party dress she wore.

"Wh— yeah, you didn't know?"

He tossed the blankets off of himself as he passed her an incredulous stare. She watched him slip out of bed to come to her, and noticed he was still wearing business attire. His hair was messed up, and he looked more tired than she had ever seen him. He stood in front of her, hands stuffed into his pockets, numb.

"Congratulations."

Clarke gave him an odd look. From where he was standing before her, the lamp's gleam cast a halo over her golden hair, illuminating it.

"Bellamy, you didn't know?"

"No," he shrugged. "Who's the father?"

"Miller."

"Mill— what?"

The look he gave her was enough to make her chuckle. "Remember how he and Bryan were looking for a surrogate? That would be me."

Bellamy breathed a sigh of relief. Unbeknownst to her, his heart had jumped from the moment he had seen her bump, and it hasn't reduced to a normal pace until then. "Huh."

"It really puts it into perspective, how long you've been gone."

"Yeah, it does." His voice was soft, gentle. He tried to tear his eyes away from her belly, wondering what else he had missed with his family back home.

"How are you already back, by the way? Octavia didn't seem to know you were here."

“She doesn’t. I got fired."

"... Oh."

“I just got home from the airport —came in through the back door. No one saw me."

"Do you... want to talk about it?"

"Not really," he cleared his throat. “So, uh, how far along are you?”

"I'm at about twenty-five weeks." A hand rest on her stomach, absentmindedly tracing circles onto it.

"I've been gone four months. How didn't I know?"

Clarke chuckled, and the sound made him smile. "The three of us didn't let anyone know until the second trimester. I guess no one told you after you left."

"No one did."

There was a long silence that followed, during which Bellamy removed his tie and tossed it with the pile of shirts in the corner. Clarke watched him wordlessly, wondering how their relationship had gotten so awkward after only four months of not speaking.

"So," he started. "What are you doing here?"

"Oh, Octavia said I could crash here for the night. I really needed a break from the music downstairs." As if to prove a point, the volume shot through the roof, with all the guests downstairs singing loudly alongside the music.

"Yeah I understand. You can stay here, I'll just head down to Octavia's—"

"No, please, Bellamy. I didn't know you were back, and I don't want to kick you out of your own room. Stay." He didn't seem convinced, so she added, "You snuck in here for a reason, Bell. I know you don't need the publicity right now. I won't say anything, I'll just go to sleep."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, you squeak. And there will be no nonsense about sleeping on the floor — just get into bed."

“Alright, then.”

Bellamy flicked off the lights, plunging the room back into dim darkness. They both settled into the mattress, which fortunately had the ability to accommodate them both even as they lay an arm's length away from one another. They didn't make conversation, only staring at the walls like it wasn't the most awkward situation they had ever been in. Bellamy had turned to his side, away from her, but couldn't truly get comfortable. When he turned again, Clarke glanced at him and unwillingly met his eye.

"You good there?" She muttered through a smirk.

"I'm fine."

"Okay."

"You?"

"I could do with a change of clothes, honestly."

Bellamy's head peeked up to look at her, squinting to see what she was wearing. "Oh, yeah. That can't be very comfortable."

Clarke shook her head and laughed. "It's not, but I hadn't exactly been planning on staying the night."

"You can go through my closet, if you want." Bellamy offered, turning back to face his wall. "I'm not getting out of bed.”

"Very kind, Blake," Clarke chuckled as she lifted herself back onto her feet. "Right through there?" She pointed to the dressing room. Bellamy hummed in acknowledgement, and she let herself into his closet.

She tried to be careful when rummaging through his folded pyjamas, hoping she was able to keep the pile from tipping over. She dropped her dress to the floor, and picked out the largest tee she could find. Even then, her baby bump still managed to stretch the shirt in the middle. She turned back to the collection to pick out a pair of his boxers, before finally returning to the bedroom.

Bellamy had turned onto his stomach, head buried under a pillow in an effort to drown out the music. The blankets were bundled around his legs, the remaining side of the bed bare. Clarke lay beside him, tugging the covers back into place. He only groaned and turned his head to face her with an undying glare. She chuckled and turned away.

As she settled back into his bed, she failed to notice Bellamy’s gaze, which remained glued to her. His eyes softened as looked over her, and he couldn't help but wonder what it would be like if she wore his clothes every day. If they shared this bed every night. If she were carrying his child while she slept beside him.

He had been fond of Clarke since the day they had met. They had never really agreed on much, but that fact had never changed. To begin to feel something else for her now, after their long history as friends, felt foreign. He only hoped the feelings would fade away soon— he was pretty sure Clarke could never see him as a potential partner.

Hesitantly, he turned away from Clarke, hoping she couldn't hear his heart beating from where she lay.

It was only when he was finally beginning to doze off when he heard it.

"Oof," she muttered. Her next movements were slow, like she was trying to do everything she could in order not to disturb his sleep. She lifted herself onto her elbows, resting her head on the bed's headboard.

"Clarke," he started, "Are you okay?"

She hummed, but it wasn't convincing enough to settle his nerves. He turned to face her, sitting up to try and help her.

"What happened?"

She shook her head slowly, eyes still closed. "The baby's just kicking a little, that's all." Her hands were braced on the top and bottom of her belly, massaging it gently. Her breathing was shallow, near labored. "She just wants attention."

 "She?" Bellamy couldn't help but smile. "They're having a girl?"

Clarke hummed again, eyebrows furrowed.

"Are you sure you're okay?"

She only nodded again, hands stopping their ministrations for a moment. Her eyes flicked open, meeting his. "Want to feel?"

"Feel what?"

"The kicking, you peep," she chuckled. "Everyone else has. We're all too excited for this baby."

"S-sure."

"Here. Give me your hand."

He offered it to her, and when she took it in hers, had to act as if his heart hadn't leapt into the next room.

She guided his hand to under her shirt, placing it firmly on the side of her belly. "That's were her feet are," she explained. Her own hand laid gently above his own. He only nodded, waiting.

"There," she whispered. "Did you feel it?"

 Bellamy's face broke into a grin, because he had. She met his eye and smiled with him. "That was a soft one. She can kick a lot harder than that, and I know it."

 As Clarke had said it, the baby had responded with a much firmer kick. It hit Bellamy straight in the palm, like she was acknowledging his presence.

"There it is," Clarke smiled through a wince. "She'll grow up to be a wrestler or something, this one," she said as she let his hand go. 

Bellamy didn't want the room to call back into silence, and in an effort to get to know the baby's story asked, "So she's Miller's, huh? What about Bryan?"

"Okay, so, you know how they have been talking of children for a while, now, right?"

Bellamy nodded.

"Well, they both got their fertility checked out, just after they began looking for surrogate options— and turns out Bryan's sterile."

"Oh. Who else knows?"

"Well, they came back from the doctors, and because we had all been waiting for them there, they told us all. And then they told us they were looking for surrogates, and we couldn't do much else but comfort them."

Bellamy couldn't help but feel guilty. He didn't even know if he had been in town that day, when his best friends had needed him to be. He hasn't had any idea of their struggles at all. He couldn't look past it, but chose to ask, "How did they choose you? For a surrogate, I mean."

Clarke smiled at the distant memory. "Well, that's only a little complicated. You see, they had been looking for a surrogate for such a long time, as I'm sure you know, but they really couldn't find a reliable one who would do it within their budget." She shifted in the bed as she recalled the day, setting her head back into a pillow as she stroked her bump. "I came to them, after a month or so of their search, and offered to do it for free. They only took a moment to consider it between themselves before they accepted my offer. And here we are, near seven months later."

Bellamy nodded, "That was really great of you. So you just put your entire love life on hold for them?"

"Of course," Clarke countered, "I knew how important it was to them, and I couldn't think of anything else for days.” There was a short silence before Clarke added quietly, "Besides; what love life?”

They both chuckled half-heartedly.

"Well," they both started at the same time, and stopped. They looked to one another to continue, to which Bellamy said, "We should probably get to sleep. The sun will be up soon."

"You're right. Goodnight, Bellamy."

"Goodnight, Princess."


Clarke woke a few times in between her sleep, turning every time the baby woke. When she woke up the fourth time, her beck was killing her, and the baby wasn't stopping. She groaned loudly, muttering to her stomach as they it could take orders from her, "Stop that, you. Stop it right now."

"Clarke, that you?" Bellamy's words were slurred, leaving her with a pang of guilt. She had disturbed his sleep when he had no reason to be awake.

“Yeah, Bellamy, I'm so sorry."

In the dark he fumbled to find her face, to which he pressed a single finger onto. "Shh... iss okay," he mumbled, and he turned so his body faced her.  "What's wrong?" She heard his voice say after a while, because it was very likely that the idea of sleep now evaded him. His eyes were closed, shut tightly.

"I can't really get comfortable. My stomach is really getting in the way."

"C'mere."

She wasn't sure she had heard correctly.

"Pardon me?"

C'mere," He said, louder, and with a wave towards himself. "I'm going to make you more comfortable."

"O-okay." She scooted in his direction, vaguely wondering what his plan was. If, in fact, he even had one.

He pulled her back against his chest, stationing a pillow in between her legs for her belly to rest on. She had done this countless times herself, at home, and sometimes it helped. "Shh," he whispered when she began to question if he knew what he was doing, even though it was clear that he did. One arm was curled under his head for support, since he had given her his only remaining pillow. His other arm snaked around her, finding a place just above her belly. His face buried itself into a pressure point in her nape, his breath tickling it lightly.

"Better?" His voice was deeper, more awake.

Clarke had to clear her throat before replying, flustered. “Much.”

“Okay. Go to sleep."

"Alright."

When he woke he had to run his fingers through her hair to get it out of his face, and the arm under his head was completely numb. It's why he wondered how he hadn't woken up again during the night — or day. A glance at his clock let him know that it was already late afternoon.

He moved slowly and silently to avoid waking Clarke up, and stumbled into the bathroom, narrowly avoiding a fall via her tossed clothes. He was confused when he saw an extra toothbrush by the sink, and realization only dawned as he read the note taped to it.

'Clarke,

Didn't want to wake you or my brother, you looked too cute. Yes, I snapped a photo to remember it for the rest of my life.

Here’s that toothbrush.

Octavia

PS one baby is enough.’

Bellamy groaned at the thought of Octavia finding him back home, and more so, with Clarke by his side. He was pretty sure she would parade that photo all around their friend group, if not the entire world. One of them would be sure to mention something about the potential for a relationship between them, like they had been insinuating for years.

He quickly brushes his teeth, changes, and heads downstairs, fully expecting Octavia to still be in her room. Much to his surprise, she was making breakfast (despite it being four in the afternoon) for all their overnight guests. He turned to their living room to see Miller, Monty, Jasper, Bryan, Raven, Wick, Maya, and Harper, all slumped onto the sofas, asleep. He sighed, but the smile on his face was hard to hide.

“Hey, big brother,” Octavia chirped. She held a mug of coffee to her lips, but it was a failed attempt to conceal her smirk from him. “Sleep well?”

“Shut up,” he muttered, reaching for a cup for himself. He poured his coffee and sat beside her, ignoring the glances she was passing him.

“Bellamy?”

The siblings turned to greet Lincoln, still in his house clothes. He held his arms up to embrace his brother-in-law warmly. “What are you doing here already?”

In between sips, Bellamy looked between his sister and her husband. “It’s a long story, but you’ll be seeing a lot more of me, that’s for sure.”

“Alright, whatever you say, man.” And they left it at that.

Jasper was the first of the group to wake, courtesy of the now-steaming breakfast. He’s already eaten most of the eggs before Harper and Bryan joined him, while Miller announced that he was going to check up on Clarke. They all warmly welcomed Bellamy back, and made light conversation over the breakfast table.

Clarke came downstairs with Miller, still groggy. “That was the longest I’ve slept all month,” she mumbled as she swiped away at her eyes. “God, Bellamy, you’re a miracle worker.”

And suddenly all eyes were on him, questions evident.

“No, no. Nope.”  He turned on the chair, facing his back to the group. Octavia seemed to be the only one who really knew what was going on, for which Bellamy was grateful.

Clarke laughed with the group as she reached for her decaffeinated tea, purchased and kept at every one of her friends’ households for her. It was a brand she had to resort to for the duration of her pregnancy. she grimaced as she took her first sip, and sat beside Wick. “So what are we all talking about?”

“Baby names,” Bryan offered. “Our little girl needs a name.”

The entire group went silent, as everyone pondered the case. And then, suddenly, it was a burst of noise as everyone chipped in.

“Ava.”

“Jennifer.”

“Rose?”

“Belle!”

“What, like Bellamy? No.”

“Sophia.”

 “Mila!”

“Aria.”

“Nova?”

“Eliza!”

"Andrea?"

“Stop!”

This was Bryan.

“Gosh, I’m sorry we asked.”

They all smirked, their focus returning to creating and consuming their breakfasts.

Through the silence of the group, Octavia made sure to keep an eye on both Bellamy and Clarke. She watched their interactions, suspicious. She narrowed her eyes at the two as they smiled up at her, but then looked away as Lincoln called her to another room.

Clarke leaned into Bellamy's side, making sure no one saw or heard her as she whispered, "How much does she know?"

Bellamy hid his lips behind his mug and muttered "I don't know, but we need to get that photo."

"Agreed."

They touch fists under the table, and Clarke ventured to another part of the kitchen, eyeing for Octavia's phone.

"We should all go out for dinner together, since we're all ready here. What do you l think?" Bellamy asked around, hoping to get the attention onto himself. "On me," he added as they were beginning to back down.

"Count me in brother," Jasper laughed as he slapped Bellamy on the shoulder. "You're taking us to Red Lobster!"

Bellamy feigned an eye roll, checking Clarke's status on the whereabouts of his sister's mobile. Her face told him she hadn't found it. He had to continue stalling.

"As long as someone else drives."

"We can take the cruiser," Raven suggested, to which Wick called, "Shotgun!" from across the room.

"Done deal," Clarke smiled as she returned to Bellamy's side, phone in tow. Octavia's camera roll was open to the photo in question, which she showed to him under the table. She kept her eyes on her friends as she passed the device to him discreetly, watching him through her peripherals.

The photo itself was grainy, courtesy of the dimmed lights, but there was no question to the identity of the its subjects. It was a lot sweeter of an image that he would have expected it to look like, and a lot more intimate. Her hair covered half of his face. His own hair was a mess of curls, flattened through the long hours they had spent asleep. His arm was tucked under her own; she was holding his hand to her chest, like she was seeking comfort from it. The blankets had been kicked away — they both preferred sleeping in the cold anyway — to show their entangled legs, cradling one another.

Bellamy’s ears reddened as he stared at the photo, and suddenly he didn't have the heart to delete it. He looked up at Clarke, but she had already turned away from him. He turned back to his coffee, silent.

If he had waited only a moment more, he would have seen her hair shift to expose her blushing cheeks.


Bellamy and Clarke sat side by side in front of the television, silent as they flipped through channels.  Neither of them had said a word about the picture since he had returned Octavia’s phone to where Clarke had found it, picture intact.

Bellamy glanced over to Clarke, who stared straight ahead with pursed lips. She was wearing his jumper, which fit loosely over her hands, and just perfectly over her stomach. Her hair was tired into an extremely messy ponytail, which was already starting to loosen. She had also borrowed his old jeans and rolled up the ankles, surprisingly pulling off the ideal boyfriend look.

It was hours later, the group had finally managed to prepare for dinner. Somehow, they had made it out alive, after quick shower turns and borrowed clothing. Much to everyone else’s protests, Clarke was the only one allowed in Bellamy’s shower, making the two of them the first to be truly ready. The gang shortly followed, slouching onto the sofas in turns, until the last of them were finally ready to head out.

“Okay, let’s go!” Raven called as she exited the master bedroom, wearing one of Lincoln’s t-shirts. She had been the last to get ready, and the first out the door.

Because only seven of the twelve could fit in Raven’s cruiser, Lincoln, Bryan, Jasper, Bellamy, and Clarke were forced to try and fit themselves into Harper’s small salon car.

Lincoln rushed to the driver’s seat, Bryan into shotgun.

Bellamy shook his head at their friends, suspicious of their behaviour. He opened the door to the backseat, allowing Clarke to slip in. “After you, Princess.”

Bellamy followed directly after, with Jasper at the end, pushing Bellamy into the middle seat. His arms were pressed against Clarke's as Jasper stretched.

“Hey!" Clarke called, "Pregnant lady needs her space."

Lincoln turned his head to get a glimpse of what was going on. "If I hear one more word from you kids, we're turning this car back around!" He made the empty threat with a laugh, and Jasper chuckled as he settled back into his own seat.

The drive was relatively uneventful, with mostly Bryan flipping through radio channels and Jasper and Lincoln singing at the top of their lungs. Bellamy and Clarke overlapped in their seats, arm over arm, but let silent about it.

Over the last day, Clarke had noticed her heart had been acting quite strange. At first she had stuck it to the hormones, but as the feelings progressed, she finally allowed herself to see through her own charade. She was developing feelings for her closest friend.

So she let his arm collide with hers with every turn of the car, and she let his fingers graze over hers as they continued on their journey.

They arrived at the restaurant shortly after those on the cruiser, making good time. Lincoln skid to a halt in front of the doors for Clarke to leave first, before he parked far away. Jasper and Bellamy joined her.

 Jasper exited first, heading straight inside in a bid to start dinner early. Bellamy helped Clarke out of the small car, holding both her hand and the door for her.

"You two make such a beautiful couple," they heard a voice say, just as Clarke had gotten to her feet. "Is it a boy or a girl?"

Bellamy turned to face an elderly woman, beaming up at them. She had watched him help Clarke out of the car, naturally assuming the establishment of their relationship.

"A girl..." he muttered, reddening.

The woman smiled brightly at Clarke, who returned the gesture. "Congratulations to you both! You're going to make a wonderful family."

"Thank you," Clarke replied, unwilling to break the woman's heart with the truth, "You have a good night."

"And you, dear." The woman said, as she began walking back to her own car.

From behind Clarke, they heard Bryan snicker. "A+ performance, guys!"

"Shut up," Bellamy warned, slamming the car door. He could only imagine the story being retold to their friends over dinner.

He was right. As Lincoln and Bryan animatedly retold the event of the parking lot, it was all Bellamy and Clarke could do to hide their faces with their hands and their menus. Raven especially took pleasure from the story, as she had been trying to manipulate the two into a relationship for years.

Dinner was long, joyful. They ordered way too much food, and much more dessert. Hours passed in conversation and laughter.

Maya told stories of how her friends at the hospital — where she and Clarke had met — were progressing in their latest experiment. Harper recalled the week before, wherein the rugby team she was coaching won their first match. Jasper and Monty updated their friends on the status of their upcoming wine company. Bellamy kept silent, listening as Lincoln told them of the time his colleagues at the carpenter company had managed to ruin the project they had been working on for weeks. The Millers and Clarke retold the group the events of their latest sonogram, where they had found the baby to be in perfect health. Octavia and Bryan collaborated on the telling of how she had had her phone stolen that week, and how they had retrieved it. Bryan and Wick opposed Raven in a debate half of them couldn't understand — some odd fight about wiring.

The time finally came when they had to head back to their own homes, after picking up their cars at Octavia and Lincoln’s. Jasper made a loud and annoying sound at the prospect.

“It’s Sunday tomorrow. Why don't we just stay over again?’

There was a bustle of sound, and from what Octavia understood, she was going to have to set up the living room for guests.

When they left the restaurant for the parking lot, they found it empty save ether own two cars.

The seating arrangements had changed in the way back, with Harper and Monty in their own car, with Maya, Jasper, and Raven.

Miller drove her cruiser, with Octavia in shotgun. The rest of them chose their own spaces in the back seats, and Clarke and Bellamy had found themselves side by side once again.

The ride back home was lively to begin with, but it grew quiet soon after. It was late at night, and having just had dinner, the group had been tired out.

Halfway through the half-hour drive, Bellamy found himself housing Clarke’s head on his shoulder. Before much longer, the weight deepened, and he knew she was asleep.

He tilted his head to catch a glimpse. Her cheek was pressed into his shirt, her hair a curtain around her face. He pushed it away from her eyes, failing to notice Wick’s shrewd look. He tired to tear himself away from her hands, which were swaddled in his sleeves, much too long for her. They lay just below her belly, twitching as she felt his fingers graze her temple.

The rest of the car was silent, and soon the quiet got to him as well. He lay his head over Clarke’s, and before he knew it, had fallen asleep.

Their rude awakening came with a harsh brake, and a chirpy “Welcome Home” from Miller.

Within the next half hour, the group had settled back in the living room, after Octavia and Lincoln had helped spread out the few mattresses they had onto the floor. Blankets and pillows were eagerly provided, from both bedrooms of the house. Bellamy settled on the sofa, not willing to listen to Clarke’s concerns about kicking him out of his own room.

“Just take the giant, comfy bed, Princess,” he told her, his voice muffled through a pillow.

“Yeah, Clarke.” She heard Raven say. “Take advantage of your situation right now. We all know Blake wouldn't give his bed up for just anyone.”

“And if you don’t, I will,” Jasper warned. He was already laying on his back in one of the mattress, hands cradling his head. One eye opened to peek up at her. “I’m serious.”

Clarke’s laugh echoed through the hall. “Alright, I’m going!” She turned to the stairs, and as her hand reached the rail she turned back to warn, “No one is allowed to have fun without me!”

Everyone on the floor groaned in acknowledgement, waving her off.


She woke up confused to where she was, and when she remembered, tried to recall why she was in Bellamy’s room without Bellamy. She sat up, exhausted beyond measure. When she checked the time, she found that she had only been sleeping two hours. She threw herself back into bed, trying and failing to get comfortable in the cold sheets. A half hour passed before she let herself admit it:

She needed Bellamy’s miracle-working hands.

Clarke stood, taking a moment to tie her hair up before she trudged downstairs, finding the man she was looking for on the sofas. His body was a mere lump on the cushions, swallowed in a blanket. She grew hesitant, unwilling to wake him up. She came to a stop behind the sofa, wondering if she should just go back to bed.

Suddenly, his voice came to her in a groan, “Why aren't you in bed, Clarke?”

She found no use in being silent anymore, instead, leaning over the sofa’s edge so she could face him. His eyes were dark, but shining, in the limited light. “I can’t sleep.”

“C’mere.”

She smiled lightly at the familiar offer. “Okay.”

She rounded the back of the sofa to be able to sit by him, hesitant to lay down. When she did, his arms encircled her like they had the night before. Her heart pounded as he shared his warmth with her.

He pulled her towards him, drawing the blanket over her shoulders. He could only hope she couldn't hear his heart beating louder and faster than it ever had before.

“Bellamy?” He heard her whisper, her voice muffled through his shirt. She yawned as she said his name, and he wasn't sure how to feel. His heart leaped.

“Hm?” She heard the reverberations of his voice through his chest.

“Tell me something nice.”

“Hm,” and then he stopped to think. “I got fired because I'm overqualified.”

Clarke’s head rose to look him in the eye, skeptical. “You’re joking.”

His eyes shone in the dark as he smiled softly. “I’m not. The set they had me working on didn’t appreciate the advice of this seasoned historian. They stuck with me for the four months because the contract required it, and as soon as that  clause expired they let me go.”

Clarke hummed, settling her head back onto his chest. “How long were you supposed to be there?”

“Eight months, that's standard filming time.” Bellamy lifted his head off his pillow to look at her.

“Well I said to tell me something nice, that hardly satisfies that. That’s fucking morbid, if anything.”

“No, it’s not.”

“Yes. It is.”

“Fine, let me think.”

Silence fell again, interrupted only by the snoring of their friends, stationed all around them.

Clarke hesitantly looked up at him. “Did you fall as—“

“Shh, I’m thinking.”

And he was. He was thinking to tell her how she made him fell. Whether or not he should do it. If he ever should. Or could.  If it was appropriate. ‘No,’ he’d think to himself. ‘Don’t alienate her. She won’t feel the same.’  He only needed ten seconds. Ten moments. Of bravery. Courage. He could do it — he couldn't —

“I think I’m in love with you.” He blurted. It was a little louder than he had expected it to be, but he had said it. “I think I’m in love with you, and I’m terrified.”

She felt her heart stop in her chest. At first, she didn’t know how to respond, so she simply tightened her grip around him. He took a long, shaky breath, anxiously waiting for her reply.

“Clarke?”

“Bellamy, I… I can’t.”

They stopped. She thrust the blanket off herself as she got to her feet, rushing to be anywhere but there. For a second he didn't know what to do. He threw the blanket to the floor, following her.

“Clarke, I’m sorry.”

She didn't hear him. Her hands were in her hair, her elbows leaning into the marble breakfast table. He came from behind her, tentatively reaching out to touch her forearm. His touch was soft, causing her to look back up at him.

“It’s okay,” he told her. “You don’t have to feel the same.”

“Don’t I?”

“No,” he chuckled, humorlessly. He took her into his arms, holding her tightly. “You don't have to pretend to feel anything that you don't actually do. I just had to tell you.”

Her arms reach out hesitantly, wrapping themselves around his torso. “But maybe I do. Maybe I’m just too scared to lose you to admit it.”

There was a long silence, during which all Bellamy could really do was hold her and wonder how much he had screwed everything up. He had ruined everything, and he was about to lose her. He had to make it right.

“You don’t have to do this for me.”

“I’m not doing anything,” she hissed, letting go of their hold to meet his eye. when she did, she didn't like what she saw. Sadness. Love. Understanding. “Everyone I have every allowed myself to love is gone. My father. My mother. Wells. Charlotte. Finn. Lexa. I’m not ready to lose anyone else anymore. I can’t love you, because then I’d lose you, I know I will —“

“Clarke, I’m not going anywhere —“

“You don't understand!” She hissed. She glanced at her friends, sleeping soundly on the floor only a few feet away from them. Her eyes were teary as she muttered, “I can’t lose you too.”

Bellamy didn’t say anything as he stepped to her, arms encircling her again. She didn't resist, and only leant into his hold. “I can’t lose you too,” she whispered again, letting her tears fall as she clutched his shirt.

“You won’t.” He assured, placing a gentle kiss to her temple. “I promise.”

“I love you so much, Bellamy. I hope you know that.”

“I love you, Clarke.” He placed another kiss to her forehead, and another to her cheekbone. She turned her head to fully face him, thrown by how close he was. She placed a ginger kiss on his jaw, and another to his chin. Her eyes darted from his eyes to his lips, before she finally let herself kiss them. It was very hesitant at first, only growing stronger when she let it. She let go of him to hold his face in her hands, bringing him closer.

When they parted, they were breathing hard.

“I’m not going anywhere.” He said as he read her face.

“Promise?”

“I promise.”

“Okay.”

She settled back into his arms, sighing. His chin rested on her head, his eyes closing with content.

“Fucking called it,” Jasper’s voice said plainly from the floor, eliciting badly-suppressed snickers from the group.

Chapter Text

She received the heart-stopping phone call just as she was getting ready for bed. It was the early hours of the morning when she had finally finished her outstanding workload. She had just slipped into comfortable sweatpants, and Bellamy’s giant hoodie, and was about to pull the covers off their bed when the phone rang.

She hadn’t recognised the number, but made the decision to pick it up anyway.

“Ms. Clarke Griffin?” A male voice spoke through the line.

“Speaking.”

“You’re receiving this call because you have been listed as the second emergency contact of a Mr. Bellamy Blake. I’m afraid there’s been an accident.” The man’s voice was slow, calculating how much he should say in relation to her reaction.

Clarke’s heart rate spiked. She sat on the mattress of the bed, hand over her mouth as she tried to comprehend what this stranger was telling her. Her mind raced, and she couldn’t stop imagining the horrible things that could have happened in the two seconds that passed. Her voice was panicked, “What happened? Is he okay?”

“Ma’am, he’s been admitted into Mount Weather Hospital—“

“Is he okay?” she repeated. “Where’s his first emergency contact? Where’s Octavia?”

“I am not at liberty to discuss Ms. Blake— but Mr. Blake has been through a  significant shock, and has been wounded in the crash.”

“Cra— What happened?”

“I’m afraid I cannot say over the phone, Ma’am.”

“Mount Weather, you said?”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“I’m coming. Tell him I’m coming.”


 She didn't trust herself enough to drive safely.

She had ordered an Uber, and was already regretting her decision. On the twenty minute trip, the driver didn't seem to realise the state she was in, and kept talking his way through the journey. She responded only with one-worded sentences, while the figments of her imagination mocked her. Where was Octavia? Aurora? Had they been with him? Neither of them were picking up their phones. She could only imagine the scene of the crash. Her mind haunted her as she saw him; flashing images of Bellamy’s car, Bellamy’s body — she had no idea what to expect when she first stepped foot into the emergency room.

“Bellamy Blake? Admitted within the hour?” She asked reception. She was directed down the correct hallway. Room 226.

She had known that a Blake family reunion had been in order that night. It was the eve of Aurora’s birthday, and Clarke had insisted the three of them enjoy some time without her. Bellamy and Octavia had been expected to sleep over at their mother’s house, so she hadn’t expected to see her boyfriend until the next morning.

Yet there she stood, directly outside of his hospital room, reluctant to open the door. She squeezed her eyes shut, bracing herself for whatever she may find on the other side.

She said his name as she entered the bright room. When he didn't answer, she knocked on the already open door, trying to elicit any response she could from him.

His back had been turned, but as he heard her he sat up to face her. His expression was grim, emotionless. Like the light had died in his eyes.

“Clarke—“ He mumbled, like he couldn't believe she was there.

Half of his face was covered by a dark purple bruise, one eye exhibiting a burst blood vessel. The skin of his lower lip was split open, blossoming with blood. The entire left side of his body hung low, weakened by blunt force. Stitches ran from underneath his right earlobe to the opposite collarbone; a zigzag across his body. He had been changed into hospital clothes, his own folded in the corner, bloodied. The wristwatch she had gotten him on their last anniversary was laid over the pile, face shattered. 

She crossed the room to him in only a few strides, pushing down the barrier of the bed. She sat by his thigh, looking up to his face to try and comfort him were comfort could not be given.

As he met her eye, he fell apart.

He had been fine until she had shown up. From the crash site, to the ambulance, to the emergency room. He had been fine. But he saw her face, and he found out he wasn’t fine after all.

He broke. He covered his head with his hands, recalling the events of the night. His shoulders shivered and shook as he began to sob, speaking unintelligible words. He felt her weight shift onto the bed, felt her arms snake around his quivering body, trying in a failed attempt to soothe him.

“Bellamy, it’s okay. It’s okay.”

“It’s not,” he whispered as he clutched her to him. He buried his face in her shoulder, and she immediately felt his damp skin touch hers. Her hands found themselves in his hair, pushing it away from his face.

“Tell me what happened.” Her voice broke, seeing him like this.

“My mother.”

No.

“They won’t even let me see her.”

“It’s okay. It’s going to be alright.” Her voice was soothing, and much to her own credit, didn’t falter again. She swallowed the aching lump in her throat, hoping he couldn't hear her as she squeezed her eyes and lips shut, willing the tears away. She rocked his body back and forth, tracing soft circles over his shoulders.

“You don't understand,” he hissed, prying himself out of her hold. His eyes were red, his bloodied one redder. Hot tears escaped his eyes, trickling down his neck and into his wound. He didn’t wince, but it was sure to hurt.

What don’t I understand, baby? Tell me.” She held her hand out to him, but he didn’t take it.

He struggled with the truth for a long time, biting his tongue and clenching his jaw.

“I killed her.” His voice was so low, she wasn't even completely sure she heard it.

“Bellamy, it was an accident. It wasn't your fault, please, don’t think this was your fault.” She let her own tears fall down her cheeks as she watched him pinch his own fingers. A nervous tick. He didn't meet her eyes again. She reached out to him, desperate to make him understand. He snapped his face away from her, so that all she could see was his bruised side.

“Baby, please.”

He didn’t say anything to her, even as she placed a gentle hand on his knee. He remained trapped within the confinements of his own traumatised mind, watching the incident unfold in front of him again and again. He buried his face in his hands again, but this time, Clarke had no idea how to help him.

He let himself fall back onto the pillows, turning away from Clarke. There was nothing he could say to her, he believed. Nothing to convince her the he didn't mean to kill his mother. In his own delusion, he was a monster. A murderer.

This time, when he felt Clarke’s gentle hand touch his shoulder, he didn’t push her away. He knew he needed her. He let himself be selfish enough to need her. He he wasn't strong enough to deny himself her.

He felt her lay down behind him, beside him, softly humming. He focused his attention on her: her voice, her scent, her touch. His breathing evened out, his tension vanishing as he relaxed into her. His body calmed, settling into her hold.

She hummed to him until he fell asleep in her arms, tears trickling down his neck. Quietly, she pulled her phone out of her back pocket, searching through various news channels in an effort to figure out what had happened. There was no information yet.

She checked one more time that Bellamy was fully asleep before rolling off the hospital bed. She rummaged through his clothes, shaking away stray glass. She found his phone in his pants pocket, it's screen cracked. Dozens of phone calls and text messages went unanswered, all from of their concerned friends. She ignored them all and tried to look for the last time Octavia had contacted him. When it wasn't on his lock screen, she I putted his password.

Octavia had texted him five hours ago, asking him to pick her up.

She had been in the car with him.

She fumbled through her own pockets for her phone, quickly dialing her boyfriend's sister. She nervously paced the room, waiting for anyone to pick up on the other end.

"Hello?"

Lincoln.

"Where's Octavia?"

There was a quiet sniff, and that's when she knew that Lincoln was in the same situation as her.

"Which room number?" She demanded.

"305," he replied. "Where's Bellamy?"

"226. How is she?"

"Not so well," he told her apologetically. He turned back to face his girlfriend, looking over her. "Have you heard anything about their mother? She won't stop asking."

"Lincoln..."

He understood.

"Should I tell her or will you?" He asked.

"I think it'll be better coming from me," Clarke told him. She had known Octavia longer, and they had been through many terrible things together. She had helped her get over her father's death, and Clarke would be damned if she wasn't going to help with her mother's.

"How's Bellamy taking it?"

Clarke turned back to Bellamy, frowning even in sleep. His hands clutched the sheets, and he seemed disturbed.

"Not well. He won't even let me help him."

"I'd like to see him, if you think that would be okay."

"He's sleeping at the moment."

"Octavia, too. You should come here."

Clarke hesitated. "I don't want to leave Bellamy alone," she admitted.

"I'll go to him. Let's meet at the second floor elevators," Lincoln suggested.

"Okay."

She hung up, took one last look at Bellamy, and quietly exited the room.

She saw Lincoln before he saw her, and realized neither of them had changed their clothes. Both wore their home clothes, as they had come straight from bed.

They hugged when they met, both shedding a tear at the situation. He squeezed her shoulder when they parted.

"305," Clarke confirmed.

"226," Lincoln nodded.

They parted in silence. Clarke found Octavia's room, and without knocking, entered.

Octavia's small body was swallowed by the blankets. Her hair was tied into a low ponytail, messed up by her tossing. She was still asleep, body facing the door. Her left arm was in a cast, weighing down her body. From underneath it, blue and purple bruises trailed to her neck. She had stitches over her eyebrow, trailing into her hairline.

Clarke sat on a nearby chair, watching her friend simply breathe. She tried to think of what to say to Octavia when she woke up. Of all the conversations the two of them had ever had, this one would have to be the hardest.

A half hour passed before Octavia began to stir. Clarke had turned the television on to the news, volume muted.

"Clarke," she muttered.

She looked up from her phone, heart beginning to pound.

"Lincoln?" She asked, beginning to stand.

"Don't get up— he's with Bellamy. They're both fine."

Octavia's eyes closed, her expression exhibiting pure relief. "Where's my mother?"

"Octavia, I— I'm so sorry." Clarke stood, leaning over the rail to hold her friend's hand. "She didn’t make it."

"Wh— No. No, she... Check again. No—" She shot out of bed, rummaging through her clothes, hysterical. Her phone dropped to the ground.

"Octavia..."

"No!" She went through her phone, facing Clarke as she called her brother. "What did Bellamy say?" She pressed the phone to her ear.

"He's the one who told me, O."

"It can't be— He's not picking up—"

Clarke came behind her slowly, placing a gentle hand on her friend's shoulder.

"Octavia, I'm sorry."

She turned around to face her, the truth dawning on her. She fell to her knees in the middle of the floor, beginning to sob. She covered her face in her hands, her phone dropping to the ground. Clarke knelt beside her, wrapping her arms around her like she had done with Bellamy. She held and cried with her for so long, it could have been hours.

The sun was beginning to rise, and that's when the first phone call came.

Monty. School teacher. First to wake up.

"Hello?" Her voice came out raspy; she hadn't spoken in so long.

"Bellamy— Octavia— what happened— the news—"

"The news?" Clarke reached for the television remote on the table above her, unmuting the screen.

"... Blake family was rushed into Mount Weather hospital after the devastating crash. Sources confirm that the crash has taken two lives so far..."

"Bellamy and Octavia are a bit banged up, but they're fine."

"Do they know who died? They showed a blurred out body, it looked so much like Octavia, we're all so worried—" he cut himself off, beginning to hyperventilate.

"Monty I can't talk right now. I promise that they're both fine, but I have to go." Her eyes were glued to the screen, where CCTV footage of the accident was played.

"Are you at the hospital? Do you need anything? Should I come?"

Clarke melted at the request. "Thank you, Monty, but that's okay." She looked at Octavia, still quivering in her arms. "They both need to be alone right now. Please tell the others."

"Call, if you need us, Clarke. We'll be right over."

"I know. Thank you."

She hung up the phone and increased the volume of the television.

"The BMW, driven and owned by twenty-six year old Bellamy Blake, collided with the car in the parallel lane, causing the two vehicles to skid and flip over one another. The cars collided one more time before the BMW tumbled off road. Inside were Blake's sister and mother."

Images of the totalled car were shown, some parts of the screen pixelated for the benefit of the public. An image of Aurora, blurred out, was shown again, just as Monty had claimed.

"An update," the woman onscreen continued. "The hospital has confirmed the death of fifty-two year old Aurora Blake, traveling in the passenger seat beside her son. She was announced dead on arrival, after being inflicted with numerous injuries. Her two children, Bellamy and Octavia Blake, are being treated in Mount Weather hospital now."

Looped footage of the accident played, letting Clarke analyze it as many times as she needed to.

"It wasn't his fault," she whispered, more to herself than anything.

Clarke looked down to Octavia, who had by then stopped crying. She lay numb and emotionless on the floor, listening to the information.

"Bellamy was in the front seat," she mumbled.

"He's not dead, Octavia. I was with him a few hours ago. Lincoln's with him now." She tried to keep her voice soothing, but it clearly wasn't helping. Octavia shot out of her arms, demanding to see him.

"I'll take you to him, but you need to take care of yourself first. Drink some water —“

“My mother is dead, Clarke, and you’re asking me to drink fucking water, no thanks. Get out of my way.”

She flung the door open, ready to parade into her brother’s hospital room, despite not knowing where he was. She was surprised, and stopped in her tracks, when she saw him at her doorstep, hand raised to knock.

He was in a wheelchair, incapacitated by a cast that that Clarke had failed to notice earlier. His injury profile matched his sister’s almost identically.

“Bellamy,” Octavia breathed, throwing her free arm around her brother’s neck. His arms looped around her back, bringing her closer to him.

“O, I’m so glad you're okay.”

“Bellamy, Mom…”

Clarke and Lincoln shared a teary look.

“I know,” he whispered to her, stroking her hair away.

The siblings embraced each other for a long time, whispering in between themselves so that their significant others couldn't hear.

Lincoln approached Clarke, sitting on the edge of a chair, watching the two of them.

“What are you thinking?” He asked as he sat opposite to her, on Octavia’s mattress.

Clarke glanced at him through her peripherals. “He thinks it’s his fault.”

Lincoln scoffed, turning his head to glance at Bellamy. He had Octavia in his lap, and it was evident that he was trying to be strong for her. “That’s ridiculous.”

“I know, try telling him that.”

They let silence take over their conversation.


A few hours later, Bellamy and Octavia were requested to follow their doctor to the morgue, to positively identify their mother for shipment to a funeral home. Clarke and Lincoln followed the pair, providing support for the siblings through the morbid ordeal.

None of them knew what to expect on the other side of the morgue’s doors. Octavia braced herself against Lincoln, and the doors swung open.

The first reaction used to confirm the corpse’s identity was Bellamy’s stiff gasp. The second was Octavia’s suppressed sobs. Lincoln held her against him as he lead her outside.

Clarke nodded to the pathologist in the room. “That’s Aurora Blake,” she confirmed, before kneeling down in front of Bellamy’s chair. His eyes were wide, his focus unwavering. It was like he couldn't bring himself to look away, even as Clarke entered his line of sight.

Mom, he mouthed.

“Bellamy.” Her voice was gentle, tentative. “We should go back.”

He avoided her gaze as he sharply turned the wheelchair, rushing out of the room. By the time she had followed him outside, he was already taken by the elevator. She sighed and pushed the up button.

He didn't want to look at her, she concluded. She would steer clear of his path until he did. She exited the lift onto the first floor, where she bought herself a cup of coffee. It took her a moment to realise that she hadn’t slept in over twenty-four hours. Her eyes began to droop as she sat at a lone table in the back of the cafeteria.

Whatever you need, Bellamy. 


On the third floor, the three of them had returned to Octavia’s room, where both men had been trying to comfort her.

She had finally settled herself in her bed, chest heaving with exhaustion. It was only then they realised that they hadn't seen Clarke in over half an hour.

“Where is she?” Bellamy looked around the room, heart rate accelerating as he did. “I can’t lose her too.” He got to his feet, finding his balance with the help of a crutch. He tried to make his way to the door, only for Lincoln to step in his way. 

“Take a breather, mate. I’ll find her,” Lincoln promised, heading out before Bellamy could argue.

He sat at the edge of the mattress, his uninjured leg was bouncing up and down.

There was a short silence in between the two before Octavia wiped away her tears and faced her brother.

“I was really mad at you, Bell.”

“O, that doesn't matter right now.”

“Yes, it does. I was so mad at you, I didn’t even want to look at you. That’s why I sat behind your seat.”

Bellamy nodded slowly. “You always sit behind shotgun, I know.”

“I sat behind you so I could look only at Mom. I didn’t want to start fighting with you.”

“Octavia, why are you telling me this?” His voice cracked as he remembered what his mother had looked like that night. They had just picked her up from her house, and she had worn her finest pearls. Those pearls were now lost on the highway.

“Bell, if I had sat behind her like I usually do… I would be dead right now.”

The thought stopped him in his tracks. “Don’t say that, please.”

“But I could be! That small decision saved my life, Bellamy, oh my God.” She let him hold her as her tears began to flow again.

“You’re okay now, that’s all that matters.”


Lincoln found Clarke wandering the hospital’s halls, sipping her fourth cup of coffee of the last hour. The caffeine was doing nothing for her state. Her eyelids were drooping, her body dragging, and her eyes red.

“Clarke!” he called from behind her, grabbing her attention. He approached her to lace an arm around her waist, unsurprised when she immediately leaned her full weight onto him. “Everyone’s looking for you, where have you been?”

She chuckled humourlessly. “My boyfriend doesn't even want to look at me. Where would I go?”

“Clarke, he’s worried sick.”

She scoffed. “I doubt it.”

“You need to stop being so dramatic,” he mumbled under his breath. If Clarke heard it, she made no move to acknowledge it. “You’re coming back with me.”

Dizzy and tired though she was, she still had enough strength to keep Lincoln from pulling her away. “No…” She whined. “He’s just going to be mean again, and I’m too tired to handle that.”

Lincoln sighed. "Clarke, his mother just died. Give him the benefit of the doubt, he's not trying to be mean, and I know you know that."

She tilted her head to look at him with teary eyes, nodding slowly as he continued. 

"He's lost a lot of people in his life, but never anyone as close as his mother. I know you aren't prepared to deal with it, but you have to. Like I have to, for Octavia. They both need us so, so much, right now, and we're not allowed to abandon them now. We're not allowed to expect them to act a certain way, nor can we ask them to. He's not being mean, love. He's just being human." 

Clarke sniffed as she wiped away a stray tear. "You're right. Man, I need to get my shit together -- I'm not allowed to be selfish right now."

He squeezed her shoulder encouragingly. "I know it's hard, babe. It's hard for all of us. But you can do it." 

"For Bellamy." 

"For Bellamy," he repeated. “Now, how long has it been since you’ve actually slept?”

She made a sound that told him she didn't really know, and shrugged.

“You need to go to sleep” he told her.

“I’m not leaving Bellamy.”

“And you don't have to. He’s in Octavia’s room. Go to his. I'll let him know you're safe, that you're sleeping, and he doesn't have anything to worry about. Sounds good?”

She nodded. 

"Now go take a nap or something.

“Aye aye, Captain,” she saluted, heading in the wrong direction.


She woke up hours later, only because she felt a dip in the mattress behind her.

“Hey,” she heard his voice in the dark. “I didn’t mean to wake you.”

“Bell.” She turned to him, welcoming him into her arms. She watched him as he snaked an arm around her waist and buried his face in her shoulder.

“I’m sorry,” he mumbled, his voice muffled through her skin. “For being such a dick.”

The arms around his neck stiffened. “Lincoln shouldn't have said anything.”

“He was right to.”

Clarke sighed, allowing her chin to rest on the top of his head. She didn’t reply for so long, that by the time she wanted to open her mouth to say something, he was already asleep on her chest. She joined him soon after.

They woke up again at dawn, the next day. Both of their limbs were stiff as they parted from each other, preparing to leave the hospital after Bellamy was granted a discharge. They didn't talk again until they sat in the back of Miller’s car.

“You’re not going to forgive me, are you?”

“Hm?”

“For being a dick.”

She took his hand from his lap, threading her fingers through his. “If that’s what you think you should be apologising for, then no, I’m not.”

She avoided his eyes the rest of the way home.

When she was helping him get out of the shower, he tried again.

“I’m sorry, Clarke.”

“For what, baby?” She asked as she helped him to the bed. She was on her way to grab his comb from the bathroom when he grabbed her wrist, raining her in. He looked up at her, his hands on the back of her thighs, as she brushed his wet hair away from his eyes. He hesitated before he said, “For being selfish while mourning my mother. I know you two were close, and I feel like I didn’t allow you to grieve for her.”

Clarke bent down, taking his face in her hands gently. She placed a soft kiss on the tip of his nose, while making sure she didn't touch the dark bruises on his face. “No,” she said gently, before kneeling down so she could rest her hands on his knees. She threaded their fingers together, and kissed each knuckle. 

"Baby, I hope you know you don't have to apologize."

He shook his head at her, resilient. "I know I've made you upset, you just need to let me figure out how." 

She kissed the palms of his hands slowly. "Focus on you right now. You're allowed to." 

"I know. But you're a part of me, and I choose to focus on you." 

She smiled at him, before giving him a short, meaningful kiss. "I love you, Bellamy," she told him before  turning around to find his comb.

She ordered a pizza for dinner, but neither of them ate much. They sat in bed with the cardboard box discarded on their desk, hand in hand as they watched the news silently. The footage of the accident had finally stopped playing.

They went to bed without speaking of it.

She woke up in the middle of the night to find him gone.

“Bellamy?” She called, but he didn't answer. She shot out of bed, not knowing what to expect. She found him in the kitchen, looking over dozens of his mother’s photo albums. His crutches lay on the floor.

He didn't say anything to her when she held him from behind, hugging his shaking body. He backhandedly wiped his face free of tears, before letting Clarke lead him back to their room.

They woke up the next day, naked in each other’s arms. They had to prepare for the funeral, and it seemed as though the conversation had been dropped.

They met Lincoln and Octavia on the outskirts of the cemetery. The four of them wore their best clothes, but nothing could truly lighten the mood. Lincoln took charge of Bellamy’s wheelchair; Clarke and Octavia followed them to Aurora’s plot. They didn’t host a wake afterwards. The four of them were taken for lunch by their friends, but none of them ate much. Conversation was slow, because no one really knew how to approach the subject.

They each drove to their own homes afterwards, silent and somber.

Clarke let Bellamy fall asleep beside her in bed before pulling out her laptop. She had been dejecting work for much too long, and her boss was only so understanding. Every few minutes she would look down to check up on Bellamy, sleeping soundly against her hip. He had one hand on her knee, and was lying diagonally cross their bed. Sometimes she would run her hands through his hair as she typed with one hand, wondering what she would ever do without him.

He groggily asked her in the middle of the night for a drink of water, and found him sitting up against the headboard when she came back with it. He seemed restless, unsure of what to say. She handed him the glass of water and let him speak first.

“Just tell me what I did.”

“Do you really want me to?”

He kissed her once, and then again. “Please.”

With a sigh, she climbed over him to get back in the bed. She sat parallel to him, feeling his eyes follow her.

“I need you to apologize for telling me that Aurora Blake raised a monster.”

A sharp intake of breath, and he looked away.

“I need you to apologize for calling the man I love, the man that I am committed to, a murderer. I need you to apologize for thinking that he had any part in his mother’s death. Bellamy, it was an accident.”

“Clarke, I…”

“What? Do you really believe you're responsible?”

He looked only at his fingers as he nodded.

Clarke tried not to seem exasperated as she pulled her laptop out from under the blankets. She pulled up a YouTube video of the crash, which had been taken directly off the news.

“Watch,” she said, and he did.

His car began in its own lane on the highway. He knew he had been sober, focused, and attentive. He hadn’t known that the driver in the car beside them was not. The second car came dangerously close to them, forcing Bellamy to swerve to avoid a crash. The tactic worked, until the other driver came swinging back at full force, plummeting his car into the Blakes’.

Turn it off,” he whispered. His heart was burning, watching that footage. She did.

She tossed the laptop to the side, watching him finish the last of his water. Out of his peripherals, he could see her looking at him expectantly.

"What do you want me to say, Clarke?"

"I want you to say that you're with me. That you understand what I'm putting on the table, and accept it."

"I do," he admitted, finally looking at her. The gratefulness shine through his eyes. "And I'm sorry."

"For what?" She asked, one last time.

He scoffed teasingly. "You know for what," and he leaned into her with a kiss.

Chapter Text

They both woke up unsure of where they were. They got to their feet, shoulders and heads aching. Their vision was foggy, their surroundings dark.

"Bellamy, is that you?"

He looked up from the ground, trying to focus on the voice calling his name. He was on the opposite side of the dungeon, thrown against the wall.

"Clarke?" He tried to move, to find her. Chains stopped him.

She tried as well, coming to the same, painful discovery. "What's going on?"

"I don't know, but we've got to find a way out of here, and fast." He looked at the surrounding walls. "A grounder cell."

"What did you get us into now, Blake?" Clarke sighed, rolling her eyes.

"You can't blame me for everything, Princess," he spat back.

"I've told you to stop calling me that!"

The sound of thudding footsteps interrupted their argument. A large, armed grounder approached them, weapon in hand.

"You are leaders of Skaikru, yes?"

"What do you want?" Bellamy's voice was curt, demanding.

"We want Skaikru gone."

"What are you doing to do about it?" Bellamy challenged. The grounder came up to him, face less than inch away from his, threatening.

"Bellamy, don't." Clarke warned.

"You should listen to the girl," he sneered, spitting in Bellamy's direction. The final straw fell.

Bellamy titled his head back, before whipping it forward with all the strength he had. The blow caught the grounder in the head, but it only angered him. He aimed a punch straight for Bellamy's stomach. The aim was well placed. He gasped, lifted his knee to kick back. His head was taken and thrown against the brick wall, it was a wonder it didn't split open. His skull must be too thick, Clarke thought, and then immediately felt guilty for finding humor in a grounder beating the shit out of Bellamy.

The grounder threw punch after punch. Soon he had Bellamy reeling on the floor, bleeding from wounds covering his body. Then, he threw kick after kick until he felt the Skaikru leader go limp, only becoming a pile of muscle and bone. Much to his credit, Bellamy didn't let his attacker take any pleasure in hearing him express his pain. For once in his life, Bellamy Blake kept his mouth sealed shut.

The grounder knelt by his body, sensing his consciousness like a hound did prey. Their eyes met in anger and malice, before the grounder grabbed Bellamy by the neck. He hoisted him up with one hand, a knife held against his jugular.

"STOP!" Clarke screamed from across the prison. Her wrists screamed in pain as she thrust herself against her chains, pulling towards Bellamy. She knew she was witnessing his murder, right in front of her eyes. She also knew that she wasn't about to let that happen. "You've made your point. Please, just put him down."

The grounder turned his back to him, throwing him against the cold hard floor, and began trudging over to Clarke.

She took a step backward, and another, until her back hit the cold dungeon wall. The grounder advanced still, cornering her. She had to turn her face away from his to avoid colliding with it. Her heart was racing, and it was all she could do to keep herself still if she wanted to avoid following Bellamy's example.

She felt his hot breath against her neck. His sharp words reverberated through her bones as he spoke directly into her ear. "The commander will speak to you at dawn." He said. Clarke winced as he moved, but he only turned around and headed back up the stairs.

Clarke relaxed, sinking onto the ground. She tried to control her breathing as she looked over at Bellamy, hunched on the ground.

"I told you not to," she said to him. He looks up at her from across the room, glaring.

"Shut the fuck up, Clarke." He sounded weak, in pain.

"You don't know how these people work, Bellamy!"

"And you do?"

"Yes!"

He scoffed as he looked at her through the corner of his eye. "You don't know bullshit. You only know what they want you to." Then he turned away from her, leaning onto a nearby pillar.

A few silent moments passed before she looked at him again. "Are you okay, Bellamy? He took quite some pleasure out of that."

"What do you care?"

She scoffed back at him. "I'm just trying to help, you prick. You seem to forget that I'm the closest thing we've got to a doctor around here."

"Mind your own business, Clarke."

"Any dizziness? Blurriness? How many fingers am I holding up?" She held up one, her middle finger.

He groaned, turning away from her. In the dim light, she tried to look over his body, in search for anything that might indicate injury.

"Do you know if any of your bones are broken?"

Despite his blatant attempt to ignore her, she saw him take a quick look at himself. He groaned painfully as he tried to lift his arm, and it fell back to his side.

“It’s broken.” She surprised herself when she sounded gentle. “Take your jacket off before your arm starts to swell." She was even further surprised when he did as she suggested, though with considerable pain. The article was tossed onto the ground beside him, and he sighed as he fell back onto the pillar.

"Are you bleeding?"

"Do you ever shut up?"

She did then, rolling her eyes.

If he wasn't cooperating with her, he was fine.

They spent the next few hours in silence, because there wasn't much else to do between themselves but fight. And being chained on opposite walls of a dark and dirty underground prison, that would take more effort than either of them were willing to contribute.

She kept a silent eye on him, making sure he didn't have a concussion from the hard blow to his head. He didn't.

They managed to agree to take turns sleeping, just to remain on guard in case they received any more threatening visits from the grounders. Clarke insisted she take the first shift, and Bellamy conceded with little resistance. He shuffled until he found a position that provided a feeling that resembled comfort, and promptly fell asleep.

She didn't wake him up, even when the sun was beginning to rise.

At first light, she heard the footsteps. She hoped that if they saw Bellamy sleeping, they wouldn't bother enough with waking him to talk to him.  They wanted her, after all. Bringing Bellamy into the conversation would be a terrible idea; knowing him, he'd most likely say the stupidest thing that came to mind under the pretence of "Whatever the hell we want."

Unfortunately for the plan, he woke instantly.

Three grounders came down the stairs to face them. She didn't know for what until two of them silently came up to her and grabbed her by the arms, roughly pulling her up.

"Hey!" Bellamy's voice echoed through the cave. "Where are you going with her?"

"This does not concern you, Skyperson. The commander will see her now." He turned away from Bellamy to begin unlocking the chains around Clarke's ankles. "Jus drain jus draun," he then muttered.

"Wait!"

Blood must have blood.

He looked to Clarke, who had made the same translation. Her eyes were wide with fear, and she was trying to pull herself from her captors' hold.

"Where are you taking her?" he demanded. None of them answered, so he surged forward until he remembered his broken arm. The weight of the chains forced him to pull back into his corner. "Hey!"

The grounder glanced at Bellamy out of the corner of his eye, before turning away and concluding that he wasn't worth this time. The commander was waiting, after all.

Bellamy didn't know how long Clarke had been gone. All he knew was that it was a very long time. When she returned, she was thrust into the dungeon so harshly that she landed on her side by his feet. He crouched over her. "Did they hurt you? What happened?"

A hand flew to her cheek, pushing her hair back so he could analyse her fully. Aside from a new scrape on her forehead from the fall, she was fine.

The grounder jailer was following close behind. She turned to him, breathless, terrified. He met her eye, and was weighted by the fear in her eyes.

"Death by a Five Hundred Lashes," she managed to let out. "We have until midday tomorrow to decide which of us takes the punishment.”


They didn't bicker that night. They didn't argue. They only sat, across from each other, discussing. Strategizing. There was comfort in each other's words, and for the first time since they had met each other, it didn't seem as though they hated each other so much.

The hours dragged on as they tried to find their way around the issue.

Surrounded by enemies on a planet they weren’t familiar with, with little to no weaponry or experience, and only the other to watch their backs. It want looking good.

They'd both been scared — terrified — that the other would toss them to the wolves. Throw each other under the bus, as went the old phrase neither of them really understood.

Rather, they both surprised themselves, and each other, when they began debating against their own survival.

"Bellamy, people follow you. You inspire them. You lead them. If this all goes bad, you should be the one to make it out of here."

He grunted at her, and it almost seemed like a snort of amusement. "I would have lead them straight into death by starvation, Princess. Their survival is on you. They need you."

"Trust me, they don't."

He grunted as he shifted his stance, pain shooting through his injured arm.

"Are you sure you're alright?"

"No," he said bluntly, "But there really isn't much you can do about it, is there?”

She sighed. He was right. They had both tried for hours to break the chains free from its grip on the wall, but to no avail. All they got to show for it were bleeding wrists and torn skin.

In a clear attempt to sway the conversation away from himself, Bellamy asked, "Do we know what they think we're guilty of?"

Clarke shrugged. Her long conversation with the commander hadn't revealed much of their dilemma, only that the two leaders were accused of killing on grounder territory, and that the greatest punishment was to be inflicted despite the fact that they were only defending themselves. The grounder leader was a cruel, cold woman, who had offered Clarke no leeway in the situation, even as she offered a trade. Medicine, skills, weaponry. Nothing seemed to satiate her need for blood.

"Murder on sacred ground."

"The bridge?"

"I suppose. She wasn't clear."

He looked at her, laying on the ground, fingers fidgeting around a pebble. If not for the dirt and blood that covered her, she would have reminded him of the days on the dropship, before their first exploration, when everything had turned to shit. Calm, relaxed, and with only a handful of children that needed tending to.

"Five hundred lashes, then? Seems more severe than a thousand cuts."

She turned her face to him, pondering. "I suppose it's for more serious crimes. It used to be a thousand lashes."

“Yeah?"

"They say most die before the four-hundredth lash. And because of their religious beliefs, they don't disrespect the dead, so they reduced it to five hundred."

Bellamy turned to her, and for the first time since they'd been captured, she saw a glint of humour in his eye.

"What?"

"So they only won't disrespect a human being as soon as they lose the ability to feel pain? That's awfully nice of them."

She huffed out a small laugh, tossing over the pebble she was playing with. He caught the small rock in his good hand, examining it for a moment before turning back to her solemnly, suddenly a lot more serious.

"Are we sure she's going to let one of us free, if the other takes the punishment?"

Clarke tried to recall her meeting. "I think so. She only ever spoke of torturing one of us.” She looked up at him, skeptical of his motives. “You better not do anything idiotic, Blake.”

He smirked, “No promises, Princess.”

“Bellamy…” She warned. He only shrugged.

“We’ll see.”

There was a long silence, in which they both pondered the extent he was willing to go to.

Clarke’s voice came suddenly into the void. “She told me to give you up, by the way."

Bellamy chuckled humorlessly. "You could have. Should have."

"Yeah, well, I wouldn't."

When he looked at her, stunned, she was staring at the ground and pointedly avoiding his gaze.

"Well," he said softly. "I want you to know that... I wouldn't either."

She peeked at him through the curtain of her hair. Their eyes met and she gave him a small smile; a tiny upturn of her lips, and he returned it.


He had decided that he was going to do it even before they came. Maybe it was their conversation, or the flutter of his heart when she looked at him like that. Or maybe, it was just sheer stupidity. But he had decided at some point that he was going to lay his life down so that Clarke Griffin could make it out alive.

When they came, he didn't give them the chance to ask which of them would be taking the punishment. He stood, wordlessly, and remained so even as they grabbed his shoulders and pulled him away from the prison. Even as his broken bone began to scream. Even as he felt his strength leave him, black spots dominating his sight.

He turned his head, glancing at Clarke.

His eyes took in her sleeping form, curled into herself for warmth. Her hair was a barrier for her face, and he realized that he wouldn't have the chance to look at her stunning features. There would be no one last time.

"May we meet again," he whispered, before he was harshly whipped to face the front.

He was thrust into the light of the outside world— a stark comparison to the dank cell he had been confined to for the past few days. His eyes took a moment to adjust, but his ears were already picking up on the jeering villagers waiting all around him, eager for the commencement of the ceremony.

His eyes opened to find himself lead towards a dauntingly bloody post. Rusted chains hung, awaiting his already-bruised body. A woman — the commander— stood in front of it, waiting. Bellamy stared through her cold and unforgiving eyes, unrelenting. The glare was only cut short as he was jerked onto the platform, onto his death.

His back hit to post with a sharp crack that no one paid attention to. His injured arm hung to his side as he was let out of his restraints. He had to make a conscious effort not to move, hoping he wouldn't inflame it any further.

'What's the point?' he thought to himself. 'I'm dying today anyways.'

The commander approached him and tore his shirt open with the back of her knife. Once the scraps were tossed to the side, his arms were grabbed and tied behind the post. He bit back a pained scream as he felt his broken bones clash with the splintered wood.

"Bellamy Blake," he heard the commander address him in his own language. "Leader of the Skypeople."

His teeth ground against each other as he tried to dismiss the pain.

'Bellamy, don't.' Clanked words echoed in his mind, before he had a chance to respond. Remembering the outcome the last time, he only nodded to her.

"You have been sentenced to Death by Five Hundred Lashes, for hate crimes against my people. Do you have anything to say for yourself before the ceremony commences?"

He looked her in the eye, breathing already labored. "Go float yourself," he hissed.

The commander nodded.

The first lash came without warning, hitting him squarely in the chest. He internalized his pain, taking a deep breath as the whip was exchanged from one villager to the next.

"Jus drain jus draun," they chanted hauntingly at him. Blood must have blood.

He went in for another steadying breath, but it was cut short when the second lash came. He stumbled back, but had nowhere to go. His spine collided with the wooden post.

By the fortieth strike he couldn't keep his head up.

By strike sixtieth, he was slipping in his own blood, and the pain in his arm became irrelevant.

By the ninetieth  lash, he finally stopped censoring his pain, and let out the first bloodcurdling scream.

By strike one hundred, the crowd was more responsive than he was.

By strike one hundred and one, Clarke jerked awake in the dungeon below.


She looked around for Bellamy, only half-shocked to find him gone. She shouldn't have left him alone with his own thoughts for so long.

"You stupid martyr!" She screamed into the direction of the stairs. "Bellamy!"

Her cries were left unheard when the crowd roared to the sight of Bellamy's pain. Her lone voice remained drowned out against the villagers' enthusiasm, leaving her a mess on the floor. She pulled her chains, reopening her healing skin. She grimaced against the feeling, but didn't stop.

She put all of her weight against the metal, straining her arms as she yanked against the chain.

She heard him scream then, and she felt all of her blood leave her head. Adrenaline took over all her movements, jerking and pulling and yanking her restraints. Her heart rate accelerated; she heard it in her ears.

Lash one hundred and six.

His veins went ice cold as he heard her voice.

Screaming, at him. For him.

“Clar… stop," he mumbled, his head dropping against his chest. He hardly heard the words himself. He tried to open his eyes, to see if anyone else had heard her.

They had.

They stopped.

Her angered cry was heard across the village. Her screaming, yelling, her incomprehensible words.

"Bring me the other prisoner!" The commander ordered, and he heard shuffling as her guards left.

"...n..o... n…o…”

His eyes are hardly open, his chin still pressed against his chest— but he sees her, a gleam of golden blonde reflected by the light. The sharp edge of a sword is held against her neck, but it doesn't seem to faze her. She's angry, he can see it as clear as day.

Her first words, surprisingly, are directed to him.

"You're such a fucking idiot," she hissed.

The one hundredth and eighth villager steps forward with the bloodied whip, and it catches Clarke's eye immediately.

“No, stop!"

But the lash came down anyways.

She struggles against the chains, against the hold of her captors. Her efforts leave her with a dark gash on her neck, and she stills.

Bellamy's chest is heaving, and another hit comes.

"Lexa!" She screams at the commander. "We agreed it would be me!"

He turns to her, stunned.

"Let me tend to him, and then you can take me."

"Shut up, Clarke," Bellamy managed to say, just loud enough for her to hear. The commander caught it as well, and then a look of amusement passes through her face.

"How many has he taken?"

The commander turns to her right-hand man. "One hundred and ten," he supplies.

Lexa turns to Clarke, a small smirk on her lips as she waves for them to continue. "Keep going."

"No," Clarke struggles, this time pressed against her captor to avoid another cut. "Stop!"

A villager steps forward, and one more lash is added to his hundreds.

Clarke kicks the man in front of her in the gut, and the sword drops to the floor. She pulls free of the holds on her wrists, racing towards the post. She reaches him just as the whip does, and the lash rips open the back of her shirt. Because by then, she was shielding his body with hers, clutching him.

"We have a punishment to carry out," she heard Lexa say. She took the whip from the villager, ready to swing. "Move out of the way."

She could feel Bellamy's breath on her skin. His head, weighed down by the pain, pressed into her shoulder. His blood, dripping from his open wounds, down his chest and onto her clothes.

"Grab the Skaikru girl!" The commander ordered in Trigedasleng. "Tie her to the other post!"

“Run, Princess," he muttered into her ear. Suddenly, the nickname didn’t sound like such a harsh insult.

"No," she said firmly, before he felt her being pulled away harshly, grabbed away by the guards.

With her back to him, he could see the singular red gash across her body. She ignored it as she squirmed, and it was like she wasn't in any pain at all. He was well aware that his wounds were two hundred times worse than her, but at the same time, the sight of her injury fueled him more than the pain his own.

He wasn't about to let her take his place.

Clarke's protests were left ignored as she was hoisted onto her own stage, roughly handled as the grounders began tying rope around her. Watching her, Bellamy took a deep, calming breath.

When he opened his mouth again to speak, his tone was low, and threatening.

"If you kill her today, and she doesn't make it back to camp, you can be sure our people will come for you.”

The words caught the the commander's ear, and she glared up at him. He was strong, she would grant him that, but she wasn’t about to let him divert the punishment.

"Bellamy, please—"

"We have guns," he continued. "We've been trained to kill on sight. Your  entire village will be wiped out before you can even sound a horn."

"He's our leader!" Clarke contradicted, beginning to panic. Because she knew Bellamy. He didn’t stand down from a fight. "You can't kill him without raising horrible backlash from our people."

She looked to him, begging him to stay quiet. She directed her words to the commander, "We've been gone, what, two and a half days? Our camp knows to send out a search party after three days of absence. You don't have long. If they find us dead, you don't stand a chance."

There was a long, agonizing silence from the crowd, during which both Bellamy and Clarke wondered if their bluff had been sold. They didn't look at each other — only to Lexa— as she turned to address her people.

She spoke too quickly in the language they barely comprehended, and there was a quick backlash from the people. Her words had not been appreciated.

She turned back to the two of them, looking shrewd.

Behind her, an old woman — the village witch — knelt in front of the commander, muttering in an ancient language. When she stopped, she met the eyes of both Bellamy and Clarke, before blowing into their direction.

Bellamy and Clarke looked to each other from their respective posts, confused. Wary.

Lexa stepped up to Bellamy's pedestal, slowly approaching. “Love,” she whispers — and she knows Clarke can’t hear— “is weakness.”

Through his pain, Bellamy manages to find the strength to pass Lexa a confused stare. ‘What the fuck are you talking about?’ his expression questioned her.

“She doesn’t know, does she?” She’s in his face now, a predatory look on her face.

When he didn’t say anything, she had her answer. 

“You’re going to have to watch as I whip your heart out of your chest.” She put a hand on his bleeding chest, ignoring how he began to squirm away from her painful touch. “…And I don’t mean this one.”

“Don’t,” he warned.

"You're sharing the punishment."

He lunged out to try and kick her down, but mighty she remained as his body pleaded with him to keep still. His limbs screamed, his blood fell, and yet he still didn’t falter in attempt.

Lexa smirked and turned to approach Clarke.

“Ancient stories tell of a time where loved ones have the ability to feel each other’s pain, even at a distance.” She pulled the rip from the back of Clarke’s shirt, letting it widen until she could throw the useless garment on the ground, letting the people see the ghosts of red lines across her body to match her co-leader’s. “A spiritual connection. They can occur between people who share empathic, loving bonds…”

She stepped back and her first lash came with no warning. Clarke gasped at the feeling, trying to blink away the lights in her eyes. A long stripe of red began blooming on Bellamy’s skin, before slowly disappearing.

“Parents, children,” she said to Bellamy.

Beside him, Clarke took her next lash. Her eyes were trained on Bellamy as it came, and his on hers.

“Siblings. Close friends.”

The marks came simultaneously the next time.

Lexa shrugged. “Spouses. Lovers.”

She had began crying out in pain before he had. He was stronger than her that way. Combined with the sudden pain of his previous lashes, she lost the will to keep her head up.

He gasped when the the feeling of the whip on Clarke’s arm hit the open bone of his arm.

For hours, he was forced to watch as her lash count climbed. He began falling unconscious before she did, because of the amount of blood they were losing.

Her body took blow after blow, as his unconscious one reflected every cut she received.

They reached the three hundredth hit with Bellamy’s drooping body barely hanging on by his chains, and Clarke with no power to even cry. Her head hung, straining her neck, but she had no remaining energy to pick it back up. Her throat was raw, her voice gone.

It was the dead of the night, and their punishment had finally passed. She tried to turn to Bellamy, completely unsure if he was alive or not.

Six hundred combined lashes.

“Let them go,” Lexa called into the void of her thoughts. “Their punishment has been fulfilled.”

Clarke felt the ropes untie behind her. Felt herself fall to the ground. She caught herself on her elbows, dirt splashing up to stain her clothes and mix with the blood already on it.

Strong hands gripped her by the arms, and she was swung into the air. Her eyes tried to open, to get a sense of where she was being taken. She only saw dark spots, and soon, she lost consciousness too.


She jerked awake at the feeling of alcohol pressed into the open wounds of her whipping.

Bellamy was beside her, shooting up from where he lay to cough up blood. Just a moment later, she followed his example.

The healer leaned back on his heels, watching the two of them have identical reactions to Bellamy’s treatment with astonishment. Both bodies exhibited the full extent of three hundred lashes, despite both only taking half of it in reality.

Both of them were too weak to question their healer’s motives, falling back to the ground, side by side, breathing hard. Their hair stuck to their skin, matted down with blood and sweat.

The healer tried to dab Clarke’s skin with another cloth, soaked in alcohol. She hadn’t seen him coming, but Bellamy had. He didn't hesitate to reach in and grab the man’s wrist.

“Don’t touch her,” he coughed out.

“If I don’t do this, her wounds will get infected. She’ll die.” The healer gestured to Bellamy’s own chest with his free hand. He had been fully attended to; the surface of his chest was covered with gauze, and his arm had been reset and held by a makeshift cast.

“I mean you no harm,” he told Bellamy.

His grip softened, before he let him go. “Give it to me.”

The healer sighed, but was cooperative, passing over the soaked cloth to Bellamy. He knelt over Clarke’s still body, his injured arm pressed against his side.

“Heda Lexa was right,” he muttered as he watched Bellamy tend to Clarke.

He looked at the grounder from the corner of his eye. “About what?”

“The ancient prayer,” he explained, and Bellamy thought back to the old woman. “It only works when there is a connection, and the Heda was right when she thought you both had one.”

Bellamy was silent, and the man continued. “Most people die watching their loved ones in pain while under the prayer.”

“She’s not my loved one — there’s no connection,” Bellamy said sharply as he pressed the cloth down onto Clarke’s wounds for the first time. She convulsed under him, immediately awoken, and began trying to push his hands off of her.

He let out a cry, dropping the cloth to the ground as the world began to spin. He felt the same agony, and clutched his bandages. The alcohol burned, and the pain was stronger than that of the original cut.

“Are you sure?” The healer seemed smug, despite both of his patients writhing in pain in front of him.

“Shut up,” Bellamy gasped, leaning back against a nearby wall. He continued to tend to Clarke’s injuries, the sporadic pain on his own self a good indicator of what parts of her body to avoid touching.

She woke up hours later, fully bandaged, with Bellamy asleep beside her. She was freezing, starving, and dehydrated. She leaned on her elbows as she took a look at her surroundings.

A medical bay of sorts — if the vials and bottles were enough indication. They were on the ground, alone together, side by side. It was the middle of the night, and she could see the stars above them from the roofless building.

She turned to Bellamy, beside her. He too seemed to shiver in the dark. When she placed a hand on her arm, she felt his goosebumps fade. He woke up at the feeling of her cold touch.

His eyes flew open, and he glanced at her through his peripherals. “Clarke? Get off me, you’re cold.”

She pulled her hand back immediately. “Sorry, it’s just that you’re warmer than I am.” She turned to her side, facing him with her back.

He sighed. He had been awake a few hours earlier, and had watch the sun fall as she slept. When the sun disappeared, it had stolen the warmth with it. The healer had disappeared for his own cabin, and had left the two to their own devices. Neither of them wore shirts, and hadn't been supplied with blankets or furs to shield them from the chilly night.

He surprised himself when he turned to her, his broken arm tucked in between them, and pulled her closer against his chest. She stiffened in his warm embrace, before he explained, “We can’t afford our princess getting pneumonia, can we?”

She smiled, but didn’t let her voice betray that information to him. “You’re just afraid of what that would feel like.”

He blushed, and the feeling coloured his face and neck — because she’d just admitted to the ‘spiritual’ connection Lexa had accused them of having. He had never seen it until the commander had brought it up, and was forced to face the feelings he had had for his co-leader. Watching her in pain, under a whip, had been so excruciating, he couldn't even begin to describe the pain it had left him with.

“Obviously,” he retorted, and held her tighter. She held his arm against her in response.

They lay in silence for a few minutes, before Bellamy reminded her, “We have to find a way out of this godforsaken place.

Clarke groaned, her head settling into the crook of his arm. “Can we figure that out later? I just want to go to sleep now, Bell.”

He looked down at her, a small smile tugging at his lips. “Sure thing, Princess.”


 The grounders stood guard outside of the medical ward’s doors, swords drawn. It had been an uneventful night after the Skaikru prisoners had been flogged for the public. They had made a fire just in front of them, and were chatting in between themselves as they leaned against the doors of the building.

“Why do you think he did that, anyways?” One of them asked the other.

“Do what?”

“Take her place.”

The other one shrugged as he bit into an apple, spitting out the seeds.  He thought over the pair, remembering the pain they were willing to bear in order to save the other. He sighed out a laugh when he realised it.

“They’d do anything,” he said, “to protect each other. It just makes sense.”

The first one barked a laugh. “Look at the thanks they got.”

Chapter Text

He woke up to a loud crash and found her gone, the space in between his arms cold. There was a pain on his neck that he knew he hadn’t had before he had fallen asleep — it immediately alarmed him, and he shot to sit up and look around.

It was daytime, and he cold sun cast a grey shadow on the medical ward. The halls were empty, the atmosphere still; Clarke was nowhere to be found.

He yelled her name into the silence, but didn’t hear a reply. He shot to his feet without much concern for the lightheadedness that followed.

“Clarke?” he tried again. The pain in his neck began increasing, and he knew he was allowed to panic when the feeling began invading his throat. He ran out the door, and found her immediately, across the village. Pinned down by a grounder. A fist wrapped around her throat. She tried desperately to push him off, but her injuries from the night before were still fresh, still raw enough, to restrict her movements. She was screaming, and  though people were watching, no one came to her aid.

Hey!” Bellamy yelled, running towards the struggling pair. He kicked the grounder off of Clarke, tossing him to the ground. He was on top of him in the next moment, throwing punches until the blood came— from both his hand and the man’s face. Still, he hit, bashing his nose in until he heard Clarke’s coughing voice from behind him.

“Bellamy, that’s enough.”

She sounded soft, understanding, but hoarse. He left the grounder in the dirt, turning to go to her. She lay reeling on the ground, gasping for air. The beginning of a bruise was developing on her neck, tracing shape of the grounder’s fingers. Another one was forming over her eye, a clear indication to her assault. Her lips were bruised and cut, parted as she tried to satisfy her lungs' need for oxygen.

When he looked at her, she was clutching her right hand to her chest, in clear pain. When he saw it, he instantly grew apologetic.

"It's okay," she whispered, eyes closing as she shook it off. "Help me up?"

“Did the Princess never learn to stand?" He tried to joke as he hooked his arm under her, supporting her weight. When he had her standing, an arm snaked around her bare shoulders, and he helped steer her in the right direction.

She scoffed, glancing at him as they both stumbled clumsily towards the medical area.

They fell back to where they had slept the night before, both chests heaving as the exhaustion of their morning got to them.

“So what did you get yourself into now, Clarke?”

She was flexing her hand when he spoke to her, distracted. “Hm?”

Shaking his head, he turned to take her hand in his, analysing it, and thrust his own hand to her to look at. She did as he repeated his question. "What were you doing that made you a target for the locals?”

“What makes you think this is my fault?” She turned his hand to observe his knuckles, watching the muscle tense as she touched it. She found a nearby cloth, and began cleaning out the wound.

To soothe her own pain, Bellamy was trying to convince himself — when they both heard the voice behind them.

“You both need to get out of here as quickly as possible.”

They whipped around, surprised when they found the man who had spent the night taking care of them. Clarke shuffled away from him, wary, but Bellamy only nodded his head.

“You need to come with me,” he extended a hand to help them up. Bellamy took it, dragging Clarke with him as the man lead them outside the medical bay, through lone tunnels, and into a small mud hut. He pushed them inside, and when the door was closed, finally turned to face them.

“Please, sit,” he told them, gesturing to the measly furniture of his home. He took his own seat by the fireplace, tending to it as he explained.

“My people are upset, as you may have realized. They’re gathering forces to have you both killed before nightfall. No one is satisfied with Heda Lexa’s choice to let you live.”

“Blood must have blood,” Bellamy nodded. “They were looking for death to satisfy what happened on that bridge.”

Clarke, still stunned, looked in between the two men. “Uh, Bellamy?” Her expression demanded an explanation.

The medic extended his hand to her, “Nyko,” he introduced. “A friend of Octavia’s.” Clarke took his hand gingerly and shook it slowly.

“He helped us last night, Clarke. You don’t have to look so suspicious,” Bellamy mumbled into her side.

Nyko only laughed, half amused. “It’s alright, I understand her hesitation.”

Clarke looked to Bellamy, “But we don’t have any supplies… We don’t know the paths around this land — How are we supposed to make it out of here alive?”

Nyko waved her concerns away. “I will provide you with the supplies.” He turned to Bellamy, “Do you know they way back to your camp?”

He nodded. “It’s a two day trek.”

“Three, if we avoid Trikru territory,” Clarke added.

“And you must. Avoid Trikru territory. When they find you gone at nightfall, they will come for you. They will be ruthless.”

“We’ll freeze to death before any of your warriors even step foot after us,” Bellamy pointed out, gesturing to his and Clarke’s shivering bodies. “We’re going to need clothes.” 

Nyko took a look at the both of them, as though realising for the first time that the only thing shielding the two from the cold day was the flimsy bandages they were covered in. “Yes, clothes.”

He turned to the bed, pulling out a large but weightless bundle from behind it. He tossed it in their direction, and split open. Grounder clothes and Bellamy’s stolen guard jacket came into view, alongside a large fur.

Bellamy passed the Arkadian garment to Clarke, letting her take solace in its warmth. She draped it over her shoulders as she sat on the floor, huddled in the cloth. Bellamy turned to Nyko, nodding in thanks. Expecting more, he waited, but the village healer only looked at him blankly.

“Supplies?” Bellamy reminded him. “Food? Shelter? Weapons?”

“Of course,” Nyko said assuredly. “I have already prepared for this. There are three ways to exit our village.” He gestured in three abstract directions, “South, where you see the statue. North-East, the closest, but where you exit into the forest. And lastly, North, which you want to avoid unless you want to see yourself in the Ice Nation. Mark my words, you don’t want to spend the next three nights there.

“Avoid North-East. You’ll be in the immediate line of fire with Trikru. Go to the statue. That is your safest option. It’s a little far from here, but there, I have buried your supples by the memorial’s feet. Food, water, and supplies    anything that you’ll need for your journey.”

Clarke faced Nyko with gratitude written all over her face. “Why are you doing this?”

He smiled gently at her, bowing his head slightly. “I hear you spared my friend, Lincoln’s, life. For that, I am eternally grateful, and I wish to repay the favour by getting you out of this camp.”

“An eye for an eye?” Bellamy scoffed. “After that, will you treat us like the rest of your village does?”

Nyko huffed out a laugh of no humor, looking down at the ground as he replied, “I have a duty to my people. I’m sure you can understand that.”

“We do,” Clarke assured him, reaching a hand out to Bellamy’s arm. He gave her a sidelong glance, but didn’t say anything in return. “Thank you.”

Nyko tilted his head to her once again, before telling her, “I must speak with the Commander before you leave. I must give her a reason to reduce the security around the statue’s exit. Until I come back, don’t go anywhere.”

Without any more of a warning, he turned and exited the hut, leaving Bellamy and Clarke to themselves. The slamming door heightened the defining silence that followed, leaving the two to turn to each other with hesitation.

They didn’t say anything for a long time, simply relishing the clear quiet of the hut. He sat beside her on the floor, shifting closer to the fireplace.

“How’s your arm?” she asked after a long moment of looking at it. She shifted, moving closer to him. She still shivered, curled up against his jacket.

Bellamy looked down at the cast, pressed against his side. “Better. Can’t really feel it, so, better.”

“It’s why I asked,” she admitted with a small smile. “I can’t feel it, either.”

Bellamy’s heart skipped a beat. She really has to stop doing that. “How’s the hand?”

She looked down at her right hand, flexing it again in analysis. The wounds on it were invisible, an identical ghost of his own injury. “I don't know, you tell me.”

He knelt down beside her, by the fire, to be able to glance at it clearly. Blood completely covered his hand, despite her cleaning it only a half hour ago.

“It hurts like a motherfucker,” he admitted softly.

Clarke grinned fully. “It does.”

She reached for it, and he let her take it in her hands. “Nothing’s broken, but it needs to be wrapped.”

He hummed in acknowledgement before pulling it back. “Where’s Nyko gone off to?”

They both glanced at the door, which lay still and unmoving.

“I’m sure he knows what he’s doing,” Clarke assured him softly.

They waited for him for another hour before Clarke let Bellamy check. He opened the door just enough to peek through, startled when he heard voices heading in their direction. He stilled, listening.

He turned to Clarke slowly, silently edging the door to a close.

“We have to go,” he hissed at her.

“The guards, Bellamy!” she whispered harshly back.

Shhh!’ he mouthed at her while waving her over.

Alarmed, she got to her feet to join him, and pressed an ear to the door. The grounders were yelling, and the voices were getting closer. She heard Nyko’s name, spoken in anger, and her eyes widened.

Bellamy turned to gather the warmer clothes Nyko had given them, while Clarke rummaged through his home in search of a weapon. She found one, — a stout knife — hidden under the pillow.

“Here,” Bellamy said as he thrust grounder clothes in her direction. “Put this on.”

She hid the knife in the folds of her bandages, tied Bellamy’s jacket around her hips, and slipped into the coat.

“Are you ready to g—“

The door split in two as it was thrown inwards.

Instinctively, Bellamy threw himself in front of Clarke as an angry grounder swung his fist. He blocked it with his good arm, and threw the man onto his back. From behind Bellamy, Clarke found and thrust the knife, aiming to incapacitate. She caught him in the leg, and then in his eye. He didn’t survive the blow.

The second grounder and Bellamy were already engaged in a fistfight, which ended when Clarke yelled his name and tossed the knife to him. He caught it in the middle of a swing, and hit their attacker in the neck. In the jugular, like he had seen her do to Atom, only weeks prior. He fell to the floor, blood already pooling around their feet.

The third and final one had a sword, standing, waiting, at the doorstep. His eyes widened as her watched the two of them kill without hesitation. He was still a young boy, but undoubtedly trained. Bellamy held the knife, ready to strike if a move was made.

And a move was made.

The boy thrust his weapon forward, ready to hit Clarke in the legs. Bellamy intercepted, clashing the metal of the knife against the sword, but it hardly caught. It only gave time for Clarke to roll behind the boy, using her forearms to trap his head. He didn’t drop the sword at first, still haphazardly swinging it at Bellamy as he started losing oxygen. The tip would have caught him in the chest had it not been for the bandaged wrapped around his torso. The parts of the bloodied cloth fell to the ground at the same time the boy did.

Neither Clarke nor Bellamy took time for a breather. She caught the knife he threw her, and then they ran out of the house.

They must have been spotted, because a moment later, they heard the horn as they were headed to the closest border. They didn’t stop, even as it began raining arrows. Even as they continued into Trikru territory — where they didn’t have the upper hand.

They entered the forest, running for cover under the thick trees. Voices followed them, eager to catch. To kill.

They were in the thick of the forest before long, taking haphazard twists and turns. The arrows kept coming, kept whizzing past them, threatening to hit flesh.

Finally, the voices grew too far to hear.

Bellamy grabbed her wrist to stop her, pulling her into him as he stopped against a large oak tree. His back collided with the rough wood, and Clarke fell onto him. His good arm snaked around her, pulling her closer so they wouldn't be seen.

They tried to remain as small as possible, holding onto each other, keeping within the protection of the large trunk. He held a finger to his lips — which she slapped away because, obviously — and they waited. Chests pressed together, breathing heavily, and covered in blood and dirt, they waited.

As they kept still, their adrenaline faded; the energy in their veins died. Soon, the events of the last few days caught up with them, forcing them to slump onto each other as they tried to catch their breaths.

Their breaths mingled, their limbs tangled, and their bodies stiffened as the hour passed.

"Check," he whispered into her ear as quietly as possible. She nodded, and pushed herself off him slowly to lean over the tree and scout the area.

"Clear," she told him after a minute, and he followed suit.

They cautiously began their trek, supporting one another. Their first goal was to exit Trikru territory; they were already being hunted.

The sun hung in the middle of the sky, beating down on them despite the cold day. After hours of walking on no sustenance, they were stumbling by the time they saw the border.

They found a dark cave somewhere on the border of Azgeda’s jurisdiction. Th sun had begun to set by then, and only then did the two realise they had spent the day in running.

It was also the first time they had the opportunity to examine each other for injury.

They settled side by side, just on the inside of the cave’s damp walls. Both of them had noticed the dull ache in Bellamy’s chest since the moment the young boy had sliced through his bandages, hours ago. Neither of them had mentioned it, but Clarke knew how important it was to follow up on healing wounds.

“Take off your coat, Bellamy.”

She crouched over him, with only the dim orange lights of the setting sun to help her sight.

“What are you doing?” Bellamy mumbled, when she came too close to his chest for comfort.

She hushed him with a wave, and one hand gently stroked the cut bandages. He inhaled sharply at her touch, but didn’t say anything. She felt the same ache in her chest, and pulled her hand back.

“Your bandages need retying,” she concluded.

“Go ahead, Princess.” He said it just as a cold breeze came through the cave, making him shiver harshly. “Quickly.”

She nodded. “Sit up, you’re not really helping me like this.”

He obeyed silently, which was a first for her. From the day they’d met, he’d always made it a point to rebel against what she wanted.

“Lean against me,” she suggested. He must not have fully comprehended what she was asking him, because he did it. His head dropped onto her shoulder as she reached around him to begin untying his bandages. Each wisp of cloth came away with a varying degree of blood spilt across it. The final one came away soaked in his blood, and she wondered how neither of them had noticed the pain of it.

The whip had cut through his body until all she could see was the torn skin of what had once been his torso. The cuts were so numerous, it was as though the only thing keeping him from falling apart was the bandage. She grimaced as she looked at them, and her heart fell into her stomach as she tried to treat them with as lightly as she could. She also knew that her own lashes would not be any different.

They both winced as her fingers grazed against the swollen cuts of his lashes.

“Sorry,” she managed to tell him as she blinked away light spots.

“Just hurry the fuck up,” he groaned against her skin. He was shivering, and there were more goosebumps on his skin than there were freckles.

Clarke herself felt the ghost of the chill against her backbone, and hastened in her work.

In the end, she had to tear up one of the shirts Nyko had given them to create a new bandage. She used a medicinal plant she found on a nearby bush as a poultice, placing it between the new bandages and Bellamy’s skin.

“Better?” She asked as she finished retying the remainder of his bandages.

“Give me my coat back, Clarke.”

“You’re fucking welcome,” she muttered as she tossed it in his direction. She sighed as she sat beside him, beginning to let herself fall asleep. The day had been long, exhausting, and draining. Bellamy clothed himself once again, and while leaning on the wall beside her, fell asleep too.


They were both aware that they could not have gotten more than an hour’s sleep when they were jerked awake by the sound of loud footsteps. They stiffened where they sat, watching the entrance of the cave without speaking to each other.

A figure began nearing them, and they shrank into the shadows. The lantern the stranger was holding cast a loud beam across the clearing, and it was only a matter of time before they were found.

Clarke crouched on the balls of her feet, and held the knife she had stolen in her left hand, ready to strike if the reason arose.

None of their preparation was for any merit, however, when a dark shadow grabbed her from the internal of the cave, pulling her into the darkness. She swung her arm around in a panic, feeling the satisfaction as she heard a sharp crack behind her. She turned and plunged her weapon into her attacker’s neck.

By then the light source had entered the cave, and Clarke felt a sharp pain in the back of her head as Bellamy was thrown against the rock walls.  She struggled to keep her knife in her fingers, and raced to where she had left him. He was struggling against another man — a heavier one. She pulled the figure away from Bellamy, who was beginning to lose consciousness. She tackled him to the floor and climbed over him, trying and failing to do damage with her knife. In the corner, she saw Bellamy’s body slump to the ground.

The attacker only pushed Clarke off him, throwing her to the side as though she weighed nothing, and moved to finish Bellamy off. He pulled a knife from his belt, aiming for his heart.

“No!” She screamed, throwing herself between the blade and Bellamy. “Please,” she begged the attacker. “Please don’t kill him.”

He growled at her, the requirement to kill left unsatisfied. He swung his weapon at her in a wide circular motion, missing her only by a few millimetres. To keep him from doing it again, she kicked at his legs, and he fell to the floor with her.

Squabbling to end the fight, she climbed over him once more and swung a nearby rock in the direction of his head. He caught it with a grunt, but before he had the chance to retaliate she had the knife against his throat. He stilled, waiting for her to make a move.

She didn’t make the mistake of providing mercy.

In one swift motion, she cut through his neck and watched as a river of his blood began to flow.

She let the knife fall to the ground, turning back to check on Bellamy. He was thrown on the floor, a wave of red falling down the back of his neck.

“Bellamy,” she called, shaking his shoulder. She checked his pulse, which came back weaker than she would have expected. “Bellamy!”

With a hand still pressed against his neck, she bent over to listen to his breathing. She waited a moment before she confirmed that he wasn’t breathing.

“Hey. No.”

She pulled his fingers into the lantern’s light, checking if they were turning blue. They were. She let his hand fall back onto the ground before leaning over his to place her hands on his chest.

She took a deep, steadying breath, prepared for the pain that was going to attack her chest from performing CPR on Bellamy’s wounds.

“It’s okay,” she told herself. She pumped his chest three times, then bent further down to open his mouth and place hers over it. She gave him two breaths before she repeated the compressions.

“Come on, you idiot,” she begged him, leaning to provide him breath.

Compression.

Compression.

Compression.

Breath.

Breath.

Compression.

Compression.

Compression.

“Get up, Bellamy.”

Breath.

Breath —

He coughed his way back to life as he started breathing on his own, nearly colliding his head with hers. She moved swiftly out of the way as he turned onto his side, still coughing.

“Oh, thank God,” she breathed, leaning back onto the stone walls. She watched him recover slowly, taking large breaths at a time as he tried to sit up. She pat his back with a relieved sigh, a tear threatening to spill out of the side of her eye. “You’re okay.”

He fell against the wall beside her with a relieved breath, and tilted his head slightly towards her to look at her. Her hair clung to her face, her forehead shining despite the cold. “Don’t ever do that again, Blake.”

He smirked back at her with a soft laugh, repeating his words from the day before. “No promises, Princess.”

She shoved him halfheartedly as she returned his smile.


They moved further into the cave, trying to get away from the two bodies they had made lifeless. They used the lantern’s flame to light a fire, which Clarke used to look over the gash on the back of Bellamy’s head. It was shallow, and from what she could tell, hadn't made any effect to his motors. She covered it with a bandage to his head before it bled any more, fastening it with a tight knot on the base of his skull.

They edged towards the fire before the cold could get to them any further. The furs Nyko had given them provided them with warmth where the flames couldn’t.

They both collapsed onto the ground, groaning as the lack of food and sleep got to them again. The flames lit up the ceiling they both stared at, making shadows dance against the glistening stone.

“So what now?” Clarke asked into the void of silence that encircled them. “I have no idea where we are.”

“Me neither,” Bellamy admitted, sighing. “We can get up at first light, and use the sun to figure it out.” He pulled his coat closer to his chin, confused that it wasn’t providing him with much warmth. “Why the fuck am I still cold?” he demanded, as though he were reprimanding the fur.

Clarke hummed. “Could it be because I’m frozen solid?”

He tilted his head to look at her, surprised. “Are you?”

She hummed again. She had untied his guard jacket from around her waist, wearing it under the coat Nyko had given her. Still, she shivered.

“Damn it, Clarke, get closer to the fire.”

She scoffed at him without looking at him, and turned onto her side to face the flames. “Do you want me to burn my face off? Look at how close I already am.”

He did, and sighed. “Why are you always so cold?”

“Maybe because I wasn’t born a fucking furnace,” she pointed out.

“No,” he agreed as he scooted over to her. “You were born a princess.”

She stiffened as she felt his arms come up from behind her, circling around her waist. Once again, his cast was trapped in between them, but his chest came as close to her back as it could. She felt his breath on her neck, and his coat layered hers over her arm. Slowly, his warmth began to seep into her, easing her muscles’ minute shivers.

“You need to stop calling me that.” She tried to keep her voice steady, and cursed herself when it didn’t hold. “We’ve talked about this.”

“No, Princess.” She was sure he said it that time just to spite her. “You’ve talked about it.”

She huffed, but eased into his hold.

There was only a moment of silence between them, before she heard his voice again.

“How are we going to get out of this?” he mumbled into her ear. She felt him sigh, before he clarified. “This stupid spiritual connection thing.”

“I don’t know,” she admitted. “We can ask Lincoln if we get back to the dropship.”

His grip around her waist loosened so he could pull her shoulder to him, turning her so she could face him. He met her steely gaze with an encouraging nudge. “When, Clarke. We’re going to be fine.”

“Bellamy, we don’t have any supplies. We have half a weapon to share between ourselves, and neither of us can hunt with it. We don’t know where the closest source of water is, and we haven't had a drink in over two days. We’re both bleeding more than either of us can really handle, and to top that off, neither of us know where we are!”

“Clarke.” His voice was soft, understanding, but firm. She found it comforting, like she’d never felt with his voice before. “We’re going to be fine.”

She scoffed at what she believed was wishful thinking, but then her features softened until he saw her break in front of him. “You still have hope?” Her voice was low, scared, trembling.

“We still breathing?”

She didn’t say anything, despite being sure that they wouldn't be by morning. She turned fully into him, burying her face in his neck. Bellamy held her without another thought, whispering into her hair, “Try to get some sleep.”

She hummed, and silence followed immediately after. Silence so loud, it rang in their ears. Before long, Bellamy felt Clarke’s breathing even out, and her body fully relaxed into his. He followed her into sleep only moments later.


They sensed the danger before they even opened their eyes.

The warmth of rising sun’s beams replaced the heat of the dead fire, but light was obstructed as they saw shadows move from behind their closed eyelids. Bellamy knew Clarke felt it, and she him, as their once relaxed muscles tensed simultaneously. Their enemy approached cautiously while they  both prepared to strike.

They feigned deep sleep, continuing to force levelled breathing as the intruder approached. Clarke felt Bellamy reach into the folds of the bandages at her hip, fingers tightening around the knife she stored there. She felt around for a makeshift weapon in the space behind his back where her hand already lay, quickly finding a small, sharp rock.

They attacked at the same time; Clarke swung her fist at the grounder’s head, sending him faltering back. Bellamy caught him before he fell, one-handedly holding the knife against his neck.

The grounder surrendered one hand. The other one spread over Bellamy’s arm, trying to keep the knife away from his throat.

Bellamy and Clarke looked to each other, unsure of what to do. The stranger stood in between them with eyes of steel, breathing heavily.

Bellamy nodded once to Clarke, and she understood. Without warning, she lifted her arm and brought the rock to meet the stranger’s temple. This time, Bellamy let him fall to the ground.

“Let’s go,” he told her as he rummaged through the body, “We’ve spent too much time here.”

She nodded back at him, bending to gather what little they had to travel with.

“Hey,” Bellamy called her, and she whipped back up to look at him. He wore a small, victorious smile, and held up a drawn paper map. He passed it over to her swiftly, and she caught it as he continued his search of the stranger. One by one, he threw her item after item: two hunting knives, three rations of squirrel jerky— breakfast — and a flask of water. Her smile grew with every item she caught and stored into the stolen satchel.

“Done?” She asked when he came back to her side. He took the bag from her, slinging it over his shoulder as he pulled her closer to his chest. He didn’t think before he pressed a delirious kiss on her forehead.

“All done,” he replied, and lead her out of the cave. Surprised and left with a dust of red on her cheeks, Clarke let his hand slip into hers to guide her outside.

The sun was sharper than it had been the day before, and warmer. The cold landscape greeted them at the lip of the cave, making them huddle into their separate coats.

“Where to, Princess?”

Clarke waved the map open in one hand, allowing the page to unfold before she looked at it. She analysed it for a moment, before looking at her surroundings.

“Rises in the East, sets in the West,” Bellamy provided when she seemed confused.

“I know,” she snapped. “Give me a minute.”

He waited patiently, sitting on a nearby rock and chewing on the first strip of squirrel. There was no use in helping; she had always been a better navigator than he was. He offered her the last bite of the strip, which she took and put in her mouth absentmindedly as she stared at the map.

“That way,” she finally decided, pointing to the direction of South-East.

He didn't bother asking her if she was sure.

“Would we be avoiding Trikru?”

She nodded.

“Lead the way,” he waved as he got to his feet.

She did, grasping his hand and dragging him across the white plain.

He followed in step with her for a few hours until they reached a narrow channel. She referred to the map again and pivoted to the right. He followed without question, continuing the conversation they had been maintaining over their journey and occasionally feeding her pieces of jerky in an effort to remind her to get food into her system.

They stopped at the border of Delfikru and Azgeda after midday, deeming it a fit time to take a short rest. After a quick glance at the map, they located a nearby river and made camp.

They had managed to spend the entire day without further injury. Furthermore, they were a little more fed and less agitated when it came to each other; they realised they hadn’t returned to bickering since their punishment at Ton DC. They hadn’t talked about it either, both sickening at the slightest reminder of the day. Their wounds were still too raw to relive the moments — both physically and mentally.

They fell into silence pretty quickly after getting their drinks of water, choosing to use the one short hour they had given themselves to rest. Bellamy lay by the river bank, bag beneath his head, and tried to get some sleep after Clarke assured him she didn't need any.

She took a seat beside his form, watching him out of the corner of her eye as she kept guard.

She watched the wind take over all of nature’s movements. Every blade of grass, every branch, and every leaf around them quivered in its path; vaguely she wondered how such a beautiful planet could be so deadly. Since the moment they had landed on the ground, the earth had been trying to vanquish them again, as though picking them off one by one. Her gaze fell onto Bellamy, wondering which of them would be the next to go.

She didn't realise she had been staring at him until she saw him twitch in his sleep. She jerked, shifting her gaze. It returned almost immediately when he did it again, and still didn’t wake.

“No,” he muttered. “Stop.”

“Bellamy?” She knelt beside him, a soft hand touching his shoulder.

“Don’t. Please. Don’t.” His breath hitched, forcing his body awake. His eyes flew open, catching Clarke’s immediately.

She didn't say anything as she watched him sit up, letting her hand fall to his thigh. He buried his face in his knees, covering his head with his arms. Clarke would have thought he had fallen back to sleep if she hadn't caught the way his shoulders began to shake as he began to sob.

“Hey.” Her voice was gentle as she tried to be comforting. “Bellamy, it’s okay.”

He didn't answer her, even as he felt her move to sit beside him, her arms circling around his arms, “It’s okay.”

“It’s not.” His voice was a thick whisper, coated in fear and guilt and sorrow, muted through the barrier of his knees.

“It was just a nightmare,” she whispered comfortingly to him, beginning to draw lines on his arm.

“It was Charlotte.”

At the sound of the little girl’s name, Bellamy felt Clarke’s limbs stiffen. Having thrown herself over the cliff only a week before, the memory was still fresh in her mind.

“What does she tell you?” She asked him, because she was prone to such dreams herself. She has them with Wells, and her father.

His breath hitched, and she felt his shoulders tense under her touch. She felt him lean away from her, holding himself steady as his guilt took over his thoughts. 

“It’s all my fault.”

“Bellamy…” her voice trailed off as she lay her cheek against his back, burying herself in his skin. “It was just a dream.”

“I know,” he whispered back to her. “I know.”

She felt his body rise as he took a long, shaky breath. She pulled away as he began to stand. Clarke grabbed his wrist when he tried to leave, forcing him turn back to her. The questions on his face went unsaid, and unanswered.

“You didn’t get much sleep,” Clarke informed him.

He shook his head, trying to rid his throat of the sharp pain within it. “I can’t, Princess. I’ll see her again.”

She tugged on the wrist she still held, pulling him down to meet the level of her gaze. She passed him the skin of water when he sat beside her, head weighed down. She watched him take a long drink before she spoke. “You won’t. I’ll be right here this time, I promise.”

Bellamy turned slightly to her, looking at her through the side of his eye. He looked exhausted, and they were both aware of how much he needed sleep. “We still have half of that hour, Bellamy,” she added, in every hope she could convince him.

He nodded slowly.

She put a hand to his neck, pulling him closer to her. He leant into her touch as she brought his head to rest on the top of her thighs, onto her lap. His arms snaked around her waist as he closed his eyes, his forehead resting flush against her stomach as he did. Clarke’s hands played with his hair, stroking and twisting the curls away from his face, watching as it slowly lulled him to sleep.

He didn't see Charlotte again.


By the time they were a day’s trek away from the dropship, they decided to take a short stop for a hunt. The sun had set long ago, and they had finally accepted using a lantern as a necessity. They kept the flame within it low, trying to remain hidden from the crawlies of the wilderness.

They had made a makeshift camp once again, prior to the beginning of the hunt, where Clarke had taken position by the bushes, finding necessity in retying her bandages. After the intense activity of manslaughter the night before, the cloth was beginning to loosen and slip around her chest. She crouched by the water while slowly untying bandage after another, laying them down on the grass, and checking her wounds in the dim light of the flame.

She had been right about the sight of them. The lashes matched Bellamy’s, puling her skin apart until it looked only like shreds. She touched one of the cuts on her hip and immediately pulled back, wincing. From a few metres away, she heard Bellamy curse.

“Sorry!” she called, then wondered why he hadn’t left for the hunt. “Get to work!”

It was too late. He had already pivoted, and was coming in her direction. She swore, hastily fumbling to find her clothes to put back on. He approached her from behind. The strong winds blew her hair away, leaving him with a clear view of the singular lash she had taken for him. Guilt ate away at his throat, and he knelt beside her when he reached her.

“Need any help?”

Clarke held her shirt to herself, turned to him slightly, and shook her head.

“That can’t be easy,” he pointed out.

“It’s not.”

“Then let me help.” He said it with such finality, and she couldn't muster the strength to refuse him again. She nodded to the bandages by the bank. “Can you wash those while I look for some medicinal plants?”

“You got it, Princess.”

She turned away from him, slowly raised her arms, and painfully pulled her shirt back over her head. Without the support of her bandages, she tried to ensure none of the stitches on her abdomen became dislodged as she stood.

“Stay where I can see you!” he called to her disappearing form, to which she only waved. It made her heart skip a beat; made her think of the concerned words her parents had directed at her when they were still a happy family living on the Ark.

The stark contrast of the two situations reminded her of the cruelty of the ground.

She rummaged through various vines and bushes before she found the plant she was looking for. Just like she had done for Bellamy, she picked the leaves off the plant, crushing them together until its juice was flowing through her knuckles. She applied the soothing liquid to the deepest of her cuts, before trudging back in Bellamy’s direction with the leaves still pressed in her palm.

He wordlessly turned when she pulled her shirt back off and applied the poultice to her skin. He ripped the shirt she had just discarded into strips at her request, making for dry bandaging. She wrapped those around her wounds first, and after humming approval to Bellamy, got him to help with the rest of the retying.

He tightened the knot on the last bandage before he allowed himself to look at her. Her eyes were already boring into his when he met them. Absentmindedly, his hand reached out to feel at her black eye. Her eyebrows furrowed in pain as his fingers trailed the border of it, but she leaned into his touch.

It was only when she shivered that they pulled apart, as though they had both been ignoring the cold that was seeping through her as they touched. He helped her into her coat, pulling it over her shoulders and wrapping it firmly around her waist. She nodded gratefully, a sad smile on her lips.

He hesitated for a moment, before silently returning to his knives. Clarke watched him leave, reluctant to see him go.

She sighed to herself before turning away as well, finding peace in scavenging the earth for edible fruit. She found a bushel of strawberries, and after ensuring they weren’t too heavily consumed by radiation or critters, picked them off its plant. She searched the clearing for more plants, but found most of the fruit on them too ripe, too rotten, or too mutilated. Well aware that a handful of berries would not suffice them on their long journey, she turned back to their makeshift camp to gather hunting supplies.

“There aren’t many great fruits around here,” she told Bellamy as she approached. She tossed him a strawberry, which he caught and popped into his mouth. “Divide and conquer?”

She glanced at him, and he wordlessly passed her one of the knives. He also left the stouter dagger with her in case she would need it. They nodded to each other before parting ways.

Clarke made sure to keep track of the time she had left to get back. If she didn't get back before then, Bellamy would surely begin to worry.

She entered the thick of the Delfikru forest with forty-three minutes on the clock.

It wasn't the first time Clarke had been on a hunt by herself. With the concern of having to feed eighty two hungry children every night, she often found herself hunting in solidarity to keep them satisfied.

But with less than a month’s worth of experience on the ground, she wasn't the most invincible predator — nor the strongest.

She learns this with twenty minutes on the clock. She already had two rabbits slung across her shoulder when the first arrow came shooting down in her direction, missing by only a hair’s breadth.

“Shit,” she swore, scrambling to get cover in the trees. She threw the lantern in the opposite direction.

The second arrow missed by a meter; it was clear the shooter had lost  sight of her, and was taking their chances.

It was only then that she felt the sharp, stinging pain on the back of her palm. She looked down to the melodic scratches appearing and disappearing on her hand — just where the end of Bellamy’s cast came to.

Across the forest, Bellamy had pulled the knife out of his back pocket to trace the shapes of a simple message to Clarke. Surrounded by grounders from all sides, it was the only thing he could do to alert her.

Short, short, short.

Long, long, long.

Short, short, short.

An SOS.

“Tell us where the girl is,” one of them held a sword across Bellamy’s throat in a threat, waiting — easily recognisable as a member of Trikru by the clothes she wore. Bellamy kept silent.

Clarke peered across the trees, looking for a way out without intercepting the assailant. The darkness consumed the forest around her as she squinted at the trees, trying to create a viable path to Bellamy.

“Hold on,” she muttered. If she was navigating his tracks correctly, he would be to the north of where she stood, and not farther than a dozen meters ahead of her.

The archer was lurking to her right, and a clearing lay to her back.

“You got this,” she told herself. Without another second of hesitation, she whipped to the side and ran through the trees that covered the surface of the ground. In a zigzag motion to avoid any stray arrow, she weakened across the bark.

She saw Bellamy before he saw her. When their eyes met, he didn't look happy— as though he had been expecting her to run in the opposite direction. If Clarke knew one thing about him, it was that he would much rather die on his own right there than see her dragged into this. His SOS had been a warning to turn away, not to help him.

The grounders surrounding him had their backs to her, so all she had to do was ensure she made silent steps.

She succeeded on that front. Her first kill was the woman with her sword to Bellamy’s throat, eliminating the hopes she had had of her killing him. When Clarke tossed the stout knife to Bellamy he took out the grounder on his left, leaving her with the two in front of him. They made valiant efforts to neutralise her, but didn't succeed. She slit the throat of the first one, watching him crumble to the ground in a pool of red before she turned to the next. He made no show of his surprise, only lunging in her direction as she tried to dodge his blow.

On that front, she failed. Both she and Bellamy, in the middle of a fight with another assailant, cried out as a sword slashed at the skin of Clarke’s ankle. She let herself fall, but struck quickly at the man’s knees. He fell to the ground beside her, struggling against her as she climbed over him. She tried to plunge the knife into his chest, but his arms pushed against hers.

Clarke tried not to react as she felt Bellamy get injured behind her. His cast had been ripped open by an arrow from to forgotten marksman, exposing his broken bone to the cold air. She bit back tears as her arm fell to her side. With only one functioning hand each, both Bellamy and Clarke managed to finish off the grounders, leaving them slumped against the dead.

Clarke turned to Bellamy, ignoring the blood that dripped down her face. She was breathless when she asked, “You okay?”

Bellamy nodded once, clutching the shoulder of his broken arm. “You?”

She didn't have time to answer, when a rouge arrow fell down on her. This time, she didn't have the opportunity to avoid it. It hit her in the stomach, lodging itself in between the folds of her bandages.

Bellamy felt the life being sucked out of his body. His breath caught as he tried to stumble over to her, not knowing whether she would recover from this blow. He reached her as the blood soaked the white cloth of her bandages, dying it a much gruesome colour.

“Clarke?” He applied pressure around the arrowhead. “Clarke!”

She couldn't answer, her eyes beginning to flutter closed, her blood choking her.

“Hey, no,” he tried to order her. “Get up.”

In the far distance, a horn sounded, signalling the approach of the acid fog; Bellamy knew he wasn’t going anywhere.

“I can’t navigate without you… Not this road. Not this earth. Not this life. Get up, and let’s go.”

He knew she wouldn't answer, especially when he felt the life drain out of his own body. He held her as his vision faded, his breathing slowed, and his heart rate fell.

From behind them, the crunching footsteps of approaching enemy neared. His hand fell to the floor as he tried to reach for his knife. The last thing he saw before the darkness was the sword of a stranger.


If this is heaven, I don’t want it.

Clarke tried to look around the bright white lights of the room, eyes struggling to adjust. She tried to move, but that also got her nowhere. Her limbs ached, her body weighed down by her injuries.

Definitely not heaven.

Bellamy.

Her eyes protested as she threw them open, suddenly fully awake.

“Bellamy?” she called.

“Hey, now,” another’s voice called. Clarke turned, finding the source of the voice in his sister. “You gave us quite the scare.”

“Octavia,” she breathed, relieved to find herself back at camp. She looked around herself, suddenly recognising the dropship’s first floor. “Where’s —“

“Bell? He’s downstairs. Alive.”

Clarke shot out of bed, failing to notice how the fresh wound in her stomach seemed to scream. “The curse?” She asked as she threw a jacket on.

Octavia was nodding when Clarke looked to her, as though she fully understood the situation. “Lincoln mentioned something about that; it wore off this morning after he performed the ritual.”

“How long have we been out?”

“You? About three days. Bell woke up yesterday.”

“Take me to him.”

“Clarke, you’re still healing—“

Take me to him.”

Octavia sighed but complied. The entire camp was aware of how stubborn Clarke could be if they didn't comply. Octavia lead her past the stairs and through the medbay, presenting Bellamy’s location with a sarcastic wave of the hand.

She found him on a cot, ordering a bunch of kids around. Jasper and Fox were at his side, monitoring him and forcing him to remain in bed.

He didn't see her a first. It was only when she had flung herself into his arms that he noticed she had awoken and come downstairs. She felt his one arm wrap itself around her, pulling her closer.

“You’re awake,” he breathed into her hair.

“Spiritual connection saves the day, eh?”

“You know that’s not funny,” Bellamy reasoned as she let out a soft laugh against his chest. Her fingers curled around the fabric of his shirt, clutching it as though it would be the last time.

He felt her muscles tense against him as a more serious thought seemed to fill her mind. She pulled away to meet his eye, ignoring how the rest of their camp had filed in to see them. She leaned in and touched her lips against his, softly kissing him as she tried to rid herself of the thoughts that told her, ‘You nearly died. He nearly died; and you didn’t tell him you loved him.’

“I don't have feelings for you,” she clarified as she pulled back, a large smile stubbornly pushing through.

He laughed against her skin. “Yeah, me neither Princess.”


fin.

 

Chapter Text

Her first mistake of the day was coming to school with a hangover.

Clarke entered the class with a raging migraine. She had been awake since five in the morning, after a drunken spell had awoken her in order to throw up. Coffee in hand, sunglasses slipping down her face, she turned to her students, and gave them a large, beaming smile.

"Good morning, class!"

They all stopped what they were doing at the sound of her voice, the chatter dying instantly. "Good morning, Mrs. Griffin!" They sang the words to her, before settling into their seats and pretending like they weren't all talking about hooking her up with their history teacher. 

Because her second mistake of the day was having the world's hottest teacher drive her to school that morning.

After her usual schedule had been disrupted, she had called on fellow teacher Bellamy Blake to drive her to school. The flock of students in the parking lot had seen her leave his car after they had both been late after dropping his daughter off at nursery. She hadn't realised how strongly their students were thinking to get them together until that morning; the whispers had followed her across the hall as she had arrived.

She smiled at the students, ignoring their hushed conversations, and turned to her desk to find her handout of the day, trying not to let them in on the symptoms of her hangover.

“Take one, pass it on,” Clarke told the teenagers as she pushed her sunglasses into her hair and put the stack of papers onto the frontmost desk of the room.

She would be giving out a pop quiz at the end of the class, which she had spent the night preparing before giving up on work and deciding to get wine-drunk with her husband.

Three hours later she would be waking up to the lurching of her stomach, and the start of a very bad day. As the Head of the English department, she was usually expected to be one of the first in school; her tardiness that morning had earned her a strict glance from the principal when she’d arrived with Mr. Blake to sign in.

She took a sip of her coffee before she addressed the class, beginning her lecture before she found herself too cut off by time to proceed with her lesson plan. She knew the kids were excited for the senior field trip, and tried to divert their minds with information on the semantics of grammar.


Bellamy Blake was a man of routine. His daughter knew their routine. Together, they executed their routine. Their routine remained untouched. That is, until the world's most beautiful English teacher had decided to ask them for a ride to school that morning.

He had known the well-meaning acceptance would come and bite him in the ass before he even agreed to it.

The history class he taught every Wednesday morning had been very observant that day, and were already fully and shamelessly gossiping about his ‘affair’ with their English teacher by the time he walked into class.  

He cleared his throat to shut them up, but the humour and questions remained on their smug faces as he delivered his good mornings. 

He yawned when he turned his back to the class, drawing the map of Europe on the whiteboard to begin the class with.

He hadn't had the time to get a coffee that morning. His daughter — Rose — had been especially difficult that morning, clinging onto her mother when she usually left silently with him. She had made a fuss at the doors of the nursery, forcing Bellamy to sit with her at the steps until she had calmed and let him walk her inside. He regretted making Clarke wait then, especially after she had been hesitant to call on him to help her out after a shitty start to her day.  

She had waited patiently in the car, sipping away at the bottle of water he always kept in the cupholder of his car, and hadn't said a word about the incident the entire ride to school.

Coming to school with her had been especially difficult, because they were both aware of their students’ thoughts on their relationship. They had always been close friends in front of their students, but seeing the two of them together had fuelled their tiny horny minds, and too many dominoes had already fallen for their perception of their teachers to change ever again.  

As Bellamy began his class, he tried to ignore the pointed stares of the class, trying not imagine what they must be thinking of him.


Clarke found Bellamy in the hallway during first break, guarding the door of his classroom as the students filed out. He offered her the apple in his hand, which she waved off. 

“Still can’t digest much,” she explained as she leaned against his doorframe, watching the students buzz by.

He nodded understandingly. “How’s that hangover doing?”

Clarke huffed out a humourless laugh. “It’s going. I’ve been queasy all day, and my head’s going to kill me.”

“I feel for you, Mrs. Griffin.”

Behind them, one of their students nudged the other in the arm and pointed to the two of them. 

Clarke hummed, used to hearing him call her by her title in front of students. “So my students saw us leave the same car this morning,” she mused. “Guess what they think.”

“I’m positive the whole school is thinking the same thing, with the sheer number of whispers I’ve heard with my name in them.”

Clarke scoffed, “Kids.” 

Bellamy looked from the ring on her finger, onto the soft smile on her lips, wordlessly scanning them. “Yeah. Kids.”

She turned to him, and her smile grew. “Ready for your field trip, Mr. Blake?”

Bellamy hummed humourlessly. “You mean, am I ready to supervise a bunch of kids making out against the trees? Making sure they don't run off the do the do and trying not to feel like a total dickwad for getting in between them having fun on their last school trip? Yeah, in that case, I’m one hundred per cent ready.”

Clarke swat at his arm, “You could try to be positive about it.”

He looked back at her, eyes smiling. “I’ll try, Mrs. Griffin.”

The principal had arranged for the seniors to be taken to the park for their final field trip, after students had pressured management for one non-educational trip. They had planned a picnic and not much else, to be chaperoned by their History, Math, and Biology teachers.

Clarke felt relief beyond anything else when she found out she didn't have to go; the nausea hasn't died down yet, and they were already three hours into the work day. She had taken two trips to the bathroom already, throwing up, and returning to class as though nothing had happened.

She decided to visit the school nurse — a close friend for whom she had gotten the job for after she had dropped out of medical school and was getting through an engineering program at NASA — for a painkiller or two, as the school bus full of excited teenagers got ready to leave.

“Raven,” she groaned, ignoring the kid in the bed, sleeping soundly while he waited for his parents to get him. She fell onto the second bed, waiting for her friend to come to her 

“Mademoiselle Griffin,” she heard from behind her, and then felt a cold, gloved hand rest on her shoulder. “You never visit — what’s up?”

“I think I’m sick.” The English teacher’s voice was muted through the cloth of her sleeves, in which she had buried her face into. “Just give me some Tylenol, I’ll be on my way.”

Raven scoffed incredulously. “Are you trying to make me lose this job? No, babe, you’re going to have to tell me more of your symptoms before I can give you free shit.”

“I’m going to throw up.”

“Anything else?’

Clarke was silent for a moment, thinking over her day. “Headache?”

“Okay.”

“All my muscles hurt,” she admitted.

“Is that all?”

Clarke nodded.

“Alright, now just a few questions. What was the last thing you ate, and when?”

“Grilled cheese at 11 o’clock last night,” she mumbled back.

“You know you’re the worst, right?” Raven mused as she took her notes. “Okay, last menstrual cycle?”

Clarke thought for a long time before the haziness of her nausea got the better of her thoughts. “I don't know, Raven, just check my phone,” she said as she passed it over to her friend, placing her finger onto the scanner to unlock it. Raven scrolled through the apps until she found the one she was looking for. She looked to the information, then to Clarke, and wordlessly wrote down the relevant data. 

“When was the last time you got a good night’s rest?” 

“The day before yesterday, but I’ve been so tired these last few days regardless of my sleeping schedule— Look, can I just get some of the good stuff?” 

Raven hummed as she scribbled down her thoughts. “You sound like a junkie, shut up. Have you been really unnecessarily hungry lately?” 

“Sometimes, yeah.”

“Okay, wait here.” 

Clarke heard Raven’s footsteps recede, and was just dozing off into a fatigued nap when her phone began buzzing from beside her on the pillow. 

“Hello?” she droned into it when she picked up without checking who it was.

“Mrs. Griffin,” a stern voice met her drowsy one. “You might not enjoy what I have to tell you.”

Clarke sharply inhaled before picking herself away from the pillow and into a sitting position at the end of the bed. “Principal Sydney, what is it?”

“You may be aware of this year’s final senior trip’s chaperones?”

Raven returned with a container, which she shoved in front of Clarke.

“Of course; Mr. Blake, Ms. Fox, and Mr. Jordan,” she absentmindedly took the box, not bothering to read the label as she opened it without looking at it. 

“Well, unfortunately, Ms. Fox has been called away for a family emergency. You’ll be taking her place chaperoning today. The first two buses are fully loaded and ready to go. The third is awaiting your arrival.”

“Fuck me,” Clarke mumbled, finally looking at what she was holding.

“Excuse me?” Sydney’s voice became heated, demanding.

“Sorry, Principal. Of course, I’ll be right there.” She hung up before she called across the room, where Raven had already escaped to, and held up the pregnancy test she had been given. “What the hell, Reyes?”

“Trust in me, Griffin,” she called back, before pointing to the hallway. “You know where the bathrooms are.”

“Raven, I would know if I was —“

“Just pee on the stick, lady!” Raven urged, just as another sick student stumbled in. He looked in between the two adults, eyes narrowing.

“I— I can’t, just yet. Sydney wants me to substitute-chaperone the trip, I have to go!”

 Raven shook her head as she watched her friend leave, exasperated as she turned her attention to the sick student before her. “What seems to be the problem, love?”

“I’m keeping these,” Clarke mumbled as she shoved the box of pregnancy tests into her bag. Running to the buses across the campus was another deal; it took her twelve minutes instead of twenty, in her attempt to keep the students from getting late. Bellamy was waiting for her with a roll call sheet, leaning lazily against the bus driver’s seat and making easy conversation with the kids.

“Mrs. Griffin, nice of you to join us,” he mused. She huffed at him with heated eyes as he passed the clipboard over to her, but he only smirked and exited to board his own bus.

She watched his smug grin leave with a groan, sinking into the front seat beside the driver and called out the first name on the list.


 Much to her chagrin, Clarke had managed to forget to pick up her lunch from the teacher’s lounge before she had left. Armed with only a half cup of coffee (that she was hesitant to finish) and a squashed granola bar, she flocked the seniors out of the bus and into registration. After the rocky trip, she was in no mood to stand, let alone navigate two hundred teenagers through the day.

Being the last bus to unload, Clarke’s students were already restless. They ran ahead of her to register their entry with the park ranger, leaving her in their dust.

Bellamy found her a few minutes later as she was entering the park, trying not to get her shoes ruined in the dewy grass. She wasn't pleased in the slightest, and was cursing Principal Sydney under her breath for not letting her know sooner of Fox’s commitments.

“You okay?” he called as he approached her.

 “Fine,” she grumbled. He tried not to look too smug as he offered to hold her bag for her, which she gave him. Her free hands immediately flew to her bare arms, rubbing them for heat. She walked ahead of Bellamy, scowling, as he huffed out an incredulous laugh.

The students had already set up the picnic mats, and were scattered across and around the surface by the lake. The Biology teacher was already resting against a tree with cheese in his mouth. Jasper gave Clarke a lazy salute from the cold shade, watching her settle in front of him through his sunglasses.

“Bad day, Princess?”

“You can say that again.”

“Bad day, Princess?” he repeated, a cheeky smile on his face.

Clarke broke into a small, forgiving grin.

They both heard Bellamy sarcastically gasp. “Would you look at that! She smiles.”

They turned to him, only half amused by his comment. He sat himself down in between the two of them, plopping his and Clarke’s bags on the mat in front of him.

“Cold?” he asked her when she shivered again. Her hands were trying frantically to rub warmth into her arms, to no avail. “You can have my coat.”

“I don't need it, it’s fine.” 

She felt his jacket collide against her side as he threw it to her. She watched it fall to the ground as a Bellamy scoffed, “Take the jacket, Clarke.”

Jasper snorted beside them, turning away as he shook his head.

She slipped her arms into the warm sleeves, pulling the article around her waist until it covered her entire body. It was just as warm as him, and smelt exactly like him. She tried not to be too obvious about intaking a deep breath of it. “Thanks,” she muttered. “I’m sorry I’m being such a jackass today.”

Bellamy waved off her concern as he slipped his sunglasses onto his face and lay back against the mat. “It’s no problem, Princess. Everyone’s entitled to bad days. Apple?”

He had pulled the fruit from his own bag beside him, holding it up to her before he had offered.

“Am I also entitled to all of your food?” Clarke mused as she took it gratefully. It was the only real food she would consume that day, and she had a sneaking suspicion that Bellamy was well aware of that.

 “You’re going to have to eat something if you want to be able to keep up with these kids,” he reasoned.

“My hero,” she chuckled.

He only smirked as pulled another one out of his bag and bit into it.

 “How many of these to you carry to school, anyways?”

“Dozens. I’ve stocked the lounge with them.”

“I always thought that was decoration.”

“You would be wrong, my love,” he smirked. “That’s a first.”

Clarke smiled. “Cheeky,” she muttered, biting into her newly acquired apple.

The three teachers fell into quick, peaceful silence as they watched over the students.

The trip went off without a hitch. By lunchtime, the three teachers had fallen into easy conversation, watching the kids out of the corners of their eyes. The group began to migrate towards the public cafeteria for food, separated into groups by their teachers.

“I’ll get it,” Bellamy offered before Clarke could bend to grab her purse.

Clarke watched the students whisper amongst each other as they stared in their direction. If only they could mind their own business—

“Don’t worry about them, Clarke.” Jasper interrupted her thoughts as he snuck up next to her. “They’re just kids, I know your guy won’t mind.”

Clarke smiled a small smile as she thought of her husband. He found the whole situation so amusing. Suddenly, dread washed over her as she realized she had an unused pregnancy test sitting at the bottom of her bag, and if her friend was to be trusted at all, she would need to use it very soon. She wondered how she would take the news home.

Clarke waved Bellamy down, calling him to her to hand over her bag.

“Are you sure?” Bellamy seemed ready and willing to rock the purse that afternoon. “Ive got it covered.”

“Yeah I just need it really urgently,” she mumbled back.

“Sure,” he slung the bag off his shoulder to pass it to her. “What’s so urgent about a purse, though, I don’t under—“

“I’ll just be back, I’ll meet you guys at the food court?”


Two minutes.

Clarke paced the women’s bathroom as she stared at her stick, listening to the slow ticking of her phone’s timer.

She had the urgent need to call her husband. It was a plausible theory, after all.  

Call him, her mind nagged.

But he’s working, she argued back.

Call him!!

Clarke wished she had more willpower. She raised the phone to her cheek, listening with agonizing patience at the full ringing of the line.

 “You’ve reached the mailbox of—“

 She hung up on his voicemail and tried again. The trilling of the phone was setting her on edge— until she heard the line click.

“Clarke? What’s wrong?”

She broke at the sound of his voice.

“Bellamy? Can you come to the front of the women’s bathroom? We need to talk.”


The first time his phone rang, Bellamy was stuck trying to wrangle to fighting kids away from each other. When he checked up on it only a few seconds later, it was to his surprise seeing Clarke’s name on the screen. She was due back a while ago, but he hadn’t thought much of it until she’d called. If it’s urgent, she’ll call again, he tried to rationalize.

Her face popped up on his screen again. This time he answered immediately.

 “Clarke? What’s wrong?”

She seemed worried and scared when she said, “Bellamy? Can you come to the front of the women’s bathroom? We need to talk.”

He hailed Jasper down immediately before sprinting to the bathroom Clarke had headed in the direction of.


 

“Clarke?”

When she heard his voice from outside the women’s bathroom, she flung the door open to meet him.

Her timer rang at that instant.

She held her hand out to her husband, leading him inside the bathroom and to the test on the sink. 

Bellamy’s grip on his wife’s hand tightened at the sight of the stick. “Clarke…” he whispered, “You’re not…”

 “Let’s find out?”

Bellamy scoffed. “Only you would do this in the middle of a field trip.”

 “Well it wasn’t my fault, now, was it?”

“Clarke, was does it say?”

She reached for the pregnancy test, a silent prayer on her lips as she brought it to eye level. She felt Bellamy’s grip tighten around her fingers as he saw the symbol.

Clarke let out a soft gasp at the same sight, dropping the test and turning to face her husband, who was already beaming. She let out a loud shriek at his face, reaching up to hug his around the neck as he proceeded to place multiple pecks of kisses on her shoulders. His arms tightened around her waist as he pulled her towards him, “You’re pregnant!”

“I can’t believe we did it again!” She exclaimed into his neck. “After all we went through with Rose, I didn’t expect—“

Bellamy cut her off with a warm kiss on the lips. Graciously she took his face in her hands, kissing him back.

“You two are together??” A loud scream alerted them of a foreign presence. Instantly, they separated, coming to face the startled grin of a senior year old student.

“Uh...”