"I guess I should say thanks," Clarke says, into the awkward silence in the Hab.
Bellamy depressurizes his helmet and takes it off, running his hand through his matted hair with a sigh. "You don't have to. I know you would have done the same for me. Besides, you still might have been happier dying in the storm."
She smiles in spite of herself. "You can't even let me thank you for saving my life without arguing about it? Let's at least try to start off on the right foot."
For a second, she thinks he's going to try to argue with that, but he just huffs and starts stripping out of his encounter suit. "You're welcome."
Clarke does the same, turning away to give Bellamy some privacy even though he's got clothing on under the suit. They've done this plenty of times before, but it feels like when she was on break in college and let herself into her parents’ house before they were home, like she's somewhere that's familiar and in some sense hers, but she's still not supposed to be here.
Which, of course, she isn't, and there's a decent chance they'll die here. But until they die, they're going to do their best to survive.
"So," she says, making her tone cheerful. "Air, food, water, right?"
"Yeah," says Bellamy. "Food's the biggest one, I think. The air processing should be fine, and the water too, but the rations were never meant to keep us alive this long. Even just two of us.”
"But we’d need something to grow, and water to grow it in. Any ideas?"
His jaw works as he thinks it over. "I'll check the kitchen, see how much food we have and how long it would last. But we need a place to grow and water for the crops. Our reclamation unit can’t make enough.”
"I can probably figure out water.” She pastes on a smile. “It could be worse. It's not like we were out of resources, just that this was never meant to be a long-term place to live."
"It's still not."
"They'll be back," Clarke says, firm. "We just have to make it--"
"Five years." His voice is flat. "That's the next scheduled landing. I'm not saying we're not going to try," he adds. "Obviously we are. But that's the goal: five years of survival with whatever we've got in the Hab."
"That's the goal," Clarke agrees. "Let's see what we can do."
By the end of the first day, Clarke has decided that it could be worse.
For one, she could be alone, and while being with Bellamy isn't exactly ideal, it's certainly an improvement over having no one. He is the actual last person she would have picked to come with her on the trip, but that's because of his personality, not because of his training. From a survival perspective, it's actually a pretty good thing--everyone on the ship is smart, resourceful, and driven, but Bellamy has, in addition to his actual skills with farming, a solid practicality to him that Clarke can appreciate in times of crisis.
Plus, he doesn't give up, and if he doesn't, Clarke won't. Sheer competitive stubbornness might not be the most rational reason to stay alive, but she's in no position to be picky about her coping mechanisms. If they're going to make it until the next mission comes through, they'll need all the fighting spirit they can muster.
She's making a list of potential crises that they'll need to deal with when Bellamy practically collapses next to her, eyes closed, exhaustion in every line of his body.
"Rough day at the office?" she asks, and he snorts.
"I think we can grow something, assuming you can live with some grossness."
"We can't grow in this soil without fertilizer, and we don't have livestock."
It only takes her a second to figure it out. "If my choices are harvesting my shit or dying, I'll harvest my shit."
"What are we going to grow?"
"Potatoes. We were going to do Thanksgiving, remember?" he asks, when she frowns. “We had a vacuum-sealed bag I can use.”
"Yeah, but--do those grow?” She’s not much for agriculture.
"Can we just agree that I know more about how potatoes work than you do? You can barely cook, let alone farm."
"Fine. How long is it going to take?"
"At minimum? Two months." He closes his eyes, rubs his face. "So, can you irrigate a field if I make one?"
"I think so. I assume you don't care about the specifics of how."
"Not unless you need my help. Did you count up the rations I gave you?"
"And we can make them last until the potatoes come in, we just have to do the math. How many days do you think we should budget?"
"To be safe?" He clucks his tongue. "Ninety. A hundred, if we can stretch the food that far."
"So by two months, you meant three months."
"That was the minimum, but I assume we don't want to starve to death if my projections are off. I don't know how long it's going to take the soil to be ready, or how long these take to mature, not without knowing the specific strain. I'd rather not risk it."
Her first impulse is to snap at him, to say he should have given her the more realistic guess to begin with, but he said it was a minimum, and now isn't the time to start a pointless argument. They've both had the shittiest day in the history of shitty days, and he's giving her vital information, even if it's not the information she wants. It's not his fault that potatoes don't grow overnight.
So instead she asks, "Can we eat any of the potatoes, or do we need to plant them all?" and Bellamy sits up straight again, clearly battling his own weariness and worry, and shifts his focus to the numbers.
Bellamy didn't have to stay.
It's something Clarke reminds herself of a lot in the first few weeks. She was the one who got hit in the storm, and Bellamy was the one who wouldn't let go, the one who kept his grip on her instead of keeping his grip on the MAV. She doesn't fault anyone else for leaving them--hell, she wouldn't have faulted him for saving his own neck--but he chose, on some level, to risk his life not even to save her, but just to not leave her alone.
She knows it wasn't personal. Even if she and Bellamy don't always get along, she respects him, and she knows what kind of guy he is. He'll snark and complain and put on a gruff front, but he's the most dependable person she's ever met. He could have hated her five times as much as he did, and he still wouldn't have let go of her arm and left her to face the elements alone.
So it would be really ungrateful if she yelled at him. To the extent that this is anyone's fault--and it's not, really, it was just shitty luck--it was hers, and if she was Bellamy, she'd be pissed about the whole situation and looking for an excuse to lash out. The last thing she should do is give him one.
It's just that arguing was, up until this point, her and Bellamy's primary form of communication, and she's not sure what she's supposed to do if she's not fighting with him. Fighting with him was all that got her through some stressful times on the mission, just knowing that when things went wrong, she could go and needle Bellamy to let off steam.
But then it hadn't just been the two of them, and she hadn't felt the burden of his life on her shoulders.
So she mostly keeps to herself. It's not difficult, really; he's working on the soil and the potatoes, while Clarke is trying to turn rocket fuel into water. She shouldn't be picking at him like a scab, not when she has better things to do.
It feels like the mature solution to the problem until Bellamy sits down next to her with a mug and a protein bar and says, "You know you can't avoid me for the next eighteen-hundred days, right?"
Clarke blinks. "What?"
"I know we're not exactly best friends, but we're all we've got. You're going to have trouble giving me the silent treatment."
The words sink in, and she starts laughing, which is maybe kind of a dick move, but she can't help it.
"What?" Bellamy demands, and she recovers.
"Sorry, I just--I was trying to be nice."
"I'm in a shitty mood, and you're the only person I have to take it out on."
"So, you'll be an asshole when there are six of us here, but when there are just two of us, that's when you decide you should try to be a good person? When I have no other options?"
"It seemed polite."
He shakes his head, but he's looking amused now. "I'm not sure you get what polite means."
"Didn't anyone ever tell you that if you can't say anything nice, you shouldn't say anything at all?"
"I don't think any of those people ever got stuck on another planet with someone who doesn't have anything nice to say to them." He nudges her foot with his. "What are you trying not to take out on me?"
"I've never actually made water, okay? I know how to in theory, but I've never tried. And it involves making hydrogen and then lighting it on fire, which isn't exactly risk-free, so--"
"So you can talk to me. We're both astronauts, Clarke," he adds, with a teasing undertone to his voice. "It's safe to say we both went through a lot of school. And we're going to have a lot of downtime, so we might as well figure out how to talk to each other." He pauses. "Honestly, I wanted to yell at you too."
"Yeah? What about?"
"Everything. It's my favorite hobby."
"Mine too." She wets her lips. "Do we need a safe word?"
Bellamy chokes on the tea he was drinking. "A what?"
"If one of us doesn't want to deal with an argument, or needs a break, or just--if we get sick of each other. I'm not going to be offended if you don't want to talk to me sometimes."
"I don't want to do this right now doesn't work?" he asks, smirking. "Is lying about your tolerance for me a kink now?"
"It just feels easier," she admits. "One word, easy, no hard feelings. Clean break."
"Okay, yeah." He considers. "How about Snape?"
"I know you like Harry Potter, I've seen your Slytherin shirt. The message is basically I know you're not happy but you're still being an asshole, right? That's the Snape message."
"Nerd," she teases.
"Again, we both have PhDs and you own a Slytherin t-shirt. I'm not sure why you think this is a burn. But if you don't want to deal with this argument--"
"Oh, fuck you," she says, laughing. "What are your farming frustrations?"
"Jesus, where do I start?" he asks, and just like that, Clarke's smiling again.
Obviously, it's still not easy after that. They're the only two people on an entire planet, which is so overwhelming Clarke can't even really think about it, and even if they're alive and in fairly good shape, it's hard to feel safe. Their life here is precarious, and there are so many tiny things that could go wrong.
But things go right, too. Despite Clarke's anxiety, they should have enough food to last them a while, and she figures out water while Bellamy figures out soil. The first sight of small, green shoots is so perfect she nearly chokes on it, and she and Bellamy throw their arms around each other, laughing.
"We're terraforming Mars," Bellamy tells her, with a smug grin she can't even pretend he hasn't earned.
"One garden at a time."
It's a victory, a real and important one, but it's also something of a loss. It's this huge major accomplishment, but as soon as they've done it, it feels like a gaping hole opens up in their lives.
Suddenly, they don't have anything to do. They’ve stabilized their lives enough to have actual free time, and it’s weird.
“How long before you read all your books?” she asks Bellamy. They’re on day forty, and it’s hard to imagine hundreds and hundreds more.
“Depends how fast I read.” He turns off his iPad to look at her. “But I was thinking we could use some new goals.”
“Did you have any in mind?”
“Communication is a good place to start. We know there are space programs all over the world monitoring Mars. All we need to do is make contact.”
“They couldn't come and get us,” she says, frowning. “Not sooner than the next mission.”
“No, but at least they’d know we were here. Our families would know we’re alive.”
Living on a ship and then in a small planetary outpost with someone, even someone you don’t get along with, means finding out about their families. Commander Kane was a given, of course, being married to her mother, but calls home happened for everyone. She has a vague idea of all of her crewmate’s family and relationship status.
“It’s just you and your sister, right? No boyfriend or girlfriend?”
“What, that’s not enough for me to want to get in touch?”
“I was clarifying, not judging.”
He rubs his face. “I know. She’s having a baby,” he admits. “In a couple months. Unless something went wrong.”
"Was I supposed to know that?" she asks, careful, and he smiles.
"No, I hadn't told anyone yet. She was supposed to call in a few days and let me know about the sex, I figured I'd announce it then. I don't know why that made it feel official, but--"
She moves closer, puts her arm around him. It's a lot of contact for them, but it's an immediate relief, even for Clarke. It's been a long time since she's been this close to someone. Maybe since she hugged her mother goodbye before the mission.
"So, communications are the next step," she says, gentle. "We can get those working, and your sister can tell you if you're having a niece or a nephew."
"Gender is a construct, but yeah." He smiles, shifting a little closer, getting comfortable. "We should get the rover working too, see if we can take it farther. There might be scrap we could scavenge."
"Depends on what we find."
"You're bored too, huh?" she teases.
"Like you said, I'm going to run out of books pretty soon."
"Okay, so--new list of goals," she says, grabbing her own tablet and pulling up a note program. "So we've got stuff to look forward to."
"Sounds good," he says, his voice warm, fond in a way she's not used to hearing. It nearly makes her shiver, but she doesn't let it; he'd feel, and it would be weird, and the last thing she wants is for him to move away from her.
But he doesn't, and they stay there, cuddled together, as they come up with ways to fill the time.
Meet Bellamy's future niece/nephew is the first goal Clarke writes up on the whiteboard, once they have their list formalized, and it's her favorite. They don't bother with get home, because it's both obvious and too huge. Getting back to Earth is the subtext of everything they do, of every moment, but Clarke has trouble believing it's ever going to happen sometimes. It's still so many days to survive, for nothing to go wrong and fuck things up.
But getting to meet Bellamy's sister's kid, that's doable. Even if it's just over a video, over a call. Even if they're just getting a picture, it's something they can achieve, and once they achieve that, they can move on to something else.
Harvest potatoes is the second goal, and that's the first one they get to cross off. The potatoes grow quickly in the greenhouse conditions, and despite Bellamy's fretting, they're ready ahead of his schedule.
"Can we make vodka out of these?" is Clarke's first question.
Bellamy snorts. "You want to make vodka?"
"I honestly have no idea how to make alcohol," he says."But if you want to try to figure it out--"
"Another reason to get in touch with Earth," she says. "Save some potatoes, make some vodka."
"New goal?" she asks, and he's the one to update it, crossing out harvest potatoes and replacing it with make vodka.
That's the way to do it, Clarke thinks; they can't just get rid of goals, that feels too daunting. They need to fill up the time, all these days and hours. If the wall is empty, their lives are empty. They need reasons to keep going, and that's what the list is. Things they can do. Dreams.
She doesn't realize she's even in a bad mood until Bellamy snaps, "Snape!"
It's not the first time one of them has used the safeword; it happens once a week or so, but she's never had him use it against her before, not like this. Usually, when one of them Snapes, it's a self-assessment: I know I shouldn't be around people right now and I'm sending you away before I say something shitty.
This is Clarke's first time not realizing it.
"Really?" she asks, wincing. "Fuck, I'm sorry."
"What's wrong?" he asks. "You've been off all week."
"I thought you didn't want to deal with me," she says, a test, and he shrugs.
"Not if you didn't know you were being an asshole. But if you want help--"
"I think I wanted to be happier about the potatoes," she admits. "I thought it was going to be--it's really cool, don't get me wrong, but I wanted it to make me feel better, but--it's just a bunch of potatoes."
"Hey, we worked for those. But I know what you mean," he admits. "All potatoes are doing is giving us more time to live here. It's better than starving to death, but--"
"But success here just means we're going to get really tired of potatoes."
He puts his arm around her, and she snuggles in. They've been doing this more lately, but Clarke still doesn't feel like they're doing it enough. Sometimes she feels like all she wants to do is curl around him and never let go.
She tries not to think about that too much.
"Okay, so--new goals."
"Every day, do something fun. We've got some music, right?"
"I always wanted to learn to dance."
She feels herself starting to smile. "Really?"
"It seemed like it could be cool. I thought you might know how."
"I learned some when I was a kid. I don't remember it that well, but I could try to teach you." She worries her lip. "I like to do art. Drawing, painting--maybe we could figure some materials out that we wouldn't waste too much."
He hums, and she feels it reverberate through his chest to her. "We could probably do that."
"We could do this more," she offers, hesitant.
"That too. But--I think I'm kind of touch-starved."
"Oh." He tugs her even closer, full-on, full-body cuddling like she hasn't had in years, not since she and Lexa broke up. "Yeah. That's fine."
"Thanks. Sorry for Snaping."
He actually kisses her hair. "It happens to everyone. Are you feeling better?"
"Enough that I should be able to tell you if I can't talk to you."
"Cool. But we can stay here for a while, right?"
Clarke closes her eyes. "Yeah."
It's been two-hundred-and-seven days when she realizes she's falling for him, which shouldn't really surprise her. He's literally the only other person in her entire world, so she was eventually either going to want to fuck him or murder him, and wanting to fuck him is definitely better the better of those outcomes.
And if that was it, she wouldn't worry so much. Lust is fine; lust might even be good. Sex is a good way to blow off steam, and it might generally improve morale.
But attraction has always been there, in the background, every time he strips off his t-shirt or lets his stubble get too long. He was always a fit, handsome guy, even before this. Working out is a way to keep busy, and they do it for at least an hour a day, sometimes longer, so he’s probably getting hotter, but still. None of this is exactly new.
What's new is his face when the audio crackles with the sound of his niece laughing, bright and clear, this lovely baby gurgle that she can see Bellamy falling in love with. The joy and longing is painted all over his face, and Clarke feels it like a live-wire, like the emotion is crackling directly into her.
It's not just wanting him, and she can't trust it.
Not that he's actually her only lifeline, by this point; they've got audio communications back when the conditions are right, and text-based all the time. She's talked to her mother, the rest of the crew, some friends, even someone from the media. Bellamy's still her only point of physical contact, but he's not quite the whole world anymore.
Still, these feelings aren't real. It’s the loneliness and desperation talking.
"How's she doing?" Bellamy is asking his sister. "She sounds healthy."
"She slept for two straight hours last night, so I'm good with her right now," says Octavia. Clarke hasn't talked to her directly, but she's been present for a few of their conversations, and she can hear the family resemblance in their tones and senses of humor. "How are you guys doing? I feel like you're worse off than newborns."
"Wow, thanks, O." He glances over at Clarke, and her heart lurches uncomfortably. This is going to suck, for a little while. Until she gets used to it. "We're okay."
"When are they going to rescue you?"
"As soon as they can, probably. It's not a crisis right now."
"Don't jinx it," says Clarke, and he grins.
Octavia's not so amused. "What do you mean it's not a crisis? You're stranded on another planet, Bell. That's the f--gosh-darn definition of a crisis."
"I'm a fucking mom now!" She takes a second while Bellamy just keeps on grinning. "I hate you."
"Good thing I'm stranded on another planet, right?"
"Yeah, I don't even want them to rescue you anymore." There's a pause, and then she adds, soft, "The baby is really cute. I can't wait for you to meet her."
Bellamy's grin fades by degrees, like the sun going down, the changes almost imperceptible until suddenly you realize it’s dark and you’re cold. "Yeah," he says, voice thick. "I can't either."
They'd already modified the original goal; as it now stands, their top priority is meet Bellamy's
future niece /nephew, and they'd been planning to remove it today. Talking to her felt like it counted; actually meeting her, that's synonymous with getting home, the goal they're not supposed to have.
But when Bellamy goes to erase it, Clarke puts her hand on his arm.
"I think it can stay."
She will get used to looking at him again, sooner or later. It can be her own, private goal: get over Bellamy. "It's something we still want to do, right?"
"Thanks." He bites the corner of his mouth. "Hagrid?"
It was his idea to come up with a codeword meaning, essentially, I need a hug, and he who'd decided that it should be Hagrid, as the anti-Snape. It had been cute then, and it's cuter now.
But she'll deal with it.
"I want to read," she says. "Meet you at the bunks?"
He settles in with his head in her lap, legs propped up against the wall, and it was definitely inevitable. Annoying, to be sure, but probably better than hating him.
She slides one hand in his hair, fingers tangling in thick curls, the way he likes, and starts to read.
"We have a rescue plan in place."
Clarke never knows quite what to expect from calls from her mother, mostly because there are so many reasons Abby could be calling. As a high-ranking NASA official, as the wife of their commanding officer, as a member of Clarke's family--all are equally plausible.
She never lets herself get her hopes up, when it's Abby.
"A rescue plan?" Bellamy asks, sitting up straighter.
"Don't get too excited," Abby says. Clarke can picture her expression so clearly it almost hurts. "You know how long these things take. We're sending the Athena back to you."
Clarke and Bellamy exchange a look, anxious. She's the one to ask, "How are they refueling?"
"There’s an unmanned supply probe. Originally, we were going to use it to send supplies directly to you, but Marcus--"
“He told you they wanted to come back for us.”
“He’s been telling me that since he found out you two were alive. We did the numbers, and as long as you can survive another—“
“We can,” says Clarke. She doesn’t want to hear how many days it’s been, or how many more it will be. They’re going to make it as long as they have to. There is no other option.
Abby sighs. “Marcus said the same thing. It’s still going to be—you won’t be home for a long time, Clarke.”
“We know what we signed up for,” says Bellamy. “We’ll take what we can get.”
“I thought you might.” Another sigh. “We’ll send you the timeline and what you need to do.”
“Stay alive, right?” asks Bellamy.
“Stay alive,” Abby agrees. “And come home.”
There’s more to the conversation after that—Abby’s background is in medicine, and she always has questions about their general health and well-being—but Clarke doesn’t think either she or Bellamy pays much attention.
They’re going home. They have a timeline, a better one than five years. It’s hard to feel as if anything else matters, in this moment.
Abby must be able to tell, because she wraps up with less small talk than usual, promising to call back next week, once they have everything in place and finalized.
After the call disconnects, she and Bellamy sit in stunned silence for a long second, shocked, and then she starts to laugh. He follows a second later, and then they’re hugging, clinging to each other so hard it hurts.
Home. It’s still going to take years, but fewer years.
Their crew is coming back for them, just like they’d do for anyone else.
She and Bellamy lock eyes as they pull away, and Clarke knows this moment, has been trying to avoid this moment for three months. She hasn’t talked herself out of being a little bit in love with him yet, and that’s dangerous.
But he’s looking at her too, with that same look in his eyes.
When he leans in, she does too, and then they’re kissing, softer and sweeter than she expected. It’s not an explosion of passion, even if that would be easier. It’s a kiss that takes its time.
Until she makes herself pull away.
Bellamy’s watching her, eyes impossibly deep and brown, and forcing the words out takes a Herculean effort.
He's still so close, and all she wants to do is kiss him again, kiss him forever, kiss him until the ship comes back to take them home. She knew she'd been putting effort into not wanting him, but she had no idea it was this much.
"You're the only other person on the planet," she says. "A bad hookup could make things really awkward."
"It could. I wasn't really imagining a bad hookup, though."
It's an insanely hot statement that she should not, under any circumstances, be thinking about.
"I wasn't either," she says. "I'm just--being careful. We're getting along better than I ever thought we could, and--I want to," she admits. "A lot. But I don't think we should risk it."
He watches her for a moment that stretches, and she knows that if he argues with her, if he tells her he wants this anyway, if he makes it even a little bit of a thing, she's going to fold. There's only so much self control in the universe.
But he nods. "Yeah, you're right. We shouldn't." His mouth twists up at one side. "But for the record? I want to too."
Her resolve flags, but doesn't break. "Okay, well--we've got other stuff to do, right?"
"Tons." He stretches. "We're going home."
It could still not work, but they need the hope more than they need to be careful. So she smiles and bumps her shoulder against his, an attempt at camaraderie that doesn't even feel that forced. He’s still her ally, her crewmater, her friend. They’re still together in this. "That's the plan."
It's not as awkward as she worried it might be.
Her feelings don't go away, of course, but they're a little easier to manage, once they're out in the open. If she gets too overwhelmed, she can just check out, look away, avoid him. They don't come up with a new code word for it, but she's pretty sure Bellamy gets it. And he gets a little more affectionate, which doesn't hurt either. They're in physical contact most of the time when they're in the same part of the Hab, his arm around her or their legs brushing against each other, and it's nice. They feel like a team, even if she still occasionally has to fight the urge to tug him down and kiss him again.
That's probably normal, though. Close quarters, extreme circumstances. This is how it works. It can be awkward, but mostly it's just--their life.
And it's not the worst life. They got NASA to send them some more books, and even some dance manuals, so they can learn real, proper steps, instead of whatever Clarke vaguely remembered from childhood classes. They get sick of potatoes on a level Clarke didn't know it was possible to get sick of food, but they've saved some rations, so they can still get a break, sometimes. They celebrate birthdays, they listen to Bellamy's niece grow up, and they don't talk about going home, like they're afraid they'll jinx it.
They pass the time, fall into routines, and, somehow, they make it. The ship arrives, and they get to it, and it's all hugging and laughing and fucking joy.
They have another year plus in space, but that's fine. That's easy. There's enough food and water, enough to do, more company. It's good, for about a solid week, until she realizes, absurdly, that she misses Bellamy.
He's right there, of course. It's not like he went anywhere, and they're still on a ship with only six people, and she sees him plenty. But she doesn't see him, not like she used to. They aren't together all the time, and she thinks he might be giving her space.
"And you don't want space?" Raven asks. They’re alone in the common room, and it’s nice and companionable, except that Bellamy came up with an excuse to leave a couple minutes after they came in.
"Why would I?"
"You guys just spent almost three years stuck on a planet together. I thought you'd be sick of each other by now. You always said you didn't like him before."
"He's--I like him now."
There's a pause, and then she says, "Did you two sleep together?"
"I didn't--" She rubs her face. "I didn't want to screw anything up, you know? We were stuck there, I would have latched on to anyone, probably. Desperate times, or whatever. And if things went wrong--"
"Wait," says Raven, holding up her hand. She's Clarke's closest friend on the crew, or was, before she got stranded with Bellamy. Not that friend really seems like the best word for Bellamy either, but--whatever. Raven knows her pretty well, is the point, and the way she's looking at Clarke makes her feel itchy. "So, you fell for Bellamy."
"Of course I did! We were alone on a deserted planet. Anyone would have--"
"And you're still into him."
"Yeah," she admits.
"Dude," says Raven, with what might be the most disappointed tone Clarke has ever heard from her. "You spent every fucking day with him for three years, and not only did you not murder him, but you miss him? I love you, and I'm pretty sure I'd be sick of you after that. You never got a break."
"We did," Clarke protests, because she could get a break whenever she wanted. All she had to do was say the word--the word he came up with, because he knew she liked Harry Potter--and he'd leave her alone, and vice versa.
She doesn't know if she could have done it with Raven. Or, rather, she doesn't know if it would have been as good. They were there for hundreds of days, and it could have been so much worse.
"You know what I mean."
"I know." She bites the corner of her mouth. "It might have been a fluke."
"Maybe. You might as well find out."
They all have their own quarters on the ship, although quarters is a generous word for it. They have so little room all anyone does in there is sleep and read, but they're private, and technically two people can fit in there.
She knocks on Bellamy's door and hears a muffled, "One sec!" before the door slides open. He's dressed for sleep, in a t-shirt and pajamas, and his hair is a little messy.
Clarke never wants to be stuck alone on another planet with him again. But she'd also like to be with him as much as possible. Probably for the rest of her life.
"Hey," he says, cocking his head.
"Hagrid?" she offers, and he laughs.
"Come on in."
There isn't a lot of room, but there's his bunk, and when she sits down on it, he sits down next to her and puts his arm around her. She curls into him, automatic, and it's so familiar.
"Were you avoiding me?" she asks.
He clears his throat. "I, uh--I didn't want to make you tell me to leave, so--"
She has to laugh. "Didn't you call me out for doing that before?"
"I learned from the best."
"Clearly." She straightens up to look at him, finds he was already watching her. "Raven said that if I was still in love with you after all that, it probably wasn't just because I was lonely and desperate."
His face breaks out in a grin. "It might have been. You literally had no other options, so--"
She leans in and kisses him, like she's been wanting to for months, and he pulls her closer as he lies back, until she's on top of him on his bunk, and they're still kissing, and she's not sure they'll ever stop.
Bellamy's the one to murmur, "You know we still have another year and a half stuck on a ship together, right? We could still end up hating each other again."
"We could. I think we should find out."
He slides his hands up the back of her shirt, kisses her again. "Yeah, let's see how it goes."
Twenty months later, they finally cross off their final Mars goal and meet Bellamy's niece, Phoebe. She’s just as adorable as Clarke knew she would be, and Bellamy is even cuter holding her than she thought he would be. She wouldn't have said she was into guys holding kids, but, well, she is into basically everything else about Bellamy, so it's not really a surprise. He's really cute with kids. That’s why she fell for him in the first place.
"Uncle Bellamy, huh?" she asks, wrapping her arms around him after he puts Phoebe down so she can go play. "How does it feel?"
"Pretty great. How's being Aunt Clarke?"
"I figured that's what she'd call you, yeah."
Being an only child, Clarke had never thought about being an aunt. But her boyfriend is an uncle, and she's planning to keep him, so--
"I guess she will." She kisses his shoulder, closes her eyes. He might not be the only other person on the planet, but he's still the one she wants to be with. It's nice to be sure. "Aunt Clarke,” she murmurs. “I like the sound of that."
Being a good aunt can be her first Earth goal. She’s going to rock it.