It’s mayhem for a couple of minutes. A few of the more fanatical members of Wonkru have decided that Clarke and Bellamy and by extension, the rest of their friends, pose a threat to Octavia, making them the enemy. There are gunshots ringing throughout the camp, people crying out for each other, screams in all directions.
Clarke breathes a sigh of relief when she sees Harper pulling Madi out of harms way, into a tent unseen by anyone else. Her moment of distraction nearly costs her her life though. She looks back in time to see someone she doesn’t recognise pull the trigger on their gun, pointed directly at her. But then Bellamy is in front of her, pushing her out the way.
It feels as though time freezes for a second, but then Bellamy turns back to her instead of falling, face contorted in pain.
“I always knew I would take a bullet for you,” Bellamy mutters through gritted teeth, his hand pressed into his side. Her blood runs cold. He’s been shot. And that can't happen now. Not when she just got him back.
“I always knew you were dumb enough to do it,” Clarke snarks back, trying to keep the emotion out of her voice and stepping beside him. She peels his hand away from his side and lifts up his shirt. It’s not deep, the bullet has just grazed his side. He’s lucky, it could have been a lot worse.
“What’s the verdict? Am I going to live?” Bellamy asks. It’s all fake bravado, even after six years and currently feeling like she doesn’t know him, Clarke can see he’s in pain.
“You’ll be fine,” Clarke says, not quite able to match his sarcastic tone anymore. Seeing him get hurt again, sacrificing himself for her again, brought back some unwelcome nostalgia. Memories of Roan plunging a knife into his leg so he couldn’t follow them. Memories of the countless injuries he’d gotten standing by her side.
She can’t help but pull his arm over her shoulder and lead him away from the fight. Miller and the others have got it under control anyway. It’s just a couple of radicals who want to mess things up even more.
Clarke all but shoves him onto one of the cots in med bay and reaches for a bandage. She focuses on cleaning the wound, rather than the expanse of exposed skin because it doesn’t matter how attractive she finds him if he gets an infection and dies. They’re silent while she works, which is probably for the best. She’s not sure what to say to him. Even after six years, he still jumps in front of a bullet for her without a second thought. It’s a lot to take in.
“There, you’re done,” Clarke says, after ten minutes. She pulls her hand away, lets his shirt settle over the bandages.
“Thanks doc,” Bellamy smiles, hoisting himself up and wincing at the movement.
“You’re going to have to take it easy for a couple of days,” Clarke says softly, placing a hand on his chest, stopping him from sitting all the way up.
“You and I both know I don’t do taking it easy,” Bellamy says, with a grin that reminds her of those first few weeks on the ground. When they were at war, but it wasn’t as much of a mess as it is now. She’s almost nostalgic for the Dropship Days.
“You got shot,” Clarke deadpans. “Just sit still for five minutes.”
She sits with him for a minute before getting antsy. Madi is safe, she knows that. But Madi doesn’t know Clarke is okay. She doesn’t want her to worry. She’s not even finished standing up when Bellamy speaks.
“You could at least sit with me if you’re forcing bed rest on me.”
“I have to go find Madi,” Clarke says gently.
“I’ll come with you,” Bellamy insists, pulling himself off the cot. Clarke thinks about fighting him on it, but she wants the company. It’s awkward between them all still, but she missed them so much. Having him beside her is enough to convince that it’ll get better. They were best friends before, it can be the same again.
They walk slower than Clarke would like because Bellamy is injured, but it only takes a couple of minutes to cross the camp to Harper’s tent. She’s barely opened the flap when Madi comes barrelling out into her arms. She’s grateful that Bellamy is further behind than she thought because she has to take a step back to catch her. And she’d rather not fall back into him.
“You’re okay?” Madi whispers, clinging to Clarke.
“I’m fine,” Clarke assures her, pulling back to look at her daughter.
“Hey guys,” Harper says, stepping out of the tent and smiling at Clarke. Harper’s done everything to make Clarke feel welcome since they got back. She’s gone out of her way to look out for Madi. Clarke’s known her since the first day they got to the ground and having her home is such a relief. “I was just going to take Madi to get something to eat. Still up for it?”
Madi glances at Clarke with hopeful eyes. She’s taken to Harper pretty quickly, way quicker than she had with Clarke.
“Lead the way,” Clarke says, letting Madi tug her along until they’re walking beside Harper.
“What happened?” Harper asked when they’re all walking side by side.
“Bellamy went and got himself shot,” Clarke teases, hoping he picks up on what she’s doing. She doesn’t want Madi to know how close it got. They might be in the middle of a war but she’s still just a kid.
“If only I was paying more attention,” he shrugs, nudging Clarke’s shoulder lightly. It’s the first really casual, lighthearted encounter that they’ve had since her friends got back. Her heart swells with it.
Miller, Monty, Echo, Emori, and Murphy are already sitting around the fire, chatting idly. Monty grins when he sees them approaching and gestures wildly as though there was a chance they’d sit anywhere else.
Clarke drops down opposite Monty and smiles when Madi settles in beside and Bellamy sits down on her other side. Raven and Jackson join them less than a minute later and Clarke feels a wave of nostalgia when she realises it’s the first time they’ve been all together since they got back.
Their conversation quickly moves from the fight that broke out earlier, to the three very different lives the groups had been living before they came together. How they survived, what they did, what they missed the most. Miller and Jackson are a little reluctant to answer some of the questions they’re asked, but otherwise, it reminds Clarke of when they’d first gotten to the ground all those years ago. When they were teenagers who were still worried about grounders but were fairly carefree compared to now.
“Clarke?” Madi asks, tearing her from her thoughts. She looks down at the girl who is almost asleep on her shoulder. She’s come a long way from the feral six-year-old she was they met. “Will you tell me a story tonight?”
“I’ve got one,” Bellamy interrupts, before she has a chance to speak.
“Of course he does,” Miller says, with a roll of his eyes. Clarke smiles softly when Harper smacks him and tells him to shut up. She’s surprised when the whole group quietens, tuning in to hear Bellamy speak. It’s hard to tell, but she’s pretty sure he blushes when he realises everyone is listening.
He tells Madi about the first Unity Day (the only Unity Day) that they spent on the ground together. How he’d encouraged Clarke to have a drink, but he was still wary of the grounders. He speaks about watching her play drinking games with Fox and some of the other delinquents and being a little jealous but wanting to protect the group more. He tells Madi how he had missed Finn pulling her away from the group and telling her about the grounders, but assumed she was still having fun. He sugarcoats the next bit of the story and Madi is asleep before they get to the bridge.
Hearing Bellamy tell Madi a story she had told countless times, but from his point of view leaves Clarke with feelings she can’t explain. She knows from experience that Madi will sleep through her talking, so she lets out a sigh and turns to Monty so she won’t have to think about it.
“We’d been on the ground for what – a week? And Jasper convinced you to make moonshine?” She asks, letting herself laugh a little.
“Not even,” Monty said. “We had the plans in action straight after he woke up from the spear attack.”
“Of course you did,” Harper laughs and then softly. “He saved us in Mount Weather. I don’t think I ever thanked him.”
“He knew,” Monty assures her, a hand on her shoulder.
“Jasper was the one who first told me we were all a family,” Raven says, with a little smile. Clarke can feel tears in her eyes, thinking about the boy who was once one of her favourite people, who just wanted to have fun. She meets Raven’s eyes across the fire and sees hers shining too.
“He was the first to volunteer to come find me that one time,” Octavia’s voice calls. Clarke freezes arm instinctively wrapping tighter about Madi as she steps forward. But Octavia is unarmed, dressed in regular clothes and looking a lot less like Bloodreina than Clarke has seen in a long time. “Or so he told me.”
“Octavia,” Bellamy says and Clarke notices she isn’t the only one who’s tensed.
“I just came to let you know that those who attacked you this afternoon have been dealt with,” Octavia says, nodding her head. She looks like she’s fighting with herself for a moment but the adds, “do you mind if I join you?”
Bellamy nods and she drops down in the gap between Jackson and Murphy, sitting as far away from both of them as she can.
“We were just reminiscing,” Raven says, instantly diffusing the tension and giving no one the chance to ask what she means by ‘dealt with.’
“Okay,” Clarke asks, turning to face Bellamy with a grin on her face. “I have a question for you.”
“Shoot, princess,” he grins and she ignores the swooping in her stomach the use of her old nickname.
“Did you really think you could run a camp of delinquents with no rules?”
“Absolutely. Whatever the hell we want,” he smirks. Clarke laughs and Miller and Murphy let out a cheer. Even Octavia cracks a smile and it feels like reality is slipping away. They might as well be around a campfire at the Dropship.
“That was never going to work,” Raven says once they’ve stopped giggling, shaking her head and looking up at the stars above them. “Getting down here the first time was beautiful.”
“You literally threatened me after about thirty seconds,” Bellamy says, shaking his head with a smile on his face.
“I bet you deserved it,” Echo smirks as Raven howls with laughter.
“You can’t talk. You literally threatened to cut off Griffin’s hand, to get the wrist band,” Murphy reminds Bellamy, turning to face him.
“Wow,” Clarke grins before Bellamy can defend himself. “That’s rude.”
“I also saved her life that day,” he says. “Let’s not focus on the negatives.”
“No, let’s talk more about cutting off my hand.”
“You weren’t going to open the door because you thought the air might be toxic,” Bellamy laughs, turning his head to look at her. “Did you want us to live in the dropship forever?”
They continue talking about their first few weeks on the ground as the fire dies in front of them. They laugh at memories of stupid things someone did or said. They mourn their friends, having the conversations they never had time for the last time they were all together. They apologise for things they didn’t get the chance to before. They talk about Wells, Jasper, Fox and Monroe. They talk about Atom and Finn and Charlotte and Roma and Bree. They talk about all the delinquents who didn’t make it, all the friends they lost. They laugh and they cry and Clarke feels it’s cathartic. It reminds her that if nothing else, she’s a member of the original hundred. A hundred and two, counting Bellamy and Raven.
Eventually, Murphy and Emori stand, declaring they need to get some rest before the sunrise. The rest of the group slowly follows, heading in the direction of their own tents until it’s only Harper, Monty, Bellamy, Clarke and Madi left.
“We really missed you,” Harper tells Clarke, leaning over to squeeze her hand. “I’m so glad you’re alive.”
“So am I,” Clarke laughs.
“We’re going to head to bed too,” she continues. “Did you want me to take Madi?”
She’s about to say no, that she’ll turn in too when Bellamy meets her eyes. Suddenly, she’s not so tired in anymore.
“Thanks,” Clarke says, gently shaking Madi awake. “Are you okay to stay with Monty and Harper for a bit? I’ll come to get you later, I just need to talk to Bellamy about something.” Madi doesn’t really open her eyes, but nods her head and lets Harper pull her up. Clarke stands, wrapping her arms around her and presses a kiss to the top of her head.
“Thanks for today,” Bellamy says, once the others have left. He’s gesturing to his side and it takes her a moment to remember that he was shot.
“You’re welcome. And thank you,” she says, dropping next to him again. “I wouldn’t have had to do anything if she didn’t save my life.”
“Guess that makes up even then,” he shrugs. He drops onto his elbows and stares up at the stars that less than a month ago, they’d returned from. “I never got to have that drink with you.”
“We’ll have to find the time soon,” Clarke smiles, lying beside him. It feels almost like it did before they were separated. Before the world ended. Before they had to worry about Octavia and Diyoza and a ship full of actual criminals, rather than teenage delinquents.
“Do you remember our day trip?” Bellamy asks, a smile playing on his lips. Clarke nods because how could she forget? He’d taught her to shoot, standing so close behind her she could feel his breath on her neck, which was distracting, to say the least. And she didn’t even like him then.
“That’s when I realised how important you were to me,” he tells her. She thinks back and he’s probably right. They both battled their demons, high on jobi nuts that day. He taught her to shoot, they came together as a team for the first time. Realising they needed each other. It was the start of something.
“Me too,” she agrees. They continue the conversation of those first few weeks but focussing on the moments that the two of them had shared, rather than the whole group. The day she’d killed Atom, proving to him that she wasn’t just the entitled princess her thought she was, that she actually cared about other people. That she actually cared about him. When they’d both gotten sick, how worried they were for each other.
She always knew what she felt for him, but somehow, always doubted he felt the same. He's confirming it now though. The conversation feels like they're both confessing, without saying the words. And it feels like something they've both been waiting for since not long after they got to the ground.
“I thought you were going to drop me into that pit,” Clarke says, referring to the time he’d caught her, the day Wells stole Bellamy’s gun.
“I thought about it,” Bellamy admits with a laugh. “I’m glad I didn’t.”
“Look,” Clarke gasps, pointing upwards. The shooting star is almost too much of a coincidence.
“Can you wish on that kind of shooting star?” Bellamy asks as they both watch it disappear above them.
“Would you know what to wish for this time?” She asks, instead of answering.
“Yes,” he breathes. When she turns her head, she finds him closer than she thought and already looking at her. It takes her a second to gain the courage, but then she’s leaning towards him, giving him the chance to back away if he wants to. He doesn’t though, instead meeting her halfway and pressing his lips to hers in a gentle, questioning kiss.
“I’d wish for both of us to stay in the same place,” Bellamy says. “No more separation.”
“I would too,” Clarke confesses, leaning forward to kiss him again. There’s no question this time. They lose themselves in the kiss that had been a long time in coming.
They were best friends before but it’s going to be better this time.