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Baby Mine

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The clinic Lincoln occasionally picked up shifts in his spare time was located in what some people might call a bad part of town. The clinic was family planning and services, something Lincoln realized was a great passion and side hobby, but couldn’t support a standard living for himself and the lifestyle he’d like for his girlfriend Octavia.

This particular Saturday morning shift started in an unusual fashion. Lincoln walked toward the glass double doors of the clinic, barely side stepping as a young woman in tears burst through, followed shortly by two security officers. Lincoln stepped out of the way as the three bodies past, shaking his head in curiosity. In this clinic, you see some shit. A woman running away in tears is the least of his concerns, especially if she was escorted by security. If he had been paying a little bit more attention, he would have noticed the woman being escorted out was wearing a pair of scrubs.

Making his way past the front doors inside and through the employee only door, he heard a few of the nurses whispering conspiratorially. Because these shifts were sporadic and not on any schedule, it was hard for Lincoln to get to know many of the staff and personnel at his part time job. He paid little mind to their whispers and continued on to the desk to check in for the day. It was the same girl he typically ran into at the front desk on weekends, Bree. She was barely paying him any attention, shuffling through the paperwork at her desk. She looked frazzled for 9:00 am in the morning.

“Good morning, Dr. Woods,” she greeted, still not looking up to greet him, searching around manila folders and stacks of papers.

“Good morning,” he returned patiently. He figured the woman getting escorted out probably sent a few people through a loop. While you get a lot of crazies in this part of town, it is not everyday it happens first thing in the morning.

“I’m sorry,” she said, finally looking up and putting two patient files on the edge of the counter he was leaning against. “It has been a crazy morning. I think I finally got these patient files straightened out. You have an insemination in room 1, and a pap smear in room 5.” Lincoln grabbed the files with a small smile and a thank you before turning down the hallway.

He reviewed his first patient’s, Clarke Griffin, file while he waited for some coffee to brew in the break room. It appeared she was a 27 year old female, no allergies or medical conditions. Normal medical history. He noted the history of various types of birth control - ranging from an IUD it appears she had removed last year to birth control pills that lapsed about six months previously. He read through her vital signs and check up summaries from the nurse who prepped her, seeing nothing unusual beside a minor side effect from the IUD. He wondered what changed her mind for the insemination. He glanced briefly at this morning’s notes and pre-procedure care instructions. Nothing unusual of note there.

Lincoln quickly finished his cup of coffee, shaking off his sleepiness from his late shift and short hours of sleep from yesterday. He walked into room one, his blonde patient asleep in the chair. His materials for the insemination were already prepped and set to the side. He debating waking her up, she looked passed out cold and was snoring lightly. He nudged her arm and she woke up slowly, blinking around.

“I’m about to begin, Ms. Griffin,” he said gently, knowing it might take her a minute to get acclimated. “Do you want me to let you sleep?” She looked around before looking down at him and nodded, quickly putting her head back down. Alright then, he thought. He understood the tiredness of wanting to fall asleep anywhere, he was a doctor and had some strange sleep schedules himself. He only envied the ability to actually fall asleep with your legs spread in a doctor’s chair.

Lincoln worked efficiently, sending good vibes into the insemination as he worked. It was quick and painless, a mindless task that was over before he realized it. He gently woke Ms. Griffin up again.

“You’re done,” he said with a smile, “You should get your results in a few weeks. A staff member will call you when they come in. Do you have any questions about your procedure and post op care? The nurse should’ve provided you with a folder and some information.” The woman was getting up slowly, smoothing the hospital gown that laid over her legs. She shook her head when he finished talking.

“Sorry about that,” she said with a grimace. There was a line from the plastic on the chair across her cheek. “Late shift,” she explained, smoothing over her hair that had gotten flattened while she slept. “But no, I finished medical school and pretty familiar with the whole thing.” She said this with a wave her hand at the end. Lincoln wondered if that had anything to do with changing her mind.

“Well,” he got up from the stool he was sitting at and finished cleaning up the materials, “if you experience any discomfort, please call us immediately. Your informational packet should go over any questions that you have, but don’t hesitate if you think anything is wrong. And good luck,” he added. Clarke smiled at this, as if indulging him and finding him extremely entertaining.

“Sure,” she looked as if she was waiting for him to leave, so he turned around with a small wave and left the room.

He walked to his next patient’s room, room five. He stared at the patient’s name, wondering why the name Echo sounded so familiar. Patient history looked good and this was a standard pap smear. Should be another breeze. Lincoln opened the door to room five, stopping when he saw the familiar face in the chair, legs up in the same position he just saw Ms. Griffin in.

“Hello, Lincoln,” Echo greeted with a smirk. “I know you may not approve, but you can’t exactly stop me. Bellamy’s sperm is public after he donated it in college.” Lincoln froze. Not because his girlfriend’s brother’s crazy, psychotic ex-girlfriend showed up to the part-time clinic he works at, but because she mentioned sperm. Specifically, Bellamy’s sperm. And by his extensive (and expensive) medical school education, he is pretty sure that a pap smear has nothing to do with sperm.

“Echo,” he greeted, frozen in place with a fake smile. “How nice it is to see you again. What’s this about Bellamy’s sperm?” He wanted to laugh this off, like a horrible bad joke. Because if Echo was expecting someone’s sperm, then what exactly is this pap smear tray doing in here? He had a bad feeling.

Echo laughed without any humor. “Lincoln,” she spoke plainly, as if speaking to a child, “I’m here to be inseminated. Didn’t you read my chart? I scheduled this weeks ago after I picked out Bellamy’s sperm. The nurse said it was his only donation-”

“Echo,” Lincoln interrupted, hoping this was a horrifying mistake, “Your chart says you’re in here for a pap smear. This tray is for a pap smear. There’s nothing in your chart about an insemination.”

Echo’s mouth had stayed open from when he interrupted her. “Excuse me? What do you mean by that?”

Lincoln quickly opened her chart, reading the notes carefully. They were all indicative of her work up for a pap smear. They were done by a Harper, a nurse that he and Octavia were pretty good friends with and a pretty damn good nurse. “Echo,” he started again, maybe hoping this crazy ex was just that, plain crazy. “This appointment is for a pap smear. Your work up is for a pap smear. Look.” He showed her the chart, the nurse’s notes...he quickly glanced at the statistics - a lot shorter than the tall woman next to him, and the weight appropriately smaller in relation to the smaller height. A height and weight very approximate the woman in room one. He froze.

“This is not my chart.” She insisted stubbornly. “Go get me the sample. Now.” Echo’s eyes were fiery, her tone firm and unyielding. Lincoln’s heart was hammering in his chest. If this was not Echo’s chart, then that means…

He just inseminated the wrong woman with his girlfriend’s brother’s only sperm sample.

Chapter Text

Clarke Griffin was having a rough Saturday. It was her only day off in between back-to-back shifts at the hospital where she was working on her residency. She woke up to her alarm blaring her awake from her deep sleep. She hadn’t gotten off until 3:00 am, and by the time she made it home and in bed it was close to 4:00. She couldn’t waste her day of errands away, though, and so she set her alarm for 7:30 to make it to her 8:30 am doctor’s appointment.

It had been two years since her father had passed, and one year since she had attempted to rebuild the relationship between her and her mother. There was a lot that could never be forgiven between them, but after a traumatic break-up with her ex, Finn, and a heart-to-heart with her new best friend Raven, she felt ready to reach back out. She still wasn’t ready to accept her mother’s help, or money, and Clarke’s trust fund only had covered her undergrad tuition. Her studio apartment on the wrong side of town had two benefits - cheap rent and a short commute to the local hospital where she could crash in between shifts. If it weren’t illegal, she might have tried to just live in the overnight shift rooms and take on shifts when she could.

As it was, her alarm pulled her out of her short nap she would have to consider her night’s sleep. She had a full day ahead - pap smear appointment, laundromat, grocery store, dinner and, blessedly, sleep before her shift began again on Sunday. She was going to try to squeeze time with Raven in there, maybe for dinner, she thought.

Clarke got out of bed and walked to the bathroom. She inspected her curly, frizzy blonde hair in the mirror and the dark circles under eyes. Good thing I am not planning on seeing anyone, she thought. She jumped in the shower before throwing on a sundress. It was the middle of June in their town of Arcadia, North Carolina. It was getting warmer and a little humid. Her blue sundress was easy and hassle free, especially knowing she’d have to take off any jeans she’d wear for the doctor.

Her appointment was at the local clinic near her apartment. The clinic was always clean, and despite being in a rougher part of town, always had the nicest staff and efficient wait times. Clarke got there a little early and checked in at the front desk. For a Saturday morning, there were only a few other patients in the family planning and services lobby. Clarke thanked the nurse, Bree, before taking a seat and grabbing a magazine to flip through.

After being called to the back, a nurse took her vital signs and information. Clarke started to zone out, the routine of taking blood pressure, weight and height normal in the back of her mind. She was led to her private room, where the nurse Harper turned to her with a smile.

“So, Clarke,” Harper started, smiling, as they went over her medical history. She asked a few routine questions, including how Clarke had gone off her birth control six months ago.

The nurse Harper finished with her charting. She gave Clarke a folder that contained the information about her pap smear procedure. Clarke reviewed the information with little interest, she had already had a pap smear done before and wasn’t worried. She had no history of anything but knew she was over a year overdue for her appointment. They say doctors make the worst patients.

Harper bid her goodbye with a smile and told her Dr. Lincoln Woods would be in shortly. Clarke’s legs were in straps with her thighs spread, but she couldn’t have cared less. Her eyes were heavy. She started to doze with her head to the side. She briefly heard the door open and she looked up - seeing a different nurse come in with the equipment for the pap smear. She nodded off again.

She jolted awake a few minutes later to some screaming and shouting that echoed down the hallway. Clarke jumped out of the leg harness to crack open the door and see what is going on.

“You should never have tried to fire me! You’re going to regret this!” A woman in scrubs was shouting, security officers approaching her slowly. If Clarke were paying more attention, she would’ve noticed that this was the same nurse that had come in with her pap smear equipment. “I hate you all,” The woman kept screaming. The security officers finally grabbed a hold of her - but not before she grabbed at a stack of patient folders, shuffling the insides and throwing them at the blonde front desk clerk, Bree. The unruly nurse burst into tears before escaping out the front door, the security officers quickly following.

Clarke shut the door quickly before returning back to her table, orienting herself in the same position the nurse had assisted her with before. Thankfully, she knew how to arrange herself back properly. Clarke shook her head at the scene she witnesses. Some people are just crazy, she thought to herself.

Clarke quickly dozed off again. Her lack of sleep was getting the best of her, but the world was working against her. After her shower, she had checked her cupboards to find she had run out of coffee before her latest shift and hadn’t gotten more. It was definitely on her grocery list for later today.

She barely recalled the doctor or the procedure. Clarke snapped more awake when the doctor shook her awake. Clarke became a little self-conscious before this gorgeous doctor, smoothing her hair down and trying to resist the urge to wipe her mouth and check for drool.

“And good luck,” he added with a gentle smile. Clarke thought that was an odd thing to say but brushed it off, waiting awkwardly for him to leave so she could get dressed and on with her day. She was already embarrassed about having slept through the whole exam.

Clarke went through the rest of her day on a mission. She did a few loads of laundry at the local mat, before heading to the grocery store. She was no chef, but she could heat the oven for some frozen pizzas and always had some frozen single meals on stock. She also loaded up a six pack of beer and, importantly, coffee.

By six o’clock, she was at home, in sweats, and waiting for Raven to arrive. She checked her phone to find a missed call from the clinic, but no voicemail. She was about to call back, before realizing it was after hours anyway. The door started banging and Clarke jumped up to get it.

“I’m coming!” She hollered, tracing the few feet it took to get from her couch to the door. Her studio apartment was a shoebox.

“Hurry it up, I’m starving out here!” Clarke opened the door to her best friend, Raven, and smiled.

“Long time, no see, stranger.” She let Raven push past her inside as the dark hair girl mumbled, “Yeah, yeah.” Clarke rolled her eyes. Raven was not one for mushy gushy sentiments.

“I’m making pizza.” Clarke announced as Raven got comfortable on the couch. She walked over to the kitchen area, turning on the oven to preheat and grabbing a beer for Raven out of the small fridge. She opened it, walking back into the couch area. There were only so many areas to this apartment.

“Of course you are, Griffin. It’s the only thing you know how to make.” Raven snorted as she graciously accepted the beer in Clarke’s outstretched hand.

“Whatever,” Clarke said defensively, plopping down next to her, “You don’t have to eat it.” Raven sighed, leaning her head back against the lumpy couch.

“Of course I do.” Clarke smiled. Raven and her became fast friends last year after what she has now termed the “Finn Debacle”. She had been dating Finn for a year and a half, growing close after the death of her father, before finding out he had been engaged to Raven for two years. Raven had been working on government contracts overseas and returned home to find Clarke at Finn’s apartment. The girls quickly dumped the guy and grew close over the betrayal. They were different, from different worlds, but it was Raven who convinced Clarke to reach back out and bridge the gap with her mother. It’s been over a year since the Finn Debacle and Clarke would never look back.

The girls spent the rest of the evening drinking beer and eating the frozen pizza Clarke had put in the oven, watching some technology documentaries Raven had been dying to watch. You can’t ever say that Clarke was not living the life.

The next two weeks went by in a similar fashion. Clarke took on some extra shifts at the hospital, spending her days off lounging with Raven, getting some errands done and chatting with her mom on the phone. The clinic called again - Clarke hadn’t had time to give them a call back with her busy schedule but figured they’d leave a message if it were important.

It was Friday two weeks after her appointment. Clarke hadn’t gotten off her shift until 2:00 am, and with blissfully nothing to do, Clarke was taking advantage. She laid in bed until early afternoon when there was a pounding at her door.

Grudgingly, she got out of bed and stumbled to the door. Raven’s face appeared on the other side, smirking with a gleam in her eye. “Can I help you?” Clarke grunted, opening the door a little wider.

“We’re going out!” Raven announced, pushing past her with her ponytail swinging behind her. She had a few bags with her that she lugged behind her. Clarke shut the door and followed after her.

“Out where? And why?” Bars and clubs used to be Clarke’s thing, back in undergrad when she was still debating majors and could blow off classes she thought she’d never need. Now going to work hungover could mean someone’s life. And, unfortunately, not being 21 anymore means more hangovers, no matter how much she drinks. And she can’t drink like she used to.

It was tempting, though. Clarke didn’t have work the next day, and she hadn’t been out in a looong time. She thought about how she’d been off birth control for six months because she gave up on getting laid. She was definitely hard up. She hadn’t been feeling that great lately, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t have fun.

Raven’s smirk widened into a smile as she dropped her bags off on Clarke’s bed. “To The Dropship. It’s a new bar a few of my coworker’s have been going to. They invited me tonight. It’s supposed to be cheap drinks and a pretty good atmosphere. I don’t know about you, but I need a night of fun.”

Clarke sighed but internally agreed. She chewed her lip and squinted her eyes at Raven, who narrowed hers right back. “Fine,” she relented, like she wasn’t going to agree anyway, “but I get to pick what I wear.”

The last few times Raven had picked her outfit choices, she thought the blush might never leave her face.

“Deal,” Raven said, crossing her arms over her chest. “But I brought clothes for you to choose from.” Clarke rolled her eyes and laughed. She does not take no for an answer.

They hung out until it was time to get ready. Raven opted for skin tight jeans and a crop top which accentuated her slim and athletic figure, with a pair of boots. Clarke picked a tight black dress of Raven’s and some cute sandals, the heat of the evening can get too much in a crowded bar for her taste. The dress highlighted her figure, especially since Raven and her body types were so very different. The dress clung in ways it draped on the taller, tanner girl.

“So what’s the real deal with The Dropship?” Clarke finally asked as they drove over to the bar. It was on the other side of town, which she appreciated. Most of the bars around their apartment were, for lack of a better word, sketchy. Clarke wasn’t feeling well and opted to drive, passing on a night of drunken shenanigans. Clarke knew Raven well enough that she didn’t do random nights out without a reason.

“I told you,” Raven insisted, playing with the radio a little jerkily. Clarke had busted out an old bottle of vodka for the girl to make a drink with while they snacked on some leftovers Clarke found in her fridge. She was a few shots in with only one drink before they had even left, but Raven could hold her alcohol. “My coworkers are going to be there. It’s their usual spot. It’s just a dive bar, nothing too crazy.” She was curious about these coworkers of Raven’s. Raven was specifically avoiding her gaze, fiddling with the radio. She wasn’t one to let people in easily, and to make time on her off nights and go out of the way to see them, well...Clarke knew that they must be important to her.

“Uh-uh,” Clarke smiled, letting the subject drop as Raven found a pop tune to sing along to.

The bar was crowded for 9:00 pm. “Trivia night,” Raven explained as she tugged her over to a corner of the bar where there were plenty of tables and booths that lined the side. The Dropship looked like many other dive bars Clarke had been to, but, still somehow fun and cheery. She definitely was liking the music and the atmosphere so far.

Raven was guiding them towards the back where a table was pushed against a booth to create an extra large table to hold a decent amount of people. Clarke, for just one moment, was hit with nerves. Or was that her stomach? She couldn’t tell. She wasn’t normally nervous but she couldn’t shake the feeling in her stomach.

There was a few people sitting around the booth when they walked up. Raven had a wide smile on her face as the group cheered when they noticed her.

“Raven!!” A slight, Asian guy slid down the booth to reach his arms around her. Raven worked as an aerospace engineer, one of the most accomplished engineers in her field of her age. Raven had been working at a government-contracted firm overseas when she decided she wanted to be local and pursue her real passion and what she went to school for - aerospace engineering. The private company she works at now has investors that sponsor many of her projects. In her words, her dream job. She’s only been at this new firm for a few months, having taken some time off after the Finn Debacle to find this perfect fit. Clarke had heard a lot about her friend’s coworkers, but had never gotten the chance to meet them.

Clarke snapped back to attention when she realized Raven was introducing her. “This is Monty,” she smiled, her arm still around the slight man with a cheeky smile. “He works in the bio-engineering department.” Clarke took his outstretched hand.

“Thanks for finally convincing Raven to come out with us. We’ve been asking her for ages to come along,” Monty’s face glowed happily, his face flushed with alcohol already.

“I don’t think I can convince Raven of anything,” Clarke disagreed, laughing. Raven rolled her eyes before turning her attention to the rest of the table. Monty slid back in the booth. Raven gestured to the guy next to him, wearing giant lab safety goggles. “That’s Jasper, he’s our resident mad scientist. He works in the lab with us.” Jasper grinned toothily and waved. He looked high. Clarke returned with a small wave of her own, trying to surpass a smile.

“And that’s Wick,” Raven rushed it out before continuing, “And that’s everyone.” Wick, a sandy-haired man sitting on the opposite side of the round booth, gave Raven a raised eyebrow and a smirk. Raven pretended not to notice. Clarke watched on with her own interest. There was a dark-haired girl next to Wick that Raven did not introduce. “Everyone that I know,” she amended when Clarke stared at her with interest.

“I”m Octavia,” The dark-haired girl reached across the table to shake Clarke’s hand. “I don’t work with them. I just went to college with these losers.” She gestured over at Jasper and Monty, but Clarke could tell it was said with love.

“Nice to meet you,” Clarke returned, shaking her hand. Raven reached over to introduce herself as well. They took their seats on the table next to Monty, across from Octavia and a few extra chairs. Clarke was still staring at Raven, wondering what was up with her and the sandy-haired guy sitting across the table. Raven was resolutely not meeting her stare back. Interesting.

“My boyfriend Lincoln just went to grab a round of beer, if you guys are interested, or the bar line goes pretty fast.” Octavia offered as they sat down.

“Oh, I’m good,” Clarke smiled, “I’m the official DD this evening. I haven’t been feeling that well lately.” Clarke’s stomach was still in knots, but she wanted to stick this out. Octavia winced in sympathy.

“Sorry to hear that!”

“Well, I’m drinking since I have a DD. I will definitely be taking a beer myself,” Raven clapped her hands together in front of her. Clarke and Octavia laughed. They made small talk with the rest of the table, Clarke paying particular interest to the interactions between her close friend and her coworker, Wick. Their banter was definitely friendly, but Clarke wondered if there was more to it than friendly tension.

Clarke didn’t get a chance to find out. She heard a large crash next to the table, startling her out of the conversation she was having with Jasper. The bar went silent for a moment, as always when dishes seem to shatter in a public room. Clarke and the rest of her group whipped around to see a man standing at the edge of the table, pitcher fallen to the floor and beer gushing below the table. Clarke thought the man looked familiar, but was more concerned as he was staring right at her, mouth agape.

“Lincoln?” Octavia shouted, jumping up to help him with the aftermath of the many glasses of beer and pitcher that fell to the floor. “Are you okay? What happened?”

“Clarke Griffin?” He looked like he saw a ghost. Clarke froze for a moment, wondering why he knew her full name.

“Yes?” She said hesitantly, watching abstractly as he still stood there frozen while Octavia dove down to help with the mess. She should be getting up too, but the way he was looking at her had her frozen in place.

He snapped out of it at her word, bending down to help Octavia finish cleaning up, shooing her away from the broken glass. A worker appeared a moment later to finish sweeping and wiping up the beer. “Can we talk?” He was resolutely staring at her, ignoring Octavia’s murmurings next to him.

“Uh, sure,” she snapped out of it herself, gingerly stepping out of the seat around the worker sweeping to follow him to the hallway by the bathrooms in the back near their booth. Raven stared at her questioningly, to which Clarke just shrugged. Octavia’s eyes were following their movements as well.

“You haven’t picked up your phone.” That was the first thing Lincoln said when they stopped walking toward the back of the hallway, near the employee service entrance. His tone was accusing and short, but his face looked nervous, glancing between her and the busy, crowded bar room behind them.

“Excuse me? Do I know you?” Clarke snapped back, wondering why this man seemed agitated with her when they have never met. She just wanted a fun night with her friend on her night off. Who is this guy?

“Yes, you do. I’m sorry,” he sighed, the taller, muscular man looking exhausted. “The clinic has been trying to call and email you. I’m your doctor, from the clinic a few weeks ago.” She just stared at him, a pit beginning to form in her stomach.

“Okay? And are my results not good? Are you really giving me my medical test results in a bar?” Her heart started to hammer. It was getting hot in this dress, the heat making its way up her chest to her face. Her mind starting to race with possibilities.

“No,” he seemed startled, realizing how it might have sounded, and began to look guilty. “No, that’s not it.”

“Okay, then spit it out.” She was getting impatient. And, to be fair, a little creeped out and nervous.

“I….I made a mistake. During your procedure.” Clarke’s eyebrow raised. Not exactly the kind of news someone wants to hear from their doctor.

“Excuse me? What kind of mistake?”

“There was a nurse….and she well…” He looked like he would rather cut out his own tongue than finish telling her this story but she stayed still, waiting for him to continue. This was her body, dammit and he was a doctor. Her doctor.

“She switched your file with another patient’s….I accidentally artificially inseminated you.” Lincoln spilled it out in one breath. “I mean, maybe. We don’t know if it’s taken yet. Actually, it’s with Octavia’s brother’s sperm, but-”

“You WHAT?” Clarke’s vision was going black. She didn’t hear him right. She thinks she might throw up. She thinks she might pass out. She thinks-

And it goes dark.

Chapter Text

Two Weeks Ago

 

Lincoln sat solemnly in front of the desk of his supervisor, in his supervisor’s office inside the clinic. Making some excuse to Echo of grabbing the wrong chart, he quickly excused himself and immediately secluded himself in the office, explaining the situation to his superior.

 

“What do I do?” He asked pleadingly, rubbing his fingers against his temple. His supervisor and owner of the clinic, Anya, sat stone faced in front of him. Her reaction to the news did not give him any indication of if she was upset, nervous or worried like he was. Her facial expression remained neutral.

 

“This was not just your fault. The nurse we let go this morning switched the rooms and mixed the files before she left.” Anya let out a small breath of air. “However, this mistake is catastrophic and has significant consequences. We must immediately inform the woman you inseminated. Keep this between you and the patient and myself. We will have to report this, of course. And consult our attorneys….” She started talking more to herself than to him. Lincoln shifted in his seat, immediately worried about his medical license and getting sued. Should he get his own attorney? Anya’s gaze turned back toward him. “We will deal with this together. We must first get in contact with the woman. Ask the front desk to call her and get a hold of her. No messages, we must speak with her directly.”

 

Lincoln nodded and, while the stress did not go away, he felt a weight off his shoulders that an someone else knew and was handling it, however this had to be handled. Echo was still waiting in his patient room.

 

As if reading his mind, Anya stood up and walked around the desk, putting a hand on his shoulder. “I will deal with the other woman and the lack of sample. Go home. I will keep you updated on what we will do next once we get a hold of the girl.”

 

Lincoln rose, shaking, and left to go home. He was a wreck of emotions, feeling wracked with guilt and not being able to do anything about it. He can’t believe his lack of observation would’ve missed the small details - but the file and patient room matched...he can’t believe he didn’t double check. He just possibly implanted a woman with….

 

His stomach rolled again. With his girlfriend’s brother’s sperm. His only donation from a brief lapse in judgment when he donated sperm to help pay for raising Octavia and going to school. Lincoln vaguely recalled Bellamy mentioning that very thing earlier this year, that he regretted it as soon as he did it….Bellamy had mentioned it sometime around the same time he was dating Echo, he recalls with a sinking feeling.

 

And now some random woman might be pregnant with his baby. He couldn’t even imagine how Bellamy would react when he found out. And, by law, he can’t tell Octavia or Bellamy . The drive home was a blur. He walked through the apartment he shared with Octavia, vaguely hearing her call his name as he made his way down the main hall to the bathroom and before he realized what was happening, he threw up in the toilet.

 

Octavia was calling his name, asking him if he was okay over his shoulder and rubbing his back. He shook his head, wondering what the consequences of his actions were going to be. The biggest punishment currently being having to keep it from his live-in girlfriend, Octavia. The woman currently cradling his head and rubbing his forehead down to his arm. He shut his eyes and hoped he’d hear from his boss soon.

 

Now

 

Lincoln caught Clarke before she could fall to the ground of the bar. He wasn’t quite sure how she was going to react, or why he decided he had to tell her right then and there, but her fainting was not what he had in mind. This was the second time they had met that she was unconscious in his arms. Her swore briefly, shaking her gently and saying her name, “Clarke.” He shook her again, seeing her face start to twitch. “Clarke.”

 

“What the fuck is going on?” He heard a voice call from the hallway. Lincoln glanced up, freezing.  A familiar-looking tall, tan woman came running down, wrenching the blonde girl out of his arms and into her own. “Who the hell are you? What did you do to Clarke?” He scowled at the accusation.

 

“I’m Lincoln….I’m..” he hesitated, not wanting to admit the patient-doctor relationship to a third party, “Octavia’s boyfriend.” He finished, remembering this girl was seated at the table before he dropped the plate of drinks. “She fainted, she was getting too hot.” Raven shot him a look, and he quickly realized what he said and how it may have looked to an outsider holding Clarke in his arms. “I think she needs some water, and to sit down.” He said quickly, diverting the attention back to the girl who was slowly coming to.

 

“Clarke?” The dark-haired girl spoke, “It’s me, Raven. Can you hear me? We’re going to get you out of here.”

 

Out of here? That’s not quite what Lincoln had in mind. He still needed to apologize, make sure that she knew it was a horrible mistake and talk to her about her...well, her options.

 

Once again, Lincoln realized that maybe a bar wasn’t the best place to address this. But seeing her sitting at a table with Octavia, knowing Bellamy could have shown up any moment...Knowing Clarke might be pregnant with his baby at this very moment...the thought made his stomach turn again.

 

Raven hoisted Clarke up next to her, grabbing the blonde by the waist and throwing her arm over her shoulder. She walked with a surprising amount of strength out of the hallway back into the main area of the bar.

 

Lincoln should have followed. But he owed his own girlfriend an explanation...as best he could under the circumstances...with the limited information he was allowed to give. And now Clarke knew. He swallowed as he watched Clarke and Raven walk out the front door.

 

----------------

Clarke woke up early the next morning, Raven asleep next to her in her bed. She was snoring slightly, sprawled out as much as she could in the full sized bed. Clarked yawned and started to stretch, trying to recall the events of the evening. She didn’t drink, but her body felt like it was hit by a truck.

 

They went to the bar….met Raven’s friends….ran into her doctor. Clarke’s body went cold, remembering their conversation from the hallway. She could be pregnant right now . Could she go take a pregnancy test? Should she? She reached over to her nightstand to grab her phone. Thankfully Raven had put it back last night when tucking her in. She must have been pretty out of it after she fainted. After Lincoln, her doctor and her new friend Octavia’s boyfriend, told her…

 

She checked her phone and saw another missed call from the clinic. No wonder they were trying to get a hold of her so bad. She foolishly blew it off, knowing it could wait until she had more time in her busy schedule. She thought about the timing. Her period was never quite regular, especially once she got off her birth control, but she was overdue...her skin started to sweat, her hands shaking. She should wake Raven up. She should tell her what the doctor, Lincoln, she reminded herself, had said.

 

She inhaled a shaky breath, running a hand through her blonde hair and shutting her eyes for a moment, before she had to wake Raven up and her whole world would change. This couldn’t happen to her. She used to think she was the kind of person this just didn’t happen to. But that was before Wells died. And that was before her father died, and before Finn. This is definitely the kind of thing that would happen to her. Clarke couldn’t be alone with the information for another minute.

 

She shook Raven awake. Her smooth face scrunched up in annoyance before she opened her wide eyes. “What?” She grumbled, before taking a moment and taking a big breath in, rubbing her eyes and sitting up on her elbows. Raven was a light sleeper. “Are you okay? Are you feeling better? You were out like a light.” Clarke just stared at her, trying to put words together.

 

“You know how I went to the doctor a few weeks ago…” Clarke began. Raven nodded, sitting up a little straighter in the bed.

 

“Yeah..” Raven said slowly. “Is everything alright?”

 

“Well, Lincoln was my doctor.” Clarke rushed this part out. This was the easy part.

 

Raven quirked an eyebrow, her shoulders relaxing minutely from her tensed posture a moment before. “Okay. Was it awkward?” Clarke’s mouth parted, but she couldn’t quite phrase what it was. Raven smirked. “I mean, he’s hot and he’s your lady doctor, so I get being embarrassed, but he’s taken and I’m sure he’s professional-”

“He artificially inseminated me.” Clarke cut in.

 

“He did what?” Raven choked.

 

“He...got his charts mixed up at my appointment. I was asleep...” Clarke wrapped her arms around herself as Raven gaped at her. “I need to call the clinic.” Raven snapped back into action and went to pull Clarke in her arms.

 

“Okay. Okay. We can do this. We’ll call the clinic, go in together and figure out what our options are. Okay?” Raven was staring right into her eyes, speaking calmly, arms still wrapped around her in a loose hug. Clarke didn’t realize she was shaking. She started nodding once she realized Raven was waiting for an acknowledgement.

 

“Okay.” Clarke agreed, needing the direction, and moved out of Raven’s arms to grab her phone off the bed. She dialed the missed call number from the clinic. It rang a few times before a girl, presumably Bree, who always worked the front desk on weekends, answered.

 

“Hello, this is Clarke Griffin. I am returning a missed call from this number. I’m not sure who it was, they didn’t leave a message.” Clarke’s voice was measured and steady for how much she was freaking out on the inside.

 

“Oh yes, Clarke! That must have been Anya, our owner. She’s been expecting your call. I’ll put you through to her right away.” Clarke waited a moment before the woman, Anya, got on the line.

 

They spoke in short, concise words. Anya, not realizing Clarke had already found out the big surprise from Lincoln, set up a time for Clarke to meet as soon as possible. Later that afternoon, as a matter of time sensitive importance.

 

Clarke ended the call and stared at Raven. “I guess we’re all set for this afternoon.” The girls knew the morning would drag on and tried to distract themselves with TV and some snacks from the kitchen.

 

The time came to get ready to leave. This time, instead of going alone, she was going with Raven. She felt comforted to not have to face this alone.

 

The clinic looked the exact same, maybe a little busier given the later time of the day. Clarke and Raven didn’t have to wait for their appointment time, though. They were escorted right on back to a plain looking office. There was no doctor’s equipment or machines to be found. Clarke figured this was Anya’s office.

 

The woman sitting at the desk rose to greet them. Her long, brown hair had blonde highlights running through it. Her face was stoic yet graceful. She gestured for the two to take a seat.

 

“I am Anya,” she greeted as they all sat, “The owner and also a doctor here at this clinic. I asked you to come in today to explain a horrible mistake.”

 

Clarke glanced over at Raven, who was staring at Anya, not looking very impressed. There was a knock on the door. “Come in,” Anya responded, obviously expecting whoever was at the other side.

 

Lincoln’s head popped inside, eyes widening at the sight of Raven and Clarke. “You asked for me, Anya?” Lincoln stepped all the way inside the office before closing the door.

 

“Yes, Dr. Woods. You remember our patient, Ms. Clarke Griffin. This is her friend, Raven.” Clarke was starting to get impressed by how neutral Anya’s voice could come across. For such a nerve-wracking situation, she sure seemed calm.

 

“Hello,” He greeted respectfully. Raven looked like she was trying to throw dagger with her eyes, burning into Lincoln’s face. He wilted visibly under her gaze. Clarke remained frozen.

 

“Anya,” Lincoln began, “You see, the thing is, I may have-”

 

“Take a seat, Dr. Woods.” Anya cut him off and gestured to a chair to the right of the desk. Lincoln moved quickly to sit down.

 

“Ms. Griffin,” Anya began, “We pride our clinic on our reputation and expertise in our field. Dr. Woods is excellent, and is one of our finest additions to our establishment.” Clarke could tell that Lincoln was surprised to hear Anya’s praise.

 

“That being said, we made a grave mistake. One of our disgruntled employees mixed up the patient rooms and files. Dr. Woods believed you had been properly prepped for an..” Anya took in a breath, “artificial insemination. It turns out, that sperm sample was meant for someone else in another room.”

 

The room was silent. Clarke knew all this. Knew it from this morning, when the news hit her all over again from last night. Clarke cleared her throat, staring up at the older woman across from her. “I see. And how…” She cleared her throat again. “How will I know…” Clarke couldn’t say the words, “Can we take the test now?”

 

Anya looked surprised, for once, at Clarke’s calm reaction to the news. She looked as if she expected her to...well, faint. But Clarke was stronger than that. Not that Anya needed to know she passed out in a bar last night.

 

“Yes, of course. Follow me.” Anya guided her out of the office. Clarke glanced back at Raven who hadn’t moved, glaring still at Lincoln who was looking at the floor, like it could swallow him whole. Part of Clarke would have felt bad, if she had any room to be anything other than freaked out. She hadn’t had sex in MONTHS! This could not be real.

 

Clarke followed her to the bathroom, where she was handed a plastic cup. Anya nodded toward the toilet before closing the door after Clarke entered.

 

Clarke returned back to the room after finishing her business a few moments later. They waited an agonizing thirty minutes, no sign of Anya or any other nurses with some type of results. They waited in silence, Raven staring Lincoln down while he stared at the floor and Clarke nervously picked at her cuticles.

 

Finally, the door opened. Anya came in with a manila folder, walking around to sit in her desk.

 

She took a deep breath and folded her hands in front of her. “Ms. Griffin, your results are definitive. You are pregnant. I have already contact our lawyers and the medical board to inform them of this incident. I’d like to go over all of your options. It is still plenty early and-”

 

“I’m keeping the baby.” Clarke interrupted with some finality. She hadn’t even realized she had made that decision. Anya stopped mid-sentence. Clarke could feel Raven’s burning gaze on her, and almost heard Lincoln’s neck snapping to attention to stare at her.

 

“I’m old enough,” She reasoned, as if she had to explain anything to the room full of people around her. “I have a job...I have some savings...I can-” She took a breath and finally looked at Raven, “I can move in with my mom, when the time comes. I can do this.” Raven’s face was, if possible, more shocked at this last part about her mother than she was about the baby.

 

Anya, who had frozen in spot, seemed to come back to life. “Well, regardless,” She went on, handing her a folder with her test results and some pamphlets that Clarke felt uncomfortable even taking, “I have to give you these. So you know your options. In the event, you know, you change your mind. You have some time,” Anya said this last part gently, as if reminding Clarke she didn’t have to make her decision in a room full of people.

 

“I’m keeping the baby.” She said again, resolutely. Clarke made to stand up, Raven quickly rising up after her. “I suppose I will hear from you and will be back in a few weeks for some follow up appointments.” Clarke hesitated, looking at Lincoln, before leaving out the door.

 

Raven grabbed onto her arm as they made their way out to the parking lot, neither one saying a word.

 

“Clarke!” A voice called after them as Raven began to unlock the car. The two girls froze and turned around. Clarke clutched Raven closer as she noticed Lincoln jogging slowly up to them.

 

“Look,” he started, throwing his hands up in a peaceful gesture, “I know I should be groveling to you, and I know I made a mistake but..” he hesitated before spitting it out, “Octavia is my girlfriend. It’s a lot to ask, I know, but she would be this baby’s aunt. I’d like to let her, and the father, know about it…”

 

The father? Clarke almost fell over, her legs turning into jelly. Thankfully Raven was still holding on to her tightly.

 

The baby. Obviously, it has to have a father...the whole concept being weird considering Clarke still hasn’t gotten laid in over six months. Not since a one night stand, once, in a moment of weakness a few months after the Finn Debacle. The guy was tall, dark and handsome and, while the sex was fantastic, they never exchanged more than their names and she never heard from him again. It’s been dry as the Sahara every since then, and Clarke was….well, she didn’t want to say fine with it but she was dealing. And now there’s some... guy whose baby she is having.

 

So not only was she having a baby...here was a whole potential for the baby to have a dad. It was too much for her to process. Clarke’s stomach was in knots again. Or maybe she’s just pregnant? She really should’ve paid more attention to this in medical school.

 

“Right.” She said robotically, not quite understanding what she was supposed to do here. Is there a how-to manual for this? “The father.” She repeated again. Would that get old? “Who is that again?” She winced to herself inwardly - another thing she never thought she’d be saying.

 

Lincoln must have caught on to her attitude at the end, because his face colors and, for a large man, he looks as if he is shrinking in on himself. “My girlfriend, Octavia...you met her last night. It was her brother’s sample.” He rubbed the back of his neck as he stared at anywhere but them. “His ex girlfriend took his only sample that he donated...to try to trap him and get him back...but it didn’t work. I haven’t been able to tell him, obviously,” He gestured ambiguously around, and looked guilty once again.

 

“Look,” She said, trying to be calm and maintain her cool, “I can’t say I don’t understand what it is like to make mistakes. I’ve made mistakes that could have killed people...that may have killed people. But...this is a lot. This isn’t a patient, it’s me, my life. I don’t necessarily blame you...and I don’t want to sue you or the clinic. I just need some time to process this whole thing. I don’t know if I’m ready for the father yet.” Lincoln was nodding as she spoke, and Raven squeezed her arm comfortingly.

 

Clarke watched Lincoln, who looked as if he was ready for his early grave. Her feelings of pity from earlier returned.

 

“Why don’t I take your number and I’ll let you know when I’m ready?” She offered. Lincoln snapped up, staring at her with wide eyes, and jumped at the opportunity. They exchanged numbers and Lincoln watched the girls get into their car, watching his girlfriend’s future niece or nephew drive away.

Chapter Text

Raven and Clarke drove home in silence. Lincoln’s words were echoing in Clarke’s mind. Clarke thought about Raven, her broken home, and Clarke was sure she was thinking of his words as well. It was just all too overwhelming. Finding out last night at a bar, the pregnancy test, Lincoln knowing the father, being essentially pregnant through a miraculous circumstance...Clarke’s brain was fried.

 

Raven respected Clarke’s need for space and, right now, the silence. Clarke was a woman of action. She wouldn’t sit still without a plan for long, but she needed the time to think everything through. Raven has seen the genius in action, and knew to wait for Clarke to come around in her own time.

 

Raven walked Clarke up to her apartment, hugging her goodbye at the door. She squeezed as she let go, giving Clarke a worried look. Clarke smiled at her weakly, accepting the car keys Raven offered in her hand, but turned and shut the door slowly behind her. Raven sighed as she walked back out of the apartment complex to her own car.

 

Clarke leaned against the door after she shut it closed, breathing out. It wasn’t too late in the afternoon, but Clarke felt like it was midnight. She was exhausted.

 

She changed into some yoga pants, getting into bed and curling into her pillow, her body finally relaxing. It had been a long eighteen hours. And, she thought selfishly, she was pregnant. If she wanted to go to bed at 5:00 pm, who was going to tell her no?

 

Who indeed, she thought, in a weak moment of loneliness.

 

Clarke shut her eyes, trying to clear her mind and come to terms with what she blurted out in the doctor’s office. She’s keeping the baby. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. The choice was as easy as breathing. And somehow, the timing could not have been better. Clarke has been fighting with her decision to become a doctor ever since she graduated medical school. Her father always encouraged her art, and when he died, she couldn’t stomach to put her hand to a canvas. She threw herself into finishing medical school, graduating at the top of her class. She could have had her residency anywhere, but Arcadia was her dad’s hometown and, thankfully enough, the hospital residency program at the local hospital wasn’t too shabby. She also had an in, she thought reluctantly.

 

So she’s keeping the baby. It’s a sign. She felt like she had been waiting for something in her life to happen, and maybe this was it.

 

Clarke breathed in deeply, her mind finally relaxing the way her body had into the bed. Maybe this was it. She fell asleep, dreaming about families.

 

-----------

 

The next few weeks went by in a blur. She was adamantly avoiding Lincoln’s number in her phone, as well as Octavia’s. Clarke had gotten the girl’s number the night they chatted briefly at the bar. She knew Lincoln would respect her privacy, as it was privileged information anyway, but it was comforting to know it was also out of respect for her as an individual. She knew he would wait until she was ready.

 

Clarke was starting to maybe, sometimes, experience some pregnancy symptoms. She was fine the first two weeks after that appointment, but it’s like a switch flicked on inside her body.  As much as she was all for having this baby, she didn’t want anyone to tell her it was a bad idea. She still hasn’t gotten the courage to call her mom up. She didn’t want her mom’s help, especially not with this. Not yet, at least, she amended in her head. But she knew what her mom would think, of her studio apartment, her schedule, her eating habits...Clarke had a lot of growing up to do. Fast. But she would be damned if her mother would let her feel bad about this baby. She wanted to have it figured out a little first, so it would be easier to break to her mom.

 

So she stomached (sometimes literally) the symptoms in pained silence. She tried to get through her shifts in mechanical, automated movements. And when she couldn’t stomach the nausea, she ran to the bathroom for the toilets. This whole morning sickness thing was a joke - it didn’t matter what time of day, which was great, because Clarke worked at all times of night and day. Her boobs started to get sore, like right before her period would start.

 

And at night, after texting Raven that she was good, really, and crawling into bed after convincing herself not to fall asleep at the toilet, she stared at Lincoln’s number, trying to get the courage to tell the baby’s father, as she thought about how Finn broke her heart.

 

--------------

 

It ended up being Raven, of course, that kicked her butt into doing it. It was a Tuesday night, Clarke’s second night in a row off of work, and she didn’t have to go back until Friday. It had been three weeks since that Friday night at the bar, three weeks of Lincoln’s number burning a hole in Clarke’s phone. It felt heavy in her hand, in her pocket, heavy in this whole apartment.

 

Raven was making dinner. She had taken it upon herself to come over a few times a week with what she called “actual dinner”. It normally was whatever they could cook, plus some kind of vegetable or salad. Raven insisted that Clarke had to start small somewhere. Clarke had already started her prenatal vitamins, and just scheduled her follow up appointment with the clinic. She was told in an email that the clinic assigned her a new doctor, but Clarke still hadn’t felt ready to go back yet, at least by herself. Something was holding her back. Maybe she really did need to call her mom.

 

Raven was staring at her as they ate the spaghetti and salad with an oil and vinegar dressing, with a lot of fresh veggies. Simple, but effective. Clarke was shoving the food into her mouth, actively avoiding Raven’s gaze. She wasn’t 100% sure what Raven was staring her down about, but she knows that look is not good. Finally, Raven set her food down and squared her shoulders toward Clarke, as if expecting a battle.

 

“You need to text Lincoln. The father deserves to know, deserves to be in its life.” Clarke swallowed her food at Raven’s words. They were pointed and direct, blunt, just like always. Clarke felt her cheeks heat in shame at her words.

 

“I know,” she said quietly, placing the paper plate down on the coffee table in front of the couch. Clarke didn’t have a dining area. “I know, I should...I just worry..” She hesitated before continuing, “I worry...what if he’s like Finn? Not ready...a jerk…” Clarke shook her head. “I’d rather do it alone, if that’s the case.” Raven tilted her head in sympathy.

 

“But it’s still his kid.” She said this with a tone of finality, putting her hand over Clarke’s on the couch in support. Raven reached over to grab Clarke’s phone on the coffee table. “Why don’t you ask Lincoln what he’s like yourself?” Clarke hummed, biting her lip in thought before thinking, What the hell?

 

Clarke pulled open a draft to Lincoln’s number.

 

The father...what’s he like? Clarke hesitated, before Raven coughed pointedly beside her. She hit send.

 

They only waited a moment before they saw a reply being typed back. Like he was waiting for her to text him this whole time.

 

He’s….a really great guy, to say the least. He has a good heart. He raised his sister Octavia since he was eighteen and fought for custody over her...they’ve been through a lot. Smart, strong, hardworking. He’d make a great dad.

 

Clarke couldn’t help but smile at the last line, reading the entire text back to Raven. Raven nodded and smiled encouragingly. “That all sounds good…” Clarke couldn’t help but agree. Octavia seemed great when they chatted at the bar, and Lincoln, for all his help winding up in this mess, obviously has a good heart. But having custody of your sibling and having a baby are very different things.

Does he want kids?

 

She wasn’t sure what kind of answer she was expecting. How well does Lincoln know this guy? She didn’t wait long for his reply this time either.

 

Definitely.

 

Lincoln didn’t even hesitate. Clarke, in a leap of faith, decided she wouldn’t hesitate either.

 

I’d like to meet him. To tell him, myself.

 

Clarke showed Raven her phone, so she could read the message herself. Her eyes widened. “Are you sure, Clarke? If you’re not ready to, you can just let Lincoln tell him. You should maybe talk to a lawyer first...or your mom.” Raven’s look was pointed, as if trying to get Clarke to dial the numbers on her phone through sheer force of her gaze.

 

Clarke wanted to cross her arms over her chest, but her boobs were a little tender. She settled for glaring at Raven from across the couch. “You’re the one that told me to text Lincoln.”

 

“Because I think the guy deserves to know. Not because I think you should be the one to tell him!” Raven picked her plate back up and twirled another piece of pasta around her fork, emphasizing the last word by shoving the bite into her mouth.

 

Clarke rolled her eyes. Her phone lit up to indicate a message.

 

When are you free? I’d like to be there...with Octavia. To help explain. To take the blame. If that’s alright.

 

Clarke didn’t like the word blame, a sinking feeling that she’d have to explain this miracle accident baby over and over again for a long time, but she understood and respected the sentiment.

 

I’m off tomorrow. Maybe we can all have dinner?

 

Clarke waited another moment, the seconds feeling like minutes dragging out. She didn’t know why she felt anxious all of a sudden, nervous like he would say no.

 

Yes, how about our place? Six o’clock?

 

He rattled out an address in a nicer part of town, and Clarke’s nerves spiked instead of settling. “Raven,” she begged, putting the phone down and picking her dinner plate back up. “You have to come with me. I can’t do this alone!”

 

Raven seemed to smile at her for a moment, and in a funny voice that Clarke couldn’t quite place, she said, “You aren’t alone.”

 

--------------

 

Clarke was a nervous wreck the next day. Raven left with a tight hug at the end of the night, and a reminder to call her mother. Clarke rolled her eyes at that and waved her off. Her apartment was close, but Raven liked her own privacy and space too.

 

Clarke woke up annoyingly early. She had finished her loads of laundry she had to get done the day before. Her plan was to really just relax and pick up around the apartment for the day. She figured that being nervous wasn’t an excuse to not pick up the place.

 

Raven told her the night before that she wouldn’t be going with her to this dinner, this was something she had to do all on her own. Clarke knew she was right, but she didn’t have to like it. She had Raven’s words ringing in her ear. She wasn’t alone.

 

She had been ready for awhile in a simple, white sundress with a grey cardigan. Clarke had bumbled around her apartment all afternoon, trying to find something to occupy her time. She wound up spending most of her day on the couch, laptop in her lap with the TV on in the background, surfing the internet for new parenting websites. The amount of information was overwhelming and, after an hour or so of browsing and avoiding the scary parts, she shut her laptop off and focused on the TV instead.

 

But it was about time to leave now, and Clarke had run out of excuses of things to do to delay leaving. She grabbed her purse and keys before heading down out of her apartment to the parking lot.

 

Clarke glanced up at the rearview mirror as she got in the car. It was a nicer sedan she got as a college graduation gift. It was definitely a few years old at this point, but she kept it in decent shape. In the last year since knowing Raven, she even took it to get an oil change herself.  Her make up was simple and light, but covered the dark circles under her eyes nicely. She’d been having trouble sleeping, not sure if it was the baby and pregnancy symptoms, or just nerves.

 

The drive to Lincoln’s apartment through the quiet, upscale, suburban neighborhood on the nicer part of the other side of town went fast. She pulled up in front of a newly renovated apartment complex, the landscaping impeccable.Though it was close to six, the heat of summer wasn’t going away. She got out of the car, rereading the address Lincoln sent to her last night. There was a building number and an apartment number, and Clarke meandered her way through the nicely lined sidewalks until she found the right place, her stomach like a rock.

 

Clarke took a deep breath before bringing her hand up to knock the door. She heard some muffling on the other side, before the door swung open to Octavia’s bright smiling face.

 

“Clarke?” The dark-haired girl with bright eyes looked, and sounded, surprised to see her. Clarke filled with dread. Did Lincoln not even tell Octavia she was coming?

 

“Hi, Octavia,” Clarke felt shy, suddenly. She’d only met this girl once and she was going to be the aunt to her baby. And she didn’t even know it yet. Octavia opened the door a little wider, but not quite letting it open to let Clarke inside.

 

“Can I help you?” She sounded confused, but friendly, and Clarke was trying to figure out what to say before they were interrupted.  

 

“Clarke,” Lincoln appeared behind Octavia, greeting her with a small smile, “So glad you could make it.” Lincoln didn’t appear nervous at all, but Octavia’s eyes narrowed at Clarke suspiciously.

 

“I didn’t realize you guys were friends,” Octavia said cooly, her face schooling into a neutral expression. Clarke watched her try to put the pieces together like a puzzle, her eyes flicking between her and her boyfriend. Lincoln hesitated for a split second behind Octavia, before opening the door wider and stepping aside, nudging Octavia to do the same.

 

“Yes, she’s the friend joining us for dinner.” Clarke kept mum but realized Lincoln probably couldn’t exactly explain how they met either, not without spilling their secret.

 

Octavia looked at her curiously for a moment, the suspicion evident on her face, before she made some type of internal judgment call and smiled widely, letting her in and leading her down a hallway, into the kitchen.

 

“Bell?” She called out, finding the kitchen empty. Clarke glanced around. The apartment was huge, at least twice or three times the size of her own studio across town. She knew Lincoln was also a doctor, a doctor that obviously was doing fairly well for himself. She idly wondered what Octavia did for living, her heart pounding in her chest as she waited for the father of her baby to appear. It’s not like he would instantly know, she chided to herself. As a matter of fact, he is blissfully unaware until she decides to drop that atomic bomb on his life.

 

Her heart continued to hammer. Lincoln was standing next her as they stood around the island in the kitchen, Octavia wandering into the dining room connected to the kitchen looking for, presumably, her brother.

 

Clarke met Lincoln’s eyes for a moment, and they shared a look of panic before Lincoln shook his head, and sent her a small smile. It’s going to be okay, she thought. She hoped she was reading his expression correctly.

 

“Is everyone here?” Clarke heard a deep voice from the other room getting closer.

 

“Yes, Lincoln’s friend Clarke just arrived.” Octavia called back, her attention returning to their unexpected guest as she made her way back over to Lincoln’s side.

 

“Clarke?” She heard the surprised voice first and she looked up and over at the man that now stood in the doorway between the kitchen and dining room.

 

Oh shit.

 

“Bellamy?” Clarke managed, somehow, to get the name out before she thought she was going to pass out. Could her eyes actually fall out of her head? She wasn’t sure. This could not be happening. This could really not be happening to her. She vaguely registered the flash of surprise she saw cross Lincoln’s face at her acknowledgment. Her head started to swim.

 

The man in the kitchen doorway across the room was familiar. Like, biblically familiar. His dark, curly hair fell around his handsome, tan, freckled face and looked soft. Clarke knew it was soft, from when she dragged her hand through it and pulled-

 

Anyway, the taller, broad shouldered man took up most of the doorway. His face was smirking at her, obviously recalling the same intimate details of their last encounter that she was. Her face felt like it was on fire and she couldn’t move, couldn’t even breathe. Clarke was frozen, and in this moment, she realized Lincoln was still frozen next to her as well. Bellamy was Octavia’s brother? What are the odds of that happening?

 

“Nice to see you again,” Bellamy was across the room but he might as well have been speaking directly into her ear. She repressed a shiver as the words ignited her body all the way down to her toes. For a minute, she almost forgot she was preg-

 

The reality of the situation hit her like a ton of bricks. She shook off her alarm at seeing the face of her infamous one night stand from months ago. Clarke had to get it together. She doesn’t have time in her life right now for meaningless, casual sex. No matter what her dry spell was telling her.

 

A voice in the back of her mind told her that might be all she can get for the next few years or so. Let alone the next few months. No one wants to have sex with a pregnant girl. But, Clarke digresses, it’s not like she’d be having a round two (or four or five, really) anytime soon with the father of her future child.

 

“Nice to see you too,” Clarke managed, once her voice came back to her body.

 

“You guys know each other?” Octavia was looking amused, a small smirk upon her own face now. Bellamy’s smirk grew as he walked further into the room toward the trio. Clarke was able to see him more clearly from here, his freckles splashed across his face like constellations. For the first time since that night with him many months ago, her fingers itched to draw. She couldn’t shake his gaze, even as she avoided it, feeling his eyes rove all over her body.

 

“Sort of,” Clarke hedged, trying to look anywhere but at Bellamy as her face grew hotter. How was she supposed to do this now? She could tell Bellamy thought the situation was amusing, that she was avoiding his gaze and feeling so uncomfortable because of their night together. But that wasn’t the only reason, she thought to herself. Clarke wanted to smack that stupid, smug look off of his face, no matter how gorgeous he was. In any other situation, she wouldn’t hesitate to tell a cocky man where to shove it. But this isn’t any situation, and Bellamy isn’t just some cocky man.

 

Bellamy crossed his arms over his chest, his muscles flexing as he did so. Focus, Clarke , she thought, her fingers clenching into fists. She couldn’t tell if she was anxious or stressed or flustered. Maybe a combination of all three.  “We ran into each other a few months ago,” he said with some amusement, “We just didn’t get a chance to exchange numbers.”

 

Clarke wanted this conversation to drop, now . She didn’t care the reason why they never exchanged numbers. She wasn’t upset about it back then, and she certainly couldn’t have blamed him for it now, and with everything coming to a head, she’d certainly rather pretend like that night never happened. No matter how good it was, or how often she imagined-

 

Right. She cleared her throat. “Dinner?” She asked, attempting to change the subject, “Anything I can do to help?”

 

Lincoln caught her eye as she turned back toward Octavia. He looked worried at the new development, but Clarke couldn’t worry about his reaction. She had enough on her plate trying to deal with her own reactions.

 

Octavia was still smiling at her and Bellamy, but she gave the girl an out. “Sure,” she turned toward the oven on her other side, shooing Lincoln aside. “Why don’t the guys hang out in the den until dinner is ready? We can finish up dinner and chat, get to know each other.” Octavia’s smile widened and it suddenly looked predatorial.

 

Not exactly what Clarke had in mind, but she’d take it. She was resolutely ignoring the stare of the dark, curly-haired man that had someone gotten closer without her realizing it. Lincoln hadn’t moved from where Octavia brushed him aside, looking between Clarke, Bellamy and Octavia.

 

Octavia paused as she was reaching in a drawer for an oven mitt, looking over at them. “Is that alright?” Nobody had moved.

 

“Of course,” Lincoln moved swiftly, grabbing Bellamy’s shoulder and nudging him towards their den to watch the game. Clarke watched them leave as Octavia opened the oven to check on her dish.

 

“Ten more minutes!” Octavia called, sliding the tray back in the oven and setting the timer on the microwave above the stove. “I’m going to put the garlic bread in now. You can make the salad.” Octavia gestured toward the fridge, while she grabbed the garlic bread off the counter. Clarke turned to the fridge to find the salad. It was a pre-mix that also included the dressing so all she did was throw it in the large, navy blue ceramic bowl Octavia had set out on the island.

 

Octavia handed her the salad tongs, watching Clarke intently as she began to mix the salad. “So, you’re friends with Lincoln AND you know my brother.” If Clarke didn’t hang around Raven as often as she did, she would have been thrown off by her directness. Clarke didn’t look up from the salad as the continued with the tossing.

 

“Yep, I guess so. Small world.” The smallest, truly, she thought.

 

“It’s funny. Lincoln’s never mentioned you until he saw you at the bar the other night. “ Clarke was done tossing the salad but continued anyway, just to have something to do to avoid Octavia’s beautiful green eyes.

 

“Well, we haven’t been friends long,” Clarke tried to figure out how much she should say here. “We only met a few weeks ago.” About six weeks ago, give or take a few days.

 

“I see. And you ran into my brother a few months ago?” Octavia was nosy, but Clarke was starting to figure out it was her way of being protective.

 

“Yes.” Clarke is not going into detail on that , thank you very much. Especially not with his sister. While she’s pregnant. With his baby.

 

She stopped her tossing, setting the tongs on the side of the bowl. Clarke glanced back up to meet Octavia’s stare.

 

And, thank God for small favors, the timer on the microwave for the main dish went off. Saved by the bell.




Chapter Text

Bellamy Blake was not easily surprised. Not when his mother told him she was pregnant with Octavia when he was seven years old. Not when Octavia got her first period when he was the only one home. Not even when he found his mother’s body in the bathroom on his eighteenth birthday. From a young age, he had to step up to the metaphorical plate of being the man of the house. From the time he was old enough to hold Octavia, their mother, Aurora, left him in charge as she left to cover back to back shifts at the local diner and bar. He grew up quickly, mowing lawns, shoveling snow - anything to help his mom pay the bills, so she could be home a little bit more and, hopefully, be a little less stressed.

Bellamy Blake was surprised the day the family court judge granted him full custody of Octavia, a year after his eighteenth birthday. He was surprised the day he got into college, and the day he  was told he had a full ride on merit-based scholarships.

 

But Bellamy Blake was a police officer, and it was pretty much his job to not be surprised. His life pretty much prepared him for it.

 

Bellamy pulled up to his sister’s apartment complex, turning off the engine to his older model rover. He was happy, ish, for his sister. He liked that he knew she was safe. She was a grown woman at twenty-five and didn’t need him anymore. Lincoln and him both checked the apartment complex out thoroughly before they moved in, but it was the first time Octavia had moved out of his place. He had felt like his heart was walking out the door with her, and, though he’d never admit it in front of her, he definitely shed a tear after she had gone. While he would never say that any man was good enough for his sister, and he and Lincoln certainly got off on the wrong foot, to put it lightly, when he found out how much older than her he was and his family background, but Lincoln was….decent. So, he was happy. Ish.

 

Octavia’s call late last night had thrown him off. He was used to her calling everyday, but typically it was while she had a moment or two while she was driving here or there. They saw each other at least once a week, most of the time twice. Once with their friends, at someone’s place or at their new favorite spot, The Dropship, and once for a weekly family dinner. Her late call and the last minute dinner invite was unexpected. He was nervous, they had only moved in a few months ago. Were they getting married? A horrifying thought occurred to him. Was she pregnant?

 

But this is why he was never surprised. He thought of everything. With that in mind, he became a little less excited, his mood souring. He walked resignedly to their now familiar apartment. He knew Lincoln made good money, coming from family money and working two jobs to support and encourage Octavia in her mixed martial arts career. She was passionate about it, but it didn’t pay the bills. And while money had never been important to her, to either of them, Lincoln enjoyed being able to afford to buy Octavia things she never could have been able to afford before. Initially, it was the part of the reason Bellamy disliked him, but it ended up being the part of the reason Bellamy had started to warm up to Lincoln, he could see the guy was genuine about his sister.

 

Bellamy knocked on the door, steeling himself before the door opened. Octavia answered by flinging the door open, her green eyes sparkling while she smiled, “Bellamy!” He couldn’t help but smile, in spite of his dampered mood.

 

“Hey, O,” He greeted, reaching over to pull her into a tight hug. Breaking away, she pulled him inside. He sometimes forgot she was strong enough now to yank even him around.

 

“I’m making cheesy pasta casserole! Your favorite.” She called, walking the familiar path down to the kitchen. She’s making his favorite? Bellamy was instantly suspicious once more, putting him on edge. “Lincoln,” She yelled down the hallway toward the bedrooms as they entered the kitchen, “Bellamy is here.” Bellamy heard a vague acknowledgment.

 

“Oh really, what’s the occasion?” He asked casually, leaning on the island as he watched Octavia work around the kitchen.

 

“Lincoln invited a friend over,” She said this in as casual tone as he used. Exactly as casual. If it were anyone else, he would’ve brushed it off. But it’s O, so. He narrowed his eyes.

 

“Oh? What friend?”

 

“No clue,” she shrugged, glancing at him over her shoulder as she finished layering her pasta casserole. “But he asked me to invite you too. Said he really needed you to be here.” She had told Bellamy this already the night before, during their phone conversation.

 

“But why?” A part of him felt relieved. She definitely wouldn’t be announcing her engagement or pregnancy in front of someone random, after Lincoln begged Octavia to invite him, would she? The more he thought about it, the less realistic it sounded. He started to relax a little bit.

 

“Ask him yourself!” Octavia responded shortly, gesturing behind him and turning back to put the dish in the oven. Lincoln had appeared in the doorway behind him, approaching with a smile.

 

“Hey, man, good to see you.” Lincoln clapped him on the back as he passed by to walk around the island. “Ask me what?”

 

“Why you wanted him here.” Octavia snapped, not being able to keep the frustration out of her voice any longer. She turned to her brother. “Don’t even bother, Bellamy. He wouldn’t tell me. And he wouldn’t tell me who is friend is that’s coming. He’s been acting weird for weeks .” Her tone turned accusing as she directed the last part of her sentence to her boyfriend. Bellamy suddenly felt a weird tension in the room, like he was intruding in on a moment. Lincoln remained silent, staring at her with a pained expression.

 

“Well,” Bellamy couldn’t take the awkwardness anymore, “Whatever the reason, I’m here. Can I get a beer or something?” Lincoln sighed quietly in relief, nodding.

 

“Yes, of course.” He said quickly, grabbing a bottle of the local craft beer out of the fridge. He found an opener out of a drawer and opened the bottle with ease, handing it to Bellamy across the island.  He could tell Octavia was not finished with their conversation by the way she was staring down her boyfriend, the familiar Blake tick in her jaw.

 

“I’m just going to go make a call, in the other room, if that’s okay?” Bellamy excused himself past the couple into the dining room, abandoning his newly opened beer during his escape.

 

He sighed as he made it into the other room. There was no real door, so it wasn’t like he couldn’t hear them, but he felt like it was at least pretending they had some privacy for their discussion. Bellamy could hear them arguing in hushed tones (mainly Octavia, with Lincoln’s slow murmuring). This continued until a series of knocks sounded throughout the apartment. The couple stopped arguing at once.

 

“I’ll get it,” Octavia called. Bellamy hung back in the dining room, in case of more drama when the friend arrived. Who knew what he was walking into, this whole situation was bizarro already.

 

He heard some chatting, before a voice called out to him from the kitchen. “Bell?”

 

“Is everyone here?” He asked, walking towards the kitchen.

 

Octavia appeared in the doorway, announcing, “Yes, Lincoln’s friend Clarke just arrived.” She spun and entered back into the kitchen. Clarke?

 

He walked into the kitchen door and froze, seeing a familiar curvy blonde standing on the other side of the room, her curly hair down around her shoulders. “Clarke?” He found himself echoing, surprised.

 

Bellamy couldn’t fool himself, or anyone else for that matter, he had slept with a lot of blondes that he probably wouldn’t be able to pick out in a line up. But, he definitely remembered this blonde in particular from last fall. He’d pretty much praised her name that entire night, it was burned into the back of his mind.

 

Her gaze snapped to him, widening in recognition, like a deer caught in headlights. After a moment she recovered and spoke calmly, “Bellamy.”  

 

Lincoln looked caught off guard that the two already had met. They’d definitely done more than just meet.

 

Bellamy couldn’t help keep the smirk off of his face as his eyes roved over her, taking in how her sundress accentuated her curves beneath the soft grey cardigan. He also couldn’t help but recall how her body felt beneath him, above him-

 

His blood suddenly felt like it was on fire and, if he didn’t calm down, everyone (Clarke) would know where his thoughts were at. He shook the thoughts off.

 

“Nice to see you again.” Bellamy took in her rigid posture, his smirk widening when he realized he was making her nervous.

 

“Nice to see you too,” She kept her tone even, despite her body language and expressive eyes giving her away.

 

Bellamy couldn’t help but feel pleased about the effect he was having on her. He remembered their night, over and over, kicking himself for not getting her number, or even her last name, before she had left early that morning. It didn’t help he didn’t have social media.

 

But then Echo came back into his life, a brief stint that ended about two months ago. He had been lonely, especially watching Octavia move into a new apartment, and Echo had been...well, typical Echo. He broke it off pretty quickly when he realized he couldn’t do the serious relationship thing with her.

 

Octavia chimed in, looking like this new development was amusing, but her eyes stayed calculating, “You guys know each other?”

 

Bellamy was sure his self-satisfaction was on his face, but he was still trying to calm himself over this girl - woman - and he was glad Octavia noticed their chemistry. He made his way further into the room, wanting to get closer to the blonde. He felt like he was getting sucked into her orbit and he liked it, wanted it.

 

The question set Clarke’s cheeks aflame. “Sort of,” She avoided answering the question fully. Octavia raised her eyebrows, and Bellamy knew her well enough that she was not going to let that answer go.

 

Bellamy cut in, “We ran into each other a few months ago,” he said with some amusement, “We just didn’t get a chance to exchange numbers.” Clarke stared at him, but Bellamy couldn’t quite read her expression. He realized he was standing a little closer to her than he was before, and didn’t remember moving. In her orbit , he thought with a smile to himself.

 

Clarke quickly averted her eyes to Octavia and cleared her throat. “Dinner?” She asked, attempting to change the subject, “Anything I can do to help?”

 

Octavia was still smiling at her and Bellamy, but she gave the girl an out. “Sure,” she turned toward the oven on her other side, shooing Lincoln aside. “Why don’t the guys hang out in the den until dinner is ready? We can finish up dinner and chat, get to know each other.” Octavia’s smile widened and it suddenly looked predatorial.

 

Clarke was ignoring his stare. Lincoln was looking between the three of them and Bellamy just watched Clarke. Her beautiful blue eyes were trying to get a read on Octavia’s face. When everyone paused, Octavia tensed as well, turning back to them, “Is that alright?”

 

No one moved until Lincoln jumped in and said, “Of course.” He reached over and grabbed Bellamy’s shoulder, nudging him toward the door that led to the hallway to their den. Bellamy grabbed his forgotten, probably warm by now, beer. He felt a little bad leaving Clarke to fend for herself with Octavia, but, if she was still the Clarke he met that night so long ago, he knew she could handle herself.

 

Lincoln was stiff while they watched the local sports channel. A baseball game played on the television of their den down the hall. Bellamy only waited a moment before he couldn’t help but ask, “So...how do you know Clarke?”

 

Lincoln didn’t even flinch, didn’t stop watching the baseball game. “We met a few weeks ago, through some friends.”

 

Bellamy wanted to push it. About the weird circumstances for their dinner. Why he insisted on him coming. Why tonight. But he didn’t, and angled his body back to face towards the television, getting lost in the game. They were not exactly the talking type, no matter how far they’d come. They managed to finish their beers and make some small talk about the players and the team winning streaks on the way back from the kitchen, after they heard their names being called from the kitchen.

 

When Bellamy walked in through the kitchen door, he inhaled a familiar scent - his favorite family recipe, cheesy pasta casserole.  His mouth started to water. But, looking around, it was nowhere to be seen. He figured O set the table already.

 

Lincoln seemed to make the same conclusion and made his way around the island to the dining room. Bellamy followed, walking into the small room that O and Lincoln had turned into a semi-formal dining room. It wasn’t quite a full sized, formal dining room table, since the room was not quite big enough for a table that large, but O and Lincoln made the area work with the space.

 

The food was laid out on the table. Immediately, Lincoln took the seat next to Clarke, across from Octavia. Both Octavia and Bellamy’s eyebrows raised in unison, while he saw Clarke let out a silent sigh of relief, giving Lincoln a small, tense smile.

 

This whole dinner was getting weirder by the moment. Bellamy gingerly walked around the table to sit next to Octavia, pulling out the dining room chair and sliding into it carefully. Octavia was shifting her gaze in between Clarke and Lincoln, as if trying to still put the pieces together.

 

Bellamy watched as Clarke maintained her eye contact to the food on the table, not meeting his or Octavia’s stare.

 

“So,” Lincoln began, as if oblivious to the tension his choice of seat caused, “Dinner looks great! Thank you, Octavia.”

 

“Yes,” Clarke quickly jumped in, finally looking up so Bellamy could see her blue eyes again, and gave Octavia a smile, “Really, it smells amazing. I could never make something like this in a million years. Thank you for cooking.” That seemed to warm Octavia over, just a little.

 

“Well, dig in.” She said grudgingly, turning her attention to the food. Bellamy leaned forward to start serving the meal, grabbing his sister’s plate to dole out a helping. Bellamy looked across the table to Clarke, grateful he had the seat across from her. While he missed her body heat, he also felt grateful he had an excuse to be caught looking at her.

 

“Clarke,” he spoke, preparing another serving. When he gestured for her plate, she handed it over diligently. After everyone had been served, Octavia glanced around the table.

 

“Drinks, everyone?” She shifted her chair back, stepping out to walk around the table, looking for everyone’s responses.

 

“Beer is good for me. Thanks,” Bellamy smiled as he watched her stand.

 

“Same for me. Thank you, Octavia,” Bellamy had to hand it to Lincoln. For all the fire he must be under for this dinner, he was definitely maintaining his cool. Maybe he had to have dealt with worse, growing up the way he did, Bellamy mused.

 

“Clarke?” Octavia asked, hesitating in the doorway between the kitchen and dining room.

 

“Water would be great, thanks.” Clarke gave her a small smile. Bellamy observed her behavior curiously. The first night the two met, Clarke had been outgoing, challenging him to a game of pool and kicking his ass most of the night. Her smile had been wide open. Granted, he only knew her one night and she was probably wasted, but Clarke looked like she wanted to be anywhere else but at this table.

 

“So, Clarke,” she snapped her attention back to him as Octavia went to grab their drinks. The three of them were politely waiting for O to return back before eating, but Bellamy noticed Clarke froze at his voice. Maybe she hadn’t enjoyed herself as much as he thought? Bellamy thought about it for a moment.

 

It’s always a possibility but…

 

No. She definitely enjoyed herself. He recalled her flushed face in the kitchen when she realized who he was. This was something else.

 

“You’re a doctor, right?”

 

That seemed to relax her shoulders. “Yes,” She nodded, fiddling with her fork on the table. “Well, I just finished finished my first year of my residency at Mount Weather.” Bellamy, like every Arcadian, knew the local hospital well. It was a huge, landmark building in their smaller city.

 

“Wow, good for you. That is not an easy job.” Clarke’s face flushed slightly. Clarke looked like she was about to respond when Octavia came back with their drinks precariously balanced in her hands.

 

“Here you go!” She set the drinks down on the table before passing them down.

 

“Oh, you guys didn’t have to wait for me,” Octavia realized their plates were untouched as she sat back in her seat.

 

Suddenly, the table had an awkward silence. And, apparently, this was the last awkward silence Octavia could handle.

 

“What is going on?” Her tone was flat, staring Lincoln down from across the table. “What is this? What is Clarke doing here? Why did you need Bellamy here tonight? Why have you been acting weird?”

 

Instead of responding to Octavia, Lincoln, shockingly, looked to Clarke. Bellamy turned his attention to her too, suddenly realizing she froze at Octavia’s question.

 

Clarke looked back at Lincoln. Then, she turned and stared right at Bellamy. Any sign of discomfort or weirdness from earlier vanished, like she had finally come back to her body. This was his same Clarke, staring him down across the table.

“Go ahead,” Clarke said, not taking her eyes off of him. “Tell them, Lincoln. Why I’m here.”

 

Bellamy couldn’t help but notice she said them , not her, referring to both him and Octavia. Bellamy felt Octavia’s rage and confusion radiating in waves off her body next to him. He wanted to put a hand on her arm to calm her, he wanted to tell her it was going to be okay. But Clarke was still looking at him, and he couldn’t, wouldn’t, move.

 

“Well,” Lincoln cleared his throat, and that got his attention. “I met Clarke a few weeks ago.”

 

“At the bar?” Octavia asked. Bellamy assumed this was the night that Lincoln and Octavia first had their big blow out. She called him, crying, telling him not to meet them out at the bar because it was a bust, and that they were going home. He learned along time ago to butt out , and he really did appreciate the call because, with his caseload right now, going out to bars was the last thing on his agenda. But he remembered the call the next day, too. And the apology for her crying, explaining they had been arguing at the bar. She didn’t elaborate, so he didn’t ask.

 

“No, before the bar.” Lincoln sat up straighter, staring Octavia in the eye just as Clarke had done to him just a moment ago.

 

“I was her doctor, a few weeks before that. There was a mixup at the clinic I work at on the weekends. A nurse...well, she was let go. And she was disgruntled. So, she messed with some patient’s rooms...and messed up some patient files. They didn’t realize...well they did the best they could, I guess. And well...I accidentally artificially inseminated Clarke.  I got her procedure switched with another patient’s.”

 

“Oh, my God.” Bellamy couldn’t even have been sure who said that. His mouth dropped, sure he looked like a fool gaping at the man across the table from him.

 

“You did what?” He looked at Clarke, then stared at the table in front of her as if he could stare through to her stomach.

 

“You heard him.” Clarke snapped at him, and he colored, realizing he was still staring at her plate of food.

 

“But, that’s not all.”

 

“Oh, my God.” Bellamy realized it was Octavia next to him, gripping the tablecloth with dear life.

 

“I walked into my next patient’s room….the one who got switched up with Clarke. It was Echo.”

 

Bellamy’s stomach twisted. Echo? He hadn’t heard from her in the two months since they broke up.

 

“Echo? She was getting artificially inseminated?” Bellamy almost wanted to laugh at the irony. Echo, who didn’t want commitment, or moving in, or marriage, or, fuck, even a dog, wanted to get artificially inseminated?

 

“Yes,” Lincoln started to hedge.

 

“Go on, Lincoln,” Clarke pressed.

 

“When I talked with Echo, she mentioned she had picked out...well, Bellamy’s sample. The one he donated for some extra money for college.”

 

“Oh, my god.” This time, he was sure that was him. “Fuck. What?” He couldn’t help but start to laugh. Octavia was still gripping the table cloth, her eyes wide staring at her boyfriend across the table.

 

“You’re joking. Echo tried to get artificially inseminated with my sperm?” He was still laughing, “That is absurd.” Octavia, Lincoln and Clarke stared at him for moment.

 

For someone who was rarely surprised, it took Bellamy Blake several long moments before it truly sunk in.

 

“But she didn’t. Because her appointment got switched. With Clarke’s.” Bellamy’s heart dropped, his whole body suddenly on high alert about the woman sitting across the table from him. They made eye contact, a sudden realization sinking through him.

 

“And she’s pregnant,” Lincoln added helpfully. Octavia made a strangled noise next to him.

Chapter Text

Clarke stared at Bellamy from across the table. For the last hour since she’d arrived, she couldn’t stop debating whether she wanted to keep looking at him, or pretend he didn’t exist. Or that their night didn’t exist. She couldn’t decide which.

 

But now, she couldn’t stop staring at him. “Go ahead,” She told Lincoln, knowing he was waiting for her permission. “Tell them, Lincoln. Why I’m here.” Clarke was feeling more in control now. She didn’t care what Bellamy’s reaction was. Regardless, this was her baby. She was keeping it. She didn’t care what he thought, or what he wanted, or how he was going to react.

 

“Well,” Lincoln cleared his throat, “I met Clarke a few weeks ago.” Clarke maintained her eye contact with Bellamy, not wanting to miss a single second of his reaction. She had to know what kind of guy he was. And he was meeting her stare steadfastly.

 

“At the bar?” She heard Octavia ask, confused.

 

“No, before the bar,” Clarke saw from the corner of her eye that Lincoln sat up a little straighter. “I was her doctor, a few weeks before that. There was a mixup at the clinic I work at on the weekends. A nurse...well, she was let go. And she was disgruntled. So, she messed with some patient’s rooms...and messed up some patient files. They didn’t realize...well they did the best they could, I guess. And well...I accidentally artificially inseminated Clarke.  I got her procedure switched with another patient’s.”

 

Bellamy’s mouth dropped open. Clarke couldn’t see Octavia’s reaction, but heard her gasp, “Oh, my God.”

 

Bellamy looked incredulously at Lincoln, “You did what?” He then turned to Clarke. Or rather, to the plate in front of her hiding her stomach beneath the table. Which sort of pissed her off, as he now wouldn’t meet her eyes and she hadn’t stopped looking at him.

 

“You heard him,” She snapped. Bellamy’s eyes darted back to hers briefly before darting away, his freckled cheeks coloring when he realized what he did.

 

“But, that’s not all.” Lincoln continued next to her.

 

“Oh, my God.” Clarke briefly glanced at Octavia, who she saw was getting paler and staring at Lincoln in shock, gripping the tablecloth in front of her.

 

“I walked into my next patient’s room….the one who got switched up with Clarke. It was Echo.”

 

Clarke figured Echo was the name of the psycho ex-girlfriend. She watched as Bellamy’s face scrunched incredulously.

 

“Echo? She was getting artificially inseminated?” Bellamy’s tone was incredulous. She watched as his eyes widened in disbelief.

 

“Yes,” Lincoln confirmed hesitantly. Clarke needed him to say the next words or they were going to come bursting out of her mouth any second. The control she was feeling when Lincoln first started to talk was slowly slipping out of her reach. She needed a plan. She needed something solid to hold on to. Her hand hovered below the table, before she softly placed her hand over her stomach. This somehow gave her focus.

 

“Go on, Lincoln,” She pressed. She watched as Bellamy waited with confusion for Lincoln to finish his explanation.

 

“When I talked with Echo, she mentioned she had picked out...well, Bellamy’s sample. The one he donated for some extra money for college.”

 

“Oh, my god,” Bellamy’s eyes widened. “Fuck. What?” Then, to her surprise, he started to laugh. Her body jerked at the sudden burst of laughter that came from him.

 

“You’re joking. Echo tried to get artificially inseminated with my sperm?” He was still laughing, “That is absurd.”

 

Of all the reactions Clarke had been expecting, laughter was definitely not one of them. Panic, sure. Anger, sadness, confusion, anxiety….but laughter? Clarke was staring at him, trying to psychically tell him to connect the dots.

 

As if reading her mind, he looked around and realized he was the only one laughing. Clarke was not the only one staring at him, as she noticed Lincoln and Octavia’s eyes were trained on him as well. He slowly stopped laughing, looking between the three of them. He froze for a moment then.

 

“But she didn’t. Because her appointment got switched,” It sounded like he was talking to himself, connecting the dots. “With Clarke’s.” He finally looked right at her, and for once again that night, they made direct eye contact. She felt her body heat when she realized he was looking at her, really looking at her, seeing her.

 

“And she’s pregnant,” Lincoln added helpfully. Octavia made a strangled noise next to him. Bellamy was staring right at her.

 

“How-” He started, then stopped. “I mean, are you sure-”

 

“Yes,” Clarke cut in, taking over for Lincoln who was giving Octavia a pleading look. “I’m about seven weeks along. I already got tested after...after the clinic told me about the mix up. And I haven’t been with anyone else.” She couldn’t help but add that last part, in case Bellamy had any ideas. Bellamy didn’t say a word then, staring at her, his expression blank.

 

“So,” Octavia turned her attention from Lincoln to Clarke, “What does that mean? Are you going to sue Lincoln? The clinic? Are you keeping it?” The last question made Bellamy jerk, his eyebrows furrowing, as if that last question hadn’t occurred to him yet.

 

“Octavia,” Lincoln admonished, looking shocked at his girlfriend’s blunt questions. Clarke didn’t mind. If it was Raven, she’d react the same way, have the same questions. She had the same questions, herself, even. Bellamy was staring at her intently.

 

“Could we maybe talk in private?” He asked, then looked toward Lincoln and Octavia. “I’m sure you both also have some things to discuss.” Octavia looked like she wanted to argue, wanted to grill Clarke, kick someone’s ass for something, but Lincoln had already started to get up.

 

“Fine. But this isn’t over.” Octavia threw her napkin down on the table, scooting her chair back and storming out of the room. Clarke watched her leave, Lincoln following quickly behind her, calling her name softly.

 

Bellamy waited until he heard their voices disappear down the hall before he spoke again. “I’m sorry,” he said soberly, “For laughing. I guess... thinking about Echo in that situation is...unbelievable. For a lot of reasons. I didn’t mean to offend you. This whole thing is a little unbelievable, to be honest.” Clarke relaxed a little, remembering why she liked him so much in the first place. Bellamy was real, genuine.

 

“I know, I feel the same way,” She admitted, smiling a little. “Trust me, I fainted the first time Lincoln told me. You’re doing way better than I did.” Bellamy returned her smile at that.

 

“Well, I’m a police officer. I’d be a shit one if I fainted every time I was caught off guard.” Clarke couldn’t remember if he had told her he was a cop. It was over eight months ago and they’d both had been drinking. But, looking at him now, studying his features, he looked like one. Broad shoulders, athletic figure, chiseled jaw, watchful eyes. Once again, Clarke itched to draw him.

 

“I don’t think there’s a protocol on how to react to this,” Clarke tried to remain focused. It was hard when her mind kept throwing sensory-driven memories at her, like how soft his hair had been, or how his arms felt under her hands, how his voice murmured in her ear. “So, no worries for laughing.”

 

Bellamy seemed to grow solemn, the smile weakening on his face as his eyes grew more serious. “But really, Clarke. What’s the plan here?”

 

The question should have freaked her out, but Clarke was an expert at planning. She’d had a plan since last night, when she realized she was going to have to face the father. The plan just had some...contingencies. Contingencies that were dependent on the father. On Bellamy. Looking at him now, she should have felt worried, but she felt...confident. Like Bellamy could handle whatever she was about to say next, like he could handle anything she threw it him.

 

“First of all, I’m not suing Lincoln. Or the clinic. Whatever the medical board decides to do, that’s on them. But I’m not filing any reports or complaints. Or lawsuits,” She added importantly. Bellamy looked a little relieved and nodded at her to continue. “And,” Clarke took a breath, bracing for his reaction, “I’m keeping the baby.”

 

She looked down then, not wanting to see his face and she rushed to continue, “You don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to be involved at all. I’m, you know, responsible. I have a job. I can do this. I won’t sue you for child support or anything. Lincoln just…couldn’t not tell you.” Clarke realized how that last part might have sounded, so she hastily added,  “I mean, I would’ve, you know, eventually wanted to have found you to tell you. It just made it easier that Lincoln already knew you, and wanted you to know.”

 

Clarke was babbling. But she didn’t want to look at his stupid, attractive, freckled face. A face that she had tried hard to remember all the details of, at night, lonely in her bed, over the last six months. That thought heated her cheeks, and she banished it from her head. Not the right time or place.

 

“Clarke,” Bellamy spoke softly. When she looked up, he was looking at her gently. “If you’re keeping the baby, then I’m in. I want to be there, for all of it.” Clarke let out a breath, feeling a weight fall off of her shoulders.


She really wanted him to be a good guy. Lincoln told her he wanted kids, even. But there was still that possibility, that he would’ve asked her to…

 

When she didn’t respond immediately, his eyes widened. “Unless you’re saying, you want to do this alone?” His posture stiffened, his eyes narrowing to look at her. Clarke was immediately reminded of Octavia in that same look.

 

“No, no,” Clarke shook her head, correcting him, “Of course, if you want to be a part I would never keep you from it.” That made Bellamy relax, his shoulders dropping fractionally. He closed his eyes for a brief moment, as if in relief. Clarke studied his features. His curly hair fell around his head, framing his face, his warm brown eyes were closed, and, if she looked closely, she could see the smatter of freckles that she distinctly remembers are across his cheeks, across all of his skin.

 

Bellamy’s eyes opened. “So, then how are we doing this?”

 

“I thought...depending on what you wanted...we could, you know, do doctor’s appointments. Classes. Things like that.” Saying the words out loud suddenly made this baby real in a way it hadn’t hit her yet before. She’d googled all this stuff when she had been at home, late at night after Raven had left for the evening. She hadn’t started really booking anything, it was still pretty early, but she’d started figuring out what she needed to do. Clarke was always prepared.

 

“Things like that,” Bellamy echoed evenly. Clarke bit her lip, trying to figure out what was going through his mind.

 

“I have a doctor’s appointment,” She offered finally, “Next Thursday at 1.” Bellamy continued to look at her blankly.

 

“At the same clinic? With Lincoln, who artificially inseminated you?”

 

“Not with Lincoln,” She assured him. “They gave me a new doctor at the clinic.”

 

Bellamy’s face turned a mix of horrified and pissed off. “Absolutely not. You’re not going back there. They artificially inseminated you . You’re going to Mount Weather.” Bellamy’s tone was final.

 

“Not at Mount Weather.” Clarke was not budging on this one. “This new doctor is fine. The clinic is great. Trust me, I think I would know.” Bellamy’s jaw clenched, and Clarke could tell he wanted to argue this further.

 

“It can’t be that great,” Bellamy gritted out between clenched teeth, “If they artificially inseminated you.”

 

Clarke wasn’t backing down. She had her reasons for avoiding being a patient at Mount Weather. And some guy wasn’t going to tell her differently, because of a freak mixup.

 

“And, being the one who is pregnant from said insemination, I choose where my doctor is. Which is at the clinic. End of discussion.” Bellamy looked like he wanted to continue arguing, but, thankfully, he bit his tongue.

 

“So, Thursday, 1 o’clock? I’ll be there.”

 

“You don’t have to,” Clarke watched him carefully as she slowly spoke. His face was still pinched from losing his argument about the clinic, and grew more pinched at her words.

 

“I’ll be there.” He said again, a little more forcefully. They stared at one another for a long moment. Clarke couldn’t help but remember their time at the bar, before they’d gone home together. Bellamy had been confident, almost cocky, but very self-assured. He was easy to talk to and their chemistry had sparked right off the bat. She saw that in their brief time spent in the kitchen earlier, but the man in front of her was a totally different person. Bellamy was somber, serious, earnest. He looked at her intensely, like he wanted to convey the depth of his meaning through the sheer force of his gaze alone. It made her spine tingle, her stomach somersault. This man confused her...and thrilled her.

 

“Okay, great. We’ll meet there at one then.” Clarke shifted in her seat, not sure where the conversation was going to head from there.

 

“There’s a lot to work out here, Clarke,” Bellamy’s gaze softened as he looked at her. It made her want to squirm, but she refrained.

 

“I know, Bellamy. But I think we can figure it all out, together.” Clarke felt confident at that. Something made her want to trust him...or maybe, at the very least, give a shot at trusting him.

 

He nodded and started to give her a small smile, “Can we figure it all out later?”

 

Clarke started to smile in return, her body relaxing. “Whenever you’re ready,” She assured, as both of them leaned back against their chairs.

 

After a moment, Bellamy stood up and walked out of the room, murmuring something about getting Lincoln and Octavia. Clarke followed him through the kitchen, but walked towards the front door. She lingered in the hallway there. No way was she sitting through the rest of dinner at this point. They got it out of the way, they all knew now. She needed her own time to process that the father of her baby was her explosive one night stand from last year. And that he wants to stay involved. Her hands twisted together as she heard them re-enter the hallway from whatever room they were in throughout their large apartment.

 

“Clarke,” Bellamy looked surprised to see her standing by the door, “What are you doing? We haven’t had dinner yet.” Clarke’s gaze flickered behind him to look at Octavia and Lincoln, whose posture and expressions were both tense and intense staring at her. The weight of all their looks was weighing down on her now. She hadn’t realized it would feel so...divided between them.

 

“It’s been a pretty long night…” She gripped onto her purse at her shoulder then, bracing herself for him to argue. Octavia, surprisingly, was the one to protest.

 

“But it’s Bellamy’s favorite family recipe. You should really try it. I’m sure it’s still warm.” Octavia gave her a small smile, as if trying to make peace. Clarke wavered. The three of them looked like a unit, standing side by side in the hallway. Like a family unit. And Clarke wasn’t sure if it was because she didn’t feel ready, or because maybe she really was ready to have something as solid as this family unit in front of her, but she couldn’t stay. No matter how much a part of her was telling her to, to give them a shot. But that large divide between the three of them in the hallway and her by the door was still there. And she’s been taking a lot of risky shots lately.

 

“Maybe next time,” Clarke returned her smile, hoping to communicate it wasn’t anything personal. “I’m not feeling that great, actually. Morning sickness and exhaustion, you know,” She added, pulling her trump card. She was pregnant and just wanted to go home, feeling a little overwhelmed by all of her feelings. She can blame this on pregnancy hormones, right?

 

“You’re already getting sick?” Bellamy was staring at her, and, if Clarke was reading him right, he looked a little concerned.

 

“Just a little. So, I should be getting going. Though,” She bit her lip before continuing, “We should probably exchange numbers this time.” Bellamy was the one flushing this time, while Octavia and Lincoln raised their eyebrows. Bellamy quickly walked toward her, grabbing his phone out of his jeans pocket.  Clarke gave him her number, watching as he added it to his phone. “There’s an ‘e’ at the end,” She smiled as he typed in her name. He hesitated at the last name. “Griffin,” She supplied.

 

“Blake.” He told her in return, opening a new message to her cell phone number. Her phone buzzed in her purse, receiving his message.

 

“Guess that’s it then. I’ll see you next week, Bellamy?” She said hesitantly, turning around as he reached around to open the door for her.

 

“Yes, next week.” He confirmed. Clarke turned to wave goodbye to Octavia and Lincoln.

 

“Thank you for cooking dinner, Octavia.” Clarke added, before meeting Bellamy’s eyes, then turning and walking toward the sidewalk back to her car.

 

--------------------------

 

Clarke wasn’t sure what she was expecting, after giving Bellamy her number. She had his, and it felt like it was burning a hole in her pocket. Just like Lincoln’s had, only a few weeks before. But that felt like nothing compared to the ginormous black hole that it felt like now, about to consumer her life entirely.

 

She came back from dinner to her apartment that night, clicking the lights on to her small apartment. It was quiet. Clarke sighed, shooting a text to Raven that she arrived home safely, that the father didn’t somehow murder her.

 

Already?

 

Clarke sensed her question. What had happened?

 

It was a little intense. I’ll have to explain later. Come over tomorrow?

 

Duh. Want to talk now?

 

Clarke thought about it. It was pretty early - a few minutes past eight o’clock. She hadn’t realized it had taken so long there, the time seemed to have flown by talking to Bellamy, passing too soon.

 

But she was hungry and exhausted, and, for once, felt like she might be able to actually get some sleep.

 

Nah, I’m going to sleep. See you tomorrow.

 

Night, Clarke.

 

Clarke sighed, throwing her phone on her bed before getting into her pajamas. She wore shorts and a tank top, a small fan going in the corner of her room. She couldn’t really afford to blast the air conditioning, so she settled for using a sheet and the fan during the summer.

 

Clarke scrimmaged around in the kitchen before making a bowl of cereal, not wanting to bother heating up anything frozen. The pasta casserole Octavia had made looked a lot better than this.

 

Putting her dish away, she turned off the lights and climbed into bed. She almost expected to stay up for a few more hours, with everything that had gone on her mind was whirling, but she underestimated how tired she was. Her eyes drifted shut, the weight of them too heavy to keep open before she finally succumbed to sleep.

 

Clarke woke up next day to the hot sun on her bed from the small window to her apartment. She fumbled around for a moment, looking for her phone to tell her what time it was. 10:00 a.m. Clarke stretched, enjoying the good night’s sleep that was not on the bathroom floor. But her stomach growled. The cereal she had made last night wasn’t cutting it.

 

Groaning, she got out of bed and stumbled into her kitchen, looking around for some food. She was dying for some coffee, but knew better. Opening her fridge, she grimaced at the bare contents. She should probably hit up the grocery store. Clarke knew that she had to start changing her habits...but it was hard. Her schedule at the hospital wasn’t very conducive to regularly scheduled meals, let alone a regular sleep schedule.

 

Clarke thought about what she had to get done before she started back at work, back to her back-to-back shifts, eating out of vending machines and shitty cafeteria food in between shifts. Raven wouldn’t be coming over until six, after she got off work. She had all day to herself. Like always.

 

Clarke couldn’t help but think about dinner the night before. About Bellamy’s intense stare that heated her body from her toes to her head, making her dizzy with it. But, more importantly, his adamant declaration that he’ll be there .

 

Only time will tell, she supposed. She glanced back to her bed, where she knew her phone was hidden somewhere in the sheets. The phone that now contained his phone number. She didn’t know why, but she felt the urge to text him. What would she even say?

 

Her stomach growled again, bringing her focus back to her task at hand. First, stop and get some food. Then, grocery store to stock up on her essentials (frozen pizzas, frozen microwave meals, but sadly, no coffee or beer this time).

 

With a plan in mind, Clarke sighed and started to get dressed.

 

Clarke spent the rest of the day running errands, before wasting time on the couch waiting for Raven to get off work. She was texting her annoyingly, sending her funny memes and tagging her in random things on Facebook. She knew the notifications were blowing up the girls phone.

 

Raven didn’t even knock, opening the door to Clarke’s unlocked apartment. “You need to get a life, seriously. And lock your fucking door!” Clarke laughed, sitting up from her position lounging on the couch to make room.

 

“Hello to you too,” Clarke greeted amusedly, watching as Raven kicked off her boots and collapsed on the other end of the couch. This was their usual routine.


“So,” Raven didn’t waste any time, “How’d it go? How was he?” Her brown eyes were staring her down.

 

Clarke could feel her cheeks heating. Raven’s eyebrows rose in response. “Oh, come on. What happened?” Clarke cleared her throat, her fingers smoothing over her yoga pant-clad thigh.

 

“Well, it went...well.” Clarke had all day to think about it. And, all things considered, this was a pretty good turn of events. Bellamy wanted to be involved. He wants to be there. And Clarke wants…

 

Well, Clarke wants a lot of things. But, most importantly, Clarke wants the baby to have a father.

 

The thought of her own father, how close they were, how it feels now that he’s gone...she needs that relationship for her baby. And Bellamy, it sounds like, wants to be there too.

 

So, all things considered, the night went well. WIth some surprising turn of events.

 

“Well, huh?” Raven’s tone was flat, her eyebrows still raised. She crossed her arms over her chest.

 

“Well...you know how the father is Octavia’s brother?” Raven nodded, hesitantly.

 

“Who is?”

 

“His name is Bellamy. It turns out Bellamy was my one night stand... the one night stand from last fall.” Clarke didn’t want to meet Raven’s eyes. She knew exactly which night she’s referring to. She’d had a few before she had stopped going out almost all together, but Bellamy had stood out.

 

There was a moment of silence. Clarke glanced back up to see her reaction. Raven looked a little shell shocked, her mouth moving as if trying to figure out where to begin.

 

“So...the guy that totally rocked your world, is the face of all your fantasies, is the future father of your baby?” Clarke bit her lip, nodding, staring at the ceiling and wishing God would end this punishment.

 

“And he wants to raise this baby together.” Raven started to laugh.

 

“Damn, girl. What are the odds of that. The universe is speaking to you. This is like, fate, or some shit.” Clarke snapped back to look at her, narrowing her eyes.

 

“No, we are raising this baby together as co-partners. Platonic, completely nonsexual, co-partners.” Raven stopped laughing, staring at her in disbelief.

 

Clarke had a plan, alright?

Chapter Text

Bellamy Blake watched the door shut behind the blonde woman. The future mother of his child. He turned to Octavia and Lincoln, suddenly realizing it’s their first time alone, all three of them. Bellamy hadn’t quite turned his feelings towards his sister and her boyfriend yet. He had felt their absence after his - really good - moment with Clarke in the dining room, and had gone to reunite them for a hopefully normal, but somewhat awkward, dinner. Obviously that didn’t go as planned.

But now Bellamy was faced with his sister’s boyfriend, who accidentally inseminated, and impregnated, his past one night stand. He almost felt relief at the fact that it wasn’t Echo, wanting to send a small prayer to whoever was up there watching out for him in that regard. Lord knows that is the last thing he needed.

Not that this didn’t come close.

He wished he could take that thought back as soon as he said it. It really wasn’t the last thing he needed, not even close. More the opposite, in fact. He wanted kids, a wife, a family, badly. His break up with Echo was essentially proof of that. He was ready to be serious, committed. But then Echo dropped the bomb that she didn’t want kids, wasn’t sure about marriage, and wasn’t even sure about commitment in general.

Considering the fact Bellamy had thought they were exclusive, this had come out of left field. Hence, their break up. Which is why the appointment she made to use his sperm for an insemination came out of nowhere, why the idea was so insane to him.

Bellamy shook the thoughts off, putting them into a box in a different part of his brain to address later. He hadn’t even spoken to Echo, no need to think about her now. Not when he had more pressing matters to address.

“Lincoln,” Bellamy’s voice was low, “You artificially inseminated a girl with my sperm?” Subconsciously, his fists clenched. Octavia noticed and quickly stepped in between the two men. She had become a pro at diffusing the tension between the two men by now.

“Bell, look, Lincoln made a mistake. Everyone does. You sure as hell have before.” Octavia looked at him knowingly. Bellamy couldn’t argue, not when he recalled his days early on his high school when he hung out with delinquents like John Murphy. “And you should be grateful, really. You’re the idiot that donated sperm without thinking about who could potentially use it. What if Lincoln hadn’t switched the rooms? He probably would’ve been obligated to inseminate Echo with your sperm. And if not him, some other doctor. It’s a fucking sperm bank, Bell.”

Bellamy’s blood cooled a little at that, realizing Octavia was right. In one of his more desperate times as a young twenty-something, needing money for Octavia’s school supplies and lunches and some classes for college, he donated his sperm. It was a foolish decision, that he ultimately naively thought wouldn’t come back to haunt him. He wanted to regret doing it, but he couldn’t bring himself to begrudge what he had to do to make sure Octavia grew up healthy. He had kept the whole story from her when she got old enough to share that as a funny story, telling her it was to pay for his college. He didn’t want her to ever feel guilty about the lengths he went through to take care of her. Whatever money he got from doing that, let him put food on her plate. Who you are and what you need to do to survive are two very different things.

“Trust me,” She continued, “I’m pissed he kept this from me, from us, for weeks. But he has a point, it was Clarke’s decision ultimately. This is happening to her, not us. And Clarke had to be okay with us knowing before he could tell us.”

Bellamy let out a breath he didn’t realize he had been holding. His fists unclenched, his jaw relaxing. A part of him still really wanted to hit Lincoln right in his face. If anything, it would make him feel a lot better. He took a moment to himself, before he nodded in response, “You’re right.” He looked up at Lincoln, who had been standing behind Octavia silently, watching the two of them interact.

“Lincoln, in a weird way, I owe you. I’m…” he hesitated before saying the words out loud, “glad it’s Clarke, and not Echo. And I have you to thank for that mix-up, however inadvertent. And…. I get why you had to keep it from us.” The last part was tough to get out, but he did it.

Lincoln nodded in return, his posture relaxing, “Please don’t thank me. I would like to think I would have found a way not to artificially inseminate Echo. Lost your sperm, or something. I truly am sorry, Bellamy.”

Bellamy could only nod in response, before Octavia grinned, turning to grab both men by the crook of their elbows.

“Can we just agree this situation is weird and try to move forward? Let’s eat dinner. I’m starving.” Octavia guided her two favorite men back to the dinner table to eat, despite the weird last hour at their apartment.
___________________

Bellamy felt himself stumble into work the next morning in a haze, grateful for the hot pot of coffee that was hissing as it finished brewing in the break room of the station. Bellamy was thirty three. He had become a police officer a few months after graduating at twenty five, with majors in Criminal Justice and History. It had taken him awhile, as he worked and supported Octavia going to school as well. Bellamy knew he wanted to be a cop, hence the Criminal Justice. The History was for his own preference. He loved history, especially Ancient greco-roman history. Not that it was practical for his day to day life.

Bellamy made detective at thirty-one. It’s been two years with his partner, Nathan Miller. Nathan was a few years younger than him, but his father was the Police Sergeant. There was a trust placed in Nathan that, maybe anywhere else but this town, wouldn’t have left two rookie officers alone with no senior partner. But Miller had his back, and they both had gone to some extreme lengths in some cases. They didn’t need anyone else, really. No “senior authorities” telling them what to do, thank you very much. Just whatever the hell they wanted.

Bellamy was up all night, thinking about Clarke, their baby. His mind was reeling. He had stepped into his old house, looking around and realizing how old and outdated it was. The house was the one thing their mother left them. Not quite paid off, but with a mortgage payment he was able to manage once he got his GED and started working full time. The neighborhood was nice, if not old and boring, quiet. The houses each had unique architecture, far from a newer cookie-cutter suburb. His mother had loved to garden, and when Octavia was old enough, she took over the chore. Their front yard was full of, now overgrown, flower beds, The house itself was outdated, old, chipped paint, faded wooden floors that needed to be polished. Old, lumpy couch. Vintage, heavy 70’s headboard that he couldn’t bother to ever replace, even now that he has the funds to do so.

The first few years, working shitty hours and dealing with some shitty people, were not fun. But being damn good at his job paid off. Seriously. When he graduated from the police academy and got his first few checks, he was over the moon. He could afford to send Octavia not just to community college, but, really, anywhere she wanted at a four year university. Bellamy worked hard since he was a teenage to save for her school, and with a steady paycheck, they didn’t have a fear of poverty any longer.

But something about Clarke, since that first night he met her, felt..he didn’t want to say uppity...but, uppity. Like a princess. Holier-than-thou, and all that crap. He hadn’t particularly cared about her opinion on his place when he had taken her home... But that was then, and this is now. Would this house be good enough for her? For the baby, he corrected (added).

Bellamy kept turning over in his bed, unable to sleep. Thinking about raising Octavia, how he had to split his time between provider and babysitter, made him face his feelings about this baby. Was he ready? He knew he wanted kids, wanted a family...and he thought he did pretty well with Octavia, all things considered. She was happy, healthy, well-educated. Independent. He tried to close his eyes and relax, but his mind kept whizzing. Everytime his eyes shut he saw Clarke’s wide, crystal blue eyes looking up at him from under her dark lashes, her small beauty mark above her lips distracting him. Clarke was dangerous, at least to his self control.

So he didn’t shut his eyes. He stared at the ceiling, letting his thoughts play out. Thinking about being a dad made something in his chest warm. He thought about all the empty rooms in his house, especially now that Octavia has gone. The overgrown front yard, the small, simple pool that was a pain in the ass to maintain, especially in the winter when it would freeze over. Most communities had a local pool, but their neighborhood was old, not that many kids or young people to enjoy it to make it worth one there. But, it was the one small luxury they made sure to afford in the hot summertime. That, combined with a sprinkler or hose in the front yard, made their summers enjoyable despite the heat.

The thought of having someone, especially his own children, enjoying the house he grew up in, made him feel fuzzy in a way he didn’t want to admit out loud.

He really wants this baby.

The thought makes him groan. He meant it when he told Clarke he’d be there. He wants to be nothing like his own father, or like Octavia’s. Leaving their mother in the lurch, trying to work two jobs (sometimes three) to support a house payment and two kids. Bellamy got into a lot of trouble as a young kid, before he realized the strain it put on his mom all the times she had to bail him out. Especially when the cost was actual fines or bail money. It was when he started to clean up his act, work more hours and focus on Octavia more.

Bellamy wanted to be a better dad than that, at least. Bellamy wants his kid to have a whole family. So he’ll be at that doctor’s appointment next week with her.

But somehow, that felt like a long time away. It must’ve been two or three in the morning by the time Bellamy fell asleep, his alarm blaring again at six to wake him up. He knew he should probably go to the gym this morning, not skip his routine.

But the thought of seeing his fellow officers, his friends, first thing in the morning, looking and feeling like death hungover, was the last thing he wanted. So he indulged in the extra hour, before getting up to shower and get ready for work.

Snapping his attention back to the present, Bellamy poured the coffee into his favorite, extra-large coffee mug. He reached into the fridge to grab the hazelnut creamer, adding a generous amount of the sugary, overly sweet creamer to his coffee. For having a badass reputation, Bellamy liked his coffee disgustingly sweet, but delicious. He took a small sip, the hot substance invigorating him within a few moments. He could almost reach the rest of the strength he needed to get through today like last night didn’t happen.

Not that he wanted to pretend it didn’t happen...but he wasn’t quite ready to tell the world yet. And besides, it’s pretty early, isn’t it? Clarke said she was only seven weeks or so along. That was still early.

For once, Bellamy couldn’t help be grateful for the mountain of paperwork he had waiting for him at his desk. He knew he promised Miller they’d follow up on a lead for a case they were working today, and, normally, he’d use any excuse to dodge the paperwork. But the coffee could only do so much. He needed the mindless task to get through the day.

Bellamy slumped into his chair, hunched over his cup of coffee as he waited for his computer to turn on. It was Thursday, but Bellamy would’ve paid a lot of money for it to be Friday, and have the weekend to figure out what the fuck he was going to do about Clarke.

But alas, he had two more excruciating days before he had that freedom. And even then, he’s sure he’ll have to take his work home with him like always.

Bellamy took another gulp of his coffee, rubbing his eyes.

“Whoa, you okay, man?” Miller walked past his desk, which was directly across from and faced his own. “You don’t look so good.” Bellamy looked up at him, his short hair cut close to his scalp. On his casual days, he’d wear his beanie. But today it was nowhere to be seen. His eyes were concerned, roving over his face as if looking for an answer.

“Yeah,” He croaked, taking another sip of his coffee. “Couldn’t sleep. I’d rather take it easy today, if that’s okay. Just get caught up on some paperwork. I think Kane is going to fire me if I don’t get him some of the reports I owe him.” Miller nodded, and, like the good friend he is, didn’t press Bellamy on it.

“Sure, man, take it easy. We can follow up on that lead tomorrow.” Miller rapped his knuckles on his desk before turning and sitting in his desk across from his. Bellamy could feel Miller looking at him, but he pretended to be busy with his computer to avoid his partner’s look.

Bellamy dug into his paperwork, only stopping to grab a sandwich from the local deli, before working through his lunch. Occasionally, he caught Miller watching him, half curious, half worried.

Bellamy wanted to reassure him, but wasn’t quite ready to spill all his beans yet, with all these people around. He wasn’t even sure where to begin. Clarke had just told him last night.

Her number was hanging over his head. He knew he wanted to talk to her, couldn’t get her off of his mind, but he couldn’t figure out how to bridge the gap between them. He sighed, realizing that maybe the time until the doctor’s appointment would be good for him. To gather his thoughts and figure out what they’re going to do next.

If Bellamy thought he was going to get off easy, he was wrong. Part of being a detective means being prepared, not surprised at anything. So he was already expecting Miller to wait for him at the end of their shift, but part of him hoping Miller would defy his expectation.

Bellamy started to pack up his desk, grabbing his suit jacket and sliding it on. Miller was watching him carefully, but silently. As Bellamy began to make his way out to the parking lot, he heard footsteps catching up.

“Are you going to tell me what’s going on?” Miller fell in line next to him, walking at his same pace to the parking lot. “I haven’t seen you look like this since you found out Octavia was moving in with Lincoln.”

That had been a rough day, too. Bellamy looked down to his partner next to him, realizing he wanted to share this with someone that wasn’t his sister, whose boyfriend was the one doing the impregnating, and not Clarke, who was carrying his baby.

They stopped walking when they reached Bellamy’s car. Miller was looking at him patiently.

“There’s a girl….” Bellamy blurted, “She’s pregnant.” Miller blinked at him.

“You got a girl pregnant?” Miller stared at him, his expression neutral. That almost made it worse. Miller would never judge him for anything. Bellamy’s face heated, suddenly not sure why he felt he had to explain himself. It’s not like actually accidentally impregnating a girl was the worst thing he could’ve done.

“No,” He snapped back, “I didn’t get her pregnant. Lincoln did!” Miller’s jaw fell open then.

“He cheated on Octavia? He got a girl pregnant?” Miller’s face was a look of pure shock. Bellamy couldn’t blame him. Lincoln worshipped the ground his sister walked on. No way was Lincoln cheating on his sister in this lifetime.

“No,” Bellamy knew his frustration was his own fault, his mind not working at full speed on lack of sleep, and he ran a hand through his hair in exasperation, “He-” Bellamy sighed.

“At his clinic. He inseminated a girl with my sperm.” Bellamy watched, hoping Miller’s shocked expression would change into understanding. But his partner’s eyebrows just shot up, his jaw still open.

“It was supposed to be Echo. She tried to get inseminated with my sperm. But Lincoln switched the rooms and got someone else pregnant. And the girl was Clarke...this girl I had a one night stand with last year.” Miller kept staring at him, speechless.

“So, there’s a lot going on, yeah.” Bellamy leaned against the back of his car, letting out a breath. Miller turned to lean against the Rover next to him.

“Shit.”

“Yeah,” Bellamy agreed.

“Fuck.”

“I know.”

____________________

Bellamy spent the rest of Thursday evening finishing the last of his written reports. He had a few messages from Octavia, checking in. He wrote her back that he was fine. I mean, he was, all things considered.

Friday flew by, and before he knew it, he was at home again, thinking, passing on trivia night. Clarke said she wouldn’t keep him from it, from their baby. But what did that look like? He knew what family courts could say - how things could turn out for him. He had been shocked when the family court had granted him custody of Octavia so young. It was only because there were no close relatives, and Bellamy had a full time job and GED. Taking her in would not have uprooted her life.

But custody of a baby over its mother is a whole other ballpark. And Clarke was a fucking doctor. Of course she was more qualified than him.

He wondered if he should look into an attorney. On one hand, he wanted to trust Clarke. On the other hand...he knew the system. And Clarke was a princess, she probably had an army of attorneys at her fingertips.

But it’s only been a day.

It’s been weeks for her, he reminded himself. Bellamy thought about her last comments on how sick and exhausted she was. Did morning sickness start that early? He couldn’t remember with Octavia. The thought struck him suddenly that he was weeks behind where Clarke was at with knowledge and information on their baby. How was he supposed to catch up?

So, an attorney, maybe. And then some baby books. He supposed he knew what his plans were this weekend, getting out his phone to tell Octavia he wasn’t going to make it.

________________________

Bellamy resisted texting Clarke all weekend. And all week. The more he read, the more questions he had. For her and for their doctor.

Their doctor. He internally scowled at that thought. He couldn’t figure out why Clarke was so hung up on going to the clinic for her doctor, rather than Mount Weather. Didn’t she say she worked there? But sacrifice the battle to win the war.

But he barely knew Clarke. Sure, they had a great night together a few months ago. A really great night. And she was a doctor. But that didn’t mean she wouldn’t try to keep him from their baby. So he pumped his breaks before he got a head of himself.

Thursday came before he knew it. Bellamy was equal parts nervous and excited. As overwhelming as everything was to figure out with Clarke, he couldn’t help but feel the bundle of nervous, happy energy he was starting to get at the pit of his stomach.

Bellamy parked his rover in the small parking lot. He didn’t live too far from Octavia, just on the outskirts of town in a small quiet neighborhood. But the clinic was in a bad part of town. He didn’t like to always call it that, considering he and Octavia pretty much grew up on this side of the tracks with their friends. But as an officer, especially during his time on his patrols, he had seen his fair share of shit. Most (if not almost all) of it coming from this part of town.

It was a huge reason why Bellamy argued so much against the clinic. Why go here, when Mount Weather was nicer, newer, had a better OB unit and was in a better part of town? He couldn’t figure it out. But, as annoying or frustrating as it was, Clarke was right, it was her body and her choice as to her doctor.

Bellamy turned his keys to shut the car off, staring up at the brick building in front of him. He wasn’t sure what to expect. He had his mental list of questions...and that’s about it. He pulled his phone out, glancing at the time. It was 12:45. Bellamy had a thing about being early. He thought about texting Clarke to let her know he was here, but thought against it, deciding to just head inside.

When he walked in, it was surprisingly nice. The outside of the brick building was old and crumbling, but the inside looked almost….new. He didn’t want to go as far to say he was impressed. This was still in a bad part of town he’d rather not be in, even if it is the middle of the week in broad daylight. He knew for a fact that a few suspects on gang-related murders lived a few streets over.

Nobody greeted him as he walked in, but he noticed a few other people sitting in chairs that lined the wall of the lobby. Looking around, he realized Clarke hadn’t arrived yet. He took a seat in an empty section along the wall, pulling his phone out again out of habit. Bellamy killed time on his phone, waiting for Clarke to arrive.

It was almost exactly one when the door opened. He glanced up, seeing the familiar blonde figure walk in, her silhouette lighted by the sun behind her. Bellamy stood up, not exactly sure how to greet her. Thankfully, she noticed him immediately, smiling as she walked over to him.

Clarke had big, black sunglasses perched on her blonde head. Bellamy glanced down, realizing she was wearing a floral dress this time, her large brown purse hanging off her shoulder at her side.

“Hey,” She walked toward him in short but confident strides, her footsteps echoing with the wedge heels she was wearing. “I’m just going to go check in. Be right back.”

“Sure,” Bellamy wasn’t sure what made him so nervous all of a sudden. The happy nerves he was feeling earlier disappeared, leaving him only filled with worries and anxieties. Watching Clarke interact with the nurse at the front desk, he tried to take the time to compose himself. He could do this.

He watched Clarke as she walked back over to him, giving her a small smile. As much as he wanted to be strong and stoic, he was freaking out inside.

Clarke flopped in the chair next to him, holding her purse on her lap. Bellamy watched her movements carefully. The blonde turned to face him, her face hesitant.

“Thanks for coming,” Her voice was soft and Bellamy nodded in response.

“I want to be here, Clarke.” She pursed her lips before nodding in return, facing back to the lobby.

They sat in comfortable silence, Bellamy trying to figure out what to say to her with not much luck, until a nurse came out of a door to the left of the front desk and called, “Clarke Griffin?”

They stood in unison, their strides matching as they crossed the room. Bellamy’s anxiety spiked, he could almost feel his heart about to burst out of his chest as they followed the nurse to their examination room.

The door shut behind them as Clarke hopped up onto the medical chair. Bellamy, unsure of where to stand, moved around to stand behind her, shoving his hands in his pockets. He tried not to feel awkward, like he belonged there during this appointment.

He heard Clarke release a breath of her own in front of him. He glanced down, seeing her hand grip the arm chair. She was nervous too.

“So, Clarke,” The nurse smiled at her, ignoring him completely, “It’s good to have you back in here. I just need to get some information from you before we get started with the exams.”

The nurse fired off a series of personal and some way too intimate of details of Clarke’s life. Like the date of her last period and the date of her insemination appointment….about her sex history and partners.

He tried to keep his eyebrows from shooting up when he heard about her dry spell. Bellamy couldn’t help but think of their night from so long ago. How could a girl like Clarke, with that much heat, go that long without sex?

The questions moved on quickly about her birth control history. As the nurse finished typing, she finally turned to look at him. “And you’re the father?”

“Yes.”

The nurse fired off a series of medical history, sex history and partner questions, much like she did with Clarke, in rapid fire succession, barely looking at him as she typed down his responses. Bellamy’s face flamed at the invasiveness, suddenly realizing that he and Clarke probably just learned more about each other in the last twenty minutes than they had in their few encounters before. There were probably a few follow up questions the two had about each other. But, Bellamy was prepared to continue the personal background conversations later.

“So, it looks like you’re about eight weeks along. Your doctor can give you a more accurate due date, but it looks like you’re due about Mid-March. How have you been feeling, Clarke? Experiencing any exhaustion? Vomiting?”

“Yes, yes. Both of those, definitely. The exhaustion I’m used to, the vomiting is new.” Bellamy couldn’t help but feel worried at that. He remembered Clarke had mentioned she was feeling sick when she left their dinner.

“You need to take it easy, Clarke. It’s going to get easy to get tired, the sleeplessness may not stop, and if you’re having trouble keeping food down, it’s important-”

“I know,” Clarke was short, narrowing her eyes at the nurse, “I know I need to take it easy.” It looked like she wanted to say more, but Bellamy watched her purse her lips and seem to shake it off. “I know better. I’m a doctor.” Clarke seemed to smile a little then.

“Well,” the nurse nodded in sympathy, “We’ll see what we can do and recommend for the vomiting and sleeplessness. But first, we have to do a few exams.”

The nurse maneuvered Clarke’s chair so she was angled backward, more in a lying position, before Clarke reached down to grab the edge of her dress, the nurse placing a paper-like material cover over Clarke’s lap, her legs positioned into some straps that folded out. Bellamy noticed Clarke’s hand was still gripping the armchair, her knuckles almost turning white. She wasn’t looking at him, resolutely staring forward as she watched the nurse leave.

There was a moment of silence before he heard Clarke snort. Bellamy was in foreign territory here. He didn’t want to be a dick, but this was...out of his league, to say the least.

“Are you sure you’re prepared to come to every appointment?” Clarke asked, still not turning to look at him. Bellamy watched her face closely, wondering what she wanted out of her question.

“Very prepared, Princess. Like a boy scout.” He saw her lips twitch.

“Don’t call me that.”

A male doctor entered a moment later, smiling at the two. He was large, but somehow not intimidating. Bellamy recognized him as a friend of Lincoln’s. Maybe that should have made him uncomfortable, but he liked the guy. “Hello, Clarke. Bellamy. I’m Dr. Nyko. I have taken over Dr. Woods’ as your main physician here. Thanks for taking the time to come in today. Let’s get you started here so we can go over everything and answer any questions you have.”

He asked Clarke to scoot down in the chair, and Clarke’s hand suddenly reached out toward him, her palm opening and stretching towards his hand like a sunflower to the sun. Without hesitation, Bellamy grabbed it, holding her hand steady. Clarke’s hand seemed to grip his tightly in return. Bellamy felt like he could feel the heat from her palm seep throughout his body. It was all he focused on while the doctor finished the pelvic exam.

“Alright, then. Everything looks good. Do you guys want to hear the heartbeat?” Bellamy saw as Clarke nodded without hesitation, before glancing back at him.

“Bellamy?” Like she even had to ask. He couldn’t find the words, so he nodded mutely. Dr. Nyko smiled at the two of them, before turning his attention to a small wand hooked up to the machine next to him. He moved the paper covering her lap down to expose the skin on her lower stomach.

“Okay, this will be kind of cold, Clarke.” The doctor warned, before placing a gel-like substance across Clarke’s flat stomach. She breathed in sharply at the sensation, gripping his hand tightly.

“There we go.” Dr. Nyko smiled after a few seconds. A sound started coming from the machine next to him. Bellamy couldn’t exactly figure out what was going on - it all looked like static TV to him - but then he heard it.

A heartbeat.

Bellamy’s mouth fell open, his other hand moving to enclose Clarke’s hand completely. For a moment, the whole world was still but the sound of a beating heart. Bellamy closed his eyes for a brief second, letting the sound reverberate throughout the room.

“Oh, my God, Clarke.” He whispered.

“I know.” She spoke softly back. Dr. Nyko gave them another minute, before cleaning Clarke’s stomach and putting the machine in the corner of the room.

Dr. Nyko took his gloves off, helping Clarke out of her stirrups, removing the paper sheet he had placed over her lower half. She smoothed her dress down over her legs as she leaned back, releasing Bellamy’s hand. He couldn’t help but clench his hand down at his side, missing the sensation.

“So, Anya and Dr. Woods explained the...unique situation here. I’d like to make sure I’m here to answer any questions you have.”

Clarke glanced over at Bellamy from the corner of her eyes, as if letting him take the lead there. He supposed she was a doctor, she probably knew a lot of this stuff already. He was still reeling from the heartbeat, but Bellamy grabbed his phone out of his pocket, where he had jotted down the questions as he read over the weekend.

“Okay, so, first…”

The rest of the visit passed by in a blur. Bellamy flopped between absorbing as much information as he could and trying to ask all the questions he had running through his mind.

Dr. Nyko had just left the room, leaving the two with their next appointment date in silence. Bellamy watched as Clarke carefully leaned forward to get out of the chair.

Before he lost his nerve, he blurted, “Can we go get coffee, or something? I feel like we have a lot to talk about.” Clarke, who was busy grabbing her purse and belongings from the counter, turned to face him, an appraising look on her face as she stared at him.

“Sure,” She said after a moment, pulling her purse over her shoulder. “Come on, I know a spot around the corner.”

In this bad part of town? Bellamy wanted to argue, but refrained, following the blonde out of the room.

Chapter Text

Clarke had thought the doctors appointment was going to be awkward. She knew when she invited him that it’d get a little personal, so she was expecting some level of awkwardness.

But, surprisingly, it went by pretty much without a hitch. Even the pelvic exam, which Clarke hadn’t given two thoughts to when she invited Bellamy, was surprisingly...not awkward. Of all things, it was Bellamy’s request for coffee that threw her off.

Bellamy followed closely behind her as they exited the patient exam room and made their way back to the lobby.

Clarke’s mind was whirring. Bellamy was right. There were a lot of things to discuss. Her mind tried to start organizing all the information she had absorbed in the last few weeks so she could start sharing it with Bellamy, but her mind couldn’t get that far. She was too focused on the man trailing closely behind her as they left the lobby. She tried to get into a clinical mindset, but she couldn’t help but freak out inside.

They stopped short in the afternoon sun of the parking lot. Clarke glanced up at him, having the sudden realization that Bellamy towered over her. He wasn’t overly tall for a man, still much taller than her, but that detail hadn’t sprung to the front of Clarke’s mind in awhile. He was dressed in slacks, a white button up and a nice suit jacket. She tried not to notice the way his arms filled out the material.

“The coffee shop is just down the way.” Clarke motioned to the street. Bellamy looked around the parking lot at the cars over her head, as if he was trying to figure out which one was hers. She hadn’t driven today, as it was nice enough and she figured she could save on the gas. And her only exercise were the stairs up to her apartment and running around the hospital, so she’d take her walking when she could get it.

“It’s just down the street, we can walk.” Clarke decided she didn’t want to wait for him to argue, already seeing his mouth about to speak in protest, before turning around and heading towards the sidewalk. He followed quickly behind her, his longer legs picking up the distance easily. It was a beautiful July day, for once not extremely humid or overly hot.

Clarke tried not to watch Bellamy as he took in her neighborhood. He strode next to her with his hands in his pockets, matching her pace, but eying everything around them like it was going to come out and attack them. She resisted the urge to roll her eyes.

They walked just down the block to a locally owned coffee shop, Grounders. It had become a favorite for Clarke since she had moved into the neighborhood, up until she had stopped drinking coffee.

Clarke quickly claimed a table in the corner, away from the few scattered people that were at tables throughout the shop.

“So,” Bellamy cleared his throat after they pulled their chairs out and got settled. “I know you said doctors appointments and classes, but I know there’s a little more to it than that. We need to figure some things out.”

Bellamy’s face was serious and straight. Clarke watched him carefully. His curly brown hair fell haphazardly, his warm brown eyes were studying her face. She wanted to trace her fingers on every freckle on his face. She tapped her fingers against the table instead.

Platonic co-parents, Clarke! She reminded herself. She didn’t even know if Bellamy was seeing anyone now. She vaguely registered him mentioning his recent (and many) sex partners during their appointment, but that didn’t necessarily mean girlfriends. And Clarke had decided the whole platonic thing was the most important aspect, for their baby.

“You’re right,” She responded finally. “We do. So let’s talk.”

Bellamy looked down briefly, as if bracing himself for what he was about to say, and looked back at her. “Are you…” He hesitated before squaring his shoulders, “I don’t want to fight over custody.”

“Me neither.” She agreed quickly, folding her hands together on the table. She resisted the urge to fidget under his gaze.

“So...joint custody?” He affirmed, looking relieved. Clarke realized that he was afraid she’d try to keep the baby from him, regardless of the fact that they had already agreed to do this together.

“Bellamy,” Her voice was gentle, but firm, “You said you’re in this with me. That you’d be here. I’m deciding to trust you on that. I would never try to take custody away from you. You’re the baby’s father.”

Bellamy was staring at her, but nodded shortly. “Alright then. What are you going to do about your job?” He continued on without a beat.

Clarke stared back at him, confused. “What about my job?”

He raised an eyebrow at her, giving her a look. “Are you telling me that you’re going to be working 18 to up to 48-hour shifts while pregnant? When you have a baby?”

Clarke froze, resisting the urge to immediately feel indignant. “I don’t have to worry about that for another few months. I can work until the doctor tells me I shouldn’t.” God knows she needed the money, especially with a baby coming. She had pretty good insurance, at least.

Bellamy frowned at this. “Clarke, you really need to think about this. Working those kinds of hours...that can’t be good for the baby. Or for you.”

Clarke thought for a moment. She didn’t want to start off on the wrong foot with Bellamy. They had a long way to go with this. And...he had a fair point. Clarke was already exhausted by her morning (which was any time of day, really) sickness, combined with her long shifts at the hospital. She was hoping that the sickness would pass in a few weeks, at least.

“Why don’t we table that for now. I’m not going to stop working at the moment, but we’ll see how that goes.” Compromise was key. Bellamy looked disgruntled, staring at her flatly.

After a moment, he grunted, “Fine. We can table that. For now.” He was still giving her a look, but he continued, “I need to know what you expect out of me, Clarke. I want to be here. I want to be involved but…” He hesitated a moment before continuing, “I’d like us to be good parents. I want to do this right.”

Bellamy’s words warmed Clarke’s insides. “Me too. Why don’t we start by getting to know each other?” She suggested, glancing around and seeing the shop was still pretty empty, “Maybe with coffee?”

He nodded, scooting out of the chair to get up to order. He stopped before he got too far. “Decaf?” Bellamy questioned. Clarke smiled.

“Decaf.” She nodded, leaning back in the wooden chair.

She watched Bellamy wait in line to order their drinks, lost in thought. It was pretty surreal that he was here, that they were even here. She thought about his words - being good parents. She wanted that too, desperately. But Clarke had thought that getting pregnant was far down the road. Maybe, at one point, with Finn, a long time ago...but now...She wasn’t even having sex, for Christ’s sake. The thought about trying to get her life in order to get ready for this baby was overwhelming. She had nine (give or take) months to get there, but it seemed so daunting. Especially now with someone checking in to make sure she was doing everything right.

Looking at Bellamy’s back though, it didn’t seem that daunting. Not if she had some help to get there.

Her mind kept thinking about logistics, now that she was faced to confront him face to face again. Bellamy was already thinking about custody. The thought hadn’t even crossed her mind. It would probably make sense to get something legal written out, just in case things did go sideways between them. But she wasn’t sure if she was ready for that yet. Clarke was trying to focus on making the next doctor’s appointment, let alone how things were going to fall once the baby was actually here.

Clarke was jolted out of her train of thought when a ceramic mug was placed in front of her.

“I didn’t know if you wanted cream or sugar, so I brought everything just in case.” Clarke glanced up and saw he was juggling a few items in his arms. She quickly went to grab the small jars out of his hand so he could set his own coffee down.

He sat down across from her as she stirred in some extra sugars. She noticed Bellamy took his coffee black.

“Do we need to talk, Clarke?” Bellamy said, staring at her intently as she set the empty sugar packets aside. Clarke looked at him more carefully, realizing his somber, seriousness was back, but also noticing a hint of red that was dusting his cheeks.

“I thought we were talking.” Clarke could be cheeky when she wanted to be, using the wooden stir stick to finish her coffee.

“I mean, talk talk.” He was giving her a look that practically said, you know what I mean. Clarke raised an eyebrow back at him in response.

“About?” She took a sip of her hot (decaf) coffee. Why not make him say it? She was perfectly content pretending it never happened.

“Our night together. Last fall, Clarke.” He looked flustered now, his cheeks beginning to redden. She could give the guy a break, she supposed, noticing how uncomfortable he was getting.

“I don’t think we need to talk, Bellamy. What happened last fall has nothing to do with what’s happening now.” Bellamy looked like he wanted to argue but she continued on, “We slept together. So what? We’re having a baby together, Bellamy. We need to get over whatever weirdness there would be normally. For the sake of the baby.”

Clarke was the queen of practicality. She had a plan.

Bellamy was smirking now, crossing his arms over his chest and leaning back in his own wooden chair. He’d only taken a sip of his coffee.

“So what, we forget it ever happened?” Clarked nodded, glad he was getting it. Bellamy’s smirk widened.

“Exactly. For the sake of the baby.” She had to repeat that last part, whether to make sure she knew it or he did, she wasn’t sure. The smirk stayed on his face for another moment, Bellamy working his jaw, before he shook his head.

“Whatever you say, Princess.” Clarke opened her mouth to protest the nickname (where did that come from, anyway??), when he continued on. “Let’s forget it ever happened.”

Clarke felt a wave of relief fall over her. She did not need more drama with this right now. Pretend it never happened and move on.

She changed the subject then, “So, tell me about yourself, Bellamy. Besides your preference for whiskey.”

The two spent the next two hours exchanging the basic details of their lives, actively avoiding any discussion of their night from last fall. Clarke learned that Bellamy raised Octavia pretty much his whole life, but legally since he was nineteen. That he has a fun group of friends (many of whom also work with Raven, she realized), that he loves being a detective working with his partner Miller, (“His name is Nathan,” Bellamy shared, “But don’t call him that.”), that he adores his little sister and tolerates her pretty serious boyfriend Lincoln (and her...former doctor). That he is not dating anyone currently (that question came up naturally, okay?), that he lives alone in a big house in a part of Arcadia across town (she vaguely recalled this), and that he’s excited for this baby. He didn’t have to say the last part out loud to have figured it out herself.

Clarke was a little tougher...it wasn’t that she didn’t want to trust Bellamy. A part of her already instinctively did. He showed up, he’s here, today. But so many parts of her felt so guarded, so close to her heart. And while Bellamy was going to be around for as long as this baby was here, it didn’t mean that he was staying around for her.

So she shared that she lived alone (something that made him sit up straighter and frown at her in concern), that she was working on her residency at Mount Weather, that her best friend was Raven, and that she’d moved to Arcadia because her dad was from the same town and she got a position at Mount Weather. None of those were lies, just...not the entire stories. But Clarke felt like she would share when she was ready.

As their conversation wound down, Bellamy glanced at his watch, swearing when he noticed the time.

“I should probably get going. It’s getting a little late.” Clarke looked down at her phone to realize it was getting close to five. Raven was coming over when she got off work, so she should probably have started to get home anyway, she realized.

“Yeah, me too.” They gathered their things silently, making their way back out into the sunny summer day. They began making the walk back to the parking lot of the clinic down the street.

“So, the next appointment isn’t for a few weeks.” Bellamy commented next to her, his hands in his pockets. He wasn’t looking at her, but rather still trying to get a good feel of the area around them.

“Right. Not until the 20th.” That seemed like a lifetime away, even though it was only four more weeks.

Clarke saw the curb of the parking lot to the clinic approach. “I’d like to see if there are any classes offered through Mount Weather. You know, for new parents.”

Clarke already knew that there were. There were a few of them, pasted on brightly colored flyers, down a hallway she was staunchly avoiding at work.

“You know, I think there’s a few. Just...with my work schedule...it’s hard to be consistent.”

They stopped when they reached the drivers side of a large, black rover in the parking lot. It was older, but still seemed in good shape.

“Clarke, this is important. You’re not going to make time for these classes?” He was frowning at her, crossing his arms over his chest. His really nice arms over his really nice chest. No distractions.

“Of course I am,” She snapped back. Clarke took a deep breath, trying to relax. She knew there was going to be an adjustment period, but that didn’t mean she was happy about it. “I’ll check it out the next time I work and let you know which one works best. I’ll make it work.” She hadn’t told her work about everything yet, it was still pretty soon.

Especially because telling work means…

Well, she has a phone call to make after this, for sure. One she had been avoiding.

Bellamy seemed placated at her answer, before looking around at the almost-empty lot of the clinic.

“Where’s your car?” He asked, as if trying to figure out which one was hers.

“I walked. I don’t live too far.” If Clarke didn’t know any better because of her medical background, she would have guessed that Bellamy was having a mini stroke at her words. His face seemed to blank, before his eyebrows scrunched in disapproval.

“Clarke,” He said lowly, stepping into her space. “You can’t honestly tell me that you walk around alone in this neighborhood.”

Her body betrayed her, breaking out into goosebumps despite the warm sunshine at the sound of his voice.

Clarke cleared her throat, trying to get her bearings. “Of course I do. I live right down the street. And it’s the middle of the day!” Bellamy frowned, looking over her head to glance at the street outside the parking lot as if to prove her wrong.

“I don’t like it. Let me drive you home.”

If Bellamy didn’t like the renovated clinic and the street of her area in the daytime, she was sure he wouldn’t approve of her apartment.

“That’s not necessary.” She crossed her arm over her chest stubbornly. No way was Bellamy seeing her apartment.

Bellamy stared at her suspiciously. “You said you live around here?” Great.

“Not too far,” She hedged, quickly realizing her mistake. “Look, I have to get going.” She didn’t exactly have anywhere to be until Raven came over, but he didn’t need to know that.

“Clarke,” His tone was clear - a warning. Who was he to tell her what to do? She wanted to huff as she walked away, but she didn’t want to give him the satisfaction. She ignored him. Before she turned to head toward the sidewalk, she bit her lip.

“How about that heartbeat?” The sound filled her up with something unexplainable. Holding Bellamy’s hand, hearing that sound fill the room, it made her eyes water and her heart feel completely full. She had been so grateful he was standing behind her and wasn’t able to see the expression on her face. Clarke was glad she held it together enough to not cry.

Bellamy’s face softened, his concerns set aside briefly. He gave her a small smile, “That was something.” She returned his smile, happy to end their interaction on a positive note. In that moment, she felt like he was the only person the world to understand how she felt.

“See you later, Bellamy,” Clarke made to turn around to start her walk home, before she felt him grab her arm gently, stopping her.

“Clarke, wait,” Bellamy glanced down, looking almost shy, “I wanted to say too...I’m here for everything. Whatever you need. You live alone...so if you need anything just...text me, okay? I’m here.”

Clarke tried not to let her eyes water again for the second time that day. She didn’t want to say anything, so she swallowed the lump in her throat and nodded, turning back to the sidewalk.

She tried not to feel his gaze on her back as she walked out of sight, down the few blocks it was to her apartment. Clarke let out a sigh of relief when she saw her street corner come into view a several minutes later. It had been a long few hours.

Making her way up the stairs, she pulled out her keys and her phone from her bag. Clarke entered her apartment, throwing her purse on the couch and holding her phone, contemplating. Her conversation with Bellamy had got her thinking.

She knew that she needed to tell her mom. She’d been avoiding her calls for weeks, and, while they lived in the same town, they lived completely separate lives. Clarke had cut her out for good back when her dad had died, not telling her mom how to even get into contact with her. Clarke started her residency around the same time she’d bridged the gap with her mom.

The two had made great strides in their relationship, but Clarke was still not 100% sure she could trust Abby. She wanted to, badly, but something always held her back.

So while Abby had never been to Clarke’s apartment or presumably even knew where she lived, Clarke wouldn’t put it past her to find out her information from someone at the hospital.

Clarke sighed. Her mom had some pull around here as the Chief of Surgery. Abby Griffin was incredibly gifted. The town of Arcadia, while somewhat small in population, was advanced in the fields of medicine, science and technology. It was why Raven’s private sector job had opened a branch just outside of town, and why Mount Weather had a top residency program.

It was tough trying to prove herself to her colleagues, having her mother at the head of the chain of command. She was pretty ostracized from her peers in that regard. But she hardly cared, she tried to avoid her mother like the plague at the hospital. And thankfully, Abby’s time was spent more administratively in her position than it was in the O.R. anymore. Clarke had been lucky the last few weeks missing her.

But it was really the promise of connecting to her father’s roots that drew her here. She knew that was why her mother accepted the position as well, when she could have gone to a few more prestigious hospital programs. They both still craved a little part of Jake Griffin around them.

Clarke stared at her mother’s contact information on her phone before dialing.

Like she thought, her mother picked up on the first ring.

“Clarke, are you okay?” Her mother was always direct.

“Hi, Mom. Nice to talk to you too.” Clarke couldn’t help but smile.

“Hi, Clarke. Where have you been? I feel like everytime I try to catch you at work, you’re busy or nowhere to be found. You’ve been avoiding my calls. Are you mad at me?”

Clarke felt a stab of guilt. It was definitely not her intention to make her mom feel like she had done anything wrong, or try to mess up any of their progress they’ve made so far.

“No,” She corrected quickly, “Not at all. I’ve just...had a lot going on. I’d like to see you...maybe get lunch or something?”

Abby jumped at the opportunity. “Yes. Are you off tomorrow? I didn’t see you on the schedule for today, so are these your days off?”

Typical of her to have checked into her schedule to see if she was working. She tried not to let it sour her mood. “Yes, I have tomorrow off. I’ll meet you at the hospital at 12?”

“Great!” Her mom sounded overly excited, which helped Clarke’s mood warm a little. “I can’t wait. Thanks for calling Clarke, it’ll be good to see you. I love you.”

“Love you too, Mom. See you tomorrow.”

Clarke hung up the phone with a sigh. She’ll have to figure out how to have that conversation tonight. For whatever reason, Raven always knew what to say when it came to her mother in a way Clarke could never figure out.

Clarke’s stomach grumbled, but she wanted to wait. Raven was coming over and cooking tonight.

Clarke changed back into some leggings and a tank top, shutting the blinds to her apartment. She had one window in her bedroom area, and a window that led to a small fire escape in the area by her couch. It was after five, but the sun wasn’t going to set for awhile. She turned the fan on in her small bedroom area, hoping to get the air flowing. Clarke laid down on the couch, feeling overwhelmed by the day.

Raven arrived around her usual time - six o’clock. This time, carrying a small grocery bag.

“I come bearing food.” Her smile was wide, closing the door behind her with her booted foot. The taller girl quickly set the bag down on the small kitchen counter, turning around to lock the front door again. Never too careful in this neighborhood.

Clarke grunted from the couch. For the last half hour, she had been contained to laying on the couch on her back, her eyes closed. Her stomach swirled with nausea and, anytime she moved, she wanted to puke. She was trying to just not move.

“Are you okay?” Raven asked with genuine concern, removing her shoes by the door. The girl went to sit on the edge of the couch, grabbing her hand. “What’s wrong? What do you need?”

Clarke had never felt more grateful than she was for Raven at that moment. “Bathroom.”

She did not have to say any more. Raven got her up from the couch and, with a strength Clarke was not surprised she had, got her to the bathroom at a breakneck pace. Before she knew it, she was throwing up over her toilet, with Raven holding her hair, rubbing her back gently.

After a few moments, she finished, wiping her mouth with some toilet paper and flushing the toilet.

“Sorry,” Clarke murmured, sitting on the bathroom floor. Raven shook her head before giving Clarke a hand up.

“Are you good?” Clarke nodded, standing up. Raven found her some mouthwash, which Clarke accepted gratefully.

“Thank you, Raven.” Raven rolled her eyes.

“Griffin. You’ve done worse blackout drunk. I got this anytime you need it.” Clarke laughed at that, thankful for her friend once again.

“Come on. Let’s find something that you can eat. What about soup?” Despite the rolling nausea a few moments before, Clarke’s stomach still rumbled. Pregnancy was weird.

“Soup sounds good.”

Raven got to cooking in the kitchen while Clarke figured out a show to watch on Netflix. Somehow throwing up had made her feel much better.

Clarke filled Raven in on the doctor’s appointment (and the heartbeat!) and her coffee date - a platonic date - with Bellamy. She tried to ignore Raven’s smug “hmm” when she got to that part. Clarke brushed over it, focusing again on the heart beat that rocked her world. And, what to do about her mother.

After about ten minutes, the smell of her soup filled the small apartment. Scratch that - she was never more grateful for her friend than right this moment.

Chapter Text

Bellamy wasn’t expecting to hear from Clarke, but he was hopeful. Just like the last week after they had parted, Bellamy itched to text her, but didn’t really have an excuse. But it was beyond his hopes to hear from her so soon.

 

To be honest with himself, work had been all consuming that day. He and Miller were working on a possible arms-dealer lead, that could lead to a break in the case they’d been working the past year to bring down a local gang and its leader. They spent most of the day that Friday in the seedier part of town (by the clinic, he thought with a scowl as they drove by it), shaking down dead ends. It was frustrating, to say the least, when he and Miller both knew something was there. Murphy, the guy that always got him in trouble growing up, was still trouble. But more on the morally grey side of it, and definitely (probably) not a liar. And he was the one that pointed them in this direction. But a bust, it turned out, at least for the day.

 

It was now Friday evening after the day after the doctor’s appointment when his phone buzzed. He had just gotten out of the shower, getting ready to head to The Dropship for trivia night. It was their weekly night out, and God knew he needed to just get drunk and get his mind off of everything - especially after the long day running around the city in frustration.

 

He checked his phone. 1 Message from Clarke Griffin.

 

Entering his password, the message popped up.

 

Are you busy?

 

He secured his towel before typing a response.

 

No, what’s up?

 

He saw a bubble pop up for a few seconds before disappearing. He sat on his bed, still in just his towel, his hair dripping down his back.

 

The typing bubble appeared again.

 

Can I call you?

 

He wasn’t sure what to expect. But he guessed he had to throw his expectations out the window anyway.

 

Of course.

 

His phone was ringing a few moments later. He answered on the first ring.

 

“Clarke?”

 

“Bellamy. Hey.” She sounded breathless.

 

“Are you okay?”

 

“Oh, yeah. Sorry. Everything is good.” He could almost hear the smile in her voice. “Am I interrupting you?”

 

Bellamy shook his head. After a second, he realized she couldn’t see him. “No, of course not. I’m not doing anything. What do you need, Clarke?”

 

He could feel her hesitation on the other end of the phone. “Clarke,” He prompted.

 

“You said…” He heard her inhale, “You said you’re all in. That I could call you...you know, for stuff. I was hoping...if you weren’t busy…” She trailed off.

 

“Yes?”

 

“Well, you live on the north end of town, right? By Ton & DC’s?”

 

Ton & DC’s was a local burger joint that had burgers that were to die for. That, combined with handmade milkshakes and lots of crispy, greasy, side options, it was a local hotspot.

 

He could tell where this was going. “Yes, I live pretty close by.” Bellamy started to smile, standing up to find some clothes to change into that were more casual than the clothes he had picked out for the bar.

 

He held the phone to his ear as he changed. “Well, my friend Raven is going out with her coworkers tonight. She’s normally who I call for things like this...but I’m pretty sure she’s digging this guy Wick that will be there, and I’m pregnant but not a cock block. So...I thought I’d see if you were maybe free to fill a pregnancy-craving fueled request this evening.” Her tone was hopeful.

 

He waited until she had stopped talking to slide the shirt over his head. “Text me your order. And your address.”

 

She was silent for a moment. “You do want me to bring it to you, right, Princess?”

 

Clarke made a noise that was close to a growl. Cute. “Yes, I would like you to bring me some. And don’t call me that.”

 

“Then I’ll need you to send me your address. And your order.” Bellamy hoped his smugness was not coming across in his tone. Clarke tried to skirt around the issue of where she was living before, but she wanted food more than she cared about that right now. And he’d take whatever angle he could get.

 

Angle for what? He questioned himself for just a moment, before shaking off his doubt. Clarke was carrying his baby. It was only natural that he wanted to make sure that she was safe. If anything happened to her, it meant happened to their baby as well. And it was his responsibility to make sure they were safe. So that included making sure where she lived, where their baby lived, was far away from that shithole that the city tries to pass as a neighborhood.

 

“Thanks, Bellamy. I really appreciate it.”

 

“No problem, Clarke. I’ll see you soon.” He hung up the phone, grabbing his wallet off of his dresser. He opened his text messages to send a quick text to his sister, letting her know that he wouldn’t be making it to their weekly hang out with their gang.

 

His phone starting ringing a moment later.

 

“Hey, O.”

 

“Why aren’t you coming?” She cut straight to the chase. Bellamy smiled, heading down the stairs of his house.

 

“Clarke called. I’m heading over there.” Octavia was silent for a moment. Bellamy had spoken with her on the phone last night, after he had gotten back from the appointment. He mainly talked about the baby, about the heartbeat, but he did tell Octavia about getting coffee with Clarke. Of course she was excited about being an aunt, but when it came to Clarke, she was quiet. She gave him a warning, just to be careful. Octavia knew how scary it had been, she was shuffled through foster homes for a year until Bellamy was granted custody. And they didn’t know Clarke. Not really. What if she turns out to be another Echo?

 

After a long moment of silence, “Okay. Be careful, Bell.” Bellamy rolled his eyes.

 

“Have fun, O.” He remembered what Clarke had mentioned about Wick, one of the guys that had started to come out a year ago to some of their regular weekly nights out that worked with Monty and Jasper. “I think Clarke’s friend Raven will be there tonight.” He hadn’t met Raven yet, so maybe it was a good opportunity to get the scoop on her. Clarke had told him all about her, especially how she had been filling the pseudo-father role. For whatever reason, that thought irked him. He should be grateful that Clarke has Raven. But he didn’t know Raven.

 

“Yes, and?” Apparently that wasn’t news to O.

 

“You’ve met her?” Bellamy tried to keep his tone casual. He couldn’t help when his mind was in overdrive, it’s what made him a good police officer.

 

He could almost hear Octavia roll her eyes over the phone. She was used to the third degree. Bellamy was getting in his car and his phone buzzed against his ear. Pulling it away to glance at it, he saw another message from Clarke.

 

“Yes, I’ve met her…” Octavia responded slowly. “What about her?”

 

“You tell me.” Ton & DC’s was around the corner to his house - just outside his neighborhood on the main street of this side of town. He started to drive over.

 

Octavia huffed in annoyance, probably not happy she’s getting pumped for information. “She just started working with Monty, Jas and Wick a few months ago. She’s only been out a few times….the first was with Clarke. The first time I met her. And a few times here and there since then.” Octavia added that last part about Clarke and the bar for his benefit, likely referring to the night her and Lincoln first got into it so long ago. He vaguely recalled Octavia mentioning the bar night when they all had dinner.

 

“She’s Clarke’s best friend.” Bellamy added, when he realized Octavia was done giving him information.

 

“Okay, Bell, you’re acting weird. You think this Raven chick is bad news or something? She seemed cool to me.”

 

He was acting weird. What did he expect Octavia to say? That she vetted Raven and that she checks out okay? That was his job to do. He sighed internally, now the idea that he didn’t know who was hanging around his unborn child was floating around. That Raven was the one on Ton & DC’s duty for Clarke. He tried not to let that bother him.

 

“No, no, nothing like that. I’m just curious.”

 

“Uh-huh.” It didn’t sound like she believed him, but Bellamy pulled into the parking lot.

 

“Well, have fun. Text me if you need anything. I’ll see you Sunday.” Octavia bid him goodbye as he put the car in park. He glanced at his phone again, seeing two messages from Clarke unread. The first was her order (wow, that was a big order) and her address. Bellamy stared at the address, trying to rack his brain as to why it looked so familiar.

 

He went inside to order food at the counter. It was a partial sit down joint, and for a Friday night, it was packed. He stood along the wall, playing a game on his phone, while he waited for the food to come up.

 

It didn’t take too much longer than that before he was on his way.  He punched Clarke’s address into his GPS to let it guide him. The smell of the food permeated the car, and he realized he was a lot hungrier than he thought as he drove. It wasn’t fifteen minutes later that he was entering the (unfortunately) now familiar neighborhood.

 

It wasn’t until the GPS was notifying him that he was less than a mile away that the recognition set in.

 

Clarke lived here?

 

Jesus Christ.

 

He pulled into Second Dawn Apartments slowly, looking out for her apartment number. Talk about deja vu. Bellamy had been running down a lead in this very apartment building earlier that day. The type of individual he spoke with was...unsavory, to put it mildly. The thought simultaneously angered and chilled him that Clarke was living in the same building as that guy.

 

He found a spot under a lamp post, thankfully, before reaching to grab the food. He hesitated for a moment before reaching across the seat to unlock the glove compartment, grabbing his gun and badge as well. He holstered the gun before grabbing the food, making sure to lock the car door. Just in case.

 

His eyes roved over the parking lot, but he didn’t see anything suspicious or unusual. It was empty of anybody loitering. He hustled anyway. It was early for a Friday night but time of day was irrelevant in the Dead Zone.

 

That was what law enforcement - no, everyone, actually - called this area - nobody really used the real name, Polis Heights, anymore.

 

It’ll always be the Dead Zone for a lot of reasons, he thought as he climbed the staircase to her floor. Did she not have an elevator? He didn’t see one in the lobby below. How old was this building? He was scowling by the time he got to her apartment number.

 

If he wasn’t required to be in shape for his job, the five floors might have winded him. But, Bellamy was pretty in shape, so it only left him slightly breathless as he bound up it. How did Clarke do this everyday? He took a moment to shake his expression off (i.e., catching his breath) before knocking on the door. Bellamy glanced down the hallway, trying to see if anyone sketchy lived on her floor.

 

“It’s open,” A voice called from the other side. Bellamy pretty sure he died holding a greasy bag of Ton & DCs, because there is no way Clarke just told him she left her door unlocked.

 

But, against all odds, when he tried the door, it opened. What the fuck?

 

“Clarke,” Bellamy was pretty sure that came out like a growl, but he was pissed ! What was Clarke thinking, not locking her door, in this kind of area? He strode through the open door, turning to slam it behind him.

 

“Geez!” He heard her exclaim behind him. “What did my door ever do to you?” He turned around.

 

“It was unlocked, Clarke!” He shoved the food at her as she got closer, before he spun back  around to slam the lock into place.

 

“What is your problem?” She cried, clutching the greasy brown bag. Bellamy slowly turned back around to stare down at her, crossing his arms over his chest. He took a slow breath in through his nose as he met her gaze. She was looking at him with both confusion and anger, but also expectantly. It was weird how he could read everything on her face.

 

“My problem,” He finally addressed, once he felt like he had calmed down, “Is that you obviously don’t care about your safety, or the safety of our unborn baby.” Our unborn baby. It was the first time he’d verbally acknowledged that it was...theirs. Together. Their baby.

 

She rolled her eyes then, turning around back into the apartment. He finally glanced around, realizing he hadn’t taken it in since he’d stormed in.

 

It was...small. And messy, he couldn’t help but notice. But...mainly small. It looked like a studio, except with one small door to (what he presumed to be) the bathroom and a bar counter separating the kitchen area. A full size bed was crammed against one side of the room, two small night stands on either side and a wardrobe up against the wall. Everything seemed...crammed. Her bedroom area was covered in clothes. There were only two windows, one by the bed and one next to the couch in the living area. He spotted a fire escape out of that window, already knowing it was likely unlocked. He resisted the urge to check.

 

He moved on, looking at the worn couch and small coffee table that sat in front of a small TV and stand. Clarke was to his left in the kitchen, already unpacking the food. She didn’t waste much time.

 

Then he looked at Clarke. The few times he’d seen her before, she was always wearing sundresses and short heels. He would never complain about that for one second, but this Clarke had him frozen, standing in the doorway.

 

Her blond, curly hair fell down her back and around her shoulders. She was barefoot, and his eyes dragged up her legging-clad calves, up her body, lingering on her curves. The skimpy tank top she was wearing clung to her. He felt drawn to her again, pulled into her orbit.

 

She was paying him no mind, trying to figure out what items were hers. Bellamy tried to move but a part of him was destroyed by the fact that this woman was also pregnant with his baby.

 

After a moment she realized he wasn’t next to her and she spun around, glaring at him as she crossed her arms over her chest. It took all of Bellamy’s training to not look down at her chest as she did so.

 

“Don’t judge my apartment, Bellamy. We can’t all have houses.” That snapped him out of it.

 

“I’m not judging, Clarke,” He moved closer to her to stand on her other side of the counter. “I couldn’t judge you about your apartment. I’ve lived in worse.” He couldn’t judge her about it, but he could certainly help find her a new one. “I’m just concerned. You need to be careful with locking your door...you know this is a bad area. Why take the risk?” Clarke turned back to the food, sighing, as if she’d heard that before.

 

“I know. I just...have never had to worry about it before. That’s not an excuse,” She added quickly, looking up at him. She started sliding over his items in front of him. “And I always lock it when I leave. I’ll be better, okay?” Clarke looked up at him then, the last part coming out defensively. She turned to study him for a moment, before her gaze zeroed in on what was attached to his belt loop around his hip.

 

“Bellamy,” She said slowly, looking back up at him. “What is that ?” Bellamy looked down.

 

“My….gun?” He said slowly, the word gun coming out almost like a question.

 

She crossed her arms over her chest once more. Bellamy tried not to glance down. It was taking a lot of his self-restraint.

 

“And what is it doing here? You’re talking to me about safety and you bring a gun in here? Unbelievable!”

 

“This is for safety, Clarke. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you live in the shittiest neighborhood in the city. I’m pretty sure your neighbors are wanted criminals.” By pretty sure, he meant positive. But he didn’t want to freak her out too bad just yet.

 

“Well, I don’t like it. Can you put it away somewhere? You are totally overreacting. That is completely unnecessary.”

 

Bellamy scowled at that. If anything, Clarke was underreacting . But, it was her apartment, and he probably should have asked, or at least given her a heads up, that he was bringing it. He sighed, unclipping the gun from his belt.

 

“And where would the princess like me to put it?” Bellamy knew the princess nickname was, at this point, just for him. He could tell he obviously misjudged Clarke by her apartment.

 

Clarke glanced around the small kitchen for a moment, before looking over at the fridge. “How about on top of the fridge? So I don’t have to look at it.” Bellamy rolled his eyes before complying, setting his gun down on the top of the bare fridge, almost out of her reach completely.

 

“Thank you.” She said softly when he turned back to her. “Can we just eat? What do you want to drink? I think I might have beer around here somewhere.”

 

And just like that, Bellamy was having dinner with Clarke. Clarke didn’t wait for his response, just turned and started reaching in the back of her small fridge. He couldn’t help but notice how bare it was, a few take out boxes shoved in the back that she pushed aside.

 

“A beer would be great,” He said amusedly when she turned back to him, looking triumphant when she produced a local craft beer.

 

“I thought I had one or two leftover,” Clarke handed him a bottle opener magnet from off the fridge.

 

Bellamy opened his beer and watched as Clarke grabbed plates, piling their food respectively onto them. “Come on, let’s eat in here.”

 

Bellamy grabbed his plate and beer, following Clarke out of the kitchen to her destination - the small dark grey, but soft and lumpy, couch in her living area.

 

She sat her plate down on the table, before heading back into the kitchen. Bellamy sat on the other end of the couch not sure what to do, waiting for her. Bellamy felt a little guilty enjoying watching her walk in and out of the room. She came back in a moment later with a glass of apple juice.

 

“Apple, huh?” Bellamy asked as she sat down on the other end of the couch, “Would you rather I not drink? You know, in support?”

 

Clarke laughed as she got comfortable, before reaching over to grab her plate, and then the remotes, off of the coffee table. “Not at all. Please, drink on my behalf too, I miss it.”

 

Bellamy felt a tinge of guilt at that. It’s not like Clarke asked for this. At least Bellamy can only blame himself, he was the one who made the donation. If it hadn’t been for Echo, and for Lincoln, he probably would never have even known if his sample was ever used.

 

Bellamy settled back into the couch as he watched Clarke flick through shows on Netflix.

 

“What do you want to watch?” She asked, scrolling through the list of shows and movies. As she started scrolling, she (maybe subconsciously, since she didn’t take her eyes off the screen) started to dig into the bag of onion rings on her paper plate.

 

“I’m not picky,” Bellamy followed her lead, grabbing french fries and shoving them into his mouth. He hadn’t eaten since noon that day and it was getting close to 8:30. If Clarke wasn’t waiting, neither was he.

 

Clarke shot him a look. “You’re not picky? You don’t have any preferences on what shows you watch?” She raised an eyebrow at him at the last part.

 

“Documentaries,” He conceded with a smile. If she really wanted to know…

 

Clarke broke out into a laugh at that. “Really?” At his nod, she shrugged, before scrolling down to the Documentaries category. “Any particular kind?”

 

Bellamy wasn’t sure if Clarke was humoring him or not. When he noticed that she wasn’t still laughing, but looking at him expectantly, he only hesitated for a few seconds. “History.”

 

Clarke nodded, taking a large first bite of her cheeseburger, before selecting a History Channel documentary on Ancient Rome. He tried not to let it show how interested he was - especially since it was a newer documentary he hadn’t gotten a chance to watch himself, but had been dying to.

 

He probably could have watched it on any one of the weekends from the past few months, but there is something pathetically lonely (in Bellamy’s mind) about watching a documentary on a Saturday night home alone. Or maybe he was just dwelling on his own feelings. So he hadn’t quite gotten around to it.

 

Bellamy settled more comfortably into the couch, now that he knew he’d likely be watching this entire two hour documentary with Clarke. For how disgusting this couch looked, it was amazingly comfortable.

 

“You really don’t mind?” Bellamy asked again, looking for any sign that she was yanking his chain for actually putting on a documentary to watch. Clarke shrugged, grabbing another onion ring.

 

“No, I’m not picky.” She echoed his words with a smile. Bellamy guessed it was just that easy. He turned back to his food, taking a bite of his own burger.

 

They settled into an easy silence on opposite ends of the couch, digging into their food while the introduction played across the scene. He thought it might be awkward but it was surprisingly comfortable, as it always was, he was finding out.

 

As the movie continued, Bellamy offered snippets of information that he could add to supplement (or correct) the movie. Clarke always hmm’d in appreciation of his comments, so he continued. Bellamy glanced around and suddenly realized it was getting dark. This time of year, the sun didn’t set until closer to nine o’clock. Clarke didn’t have any of the lights on in her apartment, so as soon as the sun went out of view, the apartment darkened.

 

It only took about a half hour more before Clarke fell asleep, right in the middle of one of his explanations. He couldn’t take it personally, not when she had complained just the day before about how exhausted she has been feeling.

 

He waited a few more minutes before he was sure that she was asleep. The only light was coming from the glow of the TV and the small light under the microwave in the kitchen area. Bellamy reached over to grab the food off the couch to set on the table in front of her, making sure she didn’t knock it over as she slept.

 

Clarke shifted slowly, scooching further down on the couch. Bellamy froze, he was hovering over her slightly, and he didn’t want her to wake up with him almost on top of her.

 

After another moment, he watched as she sighed, her body relaxing further into the couch. There were dark circles under her eyes that he had noticed earlier.

 

Bellamy grabbed the blanket that was on the back of the couch, tucking it around Clarke gently. Her legs sprawled out, stretching, but she remained asleep.

 

The documentary continued in the background. Bellamy grabbed the remote, turning the volume down. Then he hesitated.

 

He didn’t want to wake Clarke up. Not when she had been telling him and the doctor the day before how exhausted she was feeling lately. Not when he noticed the dark circles under her eyes.

 

But he didn’t have a key to her apartment. And no way was he leaving without her locking the door behind him.

 

The documentary probably had another hour or so left. Bellamy moved back to the other end of the couch, lifting Clarke’s blanketed feet quickly, before sitting down and settling her feet on his lap.

 

He would finish the documentary, wake her up so she could lock up after him, and then take off.

 

Bellamy tried to focus on the movie in front of him. It should’ve been easy, it was his favorite subject and something he’d been dying to see. But he kept looking over at Clarke as she slept. He tried to justify it to himself, telling himself it definitely wasn’t creepy, because he just wanted to make sure she wasn’t going to wake up.

 

Every so often she would shift in her sleep. Bellamy watched her carefully for any signs that she was waking up, but felt relief when her face would relax back into sleep. It was getting towards the end of the movie when Clarke stretched, her foot arching into his inner thigh where it had been dangling off his leg, right on to his-

 

Bellamy shot up from the couch, startling Clarke out of sleep as her feet fell from his lap. His face flushed, feeling the after effects of her touch, trying to think of something to calm himself down. Clarke practically just massaged his junk in her sleep.

 

“Bellamy?” She sat up quickly, looking around, “What happened?”

 

Bellamy was sure his face must have been red, but he couldn’t look at her. He was grateful for the darkness in the apartment. He looked down, clearing his throat, “You fell asleep. I should get going, let you get to bed.”

 

Bellamy glanced back up when she didn’t respond immediately. Clarke’s face started to flush, he could tell by the glow of the TV screen, looking down at the couch to see the blanket twisted around her. Bellamy tried not to let himself be affected by the sight of her waking up.

 

“Oh,” She cleared her own throat, throwing the blanket off of her and standing up. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to fall asleep.” Bellamy could only nod, feeling a lump in his throat as she looked at him. Her hair was a mess, curly pieces flattened in a few directions. Her mouth curled in a wry smile then, “It must have been that documentary. I guess I have a cure for my insomnia.”

 

Bellamy smiled back at that, feeling some tension leave his body, the moment relaxing between them. “Glad to help.”

 

After a beat, he shook his head. “It’s getting a little late. I better get going.” Clarke nodded, walking towards the entryway, making a pitstop at the kitchen.

 

Bellamy followed behind slowly after her. She started to reach up above the fridge, but the gun was just out of her reach. Moving up behind her, he grabbed it before she could get a grip on it. He brought it down to his side as she turned back around to face him.

 

In this position, her body was pressed between his and the fridge. He was glad his body had calmed down from its reaction on the couch, or else Clarke would have been able to tell how much she affected him. The gun was still in Bellamy’s hand at his side. He knew he needed to holster it. He needed to holster it, turn around, leave this apartment and walk back to his car. But the only light was still from the microwave to their right, making Clarke’s eyes glow. She was staring back at him, not saying a word. And she was still pressed right up against him.

 

He looked down at her lips, at the beauty mark that was burned into his mind. He wanted to kiss that beauty mark right off her face.

 

The thought startled him enough to take a step back, breaking their tension. He saw Clarke release a breath of her own.

 

Bellamy holstered the gun quickly, stepping to turn back around to the door to unlock it. He opened it, but Clarke reached around to hold it open for him.

 

As he turned to go, Clarke grabbed his arm. “Thank you, Bellamy. For the food.”

 

For coming. For being here. He could tell that was what her eyes were saying. Once again, he felt like he could read Clarke like a book.

 

Bellamy nodded. “Any time, Clarke.” They maintained eye contact as she released his arm.

 

“Good night, Bellamy.” He stepped into the hallway.

 

“Good night, Clarke. Don’t forget to lock your door.” He couldn’t help but add the last part, in case she forgot. She rolled her eyes, shutting the door on him then. He waited a moment before hearing a click, signaling the lock had been turned, before he made his way back to his car.






Chapter Text

Clarke waited nervously in the lobby of Mount Weather. This place felt like home almost 99% of the time, but right now, she felt like she was from outer space standing there waiting for her mother, the Chief of Surgery. It was Friday afternoon the day after the doctor’s appointment. She was meeting her mother for lunch, trying to figure out how to break the news.

 

“Clarke!” A loud voice called from behind. Clarke turned to see her mother, Abby Griffin, striding towards her with a warm smile. There was a time Clarke thought she’d never see her mother again, let alone smiling at her like she is right now.

 

Clarke tried to shake off her nerves, the butterflies in her stomach. There have been a few times lately she hasn’t been able to tell what has been her pregnancy symptoms and what are just her tumultuous feelings. Like being around Bellamy, for instance.

 

“Mom,” She finally got out, giving her a tight smile back. Clarke felt like their relationship had made great strides since her father had died two years ago. But it was only in the last year of knowing Raven that they had really started to rebuild their relationship. Abby was much more eager than Clarke, for obvious reasons. It was Clarke that cut her out, after all.

 

Abby embraced her daughter, who stood stiffly as her mother’s arms wrapped around her. Clarke was never one for quick and easy physical affection (a trait she inherited from her mother), and the emotional distance between her and her mom never showed more than when Abby tried to hug her. Clarke got over herself quickly, remembering the efforts she was trying to make, and wrapped her arms around her mother in return, squeezing briefly, before stepping back.

 

“It’s good to see you, Clarke,” Her mom’s hands lingered on Clarke’s elbows, her eyes scanning her up and down. “What’s been going on? You haven’t returned my calls in weeks. I can’t seem to catch you around here, even after double checking your shifts.” This last part came out a bit short, as if her mother was offended she had to even go to such lengths.

 

Her mother was scrutinizing her, her long hair pulled back into a ponytail. Clarke resembled more of her father than her mother, who had a petite and athletic figure. Her mother had dark blonde, almost brown, hair with warm brown eyes. Clarke, on the other hand, was curvy, with blue eyes and light blonde hair, like her father had.

 

Her mother was controlling, if not with good intentions. She always thought she knew what Clarke needed best, even sometimes to Clarke’s detriment. Checking on Clarke’s shift schedule was the least surprising and invasive thing her mother could do, or even has done. Clarke knew her personal information was private from her mother to a degree, but her mother never took that step to pry and look for Clarke’s address. When Clarke took this job at the hospital with her mother over a year ago, it was a huge step in their relationship. Abby took what she could get. But some things, it seemed, would never change.

 

Clarke rolled her eyes. “I’ve been busy, Mom. Let’s go to lunch. I’m starving. You’re buying, right?” Abby laughed at that, releasing one of Clarke’s elbows. She took the other in the crook of her arm, guiding the two out of the lobby to the parking lot.

 

“You know, Clarke, I’d be happy to help you with more than the occasional lunch...you just have to let me.” Abby shot Clarke a look.

 

Clarke knew that was true. Her mother had been hinting more and more at helping Clarke with her student loans and other expenses - like had been their plan so many years ago. But part of Clarke, even now, still didn’t want Abby’s money. She spent her college fund on her undergraduate tuition, knowing her parents would be helping her with medical school. But then Clarke and her mother had a falling out before her dad had gotten sick, Clarke refusing to speak with her mother at all. She’d been accepted into medical schools, but was torn, wanting to pursue art at the last minute. Her mother blew up at her, telling her she was throwing her life away.

 

Her dad, ever the mediator, tried to smooth things over. In the end, Clarke got some scholarships for medical school, but none for art (which she attributed to her mother’s name in the medical field). She wasn’t using her parents money anymore, and Clarke was practical. Art didn’t pay the bills. So she stuck with medical school. Her dad had tried to encourage her to continue with art, but she was almost two years into medical school when he got sick. The day her dad died, her dreams of art were shoved into a small box in her mind. So small she barely knew it was there.

 

Well, until she saw Bellamy Blake, and that box sprung open like a Jack-in-the-Box.

 

Clarke brought herself back to focus on what her mother had just said. She knew she was going to need her mother’s help soon...in some way or another. Clarke was proud, but this wasn’t about just her anymore. But there was something about taking her money that didn’t sit well with Clarke. She wasn’t even sure what kind of place her mother lived in these days. They were the occasional lunch and weekly phone call type of mother and daughter, even though they worked in the same building and lived in the same city.

 

Abby still performed several surgeries, but her duties now were more administrative. It made it easy for Clarke to avoid her, especially when her rotations didn’t line up with her mother’s.

 

“I know, Mom. So you keep telling me. Lunch sounds great for now, though. Where are we going?”

 

They approached Abby’s car a few moments later. It was brand new, as far as Clarke could tell, the dark grey exterior sparkling in the sunlight.

 

Clarke got in the passenger seat, buckling her seatbelt as her mother got in the other side.

 

“I was thinking of Ernesto’s?” It was one of their usual places, a small Mexican place on Main Street in this side of town.

 

At the name of the place, her mind immediately went to their enchiladas.

 

“Yes,” She agreed quickly. “That sounds amazing.” Now that she thought about those enchiladas, she couldn’t help but feel starving, instead of just hungry. Or was she nervous? Maybe both.

 

The two chatted about their days, about mutual friends in the hospital and the latest gossip, in the short drive over to the restaurant. Clarke tried to keep the conversation in that realm until she was ready.

 

Ernesto’s was a classic sit down, but casual, Mexican restaurant. It was a usual spot for Clarke and Abby, who shared a love of their food and margaritas.

 

They were shown to a booth quickly, the place only starting to get crowded from the lunch hour. Abby glanced over the menu, a waiter coming to take their drink orders.

 

“I’ll have a water.”

 

“Me, too. Thanks,” Clarke smiled as the waiter nodded, scurrying away.

 

“Just water, Clarke? You’re not on call tonight. You love their mango margaritas!” Abby was teasing, clearly, but the question made Clarke remember why they were here. Her nerves came back in full force, but she tried to keep her cool.

 

“I’m not really in the mood right now, Mom.” She gave her Mom another tight smile. The waiter came back with their waters, placing a basket of chips and salsa on the table as well.

 

“You guys ready to order?” Abby looked to her. Clarke felt like she had been ready for the last twenty minutes.

 

“I’ll take the chicken enchiladas, please.” Clarke handed him her folded menu.

 

“And I’ll have the chicken burrito.”

 

The waiter jotted down their orders and hurried away to the next table.

 

“So, Clarke, work’s been good, it sounds like...anything else new?” Her mother’s tone was casual, if not curious, as if not wanting to break the ease of their interaction so far, but clearly wanting some information. She reached for a chip, dipping it in the salsa, before taking a bite.

 

Clarke braced herself. This was like pulling off a bandaid. If she could tell Bellamy, she could tell her own mother. Not that she had been the one to tell him, even.

 

“Well, actually, Mom, there is something I’ve been needing to tell you. First, I don’t want you to be upset.” Clarke knew how big of a pill it was for her swallow, how this all came about, she could only imagine what her mother - who was in charge, pretty much, of the entire surgical department at Mount Weather - was going to say about it all.

 

“Upset?” Her mother’s eyebrows raised, and she set her chip down on the napkin in front of her. “What would upset me?”

 

“It’s just...I went to have a pap smear done a month or so ago. It was supposed to just be routine, you know?”

 

Abby’s eyes widened. “Oh my God, Clarke.”

 

“But it all went wrong, and now-”

 

“You have cancer?!” Her mother burst out, slamming her hands down on the table, eyes watering. Clarke jolted in surprise, glancing around the restaurant to see the patrons closest to them were now staring at them in poorly disguised interest.

 

“No,” She said loudly, giving her mother a look, her face flushing in embarrassment at the attention,  “I don’t have cancer , Mom, Jesus! I’m pregnant!

 

Abby’s face paled, and, if possible, she stared at her in more shock, her mouth popping open. Clarke waited a few seconds, before her mother snapped back to it, glaring at her. “Clarke Elizabeth Griffin, how dare you scare me like that?”

 

“I didn’t mean to! You didn’t give me a chance to even explain.” Clarke snapped back, feeling her anger start to rise. She took a breath, closing her eyes for a brief second, before watching her mother who was still staring at her with a pinched look on her face.

 

“I brought up the pap smear because...it was an accident. My appointment got switched with an artificial insemination. It was supposed to be a routine pap smear that turned into...well, you know. And now I’m pregnant.”

 

“It was an accident?! Who did this, Clarke? Was it at our hospital? I need to know, immediately! The gross negligence, I can’t even believe this-” Her mother was spitting out words a mile a minute, her hands gesturing wildly.

 

“Mom,” Clarke interrupted before her mother was going to give herself an aneurysm. “It wasn’t at Mount Weather. It was at the Polis Clinic. There’s nothing you can, or will,” Clarke added, seeing the expression on her mother’s face like she was going to protest that, “do about it, okay? It happened. I’m pregnant. I’m keeping it.”

 

Abby stared at her in silence. Clarke gave her a moment to process the information, leaning over to grab a chip. She was still starving, actively trying not to keep a look out from the corner of her eye for the waiter bringing their food while she waited for her mother to respond.

 

“Okay,” Her mother finally said, “What do you need from me?”

 

Clarke breathed a sigh of relief, glad there was no further argument.

 

“For now, just...be around. If I need you.” Abby reached over across the table, palm open. Clarke reached over, clasping their hands together.

 

“Of course, Clarke. I’m here. You are so brave, doing this alone. I’m here, whatever you need. So you don’t have to be.”

 

At the ‘alone’ part, Clarke started to flush, looking down.

 

“Well, about that -”

 

“Who ordered the enchiladas?” A voice called to their right, interrupting her. The smell wafted toward her, and she leaned back, breaking hands with her mother.

 

“Right here!” She smiled, eager to eat, as that part of the conversation fell away. Maybe one bombshell at a time.

 

The waiter set their food down in front of them respectively.

 

“So, Clarke, tell me everything. How far along are you? When is your due date? How’s your doctor? Why aren’t you going to Mount Weather?”

Clarke shoved a bite of food in her mouth, knowing exactly what the next hour was going to entail.

________________________

 

Clarke woke up Saturday feeling well-rested. It wasn’t a feeling she was used to, especially lately.

 

But Clarke woke to sunlight drifting through a few of the blinds. She laid in bed for a few moments, feeling completely relaxed. It was a welcome change to hospital on-call rooms and the bathroom floor (when she was too tired to put herself back to bed). She opened her eyes slowly, squinting at the bright light before feeling around her small bed for her phone to check the time.

 

It was a little after nine. Clarke didn’t really have a ton of things to do before work tomorrow - all her scrubs were clean. She probably should go to the grocery store, at some point.

 

It took her a moment before she started to remember the night before. She had fallen asleep last night after Bellamy left almost immediately. Clarke froze mid-stretch in bed, her mind filling her in on the events from the prior evening. Her face started to flush.

 

Clarke groaned, putting her face into the pillow. Why did she ask Bellamy over again?

 

Right. A double cheeseburger, onion rings, and curly fries with extra ranch and pickles.

 

Raven had called her Friday after her shift, “We’re going out.”

 

“No,” Clarke immediately shot down, “Not tonight, Rae.” Clarke could almost feel Raven roll her eyes on the other side of the phone.

 

“You’re pregnant, Clarke. Not dying. You can’t drink, but you can still get laid. It’s not like you can get pregnant twice.” Raven’s tone was matter-of-fact, but Clarke knew her well enough to hear the accusation of her tone. She hadn’t been out since she found out she was pregnant. There was something too weird about it now, especially knowing Octavia or Lincoln might be there.

 

“I know,” Clarke said defensively, “I’m just really tired. I had lunch with my Mom today. I just want to stay in tonight. Maybe next time. But you should go! Are you going to The Dropship?”

 

Raven had been out a few times, even though Clarke hadn’t accompanied her. Clarke was attributing this to the sandy-haired man that was coming up in more and more of her stories lately.

 

“That’s the plan. They have a team for trivia night, so I’m going over there early. You know they are going to need my help. Do you need anything before I head out? I can swing by.” Raven dropped the going-out argument, for which Clarke was grateful. She couldn’t help but feel touched at Raven’s soft tone in her question and offer.

 

“No, I think I’m all set. I have a date with Netflix tonight.”

 

“Alright, Clarke. Text me later.”

 

“Bye, Rae.”

 

And she was all set...until a few hours later when a Pregnancy Craving hit her. It was weird when it happened, and it was happening a lot lately. Out of nowhere, she would start to want certain foods desperately...some foods she never had liked or even tried before. And it was like a worm digging into her brain once it was there. She could not stop until she got it.

 

Unfortunately, this Pregnancy Craving was Ton & DC’s, the burger place across town with huge, juicy burgers and amazing, greasy, deep fried sides. Clarke thought about her options.

 

Clarke could definitely go by herself across town. And then come home and spend the Friday night alone watching whatever show she was trying to get into at the moment, binge on greasy food until she would pop, and freak out about becoming a Mom while trying to avoid the black hole that is information on the internet.

 

She would normally bug Raven, but she knew Raven would drop everything to come. She definitely didn’t want to interfere with Raven’s life more than she was already. It wasn’t like it was Raven’s baby.

 

But it was someone else’s baby. The thought gave her an idea. She resisted texting him until the craving of Ton & DC’s onion rings was the only thing she was thinking about as she stared at her television, then giving in and grabbing her phone to type out a message to Bellamy. She paced around her apartment as she waiting for his response.

 

And that's how she ended up spending her evening with Bellamy Blake. She tried not to make it weird...but then..

 

Clarke groaned again, burrowing her face further into her pillow. She distinctly remembered their moment by the fridge, how Bellamy had been staring down at her intently, his body pressed up against hers. Clarke had been grateful for the darkness, feeling a flush come over her whole body. Then, for an alarming, thrilling second, she thought he was going to kiss her.

 

Which would have been a mistake, obviously. But then he had stepped back, holstering his gun, and Clarke knew her body and its hormones were acting up. They had slept together one night, that’s it. Clarke just hasn’t gotten laid in awhile.

 

Clarke had to resist feeling embarrassed at falling asleep during the documentary, at thinking he was going to kiss her.

 

She lifted her face away from the pillow, grabbing her phone to send a message to Raven about how her night went.

 

Clarke stared at the ceiling of her apartment, thinking. She spent another hour in bed, texting Raven back and forth while she tried not to overthink the night before. Finally, she got up, knowing she shouldn’t just lay in bed all day.

 

Clarke spent the rest of her morning fluttering around her apartment. Raven said she’d be by later for a real break down of her evening before she went to her work out class, so Clarke felt like she was just killing time until she arrived.

 

It was in these in between moments that Clarke felt the loneliest. Clarke had always been a one-best-friend kind of person. Growing up, it was Wells. And then she had Finn. And now she has Raven.

 

It was why this whole family thing was going to take some getting used to, but also one she has started to look forward to. She was an only child of two career-driven individuals. While she was close with her dad, things were hardly ever The Brady Bunch, even during the holidays.

 

It was around 2 o’clock by the time she arrived. Raven’s presence was announced by loud, consistent pounding on her door, followed by the jiggle of her door handle.

 

“Wow, Griffin, did you actually lock your door today?” Clarke rolled her eyes, making her way to open the door.

 

“Hi Raven,” She opened the door to her dark-haired friend. Raven’s face was make-up less, but somehow her eyes were wide and bright for someone who supposedly went out drinking the night before. She was dressed in casual gym clothes and a high ponytail.

 

Raven toed off her sneakers by the door, where a small collection of shoes lay. She was looking Clarke over as she did so.

 

“It looks like you survived another Friday night without me.” Raven squeezed her arm before sliding past her to the kitchen. “Have you eaten?” She called behind her.

 

Raven wasted no time with her questions.

 

“I could say the same about you. And no, not yet. How was your night?” Clarke trailed behind her, watching as Raven opened the refrigerator.

 

She began to get some food out to make for a late lunch. Raven always made herself at home, and ever since Clarke became pregnant, their hangouts revolved more around Clarke’s eating and sleeping schedule than cocktail hours and one-night stands. It was hard for Clarke not to feel guilty for bringing Raven into this mess, but she was glad the woman didn’t let it keep her from going out.

 

“It was...interesting.” Clarke raised her eyebrows. Raven definitely hesitated for a second.

 

“How so?”

 

Raven was avoiding her gaze, putting extreme focus into making sandwiches for the two to eat.

 

“Wick was there.” She said finally, looking up at Clarke like she dared her to comment on the fact.

 

“I see. And that was interesting?” Clarke knew from the previous times they’d chatted after Raven had been out, Wick had been out with them occasionally since the fateful night at the bar she had found out. And he’d been coming up in more and more of her work stories lately.

 

“We won trivia night.”

 

“That’s good…” Clarke said slowly, watching as Raven spread jelly on a slice of bread.

 

“Of course it’s good. I am the best, of course we won.” Raven looked at her then, pointing the butter knife in her direction with a glare.

 

“Right, right.” Clarke threw up her hands, trying to figure out how to approach her. Raven got weird around feelings.

 

“So,” Clarke said as Raven rinsed the knife off to start on the peanut butter sides, “What else was interesting about your night? Aren’t all your nights pretty interesting?”

 

Raven furiously spread the peanut butter across the piece of bread. Clarke was surprised she didn’t rip the bread underneath, but Raven was gentler than she looked, apparently.

 

“I just…” Raven grunted then, stopping the spread of the peanut butter and putting the knife in the sink to her left. “I like Wick.”

 

Clarke tried not to smile, knowing this was not a love declaration by any means. Raven had a frustrated look on her face.

 

“Okay. I could have told you that.” Clarke decided to go with the casual route.

 

Raven glared at her again, grabbing a paper towel and handing her one of the sandwiches.

 

Clarke accepted it gratefully, her stomach grumbling. She always seemed to be hungry lately. Hungry and sick, a weird combo.

 

“Why is that a big deal?” Raven grabbed her own paper towel to eat off of. They are still working on the whole adult thing - another thing Clarke felt like she had to get together before the baby. Using dishes. Ugh.

 

“It’s not.” Raven sounded disgruntled, like trying to convince herself it was not a big deal when it was so obviously something .

 

Clarke took a few bites of her sandwich, waiting for Raven to figure out what she wanted to say about it.

 

“I guess...I haven’t liked anyone since Finn.” Clarke froze at the name out loud.

 

“I know. Me neither. Is that what this is about?”

 

“Finn was everything for me, Clarke. I never had anyone but him. He was everything, until he wasn’t. I don’t want that to happen again. I don’t want another guy to be my entire world.” Clarke felt herself soften at Raven’s words. She knew Finn messed the two of them up pretty badly. They both had kept their relationships casual - to flings and one night stands. Opening up again was….hard.

 

But, as she was experiencing with Bellamy, not always bad. Or scary. Though, she thought hypocritically, she didn’t open up everything to Bellamy just yet.  

 

“He doesn’t have to be your entire world, Raven. He just wants to be a little part of it.” Clarke was pretty certain the man returned her friend’s feelings, just from Raven’s stories alone. Her brief interaction with them a few weeks ago was enough to confirm her thoughts, along with her friends statements.

 

“You don’t know that, Clarke.” Raven was back to glaring at her again, her vulnerability gone. Clarke sighed, giving her a look.

 

“Yes, I can, actually, I have eyes, and ears-” Clarke was interrupted by a knock on her door.

 

Raven looked over at the entry way, as if she could figure out who was knocking with x-ray vision.

 

“Are you expecting company, Clarke?” Raven looked over at her, eyebrow raised, with a questioning but concerned look across her face.

 

Clarke shook her head, frozen. She wasn’t going to lie, she isn’t stupid, unexpected company in this part of town does not bode well for most people.

 

Raven nodded, moving toward the door silently. Raven, though unarmed, had pretty extensive private security background and training. Clarke wasn’t privy to everything she did overseas working in the government - Clarke knew that she was working in aerospace engineering now, but who knows that she did then - but she knew Raven could hold her own. The girl was all toned muscle.

 

Clarke felt her heartbeat hammering in her ears as Raven approached. She wasn’t normally afraid, but, normally, she wasn’t pregnant.

 

Raven looked through the peephole. “It’s some guy,” She whispered, glancing over at her with a shrug.

 

“Clarke?” A voice called from the other side of the door. A distinctly familiar voice. Clarke’s whole body relaxed at the sound.

 

“Bellamy?” She called back in surprise, nodding at Raven to open the door as she walked closer.

 

Raven swung the door open as Clarke stepped to stand by her side. Bellamy was standing on the other side, holding some grocery bags. He was dressed in jeans and a simple blue t-shirt that stretched across his chest. Clarke tried very hard not to notice how good he looked.

 

She glanced back up at him. He was biting his lip, waiting for her reaction and still somehow looking sheepish.

 

“Hi, Clarke,” Bellamy greeted with a smile, then turned to look at Raven, his gaze turning observant and sharp. Raven could tell he was inspecting her and reacted in kind, crossing her arms over her chest defiantly.

 

“Bellamy,” Clarke breathed, still taking him in, “What are you doing here? Did you forget something?”

 

Bellamy tore his gaze away from Raven to look at her once more, his cheeks reddening when he processed her words.

 

“Oh, ah, no, actually, I just thought-”

 

“That you would show up unannounced and give Clarke a heart attack? You know she lives alone, right?”

 

Bellamy stiffened, looking over at Raven with a stiff jaw. Clarke could tell the comment insulted him.

 

“Actually, I tried to text her that I was in the neighborhood. I stopped at the store and tried to see if she needed anything in particular….but I got some things anyway,  and thought I could just drop it off for her, instead of making her come across town to get it.” Clarke tried not to melt at the sight of the grocery bags he was now clenching in fists down at his side. Then, as if he couldn't help himself, Bellamy added, “She didn’t seem too inclined to go across town last night.”

 

Clarke could almost feel Raven’s temper rising, but at the last comment, her body turned to her, her face flat as if saying, “Really?”

 

Clarke’s face flushed. “Oh, wow, Bellamy. You didn’t have to. I can’t believe you did this. Come in, please.” Clarke shot Raven a look as she shuffled Bellamy in past the two of them. He squeezed by, his body grazing Clarke’s as he moved towards the kitchen.

 

“Wow,” Raven said to her quietly, her tone flat, “It seems he knows his way around, already. Pretty weird for his first time over.”

 

Clarke started to follow Bellamy into the kitchen, turning over her shoulder to mouth, “Behave.”

 

Raven rolled her eyes, trailing after the two after shutting the door and locking it.

Chapter Text

Bellamy tried to ignore the animosity radiating from the woman he just met that was standing beside Clarke defensively as he walked past them to the kitchen. He set the bags down on the short, small counter, before turning back to the two women.

 

He’ll be honest, he wasn’t quite expecting Clarke to have company. He figured she’d be home, at least, but not having company on a work night. He had hoped, at least. He was right about that first part.

 

“Bellamy,” Clarke said with a smile and turning to gesture at her friend, “This is my best friend, Raven. I was telling you about her when we had coffee, remember? Raven, this is Bellamy. The...father of the baby.”

 

Bellamy felt a shiver run down his back at her words. He couldn’t help it, the thrill of being a father hadn’t gotten old yet. He couldn’t help the smile that broke across his face either.

 

“Nice to meet you, Raven. Bellamy Blake. I’ve heard great things.” He stuck his hand out. Bellamy actually hadn’t heard great things in the sense he really hadn’t heard anything much about Raven at all - from Octavia or Clarke, for that matter.

 

Raven still had her arms crossed over her chest and her gaze was calculating. Bellamy got it, or tried to; he was overprotective when it came to his own people, like Octavia. He respected her skepticism. She sort of reminded him of Octavia, actually.

 

Clarke elbowed her friend. Raven stuck her hand out to shake Bellamy’s then. “It’s great to finally meet you, Bellamy.” Her tone was flat, but Bellamy couldn't tell if it was sarcasm.

 

Bellamy tried not to frown, retracting his hand and clenching it at his side. This girl put him on edge for some reason. Maybe it was because she felt like she was protecting Clarke. Which was stupid because he was here to also protect Clarke. They were not on opposite sides.

 

Clarke looked between the two of them warily. Bellamy realized that he obviously was interrupting something, the women having plans that he clearly derailed. He tried not to let himself be embarrassed by it.

 

“I’m sorry, I should go. I only wanted to drop that off to you, Clarke. I’ll see you later, I guess.” He made a move to stride through the kitchen, but he only got one step before Clarke’s hand on his arm stopped him.

 

“Bellamy, wait. Are you hungry? Raven makes a mean peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You came all this way. That is the least we could do.” He wondered if her friend appreciated being volunteered.

 

Raven’s eyes were burning a hole in his head, but Clarke’s hand was still gripping his forearm, her eyes seemingly pleading up at him.

 

Shit, this was probably going to be a recurring problem with her. He felt himself giving in at the look on her face.

 

“I’ll stay, but I can make my own sandwich.” And with that, suddenly Raven’s posture relaxed - just a fraction, but he noticed - and her face morphed into a smirk.

 

“Sure, but mine are the best. We should have a contest. Make one of yours for Clarke. She can be the judge.”

 

Clarke’s face lit up at that and she laughed. Bellamy nodded in agreement as he decided, “I guess that’s it then. You sure you want another one?” Clarke’s hand dropped from his arm then as she took a step back, dancing around him in the small kitchen.

 

“I will never say no to a PB&J, regardless of who is making it. It’s one of my Pregnancy Cravings.” Bellamy hmm’d at that, wondering what else was a Pregnancy Craving. Ton & DCs? He felt her small hands on his hips, shuffling him toward the other side of the sink to the counter where bread, peanut butter and jelly was laid out.

 

Raven was perched leaning along the doorway, watching them. Clarke began to unload the groceries.

 

“Butter knife?” He asked, looking to Clarke, ignoring her friend in the doorway. Clarke was holding up a bag of spinach, staring at it with a funny face.

 

“Spinach?” She asked in return, holding the bag out like a foreign object. He thought he heard Raven snort behind him.

 

“I may have looked up some foods that you should be eating...and noticed you have none of them in your fridge.”

 

Clarke’s cheeks colored at that, turning and setting the spinach aside on the counter. She reached over into a short drawer, grabbing the utensil he requested out. “Here,” She handed it over.

 

He held on to it for a moment, watching her make faces at the various fruits and vegetables she pulled out. Raven was silent behind him.

 

“What about a grilled peanut butter and jelly?” He asked finally. Clarke looked over at him then, putting aside the carton of blueberries.

 

Grilled peanut butter and jelly? That’s cheating!” This came from Raven behind him, who lightly smacked at his shoulder from his right side. Bellamy shot Raven a look from over his shoulder, to which she huffed at but stayed silent.

 

“I’ve never had that before. But I am intrigued.” Clarke’s face was definitely more than intrigued, she quickly abandoned the food that was in the bags, turning toward him eagerly for more information.

 

“I made it all the time for Octavia growing up. It’s been awhile but...I just need butter.” Bellamy ignored whatever attitude Raven had for the look on Clarke’s face. Clarke’s face started to fall at his last comment.

 

Raven smirked, “Blake, you need to know one thing about Clarke, she does not have shit like butter. She barely cooks. I don’t know if she even knows how to cook with butter.”

 

Bellamy watched the delighted look on Clarke’s face form into a scowl, looking around him at Raven, her hands on her hips.

 

“I resent that. I definitely know how to make cookies with butter. That takes some amount of skill.” Bellamy refrained from rolling his eyes at that.

 

“Well, good thing butter is one of the things I bought.” Bellamy took a step to reach around Clarke, his arm grazing her shoulder as he rifled through the bag. He grabbed onto the cold block and pulled his arm back.

 

“Why don’t you girls go into the other room and finish whatever I interrupted? I’ll bring the sandwiches out when they’re done. Raven, are you sure you don’t want one?” He glanced over at the woman in the doorway, an attempt to stop looking down at Clarke, trying to resist the temptation to step even closer to her.

 

Raven was watching them was an indescribable look on her face. Bellamy tried to ignore it. After a moment, she shook her head, “Next time. If I didn’t think I’d just throw it back up at the gym.”

 

When he looked back down, Clarke was still looking at him.

 

“Raven, I’ll meet you in there. I’m just going to put away these groceries really fast and help Bellamy find everything.” He saw from the corner of his eyes Raven disappeared from the doorway, hearing her shuffle around in the living room. The kitchen opened to that area partly, but it was separate enough to, hopefully, provide a semblance of privacy.

 

Clarke let out a breath. Bellamy’s arm wasn’t reaching around her anymore, but he was standing in front her, not quite in her space, still holding the butter in his right hand.

 

“I can’t believe you’re here.” Bellamy blinked at that, feeling not for the first time like maybe this was the wrong move. She wasn’t quite smiling, just staring up at him intently.

 

“Should I go?” He asked her quietly, trying not to let it offend him. Clarke shook her head at that.

 

“No, I just meant...I wasn’t sure, after last night, if that was too much to ask of you. I was embarrassed. And then, now you’re here, with groceries and offering to make sandwiches.” Clarke was still shaking her head, but smiling at this point. Bellamy relaxed, understanding setting in.

 

“Clarke, I told you I’m here. I’m in this with you. That means making sure you’re well fed. I saw last night when you were rummaging through your fridge it was pretty empty...I just thought I’d save you a trip. And try to make sure you were eating right.” He couldn’t help but add the last part.

 

And it got the reaction he was sort of expecting. Clarke scowled at that. “Bellamy, I am doing the best I can. I’m trying to just make sure I eat three meals a day, let alone making sure it’s a well balanced meal. It’s just...hard.” He could tell Clarke was defensive, but was trying to keep her voice down.

 

Bellamy reached out then without thinking, tracing his hands over shoulders, down her arms, stepping towards her. “Clarke,” She was still scowling at him, but seemed to relax at his touch, the lines between her eyebrows smoothing over. “I’m not trying to make you feel guilty or bad. I’m trying to do this with you. Pick up some slack. This wasn’t a big deal for me. I want to keep doing this, and doing stuff like we did last night.” Phrasing it like that made both of their cheeks heat up. Bellamy cleared his throat, moving on, “Whatever is hard, let me help you.”

 

Clarke swallowed, her eyes roving over his face, her cheeks pink still, before she nodded.

 

“Thank you, Bellamy,” She murmured, wrapping her arms around him in a brief, tight hug. He felt shocked, but it was over before he realized it. She turned back around to the counter, forcing him to take a step back.

 

She continued to unload the grocery bags, oblivious to how his mind was now spinning by how her arms had wrapped around his body, squeezing their bodies close. They’d slept together before, sure...drunkenly, sloppily, and Bellamy might have worshipped her body all night that night, but he was both grateful and pained at the brief reminder.

 

Bellamy couldn’t quite get his mind back on track, but forced his body to move anyway, turning back to the stove next to the refrigerator. “Where are your pans?”

 

“Bottom cabinet,” Clarke gestured to a small cupboard next to the oven, folding the paper bags as she took out the last of the items he had purchased.

 

It really hadn’t been a big deal, he thought to himself as he crouched to the ground, rummaging around the cupboard to find the right size pan (the cupboard was filled with all sorts of crap, not just pans, which made this interesting). Bellamy had finished meeting up with Miller that afternoon, after trying to run down another lead on the Sin Lexstra case they had been working on. They were following up on one of the guns left at the latest crime scene, which they had somehow traced to an address in neighborhood of warehouses in the Dead Zone.

 

Once again, a bust. Another wall in their case. But they were determined not to be disheartened. Bellamy hadn’t even thought about it, after that. He was driving past a supermarket and couldn’t help do the mental math that it was less than a mile from Clarke’s apartment. Combined with her bare fridge that he saw the night before, he was pulling in before he could help it.

 

And it wasn’t like it was that much effort to figure out what to get. He’d downloaded a few apps since learning about the baby, one about nutritional guidelines that talked a lot about folic acids and antioxidants (and a lot of other things he was still trying to digest - not physically, thankfully), and it had a list of suggested foods. Most were common sense, in his opinion. But still none that he had seen in her apartment. And none were what she had called him up asking him to bring to her.

 

So he figured maybe she needed to grocery shop. And this way it gave him a peace of mind that Clarke was getting the right kind of food that she needed for their baby.

 

She was growing a person, it was a lot of work. He could save her a trip. It was the least he could do, really.

 

It didn’t really occur to him other than to shoot her a text, saying he was in the neighborhood and at the grocery store, did she need anything?

 

Not that she had responded…

 

But, if she didn’t answer the door, he’d figure she was busy or sleeping. Shit, maybe the door would be unlocked and he could leave everything right inside for her. But he was hoping she’d just be home, just hanging out, if he was lucky.

 

He should have figured that he was not very lucky, and her prickly best friend would be by her side too. And then he barged in on their afternoon, scaring the two of them by showing up unannounced.

 

Though Clarke seemed pretty happy to see him, so there was that, at least.

 

Bellamy grabbed the largest size pan he could find (she didn’t have many) before standing back up slowly. There was only so much space in the small area, and he was distinctly aware of Clarke’s presence leaning against the counter behind him.

 

He set the pan down on the stove top, where it slanted unevenly along the coils of one of the hot plates. It took him another second to realize Clarke had stopped moving behind him.

 

When he glanced back at her, she quickly leaned forward from the counter, hands full. “Sorry, the kitchen is a little small. I have to squeeze past you to put this stuff in the fridge.”

 

The two skirted around each other easily enough as Clarke moved through the kitchen, putting away the various things he’d picked up at the store.

 

As she finished, she shut the fridge, facing him.

 

“Can I start cooking your food now?” He couldn’t help but say it with a little snark.

 

Clarke rolled her eyes, her eyes lighting up in excitement once again. “Fine. Just...shout if you need me, I guess. And….thanks. Again.” She smiled at him, leaning slightly against the fridge door.

 

“Stop thanking me, Princess. You’re ignoring your guest. Stop being rude.” He pointed the butter knife at her in an attempt to shoo her out of the room.

 

Clarke let out a short laugh as she stood up straight and left the room, shouting, “And don’t call me that!” A few moments later, he saw Clarke plop on the couch and heard soft murmuring pick up in the other room.

 

Bellamy made quick work of the sandwiches. They were simple and easy. Something his mom used to make for him, and then he had made for Octavia when he started to watch over her.

 

While the first sandwich grilled (the pan was still fairly small, so he was forced to do one at a time), he searched for plates.

 

There were only a few cabinets. The first one he opened to the left of the stove held a small stack of plastic dishes and cups. He grabbed two easily, setting them on the counter below it.

 

Bellamy was used to being in the kitchen. He was efficient - cleaning as he went, putting the ingredients away (there were only so many places things could be put, really, so it wasn’t too hard to figure out), flipping the sandwiches. It was familiar. He missed cooking for people. It was as he was waiting for the second sandwich did he have time to give this more thought.

 

He definitely was not expecting to be here - at Clarke’s apartment, Saturday afternoon, making grilled PB&J’s for her with her angry friend as company. Once again, since he found out Clarke was pregnant, he figured he needed to seriously adjust his expectations. He could be more prepared than this.

 

He finished the sandwiches, placing them on the plastic plates and carrying them into the living area (which he already figured out was where Clarke ate all her meals - besides standing in the kitchen, apparently).

 

The girls immediately stopped speaking when they heard his footsteps. It was a small place, he couldn’t help but notice again. In the bright daylight, the clutter and lack of any extra space was more apparent than ever.

 

The two women were sitting on either side of the small couch, legs tangled together. Both were looking up at him, Raven expectantly, and Clarke with a wide smile.

 

“Bellamy! That was so fast. I know I just ate but once you mentioned this I could not stop thinking about it.” Clarke untangled her legs, getting up from the couch to grab one of the plates from him.

 

Raven shifted, curling her legs beneath her to sit criss cross on her corner of the couch. Clarke grabbed his hand before turning to sit on the couch, plate still in the other. She sat in the middle, between him and Raven.

 

“Alright,” Bellamy started as he sat down, “Moment of truth. It’s time to decide who can make a better peanut butter and jelly sandwich.” Bellamy could tell that Raven was competitive, so it was kind of fun to push her buttons too.

 

“It’s obviously me, Griffin. You’ve been eating them, like, non-stop.” Bellamy frowned. PB&Js were good snacks, but not good to live off of.

 

“We’ll see,” Clarke said, settling into the couch. Their shoulders were touching, the contact instantly making him aware of how small this couch was, how close they were sitting to each other.

 

Some of the insides dripped out as Clarke took a bite, Bellamy watching for her reaction. Then, Clarke let out a low moan.

 

Bellamy froze.

 

Holy. Shit.

 

The sound immediately reminded him of her other moans - moans he elicited from her during their night together. He tried to refrain from letting out his own groan. That was not a sound he was likely to forget anytime soon.

 

Clarke was oblivious to his struggle, taking another bite happily. Bellamy was still frozen staring at her. He felt his face flushing, knowing he was staring at her.

 

He cleared his throat then, feeling hot all over. As he turned back to his own sandwich, he caught Raven’s eye, who looked like she was laughing at him. He ignored her.

 

“I’m sorry, Rae,” Clarke managed to say after she eaten about a quarter of the way through, “This definitely trumps yours. No offense.”

 

“None taken.” Raven was definitely smirking.

 

The sandwiches were messy and he hadn’t seen any paper towels in the kitchen - was she out? - but they managed to eat them without too much incident. He wished she would have responded to his text while he was at the store, he could have picked that up for her too.

 

“So, Bellamy,” The sandwiches were thin since the bread was so cheap, and it didn’t take long for them to scarf them down. He’d finished his already. Bellamy hadn’t eaten all day so he definitely could use an actual meal once he took off from here. “Clarke told me you’re a cop. A detective, right?”

 

“That’s right.”

 

“Interesting. So-”

 

“Raven,” Clarke shot her a look, which drove home the warning in her tone. Raven shrugged a little, with an innocent expression on her face.

 

“I am just trying to get to know the guy.” Clarke rolled her eyes, elbowing her friend.

 

“Didn’t you have to get going to your gym class?” Clarke turned her head towards her friend. He couldn’t see her face, but he could tell she was doing something by Raven’s amused expression. Bellamy caught a whiff of her shampoo as her head turned, breathing in a floral scent. Clarke smelled good, really good.

 

“Yeah, probably.”

 

Bellamy then let out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding, trying to ignore that it came out a little shaky.

 

Raven stood up, making her way around the coffee table.  Clarke stood up to follow behind her.

 

He didn’t want to be rude so he stood up to say goodbye, trailing after them. “It was nice to meet you, Raven. I’m sure I’ll see you soon.” He was determined not to feel awkward so he added a small wave goodbye.

 

She paused on her way to the door and arched her brow at him. “We’ll see.” Clarked huffed, pushing the taller girl lightly on the arm to get her moving.

 

“Raven,” Clarke snapped.

 

“I’m going, I’m going. Bye, Blake.” Clarke rushed Raven out then. Bellamy heard their hushed voices at the door but actively tried not to listen, wondering if he should get going himself. He showed up unannounced and clearly interrupted her plans, and, as Raven pointed out so nicely earlier, clearly scared her.

 

He gathered both of the PB&J plates that were on the coffee table. The least he could do was help her clean up.

 

When he heard the door click, he made his way to the kitchen as Clarke appeared back into view.

 

“Oh, you didn’t have to do that!” If Bellamy could have picked a word to describe her tone, it would be almost..frustrated. Or maybe embarrassed? He couldn’t quite put his finger on it.

 

“I’m just trying to help.” Clarke stepped in front of him, grabbing the plates back from him.

 

“I know, I appreciate it. But my rule is whoever doesn’t cook, cleans. So I’m on dish duty.” Clarke smiled at him before she turned to place the two plates in the sink. Bellamy still itched to wash them but watched as she turned back to him, meeting his eyes silently.

 

“I guess I should get going then. I don’t want to interrupt the rest of your Saturday.” Clarke was still smiling slightly. They were only a foot or two away from one another, standing in the entryway of her small studio apartment.

 

“You’re not interrupting at all, actually. I really appreciate that you stopped by. You don’t have to do that.” Bellamy frowned.

 

“I know I don’t have to, Clarke. I want to. I told you I’d be around...if we were doing this normally, this is the kind of stuff I’d be doing, right? Making sure you’re eating right?”

 

Bellamy was frustrated. He was reading all the books that were telling him all the right things to do. He’d even done this with Octavia. But the pregnancy part…

 

He barely held together a relationship for longer than six months. Raising a baby with someone? Talk about commitment. He’d thought this failed relationship with Echo had proved he wasn’t ready for a relationship yet. The long-term relationship dating scene is tough, apparently.

 

Bellamy wasn’t sure how to do a good job at this. There aren’t many resources on what to do about the girl you had a one-night-stand with then got accidentally inseminated with your sperm. He was trying to take direction from Clarke, whose emotions since he’d gotten there had been confusing at best.

 

Clarke stepped closer to him. “I don’t know, Bellamy, honestly. All I know is that I’m glad you stopped by. I just don’t want you to feel obligated to, okay? I’m a big girl. I take care of myself.”

 

“Do you, though?” He crossed his arms, quirking an eyebrow at her. He knew how tired she was. He obviously knew she wasn’t eating properly before. Did she remember to take her prenatal vitamins everyday? These things never left his mind since meeting this woman.

 

Clarke huffed this time, crossing her arms over her chest. He tried not to look down when the movement pushed her cleavage up. “I do, Bellamy. And if you have something you’d like to say, then just say it.”

 

Bellamy’s temper rose, despite him trying to keep his cool. He wasn’t known for keeping his cool, but he was really trying to make an effort with her.

 

“There’s still a lot of things we need to work out, Clarke, whether you like it or not. Your job, your apartment-”

 

“What about my apartment?” She snapped, taking another step closer into his space. She was close enough that he could feel her body heat, her body brushing his when she shifted her weight.

 

“I don’t know where to start, Clarke. With the area or the size. Do you think you’ll be taking a lot of walks with the stroller around here? Where are you going to keep the stroller, anyway? Or what about the crib?” For how upset he was, his voice was steady. Bellamy knew that yelling and arguments were not good for pregnant women - stress, in general, really. He didn’t want to have this conversation now, but he couldn’t help it. Clarke made it so hard for him to take care of her. And for what reason?

 

“I’ll figure it out,” She said heatedly. Her blue eyes shone with anger, but with something else too. Something more vulnerable. Bellamy let out a breath, closing his eyes for a brief moment. He reopened them, uncrossing his arms.

 

“Let me help you, Clarke.” He stared down at her. “You just have to let me.” They stared at each other for another second, before Clarke’s posture relaxed, her arms uncrossing.

 

“I know. I want to let you help. This is all just new for me, Bellamy. I haven’t let a lot of people...help in a long time. It’s going to take a lot to get used to someone else being around too.”

 

“Well, get used to it,” He assured her wryly, “Pretty sure I’m not going anywhere for a long time.”

 

“I’ll hold you to that. In the meantime, you make some valid points...at least about the space. I’ll have to start looking for something bigger. Or maybe move in with my mom.”

 

“Your mom?” He echoed, a panicked feeling rising. He knew there were some cases of grandparents wanting - and getting - full custody. And where was her mom from? Didn’t Clarke say she only moved here because her dad grew up here?

 

His mind was moving rapidly, trying not to instantly think that Clarke has suddenly betrayed him.

 

“Yeah, she lives in town. Not actually sure where exactly….” Bellamy felt relief fill his body. In town. At least not in some other state. He tried to squash his paranoia.

 

“It’s nice. That the baby will have a grandparent.” His mother was dead, his father who knows where since he was a kid. Octavia’s father...well, he was pretty sure he was still in jail. Not that that particular piece of shit was qualified to be anyone’s father, let alone grandfather.

 

Clarke stared at him blankly before smiling at him at that. “Yeah. That is nice.” He couldn’t help but smile in return. Bellamy knew he was still staring down at her, knew he needed to get out of there.

 

Bellamy cleared his throat, snapping both of them out of it.  “Alright, well I should get going. Have a nice night, Clarke. And, seriously, again, text me if you need something.”

 

“I will. Thanks, Bell.” Clarke took the small step into the rest of his personal space, wrapping her arms around him for the second time that day. His arms immediately went around her back, her head tucked against his shoulder. He smelled her floral shampoo again.

 

But then just like that, she backed away and was out of his arms, leaving them dangling at his side aimlessly.

 

“Bye, Clarke.” He turned, giving her one last small smile, before heading out the door.

 

It wasn’t until the door shut, the lock turning shortly after, that he realized his body was warm all over. Not just from the hug - but she had called him Bell.

Chapter Text

Clarke got to the hospital early Sunday like usual. She had spent the rest of her Saturday night at home, laying in bed trying to process everything that had happened. Interacting with Bellamy always felt like a rollercoaster. Sometimes they were on the same page, like they could read each other’s thoughts. Then other times...she felt like she was going to strangle him. Especially when he made valid points. She was glad he had given her the out and dropped everything about her job and apartment.

 

She didn’t get it. She would have thought a lot of people would have killed to have a doctor in the family. Didn’t it show she was responsible? She saves lives! She can definitely handle a baby.

 

But something about how Bellamy spoke to her made her feel like being a doctor was being irresponsible.  What did he expect from her? To quit her job for a few weeks? Was he crazy? Clarke needed the money now more than ever. And it wasn’t like her job was going to let her take a few weeks off because she was tired and pregnant. Besides, she had to save her time off for her maternity leave.

 

Clarke yawned, feeling the lack of actual caffeinated coffee more than ever on these early shifts. She was working the E.R. today, which meant that hopefully the day would go by fast.

 

And it did. Clarke was elbow deep in various illnesses, injuries and ailments for hours at a time. It wasn’t lost on her - she wore gloves and masks when needed. She wasn’t sure if Bellamy had put it together that part of her job was dealing with sick patients in a hospital filled with germs - no matter how careful she was. She was not looking forward to that conversation.

 

When she finally took a short break for lunch, she made a point to travel to the maternity ward.

 

The walls were white and the floor was especially shiny in this wing. There weren’t as many rushed gurney's traveling throughout the hallways, so it meant the floor was a little cleaner with less wear and tear. They almost sparkled against the fluorescent lighting.

 

There were a few cork boards that lined the hallway before the nurse’s station. The boards were filled with resource pamphlets, informational sessions, various classes and professional services. Clarke tried not to feel overwhelmed looking at them all.

 

Clarke took a closer look at a few.  She’d like some that might be offered a few times a week with the same instructor. Ideally, so it wouldn’t matter when her shifts were, she could go to any of them.

 

She saw a calendar of events and noticed at the top it was Arcadia Family Community Center. It didn’t look too far from Bellamy’s house, actually, from where she could remember. At least in his area of town. It had multiple types of classes different days of the weeks at different times. It looked like they even offered yoga and fitness classes.

 

Don’t get ahead of yourself, Clarke. She thought, folding the paper into quarters and shoving it in the pocket of her scrubs.

 

She grabbed a few more independent flyers of therapists, nutritionists, new parent workshops, and, after a moment of hesitation, a pregnancy yoga class flyer. Basically, anything that had something to take, she grabbed. Who knew what she would need, right?

 

Clarke hurriedly folded the papers, looking around to see if any of her colleagues were watching. Which was silly, of course, because she barely knew any of her fellow residents, let alone residents working in the OB unit. But she was still a little paranoid. She hadn’t officially reported her pregnancy to work. It was still very early and she wanted to be sure, anyway.

 

Which was another terrifying thought that her and Bellamy hadn’t touched on. Everything was still early. Who knows what could happen.

 

Clarke shoved the thought down as she turned back down the hallway back to her own unit locker to put the flyers away. She still had a long shift left to go.

 

Halfway through the next day of her shift, Clarke fainted in the middle of surgery.

 

It was an emergency appendectomy from a patient that was brought in to the E.R. Clarke was just observing this one, thankfully, so she was standing a few feet from the side of the operating table.

 

They were in the middle of the second ligation in removing the appendix when Clarke’s vision started to spot. It took her a second to realize that there weren’t actual black spots all over the room, and that it was her head that was spinning, not the room, but by that point -

_________________________

 

Clarke woke up in a hospital bed.

 

It should’ve been more familiar. Considering, you know, she worked at a hospital. But it was never from this perspective, so as Clarke’s eyes fluttered open, she jerked in surprise to see tubes coming out of her arm, her clothes missing and replaced with the hospital issued gown.

 

She was definitely wide awake now.

 

Clarke looked around the room, seeing that she was in a private one, but she was alone. Her immediate thought was the baby-

 

She narrowed her eyes at the chart that was sitting on the end of the bed, before looking over at the I.V. drip that was on rollers next to her bed.

 

“Don’t even think about it.” A voice called from the doorway to her right. Clarke jerked back, leaning back into her pillow, before looking over at the intruder.

 

Abby Griffin. Typical.

 

Her mother walked - no, strode - into the room, grabbing the chart that had been just out of her reach.

 

While her mother no longer performed as many surgeries, trading in her scrubs for a classy business suit, she still wore her white coat over the ensemble. She meant doctor business today, apparently.

 

“Mom, the baby-” Clarke knew she just fainted but...she was a doctor. There were a million reasons she could have fainted, and most of them had long names she read late at night while freaking out over being pregnant.

 

“Is fine.” Abby cut her off, eyes scanning over the chart with scrutiny. “And you’re dehydrated and anemic. And pregnant, but I knew that already.” Her mother met her gaze at the last words.

 

Clarke couldn’t help but feel relief flood through her at her mother’s words.

 

“Okay. Okay, good. Then I’m fine. Really, I just didn’t have time to grab something before I got pulled into a surgery. You know how it is.”

 

“Clarke, stop. Even if you weren’t my daughter, or pregnant, you’re still an employee that fainted in our hospital. This is serious.”

 

“Mom, don’t be ridiculous. This was a one-time thing, okay? And I’m pregnant, not useless.”

 

Her mother opened her mouth to respond, but a voice interrupted again from the doorway.

 

“I’m here, I’m here! What happened? Is the baby okay?” Clarke was grateful to see Raven in the doorway, breathing fast.

 

Her mother looked positively thrilled. “Raven! You got here fast. Yes, the baby is just fine.” Her mother was smiling widely as Raven made her way to the chair beside Clarke’s bed. Raven grabbed her hand in her own, squeezing tightly.

 

“Thanks for coming,” Clarke murmured. Raven nodded, before turning back to Abby.

 

“So, what happened?” Raven released her hand with a final squeeze, leaning back and crossing her arms.

 

“Clarke fainted during surgery.” Her mother shot her a look.

 

“Fuck, seriously? Why? Are you sick? But the baby’s okay? Is Clarke sick?” Raven popped back forward in her chair.

 

“Clarke is fine enough. I was just getting to that part, actually.”

 

“Clarke,” She finally interrupted herself, “Is sitting right here and can hear you both. I’m fine . I didn’t get a chance to grab food before I was rushed into that appy. It’s really not a big deal.”

 

Raven and her mother shot her identical looks of disbelief.

 

“You fainted, Griffin. I don’t call that fine. What’s the deal, Abby?”

 

“I’m not her doctor, actually. Jackson is. He’ll be in shortly. But…” Her mother paused, looking her over. “I’d recommend a short leave from work. Make sure you’re hydrating and eating regular meals. Getting enough sleep. You’re taking your prenatals? It looks like you were deficient in some areas.”

 

Jesus Christ. Who knew getting pregnant meant her entire health was going to be monitored by everyone around her.

 

“Yes,” She snapped shortly. “And I’m not taking leave.” Her mother stood up a little straighter to square off at her.

 

“Clarke Elizabeth Griffin, you will take leave if your doctor orders it or I will make you. That is my grandchild you’re carrying!”

 

Raven burst out laughing next to her.

 

Clarke rolled her eyes, refraining from arguing further when she could see it was a pointless battle. “Whatever. Send Doctor Jackson in, please, so I can get back to work.”

 

Her mother narrowed her eyes, slamming her chart down at the end of her bed. Before she got too far, though, she turned back around to walk to the unoccupied side of Clarke’s bed.

 

Abby leaned over the hospital bed and Clarke sat up. She wrapped her arms around her in a tight hug. “I was so worried, Clarke,” Her mother whispered in her ear, “I’m glad you and the baby are okay. I’ll call you later.”

 

“Thanks, Mom,” Clarke replied quietly as they pulled apart. Her mother looked at her for a moment, before nodding at her and turning to go.

 

“See you soon, Raven!” And with that, her mother left the room with a small wave.

 

Clarke glanced over at Raven, who was still giving her a look from her position in the chair next to her.

 

“What?” She asked when Raven didn’t say anything.

 

“You know what. What’s up, Griffin? Why did I get a call at work that you’ve been hospitalized ?”

 

“I should never have put you down as my emergency contact.” Raven leaned over to hit her lightly on the arm.

 

“What happened?” Raven asked, still leaning forward in her chair, her arms resting on the edge of her bed.

 

“Nothing happened. Seriously.” And that was the truth, Clarke was fine, baby was fine. A little freaked out, sure, but fine.

 

Raven was staring at her blankly. “Okay, look. I know you’re working on this, but you have to do better. Your Mom said you’re not taking your prenatals?”

 

She was...just not everyday. Like today, when she forgot them at home before she left for her shift. Clarke remained silent, knowing whatever excuse she was going to give Raven wouldn’t be acceptable anyway.

 

“I’m calling Bellamy.” Raven stood up from her chair.

 

Clarke’s stomach dropped. She hadn’t even thought about him since she woke up in this bed. She probably should call him, to let him know what had happened and that the baby was okay. She was still getting used to have to answer to someone else too.

 

“No,” She said quickly, Raven quirking an eyebrow, “I should call him. Where is my phone?”

 

“I’ll go find it.”

 

It was only a few moments after she left, Clarke still eying her chart in extreme curiosity where her mother slammed it down at the base of her bed, before Doctor Jackson walked into the room.

 

Clarke liked working with Jackson. He was always calm and patient, taking the time to walk her through steps and procedures. She just never thought she’d be his patient.

 

“Hello, Clarke,” He greeted with a smile. He walked straight up to her chart in the same manner her mother did, picking it up with practiced ease. “How are you feeling? You bumped your head a little when you fainted.”

 

“I did?” She asked, reaching a hand around to the back of her head. It did feel a little tender, now that she was paying attention.

 

“Not too hard,” He assured, glancing up to give her another reassuring smile. “And congratulations, by the way! I had no idea you were pregnant.” Jackson held up her chart for reference.

 

Clarke tried not to groan. She didn’t realize that this was her announcement to her workplace. She was trying to put that part off as long as possible.

 

“Thank you,” Clarke finally said, realizing it was rude not to respond at all. “I’m not too far along, that’s why I haven’t said anything yet.” Jackson nodded in understanding, continuing to review her chart.

 

“Well, Clarke. It looks like everything is fine for the most part. I’m going to have an OBGYN come in just to make sure everything is completely fine with the baby-”

 

“But my Mom said the baby was fine.” Clarke interrupted, feeling her heart start to race.

 

“According to your labs, the baby is fine.” Jackson looked at her, his voice soothing. “But we have to run some tests just to make sure. We can’t be 100% sure why you fainted, so we just want to rule some things out. You can never be too careful.”

 

Clarke knew that, knew that was standard protocol. But being on the receiving end and knowing it is standard protocol is still not very reassuring.

 

Clarke let out a breath, leaning her head back against the pillow to stare at the ceiling.

 

“I need everything to be okay, Jackson.” Clarke said quietly, hoping, but also not hoping, he heard her.

 

“It will be, Clarke. But we need to talk about your health until the OB gets here. How have you been feeling lately?”

 

God, doctors are annoying. Being one herself, she knew these were important questions but it didn’t stop her from feeling like she should be the one asking questions and not answering them.

 

Clarke lifted her head back up to look at him. “Fine. A little tired. I’ve been throwing up a lot so it’s been hard to keep some food down. It’s been hard to sleep.”

 

Before Jackson could respond, Raven came back into the room holding her cell phone.

 

“Raven,” Clarke greeted, holding out her hand as the woman stepped forward into the room, “This is Doctor Jackson. Jackson, this is my friend Raven.”

 

“Hello,” He greeted politely. Raven nodded at him in return as she slid Clarke’s cell phone into her waiting hand.

 

“Well,” Jackson continued, “Your blood pressure is a little high. Nothing to be concerned about yet, but I do want to wait and see what the OB says. I see that you have a doctor at the Polis Clinic, so I’m sure he went over this information with you then, and,” He added, “I know you know a lot of this, but I have to go over it with you. Okay?”

 

Clarke felt like she was being babied but tried to get over it. Apparently this is what being pregnant means. “Yes, but I’d like to call,” She cleared her throat and tried not to blush, feeling her cheeks heat despite themselves anyway, “The baby’s father first, before the OB gets here, if that’s okay?”

 

“Of course,” Jackson nodded, either not noticing or pretending not to notice her embarrassment.

 

“Actually, I texted him already.” Raven crossed her arms over her chest as Clarke whipped to look at her.

 

“What!? Why! What did you say?” Clarke hurried to unlock her phone.

 

“Take it easy, Griffin, you’re supposed to be relaxing.” Raven uncrossed her arms to lean forward towards her again. “I told him that you were in the hospital and he should head over when he can and it’s not serious. I wasn’t sure if you were actually going to do it, and he should be here.”

 

Clarke groaned reading over the message.

 

Admitted to hospital at MW. Everything’s fine. Come when you can.

 

It wasn’t anything terrible except being a little short (typical Raven), but she knew Bellamy was going to flip out anyway.

 

“I know. You’re right.” She sighed, turning the phone over to ignore it, before turning her attention back to her doctor. “Okay, please continue, Jackson, I’m sorry-”

 

Her phone started to ring loudly, startling and interrupting her mid-sentence. Without looking at the screen, she knew who was calling.

 

“It’s Bellamy,” Clarke showed Raven the screen.

 

“Well, answer it!” Clarke started flushing more, especially knowing that Jackson was trying to focus on her chart - though there couldn’t have been that much on there - and politely ignoring them in an attempt to give them some privacy.

 

She slid the button to answer the call, pressing her phone to her ear. “Bellamy?”

 

“Clarke, are you and the baby okay? What happened? I’m on my way to Mount Weather now. What room are you in?” Bellamy sounded breathless, the words spewing out so fast Clarke couldn’t get a word in.

 

“Yes, we’re fine. The OB is coming in shortly. I’m in room….” She glanced over at Raven who motioned with her fingers, “302. It’s nothing serious, okay? Just drive carefully.” Clarke could hear Bellamy swearing at the drivers around him under his breath.

 

“I am. What happened?” He was shorter this time with an edge to his voice, his worry replaced with frustration. Abort, abort. Clarke did not want to open this can of worms in front of a higher up colleague.

 

“Bellamy, I’m going to hand you over to Raven, my doctor is here and needs to talk to me, okay?” Raven narrowed her eyes at her, not liking the fact Clarke was passing the buck of Angry Bellamy on to her.

 

“Clarke, wait, no-” She could hear him protesting but she passed the phone back over to Raven, who took it grudgingly.

 

“Blake, calm down,” Raven said flatly into the phone, standing up to leave the room. She held the phone away from her ear for a second, rolling her eyes as she went. Clarke held back a smile as she watched her best friend walk out of the room, taking the metaphorical bullet for her.

 

“Sorry, Jackson, you were saying?” Clarke asked politely, once Raven had left. Jackson looked up from the chart, finally putting it back down and away.

 

“Right. You said you were experiencing nausea and exhaustion. Some of these things your OB can get into further detail on but the exhaustion…” Jackson hesitated before continuing, “I’m recommending to your Chief Resident to cut your hours, at least for a few weeks.” Clarke’s stomach plummeted. She could not afford to lose the hours.

 

“Jackson,” She hoped her tone did not sound as panicked as she felt, “I hardly think that’s necessary. This was a fluke. It won’t happen again. I’ll be more consistent with my prenatal vitamins, okay?” Maybe an alarm on her phone?

 

“Clarke,” Jackson’s wide brown eyes were always gentle, and now was no exception, but it was paired with a sad smile, “I know how much you love your job. I promise it’ll get easier. But you have to take care of yourself. And that includes slowing down a little bit, getting some consistent sleep. You can’t be working sixty or seventy hour work weeks. Not at this stage.”

 

Clarke’s eyes watered as she nodded, trying her best not to cry. She was not normally a crier, but goddamnit what was she going to do? Her student loans from medical school took up an entire paycheck. Her rent ate up most of the other; utilities, gas and groceries took up what was left. Clarke lived paycheck to paycheck as a resident. She had a few years before she was going to be making the kind of money where she could afford a nicer situation. She needed all her hours.

 

It was why she had, as a last resort, thought about moving in with her mother.

 

But she wanted this baby. So she’d figure it out. She always did.

 

Clarke let out a breath, blinking away the tears quickly. “Okay. Well, I guess I’ll be talking to my Chief Resident about my schedule.” Jackson’s shoulders relaxed a little in relief, his smile returning a little.

 

Raven re-entered the room then, a frazzled expression on her face. Clarke was instantly on the alarm, “Everything okay?”

 

Raven nodded jerkily as she collapsed into the chair once again, handing the phone over silently. She gave Jakson a tight smile. “Go on, I don’t want to interrupt.”

 

Jackson looked at Clarke. Clarke looked scrutinously at Raven. Her friend was wearing her work clothes - khaki pants and steel toed boots, her hair pulled back in a tight ponytail. She didn’t look upset or angry, but instead had schooled her previous frazzled look into a blank expression. Clarke gave her one last suspicious look before turning back to Jackson, giving him a small nod.

 

“Actually, Clarke, that was the main thing I needed to discuss with you. Your OB will be in shortly to go over everything else in detail and to do an ultrasound.”

 

“Thank you, Jackson.”

 

Jackson nodded to Clarke with a small smile, “And congratulations again, Clarke.”

 

Clarke could only give him a jerky nod in return.


She and Raven sat in only a moment of silence before she turned and looked at her friend. “So Bellamy is on his way.” It wasn’t a question, just a statement. She couldn’t imagine what Bellamy had said to Raven on the phone to frazzle her - even for just a moment before Raven recovered.

 

“Yes.” She said simply.

 

Clarke let out a breath, her hand smoothing over the thinly knitted hospital blanket. “Is he mad?”

 

Raven only “hmm’d” in response, leaving Clarke to wonder what exactly that meant.

 

She didn’t have to wonder for too much longer, hearing distinctive shouts coming from the hallway.

 

As the shouting got closer, it became a little clearer - the voice familiar, “-still MY baby, too, you know!”

 

Clarke cringed when she heard the shouting, feeling bad for whatever poor nurse or intern Bellamy was yelling at, looking over to Raven. “Can you run and get him before he gets thrown out of the hospital?”

 

She didn’t have to finish her sentence before Raven was out of the chair and out the door, “Jesus, Christ, Blake, stop making a scene!”

 

Clarke waited anxiously for the two to appear back in the doorway. Less than a second later, Bellamy appeared in the doorway.

 

Even though she was expecting him, knew he was there, it still caught her off guard every time she saw him. Like imagining his face for so long in her fantasies just made him come to life, or something. Like she was getting away with something.

 

She smiled, not being able to help herself at seeing his frazzled expression. His hair was windblown, sticking out all over his head. He was appraising her from his stance in the doorway, hands clutching the doorframe on either side.

 

“Hi, Bellamy,” She greeted with a small wave. He didn’t answer right away, his eyes roving over her body.

 

“Clarke. You’re okay.” He dropped his arms from the door frame, striding into the room confidently. Raven appeared behind him slowly.

 

Clarke rolled her eyes. “Of course I’m okay. I told you that. Raven told you that.”

 

He ignored her, pulling the chair up closer to the bed and sitting down. He was ignoring Raven behind him.

 

“What happened?” He asked flatly, arms crossed over his suited chest. He was always wearing a nice suit jacket over a crisp collared shirt when he was working, she noticed.

 

Her friend was standing next to them, watching them with an interested expression on her face. Clarke did not like it. As if sensing her attention, Raven caught her eye, giving her a smirk.

 

“Clarke, I’m going to head back to work. Call me if you need something, okay?” Clarke shook her head quickly.

 

“Wait, Raven, no, stay!” Clarke called to her desperately, watching as her friend saluting her and gave a short nod to Bellamy on her way out.

 

Clarke collapsed against the pillows again, trying to ignore the heat of Bellamy’s stare.

 

“Bellamy, it’s not a big deal. I just didn’t get a chance to grab food before I got pulled into surgery. It just happens.”

 

Clarke hated that this happened right after they talked about her job on Saturday. She hated conceding that he had valid points. It was even worse having them be proven true less than a few days later.

 

“It doesn’t just happen , Clarke,” He snapped angrily. There was a furrow between his eyebrows that was more than just frustration. Clarke realized he was worried.

 

“You’re right,” She said soothingly, going for a placating tone. Clarke reached her hand over the side of the bed, palm open towards his. He stared at her hand for a moment, before uncrossing his arms and grudgingly putting his hand in hers.

 

“You’re right,” She repeated, once he took it. “I talked to my doctor here. They are scaling my hours back, at least for a few weeks, okay?” His hand was warm around hers, making her whole body feel warm. But it was the weight of his stare that made her feel truly hot all over.

 

His body seemed to relax at that. “Really?” He asked quietly, the grip on her hand tightening.

 

“Really. I’m talking to my supervisor when I can, maybe after the OB gets done here.”

 

Bellamy sat up straighter, his other hand coming to brush his hair out subconsciously. “The OB? I thought you said the baby was okay?”

 

Clarke gripped his hand before he could pull it away. They were in this together.

 

“It’s just protocol.” She assured him. Bellamy looked somewhat satisfied, if not disgruntled, leaning back in the small chair.

 

“You scared me, Clarke.” His warm brown eyes hadn’t left hers, as if afraid she was going to disappear.

 

“I’m sorry,” She responded just as quietly. She knew she had to be better and this was just a wake up call. Maybe with the free time from her hours, she’d be able to attend more classes...maybe figure out some long term plans. Not be as tired, get some more sleep.

 

As stressed as she was about saving money for the baby and paying all of her bills, this might be better in the long run. She’d figure it out.

 

Bellamy was about to respond when there was a knock on the door, though it was open.

 

They both looked over to the doorway to see the newcomer.

 

“Hello, you must be Clarke Griffin. I’m Doctor Forrester, your OBGYN today,” The woman greeted as she entered the room, her tone clinical yet confident, “But you can call me Lexa.”

Chapter Text

Bellamy could count the times he had been genuinely afraid on one hand. And being a police officer, that is saying something. It might have to do with the fact that if it didn’t have to do with Octavia being in danger, he really didn’t care what happened to himself. It made him pretty good at his job, actually.

 

But getting a vague text message that Clarke was not just at the hospital (which wouldn’t concern him since she, you know, worked there), but admitted to said hospital? He was surprised he didn’t cause a number of accidents on the way over. He already stranded Miller across town to get an Uber ride back to the station. They were mid-lunch when he got the text, and no way was he waiting to finish and pay before going to the hospital.

 

He knew he may have overreacted a little bit . But Clarke had just handed him right off to Raven - who was prickly already - and her tone did not sit well with him. He may have said (yelled) some things he’ll need to apologize for. Later.

 

Bellamy’s heart hammered in his chest his entire way over until the moment he saw Clarke propped up against the hospital bed pillows, looking at him both sheepishly and with exasperation - like she really didn’t expect him to drop everything to get here.

 

Part of him was relieved, yes. And once she said the OB still needed to clear her, a part of him was filled with worry. And a large part was frustrated with Clarke. But that could wait.

 

The OB, Lexa, was a slight woman that looked about his age. She had dark hair but light eyes, and was, definitely, striking. But her eyes were sharp and trained on Clarke next to him. She had a commanding presence as soon as she strode into the room confidently. But there was something about her put him on edge instantly, and he wasn’t sure what it was.  

 

“Hi, Doctor Forrester,” Clarke greeted politely next to him. Bellamy wasn’t sure why he was glad she ignored the use of the doctor’s first name. Maybe professional courtesy? The doctor’s eyes flashed briefly in disappointment before they cleared.

 

“It seems you took a small tumble, Ms. Griffin,” Lexa seemed to take Clarke’s hint and used her formal last name, grabbing Clarke’s chart from the edge of the bed.

 

“The doctor cleared your head, but we’re going to get an ultrasound in here just to make sure everything looks okay with the baby. The tests all came back good. It says here your primary care physician is at the Polis Clinic?” Lexa glanced up, her focus solely on Clarke.

 

Clarke nodded slowly next to him. “And you’re about nine weeks along?” Lexa continued, her eyes back down at the chart.

 

It felt like Bellamy barely existed to the doctor in front of them. But Clarke was still holding onto his hand, which somewhat made the whole situation better.

 

“Yes, that’s right.” Lexa nodded. A moment later, a nurse came in pushing a portable ultrasound machine, Lexa jotting down some notes on the chart.

 

“Alright, have you had an ultrasound yet?” Lexa set her chart aside as she thanked the nurse who finished setting the machine up.

 

“Yes.” She confirmed next to him, her eyes watching as the other doctor started to unwind the cord.

 

“Okay, then, this will be no problem, just a little cold. Can you lift your shirt up for me, please?” Before Lexa could help Clarke maneuver - Bellamy saw her about to move toward her - Bellamy got up from the chair to help Clarke lay back against the pillows.

 

Bellamy hovered around Clarke’s head, not sure exactly where to go, until the cold jelly-like substance hit her flat tummy, and her hand reached back up instantly to grab for his. He heard her let out a small hiss when it made contact with her skin.

 

A few seconds later and both he and Clarke’s focus were trained at the small, staticy screen. After a few moments of a calming “whooshing” sound that seemed to fill the entire room, the familiar thrum of a heartbeat filled the room.

 

Just like the first time, Bellamy seemed to freeze at the sound. The grip on his hand tightened, but he could barely spare Clarke a glance, trying to make out any semblance of a shape on the staticy screen. He couldn’t really see anything yet.

 

“And there’s your baby,” Lexa murmured quietly, staring intently at the screen.

 

They didn’t have as nice of a screen at the Polis Clinic, and what looked like blobs against a static screen last week to him now looked a little more...pronounced.

 

He heard Clarke inhale a breath next to him in a soft gasp, her hand squeezing his tightly.

 

“There’s our baby, Bell,” Clarke echoed the doctor’s words quietly to him, but her tone was soft, making him erupt in goosebumps. They were both staring intently at the small bean-shape that stood out against the screen. It was tiny, barely a shape at all.

 

“Everything looks good,” Lexa continued, oblivious to how the world continued to shift for them. “I need to go over a few things with you and ask a few follow up questions, then you should be able to be discharged and head home.”

 

Without warning, Lexa removed the probe to begin packing the machine away. He wanted to protest, to have a few minutes more to see if he could see what she was seeing, and noticed Clarke was leaning forward, mouth open to protest as well.

 

Their eyes met briefly and he saw Clarke’s eyes glance down to where their hands were still holding.

 

She let go quickly, leaning back away from him in the bed. Lexa handed her a small towel then, giving Clarke a smile as she did, “Here.”

 

“Thank you,” Clarke returned her smile, cleaning up quickly.

 

As Clarke got comfortable once again, Lexa returned to her chart, jotting a few more notes down.

 

She looked up, staring at Clarke intently. “Can you walk me through exactly what happened before you fainted?”

 

Hearing Clarke retell the story didn’t make it any less frightening, even after he’d already heard it from Raven. Bellamy tried to push down his frustration again. Knowing Clarke’s job - and her inability to eat three solid meals a day, apparently - was the reason she fainted really ticked him off. He could feel his own jaw clenching.

 

“I agree with Doctor Jackson’s assessment. With a risk of miscarriage this early in the pregnancy, it’s important to get enough rest and make sure you’re taking care of yourself.”

 

At the word miscarriage, he looked down at Clarke, alarmed. It was something Doctor Nyko had mentioned toward the end of their appointment, at the higher risk early in the pregnancy, but neither of them had broached it since they left the office.

 

He wondered what Doctor Jackson’s assessment was, but couldn’t help but agree with both doctors, if it meant Clarke would slow down.

 

Clarke looked like she wanted to disappear, especially when Lexa mentioned Doctor Jackson’s assessment. She froze, glancing over at him with a semi panicked look on her face, before she recovered, her face neutral.

 

“And about the fainting. It sounds like you were right, all the tests came back okay and the ultrasound didn’t show anything abnormal. Especially with your morning sickness, the best thing to do is to make sure you always have something on your stomach. Eat small portions throughout the day if you can’t get three regular meals in.”

 

Lexa’s gaze was...intense. And Bellamy wasn’t even on the receiving end of it.

 

She continued, “I’d also suggest a more bland food diet if you’re experiencing more extreme nausea.  Avoid spicy foods and try to stick to more carbohydrates. Make sure you are taking your prenatal vitamins consistently. Try to get your sleep whenever you can. Do you have any other questions?”

 

Bellamy was able to observe Lexa pretty well since she was completely ignoring his existence in the room at all, either knowing who he was or assuming.  She was clinical yet intense. He wanted to attribute that to the fact that she was a good doctor that cared about her patients, but...something felt weird about her, about the way she looked at Clarke.

 

He cleared his throat, “I have a question.”

 

Lexa watched Clarke another second before looking over at him, looking irritated. “Yes?”

 

What the fuck? What did he ever do to her? This woman rubbed him the wrong way.

 

He felt a little vindicated when he saw Clarke stiffen in response to her tone and the look on her face.

 

“What else can we do about the nausea?”

 

Lexa pursed her lips, turning her attention back to Clarke. “Well, let’s start with some simple steps first. Try taking Vitamin B6, that sometimes help with nausea. And there’s always things like natural ginger. If you experience any significant weight loss or extreme vomiting, then come back in. For now, just take it easy.”

 

Back to being ignored, he guessed. If this wasn’t Clarke’s doctor, he’d give her a piece of his mind out in the hallway. Bellamy felt like a cat with its hackles raised. She was looking at him like…

 

Like he was a sperm donor, or something.

 

The thought pissed him off, even if he couldn’t prove that was what she was thinking. He wondered if she knew, wondered how much her work now knew about their..relationship. How true that thought was, really. Maybe he was projecting a little. This whole thing was feeling worse by the minute.

 

Clarke nodded next to him, seemingly oblivious to his heightening inner turmoil.

 

“I guess I can do that,” Clarke’s smile was tight, not reaching her eyes.

 

Lexa lingered for another moment before she put Clarke’s chart aside.

 

“Great,” Lexa seemed to smile then, her face transforming - Bellamy hated to say it - to something he could acknowledge as beautiful, “Good luck, Clarke.” Bellamy straightened at the use of Clarke’s first name, hating not only how it sounded coming out of her mouth, but how much he cared about it at all. Then she continued, “I’ll see you around.”

 

Lexa glanced at him, sparing him a nod on her way out the door.

 

“She was pleasant,” He said dryly, looking down at Clarke. He crossed his arms over his chest when she rolled her eyes and he slumped down in the chair next to her bed.

 

“Let me guess,” She asked, sitting up straighter in the bed to look him in the eye, “You are now fully convinced I have to switch my OB to Mount Weather. I am not gonna lie, after seeing that ultrasound, I’m a little convinced.” She was teasing him, he knew, but he wasn’t really in the mood to laugh. Not after the disaster that was Lexa Forrester and the heart attack he almost had on the way over here.

 

“Clarke-”

 

“They’re cutting my hours, okay?” Clarke interrupted, a little loudly, likely sensing his line of conversation by his tone.

 

“They’re what?” That wasn’t quite where he thought this was going.

 

“That was Jackson’s recommendation.” Clarke said this much quieter.

 

“Oh.” Well...that is good, right?

 

By the look on Clarke’s face, it didn’t seem like she thought so.

 

“Yes,” She said shortly. Clarke didn’t say anything more on the topic and looked like she really wanted to change the subject.

 

Well, too bad. She’s the one that got herself landed in here in the first place.

 

That reminder brought back his frustration to the surface again.

 

“What happened, Clarke? Really. Cut the bullshit. This is serious.” The pinched look on Clarke’s face didn’t go away, but rather got worse - her face screwing up in anger.

 

“I’m doing the best I can!” She burst out, not quite a shout but loud enough that Bellamy was worried about someone hearing from the hallway.

 

“I know it’s serious, Bellamy. I want to take care of this baby. And I’ll follow the doctor’s orders, okay? I’ll even…” Some of her anger deflated with her hesitation, “I’ll even switch OBs, to come here. The equipment is state of the art here. I was being...stubborn, earlier.”

 

He certainly wasn’t expecting Clarke to concede on such a large point, but maybe because the cat was out of the bag anyway? Bellamy wasn’t going to question it further, not when she was conceding this battle.

 

“That’s...good.” He said cautiously. Clarke just nodded, avoiding his gaze, the fight seeming to leave her.

 

Bellamy sighed. There wasn’t exactly a rulebook on how to handle this kind of thing. He felt like he was navigating through landmines.

 

“Clarke,” He tried again quietly. She looked back toward him, her blue eyes wide but staring right at him. It always sort of electrified him when she stared at him like that.

 

“I’d like to help with more. Like I did this weekend with the groceries…” Clarke didn’t say a word, but didn’t start protesting, so he continued, “I could could cook dinners. Or help you meal prep for work. Pick up groceries. Put gas in your car. You could even save money, do laundry at my place.” That part seemed to catch her attention, at least. He noticed she didn’t have a washer or dryer in her apartment.

 

“I don’t need you to buy me shit, okay? But,” Clarke conceded a little grudgingly, “I could be open to doing laundry at your place. I’d offer to cook but that wouldn’t end very well for either of us.”

 

“Obviously,” He said dryly, glancing around the hospital room.

 

Clarke leaned over to smack him on the arm lightly, which he avoided easily. She couldn’t move very fast and she started laughing as she leaned over, anyway.

 

“Hey!” Clarke retorted indignantly, “That was just a fluke, okay? A shitty timed fluke, given our conversation this weekend, I admit. But really, Bellamy, I know I need to do better. I’ve really been trying, the time just got away from me. I’ll do like Lexa suggested and carry snacks, eat often. I wasn’t doing that before.”

 

“And why not, Clarke? I thought you were a doctor, I thought you knew better!” Bellamy hated that he felt like he was lecturing her but this was serious ! Clarke fainted . What if something had happened to the baby? What if Clarke had hit her head a little harder?

 

Clarke stared back at him silently, pursing her lips for a moment. “You’re right. I’m sorry, Bellamy. There’s no excuses. Thank you. For coming.”

 

Bellamy was surprised that Clarke didn’t snap at him back, but felt his anger and frustration leave at her apology.

 

“Of course, Clarke. I told you I’m here. I guess I have to keep reminding you.” He smiled at her then, reaching over to squeeze her arm. Bellamy watched her eyes follow the movement of his hand as it pulled back away from her arm, her eyes sliding back up to his.

 

“I guess so. But thanks for coming, anyway. Now, can you see what you can do about getting me out of here?” Clarke smiled at him then, sitting up a little straighter in the hospital bed.

 

“I’ll see what I can do,” He said, getting up from the chair with a smirk.

 

Once she was discharged, she insisted on driving herself home, but Bellamy followed her home anyway.

 

“You really don’t have to do this,” She told him after she’d gotten back into her scrubs. He waited outside in the hallway for her as she grabbed her things.

 

“I know,” He responded easily as they began walking back toward the main lobby. She remained silent as they walked, but it was comfortable.

 

“So,” Clarke began and he looked over at her. She was reaching into her purse, “I grabbed these.”

 

Before he knew it, she was thrusting colorful pieces of paper in his face. He almost stumbled while they walked before he snatched them easily from her.

 

“What are these?” He asked as he unfolded them, looking around to make sure he wasn’t going to run into anyone in the empty hallway.

 

He opened the first piece of bright neon green paper. It was a flyer for a class on pregnancy yoga.

 

“Pregnancy yoga?” He repeated, looking over at her questioningly. An unnerving thought came into his mind, “You want me to do pregnancy yoga with you?”

 

Clarke’s face flamed instantly and she quickly snatched the paper back from his hand. “Not that one. The other ones.”

 

Bellamy then had a stupid, invasive thought of Clarke doing yoga in tight yoga pants - the same ones she had been wearing Friday night. And now that the image was in his head, he couldn’t get it out.

 

He tried to focus back on the rest of the papers in his hands as they approached the lobby. “Classes. Did you find any that worked with your schedule?” He remembered she cited that as an issue before. He knew that her being a doctor would cause these sorts of problems. It’s why he wanted to know what her plan was from the beginning.

 

Clarke gave him a look, “Well, it looks like my schedule just cleared up a little bit. I’ll find one that works.”

 

Once again, Bellamy felt grateful the doctor recommended Clarke slow it down. She told him she worked over 60, sometimes over 80, hours a week, sleeping at the hospital on her long shifts. And he was doubly grateful that it seemed like Clarke was going to listen.

 

Bellamy walked along side of her as they exited the building. “Let me know.” Clarke glanced at him again then.

 

“I will. Where is your car parked? Mine is over here.” Clarke jerked her thumb in a direction over her right shoulder.

 

“I’ll walk you. I’m going to follow you home and make sure you make it okay.” Clarke stopped short in the middle of the parking lot.

 

“That’s not necessary.”

The same sort of look on her face was back, a cross of disbelief and maybe some minor irritation. But little did she know he raised Octavia, the Queen of “I don’t need to be taken care of” when she clearly did. This he knew how to handle.

 

“Yes, it is.” He raised an eyebrow at her, but his tone left no room for argument. Before she could argue any further (and she was going to, he saw her mouth open to protest), he gently put his hands on her arms, turning her around to the direction she pointed of her car.

 

Bellamy was sure Clarke wanted to protest further, but he was grateful she refrained. He walked next to her as they approached an older model...well, clunker, to put it frankly. Bellamy was sure at one point it was a standard Saturn compact model, but it now resembled more of a frankenstein monster esque creation. The driver door was clearly from a different car altogether, being a dark forest green while the rest of the car was a dingy maroon. The paint on the hood had oxidized, leaving it patchy. And, to top it off, there was a giant crack in the main windshield.

 

But Bellamy knew better than to comment, at least right now, as he watched Clarke take out a key from her purse, manually unlocking the driver side door.

 

Before she got inside, she turned around to face him. “I’m not going to tell you that you don’t have to come. I get why. But don’t feel obligated just because-”

 

“I thought you weren’t going to tell me I don’t have to come.” He interrupted, but tried to keep his tone on the teasing side.

 

Clarke blinked up at him, her eyes staring intensely into his before she nodded. “I’ll see you over there, then.” She got into the car then, closing the door with a wave as he took a few steps back.

 

He waited until she turned the car on and buckled her seatbelt before he turned to head towards his car.

 

It wasn’t until he turned and faced the parking lot did he realize that he had no idea where he parked. The entire drive over was a blur.

 

Bellamy found it a few minutes later after wandering around the lot, seeing the black rover parked haphazardly in a loading section on the other side of the parking lot. Thankfully he didn’t get a ticket.

 

The drive to Clarke’s was short. Mount Weather was just outside of Clarke’s neighborhood, across town from his. He parked in the same spot, now noticing Clarke’s car parked right in front of her building. Bellamy couldn’t help but feel relieved she wasn’t parking somewhere careless, like behind the dumpster or in a back alley somewhere. Was Clarke oblivious to danger? He had to wonder what kind of life she must have had to feel so safe all the time. Bellamy and Octavia were constantly afraid that someone, sometimes afraid of even the CPS, might come and take them away from each other. It was weird to see Clarke’s cavalier attitude about her own safety.

 

He bounded up the stairs again, only a little out of breath by the time he reached the door to knock. The door opened a second later without hesitation.

 

“Clarke,” He scolded, scowling at her, “Always check to see who it is. What if I was a murderer?”

 

Clarke groaned as she opened the door to let him inside. “God, Bellamy, please, give me a break. At least for today. I knew it was you, dumbass. Who else would it be?”

 

Bellamy felt a jab of guilt at that. Clarke did have a long day. Probably a long two days, for that matter.

 

He let it go, thinking to himself he really needed to cut her some breaks anyway. Clarke still had dark circles under her eyes. She was still wearing scrubs which were wrinkled by now, but she was barefoot.

 

Bellamy hovered in the entryway as she locked the door behind him. He wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do here, now that he thought about it. He just knew he wanted to make sure she was home safe, in bed, relaxing or sleeping and making sure their baby was okay.

 

There was a moment of silence as they stared at one another before he cleared his throat. “So what’s the plan, Princess? Nap? Food? What do you want to do?”

 

That seemed to break her out of her trance as well. She walked around him into the main room of her studio-esque apartment.

 

“Food first. Then nap.” She collapsed on the couch, closing her eyes with sigh. Bellamy walked further into the room slowly, watching her carefully. She looked like she was about to pass out then and there.

 

“How about I make some food and you can change into your pajamas or something?”

 

Clarke slowly opened her eyes and turned to look at him. “Bellamy, really. I don’t want to hold you up. I’m home, safe and sound, about to eat. I don’t want you to miss work just for this.”

 

What was up with Clarke and work ? Bellamy loved his job. He loved working. And at some points in his life, he needed to work to survive. But now it’s a little different and his priorities are different. Bellamy worked his ass off to get to where he’s at in his career. He’s allowed to take some family time, especially in an emergency. God knows the late nights and weekends he’s spent at the station or on patrols. And Kane is always giving him grief about never taking time off.

 

Bellamy walked over to the couch, taking a seat on the edge with his arm around the back of it, leaning over her. He was close enough to see the different shades of crystal blue in her eyes, to see the faint purple of the dark circles under them. To see the flyaway hairs around her face. To hear the breaths she took.

 

“Clarke,” He said lowly, making sure she was looking at him, “Nothing is more important to me now than this baby, you got that? Work will wait.” He saw Clarke swallow but she nodded slowly.

 

“Got it,” She said quietly back, staring at him intently. Bellamy leaned away from her, satisfied she was starting to understand. She smiled at him then, “How about a grilled PB&J?”

_____________________________

 

It was Monday afternoon when Clarke had fainted and been discharged from the hospital. After he had gotten Clarke into bed, he called Octavia on the way home to fill her in on what happened. He wasn’t sure what he was expecting her to say, but she was supportive and concerned, offering her help in whatever way they needed it. It was times like these he was grateful to have her in his corner.

 

On Tuesday, Bellamy hit the gym at his normal time before work, stepping onto the treadmill next to Miller.

 

Miller nodded at him, already a few miles into his workout. Miller slowed his speed down to a walk as Bellamy started his up at a slow walk as well.

 

“Hey, man,” His partner wiped sweat off his face with a towel. “Everything go okay yesterday?”

 

He hadn’t given Miller too many details in his panic yesterday (not that he had any until he got there, he thought grumpily). “Yeah, everything is good. Clarke fainted but her and the baby are okay.”

 

“Clarke? Is that the babymama?” Miller joked easily enough but the word still pissed him off.

 

“Don’t call her that,” He snapped.

 

Miller held his hands up. “No offense meant. But really, glad everything’s okay.” Bellamy nodded at his friend.

 

“Yeah, me too.” The two picked up the pace on their runs easily enough, Bellamy having to catch up a few extra miles. He tried to ignore how much Miller’s comment bothered him. Is that what everyone would think of Clarke? Did he doom her to a life of forever being referred to as his ‘babymama’?

 

After their morning workout routine, the two checked in at the station before heading back out to their department issued unmarked car (Bellamy always drove). They had been following up on some witness interviews on the Sin Lexstra case yesterday when Bellamy had to bolt and they had to finish them up today.

 

He felt his phone buzz when they finished wrapping up talking with a Tristan Rosewood who supposedly was linked to and knew the real identity of Sin Lexstra. A long shot, of course, but he was also a main suspect in a double homicide and arms theft in a neighboring city. Two birds, one stone.

 

Bellamy got a bad vibe from the guy but couldn’t put his finger on exactly why. But in this part of town, there were a lot of bad people that certainly gave off bad vibes. When the interview led nowhere - as suspected, he apparently had an alibi and was supposedly nowhere near the scene - and they were back in the car, he finally checked his phone.

 

1 Message from Clarke Griffin.

 

He entered his password to read the message.

 

Hey so you maybe mentioned a Blake House Laundry service I could mooch off of...is that offer still open?

 

Bellamy couldn’t help but smile at the laundry service quip, ignoring the curious gaze of his partner sitting in the seat next to him.

 

“Seriously?” He heard Miller say dryly from the passenger seat.

 

“Shut up,” He responded without any heat.

 

He typed out a message back to her.

 

Of course. I’m off at six. Come anytime.

 

He typed out the address, too, so she’d have it, and sent it off. Bellamy shot Miller a look as he put the phone away to turn the car on.

 

Before he had a chance to put the car in reverse, he heard something. Miller tensed next to him, and they both snapped to look at each other. In this part of town, that noise could be a lot of things...a car backfiring, or...

 

Bellamy turned the car off slowly, the two sitting in silence. Bellamy saw Miller reaching for his gun in his holster, Bellamy doing the same. After a second, the noise rang again. This time, there was no mistaking what the noise was.

 

A gunshot.

Chapter Text

Clarke woke up late Tuesday morning feeling more well rested than she had in awhile. Bellamy left her once she was ready for bed pretty early on and she had slept in that morning. Maybe she did just need a break from work. She’d been up over 36 hours when she had fainted, not being able to get a nap in before she got called in to assist and observe in that appendectomy.

 

She thought about what she should do with her free time, since she was planning on sleeping the day away when she got home off her shift that morning.

 

There was a pile of laundry in her bin shoved against the wall that she stared at from her bed, wondering if she ignored it long enough if it might just do itself.

 

Clarke knew she was supposed to take the day off but..she should probably head into work to figure out this whole time off thing. Then...she chewed her lip as she glanced over at the laundry again. She should probably do laundry.

 

Which did give her an idea…

 

Clarke was going to have to crunch some serious numbers to figure out what she was going to do about her hours being cut. Hopefully, as her research, medical degree, and doctors have said is very likely, the morning sickness will go down after the first trimester. She’ll still have to take it easy, of course, but maybe she could switch to do an easy unit for awhile and not mess up her completion status in her program...

 

So when Bellamy offered his house to do laundry and have free meals, Clarke couldn’t help but take the offer. If she wanted to do this without her mother’s help (and God does she want to do this without her mother’s help), then she couldn’t afford (literally) to be picky about the help offered.

 

She reached over to grab her phone where it was plugged into the wall charger (she didn’t remember plugging that in?), seeing a few texts and missed calls from both Raven and her mother.

 

She pulled open her messages first, sending out a response to assure Raven that she got home okay and yes the OB said everything was fine. She then switched over to her mother’s text to reiterate the exact same thing.

 

Clarke opened a new message, typing one out to Bellamy before she lost her nerve. She really did need to do laundry and he offered ! She wasn’t sure why she was feeling so weird about it.

 

When she got the response that he’d be done after six, she stared up at the ceiling for another few moments before forcing herself out of bed. It was already pretty late in the day.

 

Her head was still sore from yesterday where she must’ve bumped it, but otherwise she was feeling better. Her first move then...breakfast. She could do this. She was responsible. Granted, cooking was never her thing but she could snack.

 

Clarke pulled out some of groceries Bellamy had purchased and stared at her options, before making some scrambled eggs and fruit (and she only barely burned the eggs, so, success in her book).

 

Once she had scarfed down breakfast and threw the dirty dishes and pans in the sink, she got ready for her day. Clarke threw on a yellow cotton sundress and her sunglasses on top of her head.

 

First, stop at the hospital to discuss her schedule.

 

Scratch that - First, lay on the couch for half an hour because nausea. Then stop at the hospital. Then, figure out what classes she can sign up for so she doesn’t show up to Bellamy’s empty handed (besides laundry). Then, laundry at Bellamy’s. Not a bad plan.

 

But as with most of life’s plans, hers really got screwed that day.

 

As she was gathering her things to take for the day, not planning on coming back to this part of town unless she had to, she paused after throwing in some clothes on the floor into the hamper. It was a strange turn of events that two weeks ago she had thought she’d only see Bellamy again in her dreams (or maybe another night out at a bar, if she were lucky), and yet here she was scheduling him into her life. Her hand fluttered down to her stomach. There was still no baby bump yet, but Clarke felt different. About the baby...about Bellamy...

 

Clarke snapped out of it, grabbing her hamper and her keys, before slipping on her shoes and sliding her purse over her shoulder. She fumbled with locking the door before huffing at the stairs. It was getting a lot to hoist her laundry up and down all these flights - but maybe saving money could mean smaller loads.

 

After hauling (read: dragging) the hamper down the stairs and shoving it into the backseat of her clunker, she settled herself in the driver’s seat. She was grateful the seats were not leather in the growing heat. It was nearing the end of July but still the height of summer, and though it was pretty early in the day before noon, the heat was already getting uncomfortable.

 

The drive to the hospital was short - one of the only perks of her small apartment. It wasn’t quite close enough to walk and she probably wouldn’t anyway given the late hours she sometimes worked.

 

Clarke turned off her car once she pulled into the parking lot and parked. After yesterday, it was likely the whole hospital knew of her...condition…by now. It wasn’t that she cared if people thought worse of her, but the hospital loves gossip. It just meant she couldn’t put it off any longer. She sighed, already expecting the barrage of questions about her incident yesterday, her pregnancy...the baby’s father - considering she was painfully single, she was sure that was going to raise a lot of eyebrows. Especially given who her mother was.

 

Gathering the mental courage she needed to get out of the car and take the steps to go inside, Clarke grabbed her purse and started moving.

 

The hospital was more like a second home to her after being here for over a year. She spent way more time inside these walls than outside them...though that was already changing. Clarke walked the familiar path to the administration wing where she knew she’d have to face the music, trying not to feel like everyone was staring at her as she went. That part was probably in her head, at least.

 

Clarke had a hard time making friends. Growing up, she had Wells, who was more like a brother to her than anything else. And she was friends with Wells by proximity - her mother’s friendship with Thelonious Jaha. But other kids in school ostracized them and, in the end, they really only needed each other anyway. It was hard for Clarke to make friends, to open up. Then she met Finn, who seemed to crack her open like an egg easily. She learned from that pretty quickly. Which is why, when she started this job, she wanted to keep her distance.

 

Clarke tried not to think about this as she ignored the stares on her back as she made her way to her destination.

 

Doctor Jackson had said he was recommending the hour reduction to her Chief Resident, Doctor Lorelei Tsing. Clarke wasn’t a huge fan of the woman - she thought her methods were harsh and cold-hearted - but Clarke grudgingly admitted the woman knew what she was doing. She wasn’t quite sure what to expect from her reaction.

 

Before Clarke could make her way to the Chief Resident office, a voice called out down the hallway.

 

“Clarke!”

 

Clarke paused, glancing over to the sound of the familiar voice. Abby Griffin.

 

Over the last year or so of working at Mount Weather, Clarke had avoiding her mother down to a science. Now that she’s pregnant? It’s like she can’t find a single space in a foot of this hospital that her mother isn’t in.

 

“Hi, Mom.” She greeted, walking toward her mother where she was lingering outside her own office door. “What are you doing?”

 

Her mother was scanning her body as she approached, before smiling at her. “Are you feeling better? You look better than yesterday.”

 

“That’s what sleep will do for you, I guess.” Her mother rolled her eyes.

 

“Come on into my office. We can discuss your schedule the next few weeks.”

 

“But I thought Doctor Tsing-”

 

“I outrank Doctor Tsing, if you can recall that, at least. Let me do this for you, Clarke, alright?”

 

Clarke wanted to resist (she was working on this whole growing relationship thing), but she was smart and knew she had to pick her battles. “Alright,” She said simply, following her mother into the next office down the hall.

 

Her mother shut the door behind her as Clarke took a seat in one of the comfy chairs at the desk. Clarke was reminded of Anya’s office in the Polis Clinic. Anya’s office was big, nice for the facility but bare. Abby’s office was fitting for the state of the art, Mount Weather surgical program’s Chief of Surgery. The desk was large, taking up most of the center of the room, with a sleek, dark finish. Her various degrees and awards hung on one wall, a wall of medical books directly behind the desk.

 

Abby took a seat across from her, folding her hands together in front of her.

 

“I’ve received Doctor Jackson’s recommendation for a reduction of hours. I am going forward with approval on the recommendation. I would’ve probably placed you on leave myself if it had been up to me.”

“Which it’s not .” Clarke had to remind her, just to be sure.

 

“Which it’s not,” Abby conceded with a small smile, “I let Doctor Tsing know about your condition. When you do have shifts you’re going to be taking more breaks, working slower units. Surgeries will have to be okayed on a case by case basis. Sound good?”

 

Case by case basis? Clarke bit her tongue to keep from arguing...But part of her wanted a break...she was so tired lately. And she wanted what was best for this baby. She had to learn to listen.

 

“Sounds good.” She responded finally, relaxing back into the chair. Her mother relaxed a fraction in response.

 

Her mother nodded, apparently satisfied with her answer, before turning to her desk. “I have your new schedule here. We reworked it yesterday. You won’t be working any overnight shifts, and no shifts longer than twelve hours. You won’t be on call. You have mandatory breaks scheduled into your shifts. And...only three shifts a week.”

 

Seriously? Clarke wanted to scream. She did the mental math - 36 hours a week? She tried not to panic.

 

“And you’ll notice these shifts continue at least through October. We will re-evaluate the situation then.”

 

“Doesn’t this seem like overkill? I’m sure there have been other pregnant residents-”

 

“Who didn’t faint in a hospital run by their mother, I’m sure. This isn’t a problem, Clarke. Stop feeling guilty. If it were another resident, we would do the same thing.”

 

Clarke wasn’t too sure about that, but this might be one of those situations that her privilege was giving her a benefit that would help her baby. And that is something she knew better than to argue with.

 

Before Clarke could respond, her mother’s pager started to beep at an alarming rate.  Her mother checked it, standing up suddenly.

 

“Officer involved shooting. Stay here, Clarke.” Her mother strode around and Clarke sprung up and followed closely behind, ignoring her mother’s instructions.

 

“I can help.” Her mother shot her a look but didn’t protest further. All hands on decks in emergencies, and Clarke was useful, at the very least.

 

They rushed to the emergency room, the familiar hustle of running around the hospital always thrilled Clarke. When they finally arrived at the emergency room, Clarke saw chaos. There were a few police officers standing around the patient beds and a few Clarke could see were lingering in the waiting room.

 

“Get dressed, Clarke. We have two GSWs, one potentially fatal. Check in with Doctor Tsing on the patient bed one.” Her mother was a different woman in action, barking orders to nurses and doctors alike, checking in with various staff. Clarke jumped into action, throwing her hair in a pony tail and making her way to the closest staff room that had spare scrubs.

 

She didn’t get too far.

 

“Clarke?!”

 

Clarke whipped around, trying to find in the chaos who was calling her name. Her gaze landed directly on a familiar figure, which got her heart pounding.

 

“Bellamy? What are you doing here?” Her mind finally caught up with her, her mother’s words of ‘officer involved shooting’ somehow now finally clicking. “Are you okay?” He was standing to the side, between the waiting room and the patient beds. She approached him quickly, dodging the people working quickly around her. He looked freaked out, his hair frazzled and his suit jacket missing. Was that blood on his shirt? She thought in alarm.

 

He didn’t look quite as freaked out as yesterday, but still.

 

Clarke stopped right in front of him, grabbing his arm to guide the two to the side of the room away from the chaos of the emergency room.

 

Bellamy let out a breath once they were out of the way, his eyes watching the rest of the room as if he could analyze everything that was happening.

 

“It’s a long story. I’m okay. Miller was shot in the shoulder.” He finally looked back at her, meeting her eyes intensely.

 

Clarke gasped. “What happened?” Her hand was still resting on his arm from when she guided them out of the way, but she left it. He didn’t seem to mind, and she liked the assurance that he was okay, here, real and in front of her.

 

“Routine witness follow up turned into the Wild West, pretty much. We were ambushed on our way out and had to call for backup….Miller was shot in the shoulder but I haven’t heard any updates since we got here.”

 

Clarke’s nerves were frayed at the news. She knew Bellamy was a detective...but she wasn’t sure the last time she heard of detectives ending up in active shooter situations. Her heart was still pounding in her chest, but she was starting to relax the more he spoke.

 

Bellamy continued, glancing around, “I came in to try to find someone to figure out where he went. He was taken in an ambulance from the scene.” Clarke nodded slowly, looking around as well. If he had come in an ambulance, he was likely taken right into surgery, depending on if it was life-threatening and needing immediate attention.

 

She hadn’t actually met his partner so she realized quickly trying to locate him was futile in the crowded emergency room.

 

“Well,” She said, once she turned her attention back to him, “I’m glad you’re okay, Bellamy.” She squeezed his arm before dropping her hand finally. “Let’s see what we can do about finding Miller. They probably took him into surgery already.”

 

Instead of looking relieved, Bellamy seemed to get tenser. He nodded tersely.

 

Clarke walked into the waiting room, seeing several more uniformed officers flitting about. “Take a seat, okay? I’ll be right back.”

 

Bellamy nodded wordlessly, sitting down into the chair mechanically. Clarke waited to make sure he wasn’t going to jump and go anywhere, before turning back to the emergency room. She’d stop at the nurses station, make sure they knew she wasn’t scrubbing in, find Miller’s chart, and get back to Bellamy.

 

Twenty minutes later, she found Bellamy again in the same seat. He was leaned over, hands in his hair and his elbows resting on his knees.

 

“Hey,” Clarke spoke as she approached. He looked up at her.

 

“Did you find out anything?” Bellamy stood up to greet her.

 

“Yeah, he’s in surgery. It’ll be a few hours. We can head up to the surgical floor and wait for him there, if you’d like.”

 

Bellamy nodded, looking grateful. “Yes, please.”

 

“Come on, this way.”

 

They made their way to the next floor in relative silence, the elevator humming quietly. Clarke wanted to ask a million questions but she knew how traumatic this type of experience was. She wasn’t sure if Bellamy had been injured - or knew anyone else that had been injured - on the job, but she saw death and injuries everyday.

 

Bellamy usually was, maybe not relaxed (he was too much of an overthinker and worrier to be completely relaxed, in her opinion), but present. He seemed a million miles away right now.

 

She led them to the surgery waiting room lobby, where several others were waiting as well.

 

“We can wait here,” She said quietly. There was only the noise from the low volume on the TV in the corner, the rest of the individuals waiting quietly or engrossed in their own worlds and private conversations.

 

They took a seat before Clarke turned to look at him, studying his features silently. His jaw was clenched, his hair in disarray. He seemed to keep looking around him, like he was searching for something. He settled into the seat after a moment.

 

“Do you want me to call anyone for you? Or…” He turned to look at her intensely, blinking as if noticing her for the first time. She hesitated before continuing, “I can stay, if you want?”

 

“Clarke?” Bellamy finally glanced around again. “What are you doing here?”

 

Clarke wanted to laugh but refrained. “I work here.” That had been firmly established.

 

Bellamy rolled his eyes, giving her a look that clearly said, ‘ That’s not what I meant.’ , before crossing his arms over his chest. “I thought you were taking a break from work.”

 

Clarke huffed. “Not taking a break. Reducing my hours. I came in to get my new schedule.”

 

Bellamy nodded slowly, seeming to accept her explanation. “You should go home, Clarke. You need to take it easy. Did you eat breakfast? Or, shit, what time is it?” Bellamy felt around his pants pocket, pulling his phone out when he found it.

 

Clarke realized she left her purse in her mother’s office in their haste to get to the ER, her phone long forgotten there.

 

“Almost noon.” Bellamy let a breath, holding his phone in his hand.

 

“I’ll stay. We can go grab some food. It’s going to be awhile. You can make any calls you need to.”

 

At his look, she added, “Really. It’s not a problem. I was just going to run errands until I could head over to your place anyway. My laundry is in my car, actually.”

 

Bellamy laughed a little shakily before nodding. “Okay. Fair enough. But I don’t think I can eat anything right now.”

 

Clarke nodded in understanding, leaning back to get comfortable in her chair.

 

“Unless,” He added quickly, “You’re hungry. We should get you some food. Or snacks. Did you bring snacks?”

 

If this was a test, she was going to be pissed. “I had breakfast this morning, actually.” She gave him a pointed look.

 

He started to smile at that. “Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day. That’s progress.”

 

Clarke couldn’t help but return his smile. “Right. So we can head over to the Caf when you’re ready.”

 

Bellamy looked down at his phone again. “I should probably call some people. Check in. Let them know where we are.”

 

“Yeah, of course. I need to grab my stuff, actually. I’ll meet you back here in a little bit.”

 

Bellamy nodded, watching her as she got up from her seat and made her way back to the elevators and back to the administration wing of the hospital to her mother’s office. She wasn’t sure where her mother ran off to - she wasn’t around when she tried to find her in the ER.

 

It didn’t take too long. Her purse was still sitting in the same chair where she left it. She made her way back quickly to the surgical wing.

 

Bellamy was off his phone when she walked back over to him. He looked up when he saw her approach.

 

“Did you get a hold of anyone?” She asked, plopping back into the chair, her purse now on her lap.

 

“Yeah,” He sighed, running a hand through his hair. “Some of the other guys from the station are coming to wait, too. We take this kind of thing personally. I guess the suspect is in surgery. Hopefully he makes it. I’d like to conduct a follow up interview on that son of a bitch.”

 

Bellamy’s jaw clenched at the mention of the suspect. Clarke probably shouldn’t ask but…

 

“What happened?” She asked from his side quietly. Bellamy was quiet for a moment. She wasn’t sure he even heard her.

 

“I’m not even sure,” He said finally after a moment. “I-it happened pretty fast. Miller and I had just finished interviewing a lead when we got in the car and someone started to fire at us. I don’t think…” He swallowed, turning to look at her directly. His face was serious, his brown eyes deeply concerned, his brow furrowed. “I don’t think it was just one shooter. I don’t-” He shook his head then. “I don’t know. I’m still confused, I think. It happened all at once.”

 

Clarke nodded sympathetically. She wasn’t much help, wasn’t sure what words she could offer in comfort. This was the kind of thing she wasn’t good at.

 

“That happens,” She offered finally, “When you’re in shock. I’m sure you’ll start remembering soon enough.”

 

“Yeah,” He breathed out a sigh, “I have to give my statement at some point, too.”  Bellamy inspected her face, his eyes roving over her before he continued, “The guys will want to meet you. So, I’m sorry about that in advance. Octavia is coming too. And Monty.”

 

Clarke blinked. “What? Sorry about what?”

 

Bellamy swallowed, his face starting to flush. “I haven’t told anyone but Octavia and Miller about…” He cleared his throat, glancing down at her stomach, before meeting her eye again, “Everything. But you’re a girl-” Her eyebrows raised, “Woman,” He corrected quickly, “And I don’t think I’ve ever actually introduced a girlfriend to anyone at the station-”

 

“Girlfriend?” She interrupted amusedly. Bellamy’s face was tinged red before, but now a flush was making its way across his cheeks and down his neck.

 

“I mean, you know, not girlfriend in the traditional sense, but-”

 

“I get it.” Clarke smiled wryly, giving him a break.

 

Bellamy shot her a grateful look but the blush did not fade.

 

“What I mean is, I’m sorry for whatever they end up saying or doing. Are you sure you don’t want to head home? I can pick you up to do your laundry when I’m done here?”

 

Clarke quirked an eyebrow. “That’s like the third time you’ve asked if I’m sure. Do you want me to go?”

 

“No,” He said quickly, shaking his head for good measure. Bellamy remained silent, the red on his cheeks fading slightly.

 

“You said Octavia was coming?”

 

“Yeah,” He nodded, “She’s good friends with Miller too.” Clarke nodded in understanding. She thought for a moment more.

 

“And Monty…” She said slowly, “Does he work with Raven and them? I think I met him out a few weeks ago.”

 

Bellamy started to smile at that. “Yeah, that’s him. He was having lunch with Octavia when I called. I think Jasper went back to work. But Monty,” He shook his head in amusement, “Monty and Miller have been dancing around each other for awhile now.”

 

Clarke smiled at that. “I’m glad he’s going to be here for him, then.”

 

Bellamy watched her for a moment, before he quietly spoke to her, “Thanks for being here, Clarke.”

 

Before she could respond, there was a commotion down the hallway. “Here we go,” Bellamy muttered under his breath.

 

“Bellamy!” A female voice called. Bellamy stood up, so Clarke followed his example. She saw Octavia approach, and the guy she recognized as Monty following quickly behind her. “We got here as fast as we could. Is Miller okay? What’s going on?”

 

Clarke hadn’t seen Octavia since the interesting dinner at the woman’s apartment. She wasn’t quite sure what to think of Bellamy’s sister. They got along well enough at the bar when they first met, but the dinner was derailed before she got to really get to know her. Raven liked her well enough, she supposed. But it was right about now that Clarke was regretting not getting the scoop about Octavia from Raven before meeting her again. All she knew was what Bellamy had told her.

 

“Clarke,” Octavia greeted, a surprised look on her face and in her tone.

 

“Hi, Octavia,” She greeted, suddenly feeling a little shy. The last time they had met, Clarke had dropped a bomb in her life. She hadn’t really thought about Lincoln since then. But now, there’s been time for the news to set in. And, she flicked her eyes to Monty, who had a worried look on his face and was watching Bellamy, now everyone else would know she was pregnant too. “Hi, Monty. I’m not sure if you remember, I’m Clarke.”

 

Monty gave her a small smile, but Clarke could tell he was anxious, as if he couldn’t contain himself in his body, rocking back and forth on his feet as he stood. “I remember. Raven’s friend.” He looked up at Bellamy at that, “I mean - Bellamy’s-”

 

“Yes, Raven’s friend.” She interjected before it got weird. She cleared her throat and Bellamy took that as his cue, thankfully.

 

“Come on, sit. I’ll fill you in. We’re going to be here awhile.”

_______________________________

 

They spent a few hours more at the hospital, munching on food from the vending machines and making small talk. Though Bellamy tried to keep insisting for her to go home, she stayed, trying to use some of her hospital connections for updates. When Miller finally came out of surgery (completely fine), he was still unconscious from the sedation. It would be a little bit before he really came to.

 

Clarke hovered in the doorway of the room as his fellow officers surrounded his bed, Bellamy, Monty and Octavia closest to his side. Miller was in and out of it, so they were talking amongst themselves quietly. The rest of his colleagues arrived when Bellamy let them know he was coming out of surgery. Clarke had made herself scarce when they arrived - trying to avoid the awkwardness Bellamy was alluding to earlier.

 

As much as Clarke longed to be next to them, part of their circle, she knew that she wasn’t. As connected as she was to them, she was still an “other”, not quite part of their circle but not quite out of it either.

 

Feeling a funny feeling in her stomach (she was getting that a lot, lately), Clarke decided to give them some privacy, turning her back on the room and making her way to find her mother.

 

She had been only gone fifteen or so minutes, tracking a nurse down who let her know her mother was still in surgery. When she returned, the room had cleared out of most of Bellamy’s work buddies, leaving them alone in the room with Miller who had fallen fast asleep again.

 

“Hey,” She spoke quietly as she walked further back into the room. Monty was sitting in the chair next to Miller’s bed, reminding her of the way Bellamy had with her just the day before. She fought the urge to be embarrassed by that line of thinking, switching her focus to Octavia, who was standing next to Bellamy at the end of the bed.

 

Bellamy looked up at her when she spoke. His eyes were tired, his clothes rumpled. Clarke had to remind herself that Bellamy was there today getting shot at too. She felt a pang of sympathy that Bellamy, even after going through this ordeal, was still the one many others were turning to for answers and direction. Some break.

 

“Hey,” He smiled back at her, gesturing her further into the room. Octavia and Monty greeted her quietly, the room fairly quiet except for Miller’s breathing and the sound of the equipment beeping.

 

“I am going to head out. It’s pretty late in the afternoon and I realized all we’ve had are snacks from the vending machine.” At the look of horror on Bellamy’s face, she quickly added, “Which is why I’m heading out to get food. Are you guys staying? Can I bring you back anything?”

 

Octavia started to smile at her then, as if just making the decision to give her a break. “Sure, Clarke. That would be great. Why don’t I go with you? Bellamy just said something about finding his Unit Chief to give a statement. Monty can stay with Miller in case he wakes up.”

 

Clarke swallowed, forcing a smile and glancing between Bellamy and his sister, before nodding. “That sounds great.”

 

What was she getting herself into? Alone in the car with Bellamy’s sister?

 

Octavia’s smile widened, her eyes sparkling, “Great! Come on, I’ll drive.” Octavia strode past her brother, who looked like he was about to protest before Octavia shot him a look. Clarke pretended not to notice.

 

“Great. Let’s go. See you soon, Bell. Bye Monty.” She gave a small wave before she let the other woman pull her out of the room, feeling Bellamy’s eyes on her back as she left.

Chapter Text

Clarke walked next to Octavia down the hallway to the main lobby of the hospital. The woman walked fast and Clarke moved quickly to keep pace with her. She followed her wordlessly to the elevators, where Octavia leaned forward to press the down arrow before turning her attention back to her.

 

“So,” Octavia started, crossing her arms over her chest, “I heard what happened yesterday. Is...everything okay?” Her green eyes flickered downward, where Clarke’s still flat stomach was.

 

Clarke cleared her throat, trying to bring Octavia’s attention back to her face. “Yeah, everything is fine. Just need to take it easy for awhile, I guess.” Clarke tried to muster a small smile, which seemed to work. Octavia gave her an easy smile back.

 

“Well, good. I’m glad to hear that. That’s my niece or nephew in there.” The pointed look Octavia gave her then was not missed by Clarke.

 

The two women made their way to the parking lot in relative easy silence. Clarke couldn’t help but feel like she was waiting for the other shoe to drop with this woman. The first time she met her at the bar, she felt like they really hit it off. The conversation was easy - Octavia was full of energy and charisma, especially when intoxicated. The second time, at dinner...well...it hadn’t gone exactly the way she had thought it would. The baby bomb derailed any chance of really getting anywhere with her. But according to Bellamy...this woman was his world. It didn’t take much for her to figure that out in person, anyway.

 

But Clarke wasn’t sure what Bellamy had told Octavia about her so far. And the knowledge that Octavia knew things about her - things Bellamy may have shared - was weighing on her in the silence. Did Octavia like her? Hate her? Think she was irresponsible like everyone else seemed to?  She wasn’t sure where the sudden need to impress her came from, but suddenly the thought wouldn’t leave her.

 

“You know,” Octavia startled her out of her thoughts as they stepped outdoors into the bright sun. Clarke had been feeling the chill of the indoor air conditioner and wasn’t used to being inside and not running around, so the sun felt good on her skin. Clarke looked over at Octavia who continued without a pause, holding the door open for her, “If something ever does happen, you can call me. I mean, I am family too. You have my number.”

 

Clarke felt like the ice broke then at the small smile Octavia was giving her and a wave of relief washed over her. “Yeah?” She asked hesitantly, following her lead to where her car must have been parked.

 

The dark haired woman laughed, “Yeah. I think that’s only fair. My boyfriend impregnated you with my brother’s sperm. Being there when you need me is the least I could do.”

 

Clarke started to laugh as well, hearing the description of their strange relationship out loud. “Well, when you put it like that…”

 

The two women didn’t waste the short amount of time they had on their food run. Clarke suggested Ernesto’s (partly because she was craving enchiladas, partly because it was easy take-out and conveniently located), and to her relief, Octavia enthusiastically agreed.

 

“So,” Octavia cleared her throat as she turned on the car, glancing over to make sure Clarke was buckled before pulling out of the spot. She drove a nice, luxury sedan that made Clarke wonder how she could afford it. Didn’t Bellamy mention she did mixed martial arts? Though, Clarke remembered, she was dating a doctor who worked two jobs. Clarke tried not to feel bitter as the panic set in again about her own reduced hours. She would figure it out. Later, over some spreadsheets and a glass of wi-apple juice, she corrected to herself.

 

“You’re doing your residency at Mount Weather, right? How much longer until you’re a real doctor?” Clarke was about to snap back that she is a real doctor (she’d heard that a lot, unfortunately), but picked up on the girl’s teasing tone. Maybe her sense of humor was different than hers. It would just take some getting used to.

 

Clarke gave the girl a small laugh at her jibe. “I’m about halfway through, give or take a few months. Feels like an eternity though.” Octavia gave her a sympathetic glance and hmm’d at her response.

 

“At least you’ll be making good money.” Clarke watched her face carefully, not seeing any spite or vindictiveness. But Clarke had been on the receiving end of people judging her - and her family’s money - for long enough that she knew what people could think sometimes.

 

“We’ll see,” She responded carefully, thinking of the pilling debt of student loans she was struggling to budget for. Maybe in a few years, sure. And she had no problem living paycheck to paycheck until it became manageable, but right now, with reduced hours and a baby on the way, a bright, money-filled future seemed out of reach. And as kind-hearted as Octavia surely meant it, it was a hard reminder of what was to come.

 

Clarke directed her the rest of the way, making small talk about the hospital. Clarke was careful not to share too many personal details - not that she had any at the hospital, her mother being a huge exception - focusing more on the funny stories from the E.R. and the craziness that was her first few months as a brand new resident.

 

“I really thought I was going to have to do surgery or something right in the ambulance, he was that critical, and we couldn’t find my Chief Resident - oh, turn here - anywhere,” Clarke finished telling her as they pulled into the restaurant.

 

They parked quickly, the restaurant not too crowded in the odd hours between lunch and dinner.

As Octavia held the door open for her, Clarke made a beeline for the menus at the hostess stand.

 

“What’s good here?” Octavia asked, accepting one of the menus Clarke offered.

 

“Pretty much everything. I’m partial to the enchiladas. I don’t think you can go wrong.”

 

The two women quickly placed a to-go order with their entree selections, Octavia ordering for the guys back at the hospital, Miller included, it seemed.

 

“So are you taking a few days off work?” Clarke glanced over to the other woman as they took their seats to wait for their food. Octavia paid without hesitation, shooting Clarke a look before she could open her mouth to protest. Clarke accepted it without a word, trying not to feel guilty for needing the help.

 

“Yes,” She answered finally, trying to get comfortable in the stiff chair. “I work again on Friday, but a shorter shift. It looks like they are not having me work overnights anymore, and I’m not on call.” Overnight and overtime pay was always nice - but Clarke had to keep reminding herself this was for the baby.

 

“That’s...good.” Octavia commented, watching her closely. Clarke had a flashback to the hospital room the day before as Bellamy’s sister echoed his words.

 

“Yes,” She breathed out. She better get used to that idea, anyway. “I guess it is. I’m only working a few shifts a week now. I’m going to look up some classes to start taking. Maybe yoga or something.” Octavia’s eyes lit up at that.

 

“Well, it’s not exactly my area of expertise, but I go to a yoga studio over by our apartment. I’m sure they have some pregnancy yoga classes. We could go together!” Clarke couldn’t help but smile at the girls excitement, feeling more like two girls the same age, enjoying their time hanging out then awkwardly forced to be together.

 

“That sounds nice, Octavia,” Clarke admitted genuinely.

 

“Great! I’ll look into it and text you. I…still have your number, I think.” Octavia reached over into her purse to grab her phone, clicking a few buttons to check her contacts.

 

“Yep, Clarke Griffin. You have mine, right?”

 

Clarke distinctly remembered that night at the bar, since she had been sober, and knew the weight of Octavia’s number in her contact list. “Yes, I do. Just let me know.”

 

Octavia smiled in satisfaction. “My schedule is flexible. We’ll work it out.” Clarke nodded in agreement, returning her smile.

 

Octavia was studying her closely. “What do you think about coming over for family dinner this weekend? You’re not working Sunday night, right?”

 

Clarke looked at her in surprise, frozen. What?

 

“What?”

 

Dinner? After that first disaster? Clarke felt her alarm bells ringing. That seemed a little much, maybe.

 

But, as if she had forgotten, it seemed like the Blake family had an issue with boundaries.

 

Octavia was giving her a look like she was crazy. “Dinner on Sunday? Can you join us? I mean, like I said before, you are family, or pretty much are, anyway…”

 

“Order for Octavia?” A voice rang out, interrupting the women before Clarke could give a response.

 

Clarke tried not to feel relieved by the interruption, her brain processing a response. She does want to get to know the Blake family...they were going to be in her baby’s life, right? Whether she really wanted to have a say in it or not. That’s what telling Bellamy had meant, anyway.

 

But part of her dreaded getting closer to them, wanting to protect herself from disappointment. Her boundaries with Bellamy were falling, fast, if she was being honest with herself. Either Bellamy was her personal weakness or this pregnancy was making her soft. Maybe both.

 

As Octavia collected the food and turned back to signal they head out, Clarke stood up to follow her out the door.

 

Knowing what her answer was going to be to dinner, was she getting in to this a little too deep? She hoped not.

 

“I’d...like that.” Clarke said finally, as they both settled into the car and buckled their seatbelts. When Octavia gave her a questioning look, Clarke clarified, “To come to dinner Sunday. I’d like to come. I’m not working.”

 

Octavia’s smile lit up her face, and Clarke couldn’t help but smile widely in response. “Great.”

 

“Great.”

 

It had been about an hour since they had left to get food, and it was close to dinner time. Clarke was starving, not wanting to admit that the junk food they ate earlier wasn’t cutting it.

 

Octavia made small talk with her, telling her about her job competing in mixed martial arts competitions around the county, sometimes even at the state level. Clarke admired the woman next to her, even as she tried not to focus on the smell of the delicious food she was holding on to.

 

By the time they walked back into the hospital room, Miller was awake. Octavia had grabbed the food off of Clarke’s lap in the car, insisting on carrying it. By the look of her arm muscles, Clarke figured she could handle it, even though she hated being treated so delicately.

 

Clarke lingered behind Octavia as they entered back into the room. Sunlight was filtered in through the window, bright in the late summer afternoon sunshine.

 

“Hey!” Octavia greeted loudly, “Look who’s awake. Look what we have!” She held up the food.

 

Clarke tried not to wince - knowing Miller’s head was probably foggy from the painkillers, and knowing his stomach probably couldn’t handle a dense meal like Mexican after surgery. Clarke glanced over at Bellamy, who was watching her intently. He had changed into jeans and a t-shirt, which strained against his arm muscles of his arms crossed over his chest. Clarke tried not to notice, blaming her pregnancy hormones. That’s fair, right?

 

“Why don’t we put the food aside for him for later?” She suggested, turning her attention back to Octavia.

 

Octavia shrugged, setting the bags down on the tray next to Miller’s bed. “Just seems rude to eat in front of him.”

 

“I’m good,” Miller croaked, finally speaking. His shoulder was bandaged, but he was sitting up thanks to the automated hospital bed. He looked over to her. “You must be Clarke. It’s nice to finally meet you.”

 

Clarke tried not to blush, wondering what exactly Bellamy’s partner knew about her. She still felt Bellamy looking at her and it was getting harder to ignore his gaze.

 

“It’s nice to finally meet you, too.” She said politely from her position at the end of his bed, only a few feet away from Bellamy. “I’d ask how you’re feeling, but, I think I can figure out that answer. You’re a real hero.”

 

“Hey,” Bellamy protested from next to her, “You didn’t call me a hero. Just because he’s the one that got himself shot-”

 

Clarke tried not to smile as she rolled her eyes, “You’re both heroes, okay? And I’m glad you’re both safe.”

 

“I appreciate that, Clarke,” Miller said graciously, nodding.

 

Octavia handed out the styrofoam take out boxes, reading the orders written in pen on the covers. “Here you go, Monty.” She leaned over Miller from the other side of the hospital bed to hand him his box and plastic utensils.

 

“That was mean,” Miller groaned, sniffing. “It smells too good.”

 

“Have some!” Octavia said cheerily, passing over two boxes to Clarke. She took them, reading the top one that was hers and passing the other to Bellamy, who accepted it out of her hands.

 

“I’m sleepy,” Miller mumbled, getting comfortable against the pillows. Octavia set Miller’s order next to his bed for later, before digging into her own.

 

The four visitors munched the food in relative silence, as most people do when they are starving without realizing. Clarke pretty much scraped the beans and rice from the styrofoam, mourning that she didn’t order more.

 

Her plan for laundry was probably shot tonight, but maybe she could get some takeout and relax to some TV. Or, she thought better, cook to save some money. There had to be something easy to make later, with the safe assumption she was still going to be hungry.

 

As Clarke closed her take out box, she noticed the patient had fallen asleep. The four of them slowly maneuvered out of the room, gathering the trash. Monty lingered after the three of them, meeting them in the hallway a few moments later.

 

“Alright,” Clarke stretched her arms, “I know you must be beat, Bell. Let’s rain check laundry. I’m going to head home.”

 

“No,” He said, grabbing her hand as it fell back to her side. She glanced up at him in surprise. He was staring at her intently, but his eyes were tired, she could tell. “Come over. Your laundry is already in your car. We might as well get something done today.”

 

Clarke swallowed, staring down at where he had grabbed her hand, her heart starting to flutter. He might be in shock still, she argued with herself.

 

She looked over to Octavia and Monty, who glanced between the two of them to each other, before turning to make small talk amongst themselves.

 

“Um, okay,” She agreed, watching as his shoulders sag slightly as he exhaled.

 

“Okay. Good.” He let go of her hand, and she resisted to flex her fingers where they felt like they were tingling.

 

“Hey, guys,” Octavia spoke, interrupting whatever that was between the two of them, “We’re going to get going. I’ll call you later, Bell. See you Sunday, Clarke!” Octavia waved, grabbed Monty by the elbow.

 

“Bye, Clarke. See you later, Bellamy!” Monty called from over his shoulder as Octavia dragged him not so subtly away.

 

Clarke waved at the two as they walked slowly toward the elevators to the lobby.

 

“We should get going, too, I guess.” Clarke swallowed, turning back to Bellamy. Was he standing that close, before?

 

“Sunday? You’re...seeing Octavia on Sunday?”

 

Clarke felt her cheeks heat up, remembering that Octavia had called it family dinner. Did Bellamy consider her family enough to be there? Clarke felt like dying if the answer was no. But it wasn’t Bellamy that invited her anyway, it was Octavia. She was Octavia’s guest, whether Bellamy liked it or not.

 

Feeling her resolve strengthen, she looked Bellamy in the eyes. “Yes,” She met him with a tone of confidence she wasn’t sure she actually had, “Octavia invited me to dinner. Is that a problem?” Maybe a little snarky.

 

Bellamy smirked, stepping a little closer into her personal space. “Brave Princess.”

 

Clarke tried not to feel offended at the nickname, opening her mouth to protest before she realized his smirk was turning into a grin. “Are you teasing me?”

 

“Never. And of course it’s not a problem,” Bellamy nudged her arm gently to turn her around toward the same direction of the lobby, “Come on, Clarke. I think I promised a laundry service, right?”

 

Clarke decided to give him a break on the Princess thing, rolling her eyes and taking the lead to the exit. “Right,” She agreed.

 

Bellamy walked closely behind her, in step with her perfectly. Clarke appreciated Bellamy’s body heat in the air conditioned hospital as they waited for the elevator in comfortable silence.

 

“Where’d you park?” He asked as the elevator door dinged open, stepping inside. She followed his lead, pressing the L button to the main lobby.

 

“Not too far from the entrance. Did you...drive here?” She asked cautiously. He looked at her blankly, before closing his eyes in realization.

 

“Ah, no. I got a ride over here actually. Someone took the car back to the station from the scene.” He opened his eyes to look at her sheepishly, running a hand through the back of his hair. Clarke tried not to smile, maintaining a serious look on her face.

 

“So, you’re saying you need a ride back home? That was your real reason for wanting me over to do laundry.”

 

The elevator door dinged open to the main lobby once again, the familiar path Clarke had walked hundreds of times by now. “Come on,” She walked out into the main area and toward the exit, not looking back to make sure he was following.

 

“I wouldn’t say that was my only reason.” He commented once he had caught up with her, his strides much longer than hers and matching her pace easily. She glanced over at him at that, his dark eyes intense before he turned to open the door for her.

 

The sun was still out, but fading into the sky slowly. It was still warm, but breezy. Clarke tried not to shiver as they made their way to her car.

 

“You’ll have to tell me where to go. I don’t exactly remember…” Clarke bit her lip as she trailed off, feeling the flush creep up her neck and burn her cheeks. Bellamy either didn’t notice or pretended not to. Right, they were pretending that never happened. Somehow.

 

“It’s just on the other side of town.” Clarke unlocked her car, buckling in and starting the car.

 

A classic rock station played in the background, but they stayed mainly silent besides his directions. It was only ten minutes or so later, she was pulling off the main street into a suburban neighborhood. The houses were older but still nice. It reminded her of the house she grew up in, sort of, minus the glamour of a newly built development. These houses were old-school and Clarke appreciated their uniqueness.

 

Bellamy pulled into a driveway with an open front yard and large trees that hung over the driveway providing shade. The lawn was nicely maintained and she noticed empty flower beds that needed tending to in front of the house. Clarke parked the car, turning off the engine in silence as she took it in. Last time she was here…

 

Well, she was fairly inebriated. She was more focused on getting inside, then getting the hell out the next morning, that she didn’t pay too much attention to the house. It was old, definitely, but...had character. It was nicely maintained as far as she could tell - the paint had no cracks and the gutters looked impeccable.

 

“It’s...not much.” He hesitated, studying her face for her reaction. Clarke looked over at him, shaking her head

 

“It’s perfect, Bell. It’s your home.” Clarke sighed wistfully, unbuckling her seatbelt. Bellamy followed her lead, getting out of the passenger seat.

 

“I’ll grab your bag, hang on.” He jogged over to the other side, opening the door before she could think twice about correcting him.

 

“I feel like I should be the one helping you, not the other way around. You’ve been through a lot today.” She watched as he grabbed her laundry bag with ease - remembering how she struggled just to drag down the stairs. She tried not to think about that, but she was only human.

 

Clarke swallowed, still looking at him as he shut the door to her car and turned his attention back to her with an eyebrow raised. “Clarke. You fainted yesterday. I said you could come over to get some laundry done. I’m here to help you, not the other way around. Let’s get inside.” He nodded at her to keep walking and she nodded, turning back around to walk toward the front door.

 

“My garage door opener is in my car….and so is my house key. My spare is under that fake rock...can you grab it?” Clarke smiled as she made her way to the front, looking for the rock he mentioned. Spotting it easily, she grabbed it and turned it upside down to fetch the key from the secret compartment.

 

“For a police officer, that’s not much protection. Not a very inconspicuous rock.”

 

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

 

She turned the key in easily enough, opening the door and stepping inside. Clarke made her way to the side to let Bellamy through with her bag, locking the door behind them. There was a small side table with a bowl of change that she placed the spare house key next to.

 

There was a moment of silence after Clarke shut the door, sliding the lock into place. She turned back around to look at him. He had set her bag on the floor of the entryway, looking at her with that same intensity he always seemed to have with everything he did.

 

“Hey,” She spoke quietly, breaking the silence. “You doing okay?” Bellamy let out a breath at that, tension leaving his shoulders visibly.

 

“Yeah,” He said, a little shakily. Clarke walked over to him slowly, putting a hand on his arm.

 

“It’s been a long day. Why don’t you show me around to the laundry room, you can take it easy.” Bellamy was staring down at her and she watched his throat as he swallowed, before nodding.

 

“Sure,” He picked up her bag again, before leading her deeper into his house. She glanced around - there was a stairwell to the right, and a living room to the left. It was old fashioned, in desperate need of some redecorating, but...homey. Like a preserved childhood home.

 

Clarke trailed after him, her eyes taking in the old, faded wallpaper and old furnishings. Despite its age, it had...character. They walked through the kitchen into a small hallway, where Bellamy opened a door. Clarke glanced at the kitchen briefly, trying to take in the place as much as she could while not getting left behind.

 

“Here you go. Supplies are in the cupboard….” He placed her bag down easily by the washing machine. He glanced back at her in the doorway. “You’re allowed to be around laundry detergent, right?”

 

Clarke gave him a sardonic smile. “I don’t think I’ll be inhaling it and I’m staying away from bleach, don’t worry.” The crease between his eyebrows relented and he gave her a small nod.

 

“Alright. Do you need any help or…?”

 

“Go, relax, Bellamy. You deserve to get in something comfortable. I think I can handle my own laundry.” The thought of him helping her with her laundry and finding her...well, intimates, was a little too much for her to handle.

 

He gave her a smile, “I’ll be back in a few, then. The family room is right through the kitchen…” Clarke gave him a nod as he passed by her, giving her ample room.

 

Clarke went to work, sorting her clothes and throwing a small load in. He had a surprising amount of laundry supplies for a guy - though she shouldn’t make assumptions, she supposed. He was a better cook than her too.

 

Clarke started the laundry a few minutes later, realizing she wished she’d brought a change of clothes standing in her sundress. Smoothing the wrinkles out, she slowly toed off her white keds, leaving her in just her socks. Clarke smoothed down her hair, wondering how out of control it must be by now. It was still in the low ponytail she’d put it in while in the E.R., before she’d bumped into Bellamy. That felt like a lifetime ago, by now.

 

Clarke let out a breath, turning the light off behind her. There was a light on through a doorway which she presumed led to the family room, the kitchen silent except the hum of the refrigerator as she passed it.

 

Bellamy was on the couch when she walked in the doorway, in a pair of sweatpants and the same shirt he had on before. Next to him was a pile of folded clothes. He glanced up when she walked into the room, standing up.

 

“Hey...I wasn’t sure if you brought clean clothes, but if you wanted to be comfortable while you waited…” He leaned over to grab the stack of clothes as Clarke approached.

 

Clarke felt her stomach warm, feeling butterflies. Stop it, Clarke, get a hold of yourself. He’s just being...nice. She cleared her throat, reaching out to accept the clothes.

 

“They’re Octavia’s, some she had left over here. I don’t think she’d mind.” He explained.

 

“Thank you, that’s...really nice. Where can I…?” She trailed off, holding up the clothes questioningly. Bellamy nodded, Clarke noticed his own tanned, freckled cheeks reddening slightly.

 

“Right. There’s a bathroom, just down this hall.” He gestured toward the hallway that seemed to lead back to the front door. Clarke bit her lip to hide her smile and nodded, turning her back to find the bathroom.

 

There was only one door closest to the room that wasn’t closed all the way. She flicked the light on to find the small half bathroom. Clarke shucked her dress easily enough, folding it on the counter of the sink. She glanced around.

 

Like the rest of the house, it didn’t appear that Bellamy had done any updating since he had lived in it as a child. The mat in front of the sink was shaggy and a pale blue, the bathroom cupboards made out of a nice, solid wood.

 

She took advantage of the time to use the restroom while she was at it. Clarke finished up, washing her hands before unfolding the clothes, seeing a small shirt and pair of flannel pajamas. For it being so hot outside, the air conditioning blasted inside the house. She quickly pulled the clothes on, grabbing her dress and walking back out toward the family room.

 

Bellamy had turned some of the hallway lights off, leaving a few in the family room lit up, the light from the kitchen giving them enough light all on its own.

 

Bellamy glanced up when she walked back into the room. “Better?” He asked with a smile. Clarke nodded gratefully.

 

“Yes,” She plunked on the other side of the couch with a sigh. “It’s been a long day.” She looked over at him with sympathy, seeing the tiredness in his face. “Especially for you. Are you sure you want me here?”

 

Bellamy huffed. “I wouldn’t have invited you over if I didn’t want you here. I offered. And,” He added quietly, “it’s nice to not be alone, right now.” He looked over at her, and she nodded slowly.

 

“Yeah, I get that.” She said softly. He held her gaze before she broke it, glancing over at the TV that was across the room. “What are we watching?”

 

Bellamy leaned back against the couch, grabbing the remote. “Whatever the hell you want, Princess.” He reached over, handing her the remote.

 

“Documentary?” She teased as she grabbed it, shaking the remote at him. Bellamy looked over at her with an odd, but very intent, look on his face. “What? Not into ancient history anymore? Was that just some weird way to get me to fall asleep?”

 

Bellamy cracked a smile at that. “Whatever you want. I won’t say no to another documentary, but just promise you won’t fall asleep again. This couch is not that comfortable, looks are deceiving.”

 

Clarke grumbled, but couldn’t help but still smile, as she pressed the Netflix button on the remote. Bellamy just had his one profile that she clicked on easily.

 

After a few moments of clicking through movies, Bellamy cleared his throat, “Do you want something to drink? Eat? I think I have some snacks…”

 

Clarke perked up at that, looking over at him. The food from earlier didn’t cut it - she hadn’t eaten since breakfast earlier that morning. And she was eating for two, he couldn’t judge her. “Snacks?”

 

Bellamy got up from the couch with a laugh. “Just sit down, relax. Pick something to watch. I’ll see what I can do.”

Chapter Text

After that night, Clarke slowly became a part of the rest of his week. He thought it might be tricky, getting her to start sharing parts of her life with him. He knew that she was pretty guarded. He opened up fast - he didn’t have a lot to hide and couldn’t be bothered anyway - but noticed how she skirted around issues, or gave him half-truths. It was easy to spot, especially given his day job. But he didn’t push her.

 

He was expecting some resistance to his suggestion of integrating himself more into Clarke’s life...or vice versa, as it turns out, since she seemed to be integrating herself into his. But Clarke seemed to have no hesitation on these grounds, apparently. It made him wonder if she was maybe struggling more than she let on before.

 

Tuesday night was easier than he had thought it would be. Hanging out with Clarke felt...well it felt normal, like something falling into place. But he didn’t want to get his hopes up; he might just be romanticizing her pregnancy as Octavia kept reminding him.

 

But Clarke just...got him...in a wordless and easy way. They didn’t always need to speak to communicate, working around each other easily. And in between those moments, in the quiet watching TV, Clarke trying not to fall asleep, Bellamy felt...at peace.

 

“Bellamy?” Clarke asked softly next to him.

 

“Yeah, Clarke?” He looked away from the documentary at her, her head leaning against the back of the couch, her legs in Octavia’s old pajamas spread out toward him, but not quite long enough to reach him.

 

“Do you want to talk about what happened today?” As tired as Clarke looked laying across the couch, her eyes were staring at him intensely. Bellamy swallowed, taking the sight of her in, before he took another swallow of his beer he had grabbed from the kitchen, and set it down on the coffee table in front of him.

 

“Yeah,” He said finally, looking over at her, “I do.”

 

He ended up telling her, at some points somewhat shakily, about how scared he was when Miller was shot and putting pressure on the wound as they waited for backup. How he was the one who had shot the suspect after a few hits and the guy had gone down, but that he felt like there was someone else that was there too. How relieved he was that Miller was okay.

 

Bellamy wasn’t sure that talking about it would make him feel better, and it didn’t completely, but it helped.

 

Clarke only stayed for only one load - even though it looked like she had more. She folded the clean clothes neatly on top of the remaining dirty only having brought the one basket. He didn’t comment on the rest, already having pretty much forcing her over when she’d tried to reschedule.

 

He carried the basket out to her car, putting it in the back seat gently. Part of him worried about her carrying it up the stairs, but she shut the door without another word and grabbed her keys out of the purse on her shoulder.

 

“I’ll, um, wash these next time and leave them for you.” She gestured to the pajamas she had on that he’d handed her earlier.

 

“Yeah, sure, no problem. Just...take it easy, Clarke.” It wasn’t quite what he wanted to say, but, good enough.

 

She rolled her eyes, opening her car door. “Good night, Bellamy.”

 

“Good night, Clarke. Text me when you’re home.” He tried to get the last part out as she shut the door on him, but he knew she heard him. He waited up until she texted him about fifteen minutes later (when he made sure she was inside, not just parked), then he finally hit his bed and knocked out from the long ass day he had.

 

Returning to work the next day without Miller was strange. He had to get a ride from one of his friends at the station - Monroe - since his car was still there. The day passed by slowly, most people cutting him slack as the paperwork piled up from the incident the day before. He’d already given his statement, but that didn’t mean Incident Reports filled themselves out. Especially with an injured partner.

 

Kane eventually made his way to speak to him that morning, pulling him into his office to commend his and Miller’s brave conduct, calling the two of them heroes. Bellamy didn’t feel very brave, firing off a shot and calling for backup, his blood rushing to his head and pounding in his ears. He didn’t feel the adrenaline really leave him until he saw Clarke, standing there in the middle of the craziness of the emergency room, looking like she was about to kick ass and take some names. Kane also mentioned Miller’s dad briefly, which Bellamy felt a pang of sympathy over. His dad had been at the hospital before being pulled away with a promise from Bellamy to keep him updated.

 

Bellamy kept pretty quiet, muttering something about just doing his job to Kane’s reassuring smile. He wouldn’t feel normal until Miller was back, hopefully getting discharged later that week, from what he’d texted him. The wound wasn’t serious but apparently they like to observe gunshot wounds for any complications before discharge.

 

The thought pissed him off, and made him seriously wonder about what had gone wrong. Maybe they were getting too close? He kept the thoughts to himself for now.

 

He stopped by the hospital to bring food to Miller for lunch, avoiding any work talk while his friend was still recovering. He looked like shit, quite frankly. Miller had scrapes and bruises on his face and his arm, scratches on his palms from the asphalt. His arm was wrapped where the bullet had cut through the muscle, missing the bone. Bellamy hadn’t realized how relieved he was to see Miller sitting up and laughing with him after such a narrow miss. The two chatted about Monty, their friends, how Miller’s dad freaked out when he heard the news...

 

Bellamy then spent the rest of the afternoon in paperwork and avoiding the rabbit hole of their investigation that was the aftermath of this incident. That could wait a day, at least.

 

Bellamy was lost in thought on the drive back to his house (once he claimed his car back from the enclosed lot), only seeming to snap out of it when he saw a familiar car parked in front of his house on the street.

 

“Clarke?” He asked to himself, pulling into the driveway.

 

Clarke always seemed to surprise him. He went through the garage, closing the garage door behind him as he walked through the door into his kitchen. Clarke was standing at the island, looking...well, extremely inviting after a long day of paperwork and avoiding people (and even the local press, annoyingly enough).

 

Clarke was dressed in leggings and a t-shirt, her hair in a ponytail, drinking apple juice, playing on her phone. She looked up when she heard the door slam behind him.

 

“Hey,” She greeted with a smile, “I hope you don’t mind. I used your spare key. I was going to text you but I was in the neighborhood….I brought dinner?” She pointed to the bags of takeout that he hadn’t noticed sitting on the other side of the island.

 

“Ton & DC’s?” He asked after reading the logo on the bag and stepping further into the room.

 

“Before you say anything, I know it’s takeout.” Clarke held her hands up defensively, her eyebrows scrunched together stubbornly. Bellamy found it hard to take her seriously when she was making her face like that, and he held back a smile, “But! It’s been a long week, and it’s only Wednesday. I think we both deserve it. And!” She added with a finger, stopping him before he could say a word, “This is one of my Pregnancy Cravings, and I feel like that gives me a trump card.”

 

Bellamy smiled then, still holding back a laugh at her detailed reasoning. “I wasn’t even going to argue. Just...let me go get changed.” He gestured upstairs, backing back out the room. And just like that, he was hanging out with Clarke Griffin again, the future mother of his child, like it was the most normal thing in the world. And the best part is, the distraction from his day totally worked.

 

Clarke left after dinner that Wednesday night, Bellamy walking her to her car parked on the street. Part of him felt compelled to make sure she was in the car, buckled, before she left.

 

Thursday continued like normal, or as normal life could be without his partner sitting across from him, until about lunch time when his phone unexpectedly buzzed in his pocket.

 

1 Message from Clarke Griffin

 

He typed his password in, sliding open his phone curiously at his desk. The empty desk where Miller sat was simultaneously angering and depressing him, so he could gladly use the distraction.

 

So THIS is why I let Raven do the cooking.

 

Below saw a picture of - what might have been - her lunch on the stove, the bottom of the pot blackened. Bellamy couldn’t help but let out a laugh.

 

Is that your lunch?

 

He only waited a few more seconds for her response.

 

It WAS my lunch…

 

He only thought about it for another moment, before typing out if she wanted to get lunch with him today. Was that too much? She had been the one to come over yesterday, anyway. He hit send before he could overthink it. He is just making sure she eats, anyway. For the baby’s sake.

 

And only a few moments later, he was in his car on his way to pick her up.

 

It seemed that easy, at least. Thursday night, Clarke continued to text him. She mentioned she had work the next day, her first day back since she had fainted. He was worried, but Clarke seemed confident, reassuring him that she was working a relatively short shift and has been feeling great and well rested.

 

Friday felt like a blessing, the signal of the end to a long week.

 

Bellamy couldn’t help but keep from texting Clarke, even though he knew she was working and likely either didn’t have her phone or couldn’t text him back. Either way, he kept sending her short messages, just checking in.

 

He convinced himself that it wasn’t creepy or weird, because Clarke had fainted and that put him on edge about their baby. Her health was his business, as far as he was concerned, until she had their baby. Then she could go back to eating whatever the hell she wanted - as long as their baby was all right.

 

Bellamy didn’t want to go into whether or not he and Clarke were on the same page when it came to what “right” meant. He had to hope that Clarke, as a doctor, knew what was best for their baby. Or maybe that was something they could work through together.

 

Clarke texted him back every few hours, letting him know what she was eating (with several eyeroll emojis) and how work was going. It seemed that it was a huge change of pace from her previous position. Bellamy couldn’t help but feel relieved about that, but tried his best not to say anything.

 

He called Octavia on his way home from work, checking in with her. He hadn’t seen her since the hospital on Tuesday, had barely spoken to her but a few words via text messages. He hadn’t quite had the time to give her a call back, being distracted by both work and by Clarke.

 

“Hey, little sister,” He greeted when she picked up the phone. Thankfully, his car had blue tooth so he was hands free.

 

“Hey, Bell. How are you? How’s Miller doing? I heard from Monty he’s not getting released for awhile.” Figures Octavia was already up to speed. Their friend network worked fast. She probably knew more than he did, and he’d been the one to visit Miller in the hospital.

 

“Yeah, he won’t be back full time for a while, but he’s okay.” Bellamy elaborated what he knew anyway for her benefit.

 

“I just can’t believe that. I’m glad you had his back. What about the guy who shot him?” Bellamy clicked his tongue thinking about it.

 

“Still in a coma.”

 

“Damn. Well, keep me updated. I think we were going to hang out at Jasper and Monty’s tonight. Monty won’t be there, he’ll be ‘taking care of’ Miller at the hospital until visiting hours are over…” Octavia’s tone suggested Monty would be doing more than just taking care of Miller, but Bellamy tried not to think too hard about it, letting out a small laugh.

 

“I’m sure Monty will make sure he’s well taken care of.” Octavia laughed at that.

 

“Miller certainly has earned it.”

 

“He certainly has.” Bellamy agreed.

 

“And what about you?” Octavia asked.

 

“What about me?” Bellamy’s tone hardened. He tried to hedge this line of questioning, not liking where it was going.

 

“I think you’ve earned a break, too.” That was innocent enough, he guessed.

 

“Yeah, maybe. I’ll stop by and have a few drinks or something.” It had been a long ass week.

 

“Great! I’ve invited Clarke and Raven, too.”

 

Was that smugness in her tone? He tried to ignore it, instead focusing on the words themselves.

 

“Octavia, Clarke had her first day back at work today since she fainted. I don’t think she is going to want to hang around with a bunch of drunks after a twelve hour shift.” Bellamy couldn’t help if he came off a little...protective.

 

“Calm down, Bell. She said she could use the company. She’s pregnant, not elderly.”

 

Bellamy tried not to be peeved at that. Clarke has been exhausted the past few weeks, thanks to nausea and sleeplessness. He tried to tamper down his annoyance with his little sister, knowing her heart was in the right place. Besides, Clarke was only human and he needed to trust her own boundaries. If she thinks she’s up to hanging out, then he’d have to back her up on that.

 

“Right.” He gritted out, trying to get over his own annoyance at the situation. Clarke didn’t mention going to hang out with Octavia at all today. Did she not think he would be there? That thought irked him too.

 

He could almost feel Octavia rolling her eyes over the phone. “Whatever, big brother. Be there or be square. We’re getting pizza.”

 

“Alright, I’ll see you then, I guess.”

 

Bellamy got ready quickly, changing into jeans and a t-shirt and cleaning up the house a bit. Ever since Octavia had moved out, it was easy to pick up after just one person - himself. He thought about getting a roommate, but he was pretty particular about how he liked his stuff. And the thought of a stranger in his childhood home didn’t sit well with him.  And now, with the baby….he’d have to start thinking about which room to convert into a nursery. And he highly doubted anybody would want to room with a baby.

 

It was closer to 7:30 by the time he made it over to Jasper and Monty’s. They shared a small condo closer to the small downtown area of Arcadia. The two made pretty good money - doing whatever it is they did - working at the biotech firm just outside of town. The apartment was close to the few bars Arcadia had in their downtown, and their place was a frequent one for pregaming nights out.

 

Bellamy had taken to passing more often than not. He was getting tired of getting too drunk or having one-night-stands the older he got. But, occasionally, he couldn’t help but bend to the peer pressure of his sister and their friend group.

 

Besides, Monty always had some good homemade moonshine at hand. If they weren’t hitting the bars tonight, it’d be pretty laid back. Maybe some movie or card drinking games, depending on Octavia’s mood.

 

Bellamy resisted the urge to text Clarke and see where she was at. She got off around 7, so he wondered if she was going to be there late or head right from work...but knowing her and Raven, they likely would arrive together.

 

He parked the car on the street a few blocks from their apartment building. He hated trying to find parking for his large car in the downtown district, since the time restrictions varied by street and were mostly parallel.

 

Bellamy was knocking on the door of their third floor apartment a few minutes later. The door swung open, revealing a red-eyed Jasper.

 

“Bellamy!” Jasper exclaimed with a large smile, throwing his arms open for a hug. “You’re alive!”

 

He rolled his eyes, accepting Jasper’s hug before quickly extracting himself. “Yeah, yeah. Come on, I need a drink.”

 

“That,” Jasper nodded and started to smile, “I can certainly help you with. Head on in, everyone is in the other room. I’ll get you some moonshine.”

 

Bellamy nodded his thanks, heading further into the newly renovated condo. For two grown ass men, Monty and Jasper’s condo looked like something out of a freshman dormitory. The walls were covered in posters of various computer or video games and classic movies. There was a large L-shaped couch with a flat screen TV and a recliner chair that took up most of the space. Most of his friends - including his sister and her boyfriend - were already there.

 

Beside Lincoln and Octavia, a friend of Lincoln’s named Harper and Wick were also there. It felt weird without Monty and Miller, another harsh reminder that he needed to figure out what exactly had gone down that got him injured. He needed a drink.

 

“Hey guys,” He greeted, quickly taking a seat on the edge of the couch, “How’s it going?”

 

The group made small talk, catching up and peppering Bellamy with questions about what happened and how Miller was doing. Bellamy was grateful Jasper didn’t take too long coming back with the apple-flavored moonshine in a red solo cup.

 

Bellamy took a few long drinks quickly, just to relieve some of the tension in his brain. This week had felt like an eternity, and way too much of it spent at Mount Weather.

 

As he felt his body slowly start to relax into a nice buzz, the topic of conversation turned much more pleasant, catching up on their weeks. When the group hit up The Dropship for their weekly trivia night, it was harder to get caught up with everyone between the loud bar and drunken conversations.

 

The group decided on board games instead of drinking games. It didn’t have anything to do with the fact that he knew Clarke would be there and didn’t want her to feel left out. Not at all.

 

It wasn’t too much later after the group decided to finally order the pizzas that a knock on the door interrupted their first game into Clue.

 

“That was fast.” Harper commented as Jasper jumped up to get the door.

 

“Look what the cat dragged in,” Jasper announced walking back into the room. Bellamy looked to see Clarke and Raven trailing behind his wiry friend.

 

“Everyone remembers Clarke, right?” Raven had apparently gotten to know his friend group in the last few weeks that Bellamy hadn’t been going out, her familiarity with the place apparent. Jasper plopped himself down in the recliner as Raven sat on the floor opposite the couch, next to Wick.

 

As everyone greeted Clarke and Raven, the blonde hesitated to follow her friend to the floor, looking over at him. Bellamy tried not to feel good about it, scooting over on the couch inconspicuously enough to not make it extremely obvious to his group of friends. The situation was weird enough without them making it weird. And he wasn’t even sure what everyone knew.

 

He saw a look of relief cross her face as she stepped further into the room around Jasper’s recliner to take the seat on the couch next to him. She was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, apparently having changed into normal clothes after work.

 

“Hey,” She murmured when she sat down on the couch next to him. She set her purse down on the floor next to her, her eyes flicking between his and the rest of the group. The room was almost full, but still felt empty to him without Monty and Miller.

 

“Hey,” He said quietly, feeling the warmth of her body next to his. The moonshine was hitting him faster than usual, making Clarke almost glow next to him. His whole body felt on pins and needles next to her, even though they’d been hanging out all week.

 

“Clarke!” Octavia called from down the couch, leaning forward with a wide grin on her face. “I’m so happy you finally came to hang out!” Clarke gave her a small but genuine smile in return.

 

“I’m happy to be here. Thanks for the invite.”

 

The game was interrupted while the two girls got settled in. Clarke seemed to be paying particular attention to Raven and Wick’s interactions in between her own conversations, the guy quickly engaging Raven in friendly banter. Bellamy could tell Raven relished in the dialogue, snarking back as good, if not better, than his sarcastic, sandy-haired friend.

 

As Octavia and Clarke made small talk over and around him, Bellamy sipped on his drink. He glanced down, realizing Clarke was empty-handed. Without wanting to interrupt the two women, he extracted himself off the couch to get Clarke some water.

 

He returned back to the group, the game apparently restarting without waiting for him. He handed Clarke the cup filled with ice water as he sat back down, noticing his cup had been refilled with the jar of moonshine on the coffee table.

 

“Thanks,” Clarke told him gratefully, taking a few sips out of the cup of water. He nodded in response, trying to ignore the warm way Clarke made him feel. He was definitely buzzed.

 

The game continued with more drinking until the food arrived - in which all pretense for playing fair was quickly forfeited. Clarke watched them all amusedly from her spot on the corner of the couch, Bellamy refilling her water when needed. It was the least he could do, really. She couldn’t drink because of him anyway.

 

As the night went on, their game was abandoned the more the group talked and drank. Bellamy was pretty drunk himself, more than he had thought he would be or planned to be. He was so eager to relax he may have overdid it.

 

But every once in awhile, he felt Clarke’s hand on his back when he closed his eyes when the room got too hot or dizzy. Her hand felt solid and warm on his back, anchoring him back in reality. He opened his eyes to look over at her, seeing her smile over at him, with a small look of concern in her eyes.

 

Bellamy suddenly couldn’t stop thinking of their night at the bar so long ago - almost a year ago in a few months, actually. He had been this drunk then, too. But had Clarke been too, flirty and bossy, and playful. She made his blood heat in his veins, just like she was right now. And just like that night, when he was drunk off whiskey and not moonshine, he couldn’t stop thinking about what it would be like to kiss her. He wished he could remember every detail.

 

Looking at her now, he was trying to remember why it was a bad idea. It would just be so easy to lean over and-

 

He heard a flicking sound from a few feet away, and his eyes locked on Jasper, sitting in the recliner on the other side of Clarke. He had a joint in his mouth, his hands attempting to flick the lighter on.

 

“Jordan!” He snapped angrily, standing up from the couch to walk over to his host, “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Jasper froze, the joint hanging from his lips. Wick, Raven and Harper were engrossed in their own conversation, but went silent at Bellamy’s exclamation.

 

“What?” He mumbled through his lips, his eyes wide.

 

Bellamy was pissed, and yes, maybe drunk, but did Jasper forget that Clarke was pregnant ? He and Miller always tried to let this shit slide - really, they did - but this was too much.

 

“Take that outside,” Bellamy gritted out, yanking the joint from his friend. Jasper was staring at him with confusion, before throwing his hands up in surrender, nodding slowly and standing up. Bellamy offered the joint back to his friend, resisting the urge to throw it on the ground and squash it under his shoe. He knew better.

 

Jasper accepted the joint before glancing over at Clarke, who was staring at the two silently with wide eyes. “Ohhh….I’m sorry, man - and Clarke - I totally forgot-”

 

“Just go.”

 

Bellamy watched his friend go, turning to sit back down on the large couch. The rest of the group resumed their conversation, their board game long forgotten on the coffee table. Octavia nudged him from his other side but he ignored her.

 

“You didn’t have to do that.” Clarke said once he was situated. “It’s getting late, anyway. I should head home. Today was….long.”

 

“Yes,” He gave her a pointed look before reaching to grab the rest of his drink, “I did.” He knew he was pretty drunk since the alcohol only tasted like apples at this point - the burning sensation dulled. Her words finally processed a second later, thanks to his drunk brain.

 

“What time is it?”

 

Clarke lit up her phone next to him, showing him it was after 11 o’clock. He let out a breath. It was getting late.

 

“Are you going home with Raven?” The two looked over at Clarke’s best friend at the same time. The woman was fairly tipsy herself, laughing animatedly, and very hands on, with the man next to her from their spots on the floor. His sister, Lincoln and Harper conversed quietly but drunkenly on the other end of the couch, Jasper outside on his own.

 

“I don’t even know if Raven is going home,” Clarke said dryly. Bellamy let out a loud laugh at that. Then a thought sobered him a bit.

 

“You shouldn’t go home alone, it’s not safe.”

 

“I’m a big girl, I think I’ll be okay.” Clarke assured him, already reaching down to grab her purse. “But I appreciate the concern.”

 

“You drove here?” He asked, still not liking the idea that she would drive herself home alone this late. What if something happens?

 

Clarke shot him a look, as if knowing where he was going with the conversation. “Bellamy….” There was a warning in her tone that made him put his hands up in surrender.

 

“I didn’t even say anything.” He knew he sounded like a brat, but fuck it, he was drunk and Clarke needed to hear shit sometimes.

 

Clarke rolled her eyes but had a smile on her face.

 

“Rae?” She called, getting up from the couch. The tan woman looked up from where she was sitting to see Clarke. She scrambled to her feet, launching herself the few feet across the room into Clarke’s arms.

 

Bellamy couldn’t hear exactly what the two were talking about, but a moment later they parted. Clarke said her goodbyes to the rest of the room.

 

“I’ll walk you to the door,” Bellamy said, realizing Raven was not going with her. He got up from the couch quickly, following behind her closely. He ignored the stares of his sister and the rest of their friends on their way out.

 

When Clarke opened the door to leave, she hesitated, turning back around. “Do you have a ride home?”

 

Bellamy was planning on taking a cab back home, or maybe get a ride from Octavia and Lincoln. But Clarke was standing very close to him in the doorway, staring up at him intently. Her crystal blue eyes were dark in the dimly-lit entryway of their friends apartment.

 

He thought about how easy it would be to close the gap between them, how tempting it would be to pull her body close up against his, maybe convince her to come inside if she dropped him off.

 

Snapping out of that train of thought, Bellamy shook his head, trying to remember her question. What he did remember was that she definitely shouldn’t be walking to her car by herself at night, let alone walk alone back to her apartment.

 

“I could drop you off?” She offered when he didn’t respond.

 

“That’s out of your way.” He said after a beat, not sure he could really say ‘no’ to her at the moment.

 

“I don’t mind.” Clarke was too good, giving him a smile that seemed to hit him. He thought of the arguments for not going with her, which seemed stupid at the moment to his alcohol-ridden brain. And Clarke obviously thought too highly of him, clearly not on his same page of train of thoughts.

 

“I’d rather you get yourself home safe.” That, at least, he could remember was his main goal. She was silent for another few seconds.

 

“You could crash on my couch?” She offered after a moment, a blush igniting her cheeks but her stare resolute.

 

Bellamy’s jaw snapped shut, thinking it over. He clenched his jaw. This was a bad idea. Right?

 

Or was it a good idea? He could be there and walk Clarke to her door, make sure she made it inside so late at night...just crash and leave before she woke up in the morning.

 

And her couch wasn’t too uncomfortable....

 

Who was he kidding? The paper-thin excuses he had for not getting closer to her went up in flames when those words left her mouth. He only had so much self control, especially after a long week when he did just want to make sure she was okay. So sue him that he wanted to be there for her, his drunken mind supplying him all the reasons he should do it.

 

“Or not,” Clarke added quickly, the blush on her cheeks spreading to her neck the longer the silence stretched between them. “I can just drop you off, but if, you know, you didn’t want to be alone or whatever, I just thought-”

 

“That sounds nice, actually,” He interrupted her babbling. “But I don’t think I’ll stay, I’ll get a cab from your place. Let me just say goodbye to everyone. Wait here.”

 

He said his goodbyes quickly, ignoring Raven’s suspicious gaze. He added an apology for his outburst to Jasper, who, as always, was good-natured in return.

 

Clarke was waiting for him right where he told her in the doorway, smiling when seeing him again. Bellamy was finding he really liked Clarke’s smile.

 

It was chilly given the lateness of the evening on the walk back to Clarke’s car. Bellamy didn’t have a jacket to offer, but they walked close enough that he hoped she could feel his warmth without them actually touching.

 

Clarke manually unlocked his door for him before turning the car on. She parked closer to Jasper’s than he did so their walk was not too bad, but Clarke blasted the heat anyway. Bellamy couldn’t help but enjoy the crisp air outside, feeling the haze of alcohol slowly start to fade.

 

“How was work?” He asked once they were on their way out of the downtown district. It was silent except for the noise of the air conditioner.

 

“It was long,” Clarke admitted, glancing over at him. “I didn’t realize how long these shifts are. Procedures make the time go by so much faster. My back was hurting after while. That’s why I didn’t want to sit on the floor,” She explained, stretching her neck almost involuntarily. Bellamy couldn’t help but stare at the flash of flesh she exposed when she did. Focus, Bellamy.

 

“I’m sorry,” He told her earnestly. “But it was...good, other than that? Were you feeling okay?”

 

“Yeah,” She said with a sigh. “Just a few more weeks and this nausea should die down, I hope.”

 

“I hope so too,” He told her, “but I’m glad to hear that your day was better, at least.”

 

“Thanks,” She looked over at him, her voice genuine, “And I’m sorry you had a long week. I’m sure my incident didn’t help when dealing with all this Miller stuff,” Her face was sympathetic, but Bellamy didn’t want her sympathy. He convinced Clarke to tell him more details about her day as she drove, her apartment coming up quickly. She parked a little bit further than he would have preferred, but kept it to himself.

 

Once they had made it up the many stairways and Clarke unlocked the door, Bellamy finally got his phone out to call a cab back home. He would’ve had to get his car in the morning anyway, no way of driving home sober.

 

“Are you sure you don’t want to stay?” Clarke offered, hovering in the space between the hallway and her main living area of her small apartment. “The couch isn’t too bad, I don’t think.”

 

He looked over at Clarke, who was looking particularly inviting just a couple feet away. But the drive over sobered him up a bit, and as innocent as it was between the two of them now, Bellamy wanted - needed - to take things slow with Clarke. She wasn’t just a one night stand (though she was), she was the mother of his child.

 

His mouth felt dry, though, suddenly, looking at her expectant and hopeful face.

 

“I, um,” He shook his head and his unwanted thoughts away, “already called a cab.” He tried not to let it get to him that he saw a flash of disappointment cross her face. But then she was nodding, crossing her arms over her chest, and maybe that had just been his tired and lingering buzz brain’s imagination.

 

“Thanks for seeing me home, then.” Bellamy nodded, smiling a bit at her.

 

“You’re welcome, Clarke. Anytime.” His phone buzzed in his hand by his side. Glancing at the notification, his driver was approaching outside. And knowing this area, the guy wouldn’t wait for long. “I better get going.” He waved his phone at her apologetically.

 

He turned around to open the door again, hearing her approach slowly behind him as he started to walk out the door.

 

“Goodnight, Bellamy,” She grabbed the door from him, watching him intently. He paused and almost wanted to just lean down and kiss her in that moment. He was so close, it would be so easy-

 

“Goodnight, Clarke,” He breathed out instead, tracing a hand down her arm before squeezing her hand and turning around.

 

She shut the door after him a second later, and he headed down the stairs after he heard the lock turn, wondering what if…

Chapter Text

Clarke slept in until well past 10 o’clock that next Saturday morning. Once Bellamy had left, Clarke hadn’t been able to fall asleep for a few hours, as if given a dose of purse adrenaline. Which was silly, of course, since all Bellamy did was make sure she got home okay and then went home himself.

 

But for whatever reason (namely, Clarke’s hormones), her brain wouldn’t let it go. She stared at the ceiling of her small apartment, her mind racing, her hand over her stomach as if she could feel anything. All she felt lately was sick and grouchy from being sleepless and nauseous.

 

So when she finally woke up the next morning, she knew it must have been late. The sun was streaming in through the windows in strong beams. Clarke stretched, reaching toward her phone. Raven would be here in a few short hours, stopping by once again before her workout class.

 

Clarke blissfully didn’t have any plans today. She worked three days next week, and only had thoughts of the Blake family dinner Sunday night between then and now. She needed Raven - who had been busy working late that whole week - for encouragement.

 

Clarke hadn’t known what to make of Octavia’s invite - in a group chat, no less, to her and Raven - to their friend Jasper’s house that same Friday. On one hand, Clarke was exhausted from her day back at work. She’d gotten used to hanging out on her own schedule that week, and what were once easy thirty-six hour at a time shifts, she struggled to make it through the full twelve working hours. But part of her was grateful for the built in lunch break of these shifts, and the mundane cases she was assigned to.

 

So on the other hand, it was nice to spend time with people and pretend everything was normal, like it was before she found out she was pregnant. And the night was surprisingly...fun. Drunk Bellamy was especially….well, considerate.

 

Clarke cleaned her apartment a little bit, mainly just lounging around until Raven was going to stop by. She was trying to avoid overthinking last night. Unlike everyone else, she couldn’t blame the alcohol for compelling herself to ask Bellamy to stay the night. Twice .

 

Not that he did.

 

Clarke groaned internally at that particular thought. She wasn’t sure what to make of his rejection of that, anyway, and didn’t exactly feel like dwelling on it. She tried not to take it personally.

 

Not when drunk Bellamy made her feel like her entire body was on fire. She wasn’t sure what it was about his gaze, but he made her feel like the only woman in the world when he looked at her. It was the same intensity that drew her to him in that bar.

 

Not that she was thinking about that night, anyway.

 

What she was really dying to know, she told herself in the ultimate distraction to her own problems, was how the rest of Raven’s evening went. The women arrived together, Clarke offering to DD as she likely would the next nine (and more, let’s be honest) months, but clearly had not left together. Raven was scarce on the details over texts.

 

Raven knocked on the door a short while later, interrupting Clarke snacking on strawberries on her couch.

 

“Coming!” She huffed from her comfortable position. She’d gotten in a better habit locking her door lately, at least, but that meant getting up to open it more often.

 

When Clarke opened the door, Raven greeted her with a disgruntled look on her face, definitely not wearing workout clothes.

 

“Hey…” Clarke greeted her friend slowly, taking her in. Raven rarely missed her workout class (Clarke secretly thought there was some eyecandy Raven couldn’t give up, plus Raven was just a freak like that). She stepped aside to let her friend in, wearing sweats and an oversized t-shirt.

 

Raven grunted in return, making her way inside to fall onto the couch, her Ugg moccasins falling to the side of the couch easily, before she propped her feet up on the other arm of the couch. Clarke slowly shut the door behind her, locking it.

 

“So, Rae, how was the rest of your night?” Clarke made her way into the living area, lifting up Raven’s feet to sit beneath them on the other end of the couch.

 

“I’m a little hungover.”

 

“I couldn’t tell. That all? You don’t normally let that get to you.”

 

Raven sighed, closing her eyes. “I slept with Wick last night.”

 

Clarke bit her lip, debating what the right thing to say was. “And how do you feel about that today?” Raven peaked an eye open to squint at her.

 

“It was fun. Good...casual. Just easy.” Raven shrugged, but Clarke could tell something bothered her.

 

“Casual?” Clarke echoed Raven’s word curiously.

 

Raven huffed, holding a hand up to her forehead in annoyance.

 

“I don’t know, Clarke. I like him. I just don’t want to think about it more than that right now. You get it, right?”

 

For whatever reason, her mind thought of Bellamy at Raven’s words. She tried to force that thought out quickly.

 

“Wick and I…” Raven continued, not even noticing the turmoil on Clarke’s own face, “...we are just having fun. We like each other. Maybe it’ll be more, maybe it won’t. But I just like that freedom, for now.”

 

Clarke felt like gaping at the woman next to her, who last weekend could barely admit to liking Wick at all. She wondered how her night must have gone, apparently very well. But Raven was not one to gush, so.

 

“As long as you’re happy, Rae, that’s all that matters. I’m glad you’re at a point that you guys can...be together, liking one another.”

 

For a lot of other people, that may not be much. But for people like Raven and Clarke, that was a pretty big step. Finn ripped a pretty big hole in Raven’s heart when he betrayed her, even bigger than the one in Clarke’s. The girls bonded over that betrayal pretty fast, maybe even to a point of codependency. Finn was their support systems, and when he was gone, they just had one another. Raven opening herself up to Wick, especially just for a casual relationship, was a huge milestone.

 

Raven sighed once again, but this time in a somewhat happy, content sort of way, her mouth twisting into a small smile. If Clarke knew her like she thought, Raven was about to fall asleep in just moments. Like clockwork, the woman’s eyes closed next to her and she was out.

 

As Raven snoozed on the couch, Clarke reached over to turn the volume back up on the TV, low enough not to wake Raven up.

 

She got lost in binge watching reruns of her favorite show. Two episodes later, Raven started to wake up again.

 

“Hey, sleepyhead,” Clarke greeted with a smile, shaking the girls feet which were still in her lap. Raven yawned, stretching and sitting up straighter, pulling her feet underneath her.

 

“Hey,” She rubbed her eyes, running a hand over the top of her hair, which was situated in her signature high ponytail. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to fall asleep. What are you doing?”

 

“Just watching TV,” Clarke shrugged, reaching over to pause the show. Raven procured her phone out of her sweatpants pocket, lighting up the screen to see the several missed text messages.

 

“It’s already pretty late. Do you want some late lunch?” Raven asked, stretching her legs out from under her to the other side of the couch to get up. At the thought of food, Clarke’s stomach rumbled as it always did at the mention of food. It was a weird feeling being simultaneously starving and sick to her stomach at certain points.

 

“Um, yes, that would be great, actually. What can you make? I don’t even know what I have…” Raven stood up from the couch to head into the kitchen.

 

“Oh, Bellamy didn’t bring you over more groceries last night?” Raven asked snarkily, quirking an eyebrow as she looked over her shoulder, making her way to the kitchen.

 

Clarke flushed and couldn’t help but start stuttering, “That is just - ridiculous - Bellamy didn’t -” Clarke crossed her arms over her chest, snapping her mouth shut, before taking a deep breath. “Bellamy only did that once , alright? And he only came home with me last night to make sure I made it home okay….” She could’ve kept arguing, but Raven was already in the kitchen moving around, and Clarke would’ve had to yell to get her to hear her. Not worth her defense, frankly.

 

Raven made them both chicken salad with toast for lunch. Clarke was impressed that Raven kept making the efforts to continue cooking - as much as mixing chicken salad was cooking - for her.

 

The two friends spent the rest of their lazy Saturday afternoon catching up on their weeks. As much as Clarke tried to gloss over the fact that she had spent almost every single day this week with Bellamy, she couldn’t honestly talk about any part of her week out loud without that coming up naturally. And Clarke definitely avoided telling her that she platonically asked Bellamy to stay on her couch last night.

 

Raven looked like she wanted to say something but kept her mouth shut, only commenting on the mundane parts of Clarke’s week.

 

Raven, on the other hand, continued to flip flop between distancing herself from Wick and his affection/attention, and diving head first into it and it's supposed “casualness”. Clarke, taking a cue from Raven, remained relatively silent on the issue. For now, at least.

 

The later it got, and once Raven had recovered enough to have a few more beers, Clarke finally brought up the Blake family dinner. She’d been working up the courage to try to figure out how to tell her.

 

“So,” Clarke grabbed her friends attention from the TV screen, “Octavia invited me over for a family dinner tomorrow. Apparently it’s a weekly thing.” Raven’s eyebrows shot up.

 

“Interesting. Are you going?” Her tone was neutral enough, but Clarke could tell there were a few unsaid words there.

 

“I told her I would. I didn’t really have a reason to say no. She said….that we are practically family already.” Clarke said that last part a little bit quieter, part of her worried about what Raven would say to that.

 

Raven’s face softened, but her words were still plenty firm. “You should be careful, Clarke. They might be nice enough people now, but you and Bellamy are not actually married or anything. You guys are on the same page now, but what about when you guys disagree on daycare? Or public versus private schools? How friendly is Octavia, or Bellamy for that matter, going to be then?”

 

Clarke couldn’t help but scowl at her friends negativity. “You can’t just go through life thinking everyone is going to betray you, Raven. Bellamy and Octavia are this baby’s family too, whether I like it or not. I think the least I could do is make the best of the situation.”

 

Raven put her hands up defensively. “Look, I get it. But you deserve to be happy. And you know me, Griffin. I’m just saying don’t get caught up in this perfect family fantasy, alright?”

 

Clarke swallowed, taking that dose of reality a little bit too harshly. Raven had a point. It was easy to get caught up in the fantasy that they could all live happily ever after - in whatever weird version of happy they came up with, given their odd circumstances. But Raven and her both knew that life, and families, were not always perfect.

 

“I’m being careful, alright? But let me try this my way. If I need you to kick ass, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, give them a chance for me.”

 

“I’ve given them plenty of chances! I like Monty and Jasper plenty. Harper is a little quiet, but she’s a nurse so-”

 

Clarke snapped her fingers, “That’s where I’ve seen her before. She was my nurse at the Polis Clinic. I wonder why she didn’t say anything last night.”

 

Raven gave her a sardonic look. “Would you have said anything? If you were the nurse of the patient that got artificially inseminated?”

 

Clarke shrugged. “It’s not like it was her fault, exactly.”

 

Anyway , she’s quiet, but a pretty dry sense of humor when she does chime in. And I’ve been keeping my distance from Octavia. I wasn’t sure I wanted to know too much about her, if she is going to be this baby’s actual aunt. But she seems cool enough. Lincoln is nice.” It sounded like Raven added that last part a little grudgingly.

 

Clarke hmm’d in response, settling back further into the couch cushions. She noticed Raven didn’t bring up her opinion on Bellamy, so she decided not to ask. “Well, I liked them.”

 

“You like everyone, Clarke.”

 

“Not everyone,” Clarke pointed out with a smile. Raven rolled her eyes but didn’t say anything more on the topic.

 

Raven left pretty late that night after making them another meal of macaroni and cheese with some broccoli. Dinner of champions.

 

After Raven left, though, Clarke couldn’t fall asleep. After about half an hour, she moved herself to the bathroom and spent most of the night by the toilet.

 

Consequently, she slept in pretty late Sunday, waking up in her bed after having woken up too early in the morning by the side of the toilet. Not a pleasant way to wake up, and a disgusting reminder she needed to clean her own bathroom.

 

Clarke laid in bed feeling disgruntled by the lack of decent sleep and distinct hunger pains. Once she was hungry enough to get herself out of bed, she had some cereal before quickly showering.

 

Clarke had to run to the grocery store anyway to make sure she had food for the week, but debated asking if she should bring anything to dinner tonight. In the end, she needed to know what time to be there anyway, so she shot a text off to Octavia.

 

She went to Target which was a little out of her neighborhood and farther than her local grocery store, but she wanted to check out some baby books, anyway.

 

So she killed her afternoon between checking out some generic baby books that Target had to offer (not buying any because damn, these things were expensive), before picking out some food that she could take to work and make for dinner that week.

 

Clarke always bought generic, but mainly stuck to foods like rice, pasta, instant ramen...boxed mac and cheese...frozen $1.00 pizzas….frozen bagel bites….but now she was adjusting her expectations. She’d thrown away some of the food Bellamy had gotten her last weekend already. It turns out fruits and vegetables can go bad kind of quickly.

 

But as Clarke checked out some of the prices on the fresh produce, her eyes widened. Why was it so expensive to eat healthy? And this was Target, of all places.

 

Clarke ended up stocking up on things like easy to cook vegetables, juice, applesauce, saltines...and after some deliberating, she added things like lettuce, frozen hamburger meat and chicken too. She could do this.

 

Or maybe she could bring this to Bellamy’s, he did offer to cook, right? She skimmed over that intrusive thought quickly. Clarke was independent - she can cook just fine on her own.

 

Clarke threw in a bottle of wine to her cart. Even though she couldn’t drink, it still seemed like an appropriate dinner party gift.

 

Octavia texted her back to let her know she could come anytime after 5 o’clock and that she didn’t have to bring anything.

 

Clarke got ready slowly the rest of the afternoon. She didn’t want to put too much effort in and look overly done. It was just...dinner. But she wanted to look nice. A fine line to walk. Clarke threw on some light make up and braided her hair back in a small crown braid. It was already close to 4 o’clock.

 

There was really no area of town that was too far out of the way, but Octavia and Lincoln lived on the other side of town, in the nicer part of the city. Clarke threw on a floral sundress and decided on wearing wedges, but relaxed with some juice in the kitchen, catching up on the news and social media on her phone until it was time to go.

 

She was about to lock the door behind her when she remembered to grab the wine. Good thing, the walk up could be a bitch sometimes.

 

The drive over was familiar, Clarke parked on the same side of the street as the last time she had been there, so many weeks ago. That felt like a lifetime, seeing Bellamy again for the first time since the night they had first slept together.

 

Clarke tried to relax. They were all just trying to get to know one another, get along, for the baby. This was the olive branch. She just needed to embrace it, too. She could do this. She wanted - no, needed this baby to have a family support system.

 

She knocked on the familiar doorstep, waiting anxiously for the door to swing open. She didn’t have to wait long. Octavia swung open the door a moment later, grinning at her widely.

 

“Hey, Clarke! Glad you could make it. Come in!” Octavia swung the door wider and stepped aside, ushering her through the door.

 

“Hey, Octavia. Thanks for inviting me. Here, I wasn’t sure what we were having for dinner but you can’t go wrong with a Chardonnay.” Clarke handed Octavia the wine.

 

“Clarke,” Octavia exclaimed, taking the wine from her, “I said don’t bring anything. But thank you, anyway.”

 

Clarke’s nerves settled, realizing the easiness between them came naturally. She could only hope the rest of the night went the same way.

 

“We’re just in the kitchen. Dinner will be ready in a little bit.” Clarke followed Octavia slowly into the kitchen, feeling a rush of deja vu.

 

Bellamy was standing towards one side of the kitchen, chatting amicably with Lincoln, arms crossed over his chest in a t-shirt and jeans. How did he manage to look good so simply? Clarke couldn’t figure it out.

 

The two men stopped when they re-entered the room. Bellamy smiled at her and greeted, “Hey.”

 

“Hey,” She returned, making her way over to the two. Octavia had already turned back to stirring a pot on the stove.

 

“Hi, Clarke,” Lincoln greeted her politely. “How are you doing?” For a split second, Clarke wasn’t sure if he was asking as a doctor or as a friend.

 

“Great,” She responded easily, “Same old, same old, really. How is everything with you? You’re still working at the Polis Clinic?”

 

“Yeah, on weekends part-time. I actually work in private practice with a few other GPs, just down the street.”

 

“Ah,” Clarke nodded, “That seems like it can get a little crazy, working two jobs.” Lincoln shrugged, taking a sip out of the beer bottle he’d had down by his side.

 

“We make it work. We’re a good team.” He was looking at Octavia, who shot him a smile from over her shoulder as she continued to cook.

 

“Damn straight we are.” She called.

 

“That’s great.” Clarke glanced over at Bellamy, feeling eyes on her, who was watching her with a small smile.

 

“How was the rest of your weekend?” He asked, his warm brown eyes seemed to drink her in.

 

Clarke thought about her night last night spent on the bathroom floor. How Bellamy had turned her down that Friday night to spend the night on the couch.

 

“It was great, thanks. Yours?” She asked politely. Before he could respond, Octavia called over to him.

 

“Bell, what is it that I add to this again? Paprika?”

 

“God, no, what are you doing over there?” Bellamy looked alarmed, stepping to the side to help his sister.

 

Turns out, having dinner with the Blakes (and Lincoln) was actually...fun. The stiff politeness from the last dinner was long gone, now that no one was hiding any secrets. Instead, the Blake siblings continuously bickered at each other while they cooked, Clarke and Lincoln standing to one side of the large kitchen and watching the two carefully.

 

“Is this normal?” Clarke ended up asking, not sure how exactly she felt about Bellamy taking charge and moving his little sister to the side to finish dinner. Lincoln gave her a wordless look, raising an eyebrow, before he took another sip of his beer.

 

Clarke was learning Lincoln was a man of few words, except a small piece of advice - stay out of it, when it came to the Blake siblings. Clarke was a fast learner.

 

The rest of dinner passed by quickly, but Clarke had to get home early anyway. She still had work to get ready for the next day. The conversation flowed easily, and Clarke found herself laughing more than she expected. She also worked out a time later in the week with Octavia to try out a yoga class near their place.

 

Clarke helped clear the table, dawdling even though she knew she should be going. She didn’t want to admit yet, but this was nice. She might even say she had...fun. She looked over at Bellamy, who was continuing to tease Octavia as he cleared the dishes off of the table on the other end.

 

Clarke swallowed, remembering Raven’s warning in her words earlier. Don’t get caught up in the fantasy.

 

And the being a part of the Blake family was nice. Too nice.

 

“I should probably get going, actually.” Clarke commented, once they had put the last of the dishes in the sink. Three pairs of eyes darted over to her in surprise.

 

“We normally watch a movie or something...if you wanted to stay?” The last part of Octavia’s sentence came out as a question. Clarke looked over at the microwave to check the time. It was already 8:30. Not that late by other people’s standards, but Clarke had to be at work by 6 A.M. Not exactly fun when your whole body is already constantly exhausted.

 

But Clarke hesitated, part of her really wanting to stay. She looked over at Bellamy, who was watching her carefully. Clarke let out a quiet breath to herself, feeling warm underneath his gaze.

 

“That sounds really nice, but I actually work tomorrow. I should be heading to bed soon. Thank you for inviting me for dinner, Octavia.” Octavia looked disappointed, but looked over to Bellamy briefly, who was still watching her.

 

“Of course, Clarke. I’ll see you same time next week, right? Unless you’re working?” Clarke tried not to look as surprised as she felt.

 

Next week?

“You want me to come back?”

 

Now, the three of them were giving her equally incredulous looks, causing her face to blush involuntarily.

 

“It’s a standing invitation, Clarke. You’re the mother of my niece or nephew.” Clarke couldn’t help but look over to Bellamy to catch his reaction, but his face was neutral. Octavia continued, almost sternly, “And since this is partly my house, I say you’re invited over whenever you want.”

 

Clarke cleared her throat, blaming the small lump she felt on the pregnancy hormones. She was not a crier. “Thanks, Octavia. I’ll see you later this week for yoga. Bye Lincoln. Bye Bellamy.” She gave a small wave before turning out towards the hallway.

 

“Wait, Clarke.” Bellamy sprung from his position on the counter across the kitchen, moving toward her quickly. Clarke paused in the doorway to the hallway. “I’ll walk you to your car.”

 

From behind where he was walking, Clarke watched Octavia’s eyebrows shoot up in amusement.

 

“Bye, Clarke.” She heard Octavia call as Bellamy came closer, blocking more of her field of vision with his body taking up the doorway. She thought she heard Lincoln echoing the sentiments before Bellamy nudged her forward, taking her elbow gently.

 

“You do not have to walk me to my car, Bellamy. That’s kind of overkill.” She mentioned as they made their way down the hallway to the front door. Bellamy gave her a look as he opened the door for her, closing it behind them firmly.

 

“I don’t mind.” Clarke held back a smile, making her way down the path back to where her car was parked.

 

The sun had just begun to set on the horizon, thanks to the late summer evenings.

 

Bellamy seemed preoccupied with his thoughts on the way to her car, so Clarke kept the small talk to herself for the moment. It was just a minute later that the street her car was parked on came into view.

 

When the two stopped by her car, a summer breeze rolled by, giving Clarke goosebumps. Bellamy was standing close enough to notice and before she knew it, his hand was holding her arm by the top of her shoulder. The strap of her dress was thin, and his hand covered most of her shoulder itself. Clarke inhaled sharply at the warmth of his hand radiating on her arm, and she looked up at him. Her wedges gave her a few inches, but she still had to strain her neck a little upwards.

 

Bellamy was staring at his hand on her shoulder, and as if he couldn’t help it, he slowly caressed his hand down her arm. Clarke felt the goosebumps reignite and without helping it, her shoulders lightly shuddered and she let out a deep breath.

 

Bellamy dropped his hand as if she were on fire, taking a large Simon-step backward. He shook his head once, flexing his hand by his side. “Sorry,” He looked down at her, clearing his throat. “Drive safe, okay, Clarke?”

 

“Sure, I will. Thanks for walking me to my car. Goodnight, Bellamy.” She turned to open the car door as he started to walk backwards the way they came.

 

“Goodnight, Clarke.”

Chapter Text

Later that week on Tuesday, Bellamy volunteered to pick up Miller from the hospital. They had held him for observation for a week after his surgery to ensure there were no complications post-op. He rebounded fairly quickly, but rules are rules, even for police officers.

 

After filling out the paperwork and signing off the places he needed to, he was wheeling his partner out in a wheelchair. A nurse accompanied the two out.

 

“This is a little much, don’t you think?” He commented as they headed toward the elevators.

 

“You’re just mad because you’re pretty much my servant right now.” Bellamy rolled his eyes, knowing his friend couldn’t see him as he pushed the chair from behind.

 

“Don’t get used to it. Unless you’re planning on getting shot again anytime soon.”

 

“I think I’m good.”

 

The two went back and forth easily, Bellamy relaxing the closer they were to the exit door. When they finally made their way to the exit, he helped his partner stand.

 

Miller was wearing a sling, and some of the scrapes had scabbed over on his palms and face. His face wasn’t quite clean shaven, but he must’ve shaved at some point while he was there, since it wasn’t too out of control. He probably looked better on some other days, but he wasn’t looking like death, either.

 

As Bellamy loaded him into his Rover that was waiting in the passenger loading zone, he couldn’t help but feel glad that he was done with hospitals for awhile. First with Clarke, then with Miller. He’d be good if he didn’t have to go back for awhile.

 

Miller still wasn’t headed back to work until the following week, but Bellamy had permission to see him home that afternoon.

 

As they drove, Miller’s arm tenderly sitting on his lap, he could feel his partner looking at him.

 

“What?” He finally asked, a little defensively. Miller shot him a look.

 

“Well, what did I miss? What have you found out?”

 

Bellamy deflated a little at the questions, his jaw working. The frustrating part was that he hadn’t found much.

 

Tristan Rosewood, the witness they’d been questioning, was still in a coma. He’d had a gun, but it hadn’t matched the caliber that had hit Miller. Another guy was still out there, while this guy didn’t have any answers for them.

 

Bellamy told him what he information he did have on the situation, tightening his grip on the steering wheel.

 

Miller nodded, a contemplating look on his face as they drove the rest of the way with AM sports radio on in the background. The thing about their partnership is that they didn’t always need words.

 

Bellamy still had a lot of paperwork and statements to fill out (and so did Miller, but Bellamy was avoiding that until he officially got back). Following up on what had happened can wait until the suspect is fully recovered. As it was, the guy was in a coma following the surgery from Bellamy’s gunshot.

 

Bellamy hoped the son of a bitch would wake up. Miller, at least, deserved some answers. And if Bellamy was right, they were getting closer.

 

In Bellamy’s other life, it was like last week changed a lot of things for him. Specifically, Clarke.

 

Bellamy really, really liked her at family dinner at Sunday. It was just nice, not being the third wheel anymore and having someone get his sense of humor for once when he sniped at Octavia.

 

He hadn’t even brought Echo to family dinner.

 

He tried not to dwell too much on his feelings over that. Not when Clarke was counting on him to be there for her as a partner in this whole pregnancy thing.

 

After Sunday night, Clarke texted him throughout the week, not showing up unannounced again like she had the week before. Bellamy tried not to be disappointed, but part of him couldn’t help it. Part of him expected to see Clarke’s car parked on his street like it had the week before when she surprised him.

 

It wasn’t until Wednesday when Clarke had started to text him more throughout the day. They’d texted sparsely since Sunday, some part of him worrying maybe he scared her away somehow when he said goodbye to her.

 

But Wednesday proved him wrong, his phone vibrating every few hours, whether he had time to text her back or not.

 

Her texts were always entertaining, whether she intended them to be or not. They ranged from work, to what she was currently doing, to what she was watching or eating, to what she was thinking.

 

It was closer to when he was getting off that she texted him again.

 

So…. Raven was supposed to come over and have dinner tonight. Is your offer of cooking still open?

 

Without hesitation he texted back his affirmative, already about to change course to head towards her apartment rather than his own house once he got in his car.

 

Since after that first night, he hadn’t brought his gun up to her apartment. Clarke hadn’t liked it, and he should’ve asked, but he wasn’t sure a flimsy lock was going to really protect her from the types of people that lived around here. Miller got shot, like, two blocks away from here, for that matter.

 

So when he parked in the parking lot of her apartment, he hesitated, but left it alone. He’ll ask and bring it next time.

 

He found himself at her door a few minutes and staircases later, knocking. The door swung open almost immediately, Clarke looking a little disgruntled.

 

“Hey,” He greeted cautiously, not making a move to step toward her apartment.

 

“Hey,” Her tone was flat, but she moved aside to let him in, so he soldiered on inside past her.

 

Once inside the small entryway, he made his way to the left to the kitchen as Clarke locked the door behind them.

 

Bellamy looked her over inconspicuously for a brief second, taking her in wearing leggings and a tank top. Her hair was back in a french braid that went down to between her shoulder blades. Her expression was still a little peeved, but a little less so now that he was inside her apartment, staring at her.

 

“Everything okay?” He asked after a moment of silence. He hadn’t picked up on anything in her tone via text earlier, but Clarke seemed particularly aggrieved at the moment.

 

She crossed her arms over her chest, and Bellamy tried not to notice how small the tank top really was that she was wearing. It barely touched the top of her leggings, and when she crossed her arms, the stretchy fabric rose to expose her tummy. Bellamy tried to clear his head and focus, his mind not thinking of anything but that their baby was right there, probably about the size of a small strawberry, if his book was correct.

 

If Bellamy was really looking (and he wasn’t ), he could see that her normally fairly flat tummy was just a little curvy (or maybe that was wishful thinking). Not that Clarke didn’t already have a curvy-

 

Her words snapped him out of that train of thought.

 

“No,” She finally said, letting out a deep breath. “My leggings are a little snug.”

 

Bellamy immediately looked down to the black material her toned legs were encased in.

 

They didn’t look too snug, in his opinion. They looked just snug enough, following the lines of her curves of her hips, thighs and calves. Bellamy swallowed before looking back up at Clarke.

 

“I don’t quite follow.”

 

Clarke huffed. “I just have gained some weight, is all.”

 

Bellamy’s eyebrows raised, but didn’t say a word more. He liked to think he was a smart man.

 

“Well, you look great, and you’re growing a person, so I think that’s to be expected. What sounds good for dinner?” He quickly changed the topic, trying to navigate into safer territory.

 

Looking Clarke over made him realize that he was still dressed in his collared shirt and slacks from work. He’d left his jacket and holster in the car, his gun locked. But his dressy attire, dress shoes and belt seemed out of place in her small, cozy apartment. Especially compared to her attire. Was she trying to kill him?

 

Food seemed to do the trick though, and Clarke hmm’d as she entered further into the small kitchen.

 

“You’d be shocked to know I actually bought some groceries.” Clarke told him as she opened the fridge, inspecting what she had to offer.

 

Bellamy took the refrigerator door from her grasp, nudging her out of the way. “Why don’t you go relax? Isn’t this why I’m here, anyway?”

 

Clarke didn’t put up more of a fight than that and maneuvered out of the room to leave him to his own devices.

 

A moment later, he heard her on the couch, the TV playing too low for him to hear anything. Satisfied she wasn’t going to try to get up to help him, he got started.

 

Clarke had gone grocery shopping, but had gotten bare minimum. Checking her cupboards, she had very few spices to even work with. But at least it was something.

 

He got to work quickly and decided on making chicken and broccoli. Easy enough.

 

While the broccoli steamed and the chicken sizzled in a pan, he brought Clarke out some juice.

 

She looked up from where she was spread out on the couch in surprise when she saw what he was carrying.

 

“Thanks,” She said as she sat up to take the glass from him, “You didn’t have to do that.”

 

“Yes, I did.” He gave her a pointed look. She made a move to retract her legs, presumably to make room for him. “No,” Bellamy set his hand down on her calf before she could move it. “I’ll bring the food out when it’s done. Just relax.”

 

Clarke looked down at where his hand was resting on her calf, before looking back at him. He quickly removed his hand, backing away and moving back towards the kitchen.

 

As he flipped the chicken and waited for it to finish cooking, he looked in Clarke’s fridge for a beer. He wasn’t trying to get drunk but, that could take the edge off a little, or settle some of his nerves. Clarke always managed to throw him off.

 

He popped it open and took a long swig, resisting the urge to close his eyes to get Clarke out of his brain.

 

Dinner only took twenty minutes give or take, so he turned off the stove when the food was done cooking and plated the food quickly. He left the pans with the rest of the food on the stove for the moment.

 

When Bellamy brought Clarke’s plate out with silverware to set down on the coffee table in front of her, he froze for a moment. He hadn’t noticed before, since he’d handed Clarke her drink directly, but there was a baby book on the coffee table.

 

The same one he had at home, actually.

 

“Oh,” Clarke swung her legs over the side of the couch, reaching over quickly to move the book to the side, out of the way. “Sorry.”

 

He set the plate down in front of her wordlessly, before turning back to grab his plate and beer from the kitchen.

 

When he returned, Clarke was digging into the meal eagerly.

 

“This,” She said after swallowing her bite as he sat down, “Is amazing. Can you cook every night?”

 

His mind simultaneously froze at her words and started spinning. Instinctively, the answer is, yes. He could do this everyday. But that’s not exactly what Clarke meant. And he wasn’t sure exactly where that feeling was coming from. He barely knew Clarke.

 

He forced himself to laugh normally, cutting his food up on his lap. “It’s really not a big deal. This was nothing, really. I’ll teach you.”

 

Clarke made a noise of noncommitment, seeming to devour the rest of her food in silence before setting the plate down and finishing her juice.

 

Bellamy watched her from the corner of his eye as he finished his own food. Part of him was relieved. He liked knowing that Clarke was getting taken care of. That he was the one taking care of her. That was his kid, too.

 

He set his plate down a few minutes later, noticing how relaxed Clarke now seemed to be into the couch cushions. Her whole body had seemed tense since he’d walked in.

 

He was glad she was relaxing, at least.

 

Bellamy started to grab their plates, before Clarke leaned forward and protested, “Wait, I can do that. Please.”

 

“No,” Bellamy held back a smile, getting up before she could try to stop him.

 

Clarke didn’t have a dishwasher, so he quickly washed the pot and pan he used to cook and the few utensils. From here, he could see the rest of Clarke’s whole apartment. She wasn’t looking at him, seeming to be sleepily watching the TV that he couldn’t hear over the sound of the dishes he was washing.

 

This, he could do. This was easy enough. This was familiar. He’d been taking care of other people, taking care of things like this, his whole life.

 

Bellamy glanced at the time on the oven when he was finished, realizing it was close to eight already. He should probably head out. Clarke looked like she was about to fall asleep against the couch when he stepped back into the room. Her head was leaning propped up on the palm of her hand, her elbow on the edge of the couch.

 

“All right. Leftovers are in the fridge. Dishes are done. I’m going to get going to let you get some sleep.”

 

If Clarke wasn’t paying attention before, she snapped her eyes completely open at that.

 

“You’re leaving?”

 

Bellamy nodded as she got up from the couch, stepping closer to where he was lingering in the doorway of the room.

 

“Thanks for dinner, then.”

 

“You’re welcome. Any time.” Bellamy hesitated, he didn’t want to get going yet. But he didn’t really have a reason to stay though. They hadn’t really been watching TV or hanging out. He cleared his throat. “Alright, goodnight Clarke.”

 

“Goodnight, Bellamy. Unless-” He’d been about to turn around when he stopped in his tracks, perking up a bit.

 

“Unless what?”

 

“I was reading through the baby book I have over there. There’s some cool stuff in it. And some scary stuff, too.” Clarke was smoothing her hand down her braid as she talked, and Bellamy was struck by the thought that maybe she was nervous. About asking him to stay and hang out, read this book with her. He had a flashback to last Friday, when she’d asked him to stay the night on her couch.

 

“Sure.” He interrupted before she could continue. “I’d like that. I don’t really have anyone to talk about this stuff with easily.”

 

Clarke looked relieved at that and started to finally smile. “Really?”

 

“Yeah,” He spoke quietly, but sincerely.

 

“Me neither. Come on, let’s check it out.” She nodded over back to the couch, where his beer was still unfinished and leftover from dinner. Her juice was empty, though.

 

The rest of the night went by comfortably, but a little too fast, the two sitting close together on the couch and going over the first few chapters of the book.

 

It was...informative. Bellamy had already read through a lot of material on his own - especially when he was trying to get caught up before their first appointment, feeling behind how much Clarke knew already - but something about reading it, sitting next to Clarke, made it real. Especially when she elaborated some of the more medical sides of things. It made his heart start to thrum, the idea that Clarke, sitting right next to him, was almost ten weeks pregnant with their baby.

 

He left a little after 9:30 when he saw Clarke start to yawn. She mentioned she had work the next day, rounds starting at 6:00 am. Her shifts were easier, supposedly, but the hours still seemed grueling to him. He still didn’t like the thought of that kind of stress on their baby, but Clarke had already seemed to compromise so much. He was sure she wasn’t the first to be a pregnant medical resident. And, he admitted grudgingly, she did work in a hospital, if something were to go wrong. Like when she fainted.

 

On Friday, their usual weekly activity was a celebration of Miller’s return. Neither Raven nor Clarke were there, and Bellamy wasn’t sure why he felt disappointed by that fact. They’d never been regulars to their weekly nights before this whole debacle, he couldn’t exactly expect anything to change just because Clarke was now pregnant with his baby.

 

But he was pretty sure Clarke didn’t work today, so while his friends were trying to get Miller to drink - though he was on antibiotics for the next two weeks and wasn’t supposed to - Bellamy feigned fatigue and left the bar early on in the night.

 

Without thinking too much about it, he texted Clarke.

 

She responded almost immediately.

 

Just hanging out. I wasn’t feeling too good, so Raven stayed in with me.

 

Bellamy refrained from huffing, and couldn’t help but wonder why Clarke didn’t call him. Wasn’t that their deal?

 

Before he realized it, he was driving over to her part of town and he parked his car in her lot. What was he doing here again?

 

He reread her message, feeling a reinvigoration of indignancy, and made his way to her door. His knocks were solid and firm on her door.

 

Bellamy had thought he’d heard voices before he knocked, but there was nothing but silence on the other side of the door now. Her neighbors were playing loud music down the hall that he was trying to ignore. How did she live like this again?

 

“Clarke? Raven?” He called after a second of no one answering the door. “It’s me, Bellamy.”

 

He heard some shuffling before the door swung open in its familiar, creaking way. Raven was on the other side of it this time, looking unimpressed.

 

“Blake. What are you doing here? It’s almost ten.” Bellamy gave her a smirk then.

 

“Exactly. And just in time for you to go and meet our friends out. The night is young.” Raven’s eyebrows raised.

 

“You think I’m going to just dip out on Clarke when she needs me? I think you’re the one with pregnancy brain.” Her arms crossed over her chest defiantly.

 

“Bellamy?” A familiar voice broke into their conversation.

 

“Hey, Clarke.” He greeted with a polite smile.

 

“What are you doing here?” She was in loose pajamas and a t-shirt this time, looking ridiculously adorable with her hair in a bun behind Raven, her face make up free and clear.

 

Her cheeks started to flush though, as if realizing too what exactly she was wearing.

 

“I just thought I’d stop by and see if I could help. Since you weren’t feeling good. That’s part of the deal.”

 

Clarke bit her lip, looking between him and her best friend, who was still staring at him with a calculating look on her face.

 

“Well, Raven was going to go out when I made her cancel.” Clarke nudged her friend, who was dressed in jeans and a nice top compared to Clarke’s casual ensemble.

 

“There we go then,” Bellamy tried to keep the smugness out of his voice but he wasn’t sure he was succeeding. “You should take my place on the trivia team, Reyes. I’m sure the rest of those geeks need your help, anyway. I can handle Clarke.”

 

“Handle me?” Clarke echoed indignantly.

 

“You think so?” Raven ignored her, looking Bellamy up and down as if sizing him up.

 

“I know so.”

 

“I’m right here. Handling myself just fine, actually.”

 

The two looked at her with twin expressions of doubt, before Bellamy shook his head.

 

“I know you can handle yourself just fine, Clarke.” Clarke shut her mouth and protests then, staring at him intensely before he turned back to Raven. “I got this part covered, all right?”

 

Raven inspected his face for another moment before nodding, opening the door a little wider to let him past the two of them.

 

“Fine, whatever. Clarke, I’m heading out then. Text me if you need something, though, okay?”

 

Raven slipped outside with a quick hug to her blonde friend and a pointed look at Bellamy. He read it loud and clear. Don’t fuck this up.

 

Yeah, roger that.

 

Once she left, the two were left standing in the small entryway of her apartment in silence, except for the distant noise of the neighbor’s music that could be heard through the thin walls. The main room was dark, the only light coming from the oven in the kitchen to their left.

 

“How are you feeling?” He asked, studying her facial features. She did look tired, dark circles under her eyes.

 

“I’ve been better,” She admitted, turning to walk back toward the familiar couch where they’d presumably been hanging out. “You didn’t have to come over. I didn’t mean to interrupt your night or anything.”

 

“You didn’t,” He assured, following her lead to take a seat on the other end of the couch. “It’s been a long week. I wasn’t feeling a night out at a bar, anyway. You should’ve called me.” He was the one giving her a pointed a look then. Clarke flushed, turning to grab the remotes and fiddling with them to avoid his stare.

 

“Clarke.” Did she hear him?

 

Clarke stopped, setting the remotes down with a sigh. She turned back and angled her body towards him.

 

“I know. I didn’t want to bother you. I know Fridays are….you know, your night off with your friends.”

 

Bellamy tried not to let his temper get to him - really, he did - so he took a deep breath, letting it out slowly.

 

He waited a second before he decided to talk. “Clarke, this is way more important to me than one night out with my friends. They are my friends, they understand. But I need you to understand, too.”

 

She was still staring up at him from her spot on the other end of the couch, her blue eyes wide. But then she nodded, slowly. “I’m starting to, yeah.”

 

“Good.” He settled back into the couch, only somewhat satisfied with her answer. “Now, what are we watching?”

Chapter Text

Clarke woke up to her alarm blaring at 8:00 a.m. She groaned, rolling over to shut it off and hit the snooze button.

 

Wasn’t it Saturday? She didn’t work today. Why was her alarm going off?

 

Her phone buzzed by her head a moment later, signaling a text message, not her alarm again. Huffing, Clarke reached over to grab it in annoyance.

 

1 Message from Octavia

 

good mrng! running 2 sbux want anything?

 

Clarke squinted at her screen for a moment, trying to figure out what was going on. Starbucks? Octavia?

 

Ugh, she groaned out loud, flopping her head back onto her pillow.

 

Yoga.

 

She’d apparently forgotten her rule about not getting up early on the weekends when she made these plans with Octavia. Who gets up for 9:00 a.m. morning yoga??

 

Right, she does. Now that she’s pregnant.

 

Clarke tried not to feel bitter about getting out of bed, the routine of putting on her coffee in the morning ruined. She could probably get away with decaf but...better safe than sorry - she needed to limit her intake. She texted her back quickly before putting the phone back in its place on her bed stand.

 

After a moment, the night before slowly started to come back to her sleep-addled brain. Bellamy continued to surprise her, stopping by last night to make sure she was okay. He hung out with her - happily, especially watching some other nerdy documentary - and even left to go to the sketchy gas station on the corner to get ginger ale and saltines. She wasn’t sure why she didn’t have any in the first place. But Clarke couldn’t help but like that he came over. And stayed until she started falling asleep around midnight.

 

She groaned again once she dragged herself out of bed, realizing she had to get her butt in gear to make it across to Octavia’s part of town. It took an embarrassingly long amount of time to find work out clothes that were shoved in the back and bottom of one of her dresser drawers. Clarke couldn’t remember the last time she really worked out and hoped the clothes would fit.

 

She yanked the yoga pants on one leg at a time, jumping to pull them up all the way. Once they were finally on, she sighed looking down.

 

Clarke didn’t own a scale. But she could figure out that she was gaining a little weight just by the fact that her clothes weren’t quite fitting right. She also couldn’t really see a “baby bump”...more like she just gained a few extra holiday pounds. Wasn’t this a little too soon? It felt soon. Sure, she’d be getting a lot bigger and she knew that, really. But getting faced with the physical changes to her body - let alone on top of the exhaustion and hunger cravings - was a little rough. Yoga should help, at least.

 

She quickly finished throwing a sports bra and t-shirt on in the bathroom in between brushing her hair and her teeth. Clarke valued her sleep, so, she was an expert on getting ready in the mornings quickly.

 

A few minutes later, she was out the door with a granola bar.

 

Octavia had told her about this studio, and when she saw they didn’t have any pregnancy-specific courses, she even called the studio for her to see what they recommended. They encouraged her to bring Clarke to the beginners class and to tell the instructor so that she could avoid certain poses. Clarke was so touched by the extra effort, she didn’t even care that she didn’t like - or wasn’t good at - yoga at all, she just agreed to go.

 

Which might have something to do with why she was breaking her rule about getting up early on the weekends. The last time -

 

Well, the last time she had gotten up for an early appointment on a weekend, she’d ended up pregnant. And now here she is.

 

Clarke pushed her sunglasses on in the bright morning sun, wishing more than anything she had a cup of coffee with her.

 

In the monotony of the drive over following the GPS, Clarke couldn’t help but think about how Bellamy showed up last night. The thought gave her butterflies in her stomach and then some other rather delicious thoughts that she tried to shove back to a small corner in her brain.

 

Clarke loved being able to open up about all her thoughts with the baby. It was scary, exciting, nerve-wracking...and she felt like she was in the boat alone with everything. She had Raven, of course, and Raven would always be there for her, she knew. But it wasn’t Raven’s baby, as she had to keep reminding herself.

 

So opening up and gushing over the baby book with Bellamy was...nice. To be able to put all her fears out there on the table and have someone else completely understand.

 

Bellamy was turning out to be pretty good at understanding, so it seemed.

 

And a good cook.

 

Clarke shook the thoughts off as she turned on the cute little downtown main street of Old Arcadia. It was a historic, brick built neighborhood of their downtown that had lines of boutique shops and - apparently - a yoga studio.

 

She barely had time to explore the city since she had moved. With her schedule, the times that she was able to get a night off rarely fell on nights out.

 

The times that she did have the night or day off on a weekend, she’d been focused on getting laid to blow off some steam, not checking out what the city really had to offer.

 

Raven worked out and Clarke...well, Clarke used to paint. And when her mom crushed her dreams and then her father passed...well that hobby was packed and locked away to never see the light of day. It was too painful.

 

But passing by the many studios, galleries, clothing stores and other little odds and ends of stores that lined the downtown, Clarke was thinking of changing her mind. Walking was good for the baby, anyway, right? Maybe she should get a hobby and get out of the house more.

 

Clarke stopped once she passed by an art gallery. The storefront was floor to ceiling windows that, when Clarke stepped a foot closer, showed off the large, hanging portraits inside. She eyed the design and styles, seeing that the gallery had all kinds of local artists on display. None seemed to necessarily flow, with no specific form or style. She spent a few moments just admiring some of the various, impressive pieces that lined the walls and floor of the open-spaced gallery.

 

“Clarke!” A loud voice rang from behind her, startling her out of her moment of tranquility with the pieces. She turned behind her to see Octavia walking up from the street to where she’d been standing in front of the store.

 

“Hey, Octavia.” Clarke greeted with a smile. Octavia’s sleek, dark hair was pulled back in a tight ponytail against her scalp, her fit body donned in yoga clothes. She looked like she just walked out of a work out magazine. Clarke instantly felt self conscious about how tight her own clothes had felt when she pulled them on, knowing she had way more curves than the girl in front of her. Plus some extra pounds.

 

Octavia thrust her hand out with an Starbucks ice water. “Here. I know you didn’t want anything but it’s important to stay hydrated, right? I think I read that somewhere.”

 

“Yeah, thanks,” Clarke accepted the drink easily.

 

“The studio is just a few stores down. Where’d you park?”

 

The two made their way down the sidewalk. It was early in the morning but the sun was already out and hot on the late July day.

 

Yoga was...interesting. Clarke fell more times than she really would have preferred to in front of strangers, but by the end she felt...better. The yoga instructor guided her through certain poses and let her know which ones to sit out on. Octavia, of course, breezed through the poses easily.

 

On their way out, Clarke a little more out of breath than she would have thought, she hesitated at the desk, looking at the membership prices.

 

She’d like to keep coming with Octavia but…$100 bucks a month? For yoga?

 

Thanks but no thanks.

 

“So, what’d you think?” Octavia turned to ask her as they exited the studio into the bright sunlight again.

 

“It was good, actually. I feel...looser.” Clarke smiled, feeling how true the statement was in her limbs. She should stretch more often.

 

“Great!” Octavia grinned, grabbing Clarke by the elbow and steering her back towards where they parked. “So, want to make this a weekly thing? Sign up for a membership?”

 

“Maybe,” Clarke hedged, “We’ll see how my schedule goes.”

 

“Aren’t you working less hours now? Isn’t that the whole point?” Clarke felt bad at the worried look on Octavia’s face.

 

“Yes, that’s true…” Clarke tried to think of another excuse. Her schedule was her go-to, “get-out-of-jail-free” card.

 

“Perfect! We can plan a day when you come over tomorrow for dinner again.”

 

“Great.” And now she’d have to come up with an excuse by tomorrow.

 

“Want to grab some food?” Octavia had a hopeful look on her face. As much as Clarke wanted to go back to her apartment, shower and go right back to bed, Octavia seemed to be putting in a lot of effort and Clarke hated to disappoint. Plus, at the thought of food, her stomach rumbled as if on cue.

 

Octavia smirked at her, “I’ll take that as a yes. Come on, there’s a good breakfast cafe around the corner.”

 

Clarke spent the rest of the morning chatting with Octavia and getting the know the woman. When they had gotten food at the hospital last week, Clarke had still felt uneasy and almost nervous around her, like she still wasn't sure what to expect. But after having fallen down so many times and embarrassing herself in front of Octavia for almost an hour that morning, and the family dinner on Sunday, she was feeling much more comfortable being alone with her.

 

Clarke learned a lot about her baby’s future aunt. Bellamy had told her a lot about how he had pretty much single-handedly raised her, and a small glimpse into Octavia’s current life. But Octavia definitely could not be summarized in a few short stories of memories. Octavia is...vibrant, colorful. Clarke felt like she was in shades of grey in comparison.

 

Octavia apparently got into mixed martial arts early on in high school. Growing up with little to no money meant kids were mean. And, as Aurora (Clarke learned that was their mother’s name) always told them as kids, they had to fight their demons and tell them they were not afraid. Octavia really took that to heart. Once she learned how to defend herself, other kids were quick to knock that off.

 

And then Clarke learned about Lincoln.

 

They had just placed their breakfast orders and were waiting for their food. Octavia could talk a mile a minute, not missing a beat in the conversation, when it turned to how she and Lincoln met.

 

“It’s a funny story, actually,” Octavia smirked. “I met Lincoln through his cousin, Indra Woods. She was my self-defense class instructor. He stopped by one day to the classes and it was pretty much love at first sight.”

 

“Wow,” Clarke smiled at the story, “That is very sweet. And how long ago was that?”

 

Octavia waved her hand, “A few years ago. He actually is trained too.” Clarke’s eyebrows rose.

 

“Really?” Lincoln was a big dude, for sure. But he seems like such a peaceful man, the image of him taking someone down seemed...

 

Out of character.

 

Octavia started to laugh. “It runs in the family.” Clarke shrugged, giving Octavia a blank stare.

 

“Are they all professionals, or something?”

 

Octavia had stopped laughing, seeing her confusion. “Oh, Bellamy didn’t tell you?”

 

“Tell me what?”

 

Just then, the waiter came over with the two plates of their breakfast food. Clarke eyed the plate he set down in front of her, her mouth actually starting to water. Belgian waffle with extra whipped cream. You can’t get this kind of quality at home with Eggo’s, that’s for sure.

 

Clarke dug into her waffle eagerly, cutting it up into small bites with her knife and fork. She only paused for a second to dip it into syrup before shoving into her mouth.

 

Octavia was watching her with amusement, barely having taken a forkful of food. “Hungry?”

 

Clarke shrugged, swallowing her food before smiling. “Eating for two, you know. Don’t mind me, go on. What about Lincoln?”

 

In between bites, Octavia managed, “Oh, right. He comes from, you know, a pretty rough family background. A lot of his close family members have been in prison. He had a hard childhood and had to grow up pretty fast.”

 

“Oh, I see. I’m...sorry, Octavia. I didn’t mean to press the subject or anything.”

 

She waved her off. “No, I’m glad you get to hear it from me, and not Bellamy. I can explain Lincoln’s side a little bit easier, I think.” Octavia smirked at the last part and Clarke couldn’t help but laugh despite the serious subject.

 

“That’s probably true.”

 

Octavia went on to tell her that Lincoln’s family was part of a larger gang in the area, which ran from Polis Heights to South Arcadia. Lincoln was part of it when he was younger, but, when he was caught by a police officer on a “routine” drug run, he was given the opportunity to change his path. Ever since, he’d cut ties with all but a few cousins - like Indra - who had left that lifestyle behind as well. Lincoln finished college and went on to med school. He was volunteering part time at Indra’s martial arts studio for women’s self defense classes when he met Octavia.

 

“And the rest is history. Lincoln is not perfect, true. But he can’t change where he comes from. He can only decide his own actions. And I know that Lincoln is a good man. And, for what it’s worth, I really think Bellamy has come around to the idea, too. I don’t think he’d ever have let me move in with someone he doesn’t trust.”

 

“Wow, Octavia. Thanks for sharing that with me. I get why maybe Bellamy was waiting for the right time to tell me, but I’m glad I heard this from you. It seems like Lincoln has found his own family now, anyway. And,” Clarke cleared her throat, “You are this baby’s family. Which means you’re...my family too, right? And if Lincoln is your family, then...I guess he’s family to us, too.”

 

Octavia smiled brightly at her, shoulders sagging in relief. “Thanks, Clarke. I’m glad to hear you say that. I wasn’t sure how you’d react, once you said you didn’t know what I was talking about.”

 

“Of course.”

 

The rest of breakfast passed by rather uneventfully, Clarke learning more about the various competitions that Octavia trains for, in this and surrounding counties. Yearly, she enters into a state competition - this year it’s in October, just a little over two months away.

 

The funniest - and most surprising - part of breakfast was...bonding over Bellamy. It was nice to talk about Bellamy with someone - even if she couldn’t talk about everything with his sister. Raven wanted her to be happy, but...careful. So she kept her Bellamy thoughts to herself. But she didn't have to refrain as much as she did with Raven. Even better - Octavia was a well of information on him, as a matter of fact.

 

“Does he always do that?” Clarke scrunched up her nose, her plate of waffle long gone.

 

Octavia laughed, finishing the rest of her cup of coffee. She’d ordered it after Clarke insisted.

 

“Do what?”

 

“That,” Clarke gestured with her hand, “You know.”

 

The dark-haired girl raised her eyebrows. “I am not sure I do know.” She was still smiling in amusement.

 

“The whole…” Clarke tried to find the best words, “overprotective thing.”

 

Octavia burst out laughing at her then. “Oh yeah,” She nodded sympathetically, still smiling, “He always does that. Get used to it. He’s been like that my whole life.”

 

Clarke groaned good naturedly.

 

The two women wrapped up breakfast leisurely. Clarke didn’t have any plans. Raven was going to stop by as per her usual Saturday routine, but other than that, she’d spend her day off like she normally would. Alone, getting caught up on continuing education, errands, chores…or her latest show addiction.

 

On her way home, she heard a familiar chime on her phone that signaled she received a message.

 

She didn’t check the message until she was already insider her apartment, door firmly shut and locked behind her.

 

1 Message from Rae <3

 

Rain check on stopping by today. I’ll text you later. Call me if you need anything.

 

Clarke chewed on her lip in thought. It was unusual for Raven to cancel, but, both women seemed to be stepping out of their usual comfort zones lately. She responded, telling Raven to text her back when she could. She was clearly very free to talk whenever.

 

She showered, changing into her familiar comfortable clothes and sighing, seeing the mess around her apartment. She’d been at work at the end of the week and, though less hours, she still couldn’t find the energy to pick up after herself around her apartment.

 

It was an hour or so later when her phone chimed again. She paused in the middle of trying to shove as many clothes as she could in her dresser to grab her phone on her bed.

 

1 Message from Bellamy Blake

 

Did you manage to survive yoga with O?

 

Clarke smiled, as if not being able to help it, and typed out a response.

 

Yoga and somehow breakfast, unscathed.

 

Clarke took a seat on her bed, folding her knee beneath her.

 

Wow and breakfast. That’s a feat. What do you and your sidekick have going on today?

 

Clarke huffed a laugh. “Sidekick?”

 

Sidekick??

 

Yeah, or does Reyes have a different nickname I don’t know about?

 

Clarke rolled her eyes. Part of her wondered if they’d ever get along.

 

As a matter of fact… ;)

 

Gross, I don’t want to know.

 

Clarke didn’t realize but her leg was shaking, tapping against the bed while they texted. She stopped once she noticed, giving her leg a hard stare as if she could keep her body from betraying her anxious emotions. Talking to Bellamy always felt somewhat like a livewire.

 

She couldn’t help but laugh at their exchange though, finally responding to his original question.

 

My sidekick ditched me. I guess she had too much fun last night...What about you?

 

Clarke quickly finished picking up the clothes and various belongings that somehow found their way to the floor in her whirlwind of getting ready for work in the mornings. She’d been feeling too sick Friday night to really clean around the house...then Bellamy came over.

 

Her phone buzzed again minutes later.

 

Errands. Want to tag along?

 

Clarke glanced around her tiny apartment. When Raven was over, it didn’t seem like the place was so small, even though it was. With just herself, and her stuff, it just seemed...empty. She thought about what she had going on today (nothing) and if she should take Bellamy up on his offer.

 

Why not?