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Fear The 100

Chapter Text

Clarke Griffin

 

Sirens blared. The lights went out. Silence fell, nobody talked. We all got up from our beds and put our hands firmly on the metal bars of our cells. We all looked down the prison corridor towards the double door, Where the guards came to take us to the showers or to feed us. But nobody came.

 

Red knights flashed and the sirens still blared. Panic silenced us teens. I swallowed, trying to control my breathing. I knew what half of these teens didn't. My father knew. He wanted them all to know but the chancellor had other plans. The world has ended. People don't die anymore. They. Come. Back.

 

Military come, said about the disease and we were all in quarantine. But supplies are dwindling and this must mean the end has come. The food is gone. The soldiers are gone. Humanity is gone. And here we are, a hundred 13-21 year olds, locked in cells for crimes we committed. I shifted my gaze to the cell opposite me. A girl looked back at me, she had green eyes and honey skin, her light brown hair tied back in a ponytail. Alicia. She was in here with her brother, his cell close to the door due to his withdrawal. 

 

The cell on the left of her belonged to a boy called Murphy. He had jet black hair and broken blue eyes. He never shuts up so it's a surprise to see him so quiet. Opposite him and in the cell on my left is another chatterbox that's silenced. He's done for smoking some herbs with his best friend, who is on the right of me, all they do is talk. It's entertaining sometimes, but annoying being directly in the middle of it. I'm not the only one they annoy either, Octavia, on the right of Alicia often rolls her eyes and yells at them playfully, "Do you guys ever shut up?" 

 

But nobody is talking. Nobody. It's been at least ten minutes and everyone is still silent, still gripping the bars and still looking towards the door. A gunshot sounds and every one of us breaths in sharp. The door flies open and light blinds us all. Feet race down the corridor. Dark hair coming towards me. Hands on top of mine.

 

"Mom?" I barely squeak out. I feel everyone's eyes on me and my mum.

She nods, her eyes full of tears and a hand reaches between the bars and caresses my cheek, "It's me Clarke-"

"What's going? What's happening? There was a gunshot and- and-" I looked at her sleeve and saw blood, "Who's blood is that?"

My mum smiled at me, "Honey, I need you to brave for me now, Okay?" She took off a back pack and held it out for me to grab, "Take it, Clarke. It's got food and water in there for a couple of days. There's also a knife and a gun-"

 

"Gun?" A voice said from behind her, "What the hell does she need a gun for?" Murphy snapped. 

My mum ignored him, "I love you, sweetie," My Mum said to me and I clutched the bag in my left hand. A tear rolled down her cheek, "Clarke, you're strong, Okay? So you can make it. There's a truck about a couple miles away North, you can find it. Take it and go. Go anywhere but the cities. Head for Mexico-"

"Why?" I asked her.

She rubbed the top of my hand, "It's what your father predicted."

She went to take a step back, I grabbed her arm with my right hand, "No, why are you leaving? Where are you going? Why are we still here?"

My mum put her hand on the one grabbing her and she smiled weakly, "I can't answer that. But we will meet again, Clarke. I promise." She removed my fingers gripping her shirt and turned to walk away.

 

"Mom!" I yelled, shaking the bars, "Mom! Come back! Mom!"

Murphy started to yell and shake the bars too, "Where you going? What's going on?!"

Tears started to fall profusely, "MOM!" The door closed shut and the darkness returned. I pulled the bag inside my cell and threw it against the wall, yelling in rage and fear. I kicked my cell door and slid down to the floor, my back against the bars and my knees to my chest as tears fell from my eyes.

 

"Hey! Princess!" Murphy yelled, "What did she mean it's what your dad predicted?"

I couldn't answer him, I felt everyone's gaze towards my cell and I couldn't tell these people we were left for dead. I couldn't. I wouldn't.

"Answer me!" He yelled, "Answer me!" He shook his own bars, "Answer Me! I swear to God-"

"Shut the hell up!" Alicia yelled at him, surprising everyone in this cell block. I slowly turned around, looking up at her from my knees, her eyes were on mine, "We all know what this means," Her tone was bitter, "We've been left to rot in here. It's the apocalypse and they're bailing. There's no cure. So now we die."

 

* * *

 

It's been hours since the alarm turned off. None of us spoke. It's pure silence and our darkness. We're all either sat on our bunks or sat at the bars. Waiting. But not for death. It feels like somethings going to happen but none of us know what. Maybe we're all just to stupid to realise that it's time we give up. I have gun, about a hundred bullets. One for each of us. But I haven't told them that. I don't want to. Not when it doesn't feel over.

 

And it's not.

 

Machine gun fire came from the hall and once again we all stood up and looked towards the main door. Voices shouted. "Get the lever. Quick. We only have five minutes before it's over. Quick!"

"I'm on it!" A voice yelled back and suddenly a loud, groaning siren sounded and our cell doors flew open. The machine gun fire grew closer and the doors barged open with three people charging in. 

 

One of them had olive skin and curly brown hair, he dressed in some sort of riot prison gear and held a machine gun, which he used to put between the double door handles. He had another on his back and he pulled it off. Another boy had shoulder length black hair and he grabbed Nick, Alicia's brother from his cell. The final person was a girl with tanned skin and brown hair in a ponytail, she had a brace on her leg and I remember hearing about the girl Murphy shot - my mum was so angry at him; she saw her as a surrogate daughter - Raven, I think she’s called. 

 

Raven and the boy with Nick raced down the centre of the cells, 25 on each side and on both the upper and lower floors. The boy with curly hair marched down to my cell, his brown eyes were warm and his freckles made him appear cute despite his tough exterior, "Clarke, right?"

I nodded, unable to speak.

He pointed to the backpack, "Get that on and get moving."

I turned around to pick up and put it on as Murphy asked, "What? Just her?"

I turned back around and went to leave my cell but Murphy blocked the way and held a piece of shard metal from his bunk at me, threateningly. The soldier turned around and saw him. He rolled his eyes, and boomed, "All of you. If you can keep up you can come. Be quick." He then glared at Murphy, "And I'd put that down if I were you."

"Why?" Murphy challenged, "What, Because you have a gun you think you're in charge?"

The soldier locked eyes with him, "We can either die here arguing about this or-"

 

AAAAAHHHHHHHHHH.

BANG! BANG! BANG!

 

We turned to the double door and groans roared, slamming against the double door, the gun slamming into the metal handles with each force.

 

"We gotta go, now!" Raven ordered.

 

Beep. Beep! BEEP!!

 

BOOM!

 

I jumped back into one of the herbalists behind me at the sound of the bomb exploding followed by smoke and then... Daylight.

 

Chapter Text

Clarke Griffin

 

We'd been walking for what felt like days through woodland in the heat. Hiking. Never something I was good at but I guess I had to learn. "How much further?" Murphy called, walking next to me, he looked at me as he yelled, "I'm getting kinda thirsty, wonder if we have any water!" He then lowered his tone, "You wouldn't know where there's water, would you princess?"

I looked away from his cold blue eyes, looking at the dry grass under my feet, I knew what he was getting at; the water in my bag. But I was saving that for a real emergency not some potential murder and arsehole with a point to prove.

 

"Ignoring me?" He said, standing closer to me. He suddenly lurched forward, tripping and stumbling, crashing into a tree to keep him up right. He sharply turned back around, his face flushed and then sharp. I, too, looked back and saw the soldier smiling, "Have a nice trip, Murphy?" He said grinning.

"You asshole!" He yelled, squaring up to him and the others stopped walking, turning round to look. Murphy stood toe to toe with the soldier, "Shove me again, I dare you!" He exclaimed.

He just smiled, "Why what you going to do?

"I'll-"

"Stop fighting," Raven tiredly said, she looked at the soldier, "Stop teasing him, Bell."

The soldier, Bell, sighed, "Fine. But he can walk up front with you."

Murphy protested, "No. I'll walk wherever I damn please, you ain't in charge-"

"No, he's not." Raven said, stepping next to him, "I am. So walk with me or keep quiet there or stay behind. Your choice."

Murphy’s face fell, looking away from her eyes with his own going watery. He was looking anywhere but her. Jasper, one of the weed smokers, who had joined the circle surrounding Murphy, Raven, Bellamy and I, was doing the complete opposite; his eyes couldn’t look anywhere but her and I could see his one-track-mind racing. And I agreed, she was pretty. She was slim but buff and her black army outfit complimented her light brown skin, brown hair and brown eyes beautifully. She held her gun on her back and had two more pistols on her belt. She was like Lara Croft. Jasper's eyes scanned over her breasts, to which Raven stopped looking at Murphy and tilted her head to one side as she sat as said, "I know I'm a fucking Goddess, but keep your eyes up here."

Jasper quickly looked away going bright red.

Raven the looked back at Murphy, “So, what’s it going to be, cockroach?”

Murphy’s tone was pained as he said, “I’ll keep quiet.”

 

And he did. Every once in awhile I’d see his eyes look towards Raven, watching her slight limp as she walked and guilt would cloud his face. Part of me felt sorry for him.

 

* * *

 

We were once again walking up the huge hill in the forest. We hadn't seen any dead, which made it seem almost normal, like a school trip or something. But I knew it wouldn't last. "She's scary, huh?" The soldier, Bell, said to me, now walking by my side.

I looked ahead, "That’s Raven, right?"

Bell replied, "Yeah, that's Raven. The other girl," he looked behind us, "And the guy holding Nick up is Thomas, Jasper is his younger brother."

I nodded, "Nice to know." I then looked up at him, "Where are we going? I mean, Murphy is right, people will be getting tired and thirsty and I only have two litres of water. That won't keep us hydrated."

Bell nodded, "I know, not much further."

 

* * *

 

He was right. It wasn't much further. We reached a clearing in the woods and the view from the edge of the cliff was both breath taking and saddening. The whole city was smoking with bombs. The military base was overrun with the dead. Everything was gone.

 

"Gather round!" Bellamy called, the sun just setting. And we did, we all stood in a semi circle facing the three leaders. I managed to squeeze to the front, stood in between Octavia and Alicia, Nick on the right of Alicia, his withdrawal looked almost gone. Murphy stood at the other side of the semi circle and I saw him looking at me. I have no idea what his problem is. It also came to my attention that Octavia was also glaring at Bell.

 

The sun set and an engine sounded, coming from the trees. We all stood silent. A bus pulled up, two buses to be exact. A girl with black hair and blue eyes got out the first. The girl stood silent, looking at Thomas, who looked away from her gaze. Bellamy introduced her, "So, this is-"

"Teresa," Murphy groaned, "My older sister."

She looked at him, "Nice to see you too." She then looked back at Thomas, but he was looking at the floor and shuffling his feet with his hands in his pockets.

 

Murphy then sighed, "Right, so have you brought us water because I swear, we're all gonna..." he trailed off when the second bus door opened a familiar face got out, except this face was also new. Alicia shifted awkwardly and pulled her baseball cap over her eyes, Nick also fidgeted. Murphy continued to be an asshole, "In fact I'm that dehydrated, I'm seeing double!"

"Shut it!" The girl yelled at him, "Have you never seen twins before?" She looked Alicia and and Nick, "I'm Lexa and she's Alicia. We dress different, we act different. So you won't confuse us." She then glared at Murphy, "Twins are the least strangest thing in this world, especially now, so keep your jokes and shit to yourself."

 

"Right, introductions over," Bellamy said, "We have two buses, these are our homes now. Pick a bus."

"Where we going?" Octavia piped up, "You can't just tell us to get on a bus and we will. Where the hell are we going?"

Bellamy sadly said, "Mexico. We think that's where the others went. Or capital city, Washington DC. But we can't be sure. So we'll head to Mexico. Lots of open space and-"

"Wait, hold up," Murphy interrupted, "Why would we want to find them? They locked us up. They left us to die in that prison. So why the hell would we want to go back? I mean, the world is literally ours for the taking. We can make this world our bitch. Whatever the hell we want."

"That's stupid." Lexa rolled her eyes, and her eyes looked at mine, "What are your thoughts, Princess? Mexico? Here? DC? Where did your mom tell you?"

 

I swallowed feeling everyone watching me, "She didn't tell me anything." I knew that was a lie, she said Mexico too, but part of me agreed with Murphy. They left us to die, what would they do if they found us still breathing? Execute us? I looked at the floor, still feeling everyone watching me, who the hell put me in charge? Think, Clarke, think! I swallowed, "W-what about North?"

Lexa raised an eyebrow, her face still stern. I could already tell she was much harsher than her twin, "What's North?"

I shrugged, "Canada?"

"The snow?" Lexa half-laughed at me, "It's the end of the world and you want to rebuild in the cold?"

I swallowed, Lexa was really condescending, "Look, the dead, the cold it slows them down. Like a lot down. We could find a hotel or a prison or something and we could build there. The dead would be slow and there won't be many people either, everyone else will head South like you. There's also plenty of rivers and water and trees, trees are good to build resources."

 

Lexa shook her head, "Yeah and it's all shit for growing crops. Mexico has warmth, we can grow shit. Fruit, veg. Get a farm. It's sustainable-"

"No, it's not," I argued, my voice level, "What about drought? Then we'll die of thirst, won't we? And so will cattle. Mexico is worse than North."

"Stay here then," Murphy interjected, "Or at least somewhere in the middle. What about, what about Oregon?"

Lexa's forehead creased, "Why the hell there?"

Murphy shrugged, "It's in-between Mexico and Washington-"

"Washington State, not DC," Lexa cut him off.

Murphy rolled his eyes, "I know. But what's it matter? Oregon has forests for resources and beaches and the sea. It's a decent climate. And it's not as hot as LA or Mexico. So go there. I mean, nobody gets what they want and everybody gets what they want, right?"

Lexa shook her head, sighing, scanning over the crowd, feeling defeated she exclaimed, "Fine. Fine!"

Bellamy looked at us all, shrugging, "Oregon it is then."

Chapter Text

Grrrraaaahhhhhaaaagggg.

Graaahhggggrrraaaahhhggggggg graaaoooaaagggghhhh.

DDDDD. DDDD. DDDD. DDDD.

Human screams. Groans. Gargled noises. Bullets. Smoke. Coughing. Head hurts. Blood, Oh the blood.

"Clarke! Clarke! Clarke!"

"Where is she?"

"Find her!"

 

Alicia Woods

I opened my eyes, my vision blurred and my world upside down. White noise echoed in my ears and I couldn't think straight. I looked down or up, I'm not sure which, at my feet. My belt still secured me in the bus. I looked to my right at the stranger sat next to me. I stared at them, I couldn't remember their name, I wasn't sure if I knew my own. I tried to speak, my voice shaky, "Hey, um, what - what happened?" There was no reply. I saw them move. "Hello? Are you okay?" I hesitantly asked. No response. I swallowed, putting my hand on their shoulder to have teeth lunge at my face. I unclipped my seatbelt and smashed onto the floor, well, bus ceiling, with a large thud. I kept in my pain and stared at the face above me. I had nothing. No weapon, nothing. The weapons were on the other bus with my sister and Bellamy and Nick and all the others. It was just me and Clarke. Clarke! Shit! Where's Clarke?

 

I looked around the bus, I couldn't stand without them grabbing me and that's when I saw the bag. Clarke's bag. It was at the front. I remembered what happened now, some truck came out of nowhere and smashed into the side of us. The other bus must've stopped and that's what the shooting must be. Oh God, is anyone still alive on this bus? "Clarke?" I called out. No response. Shit.

I swallowed and turned to crawl on my hands on knees, pulling my shirt sleeves down to avoid the shards. I begun crawling towards the front of the bus. Coughing because of the smoke. Shit. The bus is on FIRE! I swallowed my fear. If I was Lexa I'd just bail, but I'm not my sister. I don't even want to think about how many people she's killing unnecessarily out there or how many she killed to get us out of the prison in the first place. For my people. Always the same bullshit excuse. She says I'm weak because I have feelings, but she's weak for hiding from them.

 

I kept crawling, despite the glass shards in my knees. I hope one of the soldiers knows medical stuff otherwise I'm fucked. More groans started to form around me and I swallowed my fear. I can do this. "Clarke?" I called out again.
"W-what happened?" A muffled Clarke came from the front. Good, at least she's there and alive. Not dead yet.
"Can you slide me your bag?" I asked her.
I saw Clarke stretch out an arm and then quickly retract as a dead hand reached towards her, "No, no, I can't." She then paused, her voice shaky, "I think my leg is broken. It kills and I can't move it." She then asked, "Are you okay?"
I kept crawling towards her, two seats away, "Yeah, but, but, I think we're the only ones left-"

AAAAAHHHHAAHHH AAAAHHHH!

A loud scream cut me off and I looked up to see a passenger getting eaten by one of his friends, he begged, "Help me, please, help me."
I swallowed and kept my eyes forward. You get bit, you turn. That's it. And I can't even offer the mercy of a quick death.
"Shit." I heard Clarke sigh, and then she said, "Luckily I sat on my own, otherwise that would be me."
I put my hand on her seat and pulled myself to sit facing her, my back towards the front of the bus, but nothing to rest on since the bus, and Clarke, were still upside down. The smoke was thick and I covered my mouth to cough as did Clarke. Lucky, well, unluckily I guess, the driver had their head smashed in and their blood covered the front of the bus. It was lucky Clarke didn't sit in the window or she'd be dead.

 

I looked to my left, looking at the bag and the four dead arms reaching towards me. I looked at the smashed window on my right, I saw more dead crawling but not ours. There was still gun fire and shouting. And the smoke getting thicker. I couldn't grab the bag and Clarke, there's not enough time. I looked out of Clarke's window, it was already smashed, so just avoid the spiky shards and get out. Easy, right?

I looked at Clarke and her blue eyes stared back at mine, "My leg's not trapped," she said, "just hurt."
I nodded, "I'm going to unbuckle you and then I'll climb through the window and pull you out, okay?"
She nodded "Okay."
She breathed in sharp as I undid her buckle, ignoring the Deads' arms reaching for us both. She breathed in sharp and winced as she fell to the floor. She laid on her stomach and glass scratched her cheek. The smoke was getting more and more. I reached down and helped her up, she held back her tears and screams. "You okay?" I asked her as she wedged herself between the driver's seat and her own. She nodded, as a tear escaped her.

 

I turned to the window, quickly scrambling through, catching my arm on a shard of glass and holding my own screams in. I fell onto the road, with a groan and quickly stood back up. I could see the flames from the outside. Clarke managed to limp to the window and put her arms through. I grabbed them and heaved her out the window, she screamed.

I looked outside and I couldn't see anybody, there was still shooting going on and a lot of the prisoners were still in the bus. "Help!" I called out, "Please!"
"Shit! Clarke!" Murphy yelled from behind and came running towards us, he helped me heave her out and then we all began running, running as fast as possible, down the road and towards the other bus. We reached the back of it. Murphy yelled, "Get Down! Now!" Me and Murphy threw ourselves and Clarke on the ground just as the bus exploded behind us. Holy shit. I rolled onto my back and stared at the flames. Trying to take it in.

 

Bellamy, Raven, Thomas and Teresa came running towards us from the right of the buses. And I saw my sister to my left, standing with her gun aimed, a figure behind the tree. I immediately bolted upright. I raced over to her, running past dead corpses. "Lexa, no!" I yelled as I came into contact, feet following me. I stood between her, the gun and her victim. It was a girl dressed in a uniform, dressed in a military outfit but no badge matching our quarantine, she had a different one, she had a yellow band and ours was blue. Her light brown hair was blowing in the wind, she had a cut cheek. Her brown eyes were watery and looked semi-afraid as she stared at the gun. "Don't." I pleaded to her, trying to catch my breath.

Lexa scowled at me, her gun still aimed, "Get the hell out of my way!"
I shook my head, still panting, "No. I won't let you kill her-"
"She could've killed you! She just murdered fifty of our people! Her crew just ran into our bus and shot our people. There's only Forty-Eight of us left, and that's including us seven soldiers. That's Fifty-Nine people dead. Dead. Fifty-Nine lives they took."
I stared at the flames in the background and the broken bus, I answered, "Fifty people are still alive, actually. Me and Clarke made it."
Her eyes raged at me, "Fine, fifty-seven people are dead! She needs to pay! She took fifty seven lives and we've taken twenty-four, twenty-five with her death."
I argued, "Revenge is not justice! We don't choose who lives and dies. And the bus, it was accident. They probably didn't expect anybody to be driving so crashed into us."
Lexa bit her lip in frustration, "Move."
I shook my head, "No." I looked towards the surviving bus, the front crashed into a tree. Clarke was sat on a tree trunk, Teresa and Raven tending to her wounds. Bellamy, Murphy and Thomas stood a couple metres from us, watching. I even saw Nick watching from the bus.

I looked back at my sister, my tone level, "She's needed alive. Wherever she's going or come from, maybe we can stay there. It's getting dark and we need food and water and a place that's safe to sleep. She can provide that."
Lexa stared at me and then the military girl, Lexa’s gun started to quiver in her hands and she then lowered it. "Fine. But we chain her hands and take his weapons. She tries anything and he's dead."
I nodded, "Fine."

Chapter Text

Alicia Woods

Night had fallen, we'd been walking for hours, all the way along Sierra Highway from Soledad Pass. The soldier told us the journey was a couple hours in a car but a couple days on foot. Especially with the Walkers. We were heading somewhere near Kagel Canyon. It's like we've pretty much walked in a circle, we came from an Army Reserve Center in South Pasadena Quarantine. One big circle.

 

We came to a junction, we'd been following Antelope Valley Freeway until we couldn't walk no further. We reached the junction of the Freeway and Crown Valley Road. Although the junction no longer existed, multiple bombs had been dropped over Acton and blown up cars, which stretched as far as the horizon. Broken glass and bones littered the road. We all sighed, growing tired of the journey to nowhere and ever little crack in the road we encountered on that path. Here’s the problem: Below us were multiple cars, backed up for miles, filled with the Dead. We had to cross this place in the dark.

Below, amongst the cars, groans erupted and figures moved. I felt my brother come stand next to me, He then broke the silence amongst us, "I'll lead-"
"What?" I said alarmed, grabbing his arm, "You can't be serious! You're still weak from-"
He smiled at me, putting a hand over mine, "I'll be fine, Licia, I'm suicide proof," he shrugged, "nothing can kill- Hey, watch it!"

 

He was cut off by a delinquent barging between us, she kept running, running through the crowd. She ran straight in between Bellamy and Lexa and she ran straight off of the broken road and into the abyss. We all remained silent, not sure what to do. Waiting. Waiting. But not for long. She screamed! And Screamed! And SCREAMED again! She kept screaming, so loud and blood curdling that it was enough to bring tears to your eyes and make you want to collapse on the floor, shoving fingers in your ears to make it stop!

Of course, none of us did that. None of us gasped at her running through and nobody tried to stop her. Nobody fell to the floor with grief or anguish. I don’t even think anyone really knew who she was. Nobody moved a muscle, but nobody looked away. Even though we couldn’t see, none of us moved or tried to move but we all stared in the direction she jumped, as if we could see.

 

We all stood still, still as statues. We're surprisingly good at that.

 

I looked up at Nick and then back to the front line. My feet started walking forward and I felt Nick moving with me. I reached Bellamy and stepped in between him and Lexa, Nick behind me. I looked down, I knew I shouldn't, but I did;

Vomit raised in my throat as I looked at the scene in front of me. The girl laid on top of a car with five Walkers tearing at her skin, biting into her flesh and clawing at her stomach, showing her organs and blood. Oh, the blood. I swallowed and felt my hand go to my right Pistol. I pulled it out, my hands shaky. I aimed it at the head of the screaming girl. I squeezed my eyes shut and a bullet sounded. I opened my eyes, but it wasn't my gun smoking.

 

Lexa looked at me, putting her own smoking pistol away. She put a gentle hand on top of my gun, "Make sure the safety's off," she quietly said.
The words barely audible came out of my lips, "Why?"
Lexa answered, "Because she was bit."
"Now, What?" Teresa asked, she too, feeling sick and not looking away from the dead still tearing at the dead girl, despite her vacant eyes blankly staring up at us and the blood dripping down her skull.
Bellamy answered, "We either keep going this way or turn around and figure something else out."

 

Bellamy turned around to face the others, I still kept staring at below. More Walkers had come, there was at least twenty down there, all trying to get a piece of the girl. They themselves we're all missing limbs and their skin falling off their faces, their eyes were hollow and white. Their hair had fallen off in clumps and their clothes melted into their burnt flesh. I hoped I didn't end up like that.

 

"Oh my God!" Octavia exclaimed from behind and we all quickly turned around to see her pointing at the north side of the road.
"What is it, O?!" Bellamy said, pulling out his gun, alarmed, armed and ready.
Octavia beamed, "McDonalds!"
We all looked to see the big M sign standing strong despite the power being out. There was also a block flats opposite it and very few vehicles or Walkers near it.

Octavia swung her leg over the lane divider with Jasper and Monty in tow and some of the other Delinquents, Octavia fantasised, "I wonder if they still have food, I'd give anything for a double cheeseburger right now."
Jasper agreed, "It's like God exists after all. I hope there's chicken nuggets and-"

"What the hell is wrong with you?!" I yelled, losing control and the Delinquents stopped in their tracks, Octavia climbed on top of a nearby car, unphased by the walker looking up at her and scratching on the window-screen.
Octavia rolled her eyes, "We're hungry and tired and those flats and McDonald's are our haven. It's dark and we can't cross through, so we should set up camp and stay here."

"That's not what I meant!" I exclaimed, still enraged, "That girl just killed herself and you're talking about cheeseburgers!"
Octavia looked down at the floor, "That's how it is now."
I felt a hand on my shoulder and looked to see my sister stood there, her eyes watery as she said, "Octavia is right. Alicia, the dead are gone and the living are hungry."

"Alright, listen up!" Bellamy yelled from behind, he himself had climbed on top of a Black BMW so that everybody could see. "We'll take the first two floors of the flats. Me, Lexa and Tom will take the first floor. O, Jasper, Monty and Raven can take the ground floor. Everybody else, stay here and stay diligent. Teresa and Murphy look after Clarke and the group. Nick and Alicia, stay here. Nobody moves until we've cleared the area, got it?"
"Yes, sir," Raven said, a little sarcasm and flirtation in her tone.
Bellamy smiled a little at Raven and then returned to his General status, "Alright, move out!"

Chapter Text

Octavia Blake

"O," my brother said, grabbing my arm as I stood outside the block of flats, preparing to enter it.
I looked at him, my face stone cold, "What?"
Bell looked sad and I know it was killing him; the way I was treating him. But he brought this on himself. He murdered my first boyfriend and got my second lover killed and then myself thrown in prison, for his own stupid agenda. He let go of my arm and reached behind his back, pulling out a katana, one matching Lexa's, but she kept hers on her belt. "I got this for you."

I took it by the handle, pulling it out of its sheath and looking at the metal blade with the initials carved into the handle: OB and on the other side: SL. Sasha Lincoln. I swallowed at the initials, my eyes filling a little. I looked at my own holster belt and put it in a gun slot, tightening the slot so it wouldn't fall out. I looked back at my brother, "Thanks." I mumbled, still pissed at him.

 

* * *

 

I kicked the door open, drawing my katana and slicing it straight into a Zombie's head, watching it roll on the floor and then watching It's body smash into the ground after it as my boot forced into its stomach, spraying blood and guts all over the floor.  I looked down the rest of the hall and saw no more dead. There were 8 doors on either side of the corridor as well as a final door leading to a blocked stairwell at the opposite end of the hall.

Jasper, Monty and Raven stepped in the hall from behind me, Raven going to my left and the other two going to my right. Monty looked at the body, “I’m kinda glad I haven’t eaten in awhile, that is gross.”
I shrugged, “The World we live in.”
Jasper instructed, “Me and Monty will take left, you take right.”
I walked to the first door on my right, staring into the peep hole and banging on the door with my left hand, saying, “Sounds like a plan.” I stared through the peep hole, watching a staggering zombie, who was missing a leg, come stumbling towards the door. I looked at Raven and nodded. I kicked the door open and ducked quickly as Raven threw a knife over my head and into the eye of the crawling zombie, making it fall flat and go limp. Raven ran over to it and retrieved her knife.

 

I took in the apartment: Kitchen and Diner on my left, separated by a halfwall. Living room in front of that, with the back of sofa towards me and the kitchen, the front facing a fireplace and wall TV. On either side of the TV were doors. On the right was a door facing the kitchen area and a final door on the right wall opposite the fireplace, however, this door was glass and light came through.

 

I went round the room, banging on the doors and listening for growls. It was all silent. I opened the door on the right wall, it lead to a bathroom. I opened the cupboard above the sink and called out, “Jackpot!”
I heard Jasper calling, “Why? What you got?”
I stared at the boxes of tampons and sanitary towels, yelling back, “A girl’s wet dream!”
“What?” Jasper yelled back, confused.
I felt Raven stand behind me and turned to see her smiling, she yelled back, “Come see for yourself.”

We waited a few seconds before Jasper appeared at the bathroom door, he came and stood next to me. I pointed, “Look! Isn’t is a miracle?”
Jasper’s cheeks flushed as he read, “Tampons...”
I nodded, “Uh huh. You see any more in the cupboards, you bring them straight to me, got it?”
Jasper sheepishly nodded.
I moved some of the boxes in the cupboard and found something else of importance, I turned to Jasper, “Hey, and get these too.”
Jasper suspiciously raised an eyebrow, “What?”
I turned around and threw the blue box at him. He caught it and he went event redder, “Condoms?”
I nodded and then put my arm over his shoulder, “Yes. Just because it’s the apocalypse, doesn’t mean we stop practicing safe-sex, Jasper.”
Raven rolled her eyes at me.
I grabbed the box off of Jasper and grabbed a couple out, and handing them to Raven, “I think you need these the most; I don’t want any nieces or nephews just yet.”
Raven took the condoms, placing them in her jacket pocket, “Me and your brother will enjoy these thoroughly.”
I pulled a face, “That is just gross. Don’t, don’t tell me about that!”
Raven held her hands up playfully, “You gave them me!”

 

* * *

 

Me and Raven reached the final apartment. All the apartments had the same layout, more or less. Except the second and fourth apartments had the bathroom and mini-yards on the left and the kitchen and living areas on the right. Apartment 1 had two bedrooms, so did apartment 2. Apartment 3 only had one bedroom, an office and a hanging zombie. Apartment 2 also had a dead person that tried to OD on the bathroom floor, left with a note from a lover, saying that they’d gone, broken up and gone. Apartment 4 was still a mystery.

I banged on the door, as I’d done previously, and peered through the peep hole but saw nothing. I banged again and heard nothing. I looked at Raven, cautious. I kicked open the door and the scent hit me. The beautiful scent. It was like heaven. I headed straight to the first bedroom, nothing unusual. The second room, made my heart beat a little, with excitement. I tried to open it, but it was locked. Strange. I kicked the door, but it didn’t budge. I kicked it again and then shoulder barged it. Raven looked at me and started to help.

One.

Two.

Three!

The door finally gave in. We smashed through it, and saw the bolt on the other side, but that didn’t have my attention. The plant in the middle caught my eye. “Hey, J, Monty, get in here!”
“It’s not more genital products is it?” Jasper called.
I was still taken in the plant and the heat of the room, “You’ll really like this.”

I heard their footsteps enter the apartment and then heard them gasp as they stood in the doorway. “Shit.”
I nodded slowly, my eyes wide, “I know, it’s beautiful. I thought maybe McDonald’s was God but this, this is definitely heaven!”
Jasper went up to the plant and looked at it, “It’s even ready for harvest.”
I looked down at the floor and begun to stop my feet, until I found what I was looking for: a loose floorboard. I got on my hands and knees, pulling back a rug and then tugging at the floor board, my katana on the floor next to me. I looked up at Jasper, “Help me!”
Jasper came and crouched beside me, we both heaved at the wooden panel until it eventually lifted and below was everything I imagined: bags and bags of God’s Plant, of MJ, of herb, of bud, of weed.

Chapter Text

Octavia Blake

 

I breathed out smoke rings, watching them float in the air towards the greyed ceiling, my back leant against a sofa, my legs laid out in front of me, my ankles crossed. Jasper and Monty sat on my right, themselves sat on the floor. Jasper had his legs to his chest and Monty had his legs parted in front of him, both of them enjoying the sweet bliss we'd found. We knew we should be sleeping, it must've been about 4 in the morning, but I didn't care. I didn't care. We had music and booze and spliff, it felt like we were actual teenagers and that the apocalypse hadn't happened.

"Knock, knock," a familiar voice said, pushing open the apartment door. I didn't look up to see him, I knew he'd come, he always did. I saw Jasper nod at him through the corner of my eye and it wasn't long before Murphy sat next to me, his legs crossed and his hands centimetres from mine. He looked at me and I looked at him.

"Booze and weed, it really is heaven on Earth," Murphy said, his tone always the same, always monotone yet sarcastic yet flirtatious yet irritating. It was sometimes hard to place his mood or his intentions. But I guess it's what draws me to him. I handed him my spliff, "Here, we can share, like the old days."
He took it from my right index and middle finger and held it between his left thumb and index. Murphy was left handed. He took in a big draw of breath, inhaling it and then exhaling through his mouth and nose. Sometimes I think humans came from Dragons. He handed it back to me and I took my own draw. His eyes watching me as I breathed in. I blew it out, watching him back.

"How long has it been?" I asked him, my voice low. Jasper and Monty were also silent, listening but not really.
He smiled, with a raised eyebrow, "Since what?"
I smiled back at him with a light laugh. He took some rizzler from the floor next to me and some tobacco with some weed, he grabbed himself a filter and began to roll. He faced me as he licked the edge of the rizzler and then smoothed it over. Taking the joint and then lighting it. He blew smoke and I breathed it in with my mouth. Murphy laughed, "It's been awhile."
I raised an eyebrow, "Oh really?"
Murphy shook his head, looking away and then saying, "I think we have a visitor."
My brow creased, "What?"
Murphy took another drag, "The door."

I got up and turned to the door to see Alicia standing there, a little sheepish. I flipped my spliff in my hand and pointed it towards her, "Come chill with us."

 

* * *

 

Night turned into morning and I couldn't contain my giggles. Round and round I spun, my arms out to the world as I threw my head back, giggling. The sun was rising above us, must be about six. Truthfully I don't know how I got here. But I am here, spinning around in a trolly with my arms floating in the air and every once in awhile taking a puff on my tenth spliff of night. My throat was burning and I knew I'd be croaky in the morning, but I didn't care.

"Alright, that's enough," Murphy said, stopping the trolly, but the colours still blurred and so does his face.
I pouted, "Why?"
Murphy pointed to behind him, Alicia was stood with a bottle of voddie in one hand and Murphy's spliff in the other. Monty had gone to bed and Jasper was throwing up after his turn in the trolly.

I nodded, "Okay. Who'd have thought the good girl would be joining us?"
Murphy shrugged, "Looks can be deceiving." He looked behind us, "Jasp and Ali, come here and-"
"What did you call me?" Alicia cut him off, merry in her tone as she stumbled over, "Ali?"
Murphy shrugged looking at her, "Yeah, just easier than Alicia. Y'know? I mean, we have Jasp, Ali and O."
She slowly nodded, "Okay then."
Murphy looked at Ali and Jasper, "Steady the trolly, please."
Jasper and Alicia both held the trolly and Murphy reached down, grabbing my hands and heaved me up and then lifted me out, his arms firmly round my waist, our lips inches away. I don't know if it was the booze or the weed, but I felt overcome with emotion and romance. Like if this was a movie, we'd make out. But it's not a movie. And fucking Ali exists.

"Alright you two, break it up!" Jasper called and Murphy put me down. He pulled away and turned to Alicia. He picked her up from behind and she shrieked. "I'm gonna fall! Oh my god! Murphy!"
"Don't worry, I got you!" Murphy said, still holding her up as she bent her knees and stood in the trolly, grinning, she turned around and Murphy held her hands for support. She sat down in the Trolly and Murphy begun spinning her. Of course she shrieked and shrieked! "This is too fast! Stop! No, im gonna be sick!" She laughed.
Murphy said, "Lean back, put your arms out and focus on a cloud. It's like you're flying, trust me."
She did what she said and she soon fell silent, then quietly saying in awe, "You're right, it is like I'm flying!"

I dropped my spliff to the floor and stomped it out, walking past them.
"Where you going, O?" Murphy called out.
I turned to look at him, feeling tears in my eyes for some unknown reason, I shrugged, "Just going to bed. Everyone will be waking soon and we need to sleep, you can still stay out. Just, not me."

I turned back around and started walking across the road towards the Apartment block. I heard Murphy saying behind me, "Jasper, take over. I think O's right, I'm gonna go sleep too."

 

* * *

 

I entered the apartment, Monty was snoring on the couch and Jasper would join him on the other. I claimed the double bed. Murphy was following me. Alicia, Nick and Lexa had an apartment together. Bellamy, Raven, Clarke, Teresa and Murphy were meant to share but Murphy had other ideas. He followed me into the bedroom and shut the door behind us.

Tears started to fall from my eyes and I kept my back to him, the bed on the left of us and the window straight ahead. "What's wrong?" Murphy softly asked, still standing by the door.
I shook my head, turning around and sitting on the edge of the bed, "I'm just being stupid. Had too much to drink."
Murphy sat beside me, "Is it Sasha?"
I shook my head, "No, for once, it's not." I looked at him, sadly saying, "it's fucking you."
His brow furrowed in concern, "Me?"
I nodded, "You and Ali."

He grinned, returning to his usual teasing tone, "You jealous?"
I lightly pushed him, "Asshole. It's not funny!"
He shrugged, "I think it is. I mean, for one, she's not my type and for two, me and you aren't even a thing. We flirt, that's all we've ever done. You had Adam," his tone softened, "You had Sasha," his tone then lightened, "And I, I had my hand."
I rolled my eyes at him, "You're disgusting, Murphy."
He smiled, "See, I knew I could make you smile."
I raised an eyebrow at him, wiping my tears away, "Y'know, there's other ways to make me smile..."
Murphy's eyes warmed, he had a soft smile on his lips, "I think you need to sleep-"
"Why?" I interrupted, kicking my shoes off and getting on my knees on the bed, looking into his blue eyes, "Why?"
He kept his hand in his lap, "Because you're intoxicated-"
"So are you-"
"So am I." He softly said, he looked at me, "If we were sober, then maybe. But not like this. You're special, Octavia Blake. You're more than a one night stand."
I smiled softly back at him, “You’re not really an asshole, are you, Murphy?”
He shrugged, “It’s a matter of opinion, I guess.”
He went to stood up and I grabbed his hand, “Don’t, don’t leave me. I don’t want to be alone tonight and this bed is big enough for two. Please.”
He smiled softly, “Fine, I’ll stay.” He then light heartedly said as he laid down on the bed and I crawled up next to him, “If I die tomorrow, just know it’s your fault.”
My brow furrowed, “Why?”
He closed his eyes and said, “Bellamy.”

 

Chapter Text

Clarke Griffin

White duvet wrapped around me like a cozy cocoon. My eyes fluttered open to be greeted by a bright blue sky through an open window, clouds slowly floating by and cream walls framed the scene nicely. For a moment it was as if I was away on vacation in a nice hotel, with parents in the other room next door. However, this wasn't the case. My mother was miles away and my father, six feet under. This was not a hotel but an apartment with all of its residents either dead or M.I.A.

A light knock sounded on the door and it pushed open delicately. A girl with friendly blue eyes and black hair smiled at me, Teresa gently said, her voice a whisper, "I didn't mean to wake you, I just came to give you breakfast and to change your bandage."
I smiled at her, looking at my leg, which was perched on a couple of pillows, with a massive bandage surrounding a large gash going up the front of my calf, "It's okay. You didn't wake me, the birds did."
Teresa came and sat down next to me with a bowl of berries in her hands, she handed it to me, "It's tinned, there's lots of tins around, which is good for us. Means we can stay until your leg is better."
I grabbed the spoon in the bowl and began eating the tinned glacier cherries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. They were a little bit tangy, but still good.

 

I chewed my food as Teresa looked around the room, it was a plain room, probably belonged to an adult, meaning that two friends must've lived here. "How is my leg?" I asked her, my mum was a doctor, but I never really picked up on her skills. Teresa however, worked with my mum in the quarantine, Teresa also started to learn medicine pre-apocalypse.
Teresa smiled at me, "It's not broken, but it is cut pretty deep. I tried to stitch it and I'm sure I got out most of the metal fragments. I'm sure it will be right in a week or two. Just need lots of medicine and rest."
My brow creased, "What about Acton?"
Teresa sighed, looking out the window, "We will have to wait to cross, but not just because of you. A group, about fifteen people, left last night. They took guns and food and water, which means, we will need to stay here and try and forage a little more. But I'm sure we'll work it out."

I finished my berries and put the bowl on the side table, saying, “Speaking of working things out, what’s going on between you and Thomas?”
Teresa’s smile dropped, “Thomas?”
I pressed, “I saw you two looking, Well, avoiding looking at each other on the first day. You don’t have to tell me, but I can see there’s something going on there.”
Teresa, looked away from me, “There’s-“
“Clarke! You’re awake.” Lexa interrupted pushing open the bedroom door and startling both me and Teresa.
Teresa quickly stood up, smoothing down her black trousers and blue top, she looked at Lexa, “I told her about the runaways and gave her breakfast.”
Lexa nodded.

 

Teresa left the room and it was just me and her. Me and Lexa. The way Lexa looked at me was intense, like she was trying to examine me, understand me, like she was trying to climb inside my brain and know every depth of me. I fidgeted under her green-eyed gaze, my own eyes darting away from her.
“Clarke.” Lexa awkwardly said, though her tone didn’t reveal any awkwardness or embarrassment, her tone was velvet, steady, powerful, intimidating yet warm at the same time.
“Lexa.” I awkwardly responded, my eyes finally turning to look back at her, starting from the bottom of her black, leather, knee high boots. To her thighs covered in black sports leggings, to her waist and hips, her gun-belt missing along with her Katana. I didn’t quite know where she got it from, but I didn’t want to ask either. She also wore a black military jacket, which was unopened and created a line going from her hips up to her breasts, and just above her cleavage, rested a locket of some kind. Alicia dressed in light blue jeans, a purple checkered shirt and vans, she also wore her hair in a ponytail, much different from Lexa’s plaited hairstyle.

Lexa’s eyes gripped on to mine as she stood at the foot of my bed, “I want your opinion on the soldier.”
My brow furrowed, “Why? Why do you keep asking me to lead? You never like what I say, when I said North, you practically laughed at me. So what’s it matter what I think-“
“Of course it matters.” Lexa said, her tone still level, “And I didn’t laugh at you, it was - it was a very intelligent answer. So tell me, do you think Alicia was right?”
I sighed, looking out the window, breaking the gaze between me and her. There was something about Lexa that was drawing me to her and I didn’t even know her. It’s like I wanted her to approve of my opinions, but I wouldn’t change them to appease her. “Yes, Alicia was right.”
Lexa was silent.
I had to look at her, just to read her face, but it was expressionless. I was starting to think angry and emotionless were all Lexa was capable of portraying. I continued, “We don’t get to decide who lives and dies. And she’s right. He could help us, he’s taking us to the safe place-“
“And what if it’s a lie?” Lexa cut me off, but not angry, “What if he’s a bad person or his group is? What then, Clarke?”
I looked her firmly in the eye, “Then at least we’ll be together. We’ll find a way out together. That’s how we live, together.”
Lexa nodded and before I could say another word, she was gone.

Chapter Text

Octavia Blake

I slowly opened my eyes to find myself resting on a warm, beating chest, my left hand just below the heart beating inside. My knees were next to his and I felt a strange sense of warmth. I looked up at the soft face sleeping, their brows unknotted and their mouth quiet for a change. Murphy looked quite cute as he slept, he even looked like he might not be an asshole. But, I knew the truth. He is a very large asshole.

All jokes aside, laying with him made feel something I hadn't felt in a long time. I wasn't angry as we laid in this double bed, with blue and white striped duvet over us and light streaming in through a slightly open blind. The light caressed his hair, showing slight golden flecks in his dark brown hair - showing a lighter side, if you will. I guess even the most darkest shadows have some light, somewhere. It was peaceful. After months of hatred and violence and pain, this was a silver lining.

And then it hit me, as I stared at his face and buts it's not his face. I felt guilt, a feeling I hadn’t felt in such a long time. I felt guilt for laying here with Murphy, for kissing him, for being jealous of Ali. Fucking Ali. I know it’s been Months since Pike shot him, months since my brother told Pike that Lincoln forced me to climb under Pike’s floorboards and try to slice his throat whilst he slept. It had nothing to do with Lincoln and everything to do with Pike being a cruel son of a bitch! He kicked out Indra, the first ruler of the quarantine. She made me strong. She gave me my Katana and she taught me to fight with it; for when the bullets run out. And she trained Lincoln too, that’s how I met him. And I fell for him. I loved him. I still do.

And I don’t know why I feel guilty now. I slept with people afterwards, in the prison. I slept with Jasper, that was fun and a bunch of different guys that I don’t remember, just to fill the hole. But it feels as though laying here with Murphy has torn it right open again and it feels as though my chest is caving in and a hand is wrapped around my throat. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe!

I shot up in bed, using Murphy’s chest to get up and waking him in the process. He too shot up next to me and his eyes darted around the room as he panicked, “What’s happening?”
I sat with my knees to my chest and my hands tugging at my hair as I struggled to breathe. I felt a soft hand on my arm and he brought it to the bed. His blue eyes were worried and concerned, a look rare on Murphy’s face, “Just breathe, it’s okay. Breathe in, push your stomach out, count to four and then breathe out again, count to four and repeat. For three minutes. Do it with me. In,” I breathed in as he counted, looking into his eyes, “and out.” I breathed out with his soft words. Breathing in.... and out.... in.... and out.

 

Time passed slowly but as I kept breathing, the world seemed to calm down a little bit. Eventually the iron fist removed from my throat and my chest no longer crushed me. Murphy smiled sweetly at me, “See, you’re gonna live after all.”
I looked at him, “How did you know what to do? I couldn’t breathe, it felt like, like I was going to pass out or something-“
“Teresa.” Murphy stated and then expanded, “Teresa gets panic attacks, Well she used to when we were growing up and that’s what she learnt to do, breathe.” His brow then creased, “What were you thinking about before?”
I looked towards the end of the bed, Me and Murphy both fully clothed with only our shoes on the floor, “Lincoln. I don’t know, just laying with you, it feels right but wrong. Like I’m cheating on him somehow. Which doesn’t make any sense because I’ve shagged so many people and never felt like this. But laying here, waking up to you, it just - I don’t know, freaked me out?” I looked back at his face, he was looking at the end of the bed too.
He softly said, “I get it. Its not sex that’s important, it’s the connection. But, Octavia,” he turned to look at me, “Lincoln would want you to find love. He wouldn’t want you to grieve forever. Loving someone, is letting them go. Loving someone is accepting them loving someone else. That’s love. And he loved you, like Emori loved me.”

 

Emori. I forget about her. But Murphy didn’t just burn down the guards house because his mother died. He burnt it down because his girlfriend was killed. He found his mum dead in a pile of vomit as his sister held her lifeless body in her hands. He stormed out of their house to go find Emori out in their usual abandoned house, just outside the fence. Only to discover her knife there and nothing else. He tried to search for her in the woods but what he found was no longer her. She had a knife in her stomach and her eyes as white and vacant as his mum’s. He found the name of the guard on the knife, found his house and burnt it to the ground, with him inside. I remember hearing the screams of the guard. And I remember the bitter look on Murphy’s face and the tears streaming down Teresa’s face. That was the moment that lead me to Indra and the rebels within the quarantine. I knew that guard, Pete Edwin. Pike’s number one dick sucker and also local dealer. He gave Nick his drugs in the apocalypse as well as the drugs Murphy’s mum Overdosed on, but money was no longer a currency, so he got his pay some other way. He deserved it. And I hope his death was slow and painful and I hope he’s still burning in hell.

Chapter Text

Jasper Jordan

The flames stretched up and licked the paper, sending smoke into my throat and lungs. I tilted my head back, laying on the hood of a red Chevy truck, my back against the windscreen, an arm behind my head, the other hand holding the cigarette between my fingers. I stared at the clouds floating above me and it felt as if I was almost floating with them. I pursed my lips and blew smoke rings towards them and I could see myself floating on one, heading straight for the sun. I tapped ash onto my right side and looked to my left.

Monty. He was floating on his own smoke rings. What are wedding rings, when the smoke rings seem just as eternal? His brown eyes met mine, he flicked his fringe out of his eyes. I smiled at him, staring at his perfection. Monty, my best friend since we were thirteen. He was my everything. I always used to stay at his house, smoking weed in his room whilst playing video games and praying his mother didn’t come home early to beat the shit outta us both. Monty was a nerd and never had many friends and I was the opposite. I gave up everything for him and I would do it all again. I didn’t need popularity when I had Monty. Monty makes me feel good, like maybe the world isn’t a shit hole. I tell myself one day I’ll tell him exactly how I feel. I’ll tell him that I love him. I fucking love him.

“You sure That’s wise?” A voice said from my right. I turned my head to look at Nick standing, looking at us.
I put my spliff back in my mouth and blew out smoke as I said, “Is anything wise anymore, Nicki boy?”
Nick stood a little awkward, he scratched his left hand, his hands in front of his crotch, his hair half-up half-down and dressed in a yellow cardigan with a black shirt and jeans. He looked as though he wanted to join, but something held him back. He shrugged, “I don’t know. But what’re you gonna do when it runs out? With the amount you’ve got, you’ll be going cold turkey and that’s never fun. So is it worth it?”
I shrugged, sitting up, dangling my legs over the edge of the hood of the truck, Monty still laid behind me, blowing smoke. I held my spliff in my index finger and thumb, pointing the back end towards him and the lit end towards me, “You tell me.”
Nick stared at it, like it was a gun. I could see the conflict in him. I knew he was an addict to heroin, but this was merely weed. Just like smoking tobacco and you don’t have to smoke to get stoned. It’s like drinking, but without the anger and legality. Nick shook his head, a little sad, “I can’t. I have to be strong now.”
“For them?” I nodded towards Lexa and Alicia, who were sat with Clarke near the flats, helping her to walk to try and strengthen her leg, it’s been two weeks since we came here, Teresa says next week we’ll be gone. Me and Monty were in McDonald’s car park.

Nick nodded, again his tone sad, “Yeah, for them.”
I put my spliff back in my mouth, holding it between my lips as I went in my coat pocket, pulling out a pack of cigarettes, filled with both substances. My fingers pulled out a legal cigarette and I held it towards him with my left hand as I held my spliff in my right fingers. “Here.”
Nick stepped towards me, taking the fag in his index and thumb, he placed it in his mouth and jumped on the hood, sitting next to me. Monty handed him a lighter and he cupped his hands around his fag as he lit it. He gave the lighter to Monty and then blew his own smoke. He looked at me, “Thanks.”
I smiled, “You’re welcome, we’re friends now. Us junkies gotta stick together.”
Nick smiled a little, “I’m not a junkie anymore-“
“Not true.” I cut him off, my tone light, “Once a junkie, always a junkie. You can’t escape it. Once it’s inside you, that’s it. The demon never fully leaves you. But you know that.”
Nick nodded, looking down at his sneakers, which were covered in mud and scuffed, the laces frayed slightly.

 

* * *

 

Another day ended. Me, Nick and Month spent it together, smoking, joking and getting to know each other. I jumped off of the hood of the truck.
“Where you going?” Monty asked me, high as a kite and little drunk.
I smiled, “Thanks for the concern, I’m going to piss.”
“Don’t take too long,” Nick said, “There’s still more questions that need to be answered.”
I grinned, throwing my arms out, “I wouldn’t miss it for the world!”

I turned to my right, walking past the front of the McDonald’s, I glanced in the window and saw my brother sat in a booth, staring at Clarke, Teresa and Alicia, who were sat in a booth sat the other side of McDonald’s. My brother was more hopeless about admitting his feelings than I was. He was in love with Teresa, they were together before the apocalypse, but shit happened and they fell apart. But now the world has too.

I turned left, down the side of McDonald’s, my back to the highway as I faced the brick wall. I unzipped my jeans and pulled down my jeans slightly. Suddenly my chest was against the wall, a crushing weight forcing me against it. My jeans fell to my ankles and my cheeks flushed red. “Let me go!” I yelled in fear, “Monty! Nick! Monty! Somebody-“
“Nobody can hear you.” A voice growled, a familiar one. They pulled me backwards, and then turned my shoulders and shoved my back against the wall. Light from the moon shon on her face. Her tanned skin and green eyes, dressed in all black.
“Lexa?” I said in shock, my jeans still around my ankles, my arms pinned to my sides by her hands. She was millimetres away from me and I felt fear crawling up my spine. I tried to think what Murphy or Bellamy would do in this situation. They’d try to make a joke but I’m not a heterosexual and nor is Lexa. I swallowed as it was the only thing I could do.
Lexa hissed, her eyes stone cold and her voice like poison, “Stay away from Nick.”
My brow creased, “Nick? Why?”
Lexa shoved me against the wall, “Just do it. Stay away from Nick and stay away from Alicia. Stay away from my family with your drugs. Nick doesn’t need you and he will never be your friend. We’re not like you. We’re not weak and pathetic, lonely pot-heads like you. So stay away. Or I’ll make you.” She then let go off my arms and stepped back, glaring at me before flashing me a sickly sweet, it was sweet I could feel the booze rising in my throat. “See you around, Jasper.”
She disappeared in the darkness and suddenly I didn’t need to pee anymore. I pulled up my jeans and sheepishly headed back to the boys.

Chapter Text

Clarke Griffin

We all stood still as statues, drenched in bloody bed-sheets, covered in organs and mud. Our guns hid underneath and our knives gripped tightly in our hands. My ears still rung from the drop of fire works and rain of machine gun fire in order for us to climb down the already blown up road. Now we all stood together, waiting for the rest to arrive.

"Nobody move, stay silent and don't fire unless it's necessary!" Bellamy commanded, he stood on the front line, in front of me. Lexa stood on the left of him and Tom on the right. Teresa and Octavia stood on my left, Jasper and Monty on my right. Alicia, Nick, Murphy and Raven stood at the back.

The wind blew and my nose scrunched up at the smell off the rotting corpses draped over my body. I felt sick, guilty and scared. What if this doesn't work? What if it rains? I looked up at the clouds, they seemed white and fluffy. No storms ahead, though I doubted that. I looked back to the walkers dragging themselves towards us, leaving their own blood trails on the tarmac behind them. My grip tightened around my knife handle, my palms sweaty and my heart beat pounding in my chest.

 

The walkers approached, stumbling and groaning. I could see Bellamy's knuckles tight around his blade, his knuckles almost going white. The walkers stumbled into him and he froze. One of them in his face, their teeth falling out, their hair with only clumps left, in some places their flesh was charred and black from flames but the majority of it was a rotting green-grey colour. The walker groaned and moaned in Bellamy's face but eventually passed. It passed! Meaning Nick's plan worked. Now we just had to remain silent and slowly walk towards the buildings.

Bellamy raised his hand and pointed forward. Time to move. I breathed in sharp and slowly moved my legs. They still killed, but it was bearable. I kept going, looking at my feet rather than the walkers. I felt them banging into me, their groans loud in my ears. I breathed in and out. Keep calm, Clarke. I still gripped my knife tightly, prepared for when it goes wrong.

I glanced up, to see the face of a walker right in mine. My heart skipped a beat, but again, it passed. I swallowed and looked to see Bellamy still leading the way. One foot in front of the other. Keep going. We were nearly there. About three cars away from the first building. Which arguably had walkers coming out of it, but Bellamy and Lexa would deal with that. Just keep Quiet-

 

-

 

 

Gun shots. I turned around to the Delinquents. They were firing towards the highway, firing at a horde. The walkers groaned louder and louder around us. And more fire sounded, but from a different direction. I turned back towards the front. Towards distant gun fire. Walkers were increasingly becoming more and more distressed and so was I.

I searched the crowd and realised I had no idea where anybody had gone. Shit! SHIT! Fuck. I swallowed. The walkers were now practically charging towards me and yelling in my ears. One was heading straight for me, it's eyes locked on mine. I held my knife and prepared to lift it. When it dropped down in front of me, a knife in the front of its skull. I stepped back into something warm and it's hands grabbed my arm. I quickly spun around, my knife raised but another arm grabbed my wrist in the air. His blue eyes comforted me. I sighed in relief, "Murphy-"
"Let's go, Princes," he said to me. I lowered my knife and he grabbed my hand, pulling me through the crowd and picking up his knife as we passed his kill.

"Help!" A voice yelled from our right and we both stopped. Monty was pressed against a car, wrestling a walker, who had its hands gripped on Monty's shirt. His jaws snapping at Monty's face. Jasper was knifing another walker straight in front of him but there was another five fast approaching. Murphy turned me to look at him, "Keep going straight ahead, don't stop. Use the knife if necessary. I need to help them." I nodded and he was gone, charging into the mini-horde, yielding his knife into the skulls of the walkers.

I turned ahead. I kept walking. I kept going. Praying the walkers wouldn't turn on me. Praying I'd make it. The building was a car away now. Not far at all. But the walkers kept coming and coming, like a current pushing me away from the shore. I was lost in a sea of walkers and I was struggling to swim out.

I finally made it to the door, I put my door on handle but it wouldn't open. I banged my fists against it, feeling hysterical. Please, please, please! Open! Please! It wouldn't open and the walkers were catching on I was human. One headed right for more and suddenly the knife felt as heavy as me. Tears stung my eyes and I couldn't breathe. This was it, my end. Even if I killed the walker, I couldn't open the door and everybody else had disappeared, I was alone. I was alone and death seemed like my only friend. I looked up at the clouds, at the sun. Remembering times I'd spent sketching the clouds into notebooks. The stars. Trees. Nature. Life.

 

Life.

 

I looked back at the walker and drew my knife, I plunged it into its brains as it put its hands on me. It slid down my body and I kicked it off. I couldn't drag my knife out of its head but more were coming. I let go of the knife and reached for my pistol. Bellamy had taught me how to shoot back at the apartments. I was still rusty and we used pellets not real, heavy bullets.

I can do this. I drew my gun, took off the safety and aimed it at the first. Bang. Gone. The second. Bang. Gone. All of them collapsing at my feet. All of them now turned for me. There must've been ten all coming for me. But I kept shooting, and they kept falling around me. I swallowed my conscience and kept going. I reloaded, shells falling like petals from a viscous flower. Me, the flower, walker killer.

I was about to shoot the tenth walker when a face popped up. Her eyes green and her sword had no mercy as she straight up beheaded the tenth walker. I watched the head roll towards my feet and then She charged towards me and I rolled out of the way of the door as she threw her body against it. I joined her. Both of us throwing our weights against the door. Cracks formed in the door and eventually it fell through. We ran straight up the stairs, Lexa opened the master bedroom door and we both raced in. The wardrobe, luckily, was just on the right of the door, we pushed it to block the door. And finally, we were safe. For Now.

Chapter Text

Clarke Griffin

 

Hands pounded on the bedroom door as we sat with our backs pressed against the bedroom window, which overlooked the city below us. Lexa crouched with her sword drawn and eyes locked on the bedroom door. Gun fire flooded the city below us and we didn't know if it was friendly or not. They knew where we were. And they knew whether we were prey or not.

 

I looked at Lexa, my voice slightly raised above the pounding and fire, "Where are the others?"

Lexa scolded, "In the building opposite, God, Clarke, is it so damn hard for you to follow instructions?"

Lexa made my blood boil, "I don't know, Lexa, is it so hard for you to be not such a condescending bitch?"

Lexa's eyes widened in fury as they locked on mine, "Excuse you?! I'm a bitch? At least I didn't almost get myself killed and needed somebody to-"

"Save me?" I cut her off, "I was fine without you-"

"You were wasting ammo." Her tone lowered but still remained aggressive, she glared back at the door, which was vibrating with every hungry hit against it. The gun fire was reducing outside. Now in little spurts rather than a long stream.

 

"Wasting ammo?" I retorted, "Every shot I took, I made. And if it was such a waste, then why even bother coming to help me? You should've just left me, if that's how you feel." I then got to my knees and turned to look out the window. Bellamy's and Murphy's eyes met mine across the street, they were in different rooms. Bellamy looked to the side of him, his lips moving to presumably Raven or Octavia, maybe Teresa or Tom too. Murphy would be with Jasper and Monty. 

 

Lexa was silent at the side of me. I glanced towards her, she was chewing her lip and staring at the door, lost in thought and a little sad, as if she wanted to say something but couldn't find the words. 

 

I looked back out and onto the street. Below was a tank and two army trucks. A sea of dead corpses laid in front of fifteen soldiers. I started to regret saving our prisoner, maybe he lead us here deliberately for us to die. Across the street, everybody had ducked down, but I still peered into the street. One soldier, a girl, dressed in a leather jacket with a black tank top, fingerless gloves and camo pants looked up in my direction. She had golden brown eyes and straight black hair, her skin was a cream colour. She'd found makeup somewhere and had black and grey smokey eye shadow with a bold wing as well as lip gloss glinting in the sun. She smiled at me and I felt my heart warm at it.

 

"That's not what I meant, Clarke." Lexa suddenly muttered, her tone delicate and fragile.

My brow creased in confusion, she'd been silent for five minutes, I looked at her, "What?"

Lexa's eyes met mine, watery and vulnerable, a side I hadn't seen. Lexa always walks around with a harsh exterior, solid as a rock. Her tone usually condescending, brisk and commanding. But now her face softened and her tone sounded as though she was willing to be commanded by me. "I didn't mean that saving you was a waste. And you're right, you did do what you had to live and surviving is not a waste. You're not a waste."

I nodded at her firmly and then looked back at the street, the girl was still looking at my window and she smiled when she saw me look at her again. She suddenly jumped and turned around to see a soldier talking to her. She pointed to the windows on either side of her.

 

I knew I should've felt sick to my stomach with nerves but I didn't. Her eyes made me feel safe. I looked at the windows opposite me, Murphy mouthed, "Princess?" And Bellamy pulled up his gun. 

I felt Lexa move to look out the window with me, her voice delicate as she voiced what the others were saying, "What do we do, Clarke?"

I shook my head at the boys and they sheathed their weapons. I looked at Lexa, "Now we wait."

 

* * *

 

Night fell and vibrations travelled under me. I sat with my back juddering against the cold metal wall of a truck. I hugged my knees and tried to see the moon through the tiny holes near the roof. I kept my eyes high, avoiding Lexa's opposite me, she sat in a similar position to me, though she did not hug her knees, she folded her arms instead. An arm rested on her shoulders and it lead to Nick. He sat in between his two sisters, Alicia sleeping in his lap. Alicia looked peaceful, and I silently wondered if Lexa would look the same. On my left, Bellamy and Raven sat opposite Nick and Alicia and in a similar position too. Bellamy thoughtfully twiddled with Raven's hair, every once in awhile he'd look diagonally across to Octavia, who sat on the otherside of Lexa, opposite Murphy, who sat on my right. 

 

Murphy was silent too. I was starting to feel silence was the new norm. And that scared me. This silence wasn't peaceful, it wasn't the silence on a Sunday evening as the sun set and the stars came out. It wasn't the silence at 4 in the morning, right before the birds started to tweet and the world would wake up. This silence was scary. More than that; it was numbing. Like we knew that something bad was going to happen, something truly terrifying, but we just accepted it. It was normal.

 

"You should sleep, y'know." Tom broke the silence, he sat on Murphy's right, Teresa next to him, Jasper in between Monty and Octavia opposite.

Teresa sat with her back straight, picking her nails on top of her knees, she hostilely said "I'm fine."

Tom sighed, letting his head rest against the metal truck. His eyes were a window to pain and heartache. He loved her but something happened between them. She made a home in his heart and now she sits, fingertips away from him with an invisible wall stopping him from reaching her. Murphy glanced at his sister, it's easy to forget that they're siblings, I don't think they've spoken since the world turned to shit.

 

 I look at the tired faces around me, seeing the families that are broken and realising how alone I am. No lover. No sibling. Nothing. But somehow, I trust them. All of them. Even Lexa. I just hope they were right to trust me...

Chapter Text

Clarke Griffin

Two quick thuds, that's all it takes to send jolts of adrenaline through twelve teenagers covered in darkness. Two quick thuds is all it takes to make Every hair on my body stand up.

We stand staring at the door of the van, surrounded by darkness and again, silence. All of us resting a hand on a pistol or knife. All of us ready and waiting.

Light burned my eyeballs and I blinked ferociously as the doors opened and bright light shot into the back of the van, aimed at our eyes. None of us could see what awaited us.

"Turn it off, Jared." A girl casually called and the lights dimmed. The girl with the warm brown eyes stood staring at us. "Firstly, I'm Skye. Secondly, don't kill me. Thirdly, follow me."

 

* * *

 

Cold water stabbed at my skin, making me jump back into the cold, cubicle door. I felt the water literally dragging the dirt out of my pores and piercing my skin. I chewed my lip to contain my shrieks. This was processing, apparently. As the water clawed at my skin, I caught sight of myself in what I was sure was a see-through mirror. I looked at my hair, oily and dirty. So was the rest of me. My leg still had a massive gash down it, clumsily stitched together and likely to scar. I had cuts on my cheeks and grazed knees, scratched arms and busted knuckles. My eyes had bags under them and my lips were chapped. I looked rough to say the least, I guess this is what the apocalypse did.

My clothes were gone. I put them in a shelf under the mirror, in exchange for water and a sponge. I grabbed the sponge and started to scrub at the dirt, getting used to the icy blades of water. I scrubbed and scrubbed until my skin was pink. Trying to get rid of it all. All of the dirt and hurt. Trying to process it all. So many lives lost. There's only twenty-seven left, and only twelve of those are certain to be alive. Us twelve, our fate in the hands of Skye and the soldiers. Skye told us it's safe, we'll get rooms with bathrooms tonight and then tents tomorrow.

 

Eventually the water stopped running brown and became clear. Eventually I felt all the dirt had left me. The water shut off, I placed my sponge and soap in the tray. They disappeared and a towel appeared. I grabbed it, wrapping the soft fabric around my body. It was warm. Something I hadn't felt in awhile: warmth. The flats were cold and I felt it dripping into my soul.

I squeezed my hair, trying to wring out as much water as possible, before turning to the cubicle door and unlocking it. I stepped onto the cold tile flooring. Octavia exited the cubicle on my right, Raven on my left. Teresa opposite Octavia, Alicia opposite Raven and Lexa opposite me. I felt her eyes scan over my body and I'm sure I saw her lip quiver a little. I looked at Skye, she stood at the end of the block on my left.

Skye smiled at me, she clapped her hands and said, "Well, you're all clean. Guess I'll show you to your rooms."

 

* * *

 

She took us upstairs, reunited with the boys. We were in the East Wing, apparently the East was open to civilisation. The ground floor being the canteen and storage, the first floor being a hospital wing with Quarantine Showers, the third and fourth being bedrooms, thirty on each floor. We were on the Third.

"So, rooms 1-6 can be yours. You'll need to share and just to let you know, they're double beds. So make sure you pair with someone who doesn't snore," Skye lightly said. She then added, "Girls on the right, boys on the left. You've each got Three outfits. One military, one casual and one for sleeping. Well, four, including your own clothes too, but they're being washed."
I smiled at her, "Thank you, we appreciate this."
Her eyes lit up at my thanks, "Just doing my job." She then awkwardly scratched her neck as we all stood silently looking at her, "Right, well, I guess I'll leave you to it. I have a room just at the end of the corridor. Don't hesitate to give me a knock if you need something." She then turned and headed down to the other end of the corridor.

Everybody turned their attention to me. I looked at the floor uneasily, "I guess we pair up."
Bellamy put an arm around Raven, "Me and Raven will take room 1."
Murphy rolled his eyes, "Well, I want one where Skye is. I can't deal with more late night activities."
Raven shrugged, "You're just jealous, Murphy, that you haven't got anybody to share with."
Murphy looked at Octavia and then quickly looked away before Bellamy noticed the glance between them.

"I'll share with Clarke." Lexa suddenly said, my eyes darted to hers, she didn't meet my gaze. Lexa continued commanding, "Alicia and Teresa can share, Jasper and Monty, Nick and Tom, Murphy and Octavia. Sorted."
Bellamy protested, "No, O is not sharing with Murphy, no fucking way. She should share with Alicia or-"
"No!" Octavia cut her off, "You don't choose who I share with. I'm sharing with Murphy. That's it. I'm fine with it and so is he-"
"Murphy?" Bellamy looked at him, well, glared at him.
Murphy sheepishly joked, "Guys, you don't need to fight over me, there's enough-"
"Shut it, Murphy!" Bellamy then shouted at him.
"You just asked me-"
"I said," Bellamy cut Murphy off, "Shut up."
Octavia tutted, folding her arms. She looked at Murphy, "C'mon, Murphy, we'll take 6."
Octavia walked past me, Murphy following. Bellamy grabbed Murphy's arm, "You sleep on the floor or in bath or in a chair, whatever, but you sleep in the same bed as her and I'll-"
"Do what exactly?" Octavia spun around, now stood outside her room, "You'll, What? Kill him? Like you killed Lincoln? You're good at that, killing people I love."
Bellamy's arm fell limp at his side and I saw the words stab him in his heart, he was speechless. Raven grabbed a limp hand and gently tugged on it, leading him away.
Octavia tutted, the anger steaming off of her, "C'mon, Murphy."

The Delinquents headed into their rooms, Bellamy and Raven in 1, Alicia and Teresa opposite in 2, Monty and Jasper in 3, in the middle of 1 and 5. Nick and Tom took room 5. That just left room 4 for me and Lexa. We both just stood in the now empty corridor. Our eyes locked on each other's.

"Why me?"

Chapter Text

Lexa Woods

I stared out the window, looking out at the never-ending forest and starlit night sky. I always dreamed of seeing a sky perfectly decorated with twinkling constellations and somewhere in the distance, waterfalls poured magic into ponds. If I was Alicia, then I'd be thinking this was some sort of romance movie. But I'm not my twin, we look similar but that's as far as our likeliness goes. She likes romance, poetry and daydreams. I like action, logic and living in reality. 

 

"Why?" She said, shutting the door behind us. Both of us in our towels and though I could feel every part of me yearning to look at her, to see the skin that lies underneath the white towels, I force myself to stare out the window. Staring into the darkness, knowing that out there, the dead rule and even worse than that, humans exist. I don't trust this place. And the moment the opportunity rises, me and my family will leave; my people come first. And Clarke, though pretty as she is, she's not mine. I won't let another outsider close; they die. And Clarke has a death wish. She's illogical and reckless and she will die.

 

"Why?" She repeated and I could see her reflection in the window, she stood behind me, the bed in between us. The bathroom door behind her was open and I could see her reflection in that, the towel stopping just under her butt cheeks, I wished the towel was a little shorter and I had to stop myself staring at her. Her eyes, so blue, like the sky, like running water, like all the happy things Alicia likes. Her forehead creased in confusing and she folded her arms, staring at me. Her hair was not in her usual style, it hung free, wild and slightly wavy. She was no longer covered in mud and I could see her freckles on her cheeks and the mole in between her lips and nose. Her lips, slightly pouted as she stared into my soul.

 

I ignored her, "You should select your clothes and get changed. I guess we'll all look the same now. White tank tops and shorts to sleep in, camo around camp and black for spare." 

Clarke didn't move, she never listens to me, she's always defiant and challenges me. It's what I like about her. At school everybody listened to me, I was popular, but not because they liked me but because everyone was intimidated by me. Everyone but one, Costia. Costia had blonde hair and blue eyes too, she was the only one who challenged me. She was smart too, like Clarke, and kind and compassionate. Sometimes I look at Clarke and see her. I know Clarke's not her, and that just pulls me further in.

 

"I asked you a question." She snapped at me, I wanted to turn around and face her but I knew I couldn't. One look at her like that and it'd take all my strength not to tell her how much I want her - no, how much I need her. 

I made my tone harsh, I had to push her away, "I heard you. But it's late and we should sleep. I hope you made the right choice, Clarke." 

Clarke sighed in frustration and I saw her turn and hastily sit on the bed, making it creak and bounce. She grabbed a pair of underwear and pulled them on under her towel. She grabbed the shorts and pulled them on. She stood up and I saw the towel drop. I held my breath, seeing her perfectly formed spine and the dimples at the bottom of her back. She had love handles too and a round bum, she was not physically fit nor skinny, but that didn't matter; she was perfection. But this, this wasn't love. This was lust and I knew I had to control it.

 

She pulled a white tank top over her head and I turned around, as did she. She folded her arms and her eyes were wide with anger, "Now, answer me. Why? Why choose to share with me? You hate me, that's obvious. So why? You clearly don't agree with my decision to come here, but you didn't exactly provide any other decent suggestion. You know that. They had machine guns, they'd have shot us in an instant. The other Delinquents were dead and we couldn't have survived on our own. This is our only option, so stop giving me shit for it."

 

I swallowed, she glared at me, waiting for me to speak. But I couldn't tell her the truth. I didn't know how, I wasn't even sure what the truth was. I hate her because I want her so bad. She's strong and she's smart, so fucking smart. And she's right, we had no choice. But I couldn't let her see, I couldn't let her know how I felt because loving people, that gets them killed.

 

I shrugged, "Me and Alicia aren't joined at the hip and I figured she would want her own space. I don't like Teresa much nor Octavia, so you're the best out of a bad situation. And as for this place, I saw the way you looked at her. Just remember who the enemy is."

"Maybe you should remember that." Clarke retorted, "Maybe you should stop sending mixed messages. One minute you're arguing with me, saying I'm wasting resources and making poor judgement. The next, you're telling me I'm right and apologising," Clarke paused, tears forming in her eyes out of anger, "Just stop, Lexa, stop giving me mixed singles. Stop fucking with my head because I can't take it anymore. And I won't put up with it any longer. So make up your mind, who is the enemy?" She then pulled back the bed sheets and climbed into bed, turning her back on me. 

 

I swallowed, feeling her anger aim straight at my heart. I shook my head and dropped my towel, pulling on my clothes. I sat on the edge of the bed next to her, not looking at her as I exclaimed, "All I'm saying is I saw the way you were looking at that girl, just don't get comfortable here. This place is dangerous and we can't trust anyone but our people. Don't let that girl cloud your judgment."

Clarke rolled over, her brow creased as she looked up at me, "That Girl? You mean Skye? She saved us. And how I look at people is none of your business. I don't know what your problem is, but get your shit together, Lexa." 

 

Clarke rolled back over and I stared out the window again. Thinking of Skye. Clarke doesn't even know her and I saw how she looked at her, with trust and warmth; safety. A part of me wished Clarke looked at me like that. Clarke's always right, and she's right about getting my shit together - I can't fall for her. She might be a princess, but I am no Prince Charming.

Chapter Text

Octavia Blake

 

I think I'd forgotten what it felt like to feel warm water slide down your hair, drip down your back and soak into your skin. The way it feels to have steam wrap around your body, covering you in a blanket and taking away every inch of dirt, blood and tear of your soul.

 

I think I'd forgotten the way it felt to feel safe arms wrap around waist and pull you into their's. The way it felt to feel them gently move your hair, tilt your head slightly and feel the soft, pink lips, delicately kiss your neck, sending sparks across your spine. 

 

I think I'd forgotten the way it feels to turn around and look deeply into eyes that hold onto yours. The way they capture you, hold you and somehow make you feel that in this moment, you are safe. That the whole could literally end, but that doesn't matter because those eyes have the universe on their side and as long as they're still bright, then you can still breathe. 

 

I'd forgotten the way it feels to have another tongue dance with yours, to feel your back against steamy tiles, skin touching skin, hearts beating fast. With every touch of skin, passion flares through veins and lust burns through every muscle. I forget this feeling and I realise how much I miss it to feel this way with someone you care about, someone you desire and someone you need.

 

* * *

 

Feelings never last. That's the truth. I grabbed the cotton black tank top and pulled it over my head and body. I yanked up my underwear and jumped into my black slim cargo pants. I stood at the end of the double bed, scraping my hair back into a high ponytail and catching a glimpse of him sat with duvet covering his lap. He was still shirtless, abs showing on his stomach, followed by a trail leading from his belly button to his-

 

I looked back at myself, wrapping a bobble around my ponytail. Trying to be quick as possible. "I'm sorry," he said, breaking the silence. I looked at his sad blue eyes in the mirror, his eyes looking at mine. 

I let my hands hang by the sides of my body, feeling the guilt and my stomach churn. He didn't need to be sorry; he did nothing wrong. He was great, he was more than great. And that was the issue. Feelings.

 

I sighed and turned around to look at him. He looked up at me, one leg over the edge of the bed and the other bent. He kept his hands on his lap on top of the duvet. I kept my tone level and forced a smile, "Sorry for what? You were good."

He smiled, returning to his cocky tone, "Just good? Well, then, I guess you were alright too."

I folded my arms, feeling the pit in my stomach widen. I hid it, well, I tried to anyway. "Always an ass, Murphy."

He shrugged, "Of course, that's why you called me. I mean, that and my talents." He then lightly laughed, "I think you're brothers going to kill me." His eyes then met mine, soft. I was the only one who saw this side of him, soft and gentle, not sarcastic and joking. "I think you might be worth dying for, Octavia."

I shook my head, "Don't say that. We don't do soppy, lovey-Dovey shit. Keep your pick up lines, save them for the princess. Or Ali."

Murphy raised an eyebrow, "You still jealous?" He shook his head, "I'm meant to be the jealous and insecure one, green doesn't suit you, O."

I rolled my eyes, sighing as I leant against the desk behind me, we both fell silent and I stared at him and he stared at me, his smirk slowly fading from his face as the silence hung around us like a bad smell. 

 

Murphy reached for his underwear and pulled them up under the duvet. He threw the duvet off and got to his feet, he stood in front of me, inches away. I felt his eyes searching mine as he finally said, "He would want you to be happy, you don't need to feel guilty."

"Stop." I sharply said, "Don't look at me like that, and don't talk to me like that either, Murphy."

Murphy's eyes were sad and he ignored me as he continued to say, "I feel it too. Like I'm betraying her, like I don't deserve to love again. But that's not true, and if it was the other way round, if it was me and not her, I'd want her to move on too. Lincoln would want that for you, Octavia. It's okay to love someone."

I looked at him, at the sadness in his eyes, he himself grieving as I did. He was right, I would want Lincoln to love again. And I know he'd want it for me too. It's not about that. It has nothing to do with that! I'm afraid, I'm afraid to love. But if I let him go, if I let Licia have her way, then I won't ever forgive myself. And so I kiss him.

 

I attach my lips to his and I wrap my arms around the back of his neck and I pull our bodies together. He wraps his arms around my waist and I wrap my legs around his as he lifts me onto the desk. I feel his lips dancing with mine and then kissing my neck, kissing my collar bone, kissing my skin, taking it in. I feel his lust pushing me back into the wall, feeling the coldness on my back, but his incredible warmth at my front. His hands reach up my top and I want him, I need him. This fills the hole. Just for a short while I forget. I forget the pain and the hurt and the grief and even the end of the fucking world. I wonder if maybe I can love again, if maybe I can love him.

Chapter Text

John Murphy

 

My eyes scan over the amount of vegetables in the stall in front of me. I'd been told there is farm land and a greenhouse somewhere in this camp, maybe behind the back of the facility. I'd have to do some scoping out, nobody seems to notice me, I don't know why that is, maybe it's because I am a cockroach like Raven says. 

 

My hands pick up an apple and I look at the smooth, red skin. "It's impressive, isn't it?" A voice said on the left of me and I looked to see Raven stood there, she picked up a plum, "There's three hundred and six people here, including us. A hundred of them occupy fifty of the rooms in the building, they're the leaders and third of the military as well as doctors, apparently." She informed me and I looked at her, she took a bite out of the plum and wiped her chin on the back of her sleeve. She wore the Casual attire of a black vest top, black sports leggings and a black hoodie. I, however, wore the camo outfit, Camo pants, black t-shirt and my leather jacket. 

 

Raven continued to provide information, "There's a hundred and fifty soldiers here, some of them originally military and some trained. There's a handful of doctors and the rest do farming and help out with cooking. They all live in tents, sleeping in fives. There's Forty-Two tents, there'll be more with us." She then paused, "Do you think it's suspicious how this place is so well-equipped?"

I shrugged, my tone low as it always was with her. I was kind of surprised she was talking to me after what I did to her, "I dunno, it's been six months. Suppose you could find supplies and food in that time."

Raven looked at me thoughtfully, "Maybe." She then looked passed me and yelled, "Bellamy!" She looked back at me, "See You around, cockroach."

I rolled my eyes, "You too, Reyes."

 

For a moment it was as if me and Raven were pre-apocalypse before I fucked her life up. Her leg, I did that. Not on purpose, but that doesn’t mean shit. 

 

I took one final look at my perfectly ripe apple, throwing it in the air and catching it, before turning around. I looked at the campsite, tents on the other side of the dirt road, the building on my left, the market behind me and a large gazebo with wooden benches and tables behind that. On my left, the road went for miles and in the distance, a guard tower stood with soldiers and their guns and trucks. I turned back around and headed towards the gazebo, throwing the apple in the air as I walked. 

 

As I approached, I saw Skye talking to a male soldier, they were laughing and joking. My eyes scanned him over, taking in his uniform and his Dog Tag glinting in the sun, I looked at him, I looked at his face and his eyes blue like mine. And just like that, my legs stopped in their tracks. My hands failed to catch the apple, it hit the dirt with a little thud, but the wind carried it, it rolled and kept rolling until it hit his boot.

 

"John?" The soldier half-gasped as he caught sight of me from behind Skye. She turned to look at me too. I couldn't focus on anything but him.

My voice turned cold, "Surprised to see me, big bro? I mean, shit, what's it been? Four years?"

Deke swallowed, he slowly walked towards me, an arm stretched out in defence as he quietly whispered, "I know you're angry, but don't start anything, okay, John? I don't want any trouble."

I raised an eyebrow, "Trouble? Me?" He was an arms distance away, "Y'know, I'm surprised you remembered my name," I said to him, my voice Ice cold, in my usual tone, "I tried ringing you, y'know. You never answered. Part of me thought you were dead. Where were you?"

Deke shifted a little uncomfortably, he folded his arms and nervously chewed on his bottom lip, "I was selfish, I know, but I had an opportunity for something better and I took it. You'd have done the same." He then asked, "How is Mum and Dad and Teresa?"

 

Now he cares. He's been gone four years, and since he left, shit just got bad. Kids at school are pricks and though Mum and Dad loved me, I was not Deke. Deke was smart, good at maths and computers, good at academics, which is why it hurt them even more when he left them one day. He left a note:

Sorry, going to live my dream. Take care.

One line. That's all we worth to him. So he went to travel, to explore the world with himself and his fixed up camper van. That was the start of the problems. Teresa, of course, was also smart, she studied medicine and science, she was quiet, a good girl. But me, I wasn't. I had Dyslexia and the kids hated me at school, I'd rather play guitar than football and kids hated me for that too. I'd get into fights and sneak out at night and me and my parents would argue. And then the apocalypse broke out and I got a fever, Dad stole medicine for me and got executed. Mum turned to drink and drugs and died in her vomit. Emori got stabbed in the woods. And here Deke is, clueless. Pretending he cares after all this time.

 

"Dead." That's what I tell him, he blinks in confusion and before he can say anything, I add, "Teresa is fine, she's around here, somewhere. But Mum and Dad, they're dead."

Deke's eyes glazed over a little, water in his eyes, "Dead?" He croaked.

I nodded, "Dead. Don't worry, I murdered the man responsible."

Deke looked at me, I felt his eyes scanning over me, taking in his not-so-little brother.

 

I felt vomit in my throat and adrenaline in my veins. "Where fucking were you?!" I yelled at him, my own tears burning my eyes, I shoved him, "C'mon, Deke, where were you?"

He shook his head and wiped away a tear, "I'm sorry."

That's it. I snapped. I lunged at him, I grabbed him by the collar, "Sorry?" I spat, drawing his head closer to mine, "You're fucking sorry?!"

Deke held his arms out in surrender, "Hey, Hey, you don't wanna fight here, trust me. Put me down."

I could feel soldiers staring at me, but I didn't care. I didn't give a shit. He's fucking sorry?! I'll give him a reason to be sorry. I shoved him back and swung my fist into his cheek as he staggered backwards, blood coming out of his nose. He crouched and held an arm towards me, "Don't. Please, Stop now, John, please. You're right, okay? I deserve this, but you need to stop."

I shook my head and yelled, "Don't tell me what to do!" I put my hands on his back and kneed him in the stomach, then threw him onto the floor, making him roll over in the dirt. He laid on his back, coughing as he struggled to roll on his side, facing me. I wiped my upper lip and yelled at him, "Get up! Fight back!"

He shook his head, panting, "No, please, stop."

I kicked his ribs, and then turned him on his back with my hands, sitting on top of him, I raised a fist to punch him but a force grabbed my fist.

 

"Let him go," Deke pleaded. I felt two hands grab each of my arms and suddenly, I was dragged backwards, my arms being pulled and my back dragging against the gravel floor. I saw Skye come running after me, "Leave him alone!" She yelled but the soldiers ignored her.

Chapter Text

Clarke Griffin

 

White tiles under shiny new boots, bright lights above and clinical smells burning nostrils. I walked through the west block, Skye leading the way. Showers and toilets were the first third, men and women, unisex. The next third belonged to medical bay, eight rooms. And finally, we reached the twenty-four cells. Skye scanned her card in the door and walked past bars on our right. Each cell was three by three, four on each row, the middle two rows separated by a brick wall. The cells still had the clinical white tiles and walls. Inside the cells was a bed and toilet and sink. We walked to the furthest cell, on the fourth wall, in the far corner. 

 

"Hey, Princess, come to bail me out?" He surly said, the shadows hiding his face as he sat on the edge of the bed, his legs over the edge of it and his head looking at his boots.

My stomach churned, nervous for what laid under the shadows. I chewed my cheek nervously, waiting for him to stand up.

I heard Skye's keys jangle and the lock turn, she pulled the cell gate backwards, it creaked as she did so. Murphy stood up with a sigh, I stared at his boots as he walked over to me, stopping behind an invisible line of the me and the cell gate. 

I swallowed, feeling regret, guilt and sympathy all crashing over me, "I'm sorry." 

 

He put a warm hand on my shoulder and I looked up at him, taking in the black eye, the swollen lip and the grazed cheeks. "Don't be," He said, his tone soft and comforting, "It's my own fault. He warned me and I didn't listen."

"You're lucky," Skye said on my left, leaning against the bars, her arms folded, I looked at her, her eyes also sad and sympathetic, but her eyes looked at Murphy's, "They wanted to exile you. Leave you with no weapons or food, kick you out in the night and shoot to kill if they saw you again."

Murphy removed his hand from my shoulder and raked it through his hair, "Well, at least I've only had a kick in, right?"

Skye nodded, "Yep, things could always be worse." her tone was similar to Murphy's, both of them awfully joking for the situation at hand. I however, could not crack jokes like them, not with my stomach doing flips with the guilt gnawing away at me. 

 

* * *

 

"I told you this place was a mistake!" Lexa barked, slamming a hand down onto a wooden table, her back towards me. Myself, Bellamy, Murphy, Nick, Alicia, Raven, Skye and Deke gathered around in a tent near the fence, candle light lit it. The tent itself was like a gazebo with three smaller 'rooms' attached, the 'rooms' had flooring and enough room for 2 people to sleep in, but nothing else. The main area had a wooden table inside with six chairs around it and two shelves either side of the door. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat at Lexa's well deserved rage. I sat in between Bellamy and Skye, Raven sat opposite Bellamy, Nick opposite me and Deke opposite Skye. Lexa stood at the end of the table on my left, Murphy sat on a stool on her right and Alicia stood on her left, her arms folded, watching her fury. Octavia leant silently against a pole of the tent on the opposite side, the door on her left.

 

"Don't take it out on Clarke," Bellamy soothingly said, "our options were limited. And we can always pack up our shit and leave in the morning."

Skye and Deke shared a glance between each other and everyone in the room noticed, staring at them. Skye spoke up, "It's not that easy. I mean, I just worked my ass off to not get Murphy exiled, to have you all leave goes back on what I fought for and besides, this place is meant to be secret, so you'd have to wait for one of the military groups to take you out, but that could be months."

Lexa snapped, "That's just great! So we're stuck here, marvellous!"

"I don't see why you care so much," Murphy piped up and Lexa looked at him, a little surprised, "I'm the one who got the shit kicked outta me for beating up Deke-"

"I wouldn't say you beat me-"

"No?" Murphy half-threateningly said to Deke, glaring at him, "tell your swollen nose that." Murphy looked at Lexa, continuing, "It was tit for tat. I beat him so they beat me. And You're not exactly my number one fan, are you, Lex? So why do you care so much?"

Lexa exclaimed, "You're one of my people, of course I care!" She looked at us all, "You're all my people. We're the hundred."

"All Of us?" Bellamy challenged, "then show Clarke some respect. And like Murphy said, he hit theirs first, we're strangers to them. I say we stay, keep our heads down and who knows, maybe we get close enough to take this place."

Lexa nodded, "Yes, keep your enemies closer-"

"Hold on," Deke interrupted, "you can't be serious? And does that little plan involve killing us too?"

"We're not killing anyone." I said flatly, Dead eying Lexa and then looking at Deke sincerely, "We won't kill anyone, I promise. Not unless we have to. But first, tell me, how does this place work? What are the rules and regs here? Who's in charge?"

 

Skye and Deke shared a glance between each other, Skye looked me in the eye, her warmness inviting. I really hoped we wouldn't have to kill, but I wasn't naive, I knew these people here could be callous, but Skye and Deke are not bad people and I will protect them if it comes down to the war Lexa clearly craves.

 

Skye stared at a flickering candle as she spoke, "Hitting Military, punishable by a day in the box if you're a citizen. Hitting a leader is punishable by exile if you're a citizen. Killing is death on all levels. Leaders face no punishment, they can do as they will and there's thirty of them, they occupy the west wing and top floor, it's rare you see them and if you do, you know you've fucked it. There's triple amount of military as citizens but within military are ranks. Level 3 is the top, there's twenty-five of them and they are seconds. Level 2 is about fifty of them. And finally, level 1 - these are just basic soldiers, they do patrols and protect citizens, they don't have much authority and they're the most common, about seventy-five, they arrest people and keep the peace. Me and Deke are level 2. Took a long ass time to get there. I suggest you work the ranks. Doctors and engineers are highly valid and have less punishments than even military because they’re rare. Anyone can fire a gun but few can heal the wound. You guys are currently guests so you’re punishments are up a level, hitting leaders is death, hitting citizens is exile, hitting citizens is a day in the box.” Skye finished explaining the system and I contemplated my options, I knew some doctor stuff from my mum but I think learning how to kill is more important and better keep my cards close to my chest.

The room was silent, taking it all in. Bellamy Leaned forward in his seat, “How long till we’re citizens?” He asked Skye.

Skye shrugged, “Could be tomorrow, could be a month from now. Depends how important your skills are to the Leaders.”

Bellamy sat thoughtful and then asked the question on everyone’s minds, “Who are the leaders?”

Chapter Text

John Murphy

 

We've been here a few weeks now, my face is healed and my ribs no longer ache. I wipe my brow as I rest on my spade, the heat sweltering and my eyes squinting in the sunlight. I decided to grow crops, so did Jasper and Nick. Monty and Raven are mechanics, Teresa a doctor, Alicia a teacher to the fifteen kids here and the rest are training to fight, even the Princess. But the Princess isn't who I'm interested in. I watch her closely, she hasn't said a word since the night in the hotel and that was three weeks ago. She knows I'm watching her, but she doesn't look at me and that hurts what little feelings I have. She leans against a tree, drinking water from a metal water bottle as she takes a break from training. Beads of sweat glisten on her forehead and I think of the tears I'd seen running down her cheeks the night we slept together - not in a sadistic way, I know people think I'm fucked Up, but I tried to comfort her as she sat behind a wooden door, muffling her sobs. But she doesn't want me, all she does is push me away and with the sleeping arrangements, I haven't been able to get close.

 

Bellamy said boys should sleep with boys and girls with girls. As sad as I am that I won't get any action, at least I don't have to put up with Bellamy and Raven's shagging. Although, I don't think things are going that well for them lately. They barely look each other in the eye and it seems they are how me and O are and I don't know whose situation is worse. Mine or Bell's. But at least he's not grieving, not like me and O, that makes things a hell of a lot harder.

 

Sharing with Tom is kinda awkward, I have to admit. Nick sleeps with Bell because Bell is the only one Lexa trusts, Jasper and Monty sleep together because nobody could ever split them up, god forbid anybody who'd try. And so I'm stuck with my sister's ex. Not that I have a problem with him, I'm not protective like Bell; Teresa can handle her own shit, who am I to get involved in her life? And besides, I'm the youngest, she should protect me! Now, that's funny. Nobody ever is on my side. Nobody. I'm the cockroach, somehow surviving against all odds. Sometimes I wish I wasn't, but I don't let that show. Sarcasm is my cure.

 

* * *

 

"Look at you being all helpful, who'd have thought the cockroach had hands?" Raven poked fun at me as I carried a crate of veggies into her workspace. We were in the East Block, the first half belonged to the Kitchens and canteen and the second half was a pantry and a small garage where mechanics like Raven could fix up cars, two at a time or work on a computer. This facility had solar panels, wind turbines and both petrol and bio generators for electricity, it was pretty cool.

 

Raven was sat in the front of a car as I placed veggies on a storage rack in front of her at the back of the room, the car had drove in, the garage doors on the other side were open, letting the sunset pour through. I turned to look at her, leaning against the shelves, "I can be helpful sometimes." More than she knows. I may be an ass to the others, but I have to help Raven, maybe she’ll forgive me.

 

She raised an eyebrow, but didn't look at me as she was focused on something inside the car, her hands twiddling away at wires, "You? Helpful? Careful there, Murphy, or I'll have a heart attack and go all zombie."

I folded my arms, "Wouldn't want that, would we?"

She shook her head, "Nope because I am fucking awesome."

I nodded, "Metaphorical cheers to that."

Raven kept playfully taking digs at me, "Metaphorical? That's a big boy word, Murphy, surprised you knew it."

I sighed, ignoring her, "What you doing?"

She kept focus on the task at hand, "Im trying to rewire the stereo, I'm trying to get it to work. It should be easy, but it's just a little finicky."

 

I pushed my weight off of the shelves and walked towards her, "Can I help?"

She looked up at me through the open car Door window, the car door was open too, so the door created a barrier between us. "You got slender fingers?"

I looked at my pale hands, "I have long and thin fingers, piano fingers as my mum used to say."

Raven looked at my hands too, "Yeah, I guess they'll do. Get in the other side and see if you can help." 

I walked round to the other door, opening it and sitting in the passenger seat, we both huddled over the wires. Raven gripped two in hands, the copper bit showing, "Just hold these two please, and be gentle, the wires are very brittle."

I moved my fingers just behind hers, delicately pinching the coating of the wires. Raven put her hand in the open box, pulling out two more wires, she grabbed a pair of pliers from the dash board and some of the coating off of the end wires to expose them, she then held the wires together and static started to pour through the radio, which was on her lap. She wrapped the bits of wire together and then grabbed two pieces of electrical tape from her steering wheel and wrapped them around the wires, the static still live. She then said, "You can let go now." I did and watched as she gently put the wires inside the hole, followed by the stereo, the screen lit up and searching for stations. Raven pressed a button on the stereo, changing it to CD. She grabbed a case from the glovebox, reaching over me, and then guitars began to flow out of the stereo. I'd forgotten how much I missed Music. 

 

"What is it?" I asked her, taking in the drums and guitars, waiting for the singing to start.

"Only By The Night album by Kings Of Leon."

"You know that I could use somebody?" 

She smiled at me, "Oh could you?"

I rolled my eyes, "Y'know what I meant."

She lightly shoved me with her shoulders, "Yeah, I do." Her tone then softened as we leant back in the car seats, "How are you? I saw you looking at O earlier, something happened between you two?"

I looked away from her warm eyes, I didn’t deserve her kindness, "It's nothing." I then looked back at her, "What about you and Bell? Things okay with you two?"

She shook her head, "Not really."

I knew things weren't great, but I didn't expect her honesty, which means things must be fucked. Me and Reyes have a strange relationship, but I think she's the only who understands me, even if she acts like she hates me the most. Which is what I deserve after what I did, and it kills me. We knew each other before the apocalypse, we used to tease each other then, she's like a sister to me and the only person to have my back, except Emori.

 

"What's happened?" I asked her.

Raven shrugged, "We're just growing apart. Sometimes it happens and I think we want different things."

I nodded, "I get that. That's what happened with Teresa and Tom."

Raven sadly said, "Yeah, but I think they can fix it. They just have to reach out a little longer. But I think me and Bell have held on too long. We're different people. And I'm not sure if it's love or convenience." She paused and then asked, "What about you and O?"

I raised an eyebrow, "Me and O? Nothing."

She rolled her eyes, "I see through your bullshit, Murphy. I saw you looking at her and not just today, everyday since you got arrested. You care about her, more than that."

I sighed, my chest feeling heavy as I fought my demons and confessed to her like old times, "We had sex-"

"Shit."

"And I thought things might actually happen between us, but she hasn't looked at me since and I know it's hard after losing Lincoln but I'm grieving too and I just, I dunno what to do, Reyes. She's killing me and I'm afraid she'll die too, but she's a cockroach like me, she's more than that; she's a warrior. And she's way stronger than I am, so if I can make it, so can she. But that's what she fears, losing me. I know she feels it too, she's just afraid."

Raven sighed again, "Shit." She then said, "We need a drink."

Chapter Text

Raven Reyes

 

Me and Murphy belted out badly sung tunes as we drunk from a bottle of Rum, which was found in the glove box and it reminded me of when he was fifteen and myself seventeen. We were both young youths (him fifteen and me seventeen) as we bonded over arguments we had with our lovers (Bellamy and Emori), with underage drinking and dancing in his garage. And sat in this car, singing some shitty song by Kings Of Leon, took me back to a much simpler time. A time before he made me semi-disabled. I know he blames himself, but I forgive him. I was pissed at first, but he didn’t mean it. He was grieving for Emori and thought I was a different soldier. I wish I could show him that everything’s okay, but he wouldn’t listen.

 

And it wasn't long before reality kicked in. 

 

"Shit!" A voice hissed from the doorway between the kitchens and garage, tools scattered on the floor and Bellamy crouched down picking them up hastily. I quickly turned off the music, got out the car and stood looking at him from over the bonnet. Murphy also got out and looked at me, "I'll leave you two to it," he quietly said as he sauntered past Bellamy, hands in his pockets. Bellamy didn't even look up. 

 

I swallowed, feeling a lump in my throat. These past few weeks have been hell for me and him; I've been working on fixing cars and bullets whilst he's been training to use them. Things have been rocky for us, it doesn't help with his sister. But she's not the only issue and the tension between us is scaring me; you could cut it with a knife. 

 

I walked around the front of the car, my voice steady as he told him, "Stop." He acted like he didn't hear and continued to pick up screws and nails, placing them in the correct section for them. I stood in front of him, "Stop, Bellamy." I softly said, he listened but did not look at me, "Look at me, Bell."

Bellamy looked up at me, still crouched. His eyes were watery and I saw his Adam's apple bob as he swallowed. Silence formed around us, both of us too afraid to talk. 

 

Bellamy looked away from me, taking a hand through his curly hair. He got to his feet and stood level with me. He was taller than me, so I had to look up at him, his eyes always soft and pained. But the words out of his mouth wasn’t the issue, “You and Murphy? After he what he did?”

I shrugged, my own voice getting choked up, “He used to be like a brother to me and I’m fine now. I think he needs me.” I then said, “Murphy isn’t the reason you’re here.”

 

"I'm sorry." He croaked.

I shook my head, "Don't be. There's nothing to be sorry for." I felt my own throat clogging up. I put a comforting hand on the top of his arm and he covered it with his hand, "I understand, Bellamy."

He looked at the floor.

I continued, my voice delicate and fragile as I spoke, "I understand and you don't have to worry about me, Bell, I'm fine; I always am. You need to put your sister first and figure out this place and the burden of leadership is hard, I get it." He stroked my hand on his arm with his thumb and looked at it, unable to meet my gaze. I put a fake smile on my lips and tried to be humorous, "Besides, it was only meant to be for one night."

Bellamy met my eyes, "Finn was an ass."

 

I nodded, remembering catching my boyfriend at 16 shagging some bitch from college, it broke my heart. I went to a club with a Fake ID and met 18 year old Bellamy (don't worry, 16 is the age of consent) he'd also just had his heart broken and we danced and drank the pain away and woke up in the morning in some cheap hotel. We got talking from then on, friends, friends with benefits, dating and eventually boyfriend and girlfriend. We've been together 4 years, that's special. But things have changed and it's time to end what we have before it breaks us.

 

Bellamy's brow furrowed and he couldn't meet my gaze, his thumb still stroking my hand, "Just promise me you'll always be with me."

I put my other hand under his chin and gently lifted it up to make him look me in the eye as I promised, "Always."

 

* * *

 

I think sorting out fairy lights is the most tedious thing a mechanic of my ability can do. First, you have to untangle them. Second, you have to check all the bulbs work. And third, you have to pin them up. It takes the absolute piss. I sigh as I stand on a step ladder, wrapping fairy lights around the outdoor canteen gazebo pole. Apparently there's some sort of quarterly year festival, the second one of its kind, celebrating the end of summer and the start of autumn. It's something to lift spirits and remind us we're human and that's there's still life despite all the corpses roaming around.

 

I had to admit, the place seemed kinda pretty with all the paper chains, which kids had made with Alicia, hanging over the tent city area. And the sunset really added to the festival aesthetic. In the distance, somebody strummed on guitar and the CD me and Murphy found played in the canteen. Music and laughter floated in the air and for a second I could forget about the heartache between me and Bellamy. I saw him helping Alicia through the trees, he's been teaching her how to fight without Lexa knowing and she makes him happy. He always has a slight smile on his face after being with her, she even drew him a picture of himself and he keeps it close. And even though it hurts me, I'll let him go because I love him.

 

"Y'know, you should have someone spotting the ladder." A voice said below, scaring me shitless and almost making me drop my box of pins. 

I looked down to see Deke standing there, his arms on the ladder, "Shit, Deke! You Murphys are all the same - always skulking around!"

Deke apologised, "Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. I came to help, Well, I mean, I actually came to thank you-"

"Thank me?" I said, a little surprised. I turned back to the fairy lights, pinning a line of them up.

Deke continued, "Yeah, thank you. I just wanted to say thanks for looking out for John, I know he's not always the sweetest or easiest person to be around and I know I shouldn't have left like that, but I had an opportunity and I took it - but that's not the point. So, yeah, thanks for looking out for him and for keeping him out of trouble, I know that should've been my job - I'm going off on a tangent again - thanks."

 

The last of the fairy lights were hung up. I put my hands on the step ladder and stepped down, Deke let go of the ladder and I stood on the ground, facing him. I looked at Deke, his face fully healed and I know he never meant any harm, and I agree, if I could've got out that shit hole, I would have. But Murphy's like a little brother to me, so I won't let Deke off lightly. "I think you should talk to him."

Deke's blue eyes looked sad as they remained contact with me, "I've tried but he doesn't wanna hear it." He then paused, "Do you, um, do you think that, um, maybe you could t-talk to him?"

I raised an eyebrow, folding my arms.

"He listens to you!" Deke quickly said, getting a little nervous and flustered, "please, Raven. He respects you and we - we used to be friends once, didn't we? That's how you knew him. So, please, just this one favour, talk to him please. Get him to hear me out."

I sighed thoughtfully. Deke is Murphy's brother after all, but I don't think Murphy would take too kindly to me getting involved. Deke looked desperate and I knew how much Octavia was killing Bellamy, which is why I begrudgingly agreed, "Fine. I'll talk to him, but I can't promise you he'll listen-"

"Thankyou thankyou thankyou, thank you!" Deke exclaimed, pulling me into a quick hug and kissing me on the cheek, "I owe you, Raven!" He chimed as he started to race off towards the main building, a big smile on his stupid face. *sigh* Deke.

Chapter Text

Clarke Griffin

 

"You did well today," Skye said as we waited for the gates to the facility to open. She took me running and shooting blanks, even used a bow at one point. I was hitting the targets, not always in the head or heart, but at least I was hitting them. Skye says I'm overthinking it, she saw me when I was surrounded and said I was filled with right amount of adrenaline, but I need to be able to shoot even when my life doesn't depend on it. Skye was nice, she was more than nice. Her eyes were always filled with warmth, her words sweeter than honey and she was always filled with praise, even when I couldn't hit a single target.

The gates opened and we slowly walked up the path, music trickled it's way down to us. I stopped in my tracks, staring at the building. Gazebos were covered in paper chains and flowers, there were fairy lights in some trees and I could smell a barbecue cooking burgers in the gazebo. Skye noticed I stopped and turned around to look at me.

"Music?" I said, my voice quiet and in surprise, I'd forgotten what music was and what it was like to be a teenager.
Skye nodded, "Mm hmm. Music. It's a festival, to celebrate the start of autumn. We have one every three months, this is the second. It's to remind us that we're still human." She then more humorously said, "And it's the only night we get booze and burgers." She then tipped her cap lower, her full length fringe covering her eyebrows and looked up at me with her hands in her camo pockets, she held out a right hand, "Will you go to the festival with me?"
I smiled a huge smile, it was as if she was asking me to prom or on a date. She looked like a twelve year old asking their first lover on a date, she looked sweet and loving and reminded me of life before the killing - before I had to be strong. I placed my hand in hers, I lifted it to my lips and planted a delicate kiss on it, "I would love to go with you, Skye."

 

* * *

 

I stood in Skye's hotel room, a blue dress laid on the bed in front of me. It was flowy with a fringe and peach flowers decorated it. It came with a white woollen cardigan too, but I had to wear my boots, not that I minded. I lifted the dress over my head and pulled it down. I turned to look in the mirror, undoing the messy side plait and running a brush through all the knots. I grabbed two pieces at the front of my hair and gripped them round the back. I looked-

"Breathtaking." Skye said as she exited her en suite, she smiled warmly at me through the mirror and I felt her gaze sending sparks through me. I took her in too, she wore a grey beanie on top of her now down hair, it was straight and her bangs decorated her face beautifully. She wore a leather jacket and a purple vest top underneath, on her legs were black ripped jeans and her military boots complimented the outfit nicely, she looked like a sexy rocker chick and I'd be lying if I didn't say I wanted to turn around and kiss her dark red lips. I wanted to taste her and breathe in her scent of lemongrass and sleep. She was so beautiful.

 

* * *

 

The music was something Raven and Murphy found, it was nice to see them getting along; I knew things were rocky between their lovers and part of me wished I had someone to lean on. Murphy was an ass, but he deserved someone to look out for him and I know he's chasing Octavia, but I feel chasing Octavia is like chasing a butterfly; they settle down on a pretty flower, knowing they're being watched and just as you get close - they fly away. I know it's not her fault, but I do feel sorry for Murphy.

But tonight's not about Raven or Murphy or Bellamy, who's taken a liking to Alicia, nor Jasper, Monty and Nick who are probably trying to find some shrooms in the forest. It's about me and Skye. It's about dancing to a song about a girl who's only 17. It's about twirling around Skye as she holds my hand in her right and a glass of some weird tasting homemade brew in her left and I do the same. It's about laughing as we watch some of the soldiers dance awfully and try to flirt with us. It's about feeling Skye's body rub against mine as we grind up on each other to some stupid song, and when Your Sex Is On Fire plays I consider taking the song literally to Skye and locking lips with her. But I don't.

I don't and instead She walks me back to my tent, like a gentlemen walking their girlfriend back home after a First date and I wondered if this was a date. I wondered if she felt how I felt.

"I had a good time tonight," I smiled, our bodies inches from touching as we stood outside my tent door.
She nodded, "Me too, Clarke." She stood with her hands by her side and looked at her feet shyly.
I folded my arms and said, "I'd invite you in for tea, but somehow I don't think that's possible."
Skye grinned, "Bummer." She then flirted, "Well, I don't need tea, a bed will do."
I playfully said, "Yeah? I'll just tell Teresa to budge up. I'm sure she won't mind sharing with us two."
She shrugged, "I always thought three's a party-"
"It's a crowd." I jokingly cut her off.
She nodded, "You're probably right." She looked down at her shoes again and shyly said, "You could come back to mine...?"
"Deke."
"Fucking Deke." She sadly said, "He's such a cock blocker."
I nodded, "Yep, he is." I then added, "Maybe another night."
She looked up smiling, "I'd like that." She then humorously said, "Deke can always sleep in a bush."
I shivered as the wind blew up my back, Skye's eyes widened in concern, She then took off her jacket and wrapped it round my shoulders, "Take this, don't want you getting a cold."
I smiled, looking up at her, "Thanks, Skye. But my room is right here."
Skye softly said, "I know, but it means you have to see me to give it back." She then let go of the jacket as my own hands gripped it in place. She gave me one last smile before she turned around, walking away into the night. I stood there, watching her walk away and part of me wanted to follow, but I decided to relish in Skye's warmth here.

Chapter Text

Clarke Griffin

 

It wasn't long before the icy wind of the tent crushed all the warmth from Skye. My smile quickly faded from my cheeks as I saw her sitting at the table, the candlelight lit up the storm circling above her head. 

 

"That her jacket?" Lexa said, her voice as dangerous as the flame melting the candle wax.

My eyes glared at her as I put the jacket on the seat next to her, she looked at me from the corner of her eye, "So what if it is, Lexa?" I challenged her, really not in the mood for her emotionally abusive bullshit.

Lexa held her glass of wine above her eye level, looking at the bubbles fizzing inside, fizzing like the bubbles of rage inside me, "I still think you should be cautious of her. This place is still untrustworthy, Clarke." Her voice was like butter wouldn't melt, firm and assertive but this time there was something different about it, like maybe she did care a little. But I wasn't having any of it! All she does is talk down to me and I am worth more than that.

"That's not your decision." I flatly said, I then turned to my left, heading towards my bed, briskly saying, "Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to sleep-" her arm grabbed mine as her chair scraped back on the floor. I looked at her, feeling her fingers softly but firmly hold me. Her body now faced mine and her legs were spread wide with both hands around my right arm, stopping me from leaving.

 

"Lexa, let go of me." I calmly said, looking at her tanned hands and watching them instantaneously spring off of my pale arm. I looked into her green eyes, seeing a rare soft side to them.

Her voice was imploring, "Please, don't go yet. I'm sorry, Clarke. I know she makes you happy, even in her cheap, leather jacket - which I had one of those when I was fourteen and looked way better in than-"

"Lexa." I cut in, stepping back from her, "You're right I-"

"Hear me out, Clarke, please." She begged me and I nodded to her to continue, I pulled out the chair next to her and sat on it, my shoulders feeling Skye's soft leather gracing them. Lexa continued, "I-I don't know how to say this, and you're right, I have been an asshole. And I know these past few weeks I haven't said one word to you, instead glaring from a distance and I know it's childish and petty. But, you have to understand that, that I-I Lo-Care about you-"

"Care?" My forehead creased, my tongue bitter as I said, "You're kidding, right? I mean, you could've fooled me. Lexa, caring about someone is not blowing hot and cold. Caring is building them up, not beating them down and that's what you do-"

"I know and I'm sorry," she pleaded, "Like I said, I've been a little kid pulling pigtails and it's because I'm afraid, Clarke, I'm afraid that if I show that I care for you then I'll lose you and I can't watch another lover die. I can't!" Her tone softened and her eyes became watery, "I loved a girl called Costia, she had blonde hair and blue eyes and she was exactly like you. At school I was the popular girl, but not because I was liked but because they were scared of me. Everybody did as I said and acted as if they loved me, meanwhile, Alicia is the most hated kid in school because she's a nerd and she's quiet and good. Whilst I'm the mean-girl, I bullied the bullies and took the throne, in return becoming the biggest bitch known to man. But Costia, Costia called me out on my Bullshit, like you do. And that's why I've been such a bitch to you because you remind me of her and I hate that; you fight back and you see through me and I can't handle it. I can't handle you and Skye because I wish it was me. I wish you were with me, Clarke."

 

I stared at her, taking in her story and her words. She just poured out her heart to me and what? She expects me to say I'll be with her or some shit? She's treated me horribly and I can't and I won't roll over to her. I rolled my eyes and stood up, grabbing the jacket off the chair and walking to my bed. I heard her get up and follow me.

 

"Clarke, say something, please." Lexa begged as I stood at the curtain doorway to my bed. Teresa is my usual roommate but she's still enjoying the festival, as is everybody else but Lexa. 

I turned round to look at her, the jacket still gripped in my fingertips. Lexa stood inches away from me and I think back to when I first met her and how beautiful she looks and how, when she's actually nice, I feel a jolt of electricity. But now I've met Skye and she treats me right. I shrug, "What do you want me to say?"

Lexa's eyes searched mine, "Anything."

I looked away from her eyes, looking at the jacket in my hands, tracing a seam with an index finger, "Lexa, I care about you, of course I do; you're one of us, one of the Delinquents." I looked up at her, meeting her gaze, "All we do is fight. And I can't keep fighting you, there's enough to fight already out there, never mind somebody who claims they care for me. I'm sorry, Lex, but Skye, she's nice to me, she makes me laugh and she makes me feel good. Maybe, maybe in another life, Lex."

Lexa swallowed, her voice croaky as she asked, "Isn't there anything I can do? I can change, Clarke. You're right, and I'll stop fighting. I can make you feel good too, just give me a chance, please. You mean so much to me, you're compassionate and smart and so, so beautiful. I love it the way you stick your tongue out when you're drawing and the way you're forehead creases and your lip pouts when you're mad. Please, Clarke, give me a chance. Just one."

I felt my own eyes tearing up, "Lex, I-"

 

My lips stopped forming words as the bittersweet red wine lips latched onto mine, my eyes closing instinctively. Her hands wrapped around my body and clutched at my back, bringing my body against hers. My own hands let go of the jacket, instead went stiff and remained open at either side of Lexa, in shock and also excitement. Her kiss was fiery and hard like her, it sent shivers up and down my spine, rendering me useless. Lexa ended the kiss, her hands releasing me and her eyes staring into mine. She bent down and handed me the jacket, before turning around and heading to the room on the opposite side of mine, saying, "Night, Clarke."

Chapter Text

Alicia Clark

 

So, tell me, how did I end up in the back of a van with Bellamy Blake's hot hands sending shivers to my body as his fingers grazed my skin? His lips were pressed to my neck and only our underwear separated our skin from completely touching. 

 

* * *

 

Red lipstick coated my lips, I rubbed them together, pouted and then blotted on a piece of tissue. My hair was tied back in a loose ponytail with hair framing my face at either side. Magenta and white checks covered my torso and arms and a denim skirt, which finished midway down my thigh, hung on my hips. Every other girl was wearing dresses, but not me, I didn't want to fit in and I had nobody to impress. Tonight, I would live like the reckless eighteen year old I am. All day I have helped children make paper chains until my fingers are covered in paper cuts, and now, it was time to have fun, for I am not Lexa, and Nick is no longer my responsibility.

 

I stepped out of the bathroom, the music mellow and soldiers awkwardly dance with some weird alcoholic beverage in their hand. I saw Skye and Clarke in the centre of it all, dancing and smiling - it was nice to see them happy for once. I know my sister tells me not to trust this place, even Skye and Deke, but I think some of that is jealousy. I know she likes Clarke and I know that she knows all she's doing is pushing her further and further away.

 

But tonight, I'm done with worrying about Lexa and Nick. Tonight, I'm finally going to live life like an eighteen year old; I mean, it is my birthday after all. Not that anybody remembers these things anymore, we have other things to think about. 

 

I made my way to the bar, weaving through drunken soldiers, whose gaze followed my simple attire and I bet it made their mouths water even more to not be able to see my goods. Let them stare, my body is art and they will never be able to handle a masterpiece like mine. I pulled out a barstool next to a slightly familiar face and casually said to the barman, "I'll have what he's having."

The tanned face didn't even acknowledge my existence, he just sat with his hands around his cup, his eyes slightly glistening.

"What's up, misery guts?" I lightly asked as I sat next to him.

He looked at me, "Is that how we greet each other now?"

I looked at Bellamy and shrugged.

He sighed, "Me and Raven ended things." I remained silent as he downed the last of his drink, he continued, "I don't know how to feel about it. I feel sad, of course, but our relationship has ran its course and having your heartbroken is shit and all - but, it's just, normal?" His eyes met mine, "Like, the feeling of heartache is such a relief because at least I'm feeling shit for a normal fucking reason and not because of murdering or mourning people."

I nodded, "Yeah, I get it."

 

My drink arrived in front of me and another one appeared in front of Bellamy, I raised my glass and Bellamy clinked his with mine. With a 'cheers' I let the bitter liquid into my system. I felt my eyes twitch at the bitterness and I swear the room was already starting to spin. "What's In This?"

Bellamy shrugged, "No clue, but it's definitely taking the edge off!" He looked at me and chuckled, "Y'know, I can taste the colours."

I put the glass on the table, "I can already taste the vomit."

Bellamy laughed, "Too true. And it's shit because there's no hangover cure. I usually eat a big, greasy bacon sandwich and drink a black coffee with a couple aspirin. Then I just snuggle on the sofa and watch shitty TV. What do you do?"

I shrugged, pushing back loose hair as I admitted, "I don't know, I've never been hungover or had a drink before."

Bellamy shook his head, "Well, you're gonna suffer tomorrow, and you're brave having that as your first drink." He then smiled at me, "And I wouldn't go back to your tent tonight. No offence, but I know your sister and she'd kill me if she found out I'm responsible for you getting drunk."

I folded my arms on the bar, "No offence taken." I rested my chin on my folded arms, looking at his brown eyes and then at his lips as he put a glass to them, I watched him swallow the liquid, his throat moving as he did so. I could feel the music travelling up the stool legs and into my body.

 

I quickly pushed myself up and jumped off the barstool, "Bellamy, let's dance."

Bellamy shook his head, his eyes widening in horror, his hands out in protest, "No, I mean usually, I'd say yes because I'm an amazing dancer, but I've had waaay to many!"

I grabbed his hand and pulled him off the stool, "C'mon, Bellamy, it's a festival! You have to dance. And besides, this could be your last chance to dance."

Bellamy let me drag him to the dance floor, taking Clarke and Skye's place as they headed to the bar. Bellamy said, "That's a little dark." 

I shrugged as we stood under the lights, "Life is dark now."

Bellamy raised an eyebrow, still playful, "Shit, I thought you were meant to be the optimist."

I nodded, "Maybe." I then twirled around 360 degrees before grabbing one of Bellamy's hands and placing it on my hip and then grabbing his other and holding it, "Show me."

Bellamy's brow furrowed, "Show you what?"

I smiled, already feeling tipsy, "That life doesn't have to be dark."

 

* * *

 

It's quarter past midnight as I stumble into the cold air, Bellamy in tow and a bottle in my hand. Giggles escape my lips as I see the ground approaching me, only to feel Bellamy's hot hands catch me. I turned to look at him and guffawed. 

Bellamy rolled his eyes but still had a smile on his face, "I think I should find you a place to sleep."

I shook my head, "Buuuuuttt I am not tired at all!"

"No," he smiled, his voice gentle, "But you're drunk."

I held my fingers in front of my face with a slight gap in between the index and thumb, "Liiiiitle bit."

Bellamy sighed, "You can't even walk."

I stared in his eyes for a moment, our eyes examining each other and our noses almost touching. I could kiss him. I could. Like his face, his face kinda nice and his voice can be nice too and honestly, his face is so close to mine and I could, maybe if I didn't need to burp, I could. But, god, I need to burp.

 

I lightly pushed him off me, turning on my heel and running down the dirt road, with the wind in my hair and the stars above me. I heard him call, "Alicia! Come back!"

I kept running, yelling, "I can't walk, but I can RUN!" 

 

My feet kept pushing forward, the wind and adrenaline taking the edge off of the drink. I ran until I reached the trucks near the front gate. I turned and lightly sprinted to the furthest truck on my left and then I stood at the back of it. Bellamy quickly appeared behind me, he bent over, panting, "You're right, you can run. Definitely."

I looked at him and then back at the double doors of the van. I put my hands on the handle and pulled, feeling it open. I guess the soldiers don't expect people to be up to mischief. 

 

"What are you doing?" Bellamy said as I pulled the door open.

I ignored him, stepping inside the back of the van.

I heard him sigh and then saw his figure join me, the moonlight allowing me to see his face dimly. I stood with my back against the cold metal wall, separating the back of the van from the cab. Bellamy stood an arms length away looking at me. I bit my bottom lip looking at him, "Show me." I said.

Bellamy was confused, "What?"

I unbuttoned the top button of my shirt and then the second, he let me undo my third until he understood what I meant.

Bellamy took a step closer, "Are you sure about this? You're pretty drunk and I don't want-"

"Forget about my sister." I said, "And you're as drunk as me. I'm done with being the serious one in my family, Bellamy. I want to be a normal eighteen year old girl, just for one night. You can either join me or not."

Bellamy stood for a second thinking about it, "Alicia, are you definitely sure about this? It's not just the drink either, I'm four years older than you-"

"You're not taking advantage of me, Bellamy." I stated, "I know everybody thinks Lexa is the deadly one, but I could kill you just as easily."

 

 For a second I thought he was going to leave, but instead he pulled off of his shirt, put his arm on the metal wall and slowly kissed me. He kept kissing me as I unbuttoned my shirt and threw it on the floor. He kept kissing me until we laid on the floor with a layer of underwear separating our skin from completely touching with his hot hands sending sparks through my body.

Chapter Text

Jasper Jordan

Trees, they're amazing creatures, aren't they? My fingertips could trace their lines and curves for days and never get bored. I could discover each crack and chip in it and never be put off by its beauty. Each leaf is different and blows in the wind, they're soft and bright, different from the tougher bark. And each line inside it's oak represents a year its old and a tree never fears getting older, it does it gracefully. Some trees have flowers on, some grow fruit, some have pointy leaves, some have smooth leaves and some have no leaves or flowers. But truthfully, trees are always beautiful no matter what. The stay strong in the toughest of storms and occasionally branches break off, but they still stand tall. And yes, they can be cut down, but you bet another tree will spring right back up. God, I love trees.

 

I think I love trees more than the plant burning in between paper in my hands. I lean against a tree trunk as I watch my smoke blow across to Monty, leaning against a tree, opposite me. I wonder if he views trees like me. I wonder if he's a tree. Nick is with us, his sister scares me, but so does everybody and truthfully, fear never stopped me. Well, that's not true. I'm not brave, I'm not strong. But Monty is and Monty's not worried, so I follow him. And besides, I don't think Lexa can hurt me here. 

 

Where is here? 'Here' is the middle of the night, Stars light the world around us and distant music floats by. We're outside the fence, probably dangerous, but no walkers have been spotted in a couple weeks around here, so I figured I'd smoke some of the weed I managed to hide from the soldiers, Monty and Nick joined me. Precious Monty.

 

"No Octavia or Murphy?" Monty asked, looking at the stars. He always loved the stars; he's such a nerd. Loved Star Wars and Star Trek too, I hate it, but I've watched it twenty million times with him and I'd watch it twenty million more if it makes him happy. I can't lie, I'm a secret nerd too, but I much prefer a comedy or something with Zombies! Zombies, huh, you'd think with all the films I'd watch, I'd be an expert. I'm not. Definitely not. Shawn Of The Dead is definitely me.

 

"No," I peacefully said, explaining, "Octavia is out here somewhere and Murphy, I don't know, I think he went to bed."

Monty nodded, still staring at the stars, but I couldn't help stare at him. 

Nick spoke, "Something happened between them two?"

I looked away from Monty, looking at Nick, who was watching me, and I could feel my cheeks burning. I felt almost guilty. Like I'd been caught out looking at Monty. I looked at my shoes, my knees were to my chest, "I don't know. They always flirt with each other. Well, did. At school, before all of this." It was me, Monty, Murphy and Octavia back at school. Well, kind of. Murphy was always an outsider. He was bullied a lot, even more than Monty. But Octavia used to flirt in class with him, until he met Emori when he was fifteen and fell in love. We didn't see him much after that. So it became me, Monty and Octavia. Then in the Quarantine she met Sasha and we drifted even further apart. So now it's just me and Monty and I guess Nick. Monty is all I have. 

 

"I think they had sex." Monty said, his voice sounding as light as he probably feels. Me and Nick looked at each other and burst out laughing. Monty looked at us both, his face so confused and adorable, "What?"

Me and Nick shook our heads still laughing. I had to look away from Monty's face, his confused expression was making my stomach ache from laughing. I grabbed two cans, handing one to Monty, "Nothing, Monty." He took the Can and I handed the other to Nick and then grabbed another for myself. Nick opened his can saying, "They definitely had sex."

"Have you?" The words just came out my mouth and I couldn't stop them. Nick's brown eyes rested on mine, his tanned skin barely lit up with the moonlight, he nodded as he took a sip from his can, licking the froth from his upper lip and again, I had to look away.

Monty sighed, "I haven't. Y'know, that's become a fear of mine, aside from losing everybody I love and care about, dying a virgin is up there."

Nick smiled, jokingly saying, "Yeah, dying a virgin, the worst." Nick then looked at me, "What about you?"

I swallowed, feeling a little nervous for some reason, "I'm a virgin too."

Nick nodded slowly, taking another sip.

My tone softened, "Did you love them?"

Nick's smile faded from his lips, he thoughtfully said, "Love is a strong word. I found them hot, but I think I loved the access to their bank account and free heroin more." Nick looked at me, probably seeing the stunned look on my face. I knew he had a drug problem, but I didn't know what or how bad it was. Nick suddenly grinned and then started laughing again, "You're face."

A smile started to form on mine and Monty's lips too and suddenly we were all laughing again.

 

The laughter drifted away and we were in a peaceful silence again, sipping beer from our cans and blowing smoke from our spliffs. My eyes went back to looking at Monty, he, again, was staring at the stars, but I found him more fascinating. He's the only one who's ever understood me, he's the only family I've ever had. My mum left for another man and my dad became a drunk, I had no one - so Monty's family practically raised me since I was thirteen, prior to that, life was a little shit. But I got by.

 

"So," Nick said, putting his can between his legs, "What do you guys do for fun, aside from booze and drugs?"

Monty looked at Nick, shrugging, "We used to play video games and watch films." Monty looked at me, smiling, "And Jasper was in a band."

"A band?" Nick raised his eyebrow, "Now I'm intrigued."

I blushed, "I played drums in Monty's garage, Murphy played guitar and our friend, Nathan, used to play keyboard." I then dismissively added, "It wasn't a good band, and Murphy left when he found Emori, so we replaced him with a guy called Bryan."

Nick nodded, "Cool." His voice then more sincere, "Where are they now?"

I sighed, "Nathan was with us back at the flats and Bryan in the Quarantine."

Nick optimistically said, "They might still be alive."

I shrugged, "Maybe." 

 

I grabbed the lighter from the leaf pile, putting the spliff in my mouth and then relit it with both my hands cupped around it. I handed the lighter to Monty and then grabbed the spliff in between my index and middle finger, blowing out smoke through my nose and mouth. Monty and Nick did the same. It was peaceful. Part of me thought it was too peaceful, and I was right.

Chapter Text

John Murphy

 I sat in the tent, alone with a bottle in my hands. I was tired of being alone. Octavia, was nowhere to be seen as always and I missed her. I know she's suffering, I know she's lost. But I just want us to get back to what we had. Sometimes I wonder what's worse, the heartache between Bell and Raven or me and Octavia. At least Bell and Raven loved each other. It's better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all - and all that bullshit.

 

I took another mouthful of beer, standing up from the table and about to join Tom snoring in our bed when the devil herself came bursting through our tent doors. "I need your help!"

I turned to look at her, gasping, "Octavia? What's happened?"

She urged, "There's a fire in the forest, Jasper, Nick and Monty were out there. We've got help them!"

 

***

 

There was no time to wake Tom and we have no idea where Bellamy is, so it's just me and O as we exit the camp through a hole in the chicken-wire fence. The fire was huge in the distance, and we were not the only ones seeing it; Zombies had too. Me and O shared a worried Look with each other before she took the lead. She ran through them, decapitating heads as she ran. Heads rolled as we ran through the darkness to the light, my own hand and knife becoming sticky with rotten blood. 

 

We heard a gunshot.

 

More and more zombies died at the blade of Octavia and finally, we reached Nick. "What the hell happened?" Octavia demanded, her torso covered in blood and so was her face, her eyes were frantic and alive. More alive than they ever were with me.

Nick's were sad, and I could sense he had something to do with it, "I don't know. We were smoking and suddenly a tree went up in flames and then walkers started coming and-"

"Where's the others?" Octavia cut him off, yelling, "Jasper, Monty, where are they?"

"We got separated."

"For fuck sake!" Octavia Screamed. 

 

And then all our eyes shifted to the sound of a truck to the right of us. Military. Fuck. Octavia looked at Nick, "Get to the truck, hopefully it's Skye. And if not, fuck it. Go, Nick!" He took off running. And so did Octavia, I chased after her, unaware of what we were running too. Shitting hell! What happened?

 

The fire was much larger in person. It had taken five, six trees. Dead walked straight through it, flaming and still hungry. Jasper grappled with one against a tree, Octavia raced up to him, slicing the katana straight into its skull. On my right, Raven leant with her back against a tree and messed with her gun. "Raven?"

She looked up at me, "Monty's out there, you need to find him."

I ignored her, "Are you Okay?" I looked to her leg, her brace had teeth marks in it. 

She snapped, "Yes, I'm fucking fine. Now go, find Monty!"

 

The truck pulled up a few metres away from us, the back of it facing us. Skye got out the driver's seat, walking around to us, pistol in hand as she shot down the dead. "Hurry!" She yelled. Octavia came running past, lifting Jasper into the truck. Just then, Monty appeared on my left, he looked weak. His face was scratched, and his hands covered in blood. A walker grabbed him. Raven yelled at me, "Help him!"

 

I charged towards him, knife in hand, shoving any zombie that approached me and plunging my knife into its skull. I reached him as Raven's bullet killed the zombie wrestling him. More kept coming and I noticed his leg bleeding. I looked at him, "What happened?"

He looked away, turning to shove another zombie off of him, I dug my knife into its brain.

 

I looked towards the truck and saw Raven's gun jam. She threw it on the floor and turned to run, Zombies fast approaching. Her foot caught a log and she fell. She rolled on her back and a zombie landed at her feet, clawing and biting at her brace. 

 

Monty shoved me, "Save her!"

I looked at his leg, "What about your leg?"

Monty looked away, "Just go, Murphy!"

I obeyed, running towards her, my foot swung into the zombies rib cage, getting its guts all over my boot. I grabbed its shoulders and yanked it up as I plunged my knife into. I bent down to grab Raven's arm but she pulled back, "Monty!"

I turned around and saw him collapse, a pile of zombies on top of him and more fast approaching us. I had to choose but the decision was already made. I lifted Raven over my shoulder and ran towards the Truck, seeing Skye dash her own gun, "GO!" I yelled.

 

We reached the back of the truck, the engine started and Monty's screams erupted but quickly silenced to the sound of an unexpected gunshot. It seemed everything fell silent as we all watched the horde tear at his flesh. Jasper lunged forward, but Nick held him back and he collapsed on to his knees, screaming, "MONTY!!!"

 

* * *

 

I stood outside Skye's hotel room, my muscles tired and my hands still red with blood. Octavia sat beside me. Skye had given Raven her hotel room, and Jasper was in the hospital bay. 

 

"You did the right thing." Octavia broke the silence around us as we waited for Teresa to come out from examining Raven. The Zombie bit into her brace and broke it, so it'd take a few days to make a new one. Raven wouldn't handle it well.

"Did I?" I numbly said, my eyes fixed on the cream wall in front of me, my elbows resting on my knees and my chin in between my thumb and index fingers, getting blood on my face.

"Yes." Octavia firmly said, she sat with her arms folded and legs crossed, covered in blood herself, "You couldn't have saved them both."

I looked at her, "Don't you care that he's gone?"

Octavia looked at her arms, her green eyes cold as glass, her forehead creased, "Of course I care, but there's no point dwelling on it. People die now, so you have to move on. Especially now a war is on our hands."

I sat up, "War?"

Her eyes met mine, "Yes. That Bullet that shot him down came from somewhere. It wasn't us, it wasn't Skye. It was the other soldier. The one who stayed in the van, the one we know."

"Echo?"

She nodded, "Echo. So now we figure out why the hell she's here and where our people are."

"Right." I firmly said, something snapped inside me as she looked at me, "Because that's all you care about, right? War and fighting. You need to grieve, Octavia."

She shook her head, "No. Feelings, love - it's all weakness-"

"You sound like fucking Lexa!" I yelled, getting to my feet and looking at her, "And it's fucking bullshit! What would Sasha think?"

She flinched at her name, "Don't talk about Sasha-"

"Why the hell not?" I retorted, "I'm sick of this! Everybody's walking on egg shells around you and it's bullshit. We're all grieving, Octavia. All of us. But you can't keep pushing people away. You're acting like you're the only one who lost someone they loved. I lost Emori. She's dead. And so is Sasha so face it. And stop acting like you don't care." A tear escaped my eye as I yelled, "Stop acting like you don't care about me!"

Octavia stood up from her seat, shaken but trying not to show it. She gritted her teeth and kept her tone level yet deadly, "I'm not acting. Love is weakness. If you never loved her, you wouldn't be in pain. And as for you," she paused, looking down at her feet, "I - I just - it was just sex, Murphy."

"Bullshit." I argued, "We hugged that night at the flats, I held you in my arms as you cried-"

"I was drunk-"

"You needed me." I firmly said, "And I needed you too. And that night, that morning, it meant something. More than sex. You know that."

She looked up at me, "No, it meant nothing."

I shook my head in frustration, "Stop being so cold! This isn't you-"

"This is me!" Octavia yelled and then lowered her tone, "I tried to be the fourteen year old girl with the massive crush on you. I tried to be the fun, adventurous sixteen year old getting high and chasing boys. But I'm not her. She died when Sasha - when Pike pulled the trigger. This is me and if you can't deal with that then - then fuck off!" She shoved me, "Scurry off like the cockroach you are!" My back slammed into the wall behind me, she stood staring at me, tears in her eyes, "Goodbye, Murphy." 

 

Suddenly it was just me, alone again.

Chapter Text

Raven Reyes

Water, they say it's thinner than blood. That friends hold less value than family. But I don't think so. I never knew my parents, I lived with my adopted father, Sinclair. He wasn't blood, but I loved him and he loved me. My first love was the next to die, Finn. He was a cheating asshole, but I loved him and part of me always will. He died before the apocalypse, knife crime. Then the apocalypse kicked in and it was a couple of acquaintances. Friends: Sasha, Luna, Wick. Now Monty. 

 

Water's warm. Pretty. It covers my body and stings my wounds; I grazed my knee when I fell in the woods. It's days like this I really fucking hate it. If I could've walked, if my brace didn't get caught, then Murphy could've saved Monty and I could've saved myself. Instead, he died. And I wonder why; he was pure in his heart, more pure than any of us. I'm not innocent, I've killed. I've stolen, I've lied, I've hurt people. It should've been me, not him.

 

And I don't blame Murphy anymore but I can't stand it when he looks at me all guilty. I care about him, I always have and what Octavia said to him in the corridor was brutal. But today my head is swimming in anger and grief. My leg is fine now, it doesn't bother me physically. But mentally, fuck.

 

I stare at the white ceiling above me, feeling the water covering me, feeling my arms feel light. I don't feel light. I feel heavy, heavy as a ton of bricks. Numb. Heavy. Numb. A tear rolls down my cheek as I think about him. Monty. Not just Monty, Jasper too. Monty was Jasper's world and now it's been completely obliterated. Humans are fragile, we break so easy. Blood spills so easy.

 

Not water. Water always flows. Always. Streams, waterfalls, lakes, oceans, seas, tears. Always flowing. Rain, storm, hurricane. Water can be disastrous. It gives life as easy as it takes it. Maybe Water and Blood are the same.

 

I can't stay in here forever. My fingers and toes are wrinkled and the bath is going cold. For a moment I forget about my leg. I push the side of the bath and move my leg to get out. My other leg doesn't move and the white tiled floor spills blood as my forehead smashes into it and I yell, "Shit!" I breath in sharp and put a hand to my head as I roll over, laying naked on the cold tiled floor. I look at the blood on my hand, cursing, "Fuck."

 

"Raven?" Of course, I'm not alone. Murphy's here to pretend to be the hero. I hear his feet outside the door, "You okay?"

The darkness is too heavy to lift, there are too many rain clouds, "I'm fine!" I yell at him. I grab a towel off of the toilet seat and wrap it around me.

 

Murphy doesn't listen. He pushes open the door and looks at me, his eyes looking at me like they always do. Guilty. Sympathetic. He's the only person that can't get passed my leg. And I can't handle it today. I'm sick of it. I don't blame him. I don't. But I'm mad and all I see is red. Blood.

 

"Shit, Raven." He softly says as he puts an arm under my legs and one under armpit, lifting me in the bridle hold.

As he carries me to the bed, I snap, "I said I was fine. Don't you think you've helped enough, Murphy?"

He placed me on the bed, ignoring me and wiping my forehead with another towel on the bed, "Do you think I should get Teresa?"

I shoved his arm away, "I said I don't need your help."

Murphy remained crouched in front of me, he looked at the floor, his arm now resting on his thigh, "She's Just next door." He stood up.

 

"Where are you going?" I yelled at him, "Walking away like you always do? Hiding from the issue?"

He kept his feet planted, his eyes not meeting mine, "I'm not. I just - Teresa will be able to take care of your wound."

"Look at me." I snapped, he didn't. "Fucking look at me, coward!"

His eyes met mine. I yelled, "I see the way you look at me. Stop it. Stop acting so guilty."

His eyes glazed over, "I'm sorry-"

"Sorry?!" I cut him off, "If it wasn't for you Monty would still be here. I'd be able to walk and he'd be breathing. You did this. So face it like a man and stop looking at me like that!"

He nodded solemnly, "You're right."

 

I had enough of him, apologising. Taking it. I wanted him to fight back. Adrenaline surged through me and I pounced at him, punching him in the jaw, making him stumble back but then his arms, reached to steady me. I smacked them away, using a nearby chair instead, "Don't touch me!"

His eyes were panicked, "Raven-"

"You're a liar and a cockroach and a Coward! And I hate you! I told you to save Monty, not me! But you never listen because you're a selfish asshole and I wish you died in that fire!" He stared at me like I'd just shoved a knife into his heart. The bedroom door flung open and Deke stood there, "Hey-"

"I hate you!" I cut off Deke, yelling more abuse at Murphy, "But you always live, don't you? Always. Somehow. But you don't deserve it. I wish you got bit. I wish you were dead and not Monty. You're selfish and useless and I hate you!" I lunged at him again, but Deke jumped in between, holding me back like a Pitbull. Tears started to fall down my face as Murphy stood with his back against the bathroom door, looking like a scared child. "I hate you!" I cried, "I swear to God, I hate you. I hate you." Bellamy wrapped his arms around me, his back to Murphy, but he titled his head towards him, "You should leave."

He took one last look at me before running out the bedroom door as I yelled one last time, "Run, you selfish coward! Scurry off like the Cockroach you are!"

Chapter Text

John Murphy

Brick dug into my fist as I punched it with all my frustration. Blood covered it for a second time tonight. So much for festivities.

 

"That bad, huh?" Teresa said, coming round the corner of the East Wing with her hands in her pockets and her eyes glinting in the moonlight.

I stood staring at my older sister, "Deke sent you?"

Teresa leant against the wall next to me, she pulled out a fag and handed it to me, "Take it, you need it."

I stared at it, "You serious? What happened to you being smart? Addiction isn't exactly helpful-"

"Take it." She said assertively, holding it further towards me. I looked at it, chewing on my cheek whilst I debated it, but gave in, grabbing the fag and putting it in my mouth. I patted my pockets and then groaned, "Fuck sake, forgot my stupid lighter in the tent."

Teresa pulled out a matchbox, she grabbed a match and sparked it, guiding the flame to my fag, "What're sisters for?" She said.

 

I breathed in the nicotine, feeling the gratification almost immediately and remembering how much I missed it. I even closed my eyes to relish in the smoke, feeling my stress floating away. I exhaled with a sigh too, feeling calmer by the minute.

"Better?" Teresa asked.

I ignored her, "Why are you here anyway? It's not like we do the whole family bullshit, is it?"

Teresa let out a cynical laugh, "Family." She then looked at me, sincere, "Dad always loved you the most, Murphy. Don't ever forget that."

 

I remained silent, I missed him. Sometimes I get angry at him for stealing medicine, it didn't help me and I survived, I always do. I know he did it because he cared, but I wish he didn't. I wish he didn't leave us. Mum turned into a complete mess, drinking and drugs and whoring herself out to pay for it. And then she died in her own vomit. But you already know that. Teresa tried to care for her, but she couldn't handle it, I couldn't handle it. Our parents did love us, even though I'd always push them with skiving School and smoking bud. But that's because I was afraid, I was afraid they wouldn't love me if they knew I was a coward. Too afraid to go to class in case the pricks at school would punch me again or bully me because I can't spell or do math, or call me a fag for liking guitar and music rather than sport. But none of that matters now; they're all dead and I'm still breathing.

 

"So, did Deke tell you what she said?" I asked her, flicking ash.

Teresa sighed, "Didn't have to, I heard everything." She looked at me, sincere, "She didn't mean it, John. She's grieving, angry. She doesn't hate-"

"She should." I cut Teresa off, "She should."

 

** *

 

I found her in the woods, blood pouring out of her stomach. Her bloody hand placed on my cheek as I held her. "John," she weakly said, losing blood, breath and life. I put my own hand over her stomach, trying to stop the blood but it wouldn't stop.

"Promise me, John," she tried to speak.

"Don't," I cried, "I can't. Just, you're gonna be okay, Emori, I promise-"

"No, John-"

"Yes." I said, tears falling from my eyes, "And we will go wherever the hell you want. I pr-"

"Promise me, John," She shushed me with a weak finger placed over my lips and I could taste the metal of her blood, "Promise you'll keep fighting. Promise you won't forget," she moved her hand from my lips to my heart, "What's in here." Her hand fell from my chest, as light as a feather or a leaf tumbling down from a tree in autumn. And her eyes, her beautiful brown eyes closed.

 

I moved a hand to her cheek, "Emori? Open your eyes!" I begged, "Emori, please, open them! You're not dead! You can't be! Emori! Emori!" 

 

I buried her. I buried her by our favourite tree with our initials carved in a heart. She did it. She joked, saying I was turning her into ‘a soppy teenage girl’ and that she'd have to end things. I told her I'd die if she left me.

 

So I drank a bottle of whisky we stole and I grabbed my favourite lighter. I grabbed a Jerry can. I marched to his house at night, whilst he was getting pissed in the Soldier's Bar. I smashed a window and climbed inside. I poured petrol in every room, making sure to put his supply in the kitchen and watch that burn too. He'd gone too far. Way too far. First, he got my mother addicted to drugs and used her body to pay for it. She's dead too. Died a couple months ago of an overdose. Died looking at me, saying she hated me. And now, he's murdered her. Emori. He was trying to get her to deal with him and she threatened to grass on him, so he threatened to kill her, so I threatened to kill him and he knew I'd do it. So the motherfucker killed her to warn me, well now, I'm burning everything he loves. I was going to kill him, slowly, painfully. Watch the fear in his eyes as I watched him bleed out, begging me to let him live. But, he's not worthy of death; dying is easy. No more pain. No more suffering, just floating among the stars. Living, living with pain, that's the hard part.

 

I throw my lighter, watching the drugs burn, then photos, then curtains and everything else. Watching it all burn, with a bottle of champagne from his cabinet. The fire was hot, really hot. The smoke was choking me too and for a moment, I thought about burning too. But I saw her, in the flames. She put her hand on my heart and she shook her head, "John, don't do this." I put my hand over hers and she was gone. Teresa was screaming my name, "John! John!" I turned and she ran into my arms, she put her hand on my shoulders and yelled, "John, you've got to go. Anywhere, go! They'll kill you. Go, John! Go!"

 

I ran to the cave, tears in my eyes and adrenaline in my blood. I stared at her necklace on the cave floor where we used to - I can't even think about that right now! They're coming for me and part of me wants them to. I don't know how to live without her, I don't want to live without her. He killed her! That sonuvabitch killed her! My fist collided with rock, blood dripping out as I punched it over and over and over again, hoping the physical would drown out the mental.

 

Emori's necklace wasn't the only shiny thing in the cave. I grabbed the pistol. I cocked it, put the barrel to my temple, my finger shaking on the trigger. I couldn't do it. I couldn't. I'm a coward. Too afraid to die alone but don't want to live either. What's a boy to do? Fight.

 

Fight.

 

I stood in the middle of the forest. I knew they were coming for me. I could hear them. Hear their footsteps. So I pointed my pistol to the sound of footsteps and as I saw a boot step out, I fired. I fired and watched my world burn. "John..." she cried out as I watched her body fall from behind the tree. No! No... fuck. Raven.

 

* * *

 

I sighed, putting my palm on the top of the wooden table and crouching down to look underneath it. I can't find my lighter anywhere! It's my favourite lighter; it's black with a white hand painted on it and on the back it has mine and Emori's initials scratched into it. It's the only thing I have left and I can't fucking find it!

 

I furiously pushed myself to my feet, taking a hand through my hair, feeling exhausted and drained, but my mind too wide awake to sleep. Tom is snoring his head off, Jasper is in the medical bay and Deke is with Raven. Nick? Nick's sat in his tent bed, the curtain pulled shut and I can hear him catching a ball, every once in awhile he drops it and it rolls, banging into the tent wall opposite him. Bellamy and Alicia are still M.I.A. and unaware of the life lost tonight. I wish I was like them, in the dark for a little while.

Chapter Text

Clarke Griffin

 

No black suits, no ties and no coffin. Just a wooden crate being buried in the ground, containing a lighter, a back of weed, rizzler, filters and Monty's red jacket. His body burns on a pile of fifty other corpses, which the military cleared out last night. The military watch us carefully as all twelve of us stand in a semi circle around the box. Jasper cries, his sobs loud and his hand shaking as he grips a blanket around his shoulders, too numb to wipe his tears away, and why should he? Nick stands on the left of Jasper with an arm over his shoulders and I fear that if Nick doesn't hold him up, then Jasper will fall to the floor like the autumn leaves and rain around us.

 

Bellamy also wraps an arm around Raven, on the left of Nick and Jasper, and she leans her head on his shoulder. Alicia and Lexa stand behind their brother. Thomas stands on the right of Jasper, in between Octavia and Jasper, whose eyes are cold and I fear her grief is far worse than it ever was, I fear what this means for us and most importantly, Bellamy. Murphy stands on the far left, away from the group and leaning against a tree, Teresa stands with him, her arms folded and her face unreadable. Deke also stands with them, but his attention is glued to Alicia and I see him watching her. 

 

I stand behind the wooden crate, Jasper asked me to make a speech and I search the military line and find Skye stood right behind Lexa and Alicia. Lexa looks at me supportively and I can't get over what she said last night, that she loved me. But I love Skye. And all of these feelings are swirling my head, especially intertwined with the grief.

 

Jasper asked me to make a speech, he looks up to me and I somehow am a leader of the people before me. I swallow as I gather my thoughts, feeling the wind blow through my hair and the rain spit on my cheeks.

 

"Monty," I begin, trying to find the right words but how can any words be right for the death of an eighteen year old? Maybe I should start with that, "Monty was a good man, we all knew that. He left us too soon. And I don't think any words that I can say will make the end of his life easier." I looked at Jasper whose nose was red and his eyes puffy, "Nothing will fill the void of Monty." I then added a light smile, "I mean, one thing we can say about Monty is that even though his Moonshine tasted like cat piss, I'll miss the secret parties at the Quarantine and the scent of mysterious herbs coming from his room. Hell, maybe I will even miss the Moonshine." My tone returned solemn, "We'll miss his optimism and his warmth. He's good, more than good." I looked at Murphy, he was looking down at the floor and I knew I had to say something to bring the group back together after all the harsh words were spoken last night. "I think it's important we remember Monty's life and not his death. Monty always said that The Hundred are family, whatever happens we will always be family and family forgive each other. We look out for each other, despite mistakes we make. And sometimes," I looked at Bellamy and Octavia, "sometimes we hurt each other. But families always work it out." I then looked down at the crate, "In peace, may you leave this shore. In love, may you find the next. Safe passage on your travels, until our final journey. May we meet again."

 

"May we meet again." The hundred (well twelve)  chanted back and a single tear rolled down my cheek as I grabbed the spade dig into the ground next to me and lifted a spade of soil over the crate. Jasper's pale hand was the next to grab the spade and he too shovelled soil on top. We all did. And eventually, Monty's box was buried and I guess, so was our grief. One thing I've learnt about this world is that it doesn't stop turning for anything and either you turn with it or you die.

 

* * *

 

"Clarke!" Lexa called from over my shoulder, everybody had gone back inside the fence but Nick, Jasper and myself. Jasper leant on his tears, staring at the crate, no more sobs or tears would fall, but all he could do was stare. Nick leant against a tree opposite him, a hand on his chin and the other holding onto his rib cage. I couldn't read him.

 

I stood behind Jasper and turned around to see Lexa approaching me, "I-I just wanted to say that what you said, it was good. I know I didn't know Monty like you, Murphy, Jasper and Octavia did, but the time I knew him, I could see he was good. And he didn't deserve this."

I was too tired to fight with her and too confused to understand if she was being genuine, so I just nodded.

Lexa nodded back, looking at the ground and that back at me, "The poem, at the end of your speech, it was beautiful too. And the whole phrase, May we meet again, it was touching." She glanced towards Jasper, "We need to make sure he doesn't meet Monty quite so soon, though."

My eyes met hers, my brow furrowing and I grabbed onto her forearm, walking her a few metres away, so we were definitely out of ear shot, "What do you mean? Make sure he doesn't meet Monty so soon?"

Lexa swallowed, her eyes becoming watery, "It's just, Jasper's fragile, he's not like us, Clarke. He will need your people to look after him, stop him doing something stupid. He looks up to you and Bellamy and Octavia, he needs you guys to start working together or he'll wind up like Monty, except it won't be murder."

 

I raised a finger, "Wait a second. My people? Murder? What are you talking about?"

Lexa searched my eyes and then slightly smiled, "The Hundred, they're your people, Clarke. You lead them, that's why Jasper wanted you to give the speech and why Murphy looks at you to feel accepted. Bellamy looks at you for guidance too, you were the one person he wanted to get out of the cells the most and not just because your mother demanded it. Even I look at you for guidance. You're a great leader, Clarke, but now you have to actually be one. Our group has been falling apart and we have a big fight on our hands."

I put up a hand, "What fight? Murder? What's going on? What are you talking about? Please, Lexa, tell me."

 

Lexa looked away from me, looking towards Jasper, "Not yet-"

"You don't get to-"

"Clarke," She shushed me, looking in my eyes and taking one of my hands in hers, "I will tell you soon, but now, you have to care of your people. Fix them. Raven and Murphy, Bellamy and Octavia, and Jasper - you need to help them." She paused, letting go of my hand, "And I know you'll hate me when I say this, but be weary of these people and this place, Clarke. Something isn't right and I know you know it too. And I'm not saying Skye and Deke are bad people, not at all, but what do you really know about here? We haven't even met the leader yet, Clarke. Just, put your people first and don't get lost." She then leaned in and planted a kiss on my lips, like the one in the tent. My arms hung by my sides and hers wrapped around my body for a brief second before she let me go and left me stood in the woods with the rain pouring and my hand even more tangled than before.

Chapter Text

Clarke Griffin

 

I stand, staring out of Skye's hotel room, taking in the scene in front of me: The forty-four tents directly in front of the west wing, the road leading from the central wing, stretching far past the horizon with soldiers patrolling it, a market in front of the east wing with people buying and trading, followed by the farm land behind it. This place could be something; it already is something.

 

"Good morning." Skye yawned from behind me and I jumped slightly, before turning to look at her. She laid on her side, propping her head up on her elbow. She had white sheets around her and only white sheets covering her. Her clothes were all over the bedroom floor from last nights antics and I couldn't deny it was one of the best nights I’ve had in a while; it was more than half-empty.

 

I, unlike Skye, was fully clothed and had been for awhile, "Morning."

Skye looked in my eyes, chewing her lips thoughtfully, before saying, "What are you thinking about?"

I shrugged, "Nothing."

She inhaled and exhaled, rolling onto her back and resting her head on her arms, she turned her head to look at me, "How long have you been up?"

I don't know why I lied, but I did, "Not long, maybe five or ten minutes. I was just looking at the view; it's pretty."

Skye shook her head, her voice firm but still holding its warmth and care, "You've been up at least half an hour, I was watching you. You got up, got dressed, sat at the desk writing something. Then you sat there, just staring at the wall with your ankles crossed and a hand under your chin with the other across your body. You then went to the toilet and put the paper in your jean pocket before standing, staring out the window for the past five minutes." She laid her eyes on me, "What's wrong, Clarke? And don't tell me it's Monty because I can see it's more than that."

 

I felt the warmth in her eyes melting the bars around my heart and everything inside me exploded. "It's Lexa!"

Skye sat up, holding the sheets over the front of her body, showing worry, "Why? What's she done?"

"It's what she hasn't done!" I exclaimed, "she hasn't spoke to me in days, not since the funeral and the last thing she said to me, was that I have somehow fix everything. How the hell do I do that? I can't reunite Octavia and Bellamy, I can't make Murphy feel valued and I can't fucking bring Monty back from the dead and heal Jasper!"

 

A warm tear rolled down my cheek and I quickly wiped it away. Lexa finds a way into my head and puts me in charge and then disappears, leaving me stranded. I can barely take care of myself, never mind twelve other people. I'm only eighteen - I should be out partying, falling in love and studying for University. I shouldn't be killing walkers and trying to keep a crumbling team of criminals together!

 

Skye reached out a hand and held onto mine, rubbing circles with her thumb on it. Skye soothingly said, "You don't have to bare this alone. We can do it together." She then paused, looking away from my eyes, "But, Lexa's right, Clarke." She looked into my eyes, "You are a leader and you're the only one strong enough to bring these broken hearts together. You're a doctor, right? Healing is your specialty. Just have faith in yourself."

 

"Clarke!" A voice called from behind the wooden hotel door and I let go of Skye's hand, racing to the door.

Skye panicked, "Clarke! I'm naked!"

I looked back at her, my hand on the door knob, "You're fine." I said, she sat with her back against the headboard and a hand holding the sheets over her breasts. I opened the door and heard Skye groan. 

 

Green eyes walked me backwards, "Clarke!" Lexa exclaimed, relieved.

"Hi," Skye raised her spare hand, saying, "I'm here too, by the way."

Lexa looked at Skye and the clothes on the floor and then back at me, she seemed speechless for a moment and a little hurt. But she quickly dispelled any sadness and I watched her lips as she talked, "Clarke, Murphy needs you. The guards, they've arrested him, they've him chained to a post in the courtyard in the back of the complex. You need to come now."

I looked back at Skye, "Did you know about this?"

Skye sat upright, as shocked as me, "No, no, I didn't."

Lexa put a hand on my arm, bringing my focus back on her, "That's not the only problem either."

"What do you mean?" My brow furrowed and my eyes widened.

Lexa explained, "Octavia found something, well someone. I'll explain on the way-"

"Shouldn't we deal with John?" Skye interjected, Lexa's eyes met Skye's for the first time and I felt an unspoken tension between them, although Skye didn't reciprocate. That's the beautiful  thing with Skye, she's easy-going, peaceful even if she does have a sarcastic tone like Murphy's.

 

Lexa nodded, "You're right." Lexa's eyes looked back on mine, "You and Skye should go and help Murphy. I'll go and help with Octavia." She then looked back at Skye, a little in disbelief, "And you really had no idea about this? Aren't you in the higher ranks?"

Skye looked down at the floor and I could sense she wasn't telling us something, "I had no idea."

Lexa examined Skye one last time before looking at me, "I'll meet you at the courtyard. Hurry, Clarke." She then quietly said, "Be careful, Clarke." She lingered a little too long before leaving the room, shutting the door behind her.

 

I stared at the wood after her. I heard Skye jumping off of the bed and grabbing clothes. I turned back around, watching her step into pants and then wriggle into jeans. She pulled on her bra and finally a grey t-shirt. She sat on the bed as she pulled on socks and then boots. She walked towards me, "Ready?"

I looked in her eyes, she stood a forearm away from me. "No, not yet. What aren't you telling me, Skye? Why didn't you know about Murphy?"

Skye sighed, leaning with her back against the wall, "They've been leaving me and Deke out of meetings and plans. They've been going out on trips outside the facility and not even telling us about it." She then looked at me, reading my concerned expression and folded arms, "It's probably nothing. They don't tell every guard everything, they only choose a handful and besides, I told them - doesn't matter. We should go help-"

"What did you tell them?"

Skye looked down, "I told them I wasn't interested in going on trips anymore because, well," she started to blush, "I'm training you and wanted to spend time with, with you, because I-I like you, Clarke. A lot."

I felt a smile on my face, seeing her nervous was cute. Skye was cute. I smiled, "I like you too."

Skye looked up at me and I placed my lips on hers, gently and delicately. The kiss was short, but it didn't need to be long, "C'mon, we need to leave."

Chapter Text

John Murphy

 

We're not given much time to grieve before shit hits the fan again. But this time, it has nothing to do with me but somehow everything to do with me.

 

As I walk through the market area of the facility, taking in the clothes and food available to trade for ration tokens earned by working on the farm, plus ten extra tokens for my loss. I still have no idea where they find the clothes and jewellery from and part of me feels I have an inclining but it's too dark to think about.

 

One thing about me is I always know what everybody around me is up to. A couple of girls stand behind me as I look at ripe oranges, I feel their eyes watching me, scanning me over and I hear them giggling - not to sound arrogant, but they're checking me out; they clearly love a bad boy; they've been watching me since I got a black eye. The middle age woman running the fruit stall is flirting with an old man stood on my right, but she keeps watching me; she doesn't trust me. Not many people trust me since I punched Deke, but my own people didn't trust me before that, so I guess it doesn't really change anything.

 

Speaking of Deke, he's training with Bellamy in a mini fighting pit at the far right end of the market. Occasionally, Bellamy glances over to Alicia teaching children in a gazebo behind the stalls. They're all writing in books and she's reading an old poetry book with passion and conviction. She's been avoiding Bellamy since the night of the fire, I think something happened between them, but I have no idea what and part of me wants to find out. Teresa and Tom also avoid each other, and I wonder if perhaps Bellamy and Alicia got up to something similar seeing as nobody could find them that night. Teresa's in the hospital ward, taking care of people, Raven is making bullets, Octavia and Lexa are on some secret mission to stake this place out, Clarke is in bed with Skye, and Jasper's at Monty's grave with Nick.

 

Two guards stand looking over a toy store on my left and I sidewards glance them as I grab an orange, pretending to inspect it. They've been following me since the funeral and it's been a week. Something isn't right. I have no idea why they're following me, but it's not good. I look up at the woman, grabbing tokens from my pocket, "I'll take this."

She looked at me suspiciously as she took the coins from my hands.

I smiled at her, "Thanks."

She put the tokens in her petty cash box and turned back to the old man. 

I grabbed the orange, heading towards the tents and coincidentally the soldiers stopped looking at the stall offering children's toys, which none of them had. 

 

I walked down the main road, heading towards the row my tent was one, which happened to be the very last one. From the corner of my eye, I noticed the guards' pace quicken. I threw the orange on the floor and forced my legs forward. Pushing my shoes in the dirt as fast as I can. One of the guards yelled, "Stop him!" To a bunch of civilian men. They jumped into action, I immediately turned into the tent valley. I charged down the strip, red and yellow tents on either side as I tried to race towards the fence, the guards on my heels, but suddenly another appeared at the end, smug and smiling. Shit. I looked to my right and charged down there, the guards yelling, "Yer can't run, yer lil' shit!"

 

But they were wrong, I could run. I raced down the narrow alley between tents, running sidewards like a crab, feeling my lungs struggling to keep up with the adrenaline. I have no idea why these guards hate me so much, I know I’m an asshole but I haven’t done anything here. I kept going, until more soldiers started to make their way through the other end of the gap. Two soldiers on either side, about five metres away. No turns, no exits. I looked at the wall of the tent in front of me, both tents, behind and in front, were just walls. I could either grab my knife and tear through the fabric or try and climb over. "We've got yer now, yer bastard." One of the guards smugly proclaimed, a smug smile on his face.

 

I pulled out my knife and the guards stopped in their tracks, two arms lengths away. They couldn't restrain me here, not enough room. They could shoot me but that would take up resources to heal me. "Stay back!" I yelled at them.

They held up their hands, the first guard on my right saying, "Just come with us and we won't get nasty."

I  shook my head, "Sorry, don't think I want to."

The first guard on my left pulled out his gun, "Drop the knife or I'll make you."

I shook my head again, "If you were gonna shoot me, you would've already. Your orders aren't to kill or majorly injure. So I think I'm good."

 

The soldier smiled an evil smile at me, "I'll give you one more chance to drop the knife and come peacefully."

I shook my head, "I already said- AAAAHHH! FUUUCCKKK!" I Screamed in pain, falling through the tent in front of me and landing in some innocent civilians bed as bolts of electricity shot through me. My knife fell from my grip and the guards quickly stood over me. Some lady that lived in the tent with caramel skin, frightened brown eyes and curly brown hair looked at me. I painfully moved a hand towards her, struggling to mutter, "H-h-hel-Help-p m-m-me." A tear trickled out my eye as my muscles tensed painfully and shook. My lungs burned and I struggled to breathe through the pain sourcing from my left side.

The guards smiled, hoisting me up and saying, "Don't worry, M'am, he's a bad guy. Come see for yourself, half an hour in the Courtyard."

Chapter Text

Clarke Griffin

 

Bodies stood in front of me, watching a boy be handcuffed to two separate posts and a guard strike his back with a cane. It was like the scene in Hunger Games, where Katniss pushes through the crowd, desperately trying to reach the front to volunteer for her sister or to save Gale from Corporal punishment. I forced my small body in between giants, desperation pulsating through me until I fell at the feet of the broken boy. His face was bloody and another eye turned black. He grit his teeth in pain and I could see the flesh on his back seething red and crying blood. I put a hand on his face, my ears going deaf to the sound of Skye yelling at the guards to stop with her gun cocked in her hands. He opens his sad blue eyes and water ran down his cheeks. His bruised lips opened, his lungs struggling to breathe. His eyes found mind and his voice, croaked, "Clarke..."

I soothed, "Sshh, don't talk. I'll get you out of this."

 

I turned my attention to the stage, Skye stood between the guards and Murphy, "Why is he here?" She Demanded.

The guards were smug, only two of them present, "You gettin big balls, Skye? Protecting your dyke?" They laughed, "Hey, maybe if you show us your pretty girlfriend, we'll let him go."

Skye remained aggressive, unwilling to back down, "Its funny, I thought homophobes like you would've fell to the Walkers, guess even they know you're scum."

They both laughed, The one on the left saying, "Ouch, that meant to hurt my feelings? Look at you, holding that pistol, pretending to be the big girl. We both know you won't pull that trigger, so put the gun down and-" 

 

BANG. 

 

The soldier screamed and collapsed to the floor, blood pouring down his leg. Skye's eyes widened and so did mine to see the shooter. A woman with brown hair and brown eyes put her fired pistol away in her holster, the people behind me knelt down on the ground as they saw her appear, the soldier still writhed around on the ground. The woman walked towards us, stopping two arm distances away. She stared at the crowd knelt before her, "You may rise and disperse and get back to your jobs."

 

The people raised and dispersed in a matter of seconds. It was me, Murphy, Skye, the two male soldiers and the woman, who dressed in a black knee-length pencil skirt and matching blazer with a grey vest top underneath. She looked at the standing soldier, who now stood behind her, "Take him to medical and if ever hear such sexist and homophobic language again, I will personally chop your balls off and make you watch the dead eat them before I slit your throat. Got it?"

The soldier turned white, "Yes, Ma'am." He walked to the injured soldier and lifted him in a fireman's lift and we heard him carry the injured soldier's screams into the distance.

 

The evident leader looked at us, her voice level yet deadly, "Skye, drop your weapon."

I saw Skye's pistol waver as she contemplated obeying the instructions, she shook her head, "No, I can't do that. I need answers, Hale."

The woman, Hale, tilted her head slightly to the side and pursed her lips in thought, seconds passed but it felt like minutes, "You know you're treading on very thin ice here, Skye. You know the rules about obeying me. It's how I keep everyone safe because everyone listens to me and I protect them. I know you think my punishments are harsh, but, it prevents people stepping out of order because if we have no order, there is chaos and that leads to death. You're a smart girl, you know this." Hale took a step towards us, "Put it down, Skye."

Skye breathed in and out sharp, "Tell me why he's chained here? What has he done? Then I'll drop my gun."

 

Hale smiled a slight smile, "May would be so proud of you, to see you standing up to me like this-"

"Don't you dare mention her after what you did!" Skye raised her voiced, "Don't you dare speak of her-"

"Why not Skye?" Hale kept her voice level, almost cynical, "She raised you, she taught you to fight, even before the apocalypse. She made you who you are. She lived for you and she-"

"Don't, don't you dare!"

"-and she died for you." Hale took another step forward, "I know how much you would love to avenge her, and I told you we could do it together but you said ‘no.’ You told me ‘no’ because you think you're better than me. Right? Yet, here you are, holding a gun to my head. Seems we're not so different after all-"

"I am nothing like you." Skye spat, "Now, tell me, why is he chained here?"

 

Murphy looked at me, it was almost as if I was watching a scene from a movie in front of me, I'd almost forgotten me and him were here, watching. He raised his head slightly, gesturing for me to come closer. I put his lips to my ear, feeling his warm breath sending shivers down my spine, his voice hoarse as he whispered, "The key and-and my knife, they're-they're on the table," he titled his head to his left, "Over there." I followed his head movement to a wooden round table. I looked at Hale and Skye, still arguing. I had to get over there but I didn't know how.

 

"I'm sorry, Skye." Hale said, bringing my attention back to her, "I know I promised you-"

"Don't." Skye cut her off, "You've been cutting me out-"

"No, you've been cutting me out." Hale said, "You haven't been doing your job, so I had to get those dumb bastards to do it instead. You think I wanted this?" She locked eyes with me, "Clarke, you should know I didn't want to hurt your friend like this, but I had no choice. See, I set Skye here a little task to, Well, to spy on you and-"

"What?" I climbed onto the stage, looking at Skye, "Spy on me? Skye?"

Skye shook her head, "That's not what happened-"

"I told her to get close to you," Hale continued, "Find out your weaknesses, your strengths, see if you could be trusted or not."

Skye shook her head, "No, no, I didn't do that, I said I wanted to train them, that's all." She looked at me, "I promise you, Clarke, I'm not a traitor. I would never-"

 

"Lying isn't fun, Skye. You know I hate liars." Hale said, she looked at me, "You can trust me, Clarke. I never lie. Never. And I can prove it. See, I know so much about you. About your friends and it's all because of Skye."

"I haven't said-"

"Like what?" I challenged, "What do you know?"

Hale smiled, "Everything." She clapped her hands, "Firstly, I know you and your friends were prisoners at Pasadena, California Quarantine. Murphy here was a little firestarter, right? Because his girlfriend was killed-"

"No!" Murphy yelled, shaking chains, "Don't go there, bitch."

Skye looked at me, "You have to believe me, I don't know how she knows that, but I haven't told her shit. I swear Clarke, I wouldn't-"

"Here," Hale cut Skye off, handing out her pistol to me, "Take this, a gift from me to you."

 

I stared at her pistol, all I felt was confusion. I told Skye everything about my people, about Murphy and Emori, about Bellamy, Octavia and Lincoln, about me and my family, about everything. And she seemed trustworthy. But come to think of it, I know nothing about her, but could she really betray us? I was unsure. But regardless, I took the pistol out of Hale's hands and aimed it at her. At Hale. 

 

"Let Murphy go. Tell me why he's chained and let him go."

Hale shook her head, "I can't. Not until your people get here. He needs to pay for what he's done."

"And What is that exactly?"

Hale shrugged, "You'll find out in good time. In the meantime, I can tell you everything I know about you. How Nick's a Heroin addict, how Bellamy got his sister's lover killed, how your own mother got your father killed."

 

My mother got my father killed? Why would Hale say that? I never told Skye that. I told her my father got executed for knowing about the ration shortage and the military abandonment, but I never said my mother was to blame. "How do you know that?" I demanded.

Hale casually said, "Skye, she told me-"

"No, no she didn't because I never told her that. So how did she know? How? Tell me! Tell me!" I cocked the pistol, preparing to shoot when-

 

"Clarke!" A voice yelled from behind. I turned around to see Lexa emerging from the building with Octavia holding a gun to the bleeding head of a girl with brown hair and caramel skin, her nose was dripping with blood and her eye swollen. Octavia released her grip around the girl and shoved her forward into the dirt so she landed at Murphy's feet. The girl landed on her stomach and weakly struggled to lift herself up with a press up. Her brown eyes looked at Murphy's and then mine: Echo.

Chapter Text

Octavia Blake

 

I've been watching for a while now. Ever since we got here, I've been following guards and listening to town folk, trying to figure out all I can about this place but all I've got is dead ends. Until now. Well, last week.

 

I kept replaying it, the night he died. Yes he had a broken leg and yes he 'fell' over a log to see Walkers tear him apart. But there was a bullet to 'put him out of his misery' and I know it didn't come from us or Skye; someone else was there that night and I'm going to find out who.

 

***

 

I pressed my body against the side of the truck near the metal gate. I crouched beside it, peering round the left side of it, watching her. She dressed in a black vest top and black sports leggings, she stood with the passenger door open, using the seat as a desk. Her  brown hair blew slightly in the wind and her caramel hands held the pages delicately. I saw the cut on her cheek and wondered where she'd got it, not that I cared much. 

 

Other guards patrolled the gate and walked around, laughing and joking. But I tuned them out, they weren't important. She was.

 

I looked ahead of me, the back of another truck faced me and this was the same for eight more trucks on the right of me (four in front and four behind in a row.) Directly to my left was the large metal fence, she was out of sight. This was the perfect opportunity. 

 

I stood up, putting my stolen army cap low over my face. I turned to look at her again. She was still reading. I ran up to her, clasping my hand over her mouth and pressing her back into my front and holding my knife over her throat. She remained still, she didn't fight it. I pressed my lips to her ear and hissed, "So, I guess we should've killed you back at the crash, huh?" She remained still and silent, "I think we need a little talk." I threateningly said, "I'm going to remove my hand and if you say a word, I will kill you." 

 

I moved my hand from her mouth and removed my knife from her throat, I took a step back. She turned slowly to face me, I pointed the knife tip at her throat, "We're going to go on a little walk, understand? Somewhere private."

She kept her voice low, "You don't need the knife. I'll do whatever you want."

I held my knife firmly, "The second part, I like. The first?" I let out a cynical laugh, "You think I can trust you? Lexa was right about you."

She remained silent, her arms by her sides. I grabbed her right arm, moving my knife out the way, turning her towards the main building and shoving her forward, "Move."

 

***

 

I shoved her into the main area of our tent and into a chair. I grabbed ropes and tied her arms to the arms of the chair. "This isn't necessary." Echo stated, "I'll tell you anything you want to know."

I stood up, "You would do the same as me in my situation. I mean, you're telling me it's a coincidence you're in the military, we go to some flats, all of our people get slaughtered and yet here you are?"

She remained silent, her eyes stared at the ground.

I leant in close to her face and her eyes met mine, "Whatever happens in here, you brought on yourself. So tell me, how did you survive? Because I have my theories. But, I'll hear what you have to say."

She scowled at me, "Will you believe what I tell you?"

I shrugged, standing upright with my arms folded, "Depends."

"On?"

I threatened, "I ask the questions. Not you."

 

She rolled her eyes at me, fuelling my anger towards her. She said, in a tone similar to Murphy's, "Y'know, it's funny. I thought Lexa was the scary one. What's happened to you? You were a girl, smoking weed and drinking. Joking about Tampons, what changed?"

 

I swallowed. That night seemed a lifetime ago. And truthfully, I don't know what changed. But that's not important right now; finding out why Echo is here, where my friends are and what she knows about this place is the most important thing.

 

"You know nothing about me, Echo." I hissed, "You don't know what I'm capable of. So I suggest you cooperate before you find out."

She titled her head to one side, "I already told you, I'll tell you what you want to know."

My aggression grew in my tone, "I already asked: how did you survive?!"

Echo shook her head, "You don't want to know that. You want to know about your friends, but I can't tell you that because I don't know. I survived because I am one of them. I am from here. And they found me, they found me where you left me and they took me back. I don't know about your friends."

"Liar!" I yelled, "Of course you know!"

She didn't even flinch, "I don't."

"Of course you-"

 

"Octavia!" 

 

I quickly turned around to see Lexa enter the tent, she looked at Echo and at me. "Echo?" She gasped, she then looked back at me, "Octavia, what're you doing?"

I grabbed Lexa's arm and walked us to the back of the tent, I whispered, "She's from here. She killed Monty and I'm going to find out what she knows. I don't trust this place. And I know you don't either."

Lexa examined my eyes and glanced over to Echo before looking back at me, "We have a bigger problem."

My forehead creased, "What? What's happened?"

She leaned in closer, quietly saying, "Its Murphy-"

"Murphy?" Panic started to surge through me, I hate myself for the argument we had and as much as I try and fight it, I can't hide the panic at the thought of hearing him hurt. "What about Murphy?"

Lexa remained calm, "The guards were chasing him and there's a meeting in the town square. We should all go there."

"You get Clarke, I'll handle Echo." I instructed.

Lexa nodded, "I'll tell Clarke and come back here. Echo could be leverage."

I nodded, "Yeah and I'll find out what she knows too."

Lexa nodded, she then left me and Echo alone again.

 

I walked back around to the front of Echo. I kept my tone deadly, "My friend just told me that one of ours has just been taken by the guards to the town square. Why?"

Echo's eyes briefly showed panic, "The town square?"

"Yes." I hissed, "Don't make me repeat myself."

Her eyes locked on mine, her tone quick and fearful, "You need to get them as quick as possible. Nothing good happens there-"

"Answer the question!" I yelled.

Echo's tone was tired, "I don't know."

 

Anger exploded through me and my fist  crashed into her cheek, causing a layer of skin to come off and redness accumulate. Her eyes widened in shock, "What happened to you?"

I took a step back, looking at my fist and her face. I thought back to Sasha, and how she was tortured before they killed her. I felt my chest tightening like the night with Murphy. I felt tears stinging my eyes and all I could do was raise my fist again and smash into her cheek. “What are they doing with him?!” I demanded.

“I don’t-“

“Bullshit!” I yelled, colliding my fist with her cheek again, her skin broke and blood covered my knuckles. She coughed and spat blood. I put my hands on her arms, slightly breathless with rage, “I’ll ask you again. What are they doing with him?”

 

She scowled at me, blood running down her cheek, she remained silent. Part of me wished she looked sad because then I could stop, I could stop falling into the fiery pit of fury inside and I could feel sorry for her. But she’s stubborn and strong, she doesn’t care about pain and she is fearless. I looked to the tent door, willing Lexa to come back, save me from myself. But she wasn’t there. I looked to the table and saw a knife glinting. Could I do this?

 

I grabbed the knife off of the table and held the tip of it to her cheek, “Tell me, what will they do to him?”

She remained calm, “That I can answer. They’ll tie him to a post and whip him or put him in stocks or...” she stopped herself.

I swallowed, knowing the answer, but pushing the blade into her already bleeding cheek, “Or?”

Her head leaned slightly to my left as she tried to relieve pressure from her cheek, “Or, they’ll execute him.”

I took a step back, letting her words sink in and giving her cheek a breather. 

 

Death. 

 

I can’t lose anybody else.

 

“Octavia!” Lexa burst through the tent and took in Echo’s bleeding face and the blood on both my fist and knife. “Time to go.”

Chapter Text

John Murphy

 

"Clarke!" A voice yelled from in front of me. I weakly lifted my head to see Lexa emerging from the building with Octavia holding a gun to the bleeding head of a girl with brown hair and caramel skin, her nose was dripping with blood and her eye swollen. Octavia released her grip around the girl and shoved her forward into the dirt so she landed at My feet. The girl landed on her stomach and weakly struggled to lift herself up with a press up. Echo's eyes met mine as Octavia came storming over, holstering her gun and grabbing her knife before lifting Echo to her knees by her hair and resting her blade against her throat.

 

Octavia looked at me, her eyes widening and I saw something inside her, something that has been missing for awhile now: Fear. Emotion. Sadness. Care.

 

Her green eyes quickly turned to anger as her eyes locked onto Hale, "Murphy for Echo. Unchain him or I slit your precious Spy's throat."

I imagined Hale looking quite shocked at first, but then a grin would form on her face and I heard her heels taking a step forward. 

"Octavia!" Hale clapped her hands, "I've been watching you for awhile, you're quite the fighter. No mercy. I've seen the heads piling up, and I'm glad I chose a dark uniform otherwise you'd look even more terrifying in visibly blood soaked clothes."

Octavia swallowed, but her jaw remained clenched, "I don't see you unchaining him."

I imagined Hale nodding and folding her arms, "True. I mean, if I really believed you'd kill her I would." She paused, "Or maybe I just don't care enough about her."

Echo's eyes were fearless, her face covered in dry blood like mine and by the looks of things, used to being perceived as worthless. And she must be as much of a cockroach like me to survive the flats.

 

There was silence and I could feel the wind blowing through, cold on my open back. Octavia didn't know what to say and I could see her trying to battle something inside her. Would she really kill Echo? The old Octavia wouldn't. But this one? The one who's spent everyday for the past couple months killing dead in the woods and getting lost inside herself? I don't know.

 

I felt everyone looking at Octavia and I could see her bloody hand shaking slightly as she held the knife. 

Lexa spoke, "Why is he here?"

Hale repeated her same old bullshit, "You'll find out soon enough. Things are just getting fun." Hale would gesture to Skye, "Do you want to fill them in, or shall I?"

Clarke spoke before Skye could respond, "Hale says Skye has been spying on us. But now you've found Echo."

Lexa nodded slowly, "Okay."

 

"So," Hale would look back at Octavia, "You going to threaten me with her life again?"

Octavia made eye contact with me and I shook my head at her. She'd already hurt Echo and no life is worth mine. I also don't trust Hale, Echo knows even less about us than Skye. All Echo knows is brief drunken nights with weed and whisky, sex and teenage shit. She was tied in a room alone when with us, she knows nothing. And even if she did, Echo doesn't need to die.

 

Octavia looked back at Hale, "What did he do?"

Hale repeated herself, "You'll find out-"

"What're you going to do with him?"

"You'll find out-"

"Soon enough?" Octavia mocked Hale. "Stop bullshitting me. Answer the questions."

Hale would shake her head, "I don't think I will. I mean, I've seen you in the woods, covering your face in blood. But, you're not as scary in person; you're just a little girl. And we both know, you won't kill her. Killing the living isn't the same as the dead. And I don't think you're capable of it."

Octavia shook her head, a tear of anger in her eye, "You don't know me. You don't know what I am capable of."

"No?" Hale would crease her forehead and then uncrease it, her hands together at her waist, "I think I know you better than yourself. You're not a killer. At least, not in Sasha's eyes, right?"

Octavia flinched, "H-How do you-"

"Know about her?" Hale cut her off, she would shrug, "My spies have told me everything."

Octavia let a tear roll down her cheek.

Hale continued to stab Octavia with words, "From what I've heard, Sasha was a gentle soul, didn't want any violence or anger. She just wanted freedom. Shame, Pike was a racist, homophobe and bigot." She paused and then continued, "Sasha taught you kindness, love, compassion. But lately, I think she'd hate the monster you are-"

"Stop-"

"Killing dead for sport, Torturing Echo - A monster-"

"Stop!" Octavia yelled, her bloody hand shook and Echo breathed in sharp, her face wincing with pain as Octavia lightly pressed the blade into her neck, causing a droplet of blood to dribble out.

"No, Octavia." I told her, "Octavia, look at me!" 

Octavia had tears pouring out her eyes, streaming down her face.

Hale kept talking, "I heard Sasha was put on her knees, like Echo is."

Octavia looked down at her hand on the blade, more tears pouring.

"She had no weapons, couldn't fight back." Hale kept going, "Closed her eyes like Echo's."

Octavia's hand shook.

"Ignore her, look at me." I told her, "Octavia, look at me."

"You're as bad as he is." Hale paused.

I shook my head, "You're not, O. Octavia, don't listen-"

"As bad as Pike."

 

I saw Octavia's fist clench around the knife and she screamed in anger.

"Octavia, don't-"

I stared at her blade, waiting for her to make the final cut, Echo breathed in sharp too, seconds seemed like minutes as Octavia screamed. She screamed as loud as thunder. All of her anger, pain and grief in one scream. A heart wrenching scream. She pulled the knife over Echo's throat, but no blood poured as she swiped the knife across and then threw it into the post, just under my left arm. 

 

Echo sighed in relief as Octavia let her go. She remained knelt, feeling her throat and wiping the droplet of blood away. Her eyes were wide with relief to still be breathing. My eyes met Octavia's, her eyes so lost. How could one girl feel so much pain?

 

 My attention didn't stay on Octavia for long; Bellamy came striding into the town square, Teresa, Tom, Jasper, Nick, Raven, Deke and Alicia following, each of them taking in me, Octavia, Echo, the knife and Hale. From the corner of my eye, Clarke still gripped the gun in her hands.

Bellamy and the others fast walked up to us, Bellamy standing on Octavia's right, looking at her bloody hand and tears, "Octavia?"

She wiped her tears on the back of her bloodstained hand, "I'm fine."

 

"Now, I can tell you." Hale shrilled, "So, First of all, I'm Hale. I run this place. And I think it's time I Answer your question: why is he here?" Her shoes took a step forward, "Skye, release him."

Skye would nod before I saw her on the right of me, waking to the table and grabbing the keys. She crouched beside me, and I looked at her as she undid my cuffs. She was very pretty and I could see why Clarke liked her so much. 

 

My hand dropped to the stage, red from the tight cuffs and seconds passed before my other hand joined it. Clarke came to the left of me and put my right left arm over her shoulders, Bellamy came and took the right of me, they both held me up and walked me off the stage, to turn around and finally see Hale, now stood alone, in all of her bitchy glory. She smiled at me and then went into her pocket, she produced a black lighter with a hand scratched into it and the initials:

JM+EO

 

... My lighter.

 

"Murphy's lighter?" Nick said what we were all thinking, he stood on the far left, after Clarke and Skye, "What has that got to do with anything?"

Hale's smug look faded, she turned cold and serious, "Well, this lighter is the reason half the forest burnt down, the dead rose and five men of mine died, plus Monty."

Skye stepped forward, "But Murphy wasn't even-"

"You're right." I lied, keeping my tone level so she wouldn't tell it was a lie. I looked at Nick, who seemed to look shifty. I didn't blame any of them for the fire, I don't even know how it happened. But I don't want Jasper to feel guilty, and it's best if I just say it's me. This place already thinks I'm the problem, so best keep it that way. "It's my lighter." I looked at the ground, "I'm sorry about your loss."

Hale nodded, still cold, "Well, You've been punished now. But keep this as a warning, to all of you. The fire was an accident, but we have these fences for a reason and you're lucky it's only one of you I'm holding responsible. You stay inside the fence unless told otherwise, or next time, you will face much, much worse. Understand?"

Clarke nodded, "We understand. Crystal clear."

Hale smiled, "Good. Now, I suggest you take him to medical to get treated, wouldn't want him getting an infection, now, would we?" She clapped her hands again and then said, "Right, well, it's been nice meeting you all. I hope we don't meet again, for your sake." Before she turned to walk away, she winked and smiled, "Keep up the good work." Something about the wink seemed like it was aimed at someone and not just generic to all of us. I couldn't tell who it was to, but I know it wasn't either Skye or Echo. Something told me one of our own was the spy.

Chapter Text

Clarke Griffin

 

Candlelight flickered inside the dark tent, the tension could be cut with a knife in here. I sat at the end of the table, Lexa stood on my right, Bellamy and Nick sat on the same side as her. Skye, also stood on my left, Deke and Echo sat with her. Octavia stood by the tent door on my right, looking at her bloodied knuckle and avoiding glancing Murphy's way every time he yelled out in pain from behind me as Teresa washed his back with alcohol and ointment. Thomas also stood with him and held his hand to try and comfort him. Raven sat on a stool on the other side of the tent door and Alicia sat on a crate on my right behind her sister.

 

"You have to listen to me, Clarke," Skye pleaded, "I didn't tell Hale shit-"
"You would say that!" Lexa yelled, slamming her hands on the table, "Only you knew everything about us, it has to be you snitching on us." She then turned to Echo, "Or Maybe it's you and I should've killed you back at that crash."
Echo shook her head, and shrugged, "Maybe."
"Maybe?!" Lexa yelled, "Is that all you have to say for yourself?!"
Echo stared at the candle, "Have you thought it isn't one of us?"
Lexa laughed cynically, "Yeah, Sure. Maybe it's the invisible man telling all of our-"
"Maybe it's one of you." Echo cut her off and for a second the room fell silent.
Lexa shook her head, "You would say that." She then turned to look at Deke, "Or Maybe it's you, Mr quiet over there-"

 

"Deke wouldn't." Raven stated, "He's not like that."
"No?" Lexa challenged, "The Murphy's aren't exactly trustworthy, are they?"
"Fuck you!" Murphy yelled, followed by another ‘fuck’ aimed at the pain in his back, through gritted teeth he continued, "’Murphy's aren't trustworthy.’ If you didn't notice, I just got beat up because of your brother."
Lexa turned to look at Nick, who sat silently twiddling his thumbs, Lexa shook her head looking back at Murphy, "No, this is not Nick's fault. Jasper was always pushing to get out of the fence. He's the bad influence. Getting Nick into drinking again-"
"Stop." Nick said before Lexa cut him off again.
"Where even is Jasper anyway? He's the only one not here. Maybe it's him, maybe he-"
"Stop!" Nick yelled and Lexa met his gaze, "Don't blame Jasper. This isn't his fault, his best friend is dead because," he paused, looking back down at his thumbs, "because of me, okay?"
"Nick-"
"No, Lexa," Nick stopped Lexa from talking, "I took Murphy's lighter, if I didn't, Hale wouldn't have shit on us. But I took the lighter, I started the fire. I didn't mean to, but it happened. And it's my fault Murphy got beat. If you should be blaming or yelling at anyone, it should be me." Nick then pushed his chair back and stood up, turning to the tent door.
"Where are you going?" Lexa demanded.
Nick sighed, "To find Jasper, to fix this mess." He walked out of the tent door, leaving the tension still brewing inside.

 

Lexa turned her attention straight back to Skye, "I still don't trust you. What did you tell Hale?"
Skye defended herself, "I told her nothing. I told her I wanted to train you guys, I told her that I didn't care much about going on patrol anymore because I was focusing on, on Clarke. I haven't told her anything. Maybe Echo's right, maybe it is one of you. Clarke never told me about her dad-"
"Clarke?" Lexa looked at me, "What exactly did Hale say?"
I remained silent and I didn't have to speak, Murphy did it for me, "She said she knew about Me and Emori, she said she knew about Nick's addiction and she said she knew about - Fuck! Teresa!” He cut himself off as Teresa dabbed one of his wounds, she muttered a ‘sorry’ before he continued, “she knew about Sasha,” Octavia flinched at her name, and Bellamy shifted uncomfortably in his seat, “and she knew about Clarke’s dad.” Murphy hissed again in pain and concluded, “She knows everything, all of our weakness, everything.”
“Because You told her!” Lexa snapped at Skye.
Skye grew frustrated, “I know it looks like it’s me, but I didn’t know about Clarke’s dad-“
“It’s not hard to figure that out. I’m sure most of us knew before Clarke even told us, before Abby even told Clarke, I bet she knew.”

 

I bit my tongue, I know Skye looks like the suspect, but I still don’t think it’s her. I think Echo’s right. I think it is someone in this room.

 

“I didn’t tell Hale!” Skye yelled, “It wasn’t me, get that in your head! I love Clarke, I wouldn’t do that!”
I felt my heart leap a little when I heard her say she loved me and our eyes met briefly as she turned to plead to me, “Clarke, you have to believe me, I swear, it wasn’t me.”
I searched her warm brown eyes, begging me to show her I trust her and I do, but if someone in this room is a traitor, I have to keep my cards close to my chest. “Enough.” I firmly said and finally the room fell silent. “I need time to think.” I looked at Lexa, “You want me to lead right?”
She nodded, “Of course I do.”
“Then stop yelling at everyone. Stop yelling at Skye and Deke. We don’t know the traitor or if there even is one. But I need time to think.” I looked at Octavia, who’s eyes were on me and I slightly tilted my head towards Alicia and she followed my gaze, I also made eye contact with Bellamy. I finally laid my eyes on Lexa to tell her, “I want all of you to lease me to think. Bellamy can stay to care for Murphy, but the rest. Leave.”
Lexa’s eyes widened, “Clarke I think we need to discuss this-“
“I order you to leave, Lexa.”
Lexa held my gaze before turning to look at Echo, “What about her?”
I shrugged, “She can stay. Maybe I’ll have my own talk with her.”

 

Lexa still Held my gaze before turning to the others, “You heard her, the Princess wants some space.” She was the first to leave, Alicia tried to leave next and Octavia followed her, hopefully Octavia understood my message. Raven looked at Deke, “You, come with me.” He nodded and followed her out like a lost puppy.
Teresa remained where she was, now wrapping a bandage around Murphy’s torso, I stood up and turned to face her, crouching in front of Murphy, “You should go back to the hospital, I can take care of Murphy.”
Her eyes met mine and she tried to protest, “Clarke, with all due to respect, he is my brother and I am a trained doctor-“
“My Mum was one and she trained me too. I can take care of him. Go, get something to eat or get back to the hospital.”
Teresa begrudgingly agreed, “Fine.” Thomas followed her out too.

 

It was just me, Murphy, Echo and Bellamy, and before long, Octavia and Alicia reappeared, just as I finished wrapping Murphy’s bandage delicately around him.

 

“Why are we here, Clarke?” Octavia asked, her voice gravelly as she resumed her position by the tent door. I stood up from Murphy and turned to face my audience, Bellamy still sat at the table and Alicia grabbed the chair on Bellamy’s right, pulling it to the opposite end of the table to me and sitting down on it.
I looked at them, I knew this decision for the best. Admittedly, Octavia and Murphy are not the most inconspicuous people of our group, but they have skills I need and can get answers I require, same as Echo. And perhaps, this sacred circle can be some kind of team building exercise.

 

I answered Octavia’s question, “You’re here because Echo’s right.” She looked at me, her face as bruised as Murphy’s, “The traitor is one of us. I trust Skye-“
“I do too.” Murphy agreed from behind me, “I saw it in her eyes as she released me, she hates these people as much as us.”
Echo nodded, “I can back that. Skye doesn’t trust these people at all, she only works with them because she has no other option and once you’re in with these people, that’s it. You can’t leave this place.”
Echo’s words sent a chill through my spine and the others felt it too.

Chapter Text

Nick Clark

 

Mud squelched under my boot, rain spat at my face and I tilted my head back to let it. Rain reminds you you’re human, it wakes you from whatever trip you’ve been on and most of all, it washes of any dirt or blood you may have etched into your skin. I love the rain, always have, always will. It’s almost magical, cleansing.

 

I zipped up my hoodie, putting hands in my cozy pockets and walking with my hood up and head down. I breathed in the crisp air of Autumn, summer was officially over and grey clouds circled above. A storm was coming, both inside and outside of the little tent we inhibited.

 

Jasper had been gone a couple hours and I was worried about him, now more than ever. He’s been down... worse than down - numb. 

 

Numb.

 

We all get numb these days, I guess you hang around the dead long enough, you start feeling like it too. Dead. 

 

Jasper can’t sleep since Monty died, I hear him in his section of the tent, his cries, his whimpers. I need to look out for him, now more than ever. I know it’s not strictly my fault, the fire, but my clumsiness certainly didn’t help. I know my sisters and even the group don’t blame me or hold me accountable and Hale is really fucking fucked up - and that’s coming from me. But Hale had a point, I need to take responsibility for my actions and that starts with Jasper.

 

For once, people don’t stare at me as I walk through the market. Nobody can really see my face with my hood up and being invisible feels great for once. That’s what I liked about it, I travelled through the city and I blended in or I hid in some abandoned building and nobody knew where I was and I could just fit in unnoticed. Of course, I was never truly invisible, Mum and Lexa, sometimes Travis would be out, trying to track me down and Alicia would wait up all night at home, unable to sleep. And I hate what I put I them through. I’m selfish. 

 

Jasper isn’t drinking at the bar tent or buying oranges. He isn’t awkwardly talking to the buff Latino with subtle stubble and brown eyes who sells meat. He isn’t by the School gazebo, nobody is; Alicia is in the tent still. He isn’t hanging about in the Farm area. I sigh, looking round the many stalls and still not seeing him. 

 

Stalls stretch out the length of the West Wing, and then a fence separates the main area and the graveyard. Maybe Jasper’s there again. He goes there every day to mourn a crate with Monty’s things inside it. He sits there for hours and hours, unmoving and quiet. But I don’t think he’s there today.

 

I reach the end of the stalls and walk up to the fence, I try and peer through the chicken wire noting the forty-three crosses inside and the two guards that are always on patrol. Jasper isn’t crouched down in the far left corner. 

 

I sigh and turn around, looking back down the stretch of stalls and still not seeing him. I lean my back against the fence and slide down it, feeling the wet gravel under my butt and not caring. I look to my right and see people working in the farms, I hope there’s been enough food harvested to last through winter. Winter will be hard and I don’t even know if I can think about that right now.

 

I look to my left, seeing the West Wing  stretching far back to Shield the courtyard but about halfway down I notice two guys standing and talking. Soldiers. And behind them, I see a girl walking out of the ground. Her pupils are dilated and she has a spring in her step. What is that place?

 

I push myself off of the ground and slip down the side of the West Wing. The girl and my path crossed and she locked her eyes on mine, biting her lip and almost tripping over nothing. She grabbed my arm to steady herself and laughed wildly, “Helloooo Sssttraaaangeeer...” She giggled, her green eyes looking insane, like something I’d never seen before, she wobbled again and I put my arms on her’s to steady her again, “Whoops!” She giggles before letting go of me and stumbling away towards the Market.

 

I looked back at the soldiers, who had noticed me and stood with their arms folded and a glint in their eyes. I sauntered up to them, noticing the  basement doors wide open and hearing the faint sound of Drum & Base and laughter, as well as breathing in the pungent smell of herb.

 

“Newbie, huh?” One the soldiers looked me up and down, “This place isn’t for boys.”

I looked down at the metal stairs, seeing the candle glow and yearning to go down there, “I’m just looking for a friend.”

The soldier who spoke before said, “You’re the first Newbie to even notice this place. We call it the Hideaway. Why don’t you join us?”

I shook my head, drawing my eyes from the basement and looking at them, “I shouldn’t. I just came to see if my friend had come this way, but he clearly hasn’t so I’ll be on my way-“

“What’s he look like?” The first soldier asked.

I explained, “Brown eyes, pasty skin, curly brown hair.”

“Always at the graves?” The first soldier checked.

I nodded, “Yeah.”

The soldier shrugged, “If we see him, we’ll tell you. And if you see him, tell him we know how to cheer him up... cheer you up.” He winked.

I slowly nodded, “Right.” I looked back towards the market place, “I’ll be going now.” I turned my back on them and began walking back to the market place.

“You’ll be back.” The soldier promised me.

 

* * *

 

I still hadn’t found Jasper, so I took off to the only place I could think he could be: the fire.

 

I kept my head down low, one hand over the knife in my belt just in case the dead would appear. They didn’t scare me, the dead. The first time I ever saw one was when I woke up after a trip, I think someone ODed and then turned everybody else - I was the only survivor. After that, Mum and Travis murdered by my dealer in their car and then it was Alicia’s boyfriend.

 

I walked among them, the dead. Covered myself in blood and just walked with them: invisible. I think I like it. Blending in. Not sticking out from the crowd. I think it’s a problem.

 

Leaves had already started to fall and go orange and gold and brown - rotten. Rotten like everything else in this world. And soon, the leaves started to go black from the fire, charred. 

 

I reached the burnt out area and there he was, in the middle of the Black and bloody trees, amongst the burnt corpses and brains: Jasper. 

 

Jasper knelt with his back towards me and I heard his whimpers. One of his hands gripped an object, which he pressed under his chin. It was black and glinted as the light caught it. I froze, my boot snapping a branch under it and making Jasper jump. He turned his head to look at me, his eyes puffy. He got to his feet, the gun pointed at the ground.

 

I put my hands up, “Jasper? What’s going on?” I asked, but I already knew what was going.

He shook his head, “I-I-I don’t know.” He then lifted the gun, pointing it at me but not threateningly, “I think you should leave.”

I shook my head, “No, I’m not leaving you here.”

Jasper’s eyes streamed with tears, “Go, please, Nick. I’m begging you, just go.”

I took a step towards him, being cautious, “You know I can’t do that and You know you don’t have to do this, Jasper. It’s not worth it, trust me.”

He looked down at his gun, down at the blood staining the floor being washed away with the rain, but still clinging to the mud. “He didn’t deserve it. He was pure, he was everything.” He looked up at me, “Why him, Nick?”

I took another step towards him, “Jasper, please, put it down; then we can talk.”

 

He looked back down at the dirt, “It’s all I can see. Every waking moment I just replay it in my head, over and over again. We were sat drinking, just casually. We lit a small fire and then you knocked over a bunch of beer and whoosh. The fire spread to a tree and then Walker’s showed up and they spread the fire further and then more and more and more showed up. Then we got separated, I somehow got in the truck and then he reappeared. They tore at him and he screamed and screamed and screamed until a bullet fired and down he went. Gone. Silent.” He looked up at me, “Why do we get to live and not him? He did nothing wrong.” His voice raised and his hand shook, “I have nothing left, Nick! Nothing! He was everything I have and now I have nothing. I am nothing!” He gelled and he raised the gun to his head, pressing the barrel to his temple.

“Woah! Jasper, don’t do this!” I begged, “We can get through this, Jasper. You’re not-“

“I am alone!” He sobbed, “I have nobody. Clarke has Skye, Murphy has Teresa, Tom and Deke. Bellamy has Octavia. You have your sisters. I have nobody. Not anymore.” He cried, his hand shaking, “And I’m not sure if I deserve this - to live. I’m not strong like the rest of you, I can’t fight. I’m a liability. And it’s not death that scares me.” He paused, “I can’t do it - I won’t do it. I won’t watch anyone else die. I can’t.”

 

I swallowed, watching Jasper breakdown in front of me. “Jasper, please. You’re not alone, okay? You have Tom-“

“Tom?” Jasper half-spat, “Tom would do much better without me-“

“That’s not true-“

“Yes it is.” Jasper cut me off, “He doesn’t need his little brother getting in the way and fucking everything up.” I shook his head, looking down at the floor, “I always fuck everything up.”

“No you don’t.” I said, “Look at me, Jasper.” 

Jasper looked up at me, I’d managed to creep my way and arm’s distance away, “Look, I am the definition of Fuck-Up, okay? And you are not. Just put the gun down, Monty wouldn’t want this.”

“Do you believe in the after-life, Nick?” Jasper asked me, his eyes full of devastation and despair, he didn’t wait for me to answer, “I don’t know if I do. But even nothingness is better than this. I mean, look around, we’re standing in a sea of brains, Nick. How fucked up is that?”

“I know, it’s shit right now,” I said, looking in his eyes, “But there’s still hope. Okay? We can find a way through this and make something better, okay? Just, please, put the gun down, Jasper.”

“Why are you here?” Jasper ignored me, “Why aren’t you with the others?”

“Because I care about you, Jasper. A lot, which is why I need you to put the gun down. I can’t lose you, Jasper.” I told him, “We can get through this. Just please, put the gun down. If not for yourself, for me.”

His forehead creased, “For you?”

I nodded, “For me. For Monty. For your brother. Please.”

Jasper squeezed his eyes shut and I felt the vomit rise in my mouth, seconds felt like minutes as I watched his finger twitch on the trigger but to my relief, his arm dropped and he collapsed into my arms, I fell to the floor with him, mud soaking our knees and his tears soaking my shirt. I delicately took the gun from his hand before he threw his arms around me and hung onto me for what felt like dear life. He felt fragile in my arms and I knew I would never be able to let him go.

 

Chapter Text

Nick Clark

 

Cold took my breath away and rain soaked me to my core; it was safe to say the military rain macs did not provide sufficient warmth with just the black t-shirt, but I had to give my hoodie to Jasper, who was even more cold than me.

 

I peered into the compound from outside the barb wire fence, checking to see if any torches would light us up on patrol. Dark had come, rain poured and Jasper was still broken. We spent hours sat in the woods, Jasper leaning with his back against the tree, crying and crying and crying. I crouched beside him, his head on my shoulder and his gun in my hand. I had to find a way to fix this... fix him...

 

"I can't." Jasper croaked from behind me, we agreed to go back to the tent and sleep, sleep was the safest thing for him and I could keep an eye on him and tell Bellamy to look out for him. "I can't, Nick, I thought I could but I can't."

I swallowed, looking through the broken chicken wire, a hand leaning against it and my eyes detecting no nearby torches or guards or citizens. "Jasper, you can't stay out here all night, you'll freeze."

 

Jasper presumably looked at the floor, "Nick, I can't go back there. Not yet."

I turned around to look at him, and as I predicted he looked at the floor, he wiped rain off of his nose and continued, "I can't sleep and I know you said you'd stay with me till I did, but I know I won't. And even if I do sleep, all I see is..." he trailed off and then looked up at me, his eyes still puffy and wet, But most devastatingly: Numb. "All I see is Monty. I can't go back, Nick. Not yet, not tonight."

I shrugged, "So where then?"

Jasper turned his body back to the forest, "There's a cave, not far from here. We could spend the night there, I'm sure there's a blanket in there and it's by a river so we have water if we get thirsty."

I turned back around, peering through the wire, "It's too dangerous, you know that."

Jasper sighed in frustration, "You tell me not to pull that trigger and for what? All we do is survive. What's the point? We're not even living, we're just barely getting by. We may as well be dead, at least we can do whatever the hell we want."

 

I sighed myself, feeling the weight of Jasper's words. Feeling his words echo in my own mind. 

 

I looked out to the tents and spotted a body laid outside of one, passed out and I'm sure her snores reaches me. I saw her red hair sticking to her sleeping face and that's when I remembered.

 

"You're right." I said, turning to look at him, "But I'm going to show you how to live."

He looked at me exasperated, "How?"

I smiled a big smile, "The only way I know how. Do you trust me?"

He looked at me for a second before concluding, "I guess."

"Good." I smiled, "Follow me."

 

* * *

 

Air filled our lungs and adrenaline ran through our veins as we used the brick wall of the side of the West Wing to support us, struggling to catch our breaths and completely soaked with rain. 

 

"If this is living," Jasper panted, resting his palms on his knees and bent over as he struggled to catch his breath, "I'm not sure I can do it."

I walked down the side of the building saying, "We didn't get caught and doesn't it feel good? Adrenaline, it takes your breath away and makes you feel naturally high."

I bent down and put my hands on the metal handles of the hatch, leading to the place the Guards promised me I'd end up.

 

Jasper stood with his hands on his hips, I saw a spark lighting in his brown eyes, "They almost caught us, Nick!"

I shrugged, lifting up one side of the basement doors.

Jasper wiped his nose and let his arms dangle by his sides, "What's down there, anyway?"

I opened the second door, hearing the faint sound of Drum & Base vibrating towards us, I grinned at him, "I don't know, but I think we'll like it."

 

I looked down the hatch, a ladder descended into a dark corridor with candle light flickering at the end of it. I looked up at Jasper, "You first."

He looked at me and then down below, swallowing, he looked a little nervous but he rubbed his hands and said, "See You on the other side." Before lowering himself down the ladder and into the darkness. I followed, shutting the metal doors above us.

 

I reached the bottom and Jasper stood, staring into the light behind me and I turned to join him, drinking it all in: drunken soldiers and citizens sat around round tables on barrels with mugs of beer and moonshine in front of them. Tables covered in spilt booze, roll ups and various powders. Music blazed and it felt like a familiar scene of a club/pub before the Apocalypse broke out. And straight ahead, smiling at me, stood the guard from this afternoon, cleaning a mug out with his cloth behind a bar.

 

I patted Jasper on the shoulder and walked past him, walking up to the bar.

In the candlelight, the soldier had a scar across his left cheek, his hair almost gone and black stubble covered wrinkles on his face, "Told yer you'd be back." He smugly said, he then pointed to Jasper behind me, "Brought a friend too."

I nodded, feeling at home, "Yeah, so what do you have for us?"

He chuckled, "Straight to the point, a man after my own heart." He gestured to the first barrel behind him, "We got a dark, bitter ale," he pointed to the next barrel, "A mead, a wine if you will," the third and final barrel he grinned a large grin, "And we got Moonshine, but it's not for the faint hearted."

I shook my head, "That's nice and all, but you know that's not what I'm asking."

He nodded and then placed a hand on a shelf under the bar, he placed a glass jar on the table, the liquid inside was dark and I saw something floating around. Jasper came and stood next to me, "What the hell's that?"

The guard-turned-barman has a glint in his eye, "Adrenal." He stated proudly.

I asked exactly what he wanted me to, "What's it do?"

He explained, smugly, "The greatest trip of your life. It can turn the most pathetic and lowest person into a hero. Gives you the power to lift cars, throw boulders and maybe even fly... or at the very least, makes you feel like you can. It takes all your worries and makes you forget them. You haven't lived till you've had this."

I nodded slowly, before asking, "How much?"

"Nick!" Jasper protested, he put a hand on my shoulder and leaned close to my ear, "You sure you should be doing this? What about Lexa? Alicia?-"

"It's fine, JJ," I told him, retuning a hand on his shoulder and giving him a little shake before placing both my hands back on the bar, "How much?"

The barman shrugged, "Usually, ten ration tokens, but for you..." he looked me up and down, "Free."

I nodded, thinking for awhile, "The catch?"

He held his hands out, "No catch-"

"The type of shit where it's one hit and I'm forever yours?"

He shook his head, "No, not at all. Since I saw you, I could tell you were something special. And your friend looks like he's had a rough day, call it 'charity' - I could use some good karma and you could use a good time."

 

I turned my back to the bar, scanning the room, seeing all of the people off their tits and just enjoying themselves like it was the last night of the world. 

 

“Fine.” I said, Turning back around, “We’ll take three.”

“Three?” The Barman asked.

I nodded, “We have a friend waiting upstairs, I saw him following us. He needs cheering up too.”

The barman nodded, opening the jar, “Three it is.” The jar opened with a pop and he pulled out three squidgy pieces of “adrenal” wrapping them in a rag and handing them me, He then pulled out three black beaded bracelets with a red bead in the middle and handed them towards us.

I raised an eyebrow, “Friendship bracelets?”

The barman nodded, “So you can use the front door. Wear this and show it to the person on reception and they’ll lead you through.”

I put one of the bracelets on, “I’ll be back, right?”

He nodded.

Chapter Text

Nick Clark

 

I emerged from the hatch, rain dripping down my face. I felt it soaking into every pore on my face, sliding down stubble and soaking through my shirt. It was cold. Cold and exhilarating, whatever I had taken was already taking effect. Each footstep onto gravel seemed to be in slow motion, my heart raced inside my chest and my eyesight seemed sharper than ever as I saw Murphy leaning against the wall.

 

Smoke, even in the dark, I saw his grey clouds of smoke floating into the air. I swear I could see every fibre and crack in his leather jacket as I approached him. He turned to look at me and in the golden street lights, his blue eyes swirled like an ocean. I held out the extra Adrenal to him, "Here." I said, my voice sounding strange to me, blurred. Can a sound be blurred? I dunno.

 

"What-what isss-it it?" I know he didn't stutter, but his voice swirled in my ears as he pointed a pasty finger at the squishy thing in a cloth in my hands. I truly noticed the dirt and grime under our nails and wondered if we'd ever see Soap again. Mmmm. A reminder of the potent smell of Lavender spring to mind and I swore for a second I could feel it in my nostrils, but no lavender could be present. The mind is a wonderful thing!

 

I smiled, sure I could see light bouncing off of my teeth, "Try it."

Jasper stumbled into me, looking up at the sky and I joined him too. Stars burned the darkness, Thousands of them! Like eyes, watching us. Always watching. Do peepers peep? Do stars see? Floating by, in the sky? Stars always watch, even hidden behind clouds. Stars are everywhere. Eyes are everywhere. Peepers peep and eyes peel. I feel the eyes watching, judging but I scream at them. Tonight I dance for stars not saints. Satan can carry me tonight for God doesn't exist. No more. I am more. Peepers peep.

 

Warm hand burns cloth of my shirt, I see hand lead to pasty fellow, his lips curled in a grin and I see him shake his head as droplets of water soak it. Do his peepers peep? "What-what issss it-it-it?" He repeats, his words like honey and I wonder why he is deemed trouble when the blue in his eyes is like the sky. Sky is the heavens. Heavens do judge not be judged. So why do those monsters judge him? 

 

I shrug, and Jasper answers, "It's AMAZING!" He hoots and cheers, he spins around, arms out like wings and I wonder if he can fly. He almost did. 

Murphy laughs like a Cackle of thunder above and lighting sparks Up the sky, do the fairies approve of us? I do not care! I am free like a bird tonight. Murphy shakes his head, "N-no thank you. I'll take a beer."

 

I hand him a bottle, our hands connected now on the cold glass, the brown glass, filled with ale. Sweet, sweet ale. My hand drops and the other with cloth, pockets the cloth and away we go. Legs run on instinct, not my control. Puddles splish, splash, splosh under muddied boots as I race through the deserted marketplace, feeling wind through my hair and even more rain on my shirt. Jasper flies next to me, and we smile, smile brighter than stars and I hear Murphy close behind us.

 

* * * 

 

Leaves crunch loud under boots. It already felt I’d been flying through the woods for miles and miles but my lungs felt they could go for fifty more. Darkness surrounded me and I realised Jasper’s giggles were not as close as expected, Murphy did not follow us to the forest, he got distracted by a bright flame and a bed. 

 

Although neither Jasper nor Murphy were not in eye distance, I knew I wasn’t truly alone. For one, the peepers, the fairies, the eyes all looked down on me. And for two, a hag yearned for me.

 

A grin lit up my face as I turned back to see a stumbling hag reaching towards me, blood dripping from its missing arm, teeth snapping like a crocodile. I felt like ten armies of men. No fear. One quick look at the stars and I yell: “Do you Fear Me?!” I bend down, clasping bark in my hands, before charging into the hag and digging the branch deep into its brain, its remaining arm rested on mine as it slowly fell down, blood covering me. I tilted my head back, looking at the eyes above and removing the branch from the hag’s brain. I howled. I howled at the moon in celebration. I am invincible.

 

I stepped back and spun round and round and round. Rain soaked me through and I didn’t care. I stuck my tongue out, catching raindrops on my tongue, feeling the water revitalise me from deep within. I felt free. Alive. Fearful no more.

 

“N-i-ick.” Words swirled from behind and I turned to see Jasper stumbling towards me, I caught him in my arms and tilted my head back up to the stars, stepping away and throwing my arms out again, “Don’t you feel alive?”

I looked at him, without moving a single limb and I watched him copy me, he howled too. I joined him again.

 

“N-i-ck!” Jasper suddenly yelled, panicked and I turned to see what he faced: ten, twenty walkers all headed this way.

I smiled huge, “Fear not, we have a gift!”

He looked at me confused. I walked up to the hag, rubbing my hands in her blood and wiping it on my shirt and clothes. I held out a hand to him, “Do you trust me?”

Jasper stared at the horde and then back at me, he nodded and came to join me, his fear had gone too.

 

We covered ourselves and stood up. I walked towards them, no fear, no fear. 

 

I stood among them. Jasper stood next to me. We stood together. I through an arm over his shoulder as the walkers walked by. We were invisible.

Chapter Text

Nick Clark

 

I wake shirtless, Jasper laid on my chest, breathing in and out. My head pounds and the sunlight seeping through the tent material slightly burns my eyes. It’s been too long since I last had a hangover, and I’m grateful for the pain and the normality. I am not grateful for the voice in my head telling me to go back to the basement. The doubt and guilt starts to creep in, all the voices in my mind call out across the lands. They tell me to use again. They tell me I’m no better than the chemicals in my veins. They tell me I’m a disappointment. I look at Jasper and I know the voices in his mind, echo mine.

 

Shit. 

 

I sigh. Before the apocalypse, I guess you could say my life was ‘easy’ - I had a caring mother, two smart little sisters, a roof over my head, food on the table and clean clothes at my disposal. Sure, my father was a selfish, depressed asshole and sure he killed himself - but my life was pretty ‘easy’ compared to the apocalypse. But I was never filled and instead of a warm house, I chose the cold streets and scruffy couches. Instead of hot food, I chose adult candy. Rehab. How many times did I stay there? How many times did I promise to quit?

 

I meant it. I swear it. I did. Every time I looked at my mum’s crying eyes and Lexa’s scowl, every time Alicia remained silent, expressionless as she sketched in a notepad. I didn’t mean to hurt them. And I know it’s all my fault because I kept giving in. I guess after last night, I still am giving in.

 

The apocalypse feels easier.

 

Strange, right? But it’s like when we were out there, scavenging for food and running for our lives, when we were killing or walking amongst the dead, it was so much fucking easier. The voices were gone. My mind filled with surviving and nothing else.

 

Most of our group are thankful for this place, for the peace and quiet of the military camp. I’m not. There’s nothing to do, nothing. I have no purpose or distraction. I thought I could help Jasper, but I dragged him down my rabbit hole and I can‘t say I won’t go back there but I know I will. And I know it’s all fucking bullshit. My words mean nothing. I have control over my actions and I should just man-up, but I can’t.

 

* * *

 

My hand slammed on the bar, “Where did you get it?” I demanded, but kept my voice low.

The barman looked at me, “Want more already?”

I shook my head, “You’ll need somebody to get your supply, I can help with that.” I smiled at him, a sparkle in my eye and I hoped he’d take it.

He looked at me, cleaning out a tankard with a scraggy cloth, “And how much would that cost me?”

I shrugged, “I get to take two every night. In return, I’ll get you ten.”

He looked me up and down and then laughed, “I struggle to get four. That’d be half of my profits!”

I reiterated, “I’ll get you ten.”

He shook his head, putting the tankard on the bar, “I knew you were crazy, but stupid? I had better hopes for you.”

 

I sighed, turning away from him and scanning the desolate basement, I need this job. I need a purpose. I looked back at him, “I’ll get you ten and I take two. That leaves you right, double your profits, plus I’ll give you my ration points for one of them I take.” I raised an eyebrow, “What have you got to lose?”

He rested his hands on the bar, his voice low as he said, “You could die over this. If Hale catches you, you’re dead. You don’t even know what you’re looking for.”

I shrugged, “Hale won’t know, trust me. And show me what it is and I’ll get it.”

He sighed and pulled out a sheet of paper from his pocket, he unfolded it and revealed a sketch of a brain with an arrow pointed to a section saying ‘Adrenal Gland’ - I guess it was something to do with the dead. “Still want two?” He asked me, seeing if I was disgusted or not.

I sighed, “You do pills?”

He nodded, “Yes, I have an expensive stash. For every ten adrenal glands, I’ll give you two. Okay?”

I nodded, “Okay.”

 

* * *

 

Head rolled into leaf pile, blood splatters everywhere and Octavia looked at me, blood splatters on her face and her hair tied back. “Why you here, Nick?”

I bent down to the decapitated body, putting my hands in the blood spouting from the neck and coating my face in it, I’d put on the shirt I wore last night so no other clothes would get ruined for this.

 

I looked up at her, “I got a job.”

She raised an eyebrow, “What sort of job?”

I shook my head, looking at the walker head snapping its teeth at me, “The less you know the better.” I looked back up at her, “Just need ten dead and the fresher they’ve turned, the better.”

She eyed me suspiciously, “Right.” She then looked and pointed North-East of the compound, “Loads of them seek to pile around this tunnel thing a few miles that way, takes about an hour to walk there, but you’ll definitely get your ten.” She then added, “But, Nick, just don’t get in my way. The sword just cuts.”

I nodded, “Noted.”

 

* * *

 

I pulled my knife out of the walker head in front of me, it’s back pressed against the tree and the life officially leaving its eyes. A head rolled next to my right ankle and I looked up to see Octavia panting slightly as she just put the fifth walker in a row out of its misery. She was right, this tunnel was walker central, they just kept pouring out and it’s clear Octavia had been visiting this place frequently as many more walkers littered the floor underneath us.

 

He stepped back from the dying walker and looked at her, “Why do you do this?”

She looked at me and smiled, between pants she said, “The less you know, the better.”

I smiled, “Touché.”

 

She then bent down and cut open the skull of the walker she’d just axed, she yanked out the brain and cut off the bit I needed, with blood soaking her hands, regardless of her fingerless gloves, she handed out the squidgy brain piece and said, “Here’s number ten, Nicky-boy. I think we deserve a drink.”

Chapter Text

John Murphy

 

I pull on jeans quickly, being careful not to make a sound as she lies there quietly. Her chest moves up and down and light snores come out her mouth. Shit. I don't even know her name. Her curly brown hair covered her face and back, her caramel skin laid exposed with a sheet covering her from the city down. Her spine was defined and she was quite slim, I wondered if she was eating enough. But I didn't care to ask because I wouldn't see her again. I hate myself for it. All I do is join Nick and Jasper on their nights out and although I don't do the pills, I get faded in different girls hoping that for a second the pleasure will out weigh the pain and it does. But literally for a second because as I stand here, buckling my belt hastily and grabbing my shirt delicately, my stomach churns and guilt swarms me, like a thousand bees stinging me. I whisper into the darkness, "Sorry." I tie my boots and I creep out into the darkness like the cockroach I am.

 

I pull my hood up as the rain pours down, all it does is rain and for the first time in awhile I notice how cold it's getting. These past few weeks have been a blur with booze and lazy shags. I've been so concerned with not feeling, I've forgotten the world around me and most importantly, my job. I'd forgotten all about Clarke and what she'd asked of me, I haven't even spoke to anyone besides Nick and Jasper and of course the countless girls I cannot remember.

 

"Scurrying away?" A voice said from the shadows and I jumped out of my skin as I froze in between the rows of tents, moonlight behind me and my hood up sheltering from rain, hands trying to keep warm in pockets. I looked to the voice on my left, and saw an acquaintance standing there. She folded her arms and looked me up and down, criticising, "I think you just broke a record, five girls in one week? Damn, aren't you the man?"

"Spying again, Echo?" I cut her off, my tone level and casually sarcastic.

She smiled, showing teeth in the darkness and pulled down her black hood, showing her locks of brown hair, "Not so much spying but making sure you don't get in trouble again."

I raised an eyebrow, "The spy has a heart?"

She shook her head, "No, just concerned for my own well being." She ran a finger across her cheek, "Don't want your girlfriend to cut me again."

I sighed, "Octavia's not my girlfriend."

Her turn to raise an eyebrow, "No?"

I rolled my eyes, "You already know and if you don't, you're a shit spy."

 

She suddenly grabbed me, pulling me down to the ground of the tents, I opened my eyes alert, seeing a torch shine from behind us. She put a hand over my mouth and her face turned serious as she watched the torches flash by. I couldn't help but watch her brown eyes too and by looking at her, with her brown skin and brown eyes and her dark brown, which was wavy and free but had a singular plait at the front - I couldn't help my heart leaping as she reminded me of her. She's not Emori. I had to remind myself of that. But the feeling of familiarity was strong. Us. Sneaking around together like me and Emori did. Both of us had scars on our faces and both of us the known Delinquents of the camp. It felt right to be with her in this moment.

 

The torch and guard walked passed us without detecting our presence and Echo removed her hand from my mouth. I whispered, "I can be quiet, y'know."

She rolled her eyes, "I'll believe it when I see it, better safe than sorry." We remained crouched as she scanned the area, concerned, "We need to go home. I'll walk you to your tent."

She said the words but neither of us moved instead our eyes met and I saw her chew her cheek as she thought carefully, as if she wanted to say something else.

 

"I'm not proud." I stated.

Her brow furrowed, "What?"

I looked at the floor, "Five girls in just one week, I'm not proud."

Her tone was sarcastic back, "Really? I thought that'd be some achievement in boy-land."

I ignored her remark, "I'm just lonely. And I know it's a shit excuse, but I'm tired. I just want the grief to go away. Octavia doesn't want me, that's pretty clear. This place doesn't trust me and I'm pretty sure Lexa is planning to kill me. So I'm just fucked." I shrugged.

Echo scanned my eyes and then finally said, "I'm fucked too. We're both fucked."

 

Seconds passed of silence between us, we stayed crouched in between two tents. Our knees touched. She kept looking in my eyes and I held onto hers. I had an urge, and not just out of loneliness, to be close to her. She was different from the others. She felt familiar and like she understood and I know we don't know much about each other but I want to know her.

 

"We should go." Echo broke the silence, her voice a whisper as she looked away from me.

"I can't." I looked down at my boots, the rain making them shiny and washing the mud on them away, "I can't go back there. I hate it. Jasper and Nick share a bunk, Tom snores and Bellamy - Bellamy's just an ass."

I looked up at Echo, her brow furrowed as she thought, "Then let's not go to your tent, let's go to mine."

 

* * *

 

We reached her tent, rain soaking us and adrenaline pumping through our veins as we snook passed guards, hearts in our mouths. Her tent was small, she had a table and a cabinet and one other room where blankets and pillows covered it. Echo went straight to her table and lit a candle, it smelt like pine and cinnamon.

 

"Scented candles?" I said, rain dripping from me as I stood in front of the zipped up door.

Echo turned to look at me, rain soaking her too. She took off her jacket and her vest top underneath still clung to her skin. Her hair was even more frizzy and I hated to admit but she looked even hotter in the candle light with her clothes clinging to her.

 

Echo nodded, her voice in her usual honeyed tone, "Yes, I found it on one of the trips out. I have a collection going."

I nodded, "Smells nice."

She folded her arms, "Thanks." It seemed not awkward but tense, as though we both had feelings but didn't know how to express them.

 

Echo sighed, "I have spare blankets, I can make you a place to sleep on the floor. Unfortunately, I don't have spare clothes, but I have a fire pit to dry them on."

I smiled, "Thanks."

Echo walked to the corner on the right of me, bending down and throwing logs into a metal fire pit, she lit it with a match and put a fireguard over the top of it. Above the fire pit, I noticed a piece of string tied on the right leg of the post to the door way. 

 

She took off her top in front of me and I swallowed, she had a perfectly carved body with curves and muscle. Her boobs were covered by a lacy black bra and were medium sized, on her stomach she had a scar and faint bruising from Octavia's kicks. She hung the top on the line and kicked off her boots and then pulled down her jeans. I looked away from her, feeling like I was intruding.

 

"You don't have to look away, Murphy, we're all grown ups here."

I looked back up at her, she stood in her underwear and I couldn't help but look her up and down. I wanted her. And not just as some cheap one night stand. I felt comfortable with her, like we came from the same tree.

 

She walked up to me and put her hands under my shirt, lifting it off. She turned me around, I felt her fingers hovering over my scars, they were healed, all scabs had fallen off, but they were still very red. They didn't hurt though. Not anymore. "I'm sorry." She mumbled.

I kept my voice low like hers, "It wasn't your fault." I turned back around to see her and lifted my hand to caress her cheek, "I'm sorry for that."

She smiled, "It wasn't your fault." She lifted her hand to hold mine, we were the eye level. I wasn't sure if it was the booze still in my system or the power of  her candle or the warmth of the fire, but something came over me and her. I wasn't even sure who instigated it.

 

Our lips collided. Her hands on my chest and mine on hers. Her hands undid my belt. Her hands pulled down my jeans. Her hands touched my skin and mine touched hers. Our lips and bodies clung on to each other. We set a fire in the room.

Chapter Text

John Murphy

 

Sunlight kissed my skin as it slipped through the holes of the tent material. I lifted a hand to my eye and rubbed it as I felt a weight on my other. Hands wrapped around my bicep and a leg sprawled across my body. Blankets laid underneath me but no mattress or pillow with them. My head hurt from the hangover settling in, but there was a sense of calm and safety inside of me. I felt peaceful for the first time in awhile. 

 

I slowly peeled open my eyes, taking in the red and yellow striped tent material, formed into a point by a wooden pole at the foot of my feet. I saw caramel hands holding my bicep and looked at the sleeping face. The scar on the cheek and the angry eyebrows were restful. Light snores came out of plump lips and I watched her bare chest move up and down, hidden by a brown fur blanket. Echo. Her hair spread all over her face and my chest. I moved a delicate finger of my free right hand to her face and tucked her wavy brown hair behind her ear. Is it wrong for me to wish we could stay here? I know nothing about Echo, nothing. But for some reason, I want to know her. She seems like she gets me. 

 

A lone wolf. 

A survivor.

An outcast. 

 

I placed my right hand on one of hers and her fingers flexed underneath it. Her forehead creased and her eyes moved. She lifted her hand, which was wrapped around my arm, to her nose and rubbed it with her knuckle. I could watch her all day.

 

But I can't.

 

And neither can Echo.

 

She rubbed her eyes and turned onto her back, blinking at the sunlight. She moved her hand under mine and placed it on her forehead, "Did we drink a lot last night?" She mumbled, her voice even cuter when it was filled with sleep.

I looked at the floor around us, "We didn't drink anything in here."

She nodded. Remaining silent.

I felt nerves starting to tug at me. I changed all emotion into slight sarcasm, "So, um, last night was pretty good. Most girls can't resist my charm, but unfortunately it always seems to be a one night thing, unless I can persuade you otherwise?"

Echo looked at me, "Morning sex is for lovers, Murphy. And we don't have any protection."

Her arm still linked around my left, so with my right, I raked it through my hair, feeling my heart starting to ache, "Right. But that's not what I meant-"

"Then what do you mean?" She asked, unravelling her arm from mine and turning on her stomach, propping herself up on her elbows and looking me in the eye.

 

I shrugged, avoiding her eyes, "Just, I don't know. Last night seemed different-"

"I mean you got two shags in one night, pretty remarkable." Echo cut me off, her voice like honey in my ear despite the teasing. She always spoke in a serious tone, making it hard to see if she was joking or not.

 

"Yeah." I sighed, "Echo, why are we here?"

She shrugged, "Because you didn't want to go back to your tent."

I rolled my eyes, "I hate that you're like me."

Her forehead creased, "What do you mean?"

I laughed, "A sarcastic asshole, Echo."

Echo remained silent. Still watching me. Unmoving. "I wanted to thank you." Echo sincerely said, "Getting you into my bed wasn't part of the plan but shit happens and I guess I couldn't 'resist your charm' as you put it." She paused and then added, "And I'm not sarcastic either, John-"

"John?" My brow creased.

She nodded, "That is your name. I know that only close friends and family call you that, but I'd say we're pretty close now."

I looked at us, both nude and nodded, "Fair point." I then looked back up at the tent roof, "So... are we remaining 'close'?"

Echo looked at me, "I'm not going to fuck you around like Octavia. But this doesn't mean we're lovers either, John. I know things about you and you know nothing about me. But this world is short and we both have drawn short straws in life and been through the shitter. But it's up to you. If we try... dating? Then no more five girls in one week."

"That's not me." I quickly interjected, feeling panicked, "I don't usually sleep around, even before the world turned to shit, I never did that. I don't know what's gotten into me! I just, I just feel so lonely. And I'm sick of trying. Sometimes, sometimes I think I deserve it, all the shit."

Echo sighed, "Stop, John. You don't need to explain yourself to me or put yourself down. We've all done bad shit, doesn't mean we don't deserve second chance. The world is still your for the taking. Just decide." She then pushed herself up, leaving the blanket behind as she walked towards the washing line, butt naked. "I've got things to do, but you know where I am when you decide."

 

* * *

 

I sat in my tent, the sun had set yet again. Nick and Jasper were already drunk and sharing spliffs as the danced around the tent, laughing and joking about some shit. I tied my boots, Echo's offer had been playing on my mind all day. I couldn't keep hanging around with Nick and Jasper, what they're doing is going to blow up in their faces and I don't want to face Lexa's wrath. And besides, I'm tired of strangers. I want love. And I think Emori would be happy for me to take it. If it was her, I'd want her to feel it again. Life is too short to be lonely and bitter, I know that now.

 

Of course, happiness is fickle and easily short-lived.

 

The tent door flew open, Octavia the force behind it. Her arms were folded and her eyes met mine, Jasper and Nick fell silent as they stared at her. "I decided to join you guys tonight, that a problem?" She demanded, her tone sharp as always.

Nick slurred, "Courrssee nottt. The mmore, The mmerrrierer."

Octavia nodded, "Good." She then marched up to the seat opposite me, scraping it back and sitting down.

 

"What are you doing?" Jasper asked her.

She shrugged, "Isn't this what you do? Drink and get high in here?"

Nick and Jasper shared a glance. Nick then slid into the seat next to me, "Yeah, yeah. Where else would we go." He laughed. Jasper sat in the seat opposite him.

Octavia looked around, "Where's Tom and Bellamy?"

Nick answered again, "Bellamy and Tom have been spending time with Deke. Military shit."

Octavia nodded, "Right." She then grabbed a bottle from the middle of the table, she opened the bottle with her hands and said, "Shall we play a game?"

Nick shrugged, "What do you have in mind?"

Her eyes burned into mine, "Never have I ever."

Chapter Text

Octavia Blake

 

I grabbed a bottle from the middle of the table, I opened the bottle with my bare hands, feeling the cold metal cap dog into my palm as I did so, and challenged, "Shall we play a game?"

Nick shrugged, "What do you have in mind?"

My eyes locked onto Murphy's like he was prey and my words were the hidden blade inside my sleeve, "Never have I ever."

Murphy sighed and pushed his palm on the table as he slid back his seat and stood up, "Sounds fun, but I think I'm gonna go take a long walk instead-"

"What's the matter, Murphy?" I bitterly said, "It's been awhile since we hung out like we used to and I've noticed the way you've been watching me lately, in fact," I pointed to Nick, "Nicky-boy, here was telling me the other day just how much you miss me."

Murphy looked at Nick, Nick shrugged, "Me and O have been... working together and it's pretty obvious you miss her, man."

Murphy sighed again, looking between us both saying, "I don't care, maybe I just don't wanna play a game for twelve year olds-"

"Afraid?" I challenged him, arching an eyebrow, my voice still bitter. I was so ANGRY at him. And I'll make him pay.

He looked at me, perplexed, "Afraid? Of what exactly? Some game designed for kids? Wow, I'm really afraid of drinking to most things. Sex, check. Murder, check. Stealing, check. Not much we haven't done, is there?"

I took a sip of my beer, my fury deepening at his smart-arse tone. "I'll start if you can't think of any."

Murphy shook his head and sat down in defeat, "Fine, I'll play your stupid game."

 

I looked around the room, speaking as if I hadn't planned every second of this scenario, "Never Have I Ever..." I paused, "Hmmm, let me think." I taunted, locking my eyes again on Murphy, "Hmmm, what haven't we done?"

Murphy shook his head, he was become more and more pissed off and I was glad. He could see that I was getting at him, but he was unsure why. How can he be so unsure? How can he act like everything is normal and fine after what he did? I'll show him.

I pointed at him, "I know what I haven't done, Murphy."

"Oh do tell, the suspense is killing me." He sarcastically retorted like the little shit he is.

"Slept with the enemy." I bitterly stated.

 

Jasper shifted uncomfortably at the side of me.

Nick leant back in his chair, one wrapped wrapped around his beer as he watched us intently, both of them thinking of the girls he'd slept with for the past few weeks, but I don't care about them. They aren't the issue. I'm not that petty.

 

Murphy's brow furrowed and he shook his head, "You're off your head."

I'm off of my head? The cheek of him! My nostrils flared, "I think you'll find you are the one off of your head. I know there's the whole saying keep your friends close and your enemies closer but that's taking it too far." I took a mouthful of beer and slammed the bottle on the table as he leant back in his chair, hands on his lap and eyes avoiding mine. "How could you?" He didn't answer, I slammed my hand on the table and stood up, leaning towards him, "How could you? Of all the fucking people, why her? After what she did to us? After all the shit she's put us through? Why?"

"Because I'm tired, Octavia!" He yelled back, his body lurching forwards as he yelled. He sunk back into his seat, "I'm tired of this, of us. All you do is push and you push and you push and I'm pulling away from you. I give and I give and I give and you take. I can't do it anymore. I won't."

 

I stared at him, feeling tears in my eyes as I looked at him, sad and defeated and realising it's because of me. But love is weakness and I hate what he's doing to me. Making me want him. I can't have him. I love him and he'll die. Why doesn't he get it? And if he means what he says, then why her?!

 

Jasper scraped his seat back slightly and looked at him, "Stay."

Jasper shifted uncomfortably like a deer in headlights, "I think you two need to-"

"Stay!" I demanded.

"No, Octavia!" Murphy scolded, "If they want to leave, let them. You're not in charge."

I didn't look back at him. I couldn't. Instead I watched Jasper rise from his seat, followed by the sound of Nick doing the same and I watched him disappear from view and heard the sound of the tent door zipping up behind them as they left.

 

"So, you didn't miss me at all, then?" Murphy said tiredly.

I looked at him and stood up straight, folding my arms, "I never said that-"

"Didn't have to." He cut me off, he looked up at me, "Why does it matter, Octavia? If it's Echo or Raven, Clarke or some randomer? Why does it matter?"

"Because!" I yelled, and then calmed myself, "Because she's a spy, Murphy. She tried to kill us and run us off the road. She was going to kill me if not for Lexa stopping her at the bus crash."

He nodded, "Right. She's the ‘enemy’ as you put it. Yet you're the one who gave her a scar. You beat her. You tortured her. In her eyes the 'enemy' is you."

I laughed bitterly, "You're seriously saying I'm the enemy? You're choosing her? We've been friends since thirteen and your choosing someone you spent one night with? You're kidding?"

"I'm not ‘choosing’ anyone." Murphy stated, "I can't help it, Octavia. She made me feel more than what I've felt in a long time. She understands me, Octavia. She's an outsider like me. And a fighter. But all she wants is peace and safety, I see that in her. We're equally similar yet different and she... she makes me happy." He looked up at me on the last word.

I swallowed, "And I don't, right?"

He was silent for a minute before delicately saying, "It's not your fault, Octavia. You're grieving and in the worst kind of pain. I know. And I know it terrifies you to close down your walls and I'll always be there for you but - but as a friend. I need to be happy too and if Echo is that thin silver lining, then surely you'd want me to take it."

 

I felt my own heart shattering inside my chest, tears stinging my eyes and my blood thundering through my veins. You've really messed up this time. The voice in my head screams. My chest is crushing and I feel the air getting tight. I hurt him. And I'm jealous of Echo. I never used to be jealous or petty but for some reason I am.

 

I'm Afraid.

 

I'm afraid and I can't fight it this time. I'm afraid he's going to leave me for her. I'm afraid he's going to leave fullstop. But the fury and fire inside is too strong and I can't think straight as the smoke inside chokes me.

 

"Fine." I spit through gritted teeth, "If she's your ‘silver-lining’ go for it. But don't come crying to me when it blows up in your face." And with that, I turn and march out of the tent, marching past Nick and Jasper, who crouch on the floor outside. I want to scream. I want to scream like thunder. I want to scream and scream and scream, but I can't. So I march into my tent, holding my breath as I go.

Chapter Text

Octavia Blake

 

I pushed the tent door open and marched up to the table, resting my hands on it as tear after tear streaked down my face, my heart was breaking and all I could do was sob. I felt weak. I felt pathetic. I felt Broken. Murphy didn't say it, but I know what I've become: a bitch. I've become someone I hate. I know that I have to be stone cold to survive this world. The caring don't live, that's true. If compassion equated survival then Sasha, Monty, and my mother would all be alive right now. But it doesn't.

 

It's us: the bastards, the broken and the barbarous that Survive.

 

Kill or be killed is literal. You have to find the darkness and thrive in it to live. You have to cage up your heart and throw away the key because if it's not the dead taking lives, it's the people themselves.

 

I let my tears pool on the table. I let out everything I'd be holding in. I needed to. I promise myself that this is the last time I will cry. Get it all out and then build the wall up again, stronger this time. I have to. I have to let Murphy go even though it kills me inside. He's right, he's found a glimmer of light and he needs to hold onto it. He tried with me and I pushed him away to keep myself safe, but now I'm not sure if it's worth it. But it's too late now to go back. Make a decision and stick with it. That's what I've got to do. Listen to my head, that's what'll keep me safe.

 

I hear a noise from the left of me and panic rises again. I cannot cry and show weakness. "Who's there?" I croak, quickly wiping my tears on the back of my hands, trying to contain myself. The curtain pulled back and Lexa sat in her bed with a bottle of wine in her hands, "Want to join me?" 

I wiped back the remaining tears and slowly walked over to her, sitting beside her, my knees to my chest  and my hands resting on top of them. Lexa handed the bottle towards me and I shook my head, "I've already had a few."

Lexa shrugged, "Suit yourself." Before lifting the bottle to her lips and sipping. She looked How I felt. Well, I guess I still looked How I felt too.

I looked at her, "Why are you drinking anyway? I thought you were against it."

She didn't look at me as she put the bottle down at the side of her, "Why did you think that?"

I shrugged, "Nick."

She shook her head, "No, he's a druggie not an alcoholic. And I'm not the one with the addiction. Besides, I drink within moderation and I think I deserve it."

I nodded, rolling my eyes slightly at her brashness, "Right."

 

She then looked at me, "What's the matter with you, anyway?"

I stared at my scuffed boots, "Murphy. I think he's got a crush on Echo and, Well, they slept with each other. It sucks. But I made a rod for my own back and now I've got to deal with it. You?"

Lexa bitterly said, "Relatable. Same situation but Murphy is Clarke and Echo is Skye." She took another mouthful of wine and I took the bottle off of her and took a swig too. As soon as it hit my tongue, my nose scrunched up, I quickly swallowed and coughed, "That is nasty! How can you drink that?"

Lexa took the bottle back, "Sometimes it just doesn't matter, booze is booze and as long as it gets you tipsy and blurrs the world for a while, that's good enough." She took another sip and as she swallowed her own face scrunched up as she agreed, "But it is disgusting."

 

She held the wine between her legs and we sat in silence, watching the flickering candlelight in front of us. I fiddled with my hands, looking at all the dirt and blood underneath them. I missed soap and baths and warm water. I missed feeling clean. Being in this facility was good because we had food and water and clothes, but I didn't feel safe here and I knew Lexa felt the same unease as me.

 

"How do you do it?" I asked breaking the silence and looking at her side profile.

"Do what?" She replied.

I explained, "How do you stop caring?"

She shrugged, "If I figure it out I'll tell you." She paused and then looked at me, "I know I come across cold and heartless but I do care, Octavia. The trick is choosing the right people to care about. Alicia and Nick, family. I'll always care for them, no matter what happens. Like your brother cares for you and as much as you refuse to admit it, you care for him too. Now, as far as Clarke and Murphy are concerned, unfortunately, people slip through the cracks and you just have to suck it up. But when it comes down to it, I'll always put my family first. Always."

I nodded, "I get that."

Lexa then put her left hand on mine, taking me by surprise but setting off all animal instinct inside of me. It has been so long since I've felt the touch of another human being, she softly told me, "If you love him, Octavia, it's not to late to tell him. And you deserve happiness too, don't ever forget that."

I shook my head, "It's too late. I pushed Murphy too far and now he's fallen for someone else. Besides, we're not the same fifteen year olds anymore. I care about him, but I have to let him go."

 

She went to take her hand back and I wrapped mine around hers, she looked at our hands and then up at me. I shook my head, sadly smiling, "It's been so long since I've felt another human being. When I was sixteen, I used to sneak out and go to parties and kiss new lips every Friday night." My eyes searched hers and I saw her lips part as she looked at me, deciding her move. Both of us deciding. I shrugged, "Look at us. Both of us, trying to convince the world we don't care. But we do care. Or at least we did until the world stole the people we love. Don't we deserve a little happiness? Or fun at least?"

She looked away from my eyes, "Sex isn't love, Octavia. Murphy shagged multiple women, he doesn't love them. If you want him-"

"He told me Echo is his silver-lining." I told her, feeling my heart becoming heavy in my chest. I looked up at her, "I'm sick of this, Lex! I'm sick of the sinking feeling in my stomach. I'm sick of crying inside, feeling dead inside! I'm sick of grieving for everyone I love. I'm sick of grieving for myself. I just want one moment where I can forget. Booze doesn't help, in fact it amplifies it. I just want to feel that warmth again, that heat. Surely you want that too? Why should Clarke and Murphy have all the fun? Why not us?"

 

Lexa moved her free hand under my chin and titled my face to look at hers, her face moved closer to mine and her lips touched mine, gentle. I closed my eyes as her lips softly kissed mine. I pulled back slightly, "Are you sure, Lexa?"

Lexa nodded, "You're Right, Octavia. But this doesn't mean we're lovers, okay? We're just strangers with the same feeling to be touched, to be loved, to feel anything at all."

I nodded and let her take me away.