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we'll be looking for sunlight, or the headlights

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A/N: This fic is now a finalist in the BFWA 2018 category: Best Smut Work in Progress, and I

just wanted to take a moment to express how thankful I am for everyone who has taken

the time to vote. It means more to me than I could ever describe.

- Josefine

 


 

 

The best people come into your life when you think you’re better off alone.

 

Her golden hair is a whirlwind and her knuckles carry charcoal bruises when she plops down on Murphy’s sad leather couch. Outside, the stars are beaming from light-years away, but tonight she isn’t drawn to them like always. Frowning, she opens a can of the cheap beer that she knows she hates and leans back before taking a sip.

Disgusting…

Still, coming here to the faint yellow wallpaper and silence is a refuge.

She takes a sip of thin beer. Winces. Repeat.

To say that her day has been horrific would be an understatement, and she doesn’t even have a good song stuck in her head. Instead, it’s the jingle of a TV-commercial, a bad one at that. In spite of this, she doesn’t realize just how miserable she looks before Murphy, otherwise known as The King of Sulking, makes a comment. 

“What happened to you? You come into my home, you drink my beer and put your Starry Night sneakers on my coffee table, but you won’t tell me what’s going on? Spit it out, Clarke.” 

Christ, that must be the most words that anyone has gotten out of Murphy in… Well, forever. So for a minute, she simply stares at him, blinking in surprise. 

Then she forces herself to admit it; the truth that’s ten times more bitter than the beer: “I got fired.”

At first, Murphy seems genuinely shocked and rarely sympathetic, but after she’s gathered the will to tell him the full story, he’s downright grinning. Clarke can’t believe her own eyes. “Cage Wallace is an asshole, so what? Every last person in Arkadia knows this, and I’m so glad that someone — you, as it turns out — told him to his face! This is the best thing I’ve ever heard!” 

But Clarke fails to see the humor of the situation, even though she knows that Murphy’s right. “This might be funny to you, but I don’t see how I’m gonna pay my bills next month, because I’m… I just lost my job!” 

A job that she shed blood, sweat and tears for, because her heart beat with passion every morning when she woke up from knowing that she’d be looking at priceless art all day. You can’t touch museum art, but you can always admire it, and God, does she love admiring it. And now she doesn’t get to do that anymore… She just had to say something stupid and get herself fired. 

When she senses the first burning tears gather by the doors to her eyes, someone else speaks. Someone whose voice she doesn’t recognize, but it’s low and confident; full of character, “Let her process what happened before turning it into a joke. Murphy, we’ve discussed this.” 

Lifting her gaze, Clarke only just registers Murphy’s attempt at making a sarcastic reply. She’s simply too distracted by the other guy who’s standing next to Murphy; the easy smile on his lips a stark contrast to his crossed arms. Is he open or closed off?

On top of that, while Clarke might be exhausted, she’s not exhausted enough to overlook how attractive the stranger is.

He’s all dark curls, bronze skin and freckles.

“Who are you?” She wants to know, suddenly feeling curious in spite of everything that’s happened to her today. Stepping forward, he chuckles, the sound of it as warm as the June breeze. 

But Murphy doesn’t let him respond for himself. “This asshole here is Bellamy Blake, a friend from college.” 

“What a nice introduction, John.” 

With those snarky words, Bellamy shoots him a look before taking a seat next to Clarke. And for some reason, when their eyes meet for the first time, she passes him the can of beer, offering him a sip. He takes it, if only to be polite, because he has the exact same reaction to the taste as she does. In front of them, Murphy’s frowning again, shaking his head. “There you go. Now I have two idiots on my couch wasting my perfectly good beer.” 

Then he leaves them, most likely to play a discounted video game in the bedroom. As soon as he is out of earshot, Bellamy laughs, “In what world is this beer perfectly good?” 

“It tastes like soapy water.” 

“Exactly!” 

They have a laugh together, which leaves Clarke surprised. No one has ever cheered her up that fast — not even Raven (who usually just settles for watching a Chick Flick and eating a shitload of chocolate with her). As he grins, she watches the silvery moonlight wash over his golden features. It’s captivating, like Aurora Borealis. Or any other extraordinary thing… 

“Do you want me to make you something better?” 

Doubtful, she raises an eyebrow. “You can do that?” He can do that?!

(The answer: Yes, he fucking can…)

In the kitchen, Bellamy mixes a glass of orange juice and vodka with some frozen raspberries that mysteriously happened to be hiding in Murphy’s ice cream-filled freezer. Upon taking the first sip, she realizes that it’s cold but delicious…. Now, there’s only one other thing she’s craving, so she asks Bellamy. 

“You smoke?” 

“Only cigars,” he jokes, causing her to wrinkle her nose. Then she pulls out her silver container of neat, hand-rolled cigarettes.

“This round’s on me.”

As if it were pre-decided, they share the drink and the cigarette on Murphy’s matchbox-sized balcony. Although it might be crammed out there, her elbow brushing against Bellamy’s on the railing, you can see the stars clearly, and she lives for it. The sight reminds her of the year that she spent living on her grandmother’s farm in Wisconsin when she was nine. Back then, everything was perfect, a fairytale, which has been slowly crumbling into pieces as she grew up.

“Are you thinking sad thoughts? Please don’t do that.”

Seriously, who is this dude? A fucking mind reader?

She smiles, albeit vaguely. “Then cheer me up.” 

Letting her have the last drag of the cigarette, Bellamy passes it to her before pulling out his phone and headphones. For a moment, she looks at him, confused, but his eyes only smile at her. It looks as if the stars are trapped within the dark brown shades of them… 

A minute or so passes before a nice, calming tune flows through the headphones and into her ears, making her whole body swell, even though she hasn’t heard it before.

 

Perhaps I knew her long ago,

I wrote her poems at 9 years old.

But then I did become a man,

and let her slip right through my hands.

I practiced all my wit and charm,

Had many girls on every arm.

I learned the depths of love and hate,

but never did learn how to wait.

 

It makes her feel like she can fly away, and as depressing as it sounds, she’d love that right now. To escape, but when she glances at the person next to her; this wonderful enigma of a man, she realizes that she wouldn’t want to go alone. No… She’d take him with her, just to have someone with whom she could share everything she saw and touched. Only when she feels Bellamy’s gaze on her again does she register that she has closed her eyes. 

“It’s nice, right?” 

She nods, the smile pulling easily at the corners of her mouth now.

Afterwards, he lets her look at his playlist (which is something that she considers very intimate for some reason; like you’re willfully giving a piece of your soul to another person. Music is just special.), and notes that she hasn’t even heard of most of them, but that makes sense, she supposes. Because she doesn’t know him either… Not really. 

“You like art, right?” 

Clarke stares at him, perplexed. Then the words push past her lips, “Seriously, how do you know that? Do you read people like books or something?” It’s so invasive that it almost makes her cringe, but luckily Bellamy seems amused by it, if anything.

At first, he smirks a little. “Nah, I just happened to notice your choice of footwear. Van Gogh, isn’t it true?” 

Sensing heat rush to her cheeks, she looks down at her shoes, her favorite pair of sneakers that she’s had for two years now. She’s used them so much that they’re incredibly worn, but she still can’t bring herself to get rid of them. It’s weird how you can get so attached to inanimate objects… 

“Art is a passion.” 

His smile grows soft like the breeze that brushes past her face. Suddenly, she has to look away, her gaze darting to his forearm, which is speckled in freckles just like his cheeks. Because it takes him a while, Clarke doesn’t think that he’s going to respond, but then he does.

“So is writing for me. But instead of doing that, I’m stuck making coffee for strangers and crashing on my buddy’s couch.” 

At his words, a sizzle of electricity sparks a tiny fire in the dark pit of her stomach. Of course, she feels bad for him, but — perhaps selfishly — it’s nice to know that someone understands her current struggles. Every emotion that she’s trying to battle right now comes down to dissatisfaction, really — even the strong wanderlust. 

“You need a place to stay?” Her voice is barely a whisper, but it catches his attention nonetheless. For a minute, he can only look at her, the silence enveloping them as their eyes explore each other. She can see infinite galaxies within his. 

She’s never been more serious about anything. 

Still, for now… this is the end of their conversation, because Murphy pokes his head out through the glass door to the balcony. “There are other people here. It wouldn’t kill you to socialize, would it?” 

Sharing a look with Bellamy, Clarke rolls her eyes, thinking that Murphy is only referring to himself. However, when they turn around they’re faced with the small sea of people that have filled up the narrow space of the living room. Luckily, she recognizes most of them, but she’s not sure that Bellamy does.

The first person they bump into is Raven Reyes, Clarke’s best friend, who immediately pulls her into a tight hug. “Fuck you, Griffin. You’re sad, and you go to Murphy instead of me? I’m offended.” 

The words might be rough, but her tone is soft, full of empathy and affection; Reyes is a walking contradiction, but you’d be wrong to ever underestimate her.

“His place was closer.” 

Frowning, Raven holds her face in her hands, mumbling about how much of a dick Cage Wallace is before pulling her into another much softer embrace, and Clarke takes it, burying her face in her friend’s neck briefly. But she doesn’t want to cry, so she pulls away, releasing a ragged breath.

Raven, being the genius that she is, understands that it’s best to change the subject. “Who’s this hottie?” She asks, raising a perfect eyebrow in Bellamy’s direction, but Clarke only chuckles.

“Careful, Rae. You don’t wanna make Shaw jealous…” 

Her friend raises the other eyebrow, looking from Bellamy to Clarke. Somehow, Reyes knows how to read people, even if they’re more complicated than her physics equations. “Or you? Is this…?”

“Bellamy Blake. We just met,“ Clarke says quickly, clearing her throat.

And yet, she’s already indirectly offered him the spare room in her loft apartment. But she doesn’t tell Raven that. Instead, she drifts on through the sea of people, sailing into Monty Green. He has a fresh degree in computer programming and a heart of gold. Therefore, he immediately offers to set up a website for her, so she can sell her art pieces online until she gets another job. 

“I’m not sure, Monty,” she mumbles, shifting on her feet. “My stuff isn’t—“ 

“It’s great,” Miller chimes in, support and loyalty pouring from the words, and her heart softens. Then, he turns to Bellamy, smiling as much as he ever does. “Hey, man. I see you’ve met Griffin already.” 

Next to her, Bellamy grins, and Clarke is left even more curious, so she has to ask. “You know each other?”

Miller nods. “This nerd here had a job at The Mountain before he went back to college.”

The Mountain is Arkadia’s one and only gay bar, but it wasn’t until a man by the name of King Roan took over and filled the place with Pride flags. Needless to say, Clarke’s never been more excited about a bar before that happened, and she vividly remembers flocking to the place with Raven, Monty, Miller and Luna when it re-opened.

Well, it must be the reason why Bellamy knows how to make good drinks. That’s one mystery solved.

Clarke grins, sensing his dark gaze on her. In front of them, Miller is looking between them, assessing the situation just like Raven had, but unlike her, he’s not quite confident enough to take a guess. So instead, she tells him, “Bellamy’s moving in with me.” 

She wonders if there’s any hint of uncertainty in her voice, but when Bellamy chokes out a surprised, “I am?” she knows that there isn’t. 

Her smile growing, she turns around to face him. “Only if you want. I have a spare room, and since I’m officially unemployed, I need some help with the rent.”

The look on his face reveals everything: He’s torn between being thankful and shell-shocked. “Clarke… I don’t wanna be any trouble.” 

“Then don’t be,” she says, teasing. “The offer stands. You can move in on Monday. Or not. The choice is yours.”

Then she walks away like some fierce businesswoman that you see on television, feeling overly confident until it hits her what she just did: Offered the spare room in her apartment to a guy that she’s known for a total of two hours. In fact, this is all that she knows about him.

 

~ FACTS ABOUT BELLAMY BLAKE ~

 

  1. He hates Murphy’s beer as much as her
  2. He makes good drinks…
  3. … And smokes hand-rolled cigarettes
  4. His taste in music is obscure
  5. Writing is his passion, just like art is hers
  6. He worked at The Mountain with Miller (which means that it’s 90% certain that’s he’s LGBT+). Now he works at a coffee shop.

 

This collision could end in two ways. Not knowing someone and moving in with them can be catastrophic despite the initial chemistry if you don’t see eye-to-eye in the boring everyday life of chores and other obligations, but on the other hand, it could really work. 

Somehow. 

If it’s meant to — No, wait… scratch that. She doesn’t believe in fate, not anymore. 

So if Bellamy shows up on her doorstep on Monday despite everything, it’s won’t be because of fate. It’ll be a choice. And for some reason, she likes the sound of that much better.

 

 


 

When her rich grandmother from Wisconsin died, she left Clarke enough money for this loft apartment in Arkadia — and five others like it. She loves living here, because the place is usually so full of soul, but right now it feels as if the walls are pulling in on her. The new shame that they carry is about to crush her…

… How on Earth is she going to tell her parents that she lost her job?  

“Do they really value success higher than your happiness?” Raven asks in the disbelief over the phone. The sun has been swallowed by the hills on this Monday evening, and she’s still in the mechanic shop, which is revealed by the sound of heavy tools in the background.

“I don’t know.” 

Bellamy hasn’t showed up, and that did nothing to improve her mood. Her apartment feels empty, like a black hole that’s waiting to swallow her whole. Sighing, she kicks her feet a little and glances at the cup of hot chocolate that she made for herself, in the middle of June — it’s frowning at her, getting cold, but she ignores it.

“Your parents love you, Griffin.”

Even though the sadness in her voice is barely detectable, Clarke instantly feels the guilt sting in her heart. God… Is she really so fucking stuck in her own head right now? She swallows hard and utters an apology, but Raven doesn’t take it. 

“It’s not your fault that I had the childhood that I had. But you gotta remember how lucky you are.”

“I know.”

She’s privileged in so many areas of life that it’s terrible how often she forgets it. Being bisexual and temporarily unemployed doesn’t cancel out the fact that she’s a white woman from a wealthy, respected background, with two loving parents. 

“It’s okay, babe… I got your back, alright?” 

At that promise, Clarke manages a wobbly smile as tears of grateful gather in her eyes. “I love you. I hope you know that.” 

Honestly, she has no idea where she’d be if it weren’t for her amazing, supportive friends. For years, they’ve been walking through life right behind her, ready to catch her if she should fall, even though it hasn’t truly happened until now. So while she might not have a job right now, she’ll always have her friends who give her shitty beer and offer to make websites for her.

(Though it took some convincing, she’s agreed to let Monty and his best friend Jasper Jordan set up a web store for her art. They’ll have it all done in two weeks.) 

“I do,” she can hear Raven smile. “I love you, too.” 

For some reason, her calls with Raven never end when she expects them to, and this time is no exception, because suddenly her friend asks, “What are you wearing right now?”

“My pajamas… Why?”

She’s in a worn, paint-splattered Coca Cola t-shirt and comfy dark gray pants, but apparently that is an abomination according to Reyes. “You need to change. Right now. If that hot guy shows up—”

At that, Clarke decides to cut in before her friend gets too ahead of herself. “Relax. If Bellamy were interested in being my roommate, he would’ve been here hours ago. He isn’t coming.”

(She’s wrong…)

 


 

 

Two hours later, he arrives alongside the stars. Smiling on her doorstep when she lets him in, he’s still a stranger. 

But Clarke’s never been more relieved to see anyone — or to carry anyone’s luggage. Running his hand through the chaotic curls of his hair, he becomes apologetic and unsure. “Is it too late?”

She places a cardboard box on her living room floor before turning back to look at him, and her smile is reassuring. “No. It’s not.”

During the next week, the apartment is slowly transformed into a space that not only accommodates a young artist with colorful dreams. Her bookcase, which used to carry nothing but books about art and a few of her dad’s old vinyl records, is filled with his favorite stories. And her kitchen is stuffed to brim with real food that can actually be used for cooking.

When everything’s in place, Bellamy gives back his key to Murphy’s place and situates himself on her couch with a cup of black coffee. 

There’s no going back now.

 

Chapter Text

The nickname comes out of nowhere. Much like him.

Every morning when she wakes up, there’s a cup of warm, delicious coffee waiting for her on the counter, and Bellamy greets her bedhead the exact same way each day when she walks into the kitchen, “Good morning, Princess.” 

Princess.  

And if he’s not there physically, prevented from it by a shift at the coffee shop, there’s always a sticky note plastered to the cup. He writes in block letters, ends the message with a smiley face and he always calls her princess. For some reason, she’s never asked him why he’s chosen that specific name, but she has her assumptions: Maybe Miller or Murphy told Bellamy about her privileged background.

Believe it or not, she wouldn’t blame him for it. Although she knows very little about her new roommate, she’s still been able to deduct that he doesn’t come from a wealthy background. After all, it seems as if he only worked those shifts at The Mountain to earn the needed money to complete his college education. 

Even if she was a tiny bit annoyed by the nickname it’s easily forgotten because his coffee is just too good, making her forgive and forget. Therefore, a couple of weeks later, she’s grown used to it — Hell, a smile begins to bloom on her lips every time she sees his sticky notes.

So when she wakes up one morning, and there isn’t one waiting for her, she frowns in disappointment.

Perhaps he just forgot it in the haze of everything. Maybe he got up too late and was just too busy to leave her anything. The cup of coffee isn’t there either, so she makes it herself. But while she’s walking down the hall past Bellamy’s room, something catches the corner of her eye and causes her to stall.

Bellamy is asleep in his room, but not on the bed. He’s breathing soundly next to his old typewriter, his head in a position that can’t possibly be comfortable. Silently, she walks in, places her hand on his shoulder and the cup of coffee on the table next to him. 

“Here you go.”

At the sound of her voice, he grunts a little, his eyelids fluttering open. When he notices the cup, the scent of black coffee meeting his nostrils, he smiles through exhaustion. “Thanks, Princess.”

Then he lifts his head, exposing the sheet of paper that he was using as a pillow, but before she can read the ink on it, he pushes it aside with his hand. Immediately, she understands. She feels the same way about people seeing her art; it’s like giving people a doorway, a free-access pass to your heart, and that’s too much. More often than not… 

“You’re not working today?”

Bellamy takes the first sip of coffee, closing his eyes at the taste before answering her question. “No. My co-worker, Harper, was kind enough to fill in for me.” 

Together, they spend the rest of the morning half-asleep, lounging around in their pajamas. As the sunlight grows stronger, they go outside to share another hand-rolled cigarette. From the balcony, the view of Arkadia is magnificent, the hills forming curves on the horizon and people busying around like ants on the streets beneath them.

“We should go out today,” he states suddenly after his third drag of smoke. “I feel like a caveman.”

At that last comment, Clarke chuckles, unable to resist the push of sassiness. “You smell like one, too.”

Although she assumes that most guys would be offended by that joke, Bellamy isn’t. He only smirks, the sparks lighting up his gaze like tiny suns. “Does that turn you on? I think it’s scientifically proven that women are attracted to— Jesus, that’s so heteronormative.“ 

Oh. He’s definitely not straight. Most straight guys refuse to acknowledge that heteronormativity even exists, because they benefit from it. But Bellamy doesn’t, that’s clear as day.

Still, she isn’t about to pry. But it would be a lie to say that she isn’t curious.

“Where do you wanna go? The Mountain?

He smiles a little around the cigarette before passing it back to her. “Maybe. But… Well, I have a lot of ex-flirts that are regulars there.” 

It’s safe to say that this responds only adds to her growing curiousity, and yet she keeps her lips sealed, because he’s been kind enough not to dive into the subject of her sexuality despite the fact that she’s pretty open about it, hence the bi Pride graffiti art on closet doors in her bedroom that escapes no one’s notice.

“You were that bartender? The flirty kind?”

Running a hand through his hair, he turns to her, his boyish grin stretching the corners of his lips further apart. “That surprises you?” 

“I’ve seen you in your reading glasses, so in my eyes, you’re a dork. Not a Casanova.” 

Whenever he reads, which is often, Bellamy wears a pair of big-rimmed, square glasses that suit him surprisingly well. They make him look a librarian or something, and as cliché as it sounds, they highlight the intelligence that she knew he had within an hour of meeting him. 

“I can be both.”

She sticks out her tongue. “Until I see it, I won’t believe it.” 

As always, he offers her the last drag of the cigarette, but this time she lets him have it. Then she goes to update the unpublished website that Monty and Jasper have made for her with some of her sketches, but pushes it aside yet again, finding an excuse not to. 

She’s not pleased enough with any of her pieces to put them out there. What if people hate them? What if people won’t buy them because they’re not good enough?

 


 

At lunchtime, she goes to the local café with Raven who all but screams at her when she starts to tear herself down. That’s a true friend right there, but sadly it doesn’t help her motivation much. She’s pretty sure that nothing can at this point… 

They meet up with Emori, Murphy’s badass girlfriend who teaches martial arts to young girls, for a stroll around Arkadia Park, which is pretty much just a sad collection of trees and a lone bench. “Seriously, I love him, but he talks about video games all the time now.” 

“I feel the same way about Zeke and his jet planes,” Raven responds, glancing at Emori. And Clarke hates to admit it, because she doesn’t usually dislike being single, but conversations like this makes her feel a little left out. It’s not that her friends talk about their love lives constantly or anything, though, so she doesn’t comment on it. They have every right to talk about the people that they love. 

Clarke just wishes that it didn’t make her feel so alone, and then she just feels pathetic for feeling alone.

“We should go to Murphy’s tonight. Get smashed. It’s Friday, after all.” 

It’s sort of a tradition now. Every Friday or Saturday, they and their mutual friends gather in Murphy’s tiny living room to play drinking games and eat take-out as if they were still in college. It gives them a chance to hang out together in spite of the fact that they all live very different and busy lives. 

“Is it cool if I invite Bellamy?” Clarke asks, secretly thinking that she’s not so keen on going if he won’t also be there. During the past week, he’s been one of the only people that she can tolerate having in her space, and that means a lot — as much as breathing, really.

“Yeah, I’m sure it’s fine,” Emori says. “Murphy likes the guy, even though he refuses to admit it most of the time.”

Well, that’s John Murphy in a nutshell, pretending that he doesn’t actually care about people but showing it anyway. He’s been acting the same way with Clarke since she met him, scowling at her at every turn yet allowing her to drink his beer and come to his place whenever she likes. 

The only person that has managed to soften Murphy is Emori. It’s as if she came into his life like a wrecking ball, leaving everything in ruins just so that they could rebuild it together in a better, more stable way. Although she can’t be sure, Clarke’s almost certain that Emori’s the reason why Murphy occasionally allows himself to vulnerable and affectionate. 

Like Raven, his childhood prepared him for nothing but pain and grief. 

And he expected nothing else from the world until Emori came along…

“Are you guys bringing your own alcohol?” 

“Is that even a question?” Raven grins, but Emori shrugs, admitting that she has grown to like her boyfriend’s soapy-water beer.

When they’ve walked in silence for a bit, Emori’s curiousity surfaces as she turns to Clarke, asking, “How are things with you and Bellamy?”

A smile starts to play at the corners of Clarke’s lips. “Good so far.” 

Obviously, that vague response only leaves her friends wanting more information, but there’s not really much to spill. Bellamy’s a great roommate who makes her coffee instead of making a mess and shares her cigarettes. Aside from that, he’s mostly still shadowed, an enigma, but she’s sure that she’ll learn more about him, that they will learn more about each other, as the time passes…

 


 

As soon as Clarke walks through the front door to the apartment, she is almost floored by surprise, because it hits her that Bellamy is singing — and for some reason, she didn’t have him picked as a person who sings…

… and that well, too. 

Jesus, is there anything he can’t do? If so, she’s dying to know. 

Because there’s no music playing from the stereo or the record player, Clarke knows that he’s wearing his headphones before she walks in on him in the kitchen. He’s stirring tomato sauce in a pot while moving and singing along to a song that she can only imagine what sounds like as the words fall from his lips. 

 

“How can I protect you in this crazy world?

It's alright yeah

It's alright.”

 

His voice is dark and raspy, a little untrained, but she reckons that it still sounds better than her own. A minute later, he stops singing and goes to pick another song on his phone, but then he notices her and almost jumps in surprise. 

“I knew ninjas existed,” is what he says with a grin, successfully making her laugh. 

“You’re such a loser,” she comments, but it’s soft, somehow affectionate. “And you’re not a bad singer.” 

Evidently, that compliment embarrasses him, because he turns all of his attention to the food that he’s cooking and tells her to “go watch some reality TV or something”. Rolling her eyes, Clarke obliges even though she zaps past all of the reality programs, because that stuff kills her brain cells more than it entertains her. 

She settles for a documentary about femininity in the Victorian era but has stopped paying attention by the time Bellamy walks into the living room, carrying two plates of pasta with tomato sauce. If there’s one thing that she’s taken away from eating his cooking, it’s that he loves making comfort food, and she can’t possibly complain about that. 

“Thank you so much.”

Like everything he makes, the meal is good, mouth-watering. For a while they eat together in silence, watching the rest of the documentary (he seems way more interested in it than she is), but

she finally finds the courage to ask, “Do you wanna come with me to Murphy’s tonight? We’re all gonna hang out.”

He smiles around his last forkful of pasta. “Of course… I don’t have work in the morning.” 

For once… While she is still unemployed, Bellamy has so many shifts at the coffee shop that she’s kind of afraid that his spine will break under the weight of the responsibility. When she’s stressed out, she can’t paint, her passion slowly dying out and she can’t help but wonder if it’s the same for him, if he finds it hard to write when he’s under this amount of pressure.

“You liked the documentary?” She asks, even though she already knows the answer. 

Bellamy grins back. “Have you seen the books that I own, Princess? I’m a renowned history nerd.” 

Yeah, she’s seen them. She even ran her fingertips along the spines one afternoon to see if she’d read any of them. She hadn’t, although she did know a few, like The Iliad and The Odyssey. When she admits to not knowing much about history, he chuckles, seemingly unsurprised. It makes her raise an eyebrow.

“Alright, how much do you know about art?”

“I knew about your sneakers, didn’t I?” 

At his sassiness, she grins, sticking out her tongue in teasing. “That’s not enough. Tell me, what’s the color of my lipstick?” 

Bellamy stares for a couple of seconds, puzzled, as if he’s wondering why she’s asking such as easy question. “Um… Red?”

Shaking her head, she laughs a little. “This specific shade of red is called vermillion, Bellamy. Don’t ever forget it.”

To her surprise, he places a hand on her thigh. It’s the first time he’s touched her, his fingers sending a warm, sizzling sensation through her body. “Trust me, I won’t.”

A laugh clings to his promise, but she can still tell that he’s serious. How on Earth is she supposed to interpret that?

 


 

Once again, Murphy’s living room is full of people, memories and laughter when Bellamy and Clarke arrive, but before they join the circle, he pulls her into the kitchen, in which she hops onto the counter.

Smiling at him, she kicks her feet. “Are you going to do your bartender magic?”


“Are you going to tell me what you want?”

From the other room (which apparently isn’t as much out of earshot as they would’ve hoped), Murphy deadpans, “Are you going to stop flirting and join the game? I mean, for fuck’s sake.”

Bellamy ignores him. Clarke rolls her eyes, watching as her roommate mixes her order of vodka/raspberry. She’s pretty sure the drink is otherwise unheard of, but he manages to make it for her, and it’s good.  

“Hey, easy. Don’t drink all of it before the game starts.” 

“It was one little sip, Bellamy!” 

At that he chuckles, supporting her back as she hops off the counter. “Well, that’s the biggest little sip I’ve ever seen someone take in my life.”

When they’ve finally joined the game of Never Have I Ever, everyone stares at them when Clarke places the drink in between her and Bellamy. Although they’ve only known each other for two weeks, they’re used to sharing everything… Well, pretty much everything. 

Instead of trying to explain themselves, Bellamy and Clarke just shrug. 

Because he’s the host, Murphy starts. Looking directly at Bellamy (how fucking subtle, Murph…), he says, “Never Have I Ever dropped out of college.” 

As expected, Bellamy is the only that drinks, and Clarke is more than tempted to glare at Murphy for being insensitive, but luckily Miller gets back at him during the next round as he states “Never Have I Ever gotten an inappropriate tattoo.”

Murphy is forced to drink. No questions are asked, because no one wants to know. Judging by the cringe that Emori does, though, it’s bad. Very bad… 

It’s Raven’s turn. “Never Have I Ever been with someone who identifies as gay.”

Miller drinks and Monty drink. Clarke does, too, because of her high school girlfriend Lexa and her casual sex friend Niylah during freshman year of college. But then Bellamy takes a sip, which more than confirms her suspicion. When Emori asks Raven why she didn’t drink herself, she smiles. “Luna’s pansexual.” 

“Yeah. Like me,” Bellamy adds around the edge of the glass, and Clarke can’t help but look at him for a second. As he meets her gaze, she offers him a smile, which he returns.

Inevitably, the game questions turn sexual as the alcohol gradually makes its way into their systems. At some point, Raven uses one of her best dirty tricks to try and get information out of Clarke by saying, “Never Have I Ever fantasied about my roommate.” 

Clarke glares but doesn’t drink. Neither does Bellamy. 

“Really? Not even a little bit?” Monty questions, which only has both Bellamy and Clarke shaking their heads and cracking up when they look at each other. 

“Having those feelings for a roommate is messy as fuck. No, we don’t go there, Green.”

As soon as she has said that, Clarke swears that she hears Emori mumble something along the lines of ‘oh, you say that now…’ under her breath, and she’s tempted to grab one of the couch cushions and start a pillow fight.

Though some people might think of that as petty, they have no idea exactly how petty Clarke can be when the situation calls for it. When she and Raven broke up with Finn Collins in high school, they put together a plan ten times more amazing than simply slicing his tires or some shit. They directed the attack towards the area that hurts straight white guys the most: his dick.

In biology, they made sure that they were sitting next to Bree, the biggest gossip in all of Arkadia high, while they talked about how they broke up with Finn because of his insanely small penis. From that point on, the plan carried itself out, and to this day she and Raven have a ton of fun speculating if Finn has managed to get laid yet or not.

She thinks Bellamy would laugh at that story. Maybe she should tell him sometime.

When the game is over and everyone except Emori decides that it’s time to go home, Clarke and Bellamy link arms and trail down the sidewalk, supporting each other. Next to her, he swallows the stars and exhales them as cheesy jokes that make her laugh a lot.

“You’re cool, Princess,” he mumbles after insisting to follow her all the way to her door, which is the door to her bedroom

“And you’re a dork. Not a Casanova… Goodnight Bellamy.”

The next morning, she wakes up an hour earlier than usual, draws back the curtains. She wants the first thing he sees to be the beautiful sunrise. Then she makes him coffee and leaves a sticky note on the counter.

 

Yeah, you can be both :) - C

Chapter Text

Clarke realizes just how much of a nerd that Bellamy is when he sprints into the living room and makes her look up from her Van Gogh book just to proclaim, “This bra is periwinkle!” while holding it out in triumph. Looking at him, she throws her head back, bursting into laughter, but Bellamy only smiles. 

“I see that you’ve been practicing the real colors.”

At that, he nods before stating, “Doing the laundry is a surprisingly good way of memorizing them.”

The grin spreading across her face, Clarke hums. “Does that mean you’re gonna do it tomorrow too?” But apparently, that was too much to hope for, because Bellamy chuckles in light mockery and tosses her bra at her in retaliation. This is undoubtedly his way of saying, ‘Do your own fucking laundry next time, Princess’. 

Although living with Bellamy for the past month for the most part has managed to distract her from the fact that she is still unemployed, she knows that the bills are going to arrive at her door soon, and she’s going to start beating herself up again. When she went to college, she majored in art because it was her passion and she loved it, but she didn’t take into account how difficult it was going to be to get a job afterwards.

“Have you launched the website yet?” Is the first thing that Raven asks her every day, and her reply is always the same: She hasn’t had the time to do it yet, but it’s going to happen sooner than she can bat an eyelash. Whenever she makes the promise, she really tries to follow through on it, hating lying to her best friend more than anything in the world, but her laptop seems to laugh mockingly at her every time she opens it.

It’s almost as if it’s saying ‘Ha, you scared bitch! You’re not gonna do it!’ and it’s right. She doesn’t do it. She never does. Countless times, she has gone through her portfolio, the one that Cage Wallace praised to the skies, trying to look for pieces to put on the site. But she always comes out empty-handed.

More than anything, she’s scared to admit that she doesn’t remember the last time that she actually created a piece of art. This is supposed to be the thing that she burns for, the thing that sends her heart racing and makes her dream during the day, but… she hasn’t been able to bring herself to pick up a pencil or a paintbrush in what feels like a lifetime. 

(But in the middle of the tragedy, there’s Bellamy. When she frowns on the couch, he pokes at her side, teasingly stating, “Your eyes are azure,” and she smiles.) 

One late afternoon, he walks through the front door and finds her on the living room floor, ignoring the soft orange sunrays in favor of staring at the dry white paint on the walls. She’s wearing his headphones and her pajamas, black mascara stains lingering beneath her eyes. 

Soundlessly, he walks to her and kneels down to take one of the headphones out of her ear, but she doesn’t react. Placing it in his ear, he is hit by Bon Iver’s Holocene:

 

“And at once I knew… I was not magnificent.”

 

He doesn’t say anything, asks no questions. Instead, he picks her up off the floor and carries her to the couch, holding her close against his chest. It reminds her of how frail she feels, like she could break at any given second. When she does, the sobs tearing through her chest one by one, Bellamy runs his fingers soothingly through her hair…

… Even places a single kiss to her forehead. “Hey, Clarke.” She opens her eyes, although the tears burn. Smiling a little, Bellamy runs his thumb across her cheekbone. “… Your skin is ivory.”

At that, she leans her forehead against his, taking a ragged breath.

Then she says, surprising him, “Tell me about Icarus.”

He does… until they fall asleep like that, a mess of limbs as the room is still stuffed with soft words.

They’re flying too damn close to the sun.

 


 

On Saturday, Clarke decides to go to The Mountain with her friends, even though she’ll have to live off of the bar snacks and steal sips of Bellamy’s drinks because she has to prioritize her money right now.

As always, the atmosphere is welcoming, the lights softer than in most bars, and tonight it’s not too crowded, which is a surprise, because it’s Pride month. Still, they have to get past the initial steam of people by the entrance, and Clarke can feel Bellamy’s hand on her back the entire time while they push through.

Roan greets them like old friends once they’re inside, offering a free beer to all of them. Maybe, if she saves this during the night, taking small sips; she won’t have to feel bad for stealing Bellamy’s.

At some point, while the others are dancing and Bellamy and Clarke are acting like wallflowers, people watching, a hot Spanish-looking dude walks up to them. But he only has eyes for Bellamy… 

Well, he did say that he had a lot of ex-flirts here, so…

Bellamy grins, locking eyes with him, and Clarke tries her best not to stare. “Princess, this is Diego,” when Bellamy says the guy’s name, his tongue curls around it in a certain way, which reveals that he’s said it in bed before. 

And she really can’t blame him for that. 

Smiling, Diego looks at Clarke now, his blue eyes curious. “Princess? What a cute nickname you have for your girlfr—“

“Roommate,” Bellamy cuts in, and usually she would be relieved, but this time it feels different. This time, it stuns her in the chest, leaving her heart to sting. She has no idea why, but it’s fucking uncomfortable, and at the back of her mind a tiny voice is screaming at her to leave them alone. Still, her feet are almost anchored to the floor next to him, so it takes all of her willpower to move.

She manages to find Raven in the crowd on the dance floor and walk to her without looking back once… Immediately, her friend pulls her in, succeeding at to making her move to the beat, so she briefly forgets about Bellamy and Diego. But during the second song, when her eyes unintentionally scan the crowded room for him, she finds them making out in the corner of the room, beside the bar. 

Diego’s pulling at Bellamy’s unruly hair, making him laugh against his mouth, and Clarke tears her eyes away… 

As expected, when they all leave a couple of hours later, Bellamy is nowhere to be seen.

 


 

The next morning when he returns, there are scrambled eggs in the pan waiting for him. From her place on the couch, Clarke hears him come in and pushes the piece of charcoal deeper into the paper. Yes, she’s drawing. Neither her hands nor her heart can believe it… 

“Good morning, Princess,” he greets her as always, smiling around a piece of toast when she looks in his direction. “Thanks for the scrambled eggs. Just what I needed.”

Then she smiles back, even if it’s half-assed. Exhaustion is wearing on her bones, as she’s been up most of the night, trying to finish this portrait… or whatever it is. Without looking at him, she pulls out a hand-rolled cigarette. “Did you get laid?” 

He blinks. “Yes… Are you judging me?” 

Holding his gaze as best as possible, she moves from the couch and leans in close just to steal a bite of his toast. “Nope,” she mumbles around it before walking past him to the balcony. Knowing that he’s going to follow her, she continues, “Why would you think that?” 

She lights the cigarette, offering him the first drag, and this time he actually takes it. For a moment, it puzzles her, but then he admits, “I… Well, because I’m kinda judging myself.” 

At his words, she looks at him, gradually softening as her brow furrows in confusion. Bellamy’s drag of smoke is longer than usual. When he exhales the tiny cloud, his breath emerges as a sigh. “Diego and I… We went out for a couple of months last year, but I broke it off because he got so fucking jealous whenever I was around other people. Virtually anyone, really… Even Murphy. I shouldn’t have slept with him, but—“ 

She shrugs, catching his attention. Because she relates to this situation, she easily finishes his sentence for him. “You’re attracted to him, and the sex is good.”

Exactly. Ugh…”

After he passes Clarke the cigarette, he turns to look at her. Instantly, the softness within his gaze surprises her, so when she smokes, she makes sure to hold his eyes right where they are, memorizing everything. But then he speaks, his words crushing her focus, “I also shouldn’t have left you…” 

As his every syllable clings to the morning air around them, Bellamy lifts his hand but doesn’t seem to know what to do with it. For a long, heavy moment it simply hovers by her cheek until he lets it drop back down along his side. She closes her eyes briefly, swallowing.

“It’s alright.”

At that, he averts his gaze to his feet. “Clarke…” 

She doesn’t want to hear him apologize, so she pushes past him into the living room, reunites with her drawing. When he sees it, she can almost sense his smile even before she lifts her eyes and actually sees it. That’s how big it is. “You’re drawing. I’ve never seen you draw.”

Wow, that’s true. He really hasn’t,  

Despite his comment, she’s still surprised by how much it fascinates him. While she struggles to finish the project, Bellamy keeps finding excuses to walk into the living room and watch her. In the two hours that it takes, he offers her at least a dozen cups of coffee and waters his precious succulents that probably don’t even need to be watered.

“What color is this?” 

At his question, she looks at him, raising an eyebrow. “You tell me.“

Bellamy stares at the crayon, his brow furrowing, and Clarke can’t help but grin when he finally decides, “Lime green?”

“You’re an expert now. It’s official.” 

Once she’s announced that, he gets to his feet, smiling down at her when he proclaims, only half-joking, “This is the happiest day of my life!” 

Well, it’s definitely safe to say that hers just got a whole lot better.

 


 

This is how it always goes.

Her friends love the portrait. She hates it, wants to burn it until they steal it from her and frame it. Then they hold a mini-auction to see who gets their hands on it. Maybe it’s to be the best damn friends in the entire universe, or maybe it’s mainly because they’re all so fucking competitive.

Needless to say, it happens this time, too. 

Clarke has drawn the sunset over Arkadia; the soft pink and purple strokes are a mesmerizing contrast to the harshness of the buildings. To her surprise, everyone wants it, even after she points out all of the crooked lines. But this time, despite Raven gushing about how it’ll “look da bomb in her office,” Bellamy wins the auction, as decided by Emori, and takes home the drawing having paid a total of 10 dollars and three beers for it. 

“I’ll pay you back for it,” she rushes, blushing as she runs to catch up to him on the sidewalk. 

“Clarke, shut up.” 

With that, he leans in, pulling her against his side as he smiles happily, holding the framed drawing close to his chest. Just like he did with her the other day while she was sobbing, turning the living room into a bottomless ocean of self-pity. 

When they come home, he nails the drawing to the wall above his bed.

 


 

 

Perhaps it’s an unwritten rule that despite how much time she has spent at the apartment this last month, she just has to be at the grocery store when an accident happens. While she’s weighing cantaloupes in her hands, contemplating picking a watermelon instead, her phone rings. It’s Bellamy, and he’s sounding quite sheepish to say the least — so much so that she can imagine the heat rising to the tips of his ears. But it makes sense. 

She rushes home to find him in the shower, lying awkwardly behind the curtain.

“How you managed to slip is beyond me. I always figured that I was the klutz.” 

Although she can only see his bare chest, the defined lines of his broad shoulders are enough to attract her gaze. Handing him a towel to cover himself, she does her best to keep her eyes trained on his face. “Do you need help?”

Of course, his pride overrules his sense at first as he tries to push himself up, but after a minute of wincing in pain, he sighs, acknowledging his defeat. “My ankle is killing me.”

Luckily, Clarke spent a lot of time at the hospital assisting her mom the summer after she graduated high school, so she’s supported men twice the size of Bellamy before without hurting herself. Therefore, she succeeds at helping him to his feet, trying not to focus too much on the sensation of their skin touching.

It takes them a while, but with joined effort, he ends up on the couch, still holding the towel tightly around his waist.

“I’m going to fetch you a set of clothes.”

Looking through the drawers of Bellamy’s dresser feels weird, like she’s snooping or something. Within a couple of minutes, though, she’s found what she’s looking for (a simple t-shirt and some comfortable pants that he can easily slip into), but also things that she wasn’t expecting (a box of Magnum-sized condoms and… a dark blue strap-on. How interesting.

“You didn’t look in the bottom drawer, did you?” Is the first thing he asks when she reemerges with the clothes, which for a second makes her fear that she looks as flustered as she feels. 

She looks at him, cocking up an eyebrow. “If you just sorted your clothes in your dresser like a normal person, I wouldn’t have had to look through everything just to find a pair of pajama pants… Put this on. I’ll make dinner today.” 

But first, she pulls a packet of ice from the freezer and wraps it in a dishtowel. Smiling, she sits down on the couch and — as carefully as possible — moves his right, swollen ankle into her lap. When she presses the ice to his skin, she hears him suck in a breath, so she looks at him with soft eyes. “I think it’s sprained. You’re not going to work tomorrow.” 

He stares at her. “But Clarke—“

At his protest, she rolls her eyes. “God, men are terrible. I’ll launch my website tomorrow. You don’t have to worry about work, okay?” 

Only when his brow furrows does she realize that she’s spoken too far. “I thought you launched the website two weeks ago.” 

Avoiding his eyes, Clarke hands him the ice packet and moves from the couch to start dinner, which — because of her limited culinary skills — is microwaved macaroni and cheese. Still, Bellamy doesn’t complain while they eat, doesn’t even mention his pain or his desire to go to work. In fact, he’s too busy staring at her the entire time, and because she’s too afraid to look back, she can’t decide if he’s angry at her for lying or not. 

“Are you sure that you’re ready to launch?” His voice is low, careful. Clarke keeps her eyes fixated on the food, stirring it with her fork, suddenly not hungry. Worrying her lip, she exhales, feeling the familiar knot tighten itself in her chest. 

“My work is terrible.”

As soon as she’s said that, Bellamy takes her food from her hands and places it on the coffee table. Then he grabs her shoulders, making her look at him. “What are you talking about? Show me your portfolio.”

She grits her teeth, holding the tears back. “No.” 

When her lower lip wobbles, it softens him. It’s as if a tiny light bulb flicks on above his head, and his lips part slightly. Brushing the back of his hand along her face, Bellamy searches her eyes for as long as he can before she bows her head. “What happened with Cage Wallace, Clarke? What did that scumbag say to you?”

He’s furious; like Hades, wishing he could pull people to Hell when they deserve to burn there. Still, with Clarke, he remains soft, holding the tips of her fingers in his hand. Swallowing, she lets the touch fill her to the brim with courage until the truth spills out on it’s own accord. 

“He told me that… the only reason why he praised my work and gave me the job was because he wanted to get in my pants.”

For a while, Bellamy doesn’t say anything, and when she finally looks up, she sees the rage flash in his eyes. It’s as if the earth, the forest floor within his eyes, has been set alight. Everything burns. His jaw clenches, his knuckles are turned to tight fits. 

“Whose opinion matters more to you? His or mine?” 

The question startles her. But she doesn’t hesitate to answer it. “Yours…” 

As he is still puffed up, the anger boiling in him, he takes a slow breath and leans forward to kiss her cheek. Against her, she feels him relax, his shoulders slumping and his jaw slacking. “Then let me see the portfolio.”

When she hands it to him (after digging it from the very back of her messy closet, where she’d trapped it), her hands are trembling a little. She remembers Wallace going through it during her very first day of working at the art gallery. His office door was locked, his breath reeking of whiskey, but he loved her pieces. Every single one, and that was all that mattered to her in that moment.

She feels so stupid.

But Bellamy’s comments make her forget about that. He says things like: “I love the shadows in this one, they’re beautiful,” and, “This one reminds me of a pipe dream I had when I was a teenager.” 

“What was that dream?” 

He smiles, the edges of it a little sad. “To go to Rome.” 

And in that moment, on the couch as the stars come out from their hiding, Clarke wants nothing more than to take him there…

Chapter Text

On the night that she sells her first piece of art to a non-friend, earning no less than 25 dollars for the household, Bellamy and her celebrate by reverting back to their college ways.

She never actually liked smoking weed. But with him it’s fun. Even though she coughs, and he coughs back, they laugh until it rings from the balcony and through the small, hopeless town that Arkadia seems to be most of the time. Together, they paint the world in Technicolor.

“Sorry it took me so long to launch the website. You really helped. Thank you.”

He smiles, and the freckles on his cheeks appear to be glowing just like the true stars on the sky above them. “Well, you really helped me when my ankle was sprained, so… we’re even, Princess.”

As it turns out, ensuring the best possible healing for Bellamy’s ankle after his rather awkward slip in the shower was a damn nightmare. For the first two days, he complained about not being able to work, mostly because she kept him on strict orders not to. Then he spent the next two days frowning and watching the same history documentaries on television that he’s already seen countless times. That’s until she pulled him off the couch and into her bed… 

… If only to play a harmless game of Scrabble.

Well, it’s not completely harmless given that they are both competitive spirits who yell at the small squares of letters as if they could transform on demand. Tonight, they’ve broken out the only red wine that they had in the house, which turned out to be leftovers from Murphy’s 26th birthday, so it tasted like piss. Luckily, Clarke still had a little bit of the weed that Jasper and Monty used as currency at the last “auction”. 

She never thought she’d actually smoke it, but it had given her a laugh.

“How often did you get high in college?” Quirking up an eyebrow in curiousity, Bellamy watches as she tries her best not to cough again. 

“Once. Is it that obvious?”

Then he chuckles, placing his hand on her back. Lately, he’s been touching her more, but he always stops after a second or two. This time, however, he doesn’t, and Clarke sucks in a breath as she feels his warm fingertips dance up her spine. “Yeah it is. It’s cute, though.”

Cute? Like a baby deer or a puppy?”

When she looks at him, the stars are in his eyes, on his cheeks, in his hair. The sight is breathtaking. Then he grins, and the constellations pour from his mouth. It’s impossible to tear her eyes away from him, or not lean into his touch as he moves a strand of her hair behind her ear.

At last, he replies, “No. Like you.” 

Although she can feel her own jaw slacking, she quickly gathers herself, blaming the smoothness of her following words on the weed. “If I’m so cute, then you can let me win at Scrabble.”

(Spoiler alert: he does, and in turn she makes coffee in the morning; a silent ‘thanks’)

 


 

In addition to the Scrabble, other traditions form in the Blake/Griffin household. Every Friday night, they celebrate everything there is to celebrate by eating ice cream, and this is how she finds out that Bellamy — as opposed to her — prefers the taste of strawberry to chocolate. Naturally, her first instinct is to call this behavior out for what it truly is: An abomination.  

But then she learns that the ice cream cheers him up on bad days. So she decides to always keep some in the freezer, just in case. 

They sit in silence most of the time, but that’s because they’ve started to use the living room as their joined workspace. Each day the coffee table is covered in his notes — mostly crumbled — and her discarded drawings. Honestly, it’s a relief for her every day when he comes home from his shift, taking the seat next to her, even if he doesn’t speak to her aside from the instinctual greeting. 

Whenever she asks for his opinion on a piece, though, his response is always elaborate. It makes her heart flutter in appreciation.

Aside from the ice cream, Bellamy and Clarke like to fill the silence of the workspace with background noise, usually in the form of music from his playlist or a film noir. 

Today, the sound of Bellamy’s phone chiming with a text message is enough to make them both look up from their projects. “They’re watching football at Murphy’s tonight. Are we coming?” 

She raises an eyebrow at him, the corners of her mouth tipping upwards. “I don’t know, Bellamy, are we?”

At that, he rolls his eyes. “We don’t watch football.” 

“That’s true. But we drink. And we can always do our own thing, if we get bored.”

Our own thing? So far, the only thing that they do together is smoke cigarettes, which — when you think about it — sounds really fucking unhealthy. Maybe they should start going for runs in the park or agree to go on a juice cleanse or something…

When he rubs at the bridge of his nose, pushing his reading glasses up a little, Clarke moves her feet into his lap. “Writer’s block?”

He glances at her, then abandons his moleskin notebook on the coffee table and moves his hands to her feet instead, rubbing them so slowly that she’s not even sure that he realizes he’s doing it. Sighing, he gives her all of the response that she needs.

“You know, we should go to Murphy’s. Be somewhere else for the night.”

The corner of his mouth twitches, as if his lips want to curve into a smile, but he’s just not feeling it. “Is that gonna give me my inspiration back?” 

Feeling his hopelessness strike her in the gut, Clarke takes his hand without thinking, rubbing his knuckles with her thumb while he rubs her feet, and it’s… different, but not strange. Nothing is ever really strange with him — not even smoking weed like some teenage rebel. “I’m not going without you,” is what she murmurs, and the words catch his attention.

“Alright. We’ll go.”

Her heart is relieved when the light sparks in his eyes.

 


 

How they end up immersed in the darkness of Murphy’s hallway isn’t a mystery, really. In their defense, though, they did try to watch the football game, but in between Bellamy’s amazingly good Strawberry Daiquiri and their friends’ somehow distant shouts, they make an escape.

She’s had a glass of wine and the drink, so it’s not like she’s tipsy. But in any case, she’ll use it as an excuse to stand closer to him with her arms around his neck, the tips of their noses grazing. Bellamy chuckles against her neck, which sends vibrations through her entire body, running his hands up her spine, the warmth from them seeping into her skin. 

The sensation makes her hum, her thumb brushing over his pulse point on its own accord. When she wets her lips, he looks at her, and even though the light is dim, she can tell that he’s curious. 

“How was that Daiquiri? You never let me taste it.”

Given that she always shares her drinks with him, it’s a fair thing to point out. Still, she doesn’t know how these exact words manage to make their way past her lips, laced with flirtation. “Well, it’s not too late.” 

Inside the living room, someone shouts (most likely Miller — sports really bring emotion out of him), but Bellamy’s attention is solely directed at her. The way he gazes at her with amused yet hungry eyes makes her feel giddy, and she can sense her skin heating up. After a minute, he takes action and leans down to kiss her.

But she stops him at the last second, pressing her fingertips to his lips. 

At first, he looks at her in confusion, which you can’t blame him for, but then she states, “… I have a better idea,” and he is clearly taken aback.

Trying to ignore the heat that rushes to her cheeks, Clarke sucks two of her fingers into her mouth. Whatever awkwardness she might’ve been feeling evaporates the second she locks eyes with Bellamy and sees his gaze darkening.

Pulling her fingers out, Clarke brings them to Bellamy’s lips and he doesn’t waste a second. He parts his lips, his eyelids fluttering shut as soon as he sucks her fingers into his mouth. Even though he must only taste the hit of strawberry, he groans low in his throat. The sound of it sends heat straight to her core, and as if that weren’t enough, once he draws back, he states, “God… I wish your fingers were someplace else.”

As her heart picks up its pace, racing in her chest, Clarke can’t say anything. But then he asks her if she has any idea what he means, and she does. That’s why she’s struggling to speak.

Finally, she manages to shake herself out of it. “Since you’re so selfless,” she whispers into his ear, “I’m sure the first thing you want to see my fingers touch is not your cock.”

Bellamy’s lips part further at her words, his eyes widening in surprise, and she feels nothing short of triumphant. Though he’d managed to hide his desire just as well as she supposes she has, it’s all coming to the surface now. Like an explosion…

Teasingly, she adds, “How badly do you wanna watch?”

A second is all that Bellamy takes to look at her. Once he’s realized that she’s not joking, he all but throws her leather jacket at her. “That’s it. We’re leaving.”

Before they hurry out of the door, they give their friends a thin excuse that — in all honesty — she doesn’t remember the second that they’ve left. And although it only takes five minutes to walk from Murphy’s apartment building to their own, it feels like an hour passes before they’re home.

As soon as they’ve walked through the door, however, it’s as if the balloon pops. Shuffling her jacket off her shoulders, Clarke turns around, her eyes locking with Bellamy’s. They swallow at the same time. This isn’t working out… 

She wants to say that she’s sorry, but the words won’t pass her lips. After all, they don’t make much sense. So instead, she lifts her gaze from her feet to look at him, even though her eyes are fleeting. “I wanna draw.”

When his eyes smile at her, she exhales in relief, and with that the corners of his lips are pulled upwards into a nice, lopsided curve. Instead of going into the living room, though, Clarke takes his hand, leading him into her bedroom. For the past two weeks, this room has been nothing more than a place for their Scrabble game nights. It’s as if he’s seeing it for the first time. 

He looks at the walls. “Prussian blue.”

For at least a full minute, he admires the universe that she has created. Using white paint, she’s covered the walls of her room in constellations, and while it might not be perfect, it’s magical. “Why do you love the stars so much, Princess?” 

She smiles a little. “Sit down and I’ll tell you.” 

While he takes a seat on her bedroom floor, crossing his legs, she pulls out her sketchbook and her best charcoal. Without looking at him, she picks a piece and slowly starts to talk as she places it to the paper. “When I was nine years old, I lived with my grandmother in Wisconsin for a year while my parents were building their business in New York.”

She doesn’t know what to draw, but her hand seems to. Sensing Bellamy’s gaze lingering on her, she tries to smile a little, but it doesn’t work. “My parents loved me. But they wanted to succeed, and I don’t resent them for it, because I loved my grandmother’s farm. I loved being out in the open, watching the stars every night. They weren’t concealed by buildings or smog... They were really there. Now, every time I see the stars it reminds me of that time, of being a kid with a free spirit.” 

“You still have a free spirit, Clarke,” is what he says, his voice comforting. 

“But it’s not the same,” she sighs, glancing up briefly. When he smiles, if only a little bit, she finally does, too. 

After a minute in silence, she builds up the courage to say, “Now, I want to know something about you.”

“Like what?”

Surprisingly, she has to think for a minute, not really sure. At last, she decides to go for something light-hearted, just because he’d done the same thing. “What was your first kiss like?”

When the question has made its way past her lips, though, Bellamy briefly breaks their eye contact to look away, almost as if it’s overwhelming, and Clarke immediately regrets asking. But before she can take it back, he worries his lips and starts telling a story — not as a writer, but as a boy with a pocketful of unshared memories. “I was ten. Even at the time I was focused on taking care of my little sister, being the responsible, strong son for my mother because it made life easier for us as a family… but not… but not for me.” 

A sister? He’s never said anything about having a sister. At first she’s very confused about why he hasn’t mentioned it before. That’s until she looks at him and realizes something horrible: Maybe she’s dead… Although there are a million things that she wants to say right now, she just nods, silently telling him to continue. 

Suddenly, he smiles, fondness washing over his face. “There was this boy at school. Isaiah. He knew what I was going through, but on top of that, he really understood, you know? He was in the same situation, and with him I… I could actually be a kid. We lived in a small town, and a few miles off the main road there were these huge dandelion fields that we chased each other through.” 

Now, he’s smiling even wider, his voice carrying an emotion that she’s not sure she’s heard before. All that she knows is that she can’t identify it. “One day… I— I don’t know what went over me, but he was chasing me and we were laughing, and when he finally caught up to me, I just… I turned around and I kissed him. Without realizing what I was doing, so I was freaking out until he kissed me back.” 

She can feel Bellamy’s nostalgic happiness. It fills her bedroom with warmth and makes the corners of her lips spread as far apart as his. Until at once, it is crushed, his smile fading as his expression turns serious. “It didn’t work out, though. We were kids. Two boys, but not only that… He was black, I was Filipino, and in a small town where being white and straight is seen as the default, it just—“ he sighs, “I didn’t work out.” 

In that moment, she notices his clenched jaw as he looks away, closing his eyes. Then he confesses that he tried to write a poem about it last month, but because he hated it, he didn’t want to finish it. Reaching for his hand, Clarke puts down the charcoal. Still, he doesn’t look at her, so she does something impulsive and seemingly awkward, pulling off her shirt.

That catches his attention. “What— what are you doing?”

“Exposing myself. You just did it.”

“Yeah, but that was different. I—“ 

“Shut up, Bellamy. Are you gonna read me that poem or not?”

He blinks, slack-jawed, his expression speaking entirely for itself: Do you really want to hear it? Worrying her lower lip, she nods, knowing this feeling all too well. When you create art —- any form of it, and you’re not pleased with the outcome, you get stuck in your own head, conditioning yourself to believe that you’ve lost the ability to create something good. This is the Hell that she’s been in for the past two months, and if she can help Bellamy out of it, she will.

It’s the same things her friends have done for her with the “auctions”.

 

~ Bellamy’s poem ~

 

There’s a boy who lives next to me

And we run through the dandelion fields,

the sun leaving nothing but light on our young hearts;

As mine beats in my chest—

If only for him…

There is nothing wrong with what it wants

And so the breath that I take as I turn,

is the last that I take on my own.

 

“It’s beautiful.” 

He cringes at her compliment. “No, it’s not.” 

Then she’s ready to offer him a thousand reasons why she’s right, but he turns, looking dead serious, so she decides to seal her lips. For now…

Groaning, he runs a hand over his face, glancing at her, his gaze dropping a little lower than her eyes. After a moment, he pulls off his own shirt. It’s easier to physically expose than emotionally expose.

But he’s about to do just that… 

“You see, Clarke. The problem with me is that I can’t let go. Whenever I build an emotional connection to someone, I want to hold on to it.” 

“That’s normal human behavior, Bellamy. Everyone craves affection and intimacy.” 

When he looks at her, he appears grateful for the reassurance, but his expression quickly changes, his brow furrowing. He rubs the bridge of his nose, as he’d done earlier and looks at her. “I know, but… This can be a huge problem for me. I fucked my ex, not because I miss him but because I need that connection. It’s awful.” 

As he says that, bending his head, Clarke abandons the drawing and scoots closer, moving into his lap. Carefully, she reaches out, touching his chest. It leaves charcoal stains by his heart. “It’s not awful… because it’s you.” There’s a huge chance he won’t understand her appreciation of him, even if she were to explain it to him — and she isn’t going to. Not now, at least.

Bellamy swallows, and she watches his Adam’s apple bob as he moves his hands up her bare back, tracing his fingers over her spine. In turn, she buries her hand in his hair, memorizing the soft feeling of the dark curls. 

If the walls disappeared right now, she wouldn’t even notice.

She wouldn’t even look at the stars.

Because they are right in front of her… wrapped around his golden skin. It’s as warm and delicate as it looks.

When he kisses her, it’s not on her lips. Instead, his full lips brush against the side of her throat, and she cranes her neck back further to make it easier for him.

There are so many places that are more intimate to kiss than the lips, and Bellamy seems to reach all of them but one. He kisses her jawline, her earlobe, her cheek — even moves the strap of her bra a little to press his lips against the red mark that it has left on her ivory skin. 

Nevertheless, it’s not sexual per se. It’s just soft and intimate, which is even more confusing than having sex with him would be, but it feels nice — really nice, so she doesn’t pull away. Humming, Clarke lets her hands travel across the path between his broad shoulders, feeling the weight of the universe there. The weight of burdens that he hasn’t yet shared with her… 

One of Bellamy’s fingers is hooked in one of the hoops on her denim shorts. Still, he doesn’t go further than that. 

“Do you wanna sleep here tonight?”

Her question causes him to pull away, and the longer he looks at her, the more surprised he seems. “Clarke, I—“

“I’m offering.” 

(Like the first offer she made him, Bellamy accepts this one, too…)

Chapter Text

Clarke awakens entangled in a mess of crisp sheets. Glancing over, she notices that it’s one of those unusual mornings when Bellamy doesn’t wake up before her, and she decides to take this chance while she has it, moving out of the bed as quietly as possible. Then she cracks the window open a little, if only to enjoy the view of the sunrays pouring through and spilling onto his face. When he turns, grunting in his sleep, she smiles and walks barefooted into the kitchen to make him a cup of black coffee. 

“Here you go, Sleeping Beauty. I bring you caffeine.” 

With those words, she plays a little with his hair like she did last night, smoothing her fingertips through it. Though his eyes are still closed, his expression softens, his lips curving into a tiny smile that warms her heart. “Thank you, Princess.”

While he shakes himself out of sleep, she brings her sketchbook and watercolor crayons into bed. In a dream, this idea had struck her and since she woke up, her hands have been restlessly longing to bring it to life. Bellamy hums at the taste of coffee next to her as she sketches the first flower, and when he leans over, asking, “What are you drawing?” she’s a little bit hesitant to tell him. 

… But she does nonetheless. “A dandelion field.” 

“And two boys?” He breathes the question against the shell of her ear. 

“If you’ll allow it.”

Since Pride month ended, Clarke has thought of releasing some more LGBTQ+ art on her website. Not only does she love doing it, but the last watercolor she did of two female angels kissing sold out in three hours after she promoted it on Instagram. Since then, her social media accounts have been growing in followers and more people have visited the webpage than she dared to dream of — still, she’s not making as much money as she would like from it. 

Bellamy’s carrying too much of the weight. 

“Clarke?” 

Because his voice sounds uncharacteristically careful, she looks at him, furrowing her brow, but he doesn’t say anything. Instead, he simply clears his throat, which is weird. He isn’t usually awkward. That’s her trait… but considering what happened last night, she can understand if he doesn’t know what to say. In fact, she doesn’t either. What on Earth got into them anyway?

“If there’s anything you would like to say, Blake, spit it out.”

She’s never called him by his last name before, doesn’t know why she’s doing it now, but it makes him laugh, so she refuses to be embarrassed about it.

Then he looks at her, his dark eyes all kinds of teasing before finally stating, “You have really great boobs, Clarke.” 

Oh, she must still be in her bra from last night.

Battling a slight urge to blush, she pushes him a little in retaliation, rolling her eyes. “I know.” 

After saying that, she kicks away the comforter and goes to take a shower, but because she never abandons Bellamy without ensuring that he has some form of entertainment, she hands him the newspaper so he can have fun doing the crossword puzzle. 

She can never figure them out anyway… 

(But, of course, she doesn’t tell him that)

 


 

They spend the next week planning a surprise party for Raven, but it’s not because it’s her birthday. No, it’s much better than that. In fact, it’s so amazing that when she told everyone they gave her enough hugs and congratulations to last a lifetime. Since she was five years old, Raven has wanted nothing more than to work for NASA (At first, she wanted to be an astronaut, but when she was diagnosed with chronic pain, that changed), and now that dream is finally coming true for her.

Finally, there’s a bright star in the sky shining just for their amazing friend — Their friend who deserves everything.

On Messenger, Emori and Clarke have discussed how to make the best possible banner. They have finally agreed on red paint and silver glitter. Also why not add a space rocket? It seems very appropriate.

While they get everything set up in Raven and Zeke’s apartment, Zeke has been put on distraction duty, which is an even harder job to do when it comes to Raven, since she’s always so fucking suspicious. It’s part of her DNA… Therefore, all they have is about ten minutes to get all of the preparation ready while the couple is out getting snow cones. 

Needless to say, the time limit creates mayhem. Jasper’s standing on the couch trying to yell out orders as he helps Monty with the banner; Harper’s rushing to get the drinks ready, spilling wine everywhere so that Bellamy has to dry off the counter. Still, he makes a teasing joke about it being just like when they’re at work, because they’re both baristas at Arkadia’s coffee shop. 

Clarke, she’s the one with the clipboard, which might seem a little extra for a surprise party, but it’s Raven’s, and she wants it to be perfect.

Despite the chaos, when Raven and Zeke walk through the door, everyone (including Murphy) is ready to roar: ‘SURPRISE!’ so the woman of the hour nearly drops her snow cone on the floor, then swats at Zeke’s arm.

“That’s why you wanted me out of the apartment!” 

“Yes, but you’ve been begging to get snow cones for a week, so you can’t be too mad at me, right?” 

Raven and Zeke have been together since their senior year of high school after the notorious Finn Fiasco. Since Clarke wasn’t there, she doesn’t know exactly how they met, but apparently he almost kicked another guy in the nuts for making an insensitive comment about Raven’s leg brace. So there’s that.

Later, when they’re munching on chips and guac (a Reyes’ favorite), Raven takes a seat next to Clarke, leaving Bellamy to stand awkwardly by the door to the balcony. “Is he waiting for you?” 

“Yeah. We kinda share our cigarettes.” 

Understandably, Raven quirks up an eyebrow. “And saliva?”

At those words, Clarke gives her a teasing push. “I’m not screwing my roommate, Rae… Besides, this party is about you. So?” 

For the first time in a while, she hears Raven sigh. She also looks at her hands briefly before turning her gaze back up. “I thought Zeke was going to propose to me.” 

Clarke’s jaw drops a little, because honestly, this is such a turning point. Since the start of their friendship, Raven has made it very clear that she doesn’t believe in marriage — not after her piece-of-shit father left her mom, abandoning Raven when she was a baby. But… Judging by the expression on her face, even if she doesn’t want to admit it, Raven Reyes wants to marry Zeke Shaw.

Although Clarke wants to be ecstatic over that fact, this is not the appropriate time, so she just puts a hand on her best friend’s shoulder and advices, “Maybe you should go talk to him.”

Before she leaves the couch, Raven glances at Bellamy then leans, whispering, “You might not be sleeping with him, Clarke, but I really wouldn’t blame you if you did. You deserve the orgasms, babe.” 

At that, Clarke almost cracks up, but because Bellamy looks over, meeting her gaze, she composes herself and walks to him when her friend has walked to her boyfriend. Finally in front of him, she pulls out a cigarette. “You don’t have to wait for me, you know?” 

He shrugs. “I don’t like smoking by myself anymore.”

After a minute of smoking, a miracle happens; a drizzle begins, cooling their skin. Next to her, Bellamy bends his head back, grinning in the face of the thin drops of rain. It’s unusual for July, but it’s perfect for right now, calming as the sun sets, smearing the dusty blue clouds with a warm orange tone. 

“What would you call that color, Bellamy? I don’t think it has a name.”

To her surprise, he responds almost immediately, a small smile playing on his lips. “Blood orange.” 

Yeah, that seems fitting.

“I wrote this line yesterday. But I don’t know how to write it into a poem. My thoughts are so fragmented right now. It’s driving me crazy…” 

She places her hand on his shoulder, running her fingertips across the edge of it. “What’s the line?” 

Loving you is like genesis.  

The way he says it, his gruff voice curling around every syllable, sends shivers down her spine. Genesis, as Bellamy explains, is the Greek world for ‘creation’, and she’s never heard anyone compare that to love before, but it makes sense somehow… Somehow, it makes her want to paint. 

And she does, as soon as they come home, until her fingertips are smeared in cobalt paint.

Bellamy falls asleep watching her, but his head ends up in her lap. When she’s done, she closes her eyes and immediately drifts off.

 


 

(She wants nothing more than to be one of the goddesses that Bellamy loves. 

If only to have the strength it takes to crush his burdens in the palms of her hands.)

 

One night he comes home, unusually quiet. His shoes are thrown carelessly into the corner of the hallway before he walks into the kitchen, releasing a frustrated groan from the hollow cage of his throat. Though Clarke had been sketching some pieces for a very important (yet so far anonymous) client, she doesn’t hesitate to abandon her work to meet him there, poking her head into the kitchen. 

“Bad day?”

He glances at her, frowning. “Try terrible.” 

With that, he rubs at his temples, obviously trying to coax the pain out of his skull before he reveals a grocery bag. She’s just about to tell him (for the second time today) that she already took care of it, but the only item he pulls out of it is a plastic container of her favorite chocolate gelato.

Her heart swells. Because this is so typical Bellamy; his selflessness spills over the edges of his heart despite how big it is. There simply isn’t enough room for it, and no matter how fucking awful his day is — no matter how much he sacrifices to keep this household afloat, he never gives himself a goddamn break.

It’s always about pleasing everyone else. 

“Bellamy…”

At that he follows her gaze to the container of ice cream, furrowing his brow in confusion. “It’s Friday, right? Or is my mental calendar fucked up?” 

Worrying her lips, she walks to him, breaking boundaries when she steps as close as possible to brush her fingertips over his temple. He closes his eyes immediately when she touches him, sucking in a breath. “We have strawberry in the freezer. You could’ve just come straight home.” 

Then she moves her hands to his broad shoulders, rubbing soothing circles on them to chase the tension away. Although Bellamy clearly wants to say something, he doesn’t, simply gazes at her while her hands wander further down his body, following the hard lines of his abs until they encounter the waistband of his pants. 

Feeling a rush of golden courage striking her, Clarke leans up to kiss his throat, sucking a little at his pulse point, which has his lips parting, the words finally emerging, “What… are you doing?”

“Making your day better. Can I do that?” 

Though he seems taken aback by her response, he nods, relaxing a little more against her. “Yeah.

As soon as he’s murmured that, Clarke squeezes her fingertips in between them to snap the button on his pants open, hooking her index finger in one of his belt hoops while she unzips them. She can almost feel Bellamy’s urge to fidget, his hands swaying awkwardly by his sides. When her hand reaches into his pants, grasping his length without a hint of hesitation, he inhales sharply, anchoring himself against the edge of the counter. 

She starts to stroke him, more confident than she ever imagined she’d be, and he forces his eyes open to meet her blazing gaze; it looks as if strong winds are causing tidal waves to rise within the azure ocean that’s trapped in it. Groaning, Bellamy tilts his head back slightly. 

And she licks her lips, feeling him grow hard in her hand as she continues to work him. In the end, the temptation is too great, and she can’t resist reaching into his boxers to touch him without separation of the fabric.

“Oh my fucking— God.” 

“You like that?” Her voice is neutral, a stark contrast to his before she twists her wrist at the base of his dick again. Although Bellamy doesn’t say anything, he holds the counter tighter, his knuckles turning white, and that’s more than enough answer for her.

Still, he gives her one, his voice gruff, “Can’t get any better, Princess.” 

The nickname — when spoken in that tone, laced with pleasure — sends a rush of heat straight to her core, and suddenly she is determined to prove him wrong. Licking her lips, she retrieves her hand from his boxers if only to pull them down his legs along with his pants. Before he has the chance to really comprehend what she’s going to do, Clarke sinks down on her knees and closes her mouth around the head of his cock.

Fuck…” he growls, jerking forward involuntarily, so she places a hand around his hipbone to keep him still. Only when he’s in her mouth does she realize how damn big he is — big enough that it might even present a problem. “That’s it, babe. That’s it.” 

The words, emerging in a haze of pleasure as he wraps his fingertips in her golden hair, encourage her to keep going. She sucks him to the best of her ability, hollowing her cheeks and breathing through her nose, and with every bob of her head, the sounds leaving Bellamy’s lips are reduced to guttural groans and mostly-incoherent praise. 

Something along the lines of lines of: “Shit, Clarke. You’re doing so fucking good.

Judging by his breathing, Bellamy’s fighting to hold himself back at this point, but she is having none of that shit. At first, she tries to take as much as his length as possible, but it nearly makes her gag, so instead she draws back, using her tongue to lick along the underside of his shaft. That surprising move stirs him, makes his whole body jolt forward with pleasure, and then he finally says it through gritted teeth.

Holy shit… I’m— gonna come.”

But she has her mouth closed around the head of his dick again, indifferent, even as he continues, “I’m serious Clarke, I’m gonna fucking come, so if you don’t—“

Too late. Determined, she gives him one last, hard suck that pushes him over the edge and apparently sends him to a place of oblivion, because he mutters a row of curses following the release, letting out ragged breaths towards the ceiling. She swallows, not particularly enjoying the taste of semen. Still, it’s ten times better than leaving him hanging.

While he winds down, she rises to her feet, watching as he runs a hand through his hair. A few curls are clinging to his damp forehead now, and she’s hit by a strong urge to brush them away, but instead she just watches him pull up his pants up. He seems to be speechless; his jaw slacked, until he draws her closer by the waist. 

“You’re incredible,” Bellamy mutters, resting his forehead against hers. Before she’s predicted what he’s going to do, he leans down, capturing her lips with his own, and despite how much Clarke wants to kiss him back, her heart only grows heavier in her chest… She has to pull away. 

“I… I can’t—“ is what she manages, too afraid to meet his gaze until he takes a hold of her jaw, locking his earthy eyes onto hers.

Understandably, he’s confused and… angry. Furrowing his brow, he frowns at her, scoffing, “So you’re telling me that you can have your hand and your mouth wrapped around my cock, but you can’t kiss me? What’s up with that, Clarke?” 

When she doesn’t answer, the words refusing to emerge, carrying too much sadness, he makes his own guess, “Is it because of me? Of what I said the other day about growing attached to people? Because you know what? I get it. I—“

She shakes her head vigorously, gritting her teeth as she forces herself to look at him. “I feel so guilty, okay? I invited you to come live with me because I like you as a person. Not because I needed someone to work their ass off to pay the bills that I’m supposed to be paying. For fuck’s sake, Bellamy, I’m so sorry! You don’t owe me shit, all right? I don’t deserve any of it.”

For a second, she recognizes the softness in his eyes just before it turns to thunder and he’s kissing her again, the insistent and passionate movements of his lips bruising hers. “On the counter. Now,” he growls, but doesn’t allow her any time to process the demand. Instead, he takes care if it himself, lifting her off the ground and onto the opposite counter with little finesse but much ease.

It’s as if she stops breathing, overwhelmed as he stands between her legs and pops the button on her paint-splattered shorts open. For a man with such thick fingers, Bellamy fumbles surprisingly little, pushing the denim down past her ass, making just enough room for himself to touch her exposed, lace panties. 

Still, he doesn’t do so without her permission. “Please, Clarke. Let me make you feel good.”

She whimpers, nodding as desire finally overpowers every bit of guilt and shame in her body. Touching the back of his neck, Clarke sucks in a breath when Bellamy pushes her panties aside, letting his fingers trace her slit.

“Fuck, how are you so wet for me?” 

“I—“ before she has the chance to form a response, Bellamy has pushed a finger into her, curling it until he swears against her neck and a low cry gets stuck in her throat. When she tenses up, not quite used to the feeling, he places a soft kiss to her lips, then one to her jaw until her muscles slump. 

For some reason, Clarke has always thought that fingering was overrated, but… shit. Not anymore. At first, Bellamy’s careful, pumping his finger in and out of her slowly to test to waters, but then the pad of it grazes her clit, resulting in a desperate mewl escaping from her lips.

“You want more?” 

“Oh fuck yes, Bellamy… I—“

Effectively cutting her off, he adds another finger, stretching her out. He kisses her throat when she moans, which only makes her moan more. It’s not a surprise. Not to her anyway, because her throat has and will always be one of the most sensitive places on her body. This is something that Bellamy figures out quickly, and he knows just how to take advantage of it. 

He sucks at her pulse point, grazing it with his teeth while he rubs at her clit. When she feels her walls clench around his fingers, heat rushes to her cheeks in slight embarrassment, but Bellamy just groans into the crook of her neck. 

“Clarke… How badly do you wanna come?”

Well, her thighs are shaking. That should be enough of an answer, but when he looks at her, his eyebrows shoot up, his lips forming a confident smirk. The sight makes her cheeks flush harder, and Clarke tries to not think about how she must look like a tomato right now, but then he pinches her clit a little in teasing.

“I asked you a question, Princess.”

“Please, Bellamy. I… I need it.”

When her voice trembles, he presses a tender kiss to her cheek, the veil of dominance slowly disappearing from him. He runs a hand soothingly through the crown of her hair and rubs her clit in determined circles until she comes with a broken moan. “God, Bellamy…” 

“I love living with you,” he states, his voice thick but gentle as he pulls his fingers out of her, buttons her short and helps hop from the counter. “This apartment is my home now, and I would never turn my back on the person who gave it to me just because she’s having a hard time.” 

She smiles, feeling the tears well up in her eyes.

Instead of protesting, she takes his hand, feeling the heat of it seep into her skin. “I think we should eat the ice cream before it melts.” 

His answering grin is radiant. The ancient Greek poets would have compared him to Helios…

 

Chapter Text

Maybe the genesis that Bellamy talked about is the creation of a new atmosphere that clings to the apartment; it sticks between the pages of his treasured books and drips from her paintbrush. Each morning, she can taste him at the tip of her tongue when she drinks her coffee, frowning around the edge of the cup. No matter how long she leaves the windows open, allowing the winds of July to sweep the living room clean, the scent of Jasmine from the trees is never really enough to overpower that of sex.  

They smoke in silence now, their shared cigarette seeming longer than usual, and despite the beautiful view of the lavender clouds, tears stick to Clarke’s eyelashes. There are a million words lined up in her throat, if only she dared to say them with him present. Most of them are wishes, dreams of what could’ve happened following the night in the kitchen but didn’t.

For the last three nights, they’ve stood like this as if their world has been put on hold. And they’ve shared as few words as possible, not speaking to each other apart from the daily greeting. Not to mention that their workspace in the living room is ominously neat, with his notes grouped on one side of the coffee table and her drawings spread out on the other. 

Right now, Clarke has no answers to the questions that tear at her heart. She doesn’t even know what she’s feeling, and maybe that’s why that this evening is the one where Bellamy finally finds the words that she can’t.

“I’m not sorry, you know.” 

She blinks, staring at him, but he doesn’t meet her gaze as he takes a long drag of the cigarette. Even though she’s desperate to say something, anything to him she’s afraid that it will never be sufficient. Because of her inability to speak, Bellamy inevitably thinks that she didn’t understand what he said. 

Therefore, he elaborates, “I’m not sorry for anything that happened that night. I’m not sorry for enjoying the blowjob, and I’m definitely not sorry for getting you off.” 

Though her lower lip quivers, she manages to respond this time. “Are you sorry for kissing me?” 

His eyes soften, his hands grasping the air along his sides, and she knows why. She’s dying to touch him right now, too. So why are they not moving?

When his reply emerges, the roughness of the words is a clear contrast to the tenderness in his gaze. “No, the fuck I’m not, Clarke. I— I kinda wish I was, if that could make you feel better about the whole ordeal, but… Screw this.” 

With that, he turns his back to her in dismissal, but because she noticed the hurt in his voice, Clarke is unfazed and suddenly able to take the reins. Placing her hand on his shoulder, she turns him around, ripping into his world, but when she is hit by the sight of tears in his eyes — resembling those in her own — she has had enough.

Frustration, confusion, sadness… This whirlwind of negative emotions is leaving her heart in shatters. But the pieces still desperately crave him, and she wants to voice that desire. Instead, it emerges like a prayer.

“Bellamy, please…”

“What? What do you need?”

It’s that voice, revealing that he’s ready to give her whatever she asks for, whatever she wants. It fucks her up in so many ways, his compassion striking her as another kind of human-made miracle. So, in the end she doesn’t tell him to rip her clothes off, doesn’t let her hands wander to where they want to be.

A sob tears loose from the confines in her throat before she collapses against his chest. 

He kisses her hair, rubs soothing circles on her back and at some point he pulls her into the living room. On the couch, they huddle against one another for comfort, their cold bodies creating a little bit of heat when pressed together. Even though Bellamy isn’t crying like she is, Clarke can hear that he’s emotional, too: His breathing is ragged, coming in small, unsteady puffs.

“Your hands are cold,” he states before enveloping them in his own, so that warmth can seep into them. Then he pulls them to his mouth, kissing her fingertips. “I like the way that you’ve painted your nails today.”

“You love this color, don’t you?” 

A small smile tugs at the corners of his mouth, and a single spark flashes in his eyes when he nods. 

It’s Prussian blue, the same color as her bedroom walls. This time, she’d decided to make her nails look a little fancier (perhaps to make up for the mess in her life) by topping the blue with a clear glitter polish

After a minute of silence, Clarke lets her head drop back onto Bellamy’s shoulder, her fingers interlacing with his. Using his other hand, he gently tips her chin to make their eyes connect. “Be honest with me, Princess,” her heart does a flip at the nickname. “Completely honest… Did you enjoy what we did?” 

Wetting her lips, she gazes back at him. “Too much.”

His brow furrows in confusion for a second.

That’s until she continues, “Yesterday when I was home alone, I had my hand between my legs and I thought about you. Bellamy, I— That night was amazing, but I can’t help but fear that if you become a person I think about when I come, it’s… that you can’t be my roommate anymore. Not just.” 

“Is that what you want? For us to be just roommates?” 

Now, she can feel herself growing a little irritated, even though she knows that it’s immature. She can’t prevent it, because she’s been so damn confused for days now, “Fuck, I don’t know, Bellamy! I don’t know what I want.”

If she’d been aware that those harsh words would burst the bubble, she would’ve never let them sneak past her lips. At once, Bellamy drops her hand and stands from the couch, turning his back to her again. When he speaks, the muttered response carries a significant edge of bitterness. “Be sure to tell me when you’ve found out. Leave me a Post-It or whatever.” 

She knows better than to think that she can be nonchalant about this situation. Hell no. They’re way past that point. So hearing him say something like this to her, it fucking stings.

 


 

Once a month, Raven hosts a girl night for her friends. And no, this isn’t some thing taken out of a straight white man’s dream, because there are no pillow fights in lace underwear. In fact, more often than not, Emori brings a good horror film and Harper (being the expert that she is) digs some tasty beers out of her dad’s basement like a lifesaver. 

Tonight, they’ve made a huge fort in the middle of the living room as they did when they were five years old and placed the tray of snacks in the middle, so that no wars will be started over Skittles. They’re watching Insidious for the hundredth time.

For the most part, Clarke gets away with sulking for the majority of the movie, because the other girls are actually paying attention to it. Eventually though, Raven glances over after a jump scare only to find out that her best friend wasn’t fooled by this one like always. “Hold up, Emori. Pause that shit. Griffin’s not okay.”

“What are you talking about? I’m fine.” 

Raven ‘same IQ as Albert Einstein’ Reyes isn’t buying that. When Emori has stopped the movie, everyone turns to look at her, so Clarke averts her gaze if only to avoid tearing up. Frowning, she takes a handful of M&M’s and begins to separate them in colors, prompting Emori to say, “We have a code HIB.”

 

A translation: HIB = Heart is broken

“And her voice went up two octaves.” 

“I think it was three, actually—“ 

Raven rolls her eyes. “Does it matter? No. What happened with Bellamy?” 

Letting out a groan, Clarke presses a pillow to her face, internally cursing her friend’s unquestionable ability to read people. While it might seem as though she doesn’t want to think about him, she’s conflicted, left standing at a cross-road, because she needs to talk to someone. She has no idea where to start, however. 

She sighs, glancing at her friends. “We haven’t talked for days now.”

Reaching over, Emori uses her fingertip to arrange a bunch of M&M’s in a little smiley face in front of Clarke, which would’ve made her chuckle if she didn’t feel so hopeless right now. Spending the last few days alone in the apartment only to feel lonely as soon as Bellamy came home and left her to own devices without as much as speaking a word to her, has made her heart bleed. 

“But why?” 

As she swallows the lump in her throat, Clarke looks straight ahead. “We had sex. At first we didn’t talk about it, and when we finally did I said something stupid… and I guess it hurt him.”

Raven’s eyebrows shoot up. “You had sex with him?”

Although Clarke wants to glare at her friend for that, she doesn’t. Instead, she frowns. “Not actual, full-on sex or anything. I blew him, he got me off in return and because we didn’t talk about it afterward, I thought that it didn’t mean much to either of us…” 

Emori nods in understanding. “But it actually did, didn’t it?”

Silently, Clarke meets her gaze for a second, but quickly averts it again. Then Harper tells them that she’s noticed Bellamy being really off at work, not as quick-witted or smiley as always. Still, she didn’t think anything of it until now, as she concludes, “Well, I guess that explains it.” 

“You should talk to him.”

“And say what?” Clarke looks at all of them, “He’s mad at me because I don’t know what I want, and it’s not like I can tell him exactly, because… wanting anything from him at all makes me feel guilty.” 

Most of all, it’s confusing how much she’s found herself fantasizing about him — not because she isn’t attracted to him; she has been since she met him — but she also longs for his friendship and his company and doesn’t want to compromise that. Doesn’t he feel the same way?  

In the end, her friends decide that they can offer her no better advice than communication, so instead they devote all of their attention to cheering her up. Together, the four of them devour one and a half box of discounted chocolate and play six games of UNO before falling asleep in the pillow fort. 

(Zeke wakes them up in the morning with fried eggs and bacon, wearing an apron that says ‘KISS THE COOK’, which is the only order that Raven seems to follow)

 


 

When Bellamy comes home from his shift two days later, Clarke’s painting water lilies on a pair of her denim shorts, old newspapers covering the hardwood floors of the living room. She hates that she can see all of the crossword puzzles he’s solved, so she purposefully covers them in paint to prevent his block letters from staring back at her.

Oh God, she’s really fucking hurting, isn’t she?  

Even if no tears have spilled from her eyes since that night he held her. 

From her place on the floor, she can sense his gaze on her but doesn’t move to meet it. Not because she doesn’t want to, though. She’s only afraid of what will strike her if she looks up. Lately, the looks that they’ve shared have been painfully short and filled with uncomfortable yet unidentified emotions.

(They’re at the surface, trying to claw their way out…) 

After a minute, she can’t take it anymore. So she brushes her hands off on her already paint-splattered jeans and stands up to walk to the balcony. She’s desperate for a smoke, but upon realizing that Bellamy isn’t going to follow, having returned to his room, she closes her silver tin of hand-rolled cigarettes, frowning.

At some point, while her shorts are drying, she cooks spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, leaves the rest simmering in the pot for him and walks to her room to eat alone. From her bed, she can see the sunset, though not as well as from the balcony, and realizes that it’s not special today. Maybe she missed it… 

The only hint of color remaining is a faint yellow stripe on the darkening sky, which is a sight that carves the frown on her face deeper if that is even possible at this stage.

 


 

Clarke doesn’t register what she’s dreaming. There’s no flow of pictures, no movie playing in her mind when she is ripped from sleep by someone pounding on her bedroom door. Of course, her first instinct is to use the adrenaline rush to grab the baseball bat by her nightstand. 

That’s until she hears it.

“Clarke? Clarke? Are you… are you okay, please—“

Bellamy. His voice is unlike any way she’s heard it before, high-pitched and rushed.

Out of habit she always locks the door to her bedroom at night. Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she quickly pushes the comforter aside to let him in. What the hell does he want now? As soon as she cracks the door open, however, every annoyed thought seeps from her mind, absorbed by the look of absolute panic on Bellamy’s face.

There are tears lingering at the corners of his widened eyes. 

“What’s going on—?” 

Before she’s even finished speaking, Bellamy has his arms wrapped around her in a hug so tight that’s it’s a miracle her ribs don’t break. Against her neck, his breathing is ragged, even though it seems to be slowing a little bit. “I had a dream,” he explains, voice trembling as if his mind has only now grasped that whatever he’d panicked over wasn’t real, “You weren’t here. You were gone, and it… it was my fault.” 

Clarke draws back and pulls him with her to the edge of her bed. There, she soothingly runs a hand through his dark, curly hair. He closes his eyes at the touch and lets his hands splay across her back underneath her t-shirt. “How was it your fault, Bellamy?”

He swallows. “I said that stupid shit to you. I made you feel like a stranger in your own fucking home.” 

At his words, her heart aches, but for the first time it’s not entirely uncomfortable, because they’re talking now. She can tell that he’s about to apologize, as his eyes grow softer, but she doesn’t want him to — not unless she does so herself. Moving onto his lap, Clarke pushes her hands into his hair, blaming her impulsiveness on lack of sleep, though Bellamy doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, he hums, leaning forward until their foreheads touch. 

“I’m sorry, Bellamy. For being so harsh.”

“Yeah… Me too.”

She doesn’t know who makes the first move or if they simply meet in the middle, but seconds later their lips have captured one another. Massaging his scalp with her fingertips, Clarke opens her mouth a little to deepen the kiss, which makes Bellamy groan low in his throat. This is ten times better than the first kiss they shared in the kitchen that was rushed and hard to the point of sloppiness. Now, she actually has the chance to touch him, laughing against his mouth as her hands sneak beneath the hem of his shirt to touch his spine.

“Are we making up?” He smiles, and she’s relieved to see that the tears in his eyes have been replaced by sparks.

Pulling off his shirt, Clarke grins back, feeling relief wash over her like a tidal wave. With ease, Bellamy removes her shirt and lets it drop to the floor, so it can join his own. “Wait a sec. I want to see you.” 

Then he flicks the lamp on her bedside table on, which doesn’t do much. But it’s enough… 

As his eyes travel to her bare chest (Wearing bras to bed is fucking self-inflicted torture. Why would anyone do that to themselves?), Bellamy wets his lips and then immediately bends his head to suck one of her nipples into his mouth. 

It’s so surprising that a moan tumbles out of her mouth. She clings to his broad shoulders, her breath quick while he places lazy kisses to her breasts, switching between mapping them with his lips and teasing her nipple with his tongue.

Bellamy…” She whimpers, pulling at his soft hair, which just makes him groan.

“Your tits are fucking perfect.” 

Well, she knows that they’re great, but hearing him say it somehow sends heat rushing to her core — and it’s safe to say that sitting in his lap, feeling him grow harder against her, is only adding to her wetness. Through the haze of pleasure, Clarke sucks at Bellamy’s pulse point before she raises herself off his lap a bit if only to pull his boxers down as much as possible. 

For some reason, that surprises him. He draws back, breathing hotly into the minimal space between them, his pupils blown wide as they bore into hers. 

“You—?” The rest of the sentence gets stuck in his throat, so Clarke grinds against him a couple times, and he drops his forehead to her shoulder, his lips parting. 

“Fuck me. Please.

While they might not be a couple per se, they can still have the benefits of a relationship — Make-up sex being one of them. Bellamy gives her another bruising kiss, licking into her mouth before he pulls her panties off. Only then does she realize how damn wet she has become simply from the attention that he devoted to her breasts, and that’s nearly embarrassing.

But Bellamy doesn’t think so.

“You good here?” He rasps, his voice dark. Whenever she’s pictured him in her fantasies, this is how he speaks to her, low and sexy, his every syllable veiled with confidence. His big hands easily enclose her waist, keeping her in place as she nods and tries to sink down on his dick.

Through gritted teeth, she sucks in a breath. Fuck, she’d momentarily forgotten about his size, and now that’s coming back to bite her in the ass. It doesn’t hurt much, but the pressure is definitely unlike anything she’s ever experienced and she hopes that Bellamy can’t tell, but of course he can. 

“Is it uncomfortable?” Soothingly, he runs his fingertips through her hair, not needing an answer. So as opposed to waiting for one, he lowers her to the mattress, positioning himself above her. Then he curses, “Condoms — shit, they’re…”

“Not necessary. I’m on the pill.” 

For a moment, it looks as if he’s about to protest. In the end, however, he relents, even though his eyebrows shoot up, speaking for themselves: ‘This time only’. Exhaling towards the ceiling, Clarke gets comfortable, and then Bellamy’s smiling above her. It’s hard to see him in the dim light, but she can feel him, his erection hot and heavy against her inner thigh. His chest is muscled, hard like a cliff’s edge, but his skin is warm and delicate beneath her fingertips.

“Are you sure you’re ready for me?”

She quirks up an eyebrow. “Feel for yourself.”

Unflustered, Bellamy reaches in between her legs, releasing a growl as his hand comes into contact with her wetness, and he rubs the heel of his palm against her clit a few times. The sensation sends tremors through her, but that’s nothing compared to the moan that is torn from her throat when he slips a finger into her. 

“God, I missed that feeling.”

The words slip out of her mouth, making her cheeks flush as Bellamy chuckles against the sensitive skin of her breast. Aware of the effect that it has on her, he teases her nipple with the tip of his tongue again, and the combined stimulation is enough to make her see stars. Still, she can’t help but frown a little. “What happened… to you fucking me?”

“Impatient,” he teases, placing a sucking kiss to her throat, even though he makes no move to pull his finger out of her. In retaliation, Clarke digs her fingernails into his shoulder blade, which makes a hiss of surprise and pleasure pass his lips. She mewls when he applies more pressure to her clit, her breathing quickening. Enveloped in the scent of him, which reminds her of pine trees and thunderstorms, Clarke closes her eyes, gasping.

“Bellamy, I’m—I’m close.” 

As soon as she’s said that, he pulls his finger out of her, making her breath hitch around a frustrated sob. Just when she thinks that he will leave her hanging, Bellamy looks at her in the darkness, pressing his thumb to her lower lip, so that she can taste the hint of her own arousal. 

Then he lines the head of his cock up by her entrance, proceeding to do something that no man has ever managed to do to her before. Finding the perfect angle, Bellamy lets the head of his shaft rub against her clit until she’s gasping for air and thrown over the edge, clutching at his hair as the pleasure jolts through her body, the tension seeping from it all the same.

And while she’s in that haze, completely relaxed as her breathing evens out, Bellamy pushes into her, kissing her neck to extend her orgasm slightly. This time, it doesn’t hurt. Sure, there’s the unfamiliar pressure of him inside her, but it’s not uncomfortable.  

It’s as if her body molds into a different shape that can accompany him.

Fuck. You feel so good around me.” 

His words are a mumble, low enough that she’s not even sure that he meant for her to hear them. When he looks at her, he presses a lingering kiss to her lips that — combined with the feeling of his dick inside her — makes her moan. Desperate for him to move, she wraps her legs tighter around his waist, pressing the heels of her feet into his lower back.

And that’s it. He groans as he thrusts, the movement deep enough to dip the mattress. She swears, anchoring herself against him, so that every time he fucks into her, his body follows hers.

Oh…” 

The jerks of his hips are so fast that she doesn’t have the time to think about the sounds that tumble from her mouth. As the hard lines of his chest rub against her nipples over and over again, she moans, her breath hitching in her throat at every turn, because fuck… the sound of them having sex is as hot as the sex itself; his skin slaps against hers and his guttural groans blend with her needy exclamations. 

It’s not even words. Just rows of sounds like:

“Oh, uh… Ah—“

Well, it’s fair to say that she hasn’t been this into fucking someone in a long-ass time. Perhaps it’s because she’s not used to having anything as big as his dick inside her, but it might just be Bellamy all on his own.

She’s sure that he’s doing some form of magic right now.

Knowing exactly what he’s doing, Bellamy places his hands on her knees, pushing them back slightly, so that the angle is changed, and even though it challenges her flexibility, it’s worth it. As he fucks into her, she almost sobs in pleasure, her body trembling beneath his. For a moment, Bellamy pauses just to check on her as her breath quivers.

“Are you okay, babe? Does it hurt?”

Swallowing, she shakes her head. “No. I’m good.”

Bellamy nods, but after another couple of minutes he breathes hard, slowing his movements until his hips are rocking against hers. At this point, she’s overwhelmed, covered in a thin sheen of sweat, but she still doesn’t like the thought of this ending. It’s obvious that withholding his release for so long is making Bellamy more exhausted than what’s healthy, so she places a tiny kiss to his jawline.

“It’s okay,” she assures him, her voice a thousand kinds of wrecked. Fighting against the tiredness in her bones, Clarke helps him a little more with the two final thrusts, moving her hips up to meet his until he comes hard enough that his head falls onto her shoulder.

Once they’ve both regained their breaths, Clarke kisses him lazily before he moves off her body and lays down beside her. It’s fucking blazing in her bedroom right now, but the sun has started to peek through her curtains, sending scarlet rays of light into it. Bellamy interlaces their fingers as they stay there in silence, their bare limps pressing against one another, and she wishes nothing more than to remain with him.

Still… 

“I have to pee. I’ll be right back.”

There’s no way she’s risking an infection. Luckily, Bellamy only chuckles.

When she comes back into the room, he’s exactly where she left him, but by now he’s sound asleep, naked and gorgeous, his bronze skin a mesmerizing contrast the pure white of her comforter. 

The sight makes her heart skip a beat, as the lovers say.

Chapter Text

A couple hours later, the sunrays pouring through the curtains have grown stronger, making Bellamy resemble a god. Contorted in sleep on her comforter, he’s all muscle and jet black hair — if someone told her that he was a warrior reincarnated, she would believe them, but not just because he has the body of someone trained to fight. Bellamy seems to have the knowledge and experience of a person who has lived a hundred lives before this one.

He’s strong and bold and fucking beautiful.

Like those priceless pieces of art that you’re not meant to touch, but oh she did and refuses to feel bad about it. Having sex with Bellamy was… wow. She can still feel it; a dull ache between her legs, lingering as if to remind her that what they did last night wasn’t a dream.

While she looks at him, the smattering of freckles across his cheeks, Bellamy opens his eyes. They gaze into hers, and a smile grows on his lips, sort of like the sunrise spreading its rays out on the horizon. “Good morning, Princess.” 

In spite of everything, Clarke still detects a hint of guilt in his voice. So she moves closer, sucking a kiss onto his shoulder, just to give him the reassurance.

“Good morning, Casanova,” she teases, causing him to grin. Flipping onto his back, Bellamy runs his palm across his face and laughs, the sound of it so warm that it makes her skin sizzle. She chuckles with him, overwhelmed with relief as she reaches down to put her hand above his. When touching, their hands are an enthralling contrast to one another; his bronze skin against her ivory, his fingers long and calloused, hers small and delicate. 

Then he looks over again, the brown in his eyes softening. “You don’t have to know what you want, Clarke.”

She smiles, her heart twitching in her chest, because she recognizes the regret in his eyes. She doesn’t want him to burden himself further by holding himself accountable for something he said that he clearly wishes he hadn’t.

“I do know what I want… I want us. I just don’t know how I want it.” 

Brushing his thumb across her cheekbone, he murmurs, “Yeah. I get that.”

It feels wonderful to finally speak to him, since this conversation is long overdue. The words that she has been meaning to say to him for days now are waiting in anticipation by the space between her parted lips. Still, the nervousness lingers in her bones, and she buries her hand in the wild curls of his hair to calm herself. “I’m sorry if I made you fear that I regretted what happened. I didn’t, but this voice at the back of my mind kept telling me that I was supposed to. So I… I became very confused, and… I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

He kisses her forehead, then the crown of her head, making it easier for her to exhale. Needing a break from talking, Clarke cups his chin, her fingertips encountering the stubble there before she leans forward to catch his lips with her own. Without a second thought, Bellamy deepens the kiss, licking into her mouth. 

Damn, he’s good at this.

It makes her toes curl. To surprise him, Clarke flips over so that she’s on top of him. For a minute, she’d allowed herself to forget that she’s still naked from last night, but when Bellamy cups her ass, she suddenly doesn’t give two shits. The awkwardness evaporates from her body like smoke while she sucks at his throat, right at the juncture between his jaw and neck.

And he fucking growls.

As soon as she hears that sound, she wants to hear it again. Therefore, she moves down his body, planting determined kisses all over his chest, mapping the lines of his abs with her mouth. Curious, she rakes her nails across the muscles, careful not to hurt him, but he whimpers nonetheless. 

“Are you okay?”

“Clarke. Keep going,” his voice is choked in pleasure, which tells her that he isn’t used to being treated like this. It doesn’t surprise her, though, because Bellamy has made it clear that he’s a giver in every area of his life. Well, that just offers her even more incentive to do this.

His cock is already half-hard by the look of it. Wetting her lips, Clarke wraps her hand around it, giving him a careful stroke to see his reaction: Bellamy’s jaw is slacked, his eyelids fluttering because he’s clearly trying to keep them open, and the realization that he wants to watch this makes wetness pool between her thighs. Fuck…

She places kisses to his length that cause his breathing to quicken, circles her thumb around the head of him until he’s fully erect. Wasting no time at all, Clarke takes a breath, filling her lungs with the needed oxygen before closing her mouth around his cock. In this position, sucking him is more challenging, especially because she doesn’t have a lot of experience with this kind of sex.

Sure, she’s given head before, but she can count the times on one hand.

“Can you sit up?”

Clarke’s cheeks flush in embarrassment over having to ask that. Still, Bellamy follows her instructions without a second thought and brings her closer by the waist. Actually, this is ten times better: She can feel the heat radiating off his body, his ragged breaths brushing across the back of her neck as she continues to blow him and he wraps his hand in her hair.

“Fuck, wow… Christ, Clarke.”          

Smirking, she closes a hand around his thigh to keep him from moving. At this point, he’s trembling with desire, and she has to battle the strong urge to rub her thighs together. The last time she blew him, Bellamy had wondered what had gotten her so wet when he touched her, and it’s safe to say that this is it. 

There’s nothing more universally satisfying than giving selfless people what they deserve.

Like the first time, he warns her when he’s close to coming and like the first time, she’s unbothered. Curling his free hand in the sheets until his knuckles turn white, Bellamy bites down on his lower lip (the hottest thing she has ever seen) and comes apart in her mouth, sputtering a few blasphemous curses towards the ceiling. 

She swallows, not minding the taste as much as she did the night in the kitchen. Then she places a few sweet kisses to the length of his cock, which make him stir. “I’m… a little sensitive,” he admits before pulling her up for a real kiss. His mouth is warm and inviting as she bites a little at his lip in teasing. Sighing against her mouth, he cups her cheek, pouring some passion into the kiss until he presses his thumb to her bottom lip and draws back. 

Without giving her any hint of his intensions, he wraps his arms around her to bring her down onto the mattress, and for a moment curiousity sparks in her chest like fireworks. When he mouths at her breast, she keens, whimpering in pleasure just like she did last night. 

Nevertheless, as he starts to move lower and lower, his mouth suddenly hovering between her legs, she tenses and erupts in strained chuckles. Burying a hand in his hair, she pulls him up, her voice unsteady when she speaks. “Do you… Do you want a cigarette?” 

“Yeah, sure.”

Clarke pulls on some panties, feeling guilt sting in her chest. Obviously, Bellamy just wanted to return the pleasure that she’d given him but she’d chickened out, not really sure why. If he’s upset about it, though, he’s doing a really good job at hiding it. 

While they’re smoking on the balcony in their underwear, Clarke starts to think that maybe he’ll let it slide, but he doesn’t. Passing the cigarette back to her, he exhales the tiny cloud of smoke and turns to her, the look in his eyes as serious as it was when he came into her room last night. “I need you to be honest with me, Clarke… If there’s anything you don’t want to do or you’re not ready for, you tell me. Just say ‘hey, I’m not cool with this yet’ or ‘I don’t feel like it today’, and that’s it.” 

She looks at him, swallowing. “I’m so—“ 

No,” immediately, he cuts her off, his voice borderline stern. “Don’t apologize. Please don’t ever apologize… Hey.” 

When he sees the tears that have welled up at the corners of her eyes, he cups her cheek, leaning his forehead against hers for just a moment. “Hey… You don’t owe me anything. Not even an explanation. It’s all good, Princess.”

Clarke wants to thank him, but instead she wraps her arms around him in a hug, burying her nose in the crook of his neck.

Gratefulness seeps from her heart and onto his chest.

 


 

The next day she goes to the local coffee shop with Raven and Emori to tell them about her mystery buyer. During the past week, she’s been working almost exclusively on painting some new LGBTQ+ art for an anonymous person who requested them for whatever reason. Usually, Clarke would’ve asked questions, but…

“He offered to pay me 350 dollars for three pieces. Who declines that?”

Raven inhales, clearly craving some espresso when she concurs, “Nobody with half a brain.” 

Right on cue, Bellamy arrives carrying their coffee orders. A large shot of espresso for Reyes, Irish coffee for Emori and a specialty for Clarke. For the longest time, she’d stood by the counter, unsure of what she wanted to get until Bellamy came over and offered to make something interesting. Just like he always used to do with the drinks…

“What’s in it?” She asks, curious, but it only adds sparks to his gaze. As a cute, little detail he’s written ‘Princess’ on her cup. 

“You’ll find out.” 

With that, he leaves them, and though Clarke is eager to take a sip of her cup, she doesn’t want to burn herself. Instead, she meets her friends’ gazes while they stare at her, eyebrows raised in question. This time, Emori is the first one to speak. “I take it you two are talking again.” 

Just to tease, Clarke grins. “Oh, we’re more than talking.

At that response, Raven’s eyes go wide just before they’re filled with amusement. “Get it, girl!” 

Sensing her cheeks flush, Clarke attempts to kick at her best friend’s shin under the table, but fails and mumbles ‘quiet’ instead. There’s no way in hell she’s letting everyone in this crowded coffee shop know that she’s screwing one of the baristas. Still, Clarke is too relieved and happy to think much of it, so Raven doesn’t even need to apologize. 

“I’d like to give you details, but you know him, so it’d be weird and inappropriate at best.”

The two girls shrug, and Clarke is about to thank them when her phone rings, interrupting her. In a hurry, she abandons the table and walks outside to pick it up, the summer heat wrapping around her like a blanket.

She doesn’t recognize the phone number.

“Hello? You’re speaking to Clarke Griffin,” she introduces, her brow furrowed. 

When there is a response, it’s clearly a man at the other end of the line, but he sounds friendly and not like someone who’s trying to sell her insurance. “Hi, Miss Griffin. My name is Nyko Woodcrest. You don’t know me by name, but we’ve been in contact over email since last week. I’m the man who bought your art.”

Immediately, Clarke’s heart starts racing like a wild horse in her ribcage. Therefore, it takes her a while to form the words. “Have they arrived? Do you like the pieces?” 

Why is he calling her? Did she make a mistake?

Although she can’t see the man, she can hear that he’s smiling; his voice is warm and reassuring. “Very much. You have a great eye for color… Here’s the thing, you must be wondering why I’m calling you.” 

Then he goes on to explain that he’s the co-owner of an independent art gallery called Embers & Fumes in New York. The purpose of the art gallery is to give voices to unknown artists who want to start their career but do not have the connections that it takes to become recognized in such a tough business. It sounds almost too good to be true. 

“And you want to hang my art in the gallery?” 

“We do. We can set up a meeting to discuss everything in greater detail, so you are better equipped to make the decision… Is that something you’d be interested in?” 

At this point, her heart is about to burst out of chest, and she doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. So, she smiles through the tears in her eyes, accepting the offer of a meeting in two days.

Yeah, sure… It’s a risk like no other, but she might never have a possibility like this one again. Also, if nothing else, she wants more answers than Nyko was able to give her on the phone right now, and she’ll get them. That’s the most important thing on her mind.

 


 

How on Earth did Nyko find her, a young artist from Arkadia with a lone website? Why does he want her and not someone else with more experience and undoubtedly better art?  

Those are just some of the questions on Clarke’s mind when she plops down on the couch next to Bellamy in the evening and takes the plate of yummy lasagna that he’s made for dinner. As she looks at him, she realizes that she doesn’t want to think any more about that today; it will just make her brain explode, so she cuddles up against him, putting her hand on his thigh. 

“About the cunnilingus thing…” 

“Clarke, I told you that you don’t have to explain anything.” 

She looks at him, rolling her eyes. After swallowing a forkful of lasagna, she persists, “But I want to.”

The more she has thought about what happened yesterday morning, the more it makes sense and even though he’s right about the fact that she doesn’t owe him an explanation, she wants to give him one, because she… needs him to know, somehow.

When she’s sure that he’s paying attention, Clarke smiles in relief. “It has nothing to do with you. You see, the thing is… No guy has ever wanted to do that for me before.” 

In reality, her being nervous about Bellamy going down on her says everything about the men that she’s been with before she met him, and absolutely about Bellamy or her relationship with him.  

Still, Bellamy’s not sure. “So I threw you off?” There’s no hint of judgment in his voice, only softness and care.

“No, you didn’t. I was just nervous. That’s all,” with those words, she touches his knuckles, brushing her fingertips across all of their callouses. Evidence of years filled with hardship. “Sooner or later, I’ll be ready, because I want to be ready.” 

Bellamy doesn’t say anything for a minute, probably because he’s not sure how to articulate what he’s feeling, so as opposed to trying to, he cradles the back of her head and kisses her. It’s languid and warm like a summer evening. When she moves into his lap, it’s surprising how easily she seems to fit there now, as if her shape has been altered to fit his perfectly despite the many differences.

Kissing him is a little bit like breathing.

Not in such a way that she can’t live without it, but… she’d rather not. 

They put on a film noir, only to make out during the second half of it, and as soon as the credits roll, Bellamy picks her up off the couch to carry her into his bedroom. 

Anyone who knows Bellamy would be unsurprised to see his room, filled with stacks of books, world maps and crumbled sheets of notes. As he kisses her neck, sucking gently at the sensitive spot below her jaw, Clarke giggles and removes his glasses. “These are in the way.” 

“Well, we can’t have that.” 

By the time she’s naked beneath him, he’s run out of patience to take his own clothes off, so instead of doing that, he just unzips his pants and pulls his boxers down just enough to expose his cock, but Clarke nearly laughs. “Bellamy, missionary is not gonna work like this.”

He rolls his eyes. “What do you propose, Princess?”

Pretending to think for half a minute, if only to annoy him, Clarke replies, “Sit up. I wanna try to do what I couldn’t a couple days ago.”

She’s talking about straddling his waist and taking him like that, which had hurt the last time, so Bellamy’s apprehensive, quirking up an eyebrow as he looks at her. “On one condition. If you feel any discomfort, you have to tell me.” 

Well, that’s fair. After all, she hadn’t been completely honest with him when it came to the pain the last time, and he had to figure it out himself by looking at her. Still, tonight there’s no need for that, because as Clarke sinks down on him, she’s aware of the pressure and when a sound emerges from her parted lips, it’s a moan. 

“Look at you, you’re taking me so well.” 

She blushes hard at his praise, but distracts herself from it by moving, her hips gliding against his. Bellamy groans, holding her tighter to support her while also thrusting upwards to meet her movements, which just makes everything more powerful. They’ve actually remembered the condom this time, so the feeling’s different, but it’s not a bad different.

“Try to lean forward a little. Rest your head on my shoulder,” he breathes after a couple of minutes.

Without a second thought, she does as he advices, which results in him hitting her from the perfect angle, and a strangled moan tumbles from her throat as his cock rubs against her clit slightly. Like this, every single thrust drives her wilder, bringing her closer to the edge.

“Oh God— Bellamy.

At the sound of his name, he curses against her mouth, rewarding her with a harder thrust that makes her whimper. “Yeah, fuck. Say my name, Clarke,” with those words, he wraps a hand in her hair, pulling at it a little. A sizzle of electricity runs through her entire body, and at his next thrust she moans louder, nearly collapsing against his chest. Her lips part, so she sucks at his shoulder, clawing slightly at his t-shirt-covered back. 

“You wanna come, Princess?” 

In desperation, she nods. To her delight Bellamy proves himself to be a ‘no bullshit’ kind of guy when she first has admitted that she’s close. Determined, he reaches in between them, finding her clit, and there’s just enough space left for him to tease it with his thumb. This time when she comes, it’s with his name on her lips, which evidently is enough to do him in. 

Because he only has to thrust twice more before he meets his own release.

Afterwards, he looks at her with soft eyes as she runs her fingertips through his unruly hair, kissing his jawline.

Yeah. She’d rather not live without this.

 

Chapter Text

In the morning before she’s supposed to meet up with Nyko Woodcrest, previously known as the mysterious art buyer, Clarke is in bed with Bellamy, gazing at their interlaced fingers while the rain creates rhythmic beats on the windowpane. His hand is so warm, and her eyelids flutter at the sensation when his thumb starts to caress hers. Turning over, she places a lingering kiss to his shoulder and listens to the breath that he takes.

“Have I ever told you about ataraxia, Princess?”

She shakes her head, smiling in curiousity. The word has a very Greek ring to it, so it’s unsurprising when Bellamy confirms it.

 

ATARAXIA (noun)

Definition: A state of serene calmness

 

“Anyway,” Bellamy smiles, lifting their hands to kiss her knuckles. “I think this is it.” 

When he says that, her hearts swells in her chest, because he’s right, using his nerdy vocabulary to perfectly describe the atmosphere right now. Although anxiety might be lingering somewhere in her body since she has a crucial meeting today, being here with him seems to overpower that. Her fingertip reaches out without permission, brushing over a starry pattern on his left cheek. 

“I found the Big Dipper.” 

Only when he chuckles does she realize that she’s spoken her thought out loud, but before she can even blush, Bellamy has taken the last two inches of space between them. His lips taste like the syrup that he put on his pancakes this morning, which is intoxicating in the weirdest way.

“You’re so damn cute, Clarke.”

Well, shit. Those words catch her off guard; make all possible responses drown in her throat. Because of this, she can do nothing but stare at him for a long moment, well aware that her lips have parted, but Bellamy’s amused if the thousands of sparks lighting up his eyes are any indication. Taking advantage of her flustered state, he flips them over to encompass her beneath him.

When he kisses her, she allows it, touching his t-shirt-covered back. They make out for a while, but as always Bellamy eventually lets his lips wander to her neck, so she is forced to draw a line. 

“Don’t you dare make me horny right now. I don’t have the time to take another shower before my meeting.” 

After breakfast, he’d fingered her on the couch because she’d gotten too distracted by how he kept sucking syrup off his thumb, and though it’d been great as usual she’s not going to risk being late for an important meeting just to fuck him. That’s not happening. 

And Bellamy respects her wishes, moving off her. “Sorry about that.”

“Don’t worry,” she smiles in reassurance, brushing her hand over his jawline. “Knowing myself, I’ll probably need an orgasm when I come home, though.”

Then she stands from the bed to change, not caring that Bellamy remains in the room. But he still grabs The Story of Icarus from where he’d left it on her bedside table, puts on his glasses and starts reading it for what she assumes is the hundredth time. 

He doesn’t look up until she asks for his two cents. “Is the blazer too professional? Be honest.”

Upon looking at her for half a minute, Bellamy decides, “Yeah, kinda… You can put your denim jacket on instead.”

With those words, he turns away, wetting his fingertip to flip a page. Clarke does as he advices and concurs that it does, unquestionably, look a lot more effortless, which is good because this isn’t a formal business meeting and she doesn’t want to look uptight. Smiling at her reflection in the mirror, satisfied, Clarke turns around for his final opinion. 

“You look like spring.” 

She rolls her eyes as a bit of heat rushes to her cheeks. “Oh god, you’re such a poet.” 

The sparks flickering in his eyes, Bellamy closes the book at once and stands. Walking to her, he looks at her more closely and loosens some golden strands of her hair from its braid so they fall to frame her face. As a final thought, he adds, “How about some of that vermilion lipstick?” 

It’s a touch of genius. In some way, Bellamy must have an artistic sense just like her, intuition that tells him how to make things look more pleasing. The best part is that he’s not even a little bit ashamed of it.

Before she walks out of the door, Bellamy encloses her waist and places a reassuring kiss to the corner of her mouth. “Good luck, Princess. Go kill it.” 

When she exhales, her breath apparently reveals her building nervousness, because he runs his hand up her lower back. “Wait a second,” then he goes to the nightstand to pick up the book, and as he walks to her with it she’s a little confused, because she already knows the story. He’s told it to her before from memory. “There’s a poem I wrote on page fifty-six. You can read it on the train.”

Oh. 

“Thank you.”

To collect courage, Clarke lingers in his embrace for a little longer than necessary, inhales the fresh scent of his cologne and memorizes the soft feel of his hair as if she doesn’t touch it every day when he lets her.

 


 

The poem that Bellamy wanted her to read while on the subway is short, just a few sentences. Seeing his handwriting, for once not block letters, is intriguing — as it turns out, his scribble can be quite neat and curvy. But the poem itself, the words that form the lines, are breathtaking.

 

Insomnious, I crave the sugar that I don’t pour in my coffee

My sheets are soaked in lavender and vanilla from her skin,

The climbing roses on the balcony sing me lullabies,

Remind me of the way that she speaks,

Like a siren, and I am lost at sea.

 

 

She stares at the poem for a long time until curiousity sparks, and she starts to flip through the book, finding his writing on just about every other page: neat, little lines of words stuffed in the margins, but they’re not all poetic. 

In fact, some of them give her a serious case of the chuckles, and she must look like an idiot to all of the other passengers, but she doesn’t care. 

 

REMINDER: Vermilion not red, you heathen.

 

“What’s so funny?” A lanky guy next to her asks, toying with the cigarette in his hand. There’s something about the way that he smirks at her that makes her raise her eyebrows. If this fraternity-looking dudebro is hoping to pick her up on the subway, he’s truly thinking with his dick.

So impulsively, Clarke replies, “My boyfriend. He leaves me notes in this book because he’s such a fucking nerd. Really hot, though. Bulky.” 

During the rest of the ride to Arkadia City center, Clarke has to fight to keep the confident smirk off her face as she holds Bellamy’s book close to her chest. She’d love to have it forever, read all of his small notes over and over again, but she knows that it’s one of his most treasured belongings, and he would be upset if he didn’t get it back.

By the time that she’s standing in front of the building in which Nyko Woodcrest has his office, there are still a couple of minutes left until her appointment — enough time for her to have a smoke, but since Bellamy isn’t here to share the cigarette with her, that seems unappealing. She thinks about how much she’s cut down on nicotine since he moved in, and maybe they should work on quitting altogether. Smoking one half of three cigarettes a day seems silly at best. Instead, they could listen to music on the balcony. It’s been a while since they’ve done that…

 


 

Her first impression of Nyko is that he looks more like a tattoo artist than an art gallery owner, because both of his arms are covered in ink sleeves and his ears are pierced. Still, the friendly smile on his face contradicts the roughness of his appearance, so Clarke takes his hand and greets him without hesitation. 

When she has sat down on his fancy leather couch, he says, “You must have a lot of questions, so why don’t we start with them?”

The most important thing on her mind is what kind of people visit the Embers & Fumes art gallery and why her art seems to fit in there. Nyko explains that he has some high-profile contacts in the design business that view the art in the gallery each time there is a new exhibit to broaden their horizons. Right off the bat, this seems like an open door to job opportunities. Clarke can’t help but feel excited.

“Which new exhibit would my pieces fit into?”

“Ah, since last year we’ve tried to show more diverse, inclusive art. We have a new exhibit about Pride that your pieces would be perfect for. We’ve reached out to all kinds of artists, some of which have captured the importance of LGBTQ like you, and others who have painted the Women’s Marches or protested against racism in America with their pieces.” 

How amazing.

When she did her research on Nyko last night (mostly because she wanted to confirm that this whole thing was legitimate), the official webpage for Embers & Fumes was the first thing that popped up, so she spent a total of three hours reading every bit of information that the site had to offer. The more she learned about its mission, the more Clarke wanted to visit it.

Nyko smiles at her. “Would you be interested, Miss Griffin?”

“Yes, definitely… but there’s something I need to know.”

He takes a sip of his coffee, his eyebrows raised as if to say: ‘Fire away’, so she takes a breath before asking what she’s been dying to know since he called, “How did you find me? I mean, it’s not like I have any good connections, or…”

To her surprise, Nyko chuckles, “Actually, you do.” 

At that response, she has the most illogical thought: Maybe Cage or Dante Wallace reached out to him… But why the fuck would they? During the year that she worked in their gallery, she learned that they’re pretty conservative, as far as their taste in art goes, forever discussing classic artists like Van Gogh or Picasso while never really looking at new artistic expression. 

Before she can ask, Nyko leans back to stretch his arms out, looking so laid back that it makes her feel more at ease. Then he continues, “Knowing him, he probably won’t appreciate me telling you this, so when you see him please tell him that he knows I’m terrible at keeping secrets… Anyway, your friend Bellamy is the one who gave me the link to your site.” 

It feels as if her heart stops beating for three full second at the sound of his name. Therefore, it takes a while for her to form the words. “How… how do you know Bellamy?” 

“Oh, one of my best friends was once engaged to his little sister… And you must know, he’s a really awesome dude, so we stay in touch.” 

Of course… How could anyone ever want to lose contact with him?

Bellamy is a person that everyone should have in their life if only to experience the compassion that pours from his heart, even at times when it isn’t open. Knowing him is a privilege.

Still, something bothers her. This is the second time that she has heard about Bellamy having a little sister, but she hasn’t discovered who she is yet — not as much as her name, and he doesn’t ever talk about her, mysteriously enough. Although Clarke can’t fully relate to his situation, because she’s an only child, she figures that Bellamy is the sort of person who’d do anything for his little sister and talk about her at every given chance. 

Unless her first intuition is correct, and she is no longer alive…

  

In the end, Clarke walks out of Nyko’s office building with a deal in her backpack and a lasting smile on her face. The clouds are breaking up in the sky, letting sunshine come through, so it’s warmer now, which reflects her mood as if she were in a movie. Unable to help herself, her heart doing grateful somersaults in her chest, Clarke takes out her phone and dials Bellamy. 

He picks up at the second ring, but before he even has a chance to ask her how the meeting went, Clarke speaks, “I’ll blow you so hard when I get home.”

At the other end, Bellamy laughs and she pictures him throwing his head back. “What did I do to deserve that?” 

“Um… perhaps you’re the sole reason why my art is being hung in a freaking gallery, Bellamy. Also, Nyko says to tell you that he’s not good at keeping secrets.” 

Bellamy sighs, admitting, “I already knew that, but sometimes you gotta take a chance. You’re not mad at me?”

“Of course not.” 

Sure, he didn’t tell her about doing it, but that’s likely because he didn’t want to get her hopes up in case Nyko didn’t like her artwork. Or this may simply come down to the fact that he’s a selfless man who doesn’t want to take the credit for doing anything amazing in his life, ever. That is a shame, in her opinion, but god.

He’s a fucking gem. 

And, at least for now, she’s lucky enough to have him.

 


 

When Clarke comes home, she finds Bellamy in his bedroom in front of the desk, the keys of typewriter clanking beneath his fingertips. Of course, he’s too much of a passionate dork to write his poetry on a laptop like the mainstream person. Instead, he opts for his precious antique machine or the notebooks, which stuff his drawers.

It puts a smile on her face every goddamn day. 

Without saying a word, she walks up behind him and rubs at his shoulders with her thumbs to ease the tension out of his bones. “Am I interrupting?” she whispers into his ear. At first, he only hums, but she can hear the smile in his voice when he replies. 

“Never.”

Wasting no more time, Bellamy turns the desk chair around. His eyes are gleaming, his lips forming a radiant yet easy grin as he pulls her into his lap, but there’s not quite enough room in the chair for her to straddle him, so he stands and carries her to the bed.

“How did the meeting go?”

Beaming at him, Clarke punctuates her response with passionate kisses. “Thank. You. So. Much,” prompting Bellamy to laugh against her mouth. If happiness were a solid, touchable force, she’d gather it in her hands now and bottle it for later. Thinking about what he did for softens her heart, even though she hardly understands it.

Needless to say, she can’t express her gratefulness further…

Not with words, at least. 

She kisses his throat, her hand finding its favorite spot among the chaotic curls of his hair, and he sighs, letting his fingers toy with the sipper at the back of her dress. It’s not something that she would usually wear; in fact, she spent most of her childhood battling the uncomfortable and fancy dresses that her mom wanted her to wear for school.

With her dad’s support, she won in the end. 

And Bellamy does as well, managing to pull it off her. The afternoon sun reaches through the window, its soft pink rays falling onto her chest, and his gaze darkens at the sight. After pressing a lingering kiss to the valley between her breasts, he looks at her. 

“Can I get a rain check on the blowjob?” 

Clarke grins back, her hands grasping at his broad shoulders as she nods. Then he pulls a foil-wrapped condom out of his pocket, wiggling it mischievously, and she has to chuckle. Raising her eyebrows in challenge, she pulls off his t-shirt, relishing in its soft material and crisp scent before tossing it to the floor. 

Much to her dismay, he is forced to stand to remove his pants. Still, she takes the opportunity to stare shamelessly at his ass, and he must feel her eyes on him because he comments, his voiced laced in smugness, “Enjoying the view, Princess?”

“Clearly.”

Bellamy turns around, facing her before he pulls down his boxers, and she almost thanks him out loud for letting her see that. “You’re confident today, babe,” he notes, joining her on the bed; his words are full of delight when they emerge as he brushes a loose strand of her behind her ear. The pet name sets sparks alight in her chest. “You feelin’ good?” Not waiting for a response, Bellamy kisses his way down her body, devoting as much wonderful attention to her breasts as ever — he sucks at her sensitive areolas, licks her hardened nipples and mouths at the ivory globes until her breath is caught in her throat.

“Nyko praised my work to the skies, Bellamy. And that’s because of you.” 

“Nonsense, Princess,” is what he replies, “It’s all your talent.” 

She still can’t believe that he did this for her. His fingertips splay across her ribcage, trail down towards her hips, which she spreads further for him as if it were an instinct. Taking advantage of that, Bellamy pulls her panties off. Even though she feels his gaze lingering between her legs long enough to make her blush, he turns away to kiss the inside of her knee.

Still, his hands are drawn to her sex. When his hand settles on her mound, a mewl escapes her lips. Although she’s only slept with him a few times and this is still new, Clarke feels herself growing wetter at the mere thought of his fingers inside her, long and thick and perfect.  

But then he asks, his voice quieter than usual, more careful, “Can I kiss you here?” 

And for some reason, just like the other morning, that makes her nervous. Maybe it’s because the idea of his mouth on her is so much more intimate. Bellamy’s lips spill poetry. What if the taste of those words is sweeter and better than the taste of her?

It makes little sense.

So she nods, inhaling and making an effort to conceal the slight tremble on her breath.

Nevertheless, when his lips touch her mound the tension in her bones seems to fade away at an instant, and her toes curl at the sensation because fuck. Before he has the chance to ask if it’s okay, Clarke tells him, “Do it again,” and he obeys without a second thought, his hand resting on top of hers as soon as her fingers tangle in the sheets. 

Slowly, his kisses grow more passionate, his parted lips sucking rather than pecking. Her breath is turning ragged, the blush in her cheeks deepening, because even though this doesn’t quite qualify as cunnilingus, it’s close enough to make desire pulse through her veins.

“It feels good…” she decides, prompting him to chuckle against her inner thigh-

“… But?”

Clarke raises her head off the pillow to see his reaction when she elaborates, “But I really wanna ride your cock.”

At first he blinks, taken aback by her bluntness. Realizing that she’s as serious as ever, Bellamy groans low in his throat, which Clarke has already deemed to be one of the hottest sounds in existence. He flips them over afterwards, taking control just before he has to give it up to her. Unable to resist the temptation, Clarke reaches in between them to touch his hard cock, giving it a single, leisured stroke. Bellamy inhales, gathering himself as she rolls the condom on and sinks down on his length.

Shit…” he curses, then remembers to steady her, his hands easily encircling her waist while she stretches to accommodate him.

Admittedly, it takes her a minute or two to find a rhythm that works for both of them, but once she has the sounds that emerge from his lips are uncontrolled and incoherent, for the most part. When she leans her head back, releasing a ragged moan towards the ceiling, he meets the movements of her hips, thrusting into her. 

It’s hard enough to make her gasp and whimper at the same time as she falls forward against his chest. 

“Are you worn out, babe? It’s okay. I can take it from here,” kissing her jawline, Bellamy runs his fingertips through her golden hair and holds her for a short minute before he flips them over again, fucking into her with such force that his old mattress squeaks under the pressure.

After a few minutes, she’s panting, hovering above the edge as desperate tears gather in the corners of her eyes. Despite the strong pleasure that she’s feeling, Clarke hears herself gasp, “… Wait, slow down— please.”

His hips still. She opens her eyes to find him gazing at her, brow furrowed in worry. Then he drops a sweet kiss to her chin, brushing his thumb over the corner of her eye, from which a single tear must have leaked.

“Did I hurt you?” 

It’s difficult to speak, since her skin is burning up and her breath is heaving in her chest, but she has to reassure him. “No. It’s just… a little overwhelming.” 

“Okay. Do you think it’s because you’ve been close for a while?”

Well, it’s hard to say, because she’s never experienced this before, and frankly it’s fucking confusing. Nonetheless, she nods, confident enough that she’s simply overstimulated. Placing a chaste kiss to her lips, Bellamy reaches in between her legs and gets her off just by rubbing at her clit three times. Without complaining, he jerks himself off afterward, which doesn’t take long either, and she curls against him when he lies down next to her.

“My body’s never reacted in that way before.”

He kisses the top of her head, reassuring. “You don’t have to tell me the specifics, but if it’s been a while since you’ve had a long-term sex partner, it might just be that your body needs time to accustom, and that’s completely normal.”

Yeah, that would explain it. Also, the people with dicks that she’s been with before him have all been one-time hookups for her, even Finn. It makes sense.

“Have you ever had a relationship like this before?”

Bellamy trails his fingers up her spine, smiles into the crown of her hair. “It’s never been quite like this, but I had a lot of casual sex in college. I’m a pretty monogamous person, though, so I probably wasn’t very good at it.” 

Placing a kiss to his sternum, Clarke chuckles against his skin. “You’d get jealous?”

“No,” he sighs and brushes his thumb along her jawline, which prompts her to look up at him. “Affectionate.”

Well, he did tell her not long ago that he craves physical affection and intimacy, which he sees as an inconvenient flaw, but she reckons that it’s just another part of him; one that’s as nice as any other, because it makes him who he is. Hell, Clarke even finds herself appreciating his occasional brashness because it’s him.

It’s a part of the wonderful man who has put her art in the spotlight of a gallery owner. 

“Does that worry you?” his voice is small, so she cuddles a little more against his chest, shaking her head in earnest. It doesn’t worry her the slightest bit.

“You’re a naturally affectionate person. You’ve shown affection towards me since you played me that song on Murphy’s balcony. I don’t find that worrisome.” 

He interlaces their fingers and once again she is struck by fascination at how easily they seem to fit together; as if they were molded to — as if the gods and goddesses that he talks about witnessed each of their births and thought: these mortals, they’re like two halves of one whole.  

At some point, Bellamy finds his phone and they listen to the same song that he played for her on the balcony, holding hands as the calming tune fills the room with a new atmosphere.

Something that makes her feel safe, and comfortable and… poetic.  

She’s thought about Bellamy’s poem since she read it. Still, she can’t bring herself to ask him about it, because she knows that his words are so dear to him. It’s what fuels him on his darkest days, just like her paint and charcoal does for her. Passion is the closest thing to a saving grace. 

But it’s fragile and personal. 

And she doesn’t want to pry.

“Bellamy?” she asks, drawing invisible roses on his skin with her fingertip. “I love this song.”

“So do I. Now even more than before.” 

With those words, he leans down, most likely to press a kiss to her breast, but she meets him in the middle and their lips collide instead. He smiles against her mouth, pulling her a little closer by the waist. Sure, they don’t talk about why the song is so special to them. 

But they both know that it’s what brought them here.

 

What a thing

To believe

In a dream…

 

Chapter Text

The night sky is starless when she stirs, opening her eyes. Because she’s usually a heavy sleeper, being awake at this hour is confusing, so she looks around for a moment, wondering what could’ve woken her; she doesn’t remember having a nightmare or hearing any loud noise, but even though she contemplates going back to sleep, something prevents her from it.

A little voice at the back of her mind whispering: Go check on him.  

Therefore, she shuffles out of the bedroom, taking careful steps to avoid making the floorboards creak. It takes her a while, but she finally makes it to Bellamy’s door and cracks it open just a little. In the darkness of this late hour, it’s impossible to see him — still, his breathing reveals that he’s not asleep.

He’s crying. Or at least it sounds like he is. 

“Bellamy?” she murmurs, hesitating for a few seconds before opening the door further and inviting herself inside.

Sitting down at the edge of his bed, Clarke feels the warmth that always radiates off his body like a bonfire that never burns out, even when the rest of him is all waterfall. His breathing emerges in ragged, shallow puffs and as she touches him, brushing her thumb over his freckled cheek she hears the tears that are clogging his throat. 

“Do you want me to stay?” when she runs her fingertips through his curly hair, she finds it hot and sweaty, which leaves no doubt in her mind: He’s had an intense nightmare. Clenching his jaw, Bellamy nods, trembling in attempt to keep his emotions at bay. 

She doesn’t ask any more questions. Instead, she tells him to scoot over, which he does, making enough room for her in the bed. Lying down beside him, Clarke wraps her arms around his much larger frame, placing a sweet kiss to the bridge of his nose. After a minute, he finally stops shaking, which has a sigh of relief escaping her parted lips.

“Princess? Tell me about the colors.”

Oh, Clarke knows just the right story. She tells him about the Swiss man called Diesbach who first created Prussian blue by mixing potash and blood; he’d intended to make a new, brilliant shade of red, but ended up with a deep, valuable blue.

True miracles happen when you don’t seek them out.

Afterwards, she talks about the first lipstick that her grandmother gave her; old and violet, which she managed to smear all over her mouth the first time she tried to apply it. To her delight, that makes him chuckle. She reminisces over all of her jeans with green grass-stains on the knees from playing in Wisconsin fields and the set of pastels that her parents bought for her tenth birthday that’s still in her drawers for safekeeping, even though the colors are far-gone. 

Eventually, Bellamy drifts off to sleep, and despite the crammed space she doesn’t let go of him, doesn’t return to her own room. If he wakes up again, the nightmare keeping its chains on him, she’ll be there to coax the sweet dreams back.

 


 

Bellamy must’ve moved during the night, because now he’s behind her, his arms wrapped around her abdomen, his nose nuzzled in the back of her neck. For a minute once Clarke’s woken up, she simply lies still, smiling to herself while not knowing or caring if he’s awake. 

She wants this moment of honey sunrays and intimacy to last, if only a little longer.

But then he speaks, his words a low rumble. “Morning, baby.” 

Her heart leaps in her chest. Baby… He’s never called her that before. Sure, he’s prone to saying ‘babe’, which is close, but he always uses that within a sexual context, and this… she already feels the different ring to it. Despite how it makes her heart flutter repeatedly, she chooses not to address it, instead twisting her head to look at him. 

“Did you sleep okay?” 

Nodding, he moves his arms from around her waist, which allows her to face him. She smiles, brushing a stray curl of dark hair off his forehead. Though his skin isn’t clammy like it was last night, he feels warmer somehow. Maybe that’s why he says, “I need to cool off. Gonna hop in the shower.”

When she stares at him, unable to keep the slight frown off her face, Bellamy grins. “Do you want to join me?”

Well, that’s an offer that he doesn’t have to make twice…

  

For some reason, standing naked before him in the shower feels different; like the spray is a form of spotlight that puts her body on display. Staring back at him, Clarke’s already breathless, but when he starts to smoothen her lavender/vanilla-scented soap across her skin, she exhales, feeling every cell in her body buzz under his touch. He’s delicate and thorough, not wanting to miss an inch. She hums at the sensation, keeping her hands at the back of his neck to prevent them for fidgeting: They’re eager to have their turn... 

When Bellamy reaches her sex, he can’t resist the temptation of slipping two long fingers inside her, making her moan in surprise. To keep her steady in the slippery shower, Bellamy wraps his free arm around her back, holding her flush against him while he fucks her with his fingers, pumping them in and out of her at a zealous pace. 

She whimpers, the words slipping out past her parted lips, “Touch my clit.” 

Then Bellamy chuckles into the crook of her neck, sucking hot kisses onto her throat before he replies, “I’m glad you can tell me what you want, but you need to ask nicely.” 

Christ. Although she would’ve expected herself to be annoyed at him for teasing her, she finds his show of dominance unbelievably hot. At his words, an intense rush of heat courses through her body, settling between her legs.

“Please, Bellamy…” 

He growls, his teeth grazing her sensitive jawline as he crooks his fingers to rub her clit. As always, stars form behind her eyelids at once, and she closes her eyes, feeling heat shoot to her face when mewls escape her throat without permission. 

After another minute has passed, Bellamy speeds up a little, applying more pressure to her clit, so her head falls against his shoulder. She sucks at his skin, tasting the small droplets of water that clings to it. To her surprise, he adds third finger, which definitely stretches her out, but once she’s gotten used to the added pressure, Clarke feels her walls clench around his fingers. 

“Are you close?” Bellamy breathes, prompting her to nod against his shoulder. Running a hand up her spine, he nuzzles her neck and places a sweet kiss to it. “Then let go for me.” 

Clarke comes almost as soon as he’s said that, shuddering in his strong arms. Pulling a little at his hair, she draws him closer while she backs herself against the damp wall. Bellamy follows, capturing her lips in a languid kiss before he lifts her off the ground, her spine sliding up the cool tiles.

Somehow, this kiss feels different from the ones that they have previously shared; it’s like their lips have learned one another’s movements by now. Many people might think that familiarity can become a bit boring, but knowing each other means that they have discovered the fine line between softness and ferocity, which is just divine. This kiss takes her breath away even more than the orgasm did…

“You want anything?” she chuckles against his mouth when they have finally broken apart for air. With her fingertip, she traces the stubble on his chin and the shape of his wide smile.

“No, I’m good.” 

Making an effort to sound as innocent as possible, Clarke replies, “Really? You don’t even wanna eat me out?”

His eyebrows shoot up in surprise. “Are you kidding? I always wanna eat you out.”

For some reason, those words catch her off guard, so she has to look down for a second, gathering herself, and she can’t prevent the uncertainty from surfacing. “You’re just saying that because—“

But Bellamy cuts her off right then, his serious eyes enough to stop the rest of her sentence. “All the time, Clarke. You have no idea,” he runs his hand through the back of his hair, offering her a crooked smile, just for a second, appearing nothing short of grateful. “Seriously, I— you want me to?”

“Yeah…” she smiles, hating how shy she feels. “You’re gonna do it?”

“When you least expect it, Princess.” 

Then he winks at her before handing her a towel, and Clarke is left to wonder what that response exactly meant when he leaves the bathroom to make breakfast in his boxers and nothing else.

The smile still playing on her lips, she watches him, leaning against the doorframe. After a moment, Bellamy looks at her only to realize that he can’t turn away again, because she’s wearing his t-shirt: the burgundy material of it cutting off the top of her thighs. At the surprising sight, he scratches the back of his neck. 

“Well, damn. That’s yours now.”

Clarke beams at him. “Really?” 

Walking to her, Bellamy hands her a cup of coffee in her favorite ‘History of art’ mug: On it, there are cats drawn in the signature artistic styles of painters such as Picasso, Dali and Rembrandt. Some people might think it’s ugly, but she’s a renowned art hoe who — of course — thinks it’s hilarious.

He reaches out, toying with the hem of the shirt that used to be his. “You’ve claimed it. I don’t stand a chance… fuck, you look good.” 

For a moment as he allows his eyes to roam over her body like a priceless piece of art, Bellamy’s lips part in something that looks a lot like awe. It makes her grin, her heart swelling with confidence. “Are you sure this isn’t some form of primal instinct?” she sticks out her tongue in teasing, “We just had sex, so you’re giving me your shirt to mark me or whatever.”

For some reason, Clarke finds the idea of this really hot.

“I already left a mark,” he mumbles with a small smile, brushing his thumb over her breastbone, which has the meaning of his words dawning on her. 

Her eyes widen as she gasps in disbelief, “Oh my god, you didn’t—“ 

“I did, but don’t worry… It’s concealed.”

Well, thank Heavens for that. In the evening, they’re going to Murphy’s to celebrate that it’s Saturday like they always do; with drinking games and cheap Chinese takeout. It sure would’ve been pretty to show up to that event with a blooming hickey in plain sight. 

When did he find the time to do this? She hasn’t noticed at all, but then again she’d been in an all-consuming haze after the orgasm that he gave her in the shower, so her attention was limited. In spite of everything, having a hickey on her skin that only she and Bellamy know exists excites her somehow.

They have a secret. 

A dirty secret…

 


 

Clarke doesn’t miss the college environment, and a large part the reason for that is because she creates it almost every week with her friends in Murphy’s living room. Right now, there is a pizza box nicely situated between Bellamy and Clarke on the hardwood floor, but there’s only one said slice left. They decide to share the toppings (mushrooms and bacon for Bellamy, olives and pepperoni for her). 

“Okay, my turn!” Monty grins, leaning against his boyfriend. “Never Have I Ever had sex today.” 

(Oh, she should’ve known how this would turn out. This game always becomes sexual at some point; it’s just the way that they are wired, apparently.)

Despite being quite sure that this isn’t a correct question for the game, Clarke shares a discreet look with Bellamy, and he shrugs before taking a sip of the vodka/raspberry drink that he’s made for them. In solidarity, she takes it from him afterwards to take her own swig. As she does so, she senses all of the eyes in the room glued to her, but Bellamy brushes his fingertips down her arm, which makes her feel less uncomfortable.

Instead of responding to the stares, Clarke turns to Raven. “Are you sure you don’t want a drink?”

“I have to go to the bathroom.” 

Okay… that was weird.

Reyes isn’t usually the type to dance around anything. At times, she’s can even be too direct and analytical, but she tends to face problems head-on. It’s admirable… Still, she’s been acting weird all evening, and for a few minutes Clarke is left feeling utterly confused until her phone chimes beside her.

 

{Group conversation: Miss McIntyre, The Most Badass Mechanic, Art Hoe + 1 other person}

 

11:32 pm.

The Most Badass Mechanic: I have a lack-of-tampon crisis!!111!!! hELP YA GIRL OUt

 

11:32 pm.

Art Hoe: Free tampon assistance will be provided in 10 seconds

 

11:33 pm.

Miss McIntyre: Need a clean pair of panties? I’m here to save the day!

 

“What would I do without you guys?” Raven mutters when Clarke and Harper meet her in the bathroom. “Seriously, though. I’m happy that I finally got this shit.” 

For a moment, Clarke looks at her, eyebrows raised because Reyes is usually very vocal about how much she fucking despises periods and how inconvenient they are. Exhaling, Raven lowers her voice as she continues, “I was four days late. Thought I was pregnant.” 

Although her best friend sounds relieved, Clarke can’t help but wonder if — deep down — Raven wanted to be pregnant, because she hasn’t touched alcohol all night. For a girl who has frequent beer-chucking competitions with Emori, that is strange behavior unless she wanted to be careful for the sake of her potential, unborn child. 

Yeah… Raven is certainly bullshitting her way through this one, but Clarke has no intension of interrogating her friend, even though it’s surprising. Before meeting Shaw, Reyes made it clear that she wasn’t the type of woman to settle down and have a family, which is definitely fair, but Clarke knows her well enough to understand that she would never endanger Zeke — not even a piece of him. Like his child… 

Clarke and her friends rejoin the game, and everyone seems to have forgotten about the reveal that Bellamy and she did before they left. It’s her turn now though, so Clarke says, “Never Have I Ever gotten a tattoo.” 

Miller, Emori, Harper and Murphy all drink, which isn’t a surprise. Turning to Bellamy, she asks, “Not you?” and he smiles at her. 

“Have you seen any?” 

It makes her blush, mostly because everyone’s suddenly watching them again. No, she’s never seen any tattoo on Bellamy’s body, but it could be hidden in a place where she hasn’t thought to look — like his foot or inner lip… 

Clearly enjoying himself, Miller puts two and two together to make his usual sassy comment, “Is the sex any good?”

Glaring, Bellamy takes the pillow next to Clarke and tosses it in his best friend’s face. It makes her laugh despite the awkwardness of the situation. “We’re not talking about this here.”

“Oh, so it’s very good then.” 

This time it’s Murphy speaking, but Emori takes care of that for them by elbowing him in the ribs. Afterwards, the way-too-private topic of Bellamy and Clarke’s sex life isn’t revisited (Thank God…), and instead they talk about the thing that they’re all going to do next week.

They’re staying at Luna’s beach house to celebrate August. This is something they’ve been doing for the last few years just for the sake of fun, and Clarke can’t fucking wait. Since Jasper keeps reminding his best friend to ‘bring weed and inflatable pool animals’ and Emori boasts about the amazing cheeseburgers that she’s going to cook for everyone, she decides that she isn’t the only one who’s looking forward to the getaway. 

Arkadia can be like a prison cell at times, small and confined, but Luna’s beach house is in the neighboring town, which is twice as large. Clarke has already thought about a few places that she has to show Bellamy once they’re there. This will be his first time joining all of them.

She wants to explore the world with him. Might as well start somewhere.

 


 

When they come home at 1:30 am, the first thing that Clarke does is take off her uncomfortable jeans. Then she hops onto the counter, turning on the light in the kitchen as Bellamy pokes his head inside the freezer. “You want ice cream?” 

“Yeah. But it’s not Friday.”

Bellamy huffs. “We can break the rules just this once, don’t you think, Princess?” his eyes are glinting with hundreds of small sparks.

Because they’re both impatient spirits, waiting for the ice cream to soften a little is a pain, so they decide to play some music from his playlist to kill a few minutes. This time it’s actually a song that she knows: Budapest by George Ezra. At least, she’s heard it before; like most of the tunes on his playlist, this song is one that makes it easy to unwind, celebrate the relaxation that the weekend brings.

Still, the worry in her mind has to ruin it. There’s something about the way Bellamy stares blankly ahead with his brow furrowed, taking way too long to swallow a spoonful of his favorite strawberry ice cream. Clarke brushes her hand against his, but doesn’t manage to catch his attention. 

“… Do you wanna talk about the nightmare?” 

“No.” 

She stares at him until he meets her gaze. As soon as he does, she raises her eyebrows. Evidently, that softens him, because he reaches out to place his warm hand on her knee. “I—I can’t.”

Putting her hand on top of his in comfort, Clarke worries her lower lip and holds his gaze. Her heart is gnawing at her ribcage, and she has to swallow the lump in her throat. “Then what can I do? Distract you from thinking about it?”

At her offer, Bellamy closes his eyes for a second, his eyelids fluttering as if to hold the tears at bay. Her first instinct tells her that he’s overwhelmed by sadness, but upon further thought he could just be grateful. Even if he is, the reply that emerges from his lips is, “I’m not asking you to have sex with me as a distraction, Clarke. You mean more to me than that.”

“Do I?” 

He looks baffled that she could even dare to ask that. “Yes, you fucking do.” 

She raises her hands in defense when his tone of voice changes. If there’s anything she wants to avoid, it’s another fight with him. It nearly tore them apart the last time. “Okay…” tentatively, she touches his cheek, traces her fingertips over the stars that are speckled across it. “If you’re ever ready to talk about it, I’m here, remember?” 

When he nods at last, Clarke leans her forehead against his, brushes her thumb across his full bottom lip. “I’m here for you. Always. Take all time you need.”

 

Chapter Text

While it’s true that Clarke never believed in dressing for anybody but herself, when she sees the sexy Prussian blue lingerie on the rack it basically calls to her: Bellamy would die from seeing me. Well… almost ;) So she buys it without a second thought, can’t force the smirk off her face as she leaves the store. For the past few days, he’s been teasing her impatience by not following through on his promise to go down on her, but if he must be like that, she only finds it appropriate to do some teasing of her own.

And the lingerie definitely does its magic, because the first morning that she wears it Clarke gets a call from Nyko, who has some amazing news for her. One eyebrow raised in curiousity, Bellamy watches her from the stove. Her facial expression morphs as soon as she understands what the gallery owner is saying, revealing that she’s ecstatic.

Her blue eyes go wide. “I can’t believe— yeah, tell her thanks. Bye. You just made my day.“ 

When she puts down her phone, Bellamy looks as if he might explode from anticipation. Clarke turns around to face him, her ocean eyes filled with sheer bliss. “A woman named Anya just paid 600 dollars for two of my art pieces.”

She watches how the grin stretches across his face until he’s suddenly striding towards her. With ease, he scoops her up and spins around, making laughter rise in her stomach. Then he stops, still beaming at her, holding her in the air as if she were a queen… or a goddess. Every cell in her body is buzzing with excitement, the thrill of happiness a warm sensation in her lower belly. She has him to thank for this…

If her pieces hadn’t been at the gallery, Anya would’ve never seen them.

“I think we should celebrate your victory, Princess.”

Well, that’s something they haven’t really tried before. Celebratory sex. It’ll be amazing without a doubt, and Clarke bites her lower lip a little in teasing, her eyes still locked on his. That’s all the response he needs. 

He carries her past the suitcases that are lined up in the hallway, into her bedroom and all but throws her onto the mattress. Laughing, she sits up to pull her t-shirt off, revealing the new bra to him. 

At the sight of it, Bellamy’s eyes seem to darken. With a low groan, he removes his own shirt before joining her on the bed and trailing his fingers across the lacy material. Instead of unhooking it right away, he teases her nipple through the cups, his teeth a little rougher than usual as they graze it. Her lips parting, Clarke closes her eyes and hums while his hands travel down her ribcage. At the sensation, her heart flutters, doing excited somersault; he fills her with sizzling warmth, which is a huge difference from how she almost always felt nervous before having sex with anyone else. 

She just trusts him. 

Completely.

Kissing his way down her stomach, Bellamy snaps the button on her shorts open and unzips them, but looks to her for permission before pulling them down her ass. Her delicate skin heats up, tingling in desire and a gasp emerges from her parted lips without the slightest hint of warning. “You okay with this, babe?” 

By now, his thorough hands are mapping her inner thighs, grazing her panties from time to time. Nodding frantically, Clarke lifts herself off the mattress a little to make more room for him to take her panties off.

“Fuck…” his eyes are roaming over her body, which sparks amusement in her chest.

“What?” 

At first, Bellamy doesn’t answer. Instead, he bends down and begins to suck the ivory skin of her inner thighs, grazing it with his teeth. Afterwards, the tip of his tongue darts out to soothe it, and Clarke feels herself growing wetter by the second, the heat between her legs borderline painful at this point.

“I can’t get over how gorgeous you are.”

His compliment makes her blush, but she’s dripping for him so her impatience almost gets the better of her. Whimpering in frustration, Clarke parts her legs further, granting an invitation for him to settle between them, and he doesn’t turn it down. Thank Christ.  

Still, when he lifts his head again she goddamn nearly kicks at him. “Take your bra off.” 

“Why?” 

His reply makes even more heat rush to her core. “I want you to touch your tits while I eat you out.” 

Oh God… That was not what she expected to hear from him, but the dominance in his voice somehow makes her feel sexier, more confident, which is weird because it’d be more logical if it threw her off. But it doesn’t.

“Like this?” she questions, her voice laced with playful innocence. When she places her hands on her breasts, stroking them just like he loves to do, Bellamy growls and dips his head between her thighs immediately. Steadying her hips with his hands, he licks into her with more passion than she could’ve ever imagined, his tongue flattening eagerly against her.

As he’s probably predicted, a loud moan tumbles from her mouth, so he has to use his hands to keep her from arching off the bed. Clarke refuses to be embarrassed about the sounds that she makes, because Bellamy seems to enjoy hearing them. When he finds her clit, he places a chaste kiss to it first, which makes her whimper in need, pleasure surging through her like a tidal wave.

Bellamy groans, offering her more without her having to beg by sucking at the small bundle of nerves. After a minute, however, he leaves it in favor of returning to her sensitive folds.

“Oh fuck. Bellamy—“ gasping, Clarke moves her hands from her breasts, letting them fall into his hair. For a second, she expects him to tell her to put them back, but he doesn’t. She can’t believe how much he appears to love this, making guttural sounds against her with every swipe of his tongue. Damn, his tongue is… heavenly. It might sound cliché, but there’s no other way for her to describe it. 

Every time she feels more wetness gather between her legs, Bellamy picks up the pace, lapping at her greedily until she’s hanging over the edge, her breathing heavy. It takes no more than one suck to her clit for her to finally come apart, whimpering and gasping. Frankly, it must sound like she’s close to crying from release, but Bellamy isn’t worried. Instead, he helps her wind down from it, pecking her mound and massaging her inner thighs with his fingertips.

After the orgasm, her entire body feels comfortably warm. She’s dazed, pulling him up to kiss him deeply enough to taste herself on the tip of his tongue, which only makes her more excited. Drawing back, Bellamy gazes into her eyes, soft as ever. “Thank you for trusting me.”

“I’m so happy I did,” she giggles, the sound surprising him. For three full seconds, amusement rules over the sparks in his eyes until she has him lie down on the mattress and sucks him off without a moment of hesitation.

 

 

Emori’s waiting for them in her old minivan, snacking on Sour Patch Kids. Even though the car ride is only about an hour long, the glove compartment is stuffed with trail mix and movie candy so that nobody goes hungry.

Smirking, Emori takes a single look at her. “You’re glowing, Griffin. Did you get laid or are you pregnant?” 

Clarke grins at Bellamy, and they exchange a look that tells her it’s okay for her to tell the truth. “Let me tell you. There’s nothing better than a celebratory hookup after you just sold art for 600 dollars.” 

Once she’s said that, Emori gapes, shining as brightly as the afternoon sun. The rest of their friends will be driving with Raven and Zeke, so they have to wait to find out about Clarke’s success — and frankly, as vain as it sounds, she can’t wait to tell them.

Luna’s beach house is in one of the neighboring towns. Her permanent residence is in Los Angeles, but she comes here twice a year to unwind with her friends. After graduating high school, Luna’s indie rock band took off, topping the charts for months, and since then her musical career has been the main focus of her life. Well… That and her partner, Zoe Monroe, of course.

After she broke up with Raven, Luna started seeing the bassist in her band: They’re non-binary, and quite intimating, but once you get to know them, Monroe is awesome — very much like Murphy in some way… 

“Are y’all going to make out in the backseat of my precious car?” 

Bellamy laughs, making eye contact with Emori in the rearview mirror. “Relax. We’re not horny teenagers.” 

But the driver only hums skeptically, “You might as well be.”

 


  

They’re the first ones to arrive. In front of the fancy, very architectural beach house, Luna and Monroe are ready to greet them with matching relaxed smiles. Although they haven’t met before, there seems to be no hint of awkwardness in the air between Bellamy and the two hosts. Smiling, he shakes Monroe’s hand and turns to Luna, who asks, “Are you a hugger?”

“Yeah. It’s cool.” 

His smile turns lopsided when the stranger pulls him in for a welcoming hug. Drawing back, Luna looks between him and Clarke, one of her eyebrow raised. In that moment, she looks a bit like Raven. “Sorry, I forgot. What’s the relation here? You’re sharing a bedroom right?”

“Oh, we’re roommates.”

Monroe buds in, cheeky as ever, “The platonic kind?” One of the things that make them resemble Murphy the most is their priceless ability to deadpan in every situation, which never fails to get a laugh out of everybody. As Bellamy runs his hand through the back of his hair, Clarke grins, feeling a rush of heat rise to her cheeks.

Well, there’s no point in lying. Everyone else already knows… 

“We fuck, but that’s it.”

Beside them, Emori raises both of her eyebrows in light teasing, though it really doesn’t matter to Bellamy and Clarke if anybody understands their relationship. In the end, the only important thing will always be that they’re comfortable with each other and can be honest about what they want — nothing else matters…

Luna and Monroe’s beach house is a true hybrid; the interior design is a wild mix of modern design furniture and quirky items that look as if they were dug up at the local yard sale. Also, there are succulents hanging from the ceiling, which gets Bellamy all excited. It’s cute, watching him and Luna have a passionate conversation about their green thumbs. 

“I bet he’s really fun in bed,” Monroe teases, prompting Clarke to give them a friendly push. 

Later, once everyone has officially arrived, they start the barbeque so Emori will be able to prepare her famous cheeseburger patties; she’s even made a few vegan ones for Luna, which is deeply appreciated. Until dinnertime, however, people stay glued to the beach, which is less populated at this hour. Every year they like to sit out here till way past midnight and play drinking games once there’s no one else around to witness it. 

After searching for hours, Clarke finally found a bikini that supported her boobs well enough, and Bellamy definitely seems to appreciate that. His eyes roam shamelessly over her body before he draws her closer by the waist, his breath hot against her sensitive neck. “You look gorgeous, Princess.” 

He mouths a little at her pulse point just to tease, but it makes her knees weak. In some way it feels as if she never fully recovered from having his head between her legs this morning. “You gonna fuck me later?”

“Depends on how drunk you get.”

As soon as he says this, her heart swells in appreciation. This is part of the reason why she trusts him so much. Impulsively, she rises to her tiptoes, burying her hand in the back of his hair before she kisses him. Chuckling against her lips, Bellamy sends vibrations through her, lifts her off the ground as if she were a feather and runs towards the sea with her. 

The salt water splashes wildly around them, its scent calming as it meets their nostrils. Laughing, she clings to his bare back, her hands mapping the hard muscles of his shoulders. She shrieks when he pretends to lose his grip on her and bites his lower lip in retaliation for that brief scare. Of course, she’s aware that everyone (especially Raven and Zeke who are sun-bathing) is staring at them, but she doesn’t care, weirdly enough. 

They can think whatever they want. 

Placing her hands on his freckled cheeks, Clarke grins at him. It’s been a while since she’s felt so happy; it seems as if the bliss is dripping off her skin and bubbling in her heart. Frankly, this sensation could be easily confused with being tipsy. Resting her forehead against Bellamy’s for a moment, she smiles and admits, “God… I’m so into you.”

She really, really is.

Instead of replying, Bellamy kisses her senseless as Raven cheers in the distance, raising her beer in the air like a true best friend.

 


  

As always, Emori’s cheeseburgers are fucking delicious, the patties juicy and the cheese perfectly melted. The only other person that Clarke knows who can barbeque like this is her dad, which reminds her that she’s been meaning to ask Bellamy if he wants to meet her parents. After all, her birthday week is coming up and she’s travelling to New York to spend some time with then. It’s just that she hasn’t yet found the right opportunity to ask him if he wants to join her…

Still, it shouldn’t be such a big deal. They’re not dating or anything.

But it is different somehow. Niylah never met her parents, even though she and Clarke had a friends-with-benefits relationship for almost four months in college. Then again, Niylah never lived with her.

“Here you go,” Bellamy says, handing her his old college sweatshirt, the warm smile easy on his face. “It’s getting chilly out here.” 

“Thanks, babe.” 

The pet name just slips past her lips, making a blush settle in cheeks. She’s never referred to him in those terms before. Unbothered by it, Bellamy beams at her as she puts his sweatshirt on, and they both try to ignore the fact that everyone else is watching them again.

Next to Murphy, Monroe is the first person to say something, “… and you’re not dating?”

Clinking her beer can against Monroe’s, Raven responds, “Nope. They’re not.”

Well, thank you, Reyes… Out of everyone in their friend group, Raven has by far been the best at understanding the relationship between Bellamy and Clarke — not that there’s much to understand, really, but Raven is the sort of person who doesn’t like to poke and prod at other people’s private business. As she say so famously has said multiple times before: ‘I’ve got my own shit. I don’t want anyone else to stir it.’

(It’s no wonder how Zeke fell for her…) 

Passing the vodka bottle onto Clarke, Murphy leans against his girlfriend. It’s unlikely that he’s already hammered, but he did eat five of the cheeseburgers earlier, and if there’s anything you need to know about him it’s that he sleeps like a baby when he’s well fed. Harper chuckles at the sight and Jasper snaps a photo, which must have terrible lighting, but he’s amazing at editing them so it doesn’t really matter.

Still, Clarke isn’t about to drink any more of the vodka, and that has Murphy complaining a bit, since they love to get drunk on this annual trip to the ocean. “Come on, Griffin. Finish it.” 

“You finish it yourself, John.”

He grumbles in response (something along the lines of “My God…”), making his girlfriend laugh. Then Emori takes the bottle from Clarke, downing the last bit of alcohol without wincing as if she needs to further prove to everyone how much of a fucking badass she is. Not only does she ride a motorcycle and teach self-defense to young girls; she drinks pure gasoline, too… 

Because the vodka is far from good, which more than reveals who brought it.

After another ten minutes, Bellamy leans in, murmuring, “Should we get out of here?” and Clarke nods, her skin already heating up at the possibility of getting him alone. Seeing him walk around shirtless most of the day without being able to jump him has been borderline torturous. Bellamy stands, brushing the sand off his knees and holding out a hand to help her, ever the casual gentleman.

She likes it more than she expected to.

“We’re gonna go to bed,” he announces, well-aware that their friends won’t buy it. Grinning, Raven winks, Zeke mirroring her.

“Booo,” Jasper deadpans.

As Bellamy puts his arm around Clarke’s waist and they start walking towards the house, Harper (of all people — she’s a little drunk by now) shouts, “Use a condom!” prompting Clarke to flip her off quickly.

 


  

Once they’ve found the door to the bedroom they’re sharing (marked with BC on the wooden sign), Bellamy crowds her against it, his lips desperate enough to bruise as they land on hers. Likewise, his hands roam over her body, gripping the soft flesh of her curves under the sweatshirt until she’s panting into his mouth. 

When he grabs her ass, she nearly whines, kicking the door open. Taking a fistful of his t-shirt, she drags him inside, because he’s too busy making out with her to walk. Bellamy slams the door closed with one arm as he lifts her using only the strength of the other, and fuck that’s too hot for her to handle. 

Wetness pools between her thighs when her spine collides with the wall. Despite his forcefulness, his obvious display of physical strength, Bellamy doesn’t lack finesse. Kissing her again, his lips are more patient than before, taking the time to draw sighs from her throat. He’s already figured out how much she likes unhurried makeout sessions…

“Should we move to the bed?” Behind them, there’s a nice king-sized one, much bigger than what they’re used to, but Clarke shakes her head, somehow not tempted by it yet. 

Sucking on his pulse point just like he did earlier, Clarke breathes, “No. I want you right here. Like this…” 

Even though this position is dependent upon Bellamy’s strength, she’s intrigued by it, too, because since he’s busy holding her, she has more freedom to grind against him. She’s only wearing her bathing suit underneath his sweatshirt and he’s wearing swimming shorts, so there’s almost no fabric separating them, making him groan. 

“Fuck, Princess. Keep going.” 

“Gladly.” 

She continues grinding on him until she’s decided that he’s hard enough. Then she pulls his shorts off, reaching in between them to grasp his length, which is hot and heavy in her hand. Clarke expects him to get her naked, too, but he simply undoes her bikini top and moves the bottoms down, leaving her bare underneath his sweatshirt.

Oh, she knows what this is.

“Fucking me while I’m wearing your clothes… What does it do to you, huh?”

Bellamy’s response is incoherent, murmured against her throat as he pushes into her. This angle makes her gasp louder than usual, and she grabs his shoulders tighter when he stretches her out. She can feel her own heart beating in synch with his, on a high, her blazing breath grazing the shell of his ear. But he isn’t moving, and it’s driving her crazy. Digging her heels into his lower back doesn’t stir him either; it just makes him groan a little. 

“Say you want me.”

Clarke draws back to stare into his eyes, her thumb pressing against his bottom lip. Without blinking, he sucks the tip of it into his mouth, making her walls clench around his cock in desire. “I want you. Please.” 

At the last part, he growls, “Good girl,” rewarding her with a deep thrust that makes a moan tumble from mouth. As much as he’d liked to tease her before, Bellamy for sure isn’t playing anymore: his skin slaps against hers, each hard thrust driving her spine up the wall despite the fact that he’s still holding onto her.

“Fuck… oh god,” though she wants to meet his movements, chase the release with him, being trapped between his body and the wall limits her. When she whimpers in need, Bellamy drops an empathetic kiss to her collarbone and bends his knees a little, effectively changing the angle.

And now he hits a spot somewhere that makes her see stars. 

Bellamy—“ she cries out, anchoring herself against him while she pulls at his hair. Like this, he somehow feels bigger, as if he fills her up completely, and it’s different than anything she’s ever experienced before. 

“Yes, baby. Like that, huh? I got you.” 

By now, she’s clawing at his back, which must be causing him some mild pain, but he doesn’t say anything about it. Instead, he keeps on praising her, spilling sweet pet names and encouragements into her ear as he brings her closer to the edge. His voice is soothing, a stark contrast to the harshness of his thrusts, but it drives her wild.

In the end, he lets go of her with one hand, pressing it to the wall next to her head. He picks up the speed a little, his breathing indicating that he’s too close himself now to keep up the same pace. Luckily, he flicks his thumb against her clit then, and suddenly she comes hard, trembling in pleasure. 

When he lets himself go, too, falling off the edge with a loud groan, she finds herself — perhaps foolishly — wishing that he wasn’t wearing a condom. The only time they’ve done it without protection was actually the first one, but she hasn’t forgotten how different it felt. 

But that train of thought only lasts for about a moment until her mom appears in her mind, scolding her for thinking like that, and Clarke literally has to push her from her mind again.

Condoms all the way…

Afterwards, Bellamy carries her to the bed so they can indulge in their mandatory post-sex cuddling session, which is more risky tonight because it includes more teasing than usual. When she has him on his stomach, Clarke runs her hands over his back, massaging her way down his spine until he hums in satisfaction. However, the trail that her lips take down the same path is longer, not ending at his lower back. 

She kisses the globes of his ass and the back of his thighs, which has him shuddering, his laugh shaky when it emerges from his lips. “Hey, you can’t do that.”

“Why?” she asks innocently.

“It goes straight to my dick, that’s why.” 

Well, that admission causes a sea of dirty pictures to flood her mind, most of them involving something that she knows for a fact he keeps in the bottom drawer of his dresser. Biting her lower lip, she forces herself to stop thinking about it and lets Bellamy take the reins.

Although most of his attention is dedicated to sucking the salt from the sea off her breasts, he also flicks his tongue a little teasingly across her clit, but doesn’t go further than that. She doesn’t want him to, either. Instead, she interlaces their fingers as he comes up to give her lips a sweet, lingering kiss.

“Damn, you look like poetry in this lighting. A different kind of poetry than usual, I mean.”

This bedroom is actually very romantic when you think about it. Moonlight comes pouring in through the window, its silvery glow shining through the sheer white curtains and hitting the mattress. Right now, her limbs are entangled with Bellamy’s in the thin sheets, and honestly there’s no other way to describe the scent in this room besides… 

It smells like them.

Sweat, lavender and pine fused together.

“You should definitely write about that,” she teases.

At some point during the night, Clarke tells him about her parents and New York, asks him what she’s been meaning to for days now, and he says yes…

 

Chapter Text

Several thousand feet above the ground, there is nothing except the clouds and Bellamy to consume her thoughts. When Clarke was a free-spirited child ruled by imagination, she used to pretend that the clouds weren’t made of water steam, that they were soft pillows or marshmallows you could walk upon without falling. 

Now, she knows that the clouds aren’t as magical as she once pretended they were. But so far, she hasn’t seen any evidence that supports that Bellamy isn’t magical… 

He’s asleep for most of the six-hour long flight, his head leaning against the window, so Clarke takes the liberty of drawing him. Despite not having her best art equipment at hand, she tries her best to sketch the sharp outline of his jaw and the soft curve of his full lips. The pattern of freckles on his cheeks isn’t accurate enough, because she can’t see them properly, and although this annoys her more than it probably should, the portrait still turns out okay.  

“Hey,” his smile is lazy when he stirs awake. “You’re drawing.” 

Ignoring the fact that she isn’t extremely proud of it, Clarke turns the sketchpad around to give him a look of it. She’s able to tell the exact moment that he realizes that he’s been unknowingly acting as a model in his sleep. Perhaps confused for a second, Bellamy blinks before sitting up straight. “Wow.” 

Then he takes the pad from her hands to inspect the drawing. In nervousness, Clarke watches as his eyes roam over the charcoal strokes. His fingertips brush the paper, his lips parting and honestly he seems awestruck. She isn’t sure whether it makes her happy or more anxious than before

“You like it?” as she wets her lips, her voice is a whisper.

But then he looks at her, his eyes soft with amazement. “I… I love it.” 

To her sheer surprise, Bellamy leans in to give her a lingering kiss on the cheek; one that makes her blush a little. Smiling, she eyes the bag of overpriced Skittles that they bought at the airport, and his eyes gleam in amusement. Since they started having movie nights together, Clarke’s known that Bellamy prefers purple Skittles to red ones, while it’s the other way around for her.

So they trade the colors…

“Are you nervous about meeting my parents?”

When she’s said that, his grin turns lopsided and he runs his fingers through the back of his hair. “Does it show?”

To reassure him, she places a hand on his shoulder, giving it a little squeeze. “I’ll offer you a piece of advice: Be honest with my folks. They hate bullshitters as much as I do.” 

Bellamy raises his eyebrows. “So if your dad asks me if we’re strictly platonic?” 

“You tell him the truth.” 

He releases a breath, shifting awkwardly in his seat, and she can’t possibly blame him. It would be much more comfortable for both of them if they didn’t have to treat their sexual relationship as a big deal — if they could keep it a secret from the rest of the world, but it isn’t that simple, and especially not when it comes to her parents. They’ve always loved Clarke and don’t tend to pry, but they also expect that their daughter is honest about what goes on in her life.

This is why she still feels bad about them not knowing of her unemployment.

Perhaps to soothe herself, Clarke reaches out to brush her fingertips against his cheek. The stubble on the skin there reveals that he hasn’t shaven this morning, but she likes his scruff a lot, finds it surprisingly sexy. 

“Would you mind if I kept the drawing?” she asks, causing him to smirk.

After winking at her, he teases, “Only if you hang it above your bed.”

 


 

The Griffin family home more than reveals their upper-class status, the front yard neat and picturesque with large bushes of pink roses — not to mention that the house itself has three floors. Side-by-side, Bellamy and Clarke roll their suitcases down the long driveway to get to the front door, by which Clarke’s parents are already waiting to greet them.

Although Jake Griffin’s smile is bigger than his wife’s, they look equally happy to see their daughter.

“Oh, hi sweetheart! It’s been too long,” Abby says after receiving her hug. For the couple of minutes that it takes Clarke to reunite with her parents, Bellamy is left standing off to the side, looking a little awkward despite himself until Jake notices him. 

“And you must be the roommate! It’s so nice to finally meet you,” with a genuine smile, Jake Griffin approaches Bellamy with his hand outstretched, and Bellamy happily takes it.

“Likewise, Sir.”

As expected, Jake Griffin chuckles at Bellamy’s formalities and tells him to call him by his first name, his warm tone of voice indicating that he already approves. Still, her mom is more wary, not quite giving him the same kind of easy smile, but that makes sense, too. 

Even though they’re both devoted, career-minded people, Abby and Jake Griffin haven’t forgotten about their role as parents. Today, they’ve taken time out of their busy schedules to give Bellamy a tour of the big house. In curiousity, Clarke can’t prevent herself from sneaking peeks at him as they walk through the rooms, and he seems to be almost in awe. 

“Where did you grow up, Bellamy?” her dad asks when he sees him looking around. 

“In Chicago, actually. I moved to Arkadia when I got a scholarship.”

He then goes on to tell her dad a little bit about majoring in history, and to Clarke’s surprise he’s also willing to share some feelings about his passion for writing. Seeing Bellamy act comfortably around her dad — at least comfortable enough to open up — makes her heart flutter in delight. On top of this, it seems as if Bellamy really listened to the advice that she gave him on the plane earlier… 

She wants her parents to like him so badly.  

As they walk into the kitchen, Jake starts making coffee for everyone on a fancy machine that Bellamy’s used to operating at the coffee shop. Meanwhile, Abby finally buds in with a question, “I’m curious… How did the two of you meet? Clarke never mentioned it.” 

Bellamy scratches the back of his neck. “We have a mutual friend, John Murphy. We met at his apartment and kind of… connected instantly, I guess,” feeling a little sheepish, he turns to Clarke. “Isn’t that how it went?”

She nods. “Yeah. Come on, I want to show you the loft.” 

Being aware that her upper-class background is a definite privilege, Clarke feels a little ashamed to showcase the fact that the giant loft is all hers. While she was a teenager still living at home, this is the place where she spent most of her time painting, her painted canvases stored at left end of the room. It was her private artistic space for years, and that more than shows. 

As soon as Bellamy sees the stacks of paintings, his eyes go wide. “Is all of this your work? Can I look at them?” his fingers dance along the canvases, and when he glances back at her with his dark, intrigued eyes, Clarke nods.

For a few minutes, he browses through the stacks of dry paintings until he seems to find one that he can’t stop admiring, that he can’t turn away from. His smile wide, Bellamy takes it and turns to face her before making a simple yet heartwarming comment, “This is so beautiful.”

She shifts on her feet for a second, feeling heat settle in her cheeks. “You think so? It’s the view from my grandmother’s farm in Wisconsin.” 

The painting is pretty small, square like a window. She vividly remembers spending the summer in Wisconsin when she was fifteen (a year before her grandmother passed) and capturing all of the stars, fields and distant mountains with her paintbrush. Back then she was extremely proud of it, but she’d almost forgotten that it existed. Now, Bellamy’s praise reminds her of how she felt when she painted it. 

“If you want it, you can have it,” she offers, causing his jaw to slack for a second. “I’ll have my parents mail it to you.” 

“I’d love that. Thanks, Princess.” 

They stand by her window in silence afterwards, sharing a cigarette as per usual. In front of them, the sun is already starting to set, the sky bathed in soft colors that make her nostalgic. The view is so mesmerizing that it keeps them locked there even after there’s nothing left to smoke. Having had the last drag as always, Bellamy releases a sigh. Clarke walks behind him to wrap her arms around his stomach and rest her cheek against his spine. 

“Your parents seem great,” he murmurs, a hint of sadness clinging to his voice. It’s obvious why, because Bellamy’s mentioned never knowing his dad and his mom passing when he was a teenager, so it wouldn’t appear as if he has any immediate family left — except from his little sister, of course. The little sister that he doesn’t ever talk about… 

Gathering courage, Clarke swallows before she whispers, “Bellamy, your sister…?” she trails off and stands beside him again, but when he responds, Bellamy doesn’t meet her eyes.   

“What about her?” his voice is choked, the words drowning a little. Because of this, Clarke worries her lower lip, already thinking the worst. 

“Is she—?”

“No.” 

Clarke can’t help it. She stares at him, even though it does nothing to convince him to say anything else. Instead, his jaw clenches, his hands grabbing the air along his sides. For a while, he doesn’t move, opting for staring blankly ahead just like he did last week while they were eating ice cream together on the kitchen counter. Oh god.  

Something about this makes her very uneasy. 

And he won’t talk, which just makes it worse. After a minute of chewing on his bottom lip, however, he goes to his suitcase to find The Story of Icarus. She can’t keep her eyes off him while he flips the pages, the frown carved into his face. Having found what he was looking for, Bellamy glances at her without uttering a word before leaving the book in plain sight on her bed, opened on a half-written page. Then he turns and walks out of the room.

As soon as he has left, Clarke picks up the book. On the page she finds a longer poem:

 

The Eighth

 

I drive my sister to school in the old pick-up truck our mom got from pleasing a man

Who reeked of whiskey and violence

I buy her movie tickets for half-price until our mom dies

And I am the only one left to protect her

She is sixteen now, full of rage

Tells me that she’s too old to have a curfew

When she comes home at 2 a.m., and I’m still at the dinner table

She bares her teeth, making me flinch

The little girl is gone

Lost to screaming that she wants me dead

As I douse my bruises in fake excuses

 

Maybe it’s not a poem. 

It doesn’t feel like one, because it’s not beautiful. No… It’s a horror story, and it isn’t difficult for her to interpret it. Still, doing so breaks her heart, leaves her jaw slacked. Suddenly, she can’t look at the words anymore, her eyes filling with tears as she adverts them to the door. Time blurs to the point where she doesn’t know how long she’s been looking in that same direction when Bellamy finally comes back. 

He’s visibly falling apart right in front of her, trembling and his spine bending under the weight of searing internal pain. “I… I shouldn’t have shown you that,” he manages, his shallow breathing indicating his panic. “It’s too soon, I—“

As his breathing worsens, Clarke all but jumps up from the bed and rushes to him. Placing a hand over his heart, she feels it beating a mile a minute; drops of sweat are gathering on his forehead, and his lungs are heaving for air. 

“It’s okay, it’s alright, Bellamy. You’re gonna be okay. Breathe…” 

To catch his attention, she takes his hands in hers. He’s shaking, burning up but also trying to do as she encourages. Despite this, his breathing is too desperate, because he’s clearly terrified. Placing an arm around his shoulders, she leads him to the end of the bed and sits down next to him. “Look at me. Take breaths with me, okay? It’s all gonna be fine.” 

They sit there for a couple of minutes, just breathing in synch until Bellamy seems to calm down slowly, his chest rising and falling normally now. When she brushes a dark curl of his hair off his temple in silent comfort, she feels that his skin is still clammy, burning from overheating. “I’m just going to get a cloth. I’ll be right back.” 

“Promise?”

Her heart quivers in her chest at how small his voice is. “I promise.”

She returns to his side as soon as possible, pressing the cool wet cloth to his cheek and forehead. Humming at the sensation, Bellamy interlaces their fingers despite the fact that his are still shaking a little. As he takes a steady breath, Clarke drops a reassuring kiss to his clothed shoulder. “You’re okay.”

For the first time in a while, he dares to look her in the eye as she leans against him. “No, I’m not,” he admits, swallowing hard and closing his eyes. Then he takes another breath to prevent the anxiety from rising in his chest again. “I’m terrified of her.”

For some reason she can’t quite explain, Clarke feels guilt prickle in the veins and under her skin. All this time she thought Bellamy wouldn’t talk about his sister because she was dead while in reality, she abused him. 

At least that’s what she got from the poem. The horror story…

Bellamy was abused by his sister. 

“Don’t pity me,” he says, closing his eyes again. “Please don’t.”

Once he’s said that, she takes his face in her hands, feeling a rush of relief upon realizing that the wet cloth did its magic and his skin has cooled. In spite of this, Clarke listens to her own stern voice as it emerges from her throat. “I don’t pity you. I’m in pain because you’re in pain. That’s what happens when you care about a person.”

Desperate, he grabs her wrist to prevent her from leaving as if she plans to. “I’m… I’m sorry.”

She shakes her head violently. “Don’t apologize to me. You have nothing to apologize for.” 

When his lower lip wobbles, his eyes widening, Clarke embraces him and runs her fingers through his soft hair while she murmurs sweet nonsense to calm him. It’s impossible for her to imagine just how vulnerable and exposed he must feel right now, so she doesn’t try to. Instead, she pulls him down to lie beside her and holds him until time melts away.

By the time that they want dinner, both of her parents have left the house to go to work in the inner city. With good reason, Bellamy finds that a bit odd, and honestly Clarke doesn’t even understand her own parents’ schedules. As opposed to trying to cook, they order amazing Chinese food from the little restaurant around the corner and share the tub of Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer. 

“Don’t you just love how great we are at being adults?” she asks, grinning at him. To her utter relief, he beams back at her, his eyes sparking again. Then he moves a spoonful of chocolate ice cream to her mouth, and she rolls her eyes affectionately before eating it.

“I’m thirteen at heart.” 

“Oh please,” is what she chuckles, “You gotta be at least seventy.”

“Is that right?”

Though the tone of his voice more than indicates what he’s going to do, Clarke still shrieks when he reaches out, tickling her until she’s laughing so hard her stomach starts to hurt and she falls back onto the floorboards, kicking her feet a little to retaliate. 

“My bad,” she says, trying to catch her breath once he’s stopped, “You’re definitely thirteen.”

Then Bellamy laughs warmly before he pulls her into his lap, and she straddles him, but this time it’s not in a sexual way. When he kisses her sweetly, her hands brush through his wild hair, memorizing the feeling of it between her fingertips. In teasing, Bellamy sucks a little at her lower lip, making her giggle. He draws back, leaning his forehead against hers as he murmurs, “Thank you, Princess. For earlier.” 

She senses her heart softening in her chest. “… Has that ever happened before, Bellamy?”

He shakes his head, gives her a tiny smile as he takes her hand. “You saved me.” 

Having grown up the daughter of a doctor, Clarke was taught how to handle such intense situations at a fairly young age. When one of her best friends in middle school had a panic attack during class, Clarke went home and asked her mother if she could teach her how to help. While it might be natural to believe that Bellamy’s words are an exaggeration, her mom told her that some people who experience panic attacks genuinely think it’s going to kill them. Without saying anything, Clarke kisses his knuckles. She wants nothing more than to tell him that his sister isn’t going to hurt him anymore, but she can’t do that, because she still doesn’t know anything except from what the poem told her. 

As if he can read her mind, Bellamy reveals something new to her, his voice bitter, “My sister’s in jail.”

Unable to prevent surprise from widening her eyes, Clarke looks at him and has to ask, “… For what?” 

He swallows, his jaw clenching for a moment, so she brushes her thumb along the line of it to chase the tension away. “Attempted murder,” is what he breathes at last, the truth unsettling her even more. For a terrifying moment, Clarke is let to believe that his little sister actually tried to kill him, but that’s not the case.

After collecting himself, Bellamy explains, “She broke up with her fiancé and wound up living on the streets for three months, doing God knows what. I was out searching for her every other night, but… the next time I heard from her was when she’d been arrested for trying to kill a city council member named Charles Pike.” 

To comfort him, Clarke holds his hand a little tighter, doesn’t try to force him to look at her or say anything else. Still, he ends it with this admission, “I didn’t drop out of college because I couldn’t afford it. I dropped out because of my sister’s trial. Her name’s Octavia, by the way. I didn’t want you to know that because if you looked her up on the Internet, you’d see… yeah.”

“I understand that.” 

His eyes soften. “Do you forgive me for keeping it from you?” 

At his question, Clarke cradles his face to give him a reassuring kiss. “There’s nothing to forgive. But even if there was, it would already be done.”

 

Chapter Text

As her birthday present, Bellamy has bought a beautiful wristwatch with a white band, but the dial is the interesting part; it’s Monet’s water lilies — one of her favorite paintings that she can look at every time she glances at her wrist now. When he eats her out afterwards, it’s the only thing that she’s wearing, which only seems to turn him on even more. It doesn’t take Clarke long to come, but when she does a row of giggles sneak past her lips and evaporates in the intense air between them before he kisses her. 

Tugging his shirt off, Clarke presses her lips to his broad shoulder, grinning against his skin. “Blowing you in the kitchen that night was by far the best impulsive choice I’ve ever made.”

He laughs at those words, even though she’s not kidding. It’s not his usual short laughter, either. No, it’s the really happy kind where his head tilts back and his dark brown eyes shine with the light of a thousand suns. Somehow, seeing it always makes her feel giddy. “I’m glad you think so, Princess.”

After sharing another laugh, they end up listening to his playlist again. This time the first song that flows through his headphones is Regina Spektor’s ‘Us’, which Clarke is pretty sure was on the soundtrack of a romantic movie. She just doesn’t remember which one. Nevertheless, the score of the song contains a playful piano sequence, and Bellamy lets his fingertips dance across her skin to the tempo of it. It makes her smile grow wider, fondness spilling through her ocean eyes.

When the song ends, he pulls her in for a lingering kiss. “I love being naked with you.”

She rolls her eyes at his cheesiness, arguing, “But you’re not naked, Bellamy. I am.” 

“Oh, my bad,” is what he deadpans before pulling down his pants and boxers at the same time. She has to help him remove them completely, banishing them to the floor like her own clothes. When his lips land on hers again and she can feel his amused smile, her heart flutters, but she chooses to ignore that sensation. 

She’s blissful after the orgasm, that’s all.  

Since Bellamy opened up to her about Octavia a few days ago, something in their relationship has shifted. Before, they tended to avoid asking each other personal questions, which — of course — has limited their closeness. It made casual sex a lot easier, but at the same time Bellamy is important to her: He’s the guy who eats ice cream with her every Friday, tries to impress her with his new knowledge of colors and makes coffee for her every morning.

She wants to get to know him. Really. After all, he’s not just a fuckbuddy — he’s her roommate, a person that she spends time with every day. 

So they decide to play this “game”: They take turns at asking each other a personal question, but before the other person gives the answer, the one who asked it has to try and guess it. Honestly, it makes everything a lot more entertaining, the competiveness in their bones fizzing. 

“Favorite color?” Bellamy asks, causing Clarke to stick out her tongue.

“Yeah, good luck with that. I’m an artist.”

Still, he doesn’t hesitate for a second. “Midnight blue.” 

As soon as he’s said that, her jaw drops. How on Earth did he—? Wow. At her surprise, Bellamy winks at her cheekily before brushing his thumb across her lower lip to remind her that her mouth is hanging open. Closing it, Clarke sends him a look that’s full of questions, yet Bellamy shrugs. “Educated guess. You’ve mentioned that you love the night sky and the stars, so…”

Well, that’s true. However, she gives him a lot of credit for remembering.

Then she smiles in light teasing before saying, “My next question may change the game a little bit. When did you lose your virginity? My guess is sixteen,” biting her lip, she realizes that it might be too young, but given his skill she is bound to assume that he started out early. Practice makes perfect.  

“You’re close. I was seventeen, almost eighteen, but it still counts.”

Obviously, Clarke is struck by curiosity, and it’s only because he actually looks like he wants to tell her more that she decides to give in to it, asking him who the person was. After a couple seconds of suspense, Bellamy replies, “You remember I told you about Isaiah?” 

“The boy who was your first kiss in the dandelion field? I thought you said that it didn’t work out.” 

Then he runs his hand through his hair, worrying his bottom lip for a moment. At least he doesn’t appear sad. When his response emerges, the first part of it sounds like a sigh. “It didn’t. After that day in the field we’d kiss all the time. In secret… High school rolled around, and his family moved away. It wasn’t very far, but I didn’t have the money to go see him. I’m also pretty sure that his parents didn’t want him to see me,” before continuing, he glances at her, letting out a frustrated breath.

But afterwards a small smile plays at the corners of his mouth. “Shortly before graduation, though, he came to visit me while I was home alone. And we ended up in my bedroom, talking about some stupid shit that I don’t even remember what was. It didn’t matter to me, but at some point we just stopped and made out instead. I knew his family disapproved, I knew my mom had no idea, but I didn’t care anymore. I just— I loved him and I wanted him. We didn’t have actual… you know. I still consider it my first time, though. But I never saw him again after that. He never came back.” 

Well, that must’ve been downright heartbreaking for him. This guy, Isaiah, he wasn’t simply someone with whom Bellamy shared his first kiss. He really loved the guy, and that makes her heart ache in empathy. Moving a little closer, Clarke buries her hand in his hair, knowing that it always soothes him. At the sensation, he hums, closing his eyes, which makes her smile. 

“Where’s Isaiah now? Do you know?”

To her comfort, the look in his eyes when he replies tells her that he’s moved on over the years, that he doesn’t actually care much anymore. Shrugging, he breathes, “Last I heard he was living in Michigan with his wife and two kids.”

Since this concludes the story, Bellamy sees his opportunity to ask her the same question. First, he guesses that she lost her virginity at seventeen as well, but she was eighteen, a senior in high school who let herself be fooled by the charming Finn Collins with his boyband-like, shampoo-luscious hair, and the mere imagine of him makes Bellamy snort.

“I had bad taste.” 

“Hey. No judgment here. I fucked my jealous ex.” 

Oh. Clarke had almost forgotten about Diego, the Spanish dude from The Mountain. She grins at him, mouthing ‘no judgment’ just to let him know that the sentiment is mutual. After that, she tells him about the entire Finn Fiasco in great detail, including the amazing revenge that she and Raven got together.

“On top of that, the sex really wasn’t good.” 

Bellamy smirks. “I guess it’s to be expected from a straight white guy who looks like a long-lost member of Backstreet boys.” 

At that comment, Clarke frowns. “Don’t you dare ruin ‘I Want It That Way’ for me.” 

Once more, he laughs in that wonderful way that makes her stomach feel warm and fuzzy, kind of like the comfortable socks that she likes to wear all through winter. Instead of questioning her taste in music, he decides to turn the Backstreet Boys classic into his own bad pun, leaning in to whisper, “Which way do you want it?” against the shell of her ear. Despite the fact that it’s corny, the words are spoken in his seductive, dark tone, which is enough to make her rub her thighs together.

“Did I ruin it for you now?” he chuckles, and she shakes her head, twisting around to look at him. Then she arches an eyebrow at him, her blue gaze electric with confidence.

“Are you gonna fuck me into this mattress or not?” 

Bellamy grins, but soon he has her flipped over on her stomach, her cheek pressed against the pillow. Vaguely, she hears the sound of a foil wrapper being torn open with urgency — and she really can’t blame him, because he’s probably been hard since he went down on her. Poor guy.

When he speaks, Bellamy’s voice is gruff, the familiar sexy edge to it, which makes her breath stick to the inside of her throat. “Get on your hands and knees. Come on.”

Well, this is different. But it’s the kind of different that excites her, as she’s comfortable enough to feel desired instead of nervous. Despite his own determination to be inside her, Bellamy doesn’t neglect her, teasing her clit with his fingers until she insists that she’s ready. To support her, his hands move up to hold the front of her thighs as he slowly fills her up from behind. 

“Jesus, fuck—“ he groans, and she feels herself blush for some reason. 

“I’m sorry I made you wait. You could’ve told me.”

The only response that he gives her is a low grunt following his first thrust. In effort to keep her whole body anchored in the same place, Clarke digs her nails into the mattress. Bellamy, observant as ever, just wants to make sure that this isn’t an indicator of pain. “You okay, Princess?”

“Yeah. Keep going… please,” she adds the last word, knowing full well what it does to him. Fucking into her again, he shows no hint of hesitation. Like this, it feels so different — not necessarily better, but the pleasure surprises her. Clarke throws her head back as she moans, cursing incoherently.

It doesn’t take him long to get there, but by the time that he does, Bellamy’s hands have left her thighs in favor of her breasts. As he comes, he tweaks her nipples in teasing, and she almost loses it herself. Almost. Recognizing that she needs a little more, he rubs her clit until she falls off the edge, burying her face in the soft pillow. Then he leaves her to catch her breath while he discards of the condom.

 


 

In the evening, a family friend by the name of Thelonius Jaha and his son, Wells, come by to take part in Clarke’s birthday dinner. Quickly, she explains to Bellamy that she and Wells were childhood best friends, but were forced to separate when he entered a different high school. They haven’t seen each other in a while, but stay in contact over the phone.

For dinner, they have Clarke’s favorite meal ever, which is her dad’s homemade risotto. Bellamy and Wells are sitting next to her, glancing a little at each other from time to time. This is so funny while also the most awkward interaction between two men that Clarke has ever seen, and she has to chuckle. “Why don’t you just talk to each other?”

“Ah! Rivalry,” Thelonius muses from the opposite side of the table, causing Bellamy to shake his head.

“Not at all, Sir. I’m her roommate.” 

At those words, Wells narrows his eyes in suspicion, which almost makes Clarke cringe. Why is he being so weird about this? Unlike she and Bellamy, her relationship with Wells has and will always be completely platonic — they agreed on this even at the time when their parents didn’t. To her relief, however, this subject of rivalry is quickly dropped again, because her dad chooses to ask Bellamy about his job. 

“I work at a coffee shop, which I know… It’s a complete waste of my college degree, but it’s hard to find jobs relating to history when you live in Arkadia.” 

“It’s a waste of your intelligence, too, son. I might be able to help you.” 

Even though it’s only been a couple of days, her dad has already spent enough time talking to Bellamy about art, history and cooking to know how goddamn smart he is. More than anything, Clarke is happy to see them getting along so well. Her mom has also taken advice from him on how to revive her favorite roses…. 

… Wait a minute. Did her dad just call Bellamy ‘son’? Oh damn. Is he onto something?  

When Bellamy offers to help prepare the dessert, her mom literally calls him an angel, which is something that her grandmother could’ve said. As uncharacteristic as it seems for Abby, Clarke can’t help but smile from ear to ear, because it’s true.  

Son. Angel. It’s safe to say that Bellamy has found his way into her parents’ hearts faster than any other person she’s ever brought home. As they’re setting the table for dessert, Bellamy reaches out to pull her closer by the waist, which surprises her, since they’re standing in plain sight. Still, he only whispers, “Did you tell your dad about what I did for you with the gallery stuff?” 

“I might’ve mentioned it in an e-mail. Why?” 

Bellamy smiles, a little sheepish. Damn, that man doesn’t know how to handle when people recognize his good deeds. “He just invited me to a soccer game, his reasoning being that I’d made you happy.” 

Her heart melts on the spot, but she doesn’t have time to respond before her mom chimes in, “We need to put Bellamy to the ice cream test,” she tells her husband then turns to Bellamy, who quickly moves his arm from around her daughter’s waist. “What flavor does Clarke prefer?” 

At that easy question, Bellamy grins, his eyes crinkling at the corners. “Always chocolate. Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy is her favorite, but the Italian kind from Target is also a win.” For some reason, Bellamy doesn’t act at all embarrassed about having extensive knowledge of her ice cream preferences — in fact, he acts like the nerdy kid in class who has all the answers yet is nice about it. “Do I pass?”

Abby laughs at those words, and because her mom rarely does that anymore (her job takes a toll on her), it makes Clarke want to kiss Bellamy right then and there. She just barely manages to compose herself as her mom replies, “Oh, you did more than that. I think you scored an A+.”

Like a dork, Bellamy does the whole ‘yes!’ thing that guys do with their fists when they’ve won anything, ever.

“Bellamy’s favorite flavor is strawberry,” Clarke chuckles, looking straight at her dad. For years, he’s been trying to convince his wife and daughter to give strawberry ice cream a chance, but to no avail. Finally, Jake Griffin isn’t outnumbered.

“I really like this guy, sweetheart. Why haven’t you asked him out yet?” 

At the man’s direct honesty, Bellamy chokes on nothing and tries to cover it up by releasing a fake cough. On the other hand, Clarke is equipped to handle this situation. Rolling her eyes, she reminds him, “We live together, dad.”

“Oh, right,” Jake deadpans in response. “Let’s eat the ice cream before it melts.” 

At some point while they’ve all gathered at the table again to enjoy their personalized ice cream desserts, the conversation drifts to a topic that doesn’t at all interest her. Smiling slyly to herself, Clarke does her best to be as discreet as possible when she places her hand on Bellamy’s thigh under the table.

If he’s flustered by the touch, it doesn’t show in his facial expression. “Where are you studying, Wells?” Obviously, Bellamy is trying to break the ice between him and Clarke’s childhood friend, and for a moment it seems as though he has succeeded, because Wells smiles at him for the first time all evening. 

“Brown University… It’s Ivy League.”

What the fuck? In the many years that Clarke has known Wells Jaha, he’s never been arrogant or proud despite his wealthy background (Thelonius is the head politician of the city council). For a moment, she glares at him, partially in disbelief, before giving Bellamy’s hand a reassuring squeeze as if to say ‘he’s not usually like this…’ 

“I know,” Bellamy starts, “Because I went to Columbia.”

It’s the coolest way of setting anyone straight that Clarke has ever witnessed, and she nearly laughs, but she’s too surprised by the fact that her roommate got a scholarship to Columbia. Shit, she knew he was smart, but he must be wicked smart.

Although Wells doesn’t respond, his dad does, seemingly interested all of a sudden. “You majored in history, right?”

“Yes, that’s right, Sir. I planned to get my Ph.D., but…” as he trails off for a second, Clarke can see in his eyes that he really doesn’t want to finish that sentence by saying ‘but my little sister was charged with attempted murder’, so instead he opts for, “… It didn’t go as I planned. Now I write poetry and share an apartment with Clarke.” 

She smiles. 

Once they’ve finished eating, before he can take a comfortable seat on the couch, Clarke all but drags Wells into the hallway where they’re out of earshot. Immediately, she crosses her arms over her chest and gives him the most judgmental look that she can muster.

“Why are you being such a fucking jerk to my roommate?”

Wells scoffs, which just angers her even more. “He’s not just your roommate, Clarke. I have eyes, but I’m still being kept out of the loop. We used to tell each other everything, but you haven’t even thought to mention him during our phone calls.”

While Clarke sort of understands where he’s coming from, she’s not any less pissed. Before she replies, she lowers her voice just to be safe. “The last time I checked, telling you everything didn’t include intimate details of my sex life. You have no right to feel entitled to that, Wells.”

At those words, he finally seems to appear guilty, averting his eyes to his feet for a moment. “Who said anything about sex? Maybe just say ‘Hey, Wells. I’ve got this new roommate. He’s really cool. I think you’ll like him and I’m bringing him to my birthday dinner. Just so that you aren’t surprised or feel like you’ve been lied to.’”

Clarke’s eyes widen as she looks at him, not quite sure what to say. For some reason, it never occurred to her that Wells would care about her having a roommate, but maybe this is more about them drifting apart as friends than it is anything else. Maybe he feels like he’s losing her, or that she no longer cares for him. When she thinks about it like that, even though he hasn’t admitted it, her heart twitches painfully in her chest.

So instead of antagonizing him further, she goes down a random memory lane. “You remember those pillow forts we used to build in the living room until we were teenagers? We’d watch comedies, so our stomachs always hurt from laughing by the end of it. We can do that again sometime if you want to. You could come over and see the apartment.”

At an instant, he lights up, beaming at her. He nods before his facial expression turns apologetic. “And your boyfriend won’t get jealous?” In this moment, it becomes clear as day that he feels guilty for how he acted towards Bellamy, so Clarke chooses to let him off the hook — for now…

“He’s not my boyfriend.” 

“But you just said—“

She rolls her eyes, smiling. Then she clarifies, “We have sex, Wells. We’re not dating. Besides, Bellamy isn’t the jealous type. Just stop being mean to him or else I will kick your butt all the way back to Brown.”

Smiling widely in return, Wells replies, “Noted,” before reentering the living room with her. Everyone else is watching a hockey game, and for the most part Bellamy succeeds at looking interested. When the two friends join him on the couch, he looks at Clarke, and her eyes let him know that she’s figured her best friends out.

To her immense delight, her friend is nice for the rest of the evening, engaging in a non-hostile conversation with Bellamy that ends with Wells finally saying, “I’m sorry, man. I was a douche earlier.” 

Taking Wells’ outstretched hand, Bellamy smiles so that the corners of his eyes crinkle. “Don’t worry about it.”

 


 

Clarke feels weird because Bellamy’s sleeping in the guest room, but keeps her mouth shut about it. When all the guests have left and she’s about to go upstairs, her dad stops her, asking her to come into the kitchen. His blue eyes are serious as he pulls out an envelope, saying, “This is another present for you this year. But it’s different, because I’m gonna tell you what it is and what I want you to use it for…” 

Taking the envelope into her hands, Clarke stares at her dad, who gives her a reassuring, warm smile. “It’s money. Enough to go on a vacation for a while and see a new part of the world. Take someone special with you, but choose the right moment. You’ll value this experience a lot more than a fancy piece of overpriced technology.”

Without having to ask any question, Clarke knows that her dad has a specific guy in mind when he says ‘special person’, and as she thinks about that, her heart leaps to the roof of her ribcage. Overwhelmed, no words will emerge from her lips, so she simply embraces him.

“You know where you wanna go, sweetheart?” 

Oh yes, she does.  

It’s just not the right time for it… 

Yet.

 

Chapter Text

As soon as Clarke starts to think that she’s officially free of the mental strains that her experiences at Dante Wallace’s art gallery put on her, she receives an invitation from him and his disgusting son: Her name being written in fancy silver ink on the envelope is just the kind of pretentious crap you’d expect from the Wallaces. In fact, the only thing that causes her to raise her eyebrows in question is why the fuck they would think she’d ever show up at one of their events after they fired her? 

Emerging from the kitchen with a cup of coffee for her, Bellamy appears equally confused as she feels. “You sure it’s for you?”

Clarke nods, taking a sip. For a while, she ignores the invitation completely, intending to let it rot on the kitchen counter while she beats Bellamy in an intense game of Scrabble (or not…), but eventually the thought of it drives her crazy. When she returns to the couch holding the envelope, she squeezes it in her hands, prompting Bellamy to grab her wrist.

“I want you to remember that you owe these guys absolutely nothing, Princess.”

At his words, she manages an appreciative smile. Nonetheless, she rips the envelope open: It turns out that — for whatever reason — Dante and Cage Wallace have chosen to invite her (and a plus-one) to their upcoming banquet (Ew, how pretentious) that they’re hosting before the reveal of the summer’s end exhibit at the gallery. 

Taking her feet into his lap, Bellamy begins to rub them, which is something he does from time to time when she’s suffering from an artistic block. As always, it calms her immediately, and she hums in satisfaction. 

“If you wanna go, I can come with you,” he then offers despite the fact that he’s previously made his negative feelings about the Wallace’s very clear. “I’d fully support you if you go just to punch Cage in the face. I wanna see that.”

So does she.

(In fact, half of Arkadia probably wants to punch Cage Wallace in the face…) 

But since that’s illegal, they have to think of something else — something that amounts to a physical hit. The stars twinkling in his eyes, Bellamy suggests, “I could pretend to be your very considerate and sexy boyfriend. That’s gonna make him bitter.”

Clarke beams, her expression filled with sassiness. Seeing Cage Wallace’s salty expression is going to keep her going for the rest of the month. The realization that he’ll never have a chance with her, that she won’t ever come back to work for him, is going to knock him down a million pegs.

Wasting no time (since the banquet is soon), they develop the perfect backstory for their “romance”.

 

THE BACKSTORY:

 

  • They’ve been dating for two years, a writer and an artist intrigued by each other’s colorful minds.
  • The place where they met is their favorite coffee shop in town. Bellamy charmed her with his excellent taste in coffee, and she agreed to go on a date with him immediately.
  • The reason why Clarke has never mentioned him is because she prefers to keep her private life and career separate.
  • Now, they live together in an apartment and are planning their future together.

(Note: It’s far from certain that they will need to share all of this information, but whatever, right?) 

 

When Clarke thinks they’re done tailoring the background for their cover, Bellamy suddenly lights up. “One more thing…” he starts, a little hesitant. “What if you were pregnant?” 

At first, she blinks in utter surprise. Pregnancy? Why? But then it dawns on her how genius the idea is: Her being pregnant would send the direct message that she’s unwavering, that she’s started a new and bright chapter in her life. There’s no way she’s going back to the Wallaces… 

… Because she has her successful web store, her art in another gallery, a comfortable living and a loving boyfriend with whom she’s ready to start a family.

Cage and Dante are going to realize that they don’t stand a chance, that her happiness was never dependent on their snobby business. And it really wasn’t. She might’ve thought so after she was fired, but her perspective has changed a lot since then. 

“Yeah. Five weeks. It’ll also give me an excuse not to drink the gross champagne.” 

Bellamy grimaces at the thought of bad, expensive alcohol. “I’m not drinking that either. I’m a good, loving boyfriend after all. Solidarity.”

Then their eyes suddenly lock, azure and taupe uniting in a beautiful, never-before-seen nebula of soft earth and ocean blending together. As she looks at him, unable to break the contact between their gazes, her breath sticks to the inside of her lungs and her heart flutters. It’s the same feeling that she gets when he’s inside her, and she’s desperate to kiss him.

But they rarely kiss during sex, actually. Even when they do, it’s frenzied, ruled by hunger and mutual need for release, which one might call passion. The passion that she feels between them right now is stronger, chasing her away from the couch. 

“Do you have anything to wear?” she asks, grabbing a water bottle from the fridge. God, her throat is drying out, turning into Sahara by the second.

“Everyone has at least one suit.”

Poking her head out from the kitchen, she gives him a view of her furrowed brow. “I don’t.” 

At her response, his smirk turns lopsided. “That’s a shame. You’d look very sexy in it, but then again you look sexy in your pajamas, too. I’m biased. You look good in everything.” 

By now, Clarke’s more than used to Bellamy’s charm. Though there are times where he’s like this, smooth and direct in his flirting, sometimes his flirting skills amount to those of a fifteen-year-old boy. It’s hilarious, especially because you never know if he’s doing it on purpose or not. Needless to say, Bellamy is a big dork at heart, which is stupidly endearing. 

The banquet is being held on Friday, so they have a couple of days to add details to their story if they need to, but so far it seems sufficient. Clarke’s never done the ‘fake dating’ thing before, yet she reckons that it will be a lot easier doing it with a guy that she fucks on a regular basis. They already have the needed chemistry to fool everyone involved.

Raven would definitely applaud them for being so logical and thorough in their planning of this. 

This is confirmed when Clarke talks to her best friend over the phone a couple of hours later, and she sounds impressed and intrigued right off the bat. “I wish I could be their just to watch Cage Wallace’s slimy jaw drop to the floor. Very satisfying. Also… Bellamy’s playing your baby daddy? Way to go, girl!” 

“Ew. Don’t say it like that.”

There’s a short pause at the other end of the line before Raven teases her again (a classic Reyes move), “What if you were really pregnant? Imagine the plot-twist. I mean, with the amount of sex you guys are having…” 

“Nope. Condoms all the way.”

“Too bad,” Raven laughs before mumbling something to Zeke that Clarke can’t really hear, but it’s certainly about the fact that the two of them are packing for a much-needed vacation to Las Vegas. “Your genetics combined…” 

“Rae, please cut the scientific shit.”

Even though she says this, Clarke’s had enough biology lessons in high school to know that if she and Bellamy were to have a kid, it’d be a good-looking one. Not that it matters, but his sharp jawline, freckles and curly hair…

Damn. Okay. It’s time to stop thinking about that. 

Wanting to retaliate for her friend’s endless sassiness, Clarke ends the call by chuckling, “If you marry Zeke in Vegas without me as a bridesmaid, I will kick your ass.”

 


 

On Friday they decide to get dressed in their fanciest clothes (it’s a banquet after all), but they don’t reveal their looks to each other until the Uber driver is about to arrive. As Clarke is waiting in the hallway for him, she worries her lower lip, her stomach turning. 

Bellamy emerges from his room, wearing a suit that isn’t the standard black one: It’s his favorite color with a matching tie, all Prussian blue. God, he looks so fucking hot that if it weren’t for their settled plans, she’d jump him right then and there. No question. 

His eyes settle on her, shamelessly roaming for a full minute before he finally says, “Whoa. You look… Whoa,” at his flustered compliment, Clarke smiles, feeling warm. She’s wearing a silver dress that will sparkle in the light from the expensive chandeliers; that makes her blue eyes look more metallic and alive. Knowing that he would appreciate it, she’s kept her hair down instead of braiding it or trapping it in a bun.

When she is notified that their Uber is waiting for them, Bellamy places his arm around her waist before whispering, “Might as well get into character.”

The loving boyfriend…

During the entire fifteen-minute drive, Bellamy’s warm hand rests on her leg. From time to time, he even rubs the inside of her knee with his thumb, causing her to lean against him, sighing a little as a voice at the back of her mind tells her that she’ll have the time of her life tonight. 

She’ll get a taste of what it’s really like to be with Bellamy.

 


 

The Wallace family house is not so much a house as it is a mansion. From the moment they step inside, the place reeks of money and status: In the entrance hall there is a great marble staircase that leads up to the next floor, wide wooden doors with gold handles and expensive mahogany furniture. At least she and Bellamy look like they fit in here, because they don’t feel like it.

Almost as soon as they’ve entered, arm in arm, trying not to ogle at all of the grandeur, a butler comes up to them carrying glasses of champagne, which they both politely decline. The guests, every single one an important person, are scattered across the room in small groups, but Clarke and Bellamy have no interest in engaging with them. They’re just here to play their parts and indirectly tell the Wallaces to back the fuck off.  

Walking through the double doors at the left side of the hall, they enter into the room that is definitely the dining area with a giant dance floor in the middle. Honestly, it looks a bit like a wedding venue. For a minute, they can’t help but stare, not quite sure where to go.

But before they can make an escape, the Wallaces are standing in front of them, wearing the same kind of suit and half-assed smile. Like always the elder man looks nicer than his son, and that’s because he is — not a whole lot, yet it still counts.

“Miss Griffin, it’s so nice to see you’ve come here tonight…” Right off the bat, he’s way too formal and distant. Then he continues, “Who’s your plus one?” Dante Wallace looks at Bellamy, his gray eyes curious while his son’s are cold. No surprise there. Unfazed by Cage, Bellamy beams at Clarke, holding her a little closer as she replies.

“This is my boyfriend, Bellamy Blake.”

No further introduction is needed for the time being, but when Cage Wallace questions the lack of champagne in their hands, Bellamy takes one more step into character, letting his hand travel to her abdomen.

Clarke can feel how believable her glow is when she happily tells the Wallaces, “We’re expecting.”

While Bellamy’s fingers draw small, lazy circles on her stomach, Cage Wallace tenses up so much that he starts to look constipated, and Clarke has to fight the urge to laugh. If this asshole thought that she was going to run straight back to his daily harassment, he couldn’t be more wrong, because she’s blissful where she is… 

Naturally, Clarke puts her hand on top of Bellamy’s when Dante tells them congratulations and his son manages a stiff nod. “I’m five weeks along now, and my man won’t be drinking tonight either.” 

“The least I can do is show her some respect.”

Bellamy looks straight at the younger Wallace when he says this, and if it weren’t for the fact that he keeps his tone light and breezy, this off-hand comment could’ve endangered their act. At least she knows that he still hates Cage for what he did to her, which makes her feel a lot less alone. With civil goodbyes, the hosts finally leave them alone to go talk to other guests, so Bellamy and Clarke decide to walk in the gardens outside. The scent of jasmine and roses encompasses them as soon as they’ve stepped onto the grass.

“We can’t smoke. I’m supposed to be pregnant.” 

“But we can still listen to music.”

And that’s what they do, sharing his headphones like they did that first night on Murphy’s balcony. Halfway through the song, Clarke finds herself torn between the desire to dance and to rest her head on his shoulder. In the end, she does the latter.

 

And if you'd just believe in yourself

We can tune out everyone else

That's alright…

 

“Now that I’m your boyfriend, do I get to dance with you later?”

The question makes her heart skip a beat. Smiling, she keeps her gaze fixated on the stars as she nods, and even though the thought of dancing with Bellamy makes the cells in her body jump with excitement, the Wallaces’ taste in music is just as pretentious as everything else about them. 

“We can just ignore that, Princess. You can never go wrong with my playlist.”

Of course, he’s right… 

After eating a very aristocratic five-course meal, during which they only talked to one another and held hands under the table, Bellamy and Clarke make their way to the dance floor. Sharing his earbuds, they let the Spotify shuffle function decide their fate. 

An emotional song by James Bay soon fills the atmosphere between them, and Bellamy interlaces their fingers, pulling Clarke close by the waist. She doesn’t know the song, but naturally he does, setting the perfect pace that has them swaying together in harmony with the beautiful tempo of the song.

If only the words didn’t make her feel like bursting into tears…

 

I'll come around

If you ever want to be in love

I'm not waiting, but I'm willing if you call me up

If you ever want to be in love

I'll come around

 

Bellamy’s smile is warm just like his hands while the arm that he’s kept locked around her waist slips slowly up her spine, making goosebumps form on the skin at the back of her neck. Remembering how their gazes connected earlier, Clarke is struck by nervousness. She chooses to take the last inch of space between them, peck his lips and rest her chin on his shoulder so she doesn’t have to look at him as James Bay’s honeyed words have her heart swelling…

 

If you want we could walk around

Maybe that would be enough

Used to talk drinking to the night

I would wake up on the front room floor

All along you'd be in my bed

Make me crazy, make me want you more

 

Screw fear, she thinks suddenly. Deciding to let emotion guide her, Clarke draws back to look at him again, the blue in her eyes intensified by seriousness. For a moment, it makes Bellamy furrow his brow, but then she kisses him, passionate yet languid, and that seems to make sense to him. Not caring about the fact that they have an audience, he deepens the kiss a little more, sighing into her mouth. 

It doesn’t matter if anyone sees; it doesn’t even matter if Cage sees… They couldn’t care less.

 


 

A couple of hours later while they’re in an Uber back to the apartment, the air between them is ruled by intimacy, his hand steady on her sensitive inner thigh while he sucks slightly at her jawline. It’s hard for her to keep quiet, but she somehow manages it until they’re back home.

His warm, full lips never leave hers. With surprising patience, she pulls the jacket off him, taking the time to feel the hard edges of his broad shoulders before moving her hands up to undo his tie. As she pulls the complicated knot apart, Bellamy keeps his eyes locked on her, his dark brown gaze alight with a type of heat that she doesn’t recognize.

Once she starts slowly working on the buttons on his white shirt, he drags the zipper of her dress down, touching her bare back as it’s exposed. 

“You’re so beautiful,” is what Bellamy breathes, his eyelids fluttering as her dress pools at her feet. She kicks her torturous high heels off, but instead of responding Clarke presses her palm to his abs, letting it travel to his collarbone. 

He lets his shirt join her dress on the floor then unhooks her bra, and just as magnets would their naked chests meet. They’ve never taken this much time to undress each other before. To be quite honest, Clarke doesn’t know why they’re doing it now, yet she has no interest in speeding up the process. After another couple of minutes, his belt and pants have been removed, which is when Clarke determines that she can take the next step.

“Carry me,” she whispers, satisfied as he obeys instantly. After all, he’s always loved carrying her places, especially to a bed.  

On the mattress, her panties and his boxers finally come off. Clarke doesn’t realize that she’s holding her breath before her lungs start to cry out for air. Kissing every inch of her body within reach, Bellamy lingers at her breasts but doesn’t solely direct his attention there. Instead, his lips leave rose petals with every touch to her delicate skin until she’s out of breath, gazing in awe at his bronzed body as it’s washed in the silvery moonlight.

When he reaches for a condom, Clarke grabs his wrist. “No,” she insists, wetting her lips. “I need to feel you…”

Because he doesn’t try to argue, it’s clear that he feels the same way.

As he slips into her heat, Bellamy interlaces their fingers. watching her expression soften with pleasure. 

Oh…” the sound is a breathy whisper once it emerges from her parted lips, and he swallows the rest of her moan, his mouth devoted to hers, even while he thrusts. Tonight, there’s no rush in Bellamy’s movements, no dominant forcefulness. In fact, he’s patient, more attentive than ever, which she didn’t think was possible. 

Each time he dives into her, slowly drawing her out, Bellamy’s eyes drown in hers, the contact intense enough to send her heart racing. In between the collisions of their hips, their lips meet passionately, causing her to sigh around her every moan. 

This… it’s poetry in its purest form.

It’s amazing how long they both last, actually. After a couple of minutes of missionary, Bellamy sits back on his knees, bringing her with him so she can settle in his lap. Burying her hand in his hair, Clarke moans as he thrusts up into her, hitting her deeper than before while still keeping the same, wonderful pace. Through the thick haze of pleasure, she works with him, rocking down on him.

Princess…

His half-lidded eyes are full of affection. But for some reason, it doesn’t startle her.

“Yeah? Want me to take over?” 

Though he doesn’t answer, Bellamy lies down on his back, running his fingertips through the golden waves of her hair as she settles on top of him. When she starts to ride him, she tries to match the pace that he’s established, and even though she doesn’t fully succeed, Bellamy still groans low in his throat, grasping the bed sheets like a lifeline.

He’s close now; she can hear it in his heavy breath, and it’s probably the reason why he flips them over, using the last of his self-control and energy to thrust even deeper for another minute until they come apart at the same time, their strength of their orgasms overwhelming. As he kisses her cheek and throat through the bliss, Bellamy groans, his forehead dropping onto her shoulder. 

They’ve never managed to come together before. Honestly, Clarke thought it was something that only happens in movies, but apparently not. Apparently it is possible…

Bellamy stays inside her for as long as he can muster, kissing her forehead and cheeks repeatedly. As the waves of pleasure continuously surge through her body, Clarke moans when their lips capture one another. In awe, his eyes search hers. “You’re still—?” 

Biting her lower lip, she nods, sensing her face flush in the darkness. This is not the most intense orgasm she’s ever had, but it’s certainly the longest, and that’s just as good. After another moment of lingering, Bellamy has to pull out, and she hears herself whimper at the loss of contact. To her relief, he instantly pulls her close into his chest, dropping a sweet kiss to the top of her head. 

“That was…”

Amazing.”

While a cliché, it’s so true. Right now, her bedroom is filled with starlight and the magic that they’ve managed to create together, their bodies in perfect synch. Clarke draws lazy patterns on Bellamy’s bicep with her fingertip while he massages the back of her head.

At some point, they fall asleep like that, resting in each other’s arms, and it feels like the most natural thing in the universe. Closing her eyes, the words of the song that they danced to a couple of hours ago echo at the back of her mind.

(She wants to be in love…)

 


 

When she wakes up first the next morning, Bellamy’s sleeping soundly next to her. For a few minutes, she gazes at him, taking in every beautiful detail of his face: The freckles, the dimple in his chin, the long eyelashes and full lips…

Smiling, she flips over, so her eyes fall on the piece of paper on her nightstand. Next to it, there is the head of a gorgeous crimson rose that she knows for a fact blooms in the Wallace gardens. He must’ve stolen it for her last night, and the thought of that has her heart fluttering. Only this time, she doesn’t ignore it. It’s the last thing she wants to do. 

After picking up the piece of paper, Clarke begins to read his words.

 

Empyrean Love

 

Empyrean Love, keep my nights warm and long

Take me to bed and cover me in stardust

Empyrean Love, hold my fragile heart in your gentle hands

 

Empyrean Love, keep smiling in your sleep

Wash your face with the sunlight as morning comes

Empyrean love, I will write about it until my ink dries out…

 

Empyrean Love, how our bodies melt together

How my breath disappears into you

Empyrean Love, I will write about it until my paper yellows.

 

You like your coffee black and sugared.

Vermilion is your battle color

Empyrean Love, how I…

How you….

How we fit.

 

I will never forget.

 

Once she’s finished reading, her heart feels so soft that it brings tears to her eyes — and as if she wasn’t moved enough by the beauty of the poem already, when she looks up the word empyrean on the Internet, the meaning of it is described like this:

 

EMPYREAN (adj.)

Definition: Relating to Heaven.

 

The only connection that she feels to heaven is that she could ascend right now.

Fuck…

This was clearly written for her, and before she’s had the time to process that, Bellamy stirs, prompting her to put the poem back and lie down next to him again. When he grunts low in his throat, Clarke feels her heart swell with fondness. Burying her hand in his messy hair, she places a kiss to the tip of his nose. 

“Good morning, sunshine.”

His response is incoherent at best, his words stolen by tiredness. Chuckling as he rolls onto his back, Clarke moves on top of him, basically forcing him to open his eyes and look at her. “Did you wake up in the middle of the night to write that poem for me?”

At first he blinks, his jaw slacking a little with the realization that it’s too late to pretend he never left it for her. Then he nods, breathing, “Yeah. It took a couple hours.”

“You’re crazy.”

Her statement is swept in softness, as is the smile that she gives him before she starts a trail of lazy across his sternum. Humming, Bellamy lets his fingertips fall into her golden hair and brings her up to meet his eyes, which are looking at her in earnest. They speak a thousand words that are all ruled by emotion.

Moments later, she says, “I think we should recognize what happened last night for what it really was.”

For half a minute, Bellamy stares at her, his brow furrowed and Adam’s apple bobbing nervously until she continues, “We made love.”

At those words, he releases a deep sigh in utter relief. “I thought you were gonna say it was a mistake.”

“A mistake? No. It was the best, most passionate sex I’ve ever had,” the last part simply stumbles out of her mouth before she’s had the time to prevent it. She lets herself freak out about it for a second, but Bellamy’s mouth curves into an easy smile, which calms her. 

“We made love.”

When he says it, it’s a roaring confirmation. Still, it’s a little confusing. They both know that they did it and that they don’t regret anything, but why…? After months of straight-up fucking, of satisfying sex with no real strings, they make love to each other. 

As if they never left their “roles” from last night. 

Bellamy interlaces their fingers, kisses her knuckles. Worrying her lip, Clarke makes their gazes connect again, the bond between their eyes so strong now that it nearly makes her heart jump out of her chest. Then, without questioning it for a second, without holding back or rationalizing it, she makes a suggestion that changes everything.

“Maybe we should do this some more.” 

She says ‘some more’, even though she means ‘forever’…

Chapter Text

Making love to Bellamy is the most natural thing she’s ever done. Like magnets, their bodies refuse to be parted for long and their mouths chase each other through the night as fireflies would. Perhaps that’s why they no longer sleep in separate beds. As he wrote in the ‘Empyrean Love’ poem, she keeps his nights warm and long, nightmare-free.

When the sun comes up on this particular Saturday morning, Bellamy’s been locked inside her for a few hours, but the passage of time is becoming blurry, so to her it feels like an eon, her core aching with the need for release. Still, they both refuse to rush… 

Placing his hands on her inner thighs, he drives them a little further apart, which allows him to thrust deeper at a sharper angle. “Bellamy—“ she cries out, grasping his broad shoulders to anchor herself as the strong currents of pleasure surge through her body. 

Soothingly, he drops a kiss to her hair. “I’ll get you there, I promise.”

Oh, she knows he will. Brushing his thumb along her jawbone, Bellamy tells her to close her eyes. Clarke senses her own lips quivering around the gasps that are lined up in her throat, emerging at the same pace as his thrusts. Behind her eyelids, a million stars align as a wave of strong pleasure starts to build, rising through her body from her toes to the top of her head. 

Oh…” she whimpers, her face contorted, because the orgasm sears through every single cell in her body; the remaining air in her lungs is used for moaning until her throat is raw, and she actually sobs.  

Of course, Bellamy is immediately alarmed by this. Moving his hands to her bare back, he brings her into an embrace, her head resting on his shoulder. “Do you wanna stop?” 

“No,” she manages to keep her voice steady. “No, don’t leave.”

As always, he listens to her, yet still devotes his attention to helping her wind down rather than focusing on his own needs. Since she feels as if she’s floating somewhere among the stars along a distant hemisphere, it takes her a while to see through the pleasure. But once she does, she flips them over, offers him a dazed smile, which he returns, and closes her hand over his knuckles.

“Hold onto the sheets,” is what she advices, causing him to grin. “You’re gonna need them.”

Clarke maps his body with her mouth, exploring every curve and edge. His skin feels like pure, shining bronze against her lips but tastes like pine and lemongrass. Instantly, he seems to lose his words, as the only coherent sound that emerges from his throat is her name, over and over.

Until it begins to sound like the beautiful poetry he writes. 

Having moved further down, she closes her mouth around the head of his cock, her eyelids fluttering at the taste. It’s been a while since she last blew him, and she’s missed it — she realizes this when his guttural groan bounces off the Prussian blue walls, reaching her ears.

Because he’s been withholding his release for such a long time, Clarke knows that she has to make the best out of whatever little time she has. Hollowing her cheeks, she takes as much of his impressive length as possible and sucks hard, so that he has to clutch at the bed sheets. Smirking around the head of him, she sneaks a peek of his flushed face, his full lips parted in bliss. 

“Did you miss my mouth on you?”

It takes him a while to form the words, which are croaky when they emerge. “Please don’t stop.” 

Her heart sparks in triumph before she goes back to pleasuring him. Though blowjobs by far isn’t her most experienced area of sex, Clarke is left feeling unquestionably confident, and that pays off. Wrapping her hands around his shaft, she bobs her head again, causing his hips to jerk a little off the mattress. “Don’t hold yourself back, Bellamy.”

This is a reoccurring thing with him, she’s realized; he tends to fight against release, and she would be lying if she said that it doesn’t worry her sometimes, because it could be a subconscious product of lacking self-worth. Forcing her eyes to open, Clarke stares at him, eyebrows raised as if to say: ‘you deserve this’.

And then she sucks him with a passion that she didn’t know she had in her.

Finally, he comes apart in her mouth, breathing heavily towards the ceiling. As soon as she draws back, Bellamy reaches down to flicker his thumb over the sensitive head of his cock. Fuck. If that isn’t the hottest thing she has ever seen… 

…It hits her that she’s never seen him masturbate, or even heard it, which is a little strange considering that they’ve been living together for almost five months now. She recalls the night in the hallway of Murphy’s apartment when she indirectly allowed him to watch her pleasure herself. Maybe if they’d actually gone through with it… 

“Does that feel good?” she murmurs before pressing her lips to his temple, but he only hums in response. Then he stops touching himself, much to her dismay. Instead, he flips them around again, trapping her body beneath his.

No questions are needed. As she furrows her brow in confusion, frowning, Bellamy explains, “Princess, you were practically dripping on me.”

Oh. Although he clearly didn’t mean to embarrass her, Clarke feels her cheeks flush with heat. His smile warm and easy, Bellamy holds her gaze for half a minute, searching it thoroughly before he slips two long fingers into her. She mewls in need, rocking down on his hand, desperate for friction. Aware that she’s had problems with overstimulation before, Bellamy’s careful when he allows his thumb to graze her clit the first time. “Sure you’re okay?” 

“Never better.” 

It might sound cheesy, but she isn’t exaggerating. 

Bellamy gets her off once more in an impressively short amount of time by using his fingers; then buries his head between her thighs to lick greedily at her folds until Clarke feels as though she might dissolve into a puddle or ascend into space. Grasping at his soft hair, she gives him credit for his determination to clean her up yet doesn’t think she will come from it. Not again. 

A couple of minutes later, she’s proven wrong.

Her laughter turns to giggles, which morph into moans, and it’s honestly the best feeling ever. As one might expect, Bellamy beams with pride when he looks at her afterwards, causing her to roll her eyes in affection. This man… she’s not even sure that there is an adjective in the world that could properly describe how wonderful he is.

While they’re engaged in cuddling afterwards, their hands roaming across familiar patches of skin, Bellamy says, “We’re pretty good at this love-making thing.” 

For a minute, she simply smiles, but curiousity soon strikes, so she has to ask, “Do you think this classifies as tantric sex?”

Chuckling, Bellamy glances at the alarm clock on her bedside table and thinks back for a moment, calculating. “Four hours. I’d say it does.” 

Prior to actually experiencing it, Clarke was certain that having sex with someone for such a long period of time without long breaks would result in discomfort, but she feels great. Maybe it’s because his thrusts never turned rough, not even slightly. At 5 a.m., they’d woken up before the sun, decided that it wasn’t too early to have sex and since then, Bellamy had managed to keep the same rhythm going, never once giving in to impatience.

Seriously, he must be some kind of magic.

Still, if she gave him this credit he’d argue that the amazing sex they just had was a result of mutual effort, and he might be right, but that won’t prevent her from admiring his self-control and overall abilities, because damn…

“Coffee or cigarette?” with that question, Bellamy breaks through her thoughts. 

She thinks for a second as her fingertip draws an invisible sun below his left collarbone. “Both,” is what she decides in the end. It’s Saturday after all, so they might as well indulge while they can. Tomorrow, he’ll be at work until the afternoon, during which they have to pick up Raven and Zeke at the airport. 

The time that they have together today should be well spent.

They don’t bother putting on their clothes while they share puffs of smoke in between their sips of good coffee. Leaning out of the open window, he looks more relaxed than she remembers seeing him in a while, which has her heart skipping a beat.

As always, Bellamy offers her the last drag of the cigarette. The smile that he gives her is lopsided, maybe even a little nervous. Then he starts, “Since our sex life is pretty good right now, I thought that we could…” while he’s wetting his lower lip, Clarke watches him turn sheepish, his freckled cheeks flushing.

“Experiment a little?” she guesses, trying not to let her eagerness show too much. Still, she seemingly fails at that, because he beams with renewed confidence afterwards.

“Yeah.”

“With the things you keep in your bottom drawer?”

At those words, Bellamy wrinkles his nose, which confuses her for a moment until he begins to chuckle. “Sure. Just don’t make it sound like 50 Shades of Gray. I hate that movie.” 

Of course he does. Despite the fact that she’s only taken a single glance at the contents of the drawer, she saw nothing in there which could indicate that he engages in BDSM — and even though he certainly likes to display dominance in bed, it’s never exclusive. In fact, she’s never been with anybody who enjoys her being on top as much as he does.

Grinning at her, Bellamy puts on a fresh pair of boxers that have found their way into her dresser, throws her the burgundy t-shirt that he wore to bed last night and takes her hand to lead her into his bedroom, which he hardly uses anymore. Lately, he’s only in there when there’s something he has to write down on his typewriter. 

Kneeling down, he pulls out the bottom drawer and allows her to rummage through it.

Her curiousness is on fire.

As it turns out, most of the things that he keeps in there, the majority of people would classify as ‘standard’: Condoms, lube and a few dildos of different sizes. Soon, however, she digs up a black blindfold and can’t help but look at it in surprise. “I shouldn’t say it, but…” 

“I also have handcuffs in there.” 

She stares at him, slack-jawed. “What?”

Satisfied that she was fooled, Bellamy chuckles before reassuring her that it was a joke. Then he confesses that he used to keep stuff to use for light bondage, such as short scarves, but he threw them away some time ago when he realized that he wasn’t into it. “You’ve been tied up?” the question passes her lips without permission, and before she can take it back, Bellamy runs his fingers through his hair. 

“No, I…” 

Her eyes full of teasing, she replies, “Maybe you’d be into it if—“

Enough, Princess,” he laughs, pulling the blindfold from her hands when she begins to wave it in front of him. “Keep looking.” 

Upon further inspection of the drawer, Clarke finds a couple different vibrators and wonders why he hasn’t used them on her yet, but in the end she chooses not to ask. They’ve got plenty of time to bring this stuff into the bedroom, and yet she has one particular item in mind that she can’t find for some reason. Did he throw it out? That’d be a huge disappointment. 

“Aha!” she triumphs when she finally finds it, which confuses him for a second until she pulls the dark blue strap-on out, holding it in front of her with a grin.

Bellamy’s eyes go wide instantly. For a few moments, he’s only able to stare. Then he clears his throat awkwardly, gathering himself while she looks at him with raised eyebrows. “I’ve never actually used that,” he admits, and it’s clear that he isn’t lying.

“No? Why?” 

Though she might be overstepping a few boundaries with her inquiry, she’s curious to know why he would keep a sex toy that he’s never used. In the end, he shrugs. “Just never met anyone that I trusted enough, I guess.”

Well, that’s understandable. Although she can’t know for sure, she supposes that this kind of sex would be a huge commitment for him, something that he wouldn’t do unless he felt completely comfortable with someone. Of course, she hopes that he feels that way with her, but just because she trusts him so much it doesn’t mean that he trusts her enough.

As if he can read her mind, Bellamy reaches out to brush his thumb along her cheekbone. “I trust you more than I’ve ever trusted anyone, Clarke, but…”

She understands. “You’re not ready yet.” 

Briefly casting down his gaze, he silently assures her that she’s right. Smiling in relief because he does trust her, Clarke tips his jaw upward using two of her fingers, hereby making their eyes connect. In reassurance, she gives him a tiny kiss and rests her forehead against his. “I’m not either. Not really. It’ll be a first for both of us.”

And choosing to wait is hugely important to the growth of every aspect in their relationship — not just their sex life. Because in the end, the connection that they have goes a lot deeper than orgasms, that’s clearer now than ever before. 

Making love has opened them up to this. His poem ‘Empyrean Love’, which is now hanging above her bed in a frame, has opened them up to this.

 


 

As expected, the airport is crowded with people carrying homemade signs to welcome their loved ones and their small welcome committee is no different. Earlier while Bellamy was working his shift at the coffee shop, Harper and Emori joined her on the living room floor of the apartment, where they finished their own, personalized sign for their friends’ return to Arkadia. 

The space rocket represents Raven and the jet plane represents Shaw. 

For the occasion, Harper has baked her famous brownies that Emori had to supervise just in case Monty and Jasper still had some weed left. Even Murphy has put in a surprising amount of effort for the return, as he’s bought Raven’s favorite beers instead of his own this time (shocking!)  

They wait for no more than five minutes, but it honestly feels like hours. As soon as Raven and Zeke emerge, the small crowd of their friends roars, erupting in cheers and hollers. With open arms, Harper, Emori and Clarke envelop Raven in a bone-crushing group hug.

“Was I gone for a year?” she laughs when they finally let her go. 

At that question, Harper mumbles, “You might as well have been,” and it’s true: A week without Raven Reyes feels a lot longer than the average week, no lie. 

Glancing over her shoulder, Clarke catches a glimpse of Zeke reuniting with the rest of the guys, who are all smiles as well. Who could blame them? When she turns her attention back to the girls, she is lucky enough to see Raven’s blissful facial expression at Harper casually asking, “How was Vegas?” It might not be the same for Harper and Emori, who haven’t known Raven for as long as she has, but to Clarke, her best friend’s happiness is very telling. 

“Is there anything you wanna tell us, Rae?”

Her expression changes instantly and turns blank; a mask that soon cracks like clay, her wide smile too powerful to hold back. Unable to stop beaming, Raven pulls her left hand from her jean pocket, revealing the beautiful ring that adorns her engagement finger.

Harper releases a squeal at the sight, Emori covers her open mouth with her palm and Clarke wraps her arms around Raven in an ecstatic hug. Finally, the stars have aligned perfectly in her favor. Thank God. Her best friend is getting married to the love of her life.  

It’s a lot for everyone to process. Soon enough, the group of guys can’t drown out the chatter anymore, and Bellamy quickly discovers what it’s all about. His smile as wide as Clarke’s, he gives Zeke a quick hug. “Congrats, man!”

As soon as Zeke locks eyes with his fiancée, he can’t look away. Because he’s a little flustered by the sudden attention from everyone, his brown skin flushes, his grin turning crooked. “Thanks…” 

While she could be wrong, Clarke thinks she hears Murphy mumble, “Wish I had your guts, dude.”

This makes her so very excited for Emori, too, though the comment is bizarre, because Murphy seems to be even less the marrying kind than Raven — but what the hell, right? Relationships change. In fact, the last two weeks that she has spent making love to Bellamy is solid proof of that.

Half an hour later, the girls are riding an Uber to their respective homes, so they can change into more party-appropriate clothes before they all head towards The Mountain to celebrate the engagement (Wow, they’re so millennial…). 

As expected, this is where Harper, Emori and Clarke finally get their newly engaged friend to tell the proposal story. To their surprise, Raven admits that she was stunned when Zeke popped the question, because he was so damn serious.

“I thought he was gonna tell me that he’d been recruited by the air force or some shit, but then… he got down on one knee and begun to tell me how much I meant to him, and—” she chokes up, which is an extremely rare reaction from her. This is huge. “Yeah, I said yes. Of fucking course.” 

After the story, Harper chimes in, “Can I help with the wedding cake plans?” 

Honestly, if anyone’s qualified for that job, it’s her. She’s widely loved in their friend group for her delicious cakes and desserts. In fact, she even contributed a few creations to the coffee shop where she works with Bellamy, including rainbow macaroons for Pride month.

“Shaw and I both agree that you’re the obvious choice,” Raven grins. “As long as you don’t choose carrot.”

Harper makes a face. “Carrot? Who do you think I am?”

Knowing Raven and Zeke, the flavor of their wedding cake will probably be Devil’s food — a choice that Clarke has absolutely no objection to.

Smiling, she rests her head on Raven’s shoulder, taking the liberty of speaking on behalf of everyone when she says, “We’re so happy for you, girl.” 

Taking a slow breath, Raven glances at her, emotion written all over her face. “Me too. I’m… I—“ she doesn’t need to finish that sentence at all. She’s seemingly too overwhelmed to form any more words, but it doesn’t matter. It’s clear that she’s never been happier than she is right now.

 


 

If it weren’t for the fact that she can literally feel his eyes lingering on her from the doorway, Clarke would’ve been startled by Bellamy’s sudden compliment, “Fuck, you look good.” 

In the mirror, she sees him walk up behind her to wrap one arm around her abdomen and place a kiss below her jaw. For her outfit tonight she’s chosen to wear her favorite black skinny jeans, pairing them with a lacy blouse that reveals a little skin and a fair bit of cleavage. 

As always, Bellamy is wearing a plain t-shirt to the bar (this time it’s dark blue). Still, he looks good in anything, so she doesn’t complain. 

“Am I missing anything?” she asks, twisting her head until the tip of her nose bumps against his freckled cheek, and he chuckles. To her surprise, he goes to her desk to find her tub of vermilion lipstick. 

“Your battle color.” 

The poem. Yeah, she should’ve figured. It makes her beam.

When their Uber driver turns out to be some young white sleazeball who keeps ogling at Clarke in the rearview mirror, Bellamy pulls her close, glaring at the other man. “If you don’t get your eyes off my girlfriend at this second, I’ll kick your ass, got it?” He’s not possessive, only protective, and yet all she can think is:

Girlfriend? Girlfriend…

 


 

Naturally, The Mountain is jet packed, which would’ve made it difficult to get in if they didn’t know the owner, King Roan, personally. Lucky for him, his business has really gone boom in the last two years, attracting people from the neighboring cities who wanted to try going to a different gay bar than their usual one.

And many of them return, time after time. 

They haven’t been here in months, surprisingly, but Clarke remembers that it was here that she met Bellamy’s ex-boyfriend, Diego, with whom he went home at the end of the night. However, tonight is different, and right off the bat Bellamy seems keen to prove that, as he pulls her straight onto the dance floor after they’ve toasted to Raven and Zeke.

“I love this song!” he shouts to be heard over the loudspeakers, pulling her closer under the synthetic lights.

Arguably the greatest thing about The Mountain is that the songs they play are either several years old or those of indie bands. So you won’t hear any overplayed pop tunes once you step in here, and that’s very refreshing. At least Clarke thinks it is. 

This catchy song is ‘Electric Feel’ by MGMT. The beat of it immediately has her hips swaying, her body glued to Bellamy’s. As his hands roam over her back, falling lower and lower, he seems to be enjoying himself already, smirking into her hair as he encircles her waist. “Dance for me, baby.”

 

Standing there with nothing on, she’ gonna teach me how to swim.

 

Hooking her fingers in his belt hoops, Clarke moves her hips against his, and when his hands drop to her ass, she pushes it out just a little, but it’s enough to make him groan low in his throat. She raises her arms slowly to the beat before letting them rest on his shoulders, and — as she least expects it — he pulls the classic Bellamy move, picking her up off the dance floor.

Then laughter bubbles in her stomach, and she rests her forehead against his. The song ends shortly after, but neither of them really care, because it gives them an excuse to kiss, their lips meeting hotly. 

“We’re gonna be up all night, Princess,” is what he whispers into her ear once they’ve parted for air. At his promise, her chest buzzes with anticipation, but they end up staying at the bar for another two hours as to not leave their friends behind. 

This is a turning point for all of them. 

A special day…

 


 

At home, Bellamy follows through on his promise. During the last few weeks, he’s discovered an angle that makes her see stars. As he thrusts deeply into her, he hooks her leg under his forearm, securing it on his back. He bends her knee towards her chest and slides into her, deep enough to fill her up completely.

“Fuck, oh shit… Bellamy.” 

Groaning at the sound of his name, he leans forward to suck her hardened nipple into his mouth, the combined stimulation quickly causing her walls to clench around him. Eager to respond, Clarke rakes her nails down his spine, which has his breath hitching around a gasp. She’s already worked up, her ivory skin covered in a thin sheen of sweat and flushed at the top of her breasts.

Even though he could easily make her come with just a few strokes to her clit at this point, Bellamy’s persistent; he has been since he found out that he was capable of getting her off without using his hands or mouth. 

Suddenly struck with an idea, Bellamy pulls out, much to her dismay. 

But he quickly lies down beside her, pressing his chest against her back and bringing one of her legs backwards. This gives him just enough room to slip into her heat again, from behind this time. At the change, a loud moan tumbles from Clarke’s mouth, causing her to cling to the crisp bed sheets since she can’t brace herself against him like always.

Sensing her need for touch, Bellamy interlaces their fingers. Then he continues to thrust into her, his movements deep and patient until she is pushed off the edge, her sensitive walls fluttering around him as she mewls, desperate. 

After he comes, he remains nestled inside her and plants chaste kisses at the back of her shoulders. But suddenly, he draws back. “Wait… Something feels off.”

He pulls out then, leaving her confused. Despite this, she expects him to return to her side in a short minute, so when he doesn’t, she flips over and turns on the lamp on her beside table. 

As the light comes on, she finds him sitting by the end of her bed, wide-eyed. When he finally speaks, his voice is a mere breath. “It broke.”

What?

Quickly, she crawls towards Bellamy who’s shaking his head a little in apparent denial. Worrying his lower lip, he finally clarifies, “The condom broke.” 

Just to be sure, she checks to see if he’s wrong, but no; the condom is ripped and not only a little bit.

After a minute has passed in gruesome silence, Clarke reaches out, placing a hand on his shoulder. “Hey, we’ve done it without condoms before. I’m on the pill,” she rationalizes, because with that in mind the protection breaking really isn’t the end of the world. “…We’re good.” 

Exhaling, Bellamy runs his palm across his face, still looking a bit shocked, which makes it clear that this has never happened to him before. Clarke’s never had it happen to her, either. Because of this, they have no idea how to react, but her mom has always told her that in situations where she’s uncertain of how to act, it’s important to think rationally… so that’s what she’s doing.

“Yeah. I guess,” he sighs, adding, “You’d tell me if you missed a pill, right?”

At that last part, she furrows her brow, frowning. “Of course I would.”

Still chewing on his bottom lip, Bellamy hurries to apologize for offending her, but she assures him that it’s okay, that she hasn’t missed a day of birth control since they started having sex, and that piece of information seems to calm him a lot…

… Though he gets a nicotine craving afterwards, which she can’t blame him for. 

“You know, there’s this band called ‘Cigarettes After Sex’. It reminds me a lot of us,” she tells him while they’re smoking out of her bedroom window again. Honestly, she’s just trying to make him think of something other than the condom tearing, but to her utter surprise he has a song by that band on his playlist, so they decide to listen to it.

The emotional tune fills the night.

 

Your lips

My lips

Apocalypse…

 

Despite the fact that they both want to forget about it, they figure that they need to act like adults and discuss emergency contraception, but Bellamy — being the feminist that he is — argues that it’s ultimately her decision. “You don’t have to take it,” he assures her, holding her gaze after she’s listed the numerous side effects of the morning after pill. “We’re good, right?” 

Clarke rests her head on his shoulder, breathes her reply into the starry night, “Yeah… we’re good.”

Chapter Text

The next five weeks pass in a bit of a blur, the leaves changing to warmer shades; some of them even have colors that resemble his skin tone and his freckles, which are less visible now that the sunlight is weaker. With the transition into fall, everyone has been more than engaged in the planning of Zeke and Raven’s wedding, which is scheduled for January 1st.

Honestly, the most challenging part of it so far has been finding a venue that matched the couple’s criteria. In the end, they found the perfect small park at the outskirts of Arkadia with Christmas roses that bloom during January and a stream, which will probably be covered in ice yet still picturesque. It’s everything that the couple wants: Relaxing, outdoorsy and romantic. Miller has the credit of finding it, which is sad for Murphy, because he really wanted to “win”.

One afternoon, Clarke comes home after buying fairy lights for the ceremony to find Bellamy on the couch with a mug. Still, the hot beverage in it is not his usual choice of coffee; that’s revealed by the sweet scent.

Feeling curious, she walks towards him. “What are you drinking?” 

“Chai tea. It tastes like Christmas,” Bellamy muses, the corners of his eyes crinkling. Damn, he looks so cute in his glasses and comfy sweater, a heavy book opened next to him. It might be two months too early, but he already seems to be in a jolly spirit, which makes her heart all happy and soft. 

When he offers her a sip, she can’t resist.

Smiling around the edge of the mug, Clarke takes a careful sip in case it’s hot and is overwhelmed by the amazing taste of cinnamon, vanilla and cocoa blending on the tip of her tongue. She moans a little, closing her eyes. “Did you make it?” 

Bellamy nods, looking satisfied that she likes it. Then he tells her that it’s not really difficult and offers to make a cup for her.

“I’ll definitely take you up on that later, but there’s something I really need to show you.”

While she was at the store, Clarke saw that Arkadia Elementary is looking for someone who has the time to run an art project with the kids from mid-October ‘til mid-December. “I know it’s not permanent, but if I get it and they like me enough, maybe they’ll keep me employed afterwards.”

In sheer joy, Bellamy wraps her in a warm embrace, grinning into the golden waves of her hair. “That’s amazing, Princess.” 

Though she’s not technically unemployed right now it would be very nice to have a steady income, so that perhaps Bellamy could stop working shifts during the weekends. After smiling at him for a minute, Clarke cuddles against his side, his arm naturally pulling her closer.

“What are you reading?” she asks, eyeing the book on the coffee table. 

“Ancient Greek poetry. I need some inspiration.”

In teasing, Clarke brushes her fingertip over his temple, painting a tiny sun there. “I’m not enough for you?” before he can reply, she presses a sweet kiss onto his freckled cheek, chuckling. More than anything, she’s flattered and astonished that Bellamy is really writing poetry about her, about them. Thinking about it fills her heart to the brim with magic.

“Of course you are,” he replies, kissing her jawline. “Just need to find out which goddess reminds me of you.” 

With those words, he leaves her speechless. Instead of waiting for her to respond, Bellamy recites his favorite poem in the collection for her. To her surprise, she’s actually heard of this one:

 

Beyond all hope, I prayed those timeless

days we spent might be made twice as long.

 

I prayed one word: I want.

 

Someone, I tell you, will remember us,

even in another time.

 

“Sappho,” Clarke recognizes, causing Bellamy to look at her in curiousity. Smiling, she shrugs, stating, “I’m bi. Her poems hit pretty close to home.”

Nodding, he kisses her charcoal-bruised knuckles. “Yeah…”

Afterwards, they decide to watch a film noir and eat ice cream even though it’s cold outside, because they simply won’t allow their favorite tradition to die. To his pure wonder, Clarke steals a scoop from his tub of strawberry. When he questions it, she sticks out her tongue, stating that she’s trying to be more open-minded.

Bellamy bursts out laughing, which sends warmth through her entire body. During the movie, she pays more attention his hand slipping beneath the back of her sweater than she does to the television, and they end up cuddling on the couch as the credits roll. 

They tend to lose track of time during the weekends. Tonight, they ease from cuddling into dancing, which they’ve been doing a lot more since the banquet at the Wallace mansion.

The song that sets the mood is ‘Heartbeats’ by José González, a tune that she has easily come to adore as much as she does him. Its beat is slow, perfect and soothing to her ears; he sways with her as though it’s the only thing he wants to do. 

Tears gather in her eyes before she can prevent it, so she buries her face in his shoulder to hide them. Sometimes, she allows herself to think about what would’ve happened if he hadn’t been at Murphy’s apartment that night six months ago, if they had never met each other. 

In reality, it’s impossible for her to imagine living with anyone else.

And she only wants him.  

Sadly, the song ends too soon, forcing them to draw back. For a minute, they gaze at one another until Bellamy leans down to place a lingering kiss to her lips. “Would you like some wine? I know it’s late, but we have a bottle in the fridge if…” 

She smiles, her heart fluttering at his dorky rambling. “I’m not really in the mood right now.”

“How about a cigarette then?” 

Taking a moment to think about it, Clarke worries her lower lip, because she’s not in the mood to smoke either. “Nah.”

Bellamy throws his head back, releasing a short yet heartfelt laughter that draws her closer. When he demands to know what she’d like to do instead, she is struck by the most ingenious idea: They could build a blanket fort (you know, like adults…). To her surprise, he’s on board with it right away, especially after she suggests that they have sex in it. 

And that’s exactly what they do — yet only after spending a good amount of time reading his old comic books together and eating the sad chocolate chips from the cupboard above the sink (they agree that they seriously need to expand their snack budget). 

Instead of going about the sex in their traditional way, they decide on a more experimental approach this time, and Bellamy breaks out one of the dildos that have been collecting dust in his drawer since he started having sex with her six months ago. Still, the experiment proves to be unsuccessful, and Clarke has something to say about it.

“Here’s my very scientific and objective review of the dildo,” is a sentence that she never thought she’d say in her lifetime, but oh well. “It’s shitty compared to the real thing.” 

Pretending to be offended, Bellamy huffs, though he can’t prevent an amused smile from reaching his eyes. “Did you just insult my taste in sex toys?” 

No,” she stresses before clarifying, “I’m complimenting your actual dick.”

“Oh. Thanks,” Though he manages to deadpan here, he bursts out laughing immediately after and once the wonderful sound of it reaches her ears, it’s contagious. In all seriousness, Clarke does actually prefer the real thing. The sensation is just better, more intimate, which is what she needs right now.

(Also, the dildo that he used on her was at least a few inches shorter than his real dick despite it being the biggest one he owns.)

The dildo didn’t make her come either, so he had to step in after a while and eat her out until the universe burst behind her eyelids. 

When Bellamy kisses her, his hands travel up her stomach to fondle her breasts. This new sweater weather has made her braless days more frequent, which he seems to appreciate immensely. Sucking her sensitive nipple into her mouth, he draws a breathy moan from her throat then uses his skilled tongue to deepen their kiss until her toes curl.

“This blanket fort was a brilliant idea, Princess,” is what he decides before pulling her up so she can settle in his lap. Even though the lotus position is slow by default, it’s become a favorite of theirs in the past few weeks, mostly because it’s great for tantric sex. 

They’ve been having a lot of that lately…

It’s the kind of sex gives them the most powerful orgasms, but there’s more to it than that. Though they have sex for hours, the concept of time blurs, because it feels as though they ascend to a place where it doesn’t matter. Seconds are just seconds, minutes just minutes and there’s no such thing as rush. As time dissolves, so does the space between until they seem to melt together, their bodies seeking one another’s warmth, nothing else.

“Oh wow…” bracing herself against his broad shoulders, Clarke mewls in pleasure. All that she can focus on is how every bit of his length slides into her heat, hitting the same blissful spot each time. 

“Is this good enough, babe?” 

As her lips part around a gasp, Clarke nods frantically. Though she’s already come once, she’s fairly certain that she will again, because she’s managed to have three in a row before. 

With a groan, Bellamy cups her ass to bring her down further on his dick, and she nearly loses all the air in her lungs because of how deeply buried he is in her. She cries out in pleasure, her eyelids fluttering. No, she refuses to tear up this time. 

Instead, she composes herself, determined to give him something in return. Therefore, she rolls her hips against his, offering a bit of friction that causes passionate sounds to escape his lips. Bellamy kisses her, hungry without being messy, and Clarke licks into his mouth with a loud moan.

It takes no more than that for them both to come apart, their orgasms sudden and strong. During such slow sex, the pleasure builds at a pace that makes it hard to decide when you’re going to be pushed over the edge. There’s an element of surprise to it that she can’t get enough of.

And one more positive thing about tantric sex is that it requires aftercare. The sun might be rising outside, the soft orange light falling through the blankets of the fort, but their bones are so exhausted that they won’t be able to fall asleep before they’ve cuddled. Planting delicate kisses at the back of her neck, Bellamy is braiding her hair, French-style. He’s good with his hands, in more ways than one.

“It’s a little weird that while Zeke and Raven are planning their marriage, we’re sitting in a pillow fort.”

As soon as she realizes how that sounds, her cheeks flush, but Bellamy just chuckles, his warm breath colliding with her sensitive skin. “Oh well… people mature at different ages,” is his teasing comment, and she can only roll her eyes at that.

 


 

A few days later, Clarke kills it during her interview at Arkadia Elementary, using her experience in working with kids at the local hospital to convince the interviewer, a sweet young woman named Maya Vie, that she is qualified for the position. Afterwards, the two women fall into a long conversation about art and the importance of creativity during childhood. And by the end of it all, Vie indirectly tells her to expect a call within twenty-four hours.

And sure enough, she receives a call the next morning. 

The job is hers. She no longer has to live with the uncertainty and defend solely on the profits from her art. Of course, it makes her feel a million times more secure if not also a lot better about herself, since she won’t be “stealing” half of her roommate’s hard-earned paycheck every month.

After dancing and jumping around the living room with Bellamy for an hour in pure euphoria, Clarke announces the good news to their friends in the Messenger group chat. As anticipated, the reactions are hilarious.

 

DREAM TEAM™

 

The Most Badass Mechanic: Those kids are the real winners asdkfjskceffASJDJ

 

Miss McIntyre: This calls for [selfie of her with a wine class]. CLINK CLINK BINCHES

 

Miller: Oh yeah, and @ Cage Wallace: [middle finger emoji + Kermit tea meme]

 

Ya girl Emori: *101 reasons why the Wallaces are WRONG.pptx* CONGRATS, GRIFF.

 

Green is good: ^^^ This is everything I didn’t know I needed.

 

Jordan (with them goggles): @ Maya Vie [‘We have decided to stan forever’ meme] She’s doing the Lord’s work over here.

 

Murph: [picture of Cage’s face photoshopped on Grumpy Cat’s body] Who's the meme champion? KING MURPHY.

 

Miller: No one calls you that, John.

 

Ya girl Emori: I do... sometimes ;)

 

Miss McIntyre: ummm. grOSS.

 

 

Two days later when she has her first day on the job, Clarke’s feeling so nauseous that she abandons her mug of coffee on the kitchen counter after having five sips; the bitter taste is doing nothing good for her stomach. “Sorry, I can’t drink that.”

His brow furrowed in worry, Bellamy offers to make her something else. She smiles at his compassion, gives him a sweet kiss to express her gratefulness but politely declines. Instead, she tells him that he can come to the school to pick her up once he’s finished his morning shift. 

He pecks her cheek, nuzzling it. “Don’t worry. The kids are gonna love you.”

“How can you be sure?” 

At her question, he smiles in reassurance and leans his forehead against hers. “I just am, babe.”

The walk to the Elementary school seems longer than usual, the cold air of early October biting at her cheeks. As she enters her classroom, Clarke is momentarily hit by how intimidating a group of kids can be, but that uneasy feeling soon starts to fade away, because she introduces them to their first artistic assignment: To draw themselves and their family as snowmen… 

… And they love it. 

In fact, a freckled girl named Avery eagerly tells Clarke about her entire family after she compliments the details of her drawing, which are so refined for someone of that age. “Oh, and my granddad, I call him Pops, he loves taking me fishing. We have to do it before the lake’s all covered in ice—“ 

For a moment, Clarke raises her eyes, which immediately settle on Bellamy, who’s smiling at her from the doorway. Surprised by seeing him there, she glances at the clock on the wall only to realize: Shit, the class is ending in one minute. 

Like a true teacher, she speaks up. “Alright, kids! I think we’re finished for today, and please remember to put your coats on, because it's cold out there. I loved meeting all of you.”

When she tells everyone to have a safe trip home, collective ‘awe’s’ of disappointment spread like a wave through the classroom, causing Clarke’s heart to spark with happiness. They liked her class. “Also, show the drawings to your families. You’ve all done so well.”

As soon as the kids start getting ready to leave the classroom, she walks to Bellamy, greeting him with a peck on the lips. “Hi,” she smiles, warming his cold hands in hers. Just as he opens his mouth, probably to ask how her first day went, they’re interrupted by a very curious Avery.

She looks at him, her brown eyes big. “Are you Miss Griffin’s husband?” (clearly, the girl has momentarily forgotten what 'Miss' means...)

Instead of being stunned by this question, he chuckles before kneeling down to be on level with her. “No, not quite,” Bellamy muses, his every syllable warm. 

“Like a boyfriend then?” 

For some reason, he doesn’t hesitate for a second, chuckling, “Yeah. Like that.”

Clarke chokes on nothing, so she has to cough awkwardly to breathe again. As opposed to asking more questions, Avery smiles at him, her curious mind seemingly satisfied. “Oh! Okay.” 

Though she doesn’t know why, something about watching Bellamy interact so well with kids melts her heart and makes her feel all fuzzy. Linking her arm with his, Clarke kisses his cheek as they leave the school, and only then does she have the opportunity to tell him how much she loves working there already, even if the kids aren’t so well-behaved yet. 

That has him laughing for the rest of the walk home.

 


 

It seems to be a universal law of life that when things start to go right, the long way down is only getting closer and closer. In her case, falling down the steep side of the mountain equates to throwing up at the smell of coffee before breakfast. 

The room is spinning and her stomach turning as the tremors spread through her body. Vaguely, she registers Bellamy knocking on the bathroom door, but his questions are drowned out, the strong concern in his voice being the only thing that reaches her ears. 

Heaving for breath, she flushes the toilet then crawls to the wall to sit down. She presses a hand to her forehead, tries to inhale slowly, but instead of oxygen her lugs are filled with the tears that rise in her throat; it feels as if someone’s prodding at her heart and placing heavy weights onto it.

“Clarke…” when Bellamy speaks her name, it’s soothing like honey and close enough to reveal that he’s entered. Sitting down next to her, he brushes her hair behind her ear, interlaces their fingers, yet it still takes a full minute for her to gather the courage to look at him. “Do you think it was something you ate?” 

Given his tone of voice, it’s pretty clear that this is not the question he really wants to ask. Clarke bites her lower lip until the distinct, metallic taste of blood meets the tip of her tongue. Rationally, she knows that it can’t be something she ate, because she threw up before eating breakfast and had the same exact dinner as him yesterday.

Closing her eyes, she breathes, “Maybe.”

“Really?”

“… No.”

Bellamy sighs, bumping his shoulder against hers before pressing his palm against her forehead only to find that her skin isn’t burning up with fever, and of course there’s still the possibility of it being some kind of stomach bug that entered her system through interacting with the kids, but…

Daring to look at him again, she watches Bellamy drag a hand through the back of his hair, his fingers drumming restlessly against his knee. After yet another minute of tense silence, he swallows hard. “Have you gotten your period this month?”

Unable to answer his question directly, Clarke feels her heart clench and hears herself say, “I’m sorry, Bellamy.” 

In this brutal context, uttering his name physically hurts… 

“What? Hey, hey hey, come here.” 

As he takes her into his arms, cradling her in an embrace, she feels her entire body trembling — or maybe it’s his, too. Honestly, it’s impossible to tell. Murmuring sweet nonsense into her ear, Bellamy runs his fingers through her hair. Despite the tears and overwhelming fear, Clarke is struck by gratefulness, wondering what she ever did to deserve someone like him.

In the end, she manages to explain to Bellamy that planning Raven’s wedding completed distracted her from tracking her cycle, and when she recently (as in two days ago) discovered that she was late she tried to convince herself that it was normal, or at least just caused by stress. 

“It’s okay,” he mumbles, resting his forehead against hers. To her utter relief, it’s obvious that those words are honest. “The last thing you want to think in such a situation is that you’re…” trailing off, Bellamy swallows again, still unable to say it. 

But they’re both thinking it. 

After taking a gulp of air, he says, “Look, I know that you think this is your fault. It isn’t, Clarke. When you choose to have sex with someone, you have a responsibility to handle anything that might happen as a result of that. This is my responsibility just as much as yours.” 

It’s sort of ironic that upon saying this, Bellamy offers to go to the drugstore on his own to buy the pregnancy tests, but she’s not having any of that, even though she still feels sick. They’re doing this together or not at all… 

While at the store, they don’t make eye contact with anyone except each other and decide to buy three different kinds of tests, being too critical to only buy the ones at the lowest price point and too cheap to buy three of those that cost ten dollars each. 

Aside from that, they buy ice cream, which they will need in any case.

 


 

Bellamy pulls her close, pressing a comforting kiss to her forehead as soon as she reemerges from the bathroom after taking the tests. What follows are the three most agonizing minutes of their lives, the silence enveloping them as they hold onto each other on the couch, breathing in synch.

“We’re in this together, right?” 

At that question, Bellamy draws back to look at her, his brow furrowed and dark eyes serious. “You honestly think I’d leave you?” 

No, she doesn’t. Nevertheless, it’s a bit difficult for her to be rational right now, considering the fact that her brain is a fucking mess: All of her million thoughts have jumbled together, none of them clear; her nervousness is toying with her, clawing at her chest and pulling at her heartstrings. 

She places a kiss to the corner of his mouth, gives his hand a light squeeze. 

Then he tells her, “No matter what happens, I’m here for you, but not because I have to be. Every morning when I wake up, I choose you. I stay with you. And you know why that is?” his voice is trembling under the weight of emotion. “It’s because I… you’re my home, Clarke. Not this apartment. You.”

She doesn’t know what to say, so she just starts crying. Then the alarm on her phone beeps, announcing that the three minutes are officially up.

This is it; the edge of a cliff, the turning page. Even if she isn’t pregnant, their relationship will never be the same after this, and that’s just something they have to live with, for better or for worse.

While he picks the first test, the cheapest one, off the coffee table, Clarke hears him suck in a ragged breath that he holds as he turns the stick around. They glance at the tiny screen at the same time.

A beat.

“Wait. Is that two lines?” he squints. “Or just one? I’m not wearing my glasses.”

“Go put your glasses on, Bellamy.” 

To her own surprise, chuckles cling to the edge of those words, and until it happens she didn’t know just how much she needed to laugh. Obviously needing it as well, Bellamy laughs with her for a moment before he goes to their bedroom to find the glasses that he left on the bedside table.

When he comes back, though, the atmosphere dims again. 

“The second line is very vague,” is what she decides, swallowing the lump in her throat.

“But it’s there?” 

Clarke nods, refusing to think too much about it. Understandably, her mind is still ruled by denial, making it almost impossible for her to be logical.

Two lines means she’s pregnant, for crying out loud, and she doesn’t want to be pregnant. 

Around her, the entire world becomes dizzying, spinning too fast. If she weren’t sitting on the couch right now, she would’ve collapsed. 

Still, the truth is the hardest lump to swallow, as it clogs her throat. When she asked Bellamy to be her roommate six months ago, when she chose to have sex with him, she didn’t sign up for this. Getting pregnant was never a part of her plan, and yet now it’s a reality, which becomes even clearer when they look at the second test. 

“That’s definitely a plus sign,” Bellamy exhales, choking a little on his own words. 

Feeling a surge of acid rise through her body again, Clarke twists her head away as if she’s been slapped. Well, in a way she has. She blinks the tears away, tries to compose herself, but despite her vigorous efforts she can’t help but feel lost.

At least there’s Bellamy, her bit of cosmos in the middle of all the chaos. Sweet, wonderful, selfless Bellamy, who brings her close, intending to hold her until time melts away. Still, they’re aware that there’s no escaping this situation — not for the time being. 

The third and last test is one of those really fancy, expensive ones that give you an estimate of how far along you are. As expected, it says: PREGNANT. 

Unexpectedly, it also says: 5-7 WEEKS.

Fuck, that’s a long time — longer than she’d ever imagined. In fact, the numbers startle her into silence, and the only reason why she begins to speak again is that Bellamy takes her hand, wordlessly reminding her that he’s there. That he’s not leaving. The only word her lips will form at first is his name, spoken like a prayer. 

Then he hugs her again, his nose nestled in the crook of her neck. She can hear him inhale the scent of her skin as he collects himself.

“You’re my home, too,” Clarke tells him, her heart swelling so much that it might permanently change shape. Slowly, she brushes her fingertips through the back of his hair, taking comfort in its softness, in his softness.

Bellamy draws back to rest his forehead against hers. But only when he leans forward to kiss her does she realize that no part of him blames her for this. She interlaces their fingers, listens to his sharp intake of breath before he speaks, his voice soothing like warm tea, “Trust me, we’ll be okay. No matter what happens, no matter what we decide.”

Because no matter what, they’re never far from home…

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

They don’t sleep much that night, aware that a plus sign has altered their future. Still, some might argue that she’s an artist capable of molding her dreams to fit whatever is in store for her, and he’s a writer who should have the words to describe their way around this. But it’s not that simple. Instead, they’re all trembled breaths and unspoken thoughts at 2 a.m.

Fear and confusion is a roaring kind of silence.

At least their fingers are locked together, anchoring one another in the deep sea of chaotic emotions. From time to time, Bellamy lifts their hands to kiss her knuckles, and she can feel his dark eyes search hers, even if she can’t see it in the dim light. Knowing that he’s there — her home — is the only thing that comforts her. At some point, it coaxes her off to sleep, too.

Clarke wakes at the crack of dawn, alone in the bed, but the sheets are still warm and crisp with the scent of pine. As she searches the room for him, his absence pokes at her heart. Her lips part, begin to wobble. 

Bellamy. I need you.

As if she’d actually spoken those desperate thoughts out loud, Clarke hears the distinct shuffling of his feet on the hardwood floor. Blinking the sleep from her eyes, she sits up and manages a microscopic smile once he appears in the doorway, sporting his usual case of bedhead. “I made tea for you. You can drink that, right?”

Her heart swelling in with abundant appreciation in her ribcage, she nods and carefully takes the mug that he hands to her. Like that isn’t enough, he goes into his room (that has been abandoned) to find his most comfortable sweater for her to put on. “Here,” he murmurs, dropping a chaste kiss to her temple. “It’s a little cold here.”

“It is?”

Raising his eyebrows, resolute, Bellamy replies, “Just put it on, Princess.” 

She cracks a smile while she obliges, letting him hold her mug of tea, which tastes delicious, like everything there is to love about fall. Probably in order to spare her sensitivity to the beverage, Bellamy has steered away from drinking coffee as well, opting for his own cup of tea. 

Together, they drink their hot drinks without talking. Just like last night, though, it’s not at all quiet. Not really… Because the lack of words makes room for the uncomfortable emotions to rise in their chests again — and although they’re both aware of them, somehow they refuse to be expressed. But they still manage to fill the silence. 

The sound of their breaths mingles in the tense atmosphere as his fingertips rest on her inner thigh. For a moment, she watches him close his eyes and worry his lower lip. Before yesterday, their lives were going according to plan, with her new job providing additional security. Now that might as well be doomed. 

“Are you scared?” she hears herself whisper before resting her head on his shoulder.

Leaning on her, Bellamy exhales, his breath surprisingly controlled. “Is that a trick question?” 

What? What does he mean? She senses her own brow furrow, but after a minute it dawns on her: Bellamy’s worried that if he admits that he’s scared, she’ll take it as him saying that he’d rather they didn’t go through with the pregnancy. 

Therefore, when she gazes at him, Clarke lets her ocean eyes fill to the brim with honesty and reassurance. “No, you’re allowed to be scared shitless. So am I.”

Once those comforting words have passed her lips, Bellamy interlaces their fingers. When he offers to make her breakfast a minute later and she tells him that nausea has killed her appetite, all he does is raise an eyebrow at her.

There’s no way she’s winning this argument. Of course, this doesn’t mean she won’t try, as persistence is a very dominant part of her DNA. “I’ll eat a big lunch, I promise. What’s the use of breakfast if it’s flushed down the toilet a couple of hours later anyway?”

At those words, he sends her a look that speaks for itself: Are you kidding me? In spite of his sentiment being very clear, Bellamy still manages to make her speechless with his unnecessary reply, even if it isn’t his intension. His gaze trained on her, he sighs, “What’s the use? I’ll tell you: Our kid needs the nutrients. So do you.” 

Our kid.  

Given that they only found out yesterday, neither of them has said that before, so it hits them like a ton of bricks. As soon as he’s heard his own response, Bellamy’s dark eyes widen, his first instinct being to apologize. “I’m sorry, I didn’t—“ 

But she cuts him off by shaking her head. “No, you’re right. I’ll eat whatever you make for me.”

Fondness washes over his features, blending with the relief as he leans down to kiss her forehead. Then he promises to cook her something heavenly, and he better follow through on it, because she won’t be able to keep it down otherwise. The nausea definitely isn’t a myth; it’s a ruthless, powerful surge of acid bubbling in her throat, keeping its chains on her. 

Yeah. She’s fucking pregnant. 

Ten minutes later Bellamy returns to the bed with similar breakfasts for both of them, which is the classic oatmeal. Only, he’s made hers a lot more appetizing by topping it with raspberries, blueberries and a generous amount of chocolate chips. “Here you go,” he says, brushing his fingers through the back of his hair.

Smiling in silent thanks, Clarke leans up to give him a chaste kiss. “You’re the best.”

That’s her comment before she starts eating the oatmeal. Once she’s tasted the first spoonful, the rest of the bowl is emptied in a matter of a few minutes. Shit, she hadn’t even realized how hungry she was, but her stomach definitely appreciates the meal; the warm oats are soothing, even managing to chase away some of the nausea.

“Correction: You’re fucking wonderful.” 

He really, really is. What would she do without him? If he weren’t here, there’s no way on Earth she’d go through with this pregnancy, but he’s not going anywhere, so… Refusing to think about making a decision right now, Clarke pushes the thought aside and meets his gaze as he beams for a moment. “Thanks. I try.”

In good-natured teasing, Clarke sticks out her tongue before taking the last gulp of her tea. While she drinks, Bellamy puts on his glasses, so he can do the crossword puzzle, and for a minute it almost feels like a regular Sunday morning. Hell, she even allows her thoughts to drift to whether she should paint her nails pumpkin or ruby.

When she brings the colors out, asking his opinion, Bellamy’s entire face lights up. “Can I paint them for you?” 

After mirroring his smile, Clarke nods, rejoining him on the bed. She lets him choose the color. In the end, he goes for the orange shade, reasoning that it’s more suitable for fall. With remarkable precision, Bellamy starts to coat each of her nails with the polish.

“I used to do this with my sister all the time when she was little,” he tells her, his voice low but not sad. Still, her heart aches for him, especially as he adds, “It was nice.”

Their eyes meet then, just for a moment, because this is the first thing that he’s shared with her about Octavia that wasn’t painful. While she’s still ignorant of the amount of hurt he suffered at the hands of his sister, she reckons that his bitter memories of her must swallow the good ones, making it hard for him to remember. 

“Which color was her favorite?”

To her surprise, he smiles a little at that question, a slight pull at the corners of his mouth. “When she was in Elementary school, she was so indecisive. Every color was her favorite, so a lot of the time I would just paint each nail a different color. But then she became a teenager, I stopped doing her nails and she’d only wear black.” 

Bellamy’s jaw clenches, and she wants nothing more than to touch him, but she has to be careful. Maybe he doesn’t want her to — In fact, maybe he just needs to open up right now, make himself vulnerable to her. It seems like peculiar timing, yet there has to be a reason for it.

His dark brown eyes search hers while her nails dry, and she begins to count his freckles, thinking about how she wants to kiss every single one. Careful not to ruin her freshly colored nails, Bellamy draws invisible circles on the top of her hand. “Since my mom died, my sister… she was the only real family I had, but—“

But she doesn’t deserve him.

Worrying his lower lip, he closes his eyes briefly as if to brace himself. “I know how selfish this sounds. But you’re pregnant, Clarke. And I lay awake last night thinking that if there’s a small chance that this could work out, we could be…”

Fuck, he doesn’t need to finish that sentence. Abruptly, tears spring forward in her eyes. They’re not sad, though. To reassure him, she smiles through them, leans forward to kiss his cheek. Not caring about her nail polish anymore, she brings him closer to bury her nose in his clothed shoulder.

“I know we’re both scared shitless, and you don’t have to go through with this if you don’t want to. You could get—“

Effectively cutting him off, Clarke pulls back and looks at him, serious despite the tears lingering at the corners of her eyes. “I don’t want an abortion.”

Bellamy blinks, his jaw slacking a little, making her press her thumb to the dimple in it as she sniffles. Then he raises his eyebrows, the skepticism clearly resting on the tip of his tongue. Before he can question her choice, however, Clarke shakes her head. “I’m serious, Bellamy.”

To make herself even clearer, she pulls her silver container of hand-rolled cigarettes from the drawer in her bedside table. Opening the lid, she meets his gaze for a moment. “You want these?” 

Bellamy can only stare in bafflement while he collects himself enough to shake his head. Satisfied, Clarke nods, pure determination striking her. “Good. Help me break them.”

And just like that, they both start snapping the cigarettes in the middle until there’s only a lone one left that Bellamy suggest they salvage as a memory of the first smoke they shared on Murphy’s balcony six months ago. 

At the beginning of everything…

This sudden decision settles it: Together, they’re officially quitting the damned nicotine.

Staring at the pieces left behind of her bad habit, Clarke gulps in shame. “I smoked some of these while I was pregnant. I… I didn’t know,” running her fingers through her hair, she feels his gaze on her before his hand settles on her shoulder in comfort. 

“That’s right. You didn’t know. It’s unfortunate, but please don’t beat yourself up over it.”

With those words, Bellamy kisses the top of her head. After half a minute of silence, he asks her to sit down in between his legs, her back pressed against his chest. When his thorough hands begin chasing the tension from her shoulders and scalp, she releases a deep sigh in satisfaction, leaning a little more against him. He drops sweet kisses to the shell of her ear, humming to soothe her, which works wonders.

His voice is truly amazing. Their child will be so lucky.

Oh shit.

There’s no going back now. Though the fear might still be lingering in their minds, everlasting, they’ll have to endure it, fight it with teeth and claws. Underneath the layer of anxiety, however, is a certain type of strong warmth that’s spreading through her chest, making her heart flutter. She recognizes it as happiness, as excitement

It’s weird. But she likes it.

Smiling, she asks in teasing, “Will you hold my hair back while I puke for the next three months?”

When Bellamy replies, laughter clings to the edges of his words. “Always, babe.”

 

Half an hour later, he follows through on that exact promise as she’s bent over the toilet bowl. As every human being on planet Earth can agree on, throwing up is unpleasant (to say the least), but she’ll have to get used to it. Still, there’s hope that the nausea will become less strong once more time passes, even though it has a tight grip on her now.

Rubbing circles against her spine, Bellamy mutters, “Sorry I’m putting you through this.”

With a sigh, Clarke flushes the toilet and faces him, frowning. “We’re making a deal. Every time you blame yourself for this pregnancy without giving me an equal share of the responsibility, you have to do the laundry.” 

To her relief, he doesn’t try to argue, perhaps because he knows it’s no use. Instead, he grabs her hand and leads her to the balcony. Usually, they would smoke a cigarette at this hour, but since that’s out of the question they simply listen to music from his playlist at low volume. If they want to talk, they can. Nevertheless, for a while they linger in silence, gazing at the violet sky and marshmallow clouds.

The sun has just started to conquer the sky, painting it in delicate colors.

 

Baby, I'm yours

And I'll be yours until the stars fall from the sky,

Yours until the rivers all run dry

In other words, until I die

 

“You like this?” he questions, and she can hear the smile in his voice. Nodding, she feels herself blush so she keeps looking straight ahead. This tune sounds like something couples would slow dance to on their wedding night.

“Good to know.” 

To say that he’s fucking killing her would be appropriate. If he does want to propose, doing it now would both be so right and so wrong. Right because the setting is as romantic as it gets, the beautiful sunrise setting the mood that the song amplifies, and yet it would also be wrong because she’s fallen pregnant and if he popped the question right now, she’d seriously doubt if he only did it for the sake of some ancient moral principle. 

“You okay, babe?” 

“Yeah.”

No, she’s not. In fact, her mind disappearing down that alley throws her off, and before it can happen again, Clarke does what she’s always done to keep herself in line, rationalizing everything. Right now, there’s a simple biological explanation: She’s pregnant, experiencing increased hormonal output that impacts the emotional sensors in her brain. It makes her illogical…

Bellamy and her aren’t getting married. Hell, they’re not even together. Not really. 

But this didn’t prevent them from deciding to keep the baby, did it? Because that’s what they did indirectly when they destroyed the cigarettes and ruled out abortion. Technically, there’s still the possibility of adoption, and yet Clarke knows that will never happen.

Suddenly he speaks up, interrupting her thoughts. “I don’t want to change you, you know. I really don’t want you to sacrifice anything because of this. Damn, you just got a job. If you want to focus on that then…” 

As he trails off, Clarke puts her hand above his. “I’ll figure it out.” 

And she will. Of course, in some way he’s right, because her very new job at the Elementary school is something that she’s passionate about, her heart already fond of those kids, but there’s just no way that she’ll allow it to interfere with her personal life, which includes her relationship with Bellamy. Especially because she’s only contracted to work there for two months while the art program is going on.

He gives her a grateful smile before pulling her closer by the waist and leaning his forehead against hers. “I really wanna kiss you right now,” is what he whispers, the words ghosting over her lips. 

Brushing her fingertips along the sharp edge of jaw, Clarke replies, “Can I brush my teeth first?”

It probably doesn’t matter much, because Bellamy isn’t the squeamish type, but she just threw up. Lightheartedly, he chuckles and nods then lets her go into the bathroom. When she returns to him, it’s with a nice minty breath that gives her enough confidence to capture his lips with her own. Sensing his desire to deepen it right away, Clarke draws back to giggle, “Good morning, babe.”

Thinking about sex makes her giddy and nervous. 

Of course things are different now. However, that doesn’t mean she has stopped wanting him. Also, she’s wearing his sweater, which must be doing things to him. It’s some sort of primal instinct like protecting the person who’s carrying your offspring; he’s already shown this, perhaps unknowingly. 

Grinning, Bellamy kisses her again, licking into her mouth. The passion draws a moan from her throat, sends a rush of heat through her entire body. During the next minute, he makes out with her as though he has something to prove, his teeth grazing her sensitive bottom lip. It drives her fucking wild, and it might be the cause of hormones, but fuck.  

She has to have him... right now. 

Breathless, Clarke pulls back and watches how his eyes immediately dart to her lips. He’s hungry for her; it’s obvious, making her feel more confident. “You want me? Take me.” 

Despite their sexual history, she’s actually never said something like that to him before. Hearing it makes him growl as he gives in, scooping her up in his arms as though she weighs no more than thin air.

Sucking hot kisses onto the length of her throat, Bellamy steers into the kitchen and places her on the counter, which sparks memories at the back of her mind.

“This is where we first kissed,” Clarke tells him, her words a half gasp as he mouths at her inner thigh.

Standing up to nibble at the shell of her ear, Bellamy murmurs, “Romantic.” 

Oh no. Why is he like this?

Her heart skips a couple beats when she looks at him, trying to grin to mask her fluster, but it doesn’t quite work. Instead, she leans forward to kiss him, deep and languid, which is just the way he likes it. As her hand buries itself within the chaotic curls of his hair, Bellamy hums against her mouth, causing vibrations to course through her body. 

Realizing that the hard kitchen counter is probably not the most comfortable place to have sex, Bellamy carries her to the couch that is rarely used for such activities given their preference for beds. 

Wasting no time, he pulls her panties off as soon as he has the chance, his gaze darkening while she parts her thighs for him. Before he dips his head between her thighs, however, he locks his eyes onto hers. “Gorgeous…” 

She blushes hard, her lips parting around a breathy moan at the first swipe of his tongue to her folds. God, she must be so embarrassingly wet already. But of course, Bellamy doesn’t mind. On the contrary, he groans against her, vigorous and passionate as ever. Considering the circumstances, it’s strange that there’s nothing different about this… 

… Except that she comes faster than she ever has before. Clarke can tell that it surprises him as much as it does her, and when she’s wound down from it, he’s smiling above her, all softness. “Sex is still good, yeah?”

Pressing her thumb to his delicate bottom lip, she nods. “I think we have to be careful with penetration, though. At least for a while… That just means we’ll have to be creative.”

As artists, creativity is wired into their DNA, so it won’t be difficult. And fuck, does she want to keep having sex with him for as long as possible. Even though it doesn’t compose the entirety of their relationship anymore, being with him in that way is the most intimate thing she’s ever experienced with anyone.

She doesn’t know how to let go of that. 

And thankfully, she doesn’t have to. 

Determined to get him off as well, Clarke gets him on his back to blow him. If his groans and light whimpers are any indication, she’s not off her game. “Fuck…” he curses, exhaling as he runs a hand through his hair, his eyelids fluttering. Invigorated by his obvious pleasure, Clarke gives him a leisured stroke, then one more, attentive to how his hips jerk slightly as her hand does.

“Just come, Bellamy.” 

Through the bliss, he manages to be sassy. “Is that an order?”

Instead of responding, Clarke takes the head of his dick into her mouth again, making herself quite clear. Because there’s nothing for his hand to tangle itself in on the couch, his nails scrape against the cushions until his fingertips find their way to her hair. “God… what if— what if I don’t want you to stop?” 

Her chest sparks with even more confidence at his words. “Trust me, I’ll keep sucking you off until you tell me to stop.”

And she keeps that promise, even after he comes apart with a strangled groan. Withholding intense eye contact, Clarke kisses his shaft and gives him small sucks that cause him to whimper, which reveals his sensitivity. Breathing hard, he pulls her up. “Alright, that’s enough.” 

His hand still wrapped in her hair, Bellamy kisses her passionately, groaning into her mouth. Giggling, Clarke lets her palms roam over his sternum. “Not bad,” is what she decides, radiant. “Not bad at all.” 

For a second, Bellamy turns more serious. “The sex or the pregnancy?”

Holding his gaze, Clarke smiles, and though a little bit of fear prickles underneath her skin, she replies, “None of it is bad.” 

As long as she has him…

Chapter Text

As her nausea intensifies, taking the shape of an unrelenting monster, Bellamy starts to make herbal tea for her every morning, which he sweetens with vanilla so it becomes more appetizing. Although her favorite meal by far is oatmeal, Clarke goes out of her way to eat more vegetables and fruits than she has since she was a child with packed lunches. 

The daily puffs of smoke are long-forgotten within two weeks. Bellamy tastes different when she kisses him, but the change is good. 

If the last test that she took is in any way reliable, she should already be around eight weeks pregnant now, which is around the time where most couples schedule their first ultrasound. When she brings it up over dinner, Bellamy’s dark eyes grow wide. “Time flies, huh?” 

Despite the generic nature of his statement, the nervousness that clings to it fails to escape her notice. All she needs to do is stare at him for a couple of seconds to make him hesitatingly add, “Ultrasounds are expensive, I just thought—“ 

“My insurance covers them.” 

As soon as she’s assured him of that fact, Bellamy exhales in relief and manages a lopsided smile. “Well, that’s one less thing to worry about.” 

Meeting his eyes, Clarke lets her fingertips graze the top of his hand. Since they — without ever stating it definitively — decided to keep the baby, countless things have been added to their list of worries; most of them caused by their unstable economic situation. Because as everyone knows: Babies are expensive, especially if they are unplanned and you haven’t had the time to save up for the additional expenses.

Still, this is the road that they have chosen to travel down. 

Despite the visible shadows of exhaustion that linger around his eyes, Bellamy lights up a little. “Hey, did I mention that I applied for a job at the local library yesterday? I don’t think I’ll get it, but it pays double the amount of my current salary.”

Her jaw drops before a smile conquers her lips. “No, you didn’t tell me. But that’s great, Bellamy!”

Not only is it good because of the money; it would be amazing for him in general. If you have a degree in history from Columbia University as he does, there’s no way it’s fair or plausible that you work long, tedious hours for minimum wage at a coffee shop.

Leaning her head on his shoulder, Clarke smiles and cuddles against him when he grabs a fuzzy blanket to place over their bodies. It’s been getting a little chilly in the apartment as of late, which has only sparked Bellamy’s already fierce protectiveness. 

“The baby can’t feel that I’m cold, you know.” 

His brow furrows. “You sure about that?”

Christ, he’s so fucking cute. In fact, he’s so adorable that she tears up (blame it on the hormones), which she hides by leaning forward to press a kiss to his lips. Then she tells him that she is, indeed, sure that the baby doesn’t register her body temperature — at least not yet. Technically, it’s still an embryo at this stage, but not for much longer…

When Clarke puts her head in his lap, fatigue rolling in over her mind like a thick fog, Bellamy begins to gently massage her scalp with his fingertips. The sensation has her humming in content while her eyes flutter shut. Like this, she has drifted off to sleep in no time…

Aside from the nausea and exhaustion, she has experienced another symptom of pregnancy, which are weird yet vivid dreams. In this one, Bellamy is present, standing next to her on a wet sand beach. Despite the blazing heat of the sun, they’re both fully clothed, holding hands as they stare at the horizon, at nothing as it seems.

“I think they’re coming to get us,” he says, his voice relaxed although his eyes are flickering with worry.

She glances at him, nods once. Then she chews on her bottom lip. “We have to go. It’s like you said. They’ll never let us be happy here.”

 


 

Later, Clarke stirs awake to the sight of Bellamy fast asleep, his lips parted a little. Like this, he looks so at peace, and even though she wishes that it could be permanent, she knows that his empathy and selflessness takes a toll on him, brings chaos to his mind. Maybe that’s the reason why he writes — to organize the chaos in his life. 

The prospect of being a father at such a young age — 23, to be exact — must only add to the stress that he experiences on a daily basis, and the thought of that makes her stomach tie itself into a knot. This feeling empowers the lingering nausea in her body, which forces her to the bathroom to throw up.

Despite the fact that consuming lots of herbal teas and oatmeal has managed to put her nausea under control, Clarke remains affected by it. At least it hasn’t kept her from doing her work at the school or painting her art pieces for customers. 

Bellamy’s woken up when she returns to the living room, and presses his lips against her forehead in a comforting kiss once she has settled next to him on the couch again. It’s evident from the concerned look in his eyes that he wants to say something, but ultimately he chooses not to. Instead, his arms embrace her, so she can relish in the soothing warmth of his body.

Clarke releases a sigh, pressing her nose into his shoulder. Lately, she’s worn his sweaters and t-shirts to work just because it makes her feel safe. For the past few days, fatigue has had a strong grip on her, which has dulled her sex drive. Nonetheless, they manage to gather intimacy in other ways, such as cuddling, showering together and sharing clothes. 

Because Bellamy can’t exactly fit her shirts, he’s been wearing one of her hair ties around his wrist to work each day. 

They don’t do all of this out of co-dependency, though. It’s just a nice feeling, which places emphasis on the togetherness of this pregnancy. In this way, they’re always reminded of each other’s presence, and while they do not depend on each other, they do need one another right now…

… Especially when the fear of time is giving them early frostbites. Everything comes down to counting; hours, days, weeks, months. The future now seems more unfamiliar and terrifying than before. This is why they try to find comfort in whichever way they can. 

“Can you stomach ice cream right now?” is what he asks while they’re only partially paying attention to the film noir that he’s put on.

“Yeah. Only strawberry, though.” 

To say that her reply surprises him is an understatement. At first Bellamy’s furrowed eyebrows indicate that he thinks she’s joking, but as soon as it dawns on him that she isn’t, his grin turns radiant. Patting her knee, he chuckles, “That’s my kid,”

She wants to do that as well yet tears up instead. Her surprising emotion doesn’t scare him, mostly because he’s grown used to it lately, so as opposed to questioning it he simply moves from the couch to fetch their favorite dessert from the freezer.

Her sudden craving for strawberry ice cream is strange at best. All her life, she’d considered it to be inferior to chocolate, but now every spoonful tastes like a piece of Heaven, and she understands why Bellamy would have the preference. Although he’s given her a generous portion — which looks huge compared to his own — she’s eaten it in no time.

Once he’s caught up, she gets comfortable in his lap, but they’re interrupted before they can fully relax by Raven, who calls Clarke on FaceTime. As soon as the mechanic lays eyes on them, she laughs. 

“I swear, if I didn’t know better I’d assume that you were married before me.”

At her words, Clarke can’t prevent the heat from rising to her cheeks, even despite her easy eye roll. “Anything you want, Rae?”

As it turns out, Raven has called to tell her that she’s booked an appointment for bridesmaid dress fitting, which is something that Clarke has managed to forget about. Oh shit. The wedding is set for January 1st, and by that time she will be five months pregnant with a belly at the size of a soccer ball. 

Though this seems like very relevant information to give the bride-to-be, Clarke and Bellamy have agreed not to tell their friends about the pregnancy until they’ve wrapped their own heads around it. Their friends are amazing people, no doubt, but the pregnancy will certainly attract a lot of attention that they aren’t quite ready for yet. So Clarke keeps her mouth shut and smiles, praying that she doesn’t look too nervous. If she does, Raven doesn’t seem to notice it.

The dress fitting is in three weeks and because she always forgets important dates, Clarke makes sure to write it down. She will have grown inevitably bigger on Raven’s wedding day, but that won’t matter at all. Seeing her best friend radiate with happiness is going to be the only thing of importance.

 


 

The following day is Murphy and Emori’s fourth anniversary, which means that they’re meeting up in the evening to celebrate it in the usual manner. However, the pregnancy causes a small problem — she can’t drink, and how on Earth is they going to explain away that one with conviction? 

To their sheer luck, they’re saved (unknowingly) by Emori within a couple hours. 

The group chat goes BOOM with pictures of her anniversary present to Murphy: The most adorable blue nose pitbull that she adopted from the local animal shelter.

 

DREAM TEAM™

 

Murph: [Four selfies of him with the dog] Who wants to take care of this one?

 

Miss McIntyre: [Katniss Everdeen ‘I volunteer!’ gif]

 

Miller: I can take him for lots of runs. You want him to stay healthy, don’t ya?

 

Green is good: Yes. We’ll be the cool uncles.

 

Murph: @Miller: IT’S A GIRL. HER NAME IS POPPY. AND SHE’S TOO GOOD FOR YOU.

 

The Most Badass Mechanic: ‘Poppy’ the puppy? Wow. Impressive.

 

Murph: You’ve been blockt, Reyes.

 

At Murphy’s apartment everyone’s so occupied with petting Poppy that they hardly drink anything, and by the time Monty reminds them that maybe they should get started, Miller and Murphy have already fallen asleep on the couch. With immense relief, Bellamy and Clarke look at each other. It’s really hard hanging out with their friends knowing that they’re hiding something so huge…

… And yet so tiny; Clarke looked online. At eight weeks, the baby is the size of a raspberry. 

But it’s actually as if Poppy call tell anyway. While she’s talking to Harper, Raven and Emori about the bridesmaid dresses, the pitbull pushes her cute little nose against Clarke’s abdomen, if only for a moment. Her lips curving into a smile, she pets Poppy, feeling that they share a secret now.

 


 

Because she has additional time on her hands after finishing all her artwork for the customers on her website, Clarke draws a very special piece that she proudly showcases to Bellamy as soon as it’s done. The mere sight of it makes him beam like the sun.

Clarke explains that she’s captured Hera (the ancient Greek goddess of childbirth — amongst other things) surrounded by stars, like those on her bedroom walls. Next to Hera is a constellation unknown to man that forms the shape of a pregnant woman. 

“That’s… holy shit, Clarke.” 

Suddenly sheepish, she glances at her feet for a moment. “You like it?” 

Instead of replying, Bellamy stands from the couch to kiss her, smiling against her mouth. Then he rambles on about her talented he thinks she is for at least a full minute. “As you know, I was trying to find out which goddess you remind me of, but I failed. There’s simply no goddess in the Greek mythology that encompasses everything you are.”

Knowing that she’ll end up crying if she doesn’t do something, Clarke captures his lips with her own, keeping the kiss deep and languid. Never in her lifetime did she imagine that she’d meet someone who’d talk to her with such profound affection, who’d write poems about her. Now that she’s carrying his child, Clarke feels closer to Bellamy than she has to anyone before and it hits her that she wants to give him everything — and she is going to.

She will give him a family.  

When they go to bed that night, Bellamy’s hand slips beneath the t-shirt (his t-shirt) that she’s wearing, but it hovers before he finally dares to touch her abdomen, his fingertips splaying across it. Locking her eyes onto his, Clarke swallows, moved by the underlying meaning of this moment. As he draws invisible patterns bellow her bellybutton, Bellamy smiles… and his hand stays where it is until he drifts off to sleep. 

In the morning, he’s gone to work at the coffee shop, but not without leaving her a cup of herbal tea and The Story of Icarus on her bedside table. His precious book is opened on the very last page, revealing the single line that he’s written; though it might not be poetry in the traditional sense, it still is to her:

 

FAMILY (noun)

Definition (1/∞): Two bodies. Three heartbeats.

 


 

But there is no third heartbeat. 

At least that’s the cruel ruling of the ultrasound technician three days later at their first appointment…

Clarke feels like she’s stuck underwater, not only fighting to keep breathing but also incapable of hearing what the professional is telling her. In fact, the only thing she’s even slightly aware of is that Bellamy’s clutching her hand so hard that the bones might break. 

The technician’s words start to become clearer, although they’re only parts of the whole. “… Sometimes women don’t experience any signs of miscarriage… Unfortunately I cannot provide you with the answers that you might need… it’s tragic, and I’m so---“ 

The blood is drained from Clarke’s face as her eyes remain fixated on a particular large crack in the ceiling. Though her lips part, no sound will emerge from her throat. In attempt to fight the lump, Clarke swallows hard, but to no avail. Brushing his thumb across the top of her hand, Bellamy suddenly decides to speak up. 

“Can we have a minute?” his voice is strained, but it’s not obvious whether he’s frustrated with the professional’s rambling or trying to hold back the tears. Maybe it’s both.

Squeezing her eyes shut, Clarke rolls over on her side, hereby turning her back on the technician before she replies to Bellamy’s question. “Of course,” and as if the situation isn’t horrible enough for them, she continues, “I’m sorry for your loss.” 

Loss.  

No, that doesn’t even begin to cover it. 

As soon as the door has shut, Bellamy reaches for her, his hands scooping her up into a tight embrace. His breathing is labored against the crook of her neck, his entire body trembling with the internal pain just like hers. Desperate for the slightest bit of comfort, Clarke inhales the scent of his skin, but it only makes her tear up.

She feels so cold.  

It’s like her heart has been torn out of her chest and dropped on the floor, left to quiver in a million pieces. Despite knowing that crying would less the burden a bit, the waterfalls won’t come to her like they do to Bellamy, whose tears are soaking the collar of her shirt. Instead, her eyes burn as if the ocean within them has been set aflame or become poisonous.

“Maybe… maybe it was the cigarettes,” her tongue ties itself into knots as she speaks. At her words, Bellamy pulls back, his freckled cheeks tear-stained. Resting his forehead against hers, he takes a huge gulp of sanitized hospital air. 

“We never smoked that much, Clarke.” 

She stares at him, her chest flaring with panic. “But—“ 

Chewing on his lower lip, Bellamy shakes his head violently, his entire face contorted like he’s being tortured. “It’s not your fault.” 

Although she wants to ask him how he can possibly be sure of that, something prevents her from it. Her voice troubled by a myriad of emotions, she chokes out that she doesn’t understand, that she did everything right, and yet… 

Nothing makes sense. But then again, brutality never really does. 

Looking at her hands, she notices that they are shaking as much as the rest of her. Bellamy holds them in his, but it doesn’t help. Not enough anyway. When the technician returns, the empathy carved into her features, Clarke wants to say a million things, starting with:

You’re wrong. You have to be wrong.

As the woman talks about counseling, about support groups and a possible follow-up appointment, Clarke listens only half-heartedly, because there’s a disturbing ringing in her ears and the faint green walls are closing in on her. 

She has to get out of this damned room. Now.

Luckily, Bellamy gets the memo. Locking his arm around her waist in support, he leads her from the room and into the cold air, October biting at their faces and clawing at their chests. Despite this terrible sensation, they choose to walk the entire road back to the apartment, not wishing to be subjected to other people’s stares.

Also, the mere thought of overhearing happy conversations makes her feel ten times emptier, which is barely possible right now. 

They walk in silence, their hands refusing to part; it’s the only thing keeping the ground from crumbling beneath their feet. When they’re finally home, it’s past noon, which reminds Clarke that she’s supposed to be at work in forty minutes.

“I have to leave,” she tells him just as he’s taken off his coat. 

As he faces her, his brow is furrowed in utter confusion. Obviously, he doesn’t believe his own ears. “What?” 

“I need to go to work.” 

At her words, which carry a slight tremble, Bellamy reaches for her hand, prompting her to take a step back. When she meets his gaze, his eyes have widened as though she just slapped him. In a last, desperate attempt to change her mind, he stresses that she doesn’t need to work right now, that she can call in sick, but she doesn’t see it like that. 

Biting her lip until it turns into a thin line, Clarke stares him dead in the eye. “The kids need me.”

He looks fucking shattered at her comment, his tough exterior cracking like clay. Seeing him like this is a punch to her gut. Still, staring his pain in the face is more than she can handle. His eyes are begging her to stay, pleading with her not leave him alone, and yet she finds herself doing the most selfish thing imaginable, turning on her heel and shutting the front door behind her without glancing back.

Ironically, when she has walked a mile down the street she realizes that she forgot her purse with the keys to the school. Afraid to turn back and make Bellamy think that she’s returned to stay with him, she decides to call Maya Vie. But instead of telling her the truth, the words that escape her throat are a lie. 

I have a terrible migraine. I’m sorry, but I can’t be come in today.  

As opposed to going back home, Clarke walks to Arkadia Park and sits down on a bench. There are no other people here aside from a group of preschoolers collecting pinecones and chestnuts on the ground. Just looking at them has tears tightening her throat and burning in her eyes until her vision becomes blurry. 

Their happy, carefree laughter is like thunder in her ears, and listening to it pulls sobs from her throat. In a hopeless attempt to muffle the sound, Clarke covers her mouth with her palm. However, her crying attracts the attention of a little girl who fearlessly waddles towards her in her red, floral rain boots. 

“Here you go,” the girl says, causing Clarke to stop crying for a moment to look at her. Smiling, the preschooler places a chestnut, on which she has drawn a smiley face with a blue sharpie, in her palm. “Chessie will cheer you up.” 

Although Clarke highly doubts that, she doesn’t say it. Instead, she accepts the chestnut — Chessie — from the girl and musters a small, wobbly smile through her tears in silent thanks.

Then the girl returns to her friends, and her heart (what’s left of it) quivers. Out of the corner of her eye, Clarke spots the woman who must be watching over the kids, but only because she’s walking towards her with a worried look on her face. Instantly, Clarke stands as if the bench burned her and flees from the park. 

No way. She’s not ready to deal with people’s sympathy.  

For the next while, she walks around the town with no aim, waiting for the sun to sink behind the mountains. In her mind, Bellamy’s presence is persistent. She closes her eyes in a hopeless attempt to push him away, but then she just envisions him crying alone, just like she did in the park.

Fuck… How could she do that to him?  

She feels sick, ashamed of herself. Before leaving him, she’d told him that the kids needed her as if she couldn’t see that he needed her much more… The silence of the hospital monitor roars in her memory, prompting the realization to hit her like a bucket of ice water. 

They lost their baby.

She miscarried…

And where is she? Walking through the streets of a cold, forsaken town instead of seeking comfort in the arms of the man she loves…

Because she does love him, but how on Earth is she going to prove that to him now that she’s turned her back on him in such a painful, heartless way? How will she ever make it up to him? By returning home, for a start. Facing him is going to be difficult; trying to carry his grief as well as her known might crush her, but she can’t walk away from him. 

Not after everything.  

She doesn’t even register that her feet are leading her back to the apartment. Only as her key turns in the lock does she grasp that this is the point-of-no-return. As soon as she has entered the hallway, her whole life — her relationship with Bellamy — will be changed forever. 

Swallowing hard, Clarke puts her hand on the doorknob. Upon stepping inside, the warmth of the apartment envelopes her in a hug, but she wishes it were Bellamy’s arms…

Alone, he’s sitting on the couch when she walks into the living room. His dark brow eyes, which had been staring blankly ahead, settle on her, causing fear to spark in her chest. Then he mutters, sadness dripping at the edges of his every syllable, “Guess I’m not sleeping in your bed tonight.” 

Her heart shatters even more.

As she dares to look at him, Clarke is struck by the mess of emotions that weigh on his features, making him seem much older. Her hands trembling with the sudden urge to hold him, she takes a careful step forward. Of course, she wants to apologize…

…Yet the only words that come out are, “I keep hearing it: Nothing. The nothing.”

To the average person, this statement probably doesn’t make any sense at all, but from the way his eyes soften it’s clear that he does. Without responding, Bellamy reaches out with surprising tenderness and pulls her into his lap. Right as his arms wrap around her, the first sob tears loose from the confines in her throat, her chest aching from the force of it. 

Cradling the back of her head, Bellamy murmurs incoherent words that are meant to soothe her. Still, they only make her cry harder. “Why? Why didn’t the heart beat?” 

He chokes on a heart-wrenching sob. 

For what passes like an eternity, they cling to each other through the tears, sobs and heartache. But as everyone knows, there always comes a point where your eyes dry out, keeping you from crying any longer. When they reach that point, Clarke’s throat is raw like sandpaper, her face tight with tearstains. Every breath that she takes hurts nothing less than a thousand knives to her lugs, and yet she needs to use some of her precious air to croak, “I’m so sorry, Bellamy. I— I turned my back on you when you needed me.”

When he finally gathers himself, his reaction is not the one that she expected. “Don’t ever scare me like that again!” his hands are cradling her face, his voice shaking with emotion. “I thought I was going to lose you, too. That you wouldn’t come back— or worse, that you’d be so broken that you wouldn’t notice a car on the road or care if it hit you!” 

Of course, he’s yelling at her. As a stark contrast to this, however, his thumb is caressing her jawbone, his lower lip quivering around her name. “Clarke…” 

“I’m home now, Bellamy.” 

With those words that are the most comforting thing she can say to him at this moment, Clarke places a lingering kiss to his forehead, runs her fingertips through the dark brown curls by his temple. Looking at him hurts, but being alone would hurt even more. Noticing the tired shadows around his eyes, Clarke stands, extending her hand.

 “Come to bed.”

This bed — their shared bed — is their only raft on the sea of grief. Some cold-hearted person might argue that it makes no sense to grieve for something that was never really there, but it’s not that simple. Nothing’s that simple… Although she kind of wishes that it was.

Because then they wouldn’t be in such incredible, incurable pain.

 

Chapter Text

Grief floods the bedroom, leaving the mattress afloat while destroying everything else in its wake. In a hopeless attempt to chase away the darkness, Bellamy lights candles before he wraps her smaller frame up in his strong arms, keeping her close to his chest. He places sweet kisses into her golden hair, and as she struggles against the sobs that are lined up in her throat, Clarke clings to his bicep, needing to touch something familiar… because her body feels like a stranger. 

“I’m nauseous. If I’m not pregnant anymore why— why am I nauseous?” she cries, prompting him to cradle the back of her head.

“I don’t know, babe.”

Of course he doesn’t know. No one does, and yet she needs to ask in case the universe might be able to give her some of the answers that she’ll likely never get. Sighing, he tells her that he’ll go find a bucket in case she needs to throw up, but she doesn’t want him to leave, which is selfish when you think about the fact that she left him just a couple hours ago. In her despair, she had even thought she would never gather the courage to go back to him.

Bellamy brings the bucket out anyway but returns to her side immediately after. In gratefulness, she kisses the corner of his mouth, sniffling. Her stomach aches from all the crying. Right now, she’s enduring so many types of pain that she hardly feels like a person anymore.

“It hurts so much,” is what she whimpers, locking her teary eyes onto his to search them.

Clarke recognizes it immediately; the guilt that’s gnawing at his bones and showing in his gaze. Of course he would blame himself for this. She should’ve thought of that before she expressed her pain.

“It’s not your fault,” she tries to assure him, though it’s difficult when her voice is so weak. In the dim light from the candles, she sees his lower lip trembling. “It’s not, Bellamy.” 

“But I got you pregnant!” 

At his sudden outburst, Clarke winces, then grabs his chin to make him look at her. “Don’t give me the grief of watching you torture yourself over this. We’re gonna suffer enough as it is.” 

For a minute, Bellamy simply stares at her as if her words have stabbed him, struck a nerve somewhere. After a moment, he leans forward to kiss the tears off her cheeks while he interlaces their fingers. “You’re right…” is what he breathes into the inch of space between their faces. Had something like this occurred a couple of days ago, Clarke would’ve dared to kiss him. But now… 

Everything has changed. 

The realization lands on her shoulders like a mountain, and suddenly she can’t fight the urge to throw up anymore, which makes her happy that he chose to bring in the bucket. As always, Bellamy gathers her hair in his hands, pulling it away from her face. She feels lightheaded, the bed tipping like a boat in the middle of a violent ocean.

Her body is punishing her in the cruelest way possible. Most likely, it’s struggling to make sense of what’s happened. A few days ago, she was still carrying a baby — their baby, but somewhere along the line, it just… 

They just lost it. 

And it’s incomprehensible how something can slip through your fingers like that, without you noticing or being able to do anything to stop it.

“Oh, Clarke…” he murmurs when sobs start to rip from her throat. Slowly, he draws her up and gathers her in an embrace again, so he can rub soothing circles on her lower back. Despite his comfort, she cries until her throat is drier than Sahara. 

Her entire body is trembling, and yet she still manages to croak, “I need to get some water.”

Even though there are only a few steps into the kitchen, he doesn’t let her go alone. Holding her hand, he helps her maintain her balance, as her head is still spinning, and leads her to the sink. 

Clarke sees herself reflected in the steel of the faucet, the sight startling. 

She looks like a ghost, her skin eerily white and eyes widened. When Bellamy hands her a full glass of cold water, she gulps it down in a few seconds, so fast that nearly chokes on it. Still, it makes her feel better, if only physically. 

“I think you need to slow down now,” he says when she immediately tries to leave. Cradling her cheeks, Bellamy leans his forehead against hers. “Be here with me for a moment. Breathe.”

Breathing is hard. Looking at him is hard. Being is hard… But she does it anyway, because if there’s anything in the world that can soothe her right now, it’s him. It’s always him. She closes her eyes to focus on how his thumb is caressing her cheekbone. As soon as she relaxes a little bit, Bellamy pulls her to his chest, enveloping her in his scent and warmth. 

“We’ll make it through,” is what he whispers into her ear. “We will.” 

Sometime later after they’ve returned to bed, the exhaustion finally overcomes them. It doesn’t even feel like she’s slept for more than an hour (and maybe she hasn’t) in Bellamy’s arms before she registers him touching her temple. Then he murmurs, his words barely audible, “Sweet dreams, my love.” 

Though it might have been an illusion, Clarke still wills herself to believe it’s real…

When she fully awakens an uncertain amount of time later, Bellamy has left for work, which is a realization that stabs at her heart like a merciless knife. She hears her phone ringing on the bedside table as she stares at the ceiling. Grabbing it, she fights the temptation of throwing it against the wall. Instead, she inhales a large gulp of air before picking up.

“Hi, Clarke!” 

It’s Maya, who’s sounding so chirpy, like a bird during spring, which is something that Clarke can barely handle hearing right now. “I just wanted to know if you feel better and if you’re coming to work on Monday?” 

No, she definitely isn’t feeling better. In fact, she feels ten times worse than yesterday, as though she’s a sheet of paper being crumbled into a ball. Still, she finds herself squeezing her eyes, batting the pain so that she can reply, “Of course. I’ll be there.” 

Once the call has ended, Clarke kicks off the blankets despite how the comforting scent of Bellamy lingers on them. If she’s going back to work on Monday, she has to get her life in order — otherwise she’ll never be able to face those kids. Determined, she digs an outfit out of her messy closet that doesn’t have grief splattered all over it. 

Hell, she even goes into the bathroom to do her makeup, because yikes… The river of tears that was spilled last night has left its mark on her face, so she covers every visible trace of it with a generous amount of foundation, powder and lipstick; then puts her hair up in a bun.

When Clarke leaves the bathroom, her hands are restless, eager to do something. Weirdly, she ends up doing some much-needed fall cleaning; opening the windows and sweeping every surface of the apartment clean with soap and hot water. Once she’s pleased with the outcome, she figures that she might as well paint something for a customer while there’s time to do so. 

But this is how everything crumbles again.  

Because she picks up the paintbrush and it immediately feels like a piece of lead in her hand, making her fingers tremble uncontrollably. Gritting her teeth, Clarke tries again but the watercolors just splatter across the canvas, shooting off in every direction… It’s a fucking mess.  

No… 

She’s a fucking mess. 

Why did she apply this thick layer of makeup like a foolish mask to try and hide the fact? 

As the first tear is released from her eye to run down her cheek, Clarke drops the paintbrush, realizing that it’s hopeless. Art usually comes from her heart, but now that it’s broken how will she ever create something in the same way again? Even her strongest source of inspiration, her relationship with Bellamy, has been turned on its head.

She can’t control her life anymore.

To wash the mask off her skin, Clarke takes a long, hot shower, reaching for his soap instead of her own. As she smoothens it over her body, she inhales the scent of it in attempt to calm herself down — And to some degree, it must work, because when she finally reemerges from the shower, she’s trembling slightly less.

But that doesn’t mean she feels comfortable in her body… 

As if to put out a fire, Clarke pats herself down with a towel as fast as possible and slips into one of Bellamy’s sweaters that’s hanging across the back of her desk chair. She brushes her fingers through the wet, wild waves of her hair in a desperate attempt to tame them, but to no avail. 

Only because there’s no way she’ll fit his, Clarke puts on a pair of her comfy pants that she tends to wear on Sunday mornings. Then she curls up on the couch like a scared hedgehog, hiding her face in her knees. God, she misses him so much.  

Logically, she knows that he’ll be home in the afternoon, but it doesn’t feel that way; it’s as if a huge chunk of her heart has been ripped from her chest. Clarke tries to recall his comforting words from last night and this morning, yet they seem so distant. 

She needs him here — not the memory of his words. And she’s willing to bet that he needs her, too. Still, they have to be parted, and it just isn’t fair. Nothing’s fair! 

When the first sob escapes her throat, the sound of it is so loud that she barely registers the familiar clicking sound of the key being turned in the front door.

Bewildered, Clarke looks up at the moment Bellamy walks into the living room. Her jaw slacking, she blinks to chase the tears away and tries to build up the courage to ask why he’s home already. However, as her vision becomes clearer all the confusion fades away, her eyes settling on his bandaged right hand. “What happened to you?” 

“I just burned myself at work. Pretty stupid, huh? Harper told me to go home.” 

There’s something about his mumbled response that makes her suspicious, has her thinking that there’s no way he’s telling the whole truth. Drying the remaining tears off her cheeks, she reaches for his good hand and pulls him to sit next to her. Now she can tell that the bandage is poorly tied (Harper probably did it), so she unwraps it carefully. 

Most of the skin at the palm of his hand has turned to a pinkish red color like it’s been scorched, so that part of his story seems valid. It must be incredibly painful, and the mere sight of it pulls at her heartstrings. “How’d you burn your hand like this, Bellamy?”

When he hesitates, Clarke raises her eyebrows. Knowing that she’s not going to relent, he swallows before admitting, “I… Somebody brought a baby into the coffee shop, and I—“ he chokes up, turns his gaze downward. “I guess I got distracted. Didn’t realize that I was pouring the boiling water on my own hand until it was too late.”

In comfort, she leans in to kiss his cheek, brushes her fingertips across the bandage. With his undamaged hand, Bellamy brings her closer and inhales the scent of her damp hair. Then he mumbles, “Did you use my soap, babe?” 

She nods a little, burying her nose in the crook of his neck. 

“I missed you.” 

Well, that’s putting it lightly. As he draws back, Bellamy places a lingering kiss to her forehead and mouths at her jaw for a second, knowing that it always makes the tension seep from her bones. Gently, she lifts his burned hand to her mouth, kissing each of his fingertips. 

When Clarke asks if he put his hand in lukewarm water, he manages a tiny smile. “Harper made me. Said you’d kick her ass if she didn’t handle this the way you taught her to.”

To her own surprise, she smiles a little at that, too, though it only lasts for the fraction of a second. With its every beat, her heart bleeds for him: He had to endure the pain of seeing a baby at work without being able to express how it made him feel to anyone. Unless, of course…

“Did you tell Harper about the…?” Clarke trails off, her lower lip quivering too much to let the horrible word pass. Sighing, Bellamy shakes his head, and even though neither of them say it out loud, they’re both aware that they’ll have to tell their friends about it eventually, which will be even a lot harder than it already is, because they didn’t even know she was pregnant.

Was… Thinking in the past tense hurts. 

“You still think we’ll make it through?” her voice is so small that the question is barely audible, her eyes filling with new, stinging tears.

When Bellamy replies, his voice is laced with both affection and sadness, “I promise you, Clarke. I won’t let go.” 

Clarke’s breath hitches around a sob, so he pulls her into his lap and despite how much doing so must hurt his hand, he holds her. Sniffling, she buries her face in his shoulder and her fingertips in his soft hair until he’s crying into the crook of her neck. “Do you have any idea how much I love you?” she asks suddenly, her voice thick with gentle emotion.

She wants to say it again. So she does, “I love you so much, Bellamy.”

His breathing evens out just before he pulls back to look at her, his earthy eyes glistening with tears — maybe also a bit of hope. Then he leans forward, kisses both of her cheeks and rests his forehead against hers, so their noses grazing.

The thought of kissing him for the first time since they lost the baby is so scary that it nearly chases her away, but for some reason she remains in anchored in front of him, holding onto his good hand.

Maybe she should feel guilty for wanting this.  

When Bellamy finally closes the distance between their faces, he keeps the kiss innocent and slow. Though she wants to deepen it, to bring him closer, Clarke draws back. One step at a time… 

Brushing his fingertips along her cheekbone, he murmurs, “I love you too,” against the corner of her mouth, which makes her exhale in relief. Hearing him say this makes her fragile heart flutter in her ribcage as a flicker of light sparks to fight the darkness.

Perhaps they will make it. Just like he said...

 


 

 

Going back to work at the Elementary school is one of the hardest things Clarke has ever had to do, because it forces her to plaster on a fake smile, so she doesn’t scare away the kids. In a way, they become an audience, and her entire life’s a stage. Whether she’s good at acting the part concerns her more than anything; the last thing she wants to do is worry them.

It’s a particularly rainy day in Arkadia, so some parents have come pick up their kids from school. Of course, Clarke feels compelled to shake hands, talk passionately about her class and smile, but it’s tough when her eyes are constantly drawn to the way the parents embrace their kids, full of love and happiness — something that she could’ve had.

“Are you okay, Darling?” It’s actually a grandmother who picks up on something first: Maybe it’s the fact that Clarke can hardly keep her smile genuine all the time. 

The question almost startles her, nonetheless. “Oh… yeah.” 

Like they were pulled by a magnet, Clarke’s eyes settle on the entrance to the classroom just as Bellamy leans against the doorframe. She smiles, her heart swelling in her ribcage at the mere sight of him. Because this was her first day back at work, he wanted to walk her home so they can talk if she needs that.

Before she can make her way towards him, however, one of the moms turns towards Bellamy, all friendlessness. “Which one is yours?”

Oh no.  

Clarke squeezes her eyes shut for a second, the good-hearted question a strong blow to her gut, and she assumes that it is to Bellamy, too. He blinks, then swallows and clears his throat. “I’m not… I don’t have a kid. Um… I’m the teacher’s boyfriend.”

With that explanation, he gestures towards Clarke who manages a smile for show as she walks towards him. Quickly, Bellamy pulls her to his side. The mother that asked Bellamy the question looks a bit sheepish now, which is understandable. 

Before they walk back to the apart, he pulls her into a warm hug that manages to soothe her a bit. It’s difficult for her to properly express how or why she struggled so much today, but that doesn’t seem to be important to him. Knowing that she isn’t feeling well is enough to worry him; there doesn’t have to be a specific reason for it, and it’s such a relief that she doesn’t have to explain anything. Because she can’t…

After the embrace is broken, Bellamy tells her that he was offered the position of head librarian that he wanted. But it’s clear from his tone of voice that it doesn’t excite him as much as you’d expect it to — not even though this will add a considerable amount of money to his bank account. 

“I don’t know,” he sighs. “I’m gonna accept the offer, obviously, but…” 

She nods, silently telling him that there’s no need for a continuation. Of course, they needed that extra money because she was pregnant, so now that she’s not anymore, it’s going to be hard to look at the money and not think: ‘We could’ve spent this on a crib’.

Instead, once he gets his first salary from the library Bellamy and Clarke expand their food budget and he purchases more flowers for the balcony, but it’s rather insignificant. Things for a child wouldn’t have been…  

 


 

Whereas their apartment used to be a place of organized chaos, Bellamy and Clarke do their best to keep it completely clean now. So while he’s doing the laundry, sorting their clothes by color, she’s watering the few sad succulents that have remained in the bedroom he rarely uses. It’s tragic that they should be neglected, right?

If you look at the mess on his desk, it’s clear that no one’s been in here for a while: Sheets of paper, both crumbled and smooth ones cover the surface of the table as though a small hurricane has hurled them about. Because she can’t resist, Clarke starts to sort it out as much as possible — not by throwing anything out but by creating small piles that have the unofficial categories: ‘Crumbled’, ‘Less crumbled’, ‘Half-written’, ‘Fully written’.

She tries not to read any of it, she really does, as to not invade his privacy, but sometimes her eyes just fall on a single word or line and stay glued there until she can’t prevent herself from skimming it, at least partially.

 

The only full poem that she reads is one that shocks her to the bone. She simply can’t tear her eyes away from the words:

 

I lie awake in bed at night holding your mother.

And I can’t help but wonder what it would’ve been like to hold you.

To carry you over the doorstep, your tiny hand wrapped around my thumb.

See your lips form the first of many smiles

Listen to your endless babbling before bedtime.

 

You would’ve had her ocean eyes, but they’d morph into mine over time

— That’s what biology tells me anyway.

Just as it could tell me a million reasons why it took you from us

— That’s if I actually wanted to know them.

It’s so unfair.

I love your mother, and I swear I would’ve loved you, too.

 

The past tense, it doesn’t taste right in my mouth.

I love your mother, I love you…

You are in her; you are in me.

You are here.

I promise you, nothing will ever change that.

 

Through the stinging tears in her eyes and throat, Clarke registers Bellamy calling for her, and she should probably face him, but her mind is so overflown with emotions that she can’t think straight. In the end, her lack of response causes him to catch her red-handed, standing teary-eyed with the poem clutched between her trembling hands.

Bellamy stares, his jaw slacked as he swallows, nervousness flickering in his dark brown gaze.

“You wrote about it,” she says and doesn’t mean for it to sound as accusatory as it does. “You wrote about it and you didn’t tell me.”

Taking a cautious step forward, Bellamy reaches for her, keen to explain himself, “Clarke…”

Instead of stepping away, she latches her hand onto his forearm, her eyes soft and hard at the same time. “I thought we were in this together, that we’d share our pain with one another, and yet you’ve failed to mention this,” her voice is trembling, so she clenches her jaw in an attempt to gather herself. When he cups her cheek, a single tear is released from her eyes, which he brushes away with his thumb as quickly as it emerges.

“I’m sorry,” he gulps, trying to keep looking at her. Although it’s clear that he feels bad for keeping this from her, Clarke wants to be sure he understands why she’s upset.

Her heart rattling in her ribcage, she mirrors him by cradling his freckled cheek. “I love you, Bellamy. I know it’s hard, but… you need to open up to me, you need to tell me how you feel— And if you can’t, then please — for the love of everything that’s good in this world — express it to me through your poetry. Because I’m not giving up on you! I refuse to do that.” 

Worrying his lower lip, Bellamy sighs, “I promise I’ll let you know. But you have to paint for me, too then.”

It’s a very fair request, but it still stings. Of course, he doesn’t know what happened the last time she tried to pick up a paintbrush. Swallowing hard, Clarke senses another flood of tears gather in her eyes. She shakes her head, feeling as if she’s being torn apart from the inside out as she admits, “I can’t. It’s just— it’s all a mess.” 

At that, Bellamy sighs, his voice more forceful now, “Then let it be a mess, Clarke! Grief isn’t pretty — it’s fucking ugly. It’s a mess, damn it, but that’s what you’re feeling right now and you have to be true to that. Who cares if it’s not beautiful? Who cares if it’s the ugliest art you’ll ever create? It’s valid. That’s the only thing that matters.”

She succumbs to sobs, falling forward against his chest. Instantly, his arms wrap around her, his lips press against the crown of her hair. “I cried my eyes out while I wrote that poem,” he confesses. “But I feel a little better now. I want you to feel better, too… As artists, this is how we heal ourselves.”

Sniffling, Clarke pulls back after a minute of catching her breath. She dries the remaining tears off her cheeks. Instead of apologizing or thanking him like you’d expect, the question that pushes past her lips is, “Is there anything else you’re hiding from me?” 

Bellamy blinks, biting his lower lip in hesitation. Then he turns away, and for a moment panic rises in her chest because he might be about to walk away. But he only goes to the other end of the room to find his backpack. 

After a minute of searching, he pulls out a stuffed animal: A fox, to be exact. It looks incredibly soft and cuddly, like something that any child would adore.

Oh…

Her heart breaks as soon as the realization lands on her.

“This guy,” Bellamy announces, his voice strained with tears as he walks to her with it. “Cute huh? I… uh, I bought it two days before the ultrasound,” as she can do nothing but stand there, speechless, he adds, “… I’ve tried to get rid of it, but I just can’t. I was in the store for thirty minutes trying to pick out the right one, because… well, it all seems silly now, but I wanted to prove that I—“ his voice cracks under the heavy weight of sadness. “I wanted to prove that I was gonna do everything to be a good dad. Now, well—”

Clarke releases a helpless, little sob just as she pulls him closer and buries her hand in his hair. Gathering herself, she kisses his cheek before whispering, “You are a dad, Bellamy. The best one — just like I’m a mom. I carried our child for two months. That happened. It’s real. Hey…”

Parenthood is so many different things that the term can’t be defined. The fact that their baby didn’t make it into this world doesn’t mean they’re not parents, and reminding themselves of that every day will be perhaps an important step towards recovery, towards acceptance.

When he draws back, Clarke dries his cheeks as she did her own a couple minutes ago. “We’re keeping the fox,” she decides, and he nods.

Because throwing it out would be like trying to deny that losing this pregnancy meant anything to them. And it did. 

It still does.

 

Chapter Text

November arrives, frigid as ever, to paint small ice crystals on the windowpanes; the nights grow longer and darker, which makes the starlight seem brighter. Being at war with your emotions during such a cold time makes you want to cling to the nearest source of warmth, but sometimes taking a hot shower simply doesn’t suffice, Clarke reckons. While huddled under the spray, she hugs herself, wishing her limbs were entangled with his; she’d feel safer like that — her body would become familiar again. 

Placing her hands on her breasts, Clarke wishes they were his. It makes guilt sting in her chest, the pieces of her shattered heart reminding her that she’s not supposed to long for sex so soon after losing a child. Nevertheless, she can’t help but miss the intimate sensation of him being locked inside her. In the end, it’s the need for that feeling which makes her hand disobey the direct orders of her heart as it slips between her thighs. 

She feels nothing, the lack of pleasure further highlighting her emptiness. And as if this reality isn’t cruel enough, blood has stained her fingertips when she withdraws them. The sight is downright startling until she remembers that she has a uterus; that she isn’t pregnant anymore and it’s the first week of the month, which means…

Damn it.

Clarke wraps herself in a towel and scrambles for a tampon in the bathroom cabinet. When she’s inserted it, a sob is trapped inside her throat, but there’s no way she’s letting it emerge. Pulling herself together, she gets dressed in Bellamy’s t-shirt and sweatpants, combs her fingers through her tangled hair and leaves the bathroom. Even though she knows that he won’t buy it, she fakes a smile. 

Leaning against the doorframe, she watches him for a minute, the sight making her heart flutter in affection: Bellamy’s sitting on their bed, his face bathed in the warm light from the lamp on the nightstand as he reads, but what touches her the most is that the fox he bought for the baby is tucked against his side. He’s holding it.

Finally, Bellamy feels her gaze lingering on him and looks up to meet it. At first he seems a little sheepish, probably because he believes she’ll think it’s silly of him to be sitting with a stuffed animal. But she doesn’t think that. Not at all… 

His brow furrows once he’s studied her face for a moment. “What’s wrong, babe?” 

Clarke releases a ragged breath as she walks towards the bed to join him. Then she worries her lower lip to keep it from trembling, “I got my period.”

At her words, his jaw slackens and he puts away the heavy book. Now that he has his hands free, Bellamy brushes a strand of hair behind her ear, his eyes softer than the rain-soaked earth. Desperate for comfort, Clarke sighs, letting her forehead drop onto his shoulder. He kisses her temple, running his hand up her back.

“I knew it was coming,” she murmurs, her words muffled by the fabric of his t-shirt. “But I guess some part of me still hoped that…”

“That it was a mistake,” Bellamy finishes as he draws back to gaze at her again. After a minute of caressing her cheekbone with his thumb, he manages a small yet genuine smile. “Do you want some hot chocolate?” 

Raising her eyebrows, Clarke gives him an incredulous look that’s more than enough answer for him. Before he leaves to make it, his lips spread into a slight grin, and though she’s tempted to stop him just to trace the outline of it with her fingertip, she doesn’t. 

Bellamy makes the best hot chocolate in the world, no question. Heating up three different kinds of chocolate and whole milk, he creates the best combination of sweetness and warmth, so it turns into a little hug in a mug. 

When he comes back with the cups, Clarke is holding the fox, which makes his lips curl into a smile again. Meeting his eyes, she says, “It’s really cute… You did a good job.” 

(More than anything, she also wants to assure him that the baby would’ve loved it, but the last thing she wants to do is upset him, so she stays quiet.) 

It seems as if he doesn’t know what to say at first, but in the end he settles for something simple, “Thanks.”

While they drink their sweet winter beverages, Bellamy and Clarke decide to watch a romantic movie on Netflix, which isn’t the genre they usually choose. However, they soon have to pause it, because a pregnant woman shows up in the background of a scene, which is enough to make tears well up in Clarke’s eyes. 

Pulling her into his side, Bellamy presses his lips to the crown of her hair. “You wanna listen to music instead?” 

She wets her lips, chases the tears away by blinking. “Only if we dance to it.” 

“Yeah?” 

Clarke kisses the lone freckle by his upper lip. “Yeah…”

It’s been a while since they’ve done this; swayed in each other’s arms to the sound of calm music flowing through his earbuds. Like always, their fingers interlace while their bare feet barely move on the rug by the foot of her bed. The song is ‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol, but it’s not the original version; this cover was seemingly made for slow dancing, the violin strings and piano in perfect harmony. Listen to it makes breathing easier, has their eyes colliding like wave and shore.

 

Forget what we're told

Before we get too old

Show me a garden that's bursting into life.

 

All that I am


All that I ever was


Is here in your perfect eyes, they're all I can see.

 

“I love you so much,” Bellamy whispers into her ear, his fingertip playing with a strand of her hair. Even now, she can hear the slight tremble in his voice, the raw emotion that clings to his confession as if he’s at the brink of crying. Still, he repeats the words, again and again. She kisses his jawline, his chin, the only places she can reach before rising to her tiptoes to press her lips to his. 

“I love you, too,” is what she says when she pulls back, her hands resting on his cheeks. Her heart is swelling in her chest, softer than ever, but she feels safe with him, enough to show vulnerability.

In the past two weeks, Clarke’s struggled to produce art, her trembling hands working against her, and whenever she’s succeeded the paintings have turned out awful: Dark colors smeared onto a canvas with violent brushstrokes, but she always shows them to him anyway — because she promised. Instead of praising them (it would be like praising her pain), Bellamy caresses her hair, points out the small blots of color that she has begun to add. 

Clarke places her hand on his chest as he kisses her again, feels the soft fabric of his t-shirt. Though she wishes she could deepen it, there’s not enough courage left in her heart. What if they’re not ready for this? Kissing is something they used to do without thinking about it; it was just as natural as talking, but not anymore. Because of this, the connection of their lips lacks passion, which isn’t something they’re used to.

“There’s a lot we need to relearn,” Bellamy decides after drawing back. For a second, Clarke fears that she expressed her thoughts out loud, even though she probably didn’t. Most likely, this was just another instance of him thinking the same thing as her.

To ease the tension between them, she attempts to joke about it, “Is this how actual couples kiss?”

For the first time in what feels like an eternity, Bellamy laughs. The sound of it sends a rush of warmth through her body, makes her heart flutter in her ribcage, because his laughter is a golden ray of light breaking through the thick clouds of November. 

“We’re a couple now, huh?” 

As he pulls her in by the waist, Clarke feels herself blush. Instead of giving in to her fluster, she traces the line of his shoulder with her fingertip before asking, “What’s the ancient Greek word for girlfriend?” 

Bellamy takes her hand then, a bit of amusement shining through his dark gaze. It’s impossible to describe how amazing it is to finally feel something besides the ever-present pain and grief.

Looking at him, she memorizes the outline of his smile, because she doesn’t know when she’ll see it again. “I don’t think there is one,” is his answer to her question. “There’s one for lover, wife… maybe fiancé. Which title do you like the best?” 

She pushes a little at his chest, blushing harder now. “Don’t tease me!”

But Bellamy only chuckles and leans down to kiss her forehead. His voice laced with care, he murmurs, “I’m not teasing you.” 

These words are enough to make her speechless for a while, so he sits down at the end of the bed, bringing her into his lap. Here, it’s like she feels sadder again, the happiness proving to have been brief. 

As always, he senses it right away. “Hey… it’s hard, I know, but we gotta laugh a little, break the chains and try to feel less guilty about wanting to be happy.”

With those words, Bellamy kisses her again, deeply this time. It fills her to the brim with passion, has her clutching his soft hair like a lifeline as she moans into his mouth, and for once the pain leaves her body be; evaporates until there is nothing left except the two of them, creating hope in a room of despair.

She feels at home.

Though Clarke thinks her body has become a stranger, it hasn’t to Bellamy: His gentle fingertips trace her spine underneath her sweater — the one that used to be his. Seeking even more comfort, she wraps her legs around his waist, locking herself in place.

There’s nothing sexual about their kiss despite its passion; it’s just the two of them, reconnecting, relearning and reshaping.

Molding into something new…

As she draws back to catch her breath, Clarke presses the pad of her thumb to his bottom lip. Lately, it’s become chapped from all the worrying and biting that he’s done without registering it. 

“You can call me anything you want,” she whispers, smiling a little while her heart does gentle flips.

Bellamy’s hand is resting on her outer thigh, his heavy breath ghosting over her parted lips. “That’s tempting. I’ll have to write a poem.”

Once again, her heart leaps. A poem about what he wants to call her? Curiosity strikes her chest as she wonders why he can’t just tell her, but it’s probably because he prefers to express his feelings with written words, although he’s good at speaking, too (which he would never admit). In all her life, Clarke has never met a more passionate person.

Maybe that’s why she’s in love with him. 

Because that’s what she is: Completely, profoundly in love with him. Otherwise she would’ve succumbed to her own grief and left him by now; she would’ve been selfish, but her love for him has prevented her from it. 

When Clarke wakes up the next morning to the scent of pancakes and coffee, Bellamy’s left a poetic note on his pillow.

 

Message #9:

 

I cannot romanticize your pain.

But Love, as soon as I see the light in your eyes again,

I will carve the deepest dreams of my heart into stone

And I will listen to yours, too.

 


 

Hiding the truth from their friends becomes increasingly difficult. It’s exhausting for her to hold back the tears when she tries on her bridesmaid dress and the other girls are talking about whether Raven and Zeke will have kids. It’s exhausting for him to excuse why he rushes past the baby aisle in Target when he and Murphy go to buy beers.

At some point, they can’t tie their tongues any longer. 

Can’t act anymore. 

In the end, what sets off the tidal wave is their screening of ‘Look Who’s Talking’ in Murphy’s apartment. They have this thing called ‘so crappy it’s good’ movie night, and Harper has picked a film for tonight. 

As the scenes play out, Bellamy clutches Clarke’s hand as discreetly as possible while they’re wincing instead of laughing with the others. Her lower lip is quavering, so she worries it to hold the sobs back, but it’s not going to work for long. At this point, her facial expression screams: ‘I can’t do this. Please don’t make me do this.’

Unstoppable tears well up in her eyes, making her rush to the bathroom. When Bellamy follows her, the act officially cracks. No one cries at comedies, and yet this one is like a nightmare to them. Once they’re alone, Bellamy wraps his arms around her, caressing her back. “You don’t have to be strong all the time, babe.” 

She sniffles, pressing her lips to his shoulder in comfort. “Neither do you.” 

So they decide not to be. It’s too demanding, wearing on their bones, and they simply can’t live like this anymore, hiding away in their fragile bubble of grief… In order to heal, they have to let it burst, which might seem easy in theory, but it’s not.

“What’s wrong, guys?” Harper asks when they return to the living room, her voice careful.

To their immense relief, the movie has been put on pause, so they only have to deal with the heaviness of the stares in the room. Naturally, everyone is looking at them, trying to assess the situation and figure out why they hell they’d want to escape the room during a cheesy RomCom.

Telling the truth is in this situation comparable to tearing off a Band-Aid; the quicker you do it, the less excruciating the pain is. But how do you put weeks of suppressed pain and grief into coherent sentences? How do you even begin to describe it?  

Bellamy pulls Clarke close as she gathers the courage to speak. “We can’t watch anything that involves babies right now. It’s—it’s too painful,” though she feels like she needs to say more, no more words will emerge, since her throat is drying out. 

As expected, silence conquers the living room until Emori asks, more cautious than ever, “…Why?”

Chances are that some of their friends already have an idea of what’s going on but are too afraid to voice it. Taking Clarke’s hand, Bellamy exhales before he takes care of the rest of the burden by explaining, “Because we… we lost one.” 

There’s no easy way to say this, so they both hope that there’s no need to explain it any further, but of course that’s not the case. Hearts heavy in their chests, Bellamy and Clarke struggle to tell the story of how they found out she was pregnant at the beginning of October and decided to keep the baby without much discussion only to lose it soon after.

This reality is merciless, still filled with grief that no one else can comprehend. In some way, they’ll always be alone in it, but at least they have their friends’ shoulders to lean on now, which is comforting at the very least. 

Miller is the first person to stand, striding towards Bellamy to wrap his arms around him. By the time that the two men have let go of each other, everybody has lined up to offer hugs. With each embrace, breathing becomes a bit easier. When they’ve all settled down on the couch again, Poppy leaves Murphy’s lap to lie between Bellamy and Clarke.

“If you guys need anything, we’re here,” Monty says, speaking for the whole gang. 

Right now, they just need their life back.

 


 

The first step towards reclaiming their life is breaking the pattern that grief has established. Telling their friends about the miscarriage has given them more room to breathe, but the bedroom that they share is still filled with lingering pain, which has turned the atmosphere heavy that it feels like a cage by now. Even though they want to fix it, they hardly have the energy to follow through on a solution.

On Friday, Clarke is helping the kids create decorative snowflakes for their bedrooms out of paper. Because he has a shift at the library today, she doesn’t expect Bellamy to show up as her class is ending, so she’s even more delighted when she sees him lean against the doorframe. Even though it’s barely 4 p.m., the sun is already taking its final breaths of the day, filling the empty classroom with soft orange light.

Instead of waiting for her to go to him, Bellamy walks up to her by the teacher’s desk. To her awe, he’s grinning, this time not in a forced way. “I thought you had work today,” she says, arching an eyebrow at him in question.

Bellamy shrugs. “I finished early.”

With that response, he gets behind her to run a hand up the length of her spine. She shudders at the contact, her eyelids fluttering. Although they’ve touched plenty in the past few weeks — it’s nearly been a month since they lost the baby — it never seems to be sufficient, and she’s always starved, craving more affection and intimacy than ever.

“You trust me?” Bellamy breathes, rubbing a little at her shoulders. “I have a surprise for you.” 

Oh damn… what?  

When Clarke nods, Bellamy takes out a blindfold — the one from his bottom drawer, no doubt — and places it over her eyes before tying it at the back. Immediately, her chest sparks in shocking anticipation, but it falls flat as soon as he takes her hand. “Come on, Princess.” 

To cope with the slight disappointment, Clarke decides to tease him. “Are you going to take me to your playroom or something?” 

A blindfold? Really? He brought this on himself. Since she knows how much he hates the ‘50 Shades of Grey’ franchise, his reply is expected.

“Ugh. No way. I have something much better planned for us.” 

In the form of a kiss, Bellamy lets that promise linger on her cheek as he leads her outside. The cold November air envelops her, biting at her skin, but his presence next to her is enough to make her feel warm. After walking for about a minute, they move into a car, which she can tell by the distinct smell of leather from the seats. 

It’s very clear that Bellamy’s not the driver, so who is? Did he call an Uber, or is it one of their friends? Either way, not a single word is exchanged during the car ride, the silence adding to the suspense of the situation. After being sad for such a long time, Clarke scarcely remembers what it’s like to be exhilarated, to expect something nice. It is an immense relief that she is able to feel that way now.

The drive isn’t that long — maybe fifteen minutes, then the car pulls to a stop and Bellamy helps her leave it. “Can I take the blindfold off now?” is her first question, dominated by her intense curiosity. She can barely contain herself at this point. 

“Just one more minute, babe.” 

Bellamy presses his hand to her lower back, leading her inside another building, which is evident as soon as sudden warmth surrounds them. To her surprise, the place that they have arrived at is so quiet, the only distant sound being that of running water. 

At once, the blindfold is removed from her eyes, allowing them to adjust to the new setting. Though she’d love to look around to grasp everything, her gaze settles on the stranger in front of her: He’s tall, black and muscled, his smile the friendliest she has ever seen.

After a minute, the stranger speaks, “Welcome Clarke. My name is Lincoln. I’m the owner of this resort.”

Resort? Oh boy. 

Taking Lincoln’s outstretched hand, Clarke feels a wide smile stretch the corners of her lips apart. Though he clearly knows who she is already, she finds herself making an introduction anyway, “Clarke Griffin. I’m Bellamy’s girlfriend.” 

In amusement, Lincoln winks. “So he’s told me.”

Her heart skips a beat, even though she should’ve expected it. When Lincoln steps aside, a marble counter comes into view, so this must be the lobby. Glancing over her shoulder, she sees the pools of water at each side of the big room, surrounded by green plants. It hits her then; Bellamy’s taken her to a spa resort.

Once she’s said her thought out loud, Lincoln comments, “I actually prefer the term comfort resort. We don’t only offer spa services, as you’ll find out soon enough.”

Well, that sounds even more soothing, which is just what she needs. Bellamy links his arm with hers, smiling as he notices the relief sweep across her features, softening them. “We’re spending the weekend here, if you’d like to,” he finally reveals, prompting her heart to do excited flips.

Of course she’d like it. In fact, she already knows she’s going to love it.

  

Chapter Text

Their suite at the resort looks like it’s been taken out of a movie: A king-sized bed at the center of the room, which is filled with the natural light that pours through the big, stain-glass windows. All the colors used to make them are soft, so the sunshine that falls on her ivory skin is turned lilac and orchid pink. On the wall opposite the bed is a cozy fireplace, which Bellamy is busy lighting. Since it’s November, they need the warmth. 

“This place is amazing,” Clarke breathes, kicking her feet. When they entered the suite, there were little bags of goodies waiting for them, including a pair of fuzzy socks that she didn’t hesitate to put on. “How on Earth did you…?” Find it? Afford it? Honestly, she doesn’t know which question to ask first. 

But Bellamy somehow manages to answer them both at the same time. “I’ve known Lincoln for many years now. He owed me a favor.” With that, he gets up and joins her at the foot of the bed. “Why are you sitting on the floor, babe?”

She smiles, leaning her head on his shoulder. “The rug is nice.” 

After responding, Clarke kisses his cheek, making him chuckle and interlace their fingers. Their foreheads meet, and she senses a wave of content rise through her body to wash over her heart. Though it seems contradictory, she feels like crying for a second at the realization that he did this for them. He really did.

It’s time to sleep in a bed where the sheets aren’t soaked in week’s worth of tears. To say that the relief is astounding would almost be an understatement. She doesn’t even care that she didn’t get to pack anything; it was nice to be surprised for once. As it turns out, though, Bellamy has taken the liberty of bringing some clothes for her (still, it’s mostly jeans, because he knows that she’ll wear his sweaters whenever she has the chance). 

“Wait. What will we have for dinner? Room service?” 

At her question, Bellamy beams for the first time in a month. Like that, it’s as if the sun comes, breaking through the thick November clouds. “Lincoln’s got that sorted out for us.” 

Of course he does.  

It would be interesting to keep the man’s relation to Bellamy a secret just for fun, but in the end she decides to ask him about it, and the response is definitely not what she expected to hear, “He was engaged to my sister, but broke it off with her when she… started spiraling. And before you ask, yes… he’s six years older than her, which I was wary of at first to say the least, but he’s a good man and that’s all that matters. He didn’t touch her before she was eighteen anyway.”

Well, that’s comforting. Despite that she doesn’t know Lincoln yet, he seems like the type of guy that someone would fight to keep in their life, and it makes sense why Bellamy would still have contact with him even after everything that happened with Octavia.

Leaning in, Bellamy mouths a little at her jaw, which makes her hum. “You know what this resort has? An art room…” 

Wow. Lincoln really meant what he said about how the resort not only has spa services. Still, it’s a bit difficult for her to be excited about the art room when she hasn’t been able to paint anything but gloomy portraits lately. “Does it have a library for you, too?” 

“Of course it does. When I told Lincoln that you’re an artist, he got so excited. You should see the photos that man takes. He’s so talented.” 

This is another thing that sparks her curiosity, so she will be requesting to see some of his work the next time she sees him. In the meantime, Bellamy and she spend a couple hours settling in the suite — a process, which includes picking out their favorite scented candle to light (leaves + pine) and testing the mattress…

… A couple months ago, they would’ve undoubtedly done this by having sex, but not anymore. Biting her lower lip, Clarke glances at Bellamy, wondering if this weekend at the resort is going to revive their sex life. Then she remembers her numerous failed attempts at getting herself off and reaches the tragic conclusion that it might be best if it doesn’t, because she would hate to disappoint him. 

Nevertheless, the bed is heavenly, its sheets silky and pillows as soft as clouds. Glancing out the window, Clarke sees that the sky has now pulled on its black nightgown, the one that is speckled with shining stars. She smiles a little at the sight, brushing her fingertips across the top of Bellamy’s hand. “A suite like this has a tub, right?”

At her question, he grins. “Yeah. A big one.” 

It’s been more than a month since they’ve been naked together, and while she’s not ready to have sex yet Clarke misses the unique skin-to-skin intimacy. Though her heart is racing in her ribcage, she manages to say, “Great. Then you can join me.” 

Bellamy blinks, taken aback. However, his lips slowly spread into a warm smile, his eyes lighting up. Without saying anything, Clarke leaves the bed, taking off her t-shirt in the process. “You comin’?”

She’s flirting with him. Wow… 

A week ago, this was a foreign concept, but they’re beginning to live a little again, fall back in synch with one another. As she walks towards the bathroom (one of those fancy marbles ones with two sinks. The tub is enormous…), Clarke unbuttons her jeans and steps out of them just to give him a nice view of the lacy thong she decided to wear today to feel sexy.

When he groans, “Are you trying to kill me, Princess?” it’s clear that it’s had the intended effect. To her own surprise, she giggles in response.

In the bathroom, Bellamy finally catches up to her, placing his hands on her hips to turn her around, so that she’s facing him. Despite how his eyes roam over her body, they don’t seem hungry, but they’re full of appreciation. 

Brushing his thumb across her bottom lip, Bellamy smiles at her, his eyes crinkling at the corners. Then he leans down to capture her lips in a sweet kiss that has her heart fluttering. Clarke takes a step back once he’s pulled away. “So… bubbles?”

“Oh, yeah. Bring it on.”

They don’t stop adding things to the tub once it’s filled with soap bubbles. For the full spa effect, they add essential oils that smell of roses and lavender. Satisfied and intrigued by the look of the bath, Clarke unclasps her bra, removes her panties and steps in first. She does so without thinking too much about the fact that she’s going to be naked with him for the first time in a month.

… But the realization hits her while she’s waiting for him to join him, watching as he takes off his boxers. Shit. There’s no going back now. Clarke feels her cheeks blush when their eyes connect, but he winks at her, making her feel more at ease. 

Sitting down in the tub, Bellamy leaves no room for awkwardness. Instead, he pulls her a little closer to peck her lips, and it’s adorable. Of course, there’s nothing inherently sexual about being naked with someone, but it’s what she’s been used to in their relationship. Still, that relationship has changed…  

Their kisses remain sweet and unhurried. Even when his lips begin to touch her skin, the atmosphere isn’t altered. “This is okay, right? You’re not uncomfortable?” his mouth brushes her collarbone, making her jaw grow slack. 

“I’m good.” 

Just to assure him, Clarke lets her hands travel down his arms; his skin is slippery from the soap, but when it’s wet it somehow looks more like bronze than usual. After kissing her forehead, Bellamy asks if he can wash her hair, and this offer is not one that she would ever turn down. He’s thorough like always, massaging the luxurious shampoo into her scalp and making sure it’s all been rinsed out before he applies conditioner to the ends of her hair. 

As he combs his fingers slowly through the waves, Clarke releases a tiny moan in content that has him chuckling. She feels her cheeks flush again; it’s been forever since he’s heard her make that sound.

“My turn,” is the first thing she says when he decides that he’s done. 

Although they have taken plenty of showers together before, washing each other in a bathtub turns it into a different kind of intimate experience that Clarke’s so grateful for. Also, it has her wishing that their own bathroom at home were big enough to fit a tub.

For a couple minutes they do nothing but sit there with closed eyes, listening to the calming sound of the water splashing and each other’s breaths. But then Bellamy breaks through the silence.

“You know what’d be great right now? Chocolate-covered strawberries.”

Clarke grins. “No champagne, though. We’re not that fancy.” 

And this isn’t a honeymoon.  

Since their fingertips are turning wrinkled from the hot water, they decide to leave the tub and order the strawberries. Eating them in bed together is just as good, because this bed might be the best one in existence. Laying in it next to Bellamy, enveloped in the rosy scent of essential oils from their skin, the sweet taste of chocolate and strawberries lingering on her lips, Clarke feels more relaxed than she has in an eternity.

 


 

Before dinner, Bellamy and Clarke decide that they deserve a massage, but not from a professional. Indeed, this resort isn’t a typical one, because while it does have real masseuses employed it’s also possible for couples to use a room for personal massage therapy.

There’s no way they are turning down that opportunity.

“You first,” Clarke says as soon as they’re inside.

The small room is lit by scented candles; the only piece of furniture in it apart from the massage bench is a single cabinet with fluffy white towels and various oils.

Grinning, Bellamy argues, ”No, you.” 

Like real adults, they have to settle this conflict with a simple game of rock, paper, scissors, which she wins. Although he frowns for a second, there’s an amused glint to his dark eyes.

Bellamy removes his sweater, then asks, “Should I be completely naked?”

It takes her half a minute to form a response, because the view of his abs is enough to distract her. “There are no cameras in here. I don’t see why not.”

What Clarke doesn’t want to admit is that — much like before they got into the tub — the prospect of seeing him naked makes her a little nervous, but she also knows that she has to push her own boundaries a bit if she wants to have sex with him again someday…. And she does.

While he undresses himself slowly, Bellamy glances at her from time to time. “Is it too—?”

“I’m fine,” she rushes without letting him finish the question. Though they had been undoing his belt buckle, his hands hover in the air now, his brow furrowing in worry. Understanding that he has seen through her nervousness, Clarke swallows. 

“Come here, Princess.”

Carefully, she walks into his arms, lets him pull her closer and press his lips to hers. Desperate to hide her nervousness, Clarke accidentally bites his lower lip instead of deepening the kiss. She draws back, horrified, and stammers an apology..

Bellamy remains gentle, brushing his thumb across her cheekbone. “Hey, I know this is… We can…”

Clarke shakes her head, stubbornness pulsing through her veins. Determined, she reaches down to pull his belt out of its hoops. She watches his jaw slacken when she unzips his pants, which reminds her of how he looked the first time she went down on him. For some reason, recalling that image is enough to spark her confidence, if only a little bit.

Biting her lip, she locks her eyes onto his. “Can I touch you?” 

“Only if you really want to.” 

At those words, her heart softens in appreciation, but she does want to. It feels as if a lifetime has passed since she’s touched him like this. Reaching in between them, Clarke pulls his boxers down and takes his length into her hand. Though he’s still soft, a low groan passes his lips at the touch.

Bellamy wraps his fingertips in her hair, but that’s when it starts to feel awkward for some reason, so she takes her hand off him and goes to find a bottle of massage oil instead, mostly because it gives her enough time to bite back the frustration and disappointment that is weighing on her heart. 

“Clarke?”

“Will you just lie down, please?” 

Before she turns around to face him, she hears him sigh and shuffle around for a moment, then he climbs onto the massage bench. Knowing his presence for crisp scents, Clarke has chosen oil with lemongrass, put a few drops between her hands.

As opposed to easing the tension from his muscles straight away, she combs her fingers through his hair, massaging his scalp until he hums in satisfaction, which she takes as an indication that she can move her hands further down his body; they fight the painful strain along his spine and shoulders, making him groan. When his brown skin starts to turn red, Clarke stops the massaging for a bit, kissing a soft trail down his back instead.

“You done now?” he mumbles eventually, no hint of impatience in his voice. Nevertheless, Clarke moves away, prompting him to sit up. It seems as though he’s forgotten that he’s not wearing any clothes, and she can see everything. “Thanks, babe,” with that, Bellamy pecks her lips. “Do you still wanna…?” 

Without answering, Clarke steps closer. For some reason, she wants him to undress her, which is something that they don’t do often; usually, they just take of it themselves, but there’s something special about letting someone else do it — something that says ‘I trust you’.  

Pulling off her sweater and unclasping her bra, Bellamy gazes at her, his gentle eyes full of adoration. “You’re so beautiful.” 

While the words make her heart swell, she still finds it hard listening to them without feeling vulnerable.

Bellamy guides her to lie on her back, and as he walks around the bench his fingertips draw invisible patterns on her ivory skin, darting from her breastbone to the her bottom rib. Once he’s standing by her head, his index finger moves to her chin, which has her looking at him. “We’re doing this at your pace… what do you need?” 

Clarke lets her eyelids flutter shut before she replies, “I just want you to touch me.” 

Through the lingering grief and pain, she misses his hands, his mouth, his…

Why does she feel so awful thinking about it? She’s never been ashamed of her sexual desire before, especially not when it comes to him, and yet she doesn’t know how to stop guilt-tripping herself every time she wants him.

“I will, but not on an awkward massage bench.” 

Even though his words carry a distinct promise, Clarke can’t help but be a little disappointed. Logically, he’s right: She’d prefer if they were somewhere more comfortable. Because of this, they leave the massage room and decide to have some dinner before returning to their suite.

To her surprise, the restaurant at the resort lives up to Lincoln’s definition of it, considering that it’s all comfort food: Mac & Cheese, Sushi, Pizza, ice cream desserts; you name it… Needless to say, the meal is delicious and very much needed. Clarke lets him finish her waffles, and she steals a couple fries off his plate. 

“We’re being such a couple right now,” she chuckles after he glares at the fourth stolen fry in her hand. Despite this, he’s not actually upset, as is proved by how his lips soon spread into an easy smile, his dark eyes crinkling a little at the corners.

“Princess, if sharing stuff is a couples thing, then we have been a couple for months.”

Well, that’s true. Since they met, they’ve shared her hand-rolled cigarettes, his clothes and her bed. In fact, their entire relationship is based on the idea of sharing an apartment, which is interesting to realize — that they started out as roommates and somehow ended up here, with all of this heartache, closer than ever. 

It’s no miracle. But it is a love story — one with its deep cracks yet so much brightness and poetry. 

Smiling, Clarke reaches for his hand, which has him putting it on top of hers. At that moment, the sun shines through his eyes, its rays landing on her. Warmth spreads through her body, filling every piece of her broken heart with hope. 

“I love you,” she whispers, not knowing how she will ever come to say it loud enough. Maybe the volume doesn’t matter, only the sincerity.

His gaze softens as he lifts her hand to kiss her knuckles. “I love you, too.”

 


 

An hour later they’re back on the bed, staring at the ceiling in silence. As always, Clarke wishes she were looking at the stars, so she turns towards him, since he is the closest resemblance to them. Feeling her eyes on him, Bellamy rolls onto his side and smiles. Her fingertips fidget with the edge of the pillowcase as she builds up the courage to ask a question, to which she already knows the answer. 

In the end, she decides to pass the time by asking another one, “Do you miss the cigarettes?” 

“No. Do you?”

Biting her lower lip, Clarke shakes her head and releases a heavy breath. For a moment, she squeezes her eyes shut, trying to pull herself together. Come on, it can’t be that difficult. 

Because he senses that she’s struggling, Bellamy brushes his fingertips across the palm of her hand, keeps his eyes locked on hers until the words finally take form, “Do you… do you miss sex?” 

Bellamy frowns at the question, but then he sighs, burying a hand in her hair, “Of course I do. You do, too. Otherwise you wouldn’t have touched me like that today. But just because we miss it doesn’t mean that we’re ready for it.” 

Although she knows that he’s right, it’s still impossible not to feel frustrated. Instead of getting upset, though, Clarke proposes, “Maybe we should just talk about it then…?” 

Talk about sex. It’s not something that they’ve done much, at least not in a serious sense. In fact, the last time she remembers them seriously discussing their sex life was when she was nervous about cunnilingus, and that was months ago. Thinking about it in hindsight makes her realize that they should’ve talked from the beginning, but because they weren’t in an actual, romantic relationship it didn’t seem to matter. 

Communication always matters.

And yet… it’s not everything.

“Just talking then?” is what he questions, the shadow of a smirk clinging to his lips.

Clarke thinks about it for a moment before remembering the promise that he made to her earlier in the massage room. With that in mind, she pulls off her sweater and takes off her bra. “You can touch me. I want you to touch me.”

Smiling, Bellamy rests his forehead against hers and lets his hand travel from her hair to her breast. At the touch, a sizzle of energy shoots up her spine, but as opposed as going with her first instinct to kiss him, Clarke talks, deciding to be honest right off the bat, “Whenever I try… to get off, it’s as if the release is blocked somehow. No matter what I do or what I think about, I— I can’t get there.”

Bellamy bites his lip, the sight making blood rush to her cheeks, his hot breath ghosting over her sensitive skin as he squeezes her breast a little, his thumb circling her nipple. When it’s hardened, he tells her, “It’s probably because you focus too much on getting there instead of actually treating yourself.” 

“Are you calling me impatient?”

He cocks up an eyebrow. “Yes.” 

Frowning, she insists that he prove it to her, knowing that he won’t be able to resist the challenge. Bellamy takes her pants off, but lets the panties remain, which makes her aware that he’s still carefully paying attention to her boundaries. 

Then he kisses her temple, murmuring, “Close your eyes. Try to focus on my hands.”

She does as he suggests, sensing his warm hands travel from her collarbone to her ribcage before they slide to her hips and thighs. On their own accord, her lips part, her heart racing with anticipation in her chest. When his hands end their trail at her shins, his mouth takes over, following the same path, adorning her skin with lingering kisses. He narrowly avoids her stomach, aware that it could trigger her grief if he kissed her there.

“Does this feel good?” he breathes, his voice laced with care, and she hums as he mouths at her earlobe. “Describe it to me.” 

For some reason, this question takes her by complete surprise. Nonetheless, she attempts to formulate a coherent response for him. “It feels… it’s like there’s this untouchable warmth rising through me… it always feels like that when you kiss me,” With the words, her heart flutters. 

His thumb traces her jawline, causing her eyes to open. For a minute, Bellamy studies her face; the intensity in his gaze is almost startling, but then a smile begins to play on his lips. “There’s light in your eyes, babe,” when he says this, it sounds as if he’s about to cry of relief. “I see it.”

Clarke doesn’t feel it, though. However, that doesn’t seem to matter. Hearing the hope in his voice is enough that it rubs off on her, and as he bends down to kiss her lips, she rises to meet him in the middle.

“You’re not broken,” is what he whispers against her mouth. “Your body is…” Once he’s trails off, Bellamy’s hand wanders to her thigh, making her eyelids flutter. “… Not working against you.” 

Despite his comfort, her throat ties itself together. When she speaks, sudden tears have filled her voice. “But it betrayed me, Bellamy.” 

“What do you mean?” 

She clings to him, burying her nose in his shoulder. Soothingly, he runs his fingertips through her hair until the words emerge, painful in spite of the hope that still resides in the room. “My body… it was supposed to protect our child, and it didn’t.”

The whimper that he releases at her words is heart-wrenching, like he’s been stabbed. But somehow he manages to find the strength to murmur, “Clarke… please listen.”

Even though she’s crying, the tears relentless, Bellamy cups her face in his hands to lift it off his shoulder. At first she doesn’t know how to look at him, which doesn’t prevent him from leaning his forehead against hers. A stark contrast to his soft gestures, his voice carries a certain degree of forcefulness, “There are a million reasons why we could’ve lost the baby. You know that. It’s not your body’s fault.”

“How can you be so sure?”

Like he did earlier, Bellamy kisses her knuckles. “I just am.” 

For a moment, she wants to express how illogical that statement is, but her heart can’t muster it, so she nods instead, biting back the next flow of tears before she whispers, “Are you also sure that I will enjoy sex again?”

Bellamy smiles a little, caresses her fingertips. “Yes. We just need to take it slowly, maybe start over.”

His strength amazes her every single day, the pain that he has to push through every time he comforts her, every time she pities herself, must be terrible. Placing a grateful kiss to his cheek, Clarke embraces him, blinking the remaining tears in her eyes away. “Thank you,” she whispers, her fingertips combing through the back of his hair. 

“We’re going to be okay.”

 

 

 

Message #10

 

The light in your eyes, Love.

You must believe in me when I say

That I saw it yesterday…

And it filled me with courage to hope, to dream

Of a future…

We will be happy again.

 

 

Chapter Text

The next morning is slow and somehow perfect in the simplest sense. As they sit in the tub together again, pink and orange sunrays fall through the bathroom windows; he covers her skin in rosewater before she leans against him, her eyelids fluttering closed. Sighing in content, Clarke draws on his leg using her fingertips and the small soap bubbles that cling to him. Bellamy hums, kissing the back of her neck.

Twisting her head, Clarke pecks his lips, brushing her fingertips across his freckled cheek. “You need to shave…” she murmurs while a tiny smile tugs at the corners of her mouth.

“I do? I thought you liked the scruff.” 

His voice darkens a bit around the words despite the chuckle that lingers at the edge of them, and hearing it does things to her — especially because he’s fondling the underside of her breast as he says it. 

“Yeah. When I can feel it between my legs, I do,” is her deadpan response, causing Bellamy to groan out loud and run a palm over his face.

Satisfied with the reaction, Clarke sits back against his chest. Still, her comment didn’t manage to throw him off entirely, as is evident in the way his fingertips dance a trail along her thighs and how he mouths at her shoulder.

She shudders in pleasure from that combined sensation alone. Sure, they’re taking it slow, but when his hand rests by her inner thigh, so close to her sex, Clarke wants to forget about that, about the fear that remains in her chest. Right now, they’re just trying to grow comfortable with touch.

Because of this, Clarke interlaces their fingers instead of giving in to her desire. 

It’ll be much better if they just wait.  

“Coffee?” he mumbles against the shell of her ear, making her giggle for no apparent reason. She feels him smile into her wet hair. 

“Coffee.” 

For breakfast, they decide to share a tall stack of pancakes; the bitter taste of coffee beans and the sweetness of the syrup blending is enough to satisfy her heart. Bellamy really did them both a favor by booking a reservation at this place.

When he asks her what she wants to do today, Clarke is hit by the a strong urge to paint — more specifically: To paint something besides darkness, and since he is the strongest source of light she knows, the question that passes her lips is, “Do you wanna model for me in the art room?” 

At first he blinks, surprised, but then a fond smile shows in his eyes, which makes them crinkle at the corners. “Yeah. Of course.”

The art room is bigger than you’d expect, probably because Lincoln seems to be very artistic himself; its walls are painted white to improve the natural light that bounces off them. Along one end of the room, some blank canvases are lined up. Next to them, there is a huge cabinet filled with tubes of paint, crayons and charcoal. 

“Choose your weapons, Princess,” Bellamy chuckles as she stares at the amazing supply. 

Glancing over her shoulder, she smiles at him before taking a beautiful set of crayons off the shelf. Then she goes to pick up a canvas and sets everything up, which is not as intimidating as she’d expected… Maybe it’s because he’s there to ease her mind with his light-hearted teasing. 

“How much clothes should I wear?” When he asks this question, his eyebrows wiggle, making her snort. 

“Keep everything on. I want to focus on your face,” she replies, because after all it is her favorite part of him, so full of light and character. “When I first saw you, I was so drawn to your eyes. They’re mesmerizing…” 

With that compliment, Clarke grabs the first color, a cinnamon brown, and begins to sketch the shape of his face, its sharp edges and soft curves. Lightly, with a nude crayon, she outlines his full lips, nose, eyes and brow. Drawing him isn’t easy by any means, but it feels natural. 

For the past month, only the dark colors have interested her while the light ones have been left to collect dust, but Bellamy is composed of both, so she is compelled to embrace the brightness.

“You like my eyes?” For some reason, he sounds flustered and it warms her heart, so she hums in confirmation before deciding to compliment him some more. He deserves it.  

“I love them. I love everything about you,” she says as the dimple in his chin takes shape on the canvas in front of her. “You’re… like, the most beautiful human on planet Earth.” While it’s definitely a cheesy thing to say, Clarke’s not lying. And who says you can’t call a man ‘beautiful’? Screw that.

After half a minute, Bellamy finally admits, his voice a mere murmur, “Clarke, you’re making me blush.” 

“Cute.” 

His hair is probably the most difficult part of him to capture, because while it is chaotic most of the time, it still looks magnificent and she wonders how that’s possible. Standing from the stool, Clarke walks to him. “Can I?”

Nodding, his lips spread into a radiant grin. For reference, Clarke brushes her fingers through his curly hair until chuckles rise through his chest. He wraps his arms around her waist, his eyes filling with sparks as he looks at her. “You have a thing for my hair, don’t you, Princess?” 

At that, she laughs and even though it doesn’t last long, it’s still a victory. “I’m surprised you’re only figuring that out now.”

With those words, she leaves him to go back to the drawing. His face and all of its features have been outlined on the canvas, so it’s time for the fun part: Filling everything in and adding details. 

A smile pulls at the corners of her mouth while she adds the fluorescence to his face, which makes the picture come alive. After refining a few details in his hair, Clarke bites her lower lip and decides that it’s complete. 

Before she can convince herself that she hates it, she shows it to him.

His mouth falls open, his eyes blinking in astonishment. Despite this, she somehow still has to ask, “You like it?” 

Bellamy shakes himself out of the surprise, which causes his facial expression to change; it looks like the sun is beaming underneath his skin, turning him into brilliant light. Nevertheless, he seems to be speechless, so instead of saying anything Bellamy strides towards her to scoop her up off the stool.

The embrace transfers happiness from him to her, and she laughs again. 

This time it lasts longer, bouncing off the walls and filling the room with love. Oh god, she’s missed this so much.

Still in his arms, hovering above the ground, Clarke pulls her face from the crook of his neck to look at him, only to realize that he’s crying: There are tears clinging to his freckled cheeks, even though his smile is wide and genuine. Her lips parting, she’s just about to become worried when he leans his forehead against hers. 

“I love your laugh, do you know that? It’s my favorite sound in the world,” he says, his voice thick with relief. “I never thought I was going to hear it again.”

Her heart swells with affection, and she kisses the tip of his nose. Though he would definitely hold her up high like this all day if he could, Bellamy has to put her down now. When her feet touch the ground, she feels a bit light-headed. Bringing her hand to his mouth, he kisses the palm of it tenderly. 

“That…” he murmurs, glancing at the drawing. “Is gorgeous.” 

Caressing a soft spot above his left eyebrow, Clarke smiles. “It’s all you.” 

And it’s so full of colors, vibrant as the early morning sunrise. For so long, grief tricked her into believing that she’d never be able to create something bright ever again — that her happiness had been swallowed whole.

But drawing him has proved to her that even though the darkness might seem endless, some of the light will remain and prevail. Her love for him is going to carry her through this tragic period.

 

 


 

 

Lincoln’s looking at her through the lens of his professional camera. Smiling, Clarke sits down in the window seat to admire the view of Arkadia: The resort is on the outskirts of town, which means that all she can see is endless grassy lanes and mountains…

Then, to her surprise, he asks her if he can take a few pictures of her.

“Why?” 

Beaming, Lincoln lowers his camera. “For practice, of course. And for Bellamy. I’m sure he’d love a portrait of you.” 

At his words, Clarke feels herself blush and grants him permission to snap a few shots as long as she’s not required to look at the camera. Still, she can’t help but wonder why the hell Lincoln would think that he needs to practice: The walls of this private photo studio are decorated with his work, mostly black and white photographs of public protests and speeches, including some which must be of the Women’s March in New York City. 

“Have you ever considered doing an exhibition at Embers & Fumes? Nyko would love your pictures.”

Lincoln smiles, putting his camera back on the table before he leans against it. “Nyko’s my best friend, Clarke. He’s offered me exhibitions countless times, but I… I never felt confident enough to showcase my work like that, place my passion under the potential scrutiny of others.”

Licking her lips, she nods, relating too much to that sentiment. “I understand. I only exhibited my art because I desperately needed someone to buy it. When I met Bellamy, I was… unemployed. He was the one who told Nyko about my art and restored my faith in the fact that people actually like it.” 

When she’s said that, Lincoln gets a certain kind of ‘oh, you’re so in love’ look in his eye. But instead of asking invasive questions about it, he simply says, “Bellamy’s a good man,” and for a minute she’s convinced that he isn’t going to say anything else, but then he adds, his words a little bitter, “Pity his sister is… a nightmare.” 

Clarke nods, clenching her jaw at the mere thought of Octavia. “So I’ve heard.” 

Understandably, he seems surprised that Bellamy has opened up about that part of his life at all, which just highlights how traumatic it must’ve been for him. Confirming her thoughts, Lincoln sighs, “He was her punching bag. I didn’t endure half as much, but my experiences in that… abusive relationship is what led me to open this place. I wanted to provide comfort for others.”

Well, he’s certainly done that. It’s so admirable.

Afterwards, Lincoln shows her the pictures that he’s taken — some of them are far away, some of them zoomed in on her face, so even though she’s in the same position in all of them, wearing the same pensive facial expression they all look very different. If he put a black and white filter on them, they’d resemble shots from the film noirs that she watches with Bellamy at home. 

“Did Bellamy tell you why we’re here right now?”

“No. He said he wanted to, but he wasn’t sure that it’d be the best thing for you…” 

Worrying her lower lip, she looks straight ahead. Somehow she feels as though it would only be right if Lincoln knew about what happened, mostly for Bellamy’s sake: He needs someone to confide in who isn’t her; someone he trusts, and Lincoln seems to — much like Murphy and Miller — be that guy. Therefore, she gathers strength enough to tell him, “I miscarried. Last month.”

As she’d expected, Lincoln doesn’t say anything. But when a single tear escapes the corner of her and rolls down her cheek, he puts his hand on her shoulder in comfort. “When we found out I was pregnant, we were so scared, because the timing was extremely poor, but we came to be excited nonetheless… And I—I wanted us to be a family, because he hasn’t had one since his mom died and I love him. But apparently it wasn’t enough.”

Pouring her heart out to a near-stranger like Lincoln is somehow much easier than it would be to say all of this to her friends, and it’s not clear why…

“It’s not enough? I’ve never heard Bellamy talk about anyone the way he talks about you. You’re his home, his moon and stars. Girl, he adores you, and he will ten years from now when you have a house full of kids running around.” 

The mere image of that dream has her heart flooding with just enough happiness to make her lips curve into a small smile. She looks at the man next to her, whose eyes are shining with the same kind of hopefulness that she has begun to feel since she came to his resort with Bellamy. 

“I know that the promise of the future can’t be used as a Band-Aid to the present, but…”

To her own surprise, she grins at that. “Your words of wisdom are appreciated, Lincoln. Your photographs are da bomb, and if you excuse me I have to go find my boyfriend before he drowns in the sea of literature.”

When she jumps off the window seat, he raises his hand. “See you later, Griff.”

 


 

Clarke finds him in the library room scribbling words down on a piece of paper, which is a sight that sends warmth through her entire body. Because he’s so immersed in the art he’s creating, Bellamy doesn’t notice her even as she walks up behind his chair to run her hand up his spine and bury her fingertips in his hair.

In the end, that touch is what gives her away.

“Hi, Princess,” his voice swells with fondness.

“Hello, boyfriend.”

Call her cheesy all you want. She’s never had the opportunity to say it before, but suddenly she has and it means more to her than can possibly be described. At once, Bellamy turns the chair around, meeting her with a wide smile. “I like the sound of that,” is what he chuckles before standing to pull her closer by the waist.

“I bet you do.” 

With those words, Clarke presses a lingering kiss to his lips. “What are you working on?”

It’s unlikely that he will tell her what she’s writing, but she has to ask anyway, because her curiosity is prevalent.

Pressing his forehead to hers, Bellamy murmurs, “Something for you,” and her heart can barely take the softness in his words. Instead of demanding to know more, she buries her face in the crook of his neck.  

After a minute of comfortable silence spent in his arms, Clarke can’t hold the truth back any longer. “I told Lincoln about the baby.”

When she dares to pull back slightly, his dark eyes are glistening with tears, and for a moment she is terrified that she hurt him, but then he kisses both her cheeks. “You need him,” she murmurs into his ear. “Because you’re always acting so strong around me. I don’t want you to love me at the expense of your own well-being.” 

Holding his hands in hers, Clarke kisses them. Though he doesn’t say anything for a while, he’s visibly moved, swallowing while attempting to brush the tears from his cheeks. “But I—“

“Bellamy, this isn’t up for discussion, okay? I wanna take care of you, so does Lincoln and Miller and Murphy and everyone else.”

He’s always the caregiver. Not anymore. Although he’s good at hiding it, Clarke knows how much losing the baby pained him, because he — like her — wanted a family. He too quit smoking and got another job, bought a stuffed animal to show his willingness to step up. When she miscarried, he must have felt as if all of that was crushed. 

“You mean the world to me, you know that?” 

Of course she does, and yet he seems to constantly find new ways to show it to her every day. Two things are certain: She will never understand how she was lucky enough to find him, and she will forever be grateful for that starry night on Murphy’s matchbox-sized balcony.

 


 

They eat lasagna for dinner and drink red wine to pretend that they’re in Rome, far away from all the troubles, but Clarke doesn’t have much room in her mind to think about the money in the envelope that her dad gave her, though it could make all of this come true. Because she’s too busy dreaming while wide-awake, seeing a future in the eyes of the man sitting in front of her. 

Later, they’re naked in bed, talking about the night they met.

“Yesterday, I said that I was drawn to your eyes when I first saw you… What was the first thing you noticed about me?”

Bellamy chuckles. “I wrote about it, actually. On my phone after you’d left the apartment. That makes me sound like a total creep, but it’s the truth.”

 

I 

The charcoal is like bruises on her knuckles

I see the fight in her eyes, flashing like lightning.

Electric blue sky…

Cigarette dreaming, breathlessly wishing

For a moment more of this.

 

“Oh wow. How much did you write about me?” is what she asks, her hand curling around his bicep.

For some reason, it never occurred to her that Bellamy wrote about their relationship before they started having sex, but now that it’s obvious that he did, she wants to know everything. And not just because his words are the most beautiful thing she’s ever head, but because they allow her to reminisce about how wonderful it was to have him in her life, even when they were no more than platonic roommates. 

“A lot.”

He’s unapologetic, and she’s living for it, especially because he chooses to read her the small series of poems that he wrote very early on in their relationship.

 

II

Black coffee has me waking up to sunsets and her

The apartment is beautiful magic

Whenever she smiles

I think about how poetry spills from my mouth

How art is on her breath

And if we kissed

Would the ink seep into paint? Would I seep into her?

 

 

III

Her skin tastes exactly like I thought it would

Yet somehow better

I lay down my armor as she takes off her shirt

She is a dream, fluorescent.

I am doused in her vivid colors

Drunk and sober all the same

 

 

Once he’s recited the poems for her, Clarke rolls on top of him and pins him beneath her. She is relieved that she still fits there after everything they’ve been through together. Like he’d done the first night they were here, she kisses her way down his body, mapping every inch of it with her mouth.

And yes, that includes his cock. To his evident surprise…

Clarke…” he breathes, her name a half grunt, half gasp when it falls off his lips. Feeling a spark of confidence light up in her chest, she smiles against his inner thigh, but chooses not go any further because he doesn’t ask her to. 

Instead, she moves up to meet his eyes in the dim light of the candles. “I wanna be as romantic as you are,” is what she murmurs against his lips while she draws mindless, invisible patterns on his temple with her fingertip. Secretly, she doesn’t believe that possible for anyone to be as romantic as he is. But that doesn’t mean she won’t try. 

Bellamy bites his lower lip, and although she recognizes the hungry look in his eye she doesn’t address it, because she wants him to tell her what he wants. Still, he doesn’t, even despite how insistent her gaze becomes. 

In the end, she sighs, “Do you want me to blow you or not?” 

He stares at her for a moment before raising his eyebrows. “You think that’s romantic?”

“Just answer the damn question. Be honest with me.”

If there’s one thing they never used to be insecure about, it’s their desire for one another. So if Bellamy can no longer openly want her and she can’t want him, what will happen to their relationship?

His jaw slack, Bellamy’s eyes are filled with guilt. “… Yes, I do, but that—” As soon as she sits up, burying her face in her hands, he cuts himself off. 

Biting back the tears of frustration, Clarke runs her fingertips through her hair and faces him. “I’m your girlfriend,” she says, her voice trembling with emotion. “You shouldn’t feel ashamed of wanting me.” 

Bellamy takes a slow breath before he leans down to kiss her breast. “I know. But it’s difficult to navigate my desires when my mind tells me that I’m supposed to feel sad all the time. Hell, I can’t… I can’t even masturbate without…” he gulps, trailing off, but she urges him to continue. This is the first time he’s really opened up to her about this, so she’s keen to understand. “… Feeling guilty. Fantasizing about you, about us, seems wrong because it ignores how difficult everything is right now.”

Clarke worries her lower lip. “So, think about something else.” 

At this suggestion, he shakes his head. “No. I can’t do that.” 

Even though she knows what he means, having experienced the same exact issue herself, she still asks him why. Smiling slightly, Bellamy holds her hands, his eyes locking onto hers. “Because you’re all I want.” 

Hearing him say that makes her tear up, so he cradles her cheek. Sure, they’re going through a hard time right now, which is devastating because of the baby and complicated because of the sex, but there’s no doubt in her mind. 

He loves her, she loves him, and they will always fight for what they have.

 

Chapter Text

Returning home is weirder than they thought it would be; as if the entire apartment screams for change. It’s been acting as an emotional prison for so long, kept them locked in their grief, the dragging days they spent in here have been the most torturous punishment. 

No more.

So they invite their friends over without telling them why, only to present them with sledgehammers as soon as they’ve passed the doorstep. Characteristically, Raven doesn’t ask any questions. “Demolition and beers? Sign me the fuck up!”

Within the next couple hours, the wall between Clarke’s bedroom and the one that used to be his, is knocked down, which happens to be the greatest form of anger management. Murphy has never been more excited about anything they do as a group and uses the opportunity to check out his girlfriend who’s using the hammer with one arm because her fingers are fused together on her other hand. 

When they’re left standing among the rubble, Bellamy rubs some gray dust off Clarke’s cheekbone. She laughs, leaning into him. “I feel empowered.”

“Yeah. Me too.”

They order pizza for everyone and open all the windows to let the fresh air sweep the apartment clean of lingering pain. Over the next ten days, Bellamy and Clarke transform their bedroom by rearranging the furniture and painting the Prussian blue over with white. Because the walls seem pretty bare afterwards, they choose to frame some of her art and print out some of his poetry, so that it can adorn the space. Like the true florist he is, Bellamy buys lavender and African daisies for his desk in the corner of the (now much bigger) room.

Nuzzling her hair as they sit at the end of the bed, which has been moved to the opposite wall, Bellamy murmurs, “We need new sheets. Silk ones, like the ones at the resort.” 

Clarke chuckles, then pulls back slightly to look at him. “Do you have any idea of expensive those are? I’d much rather have a tub.”

“Princess, our bathroom is the size of a Rubik’s cube.”

At that statement, she pouts, knowing that it’s true. Not in a million years would they be able to fit a tub in there, not even a small one, since there’s only just enough room for a shower cabin and a toilet. For the first time ever, Clarke curses her twenty-year-old self for prioritizing the size of the bedrooms over that of the bathroom. The hours she spent in the tub with Bellamy at the resort was close to the most soothing ones of her life, filled with sweet intimacy and relaxation.

Sighing, she says, “When we have a house, I want the bathroom to be enormous.

These words pass her lips without much thought, and for a moment she fears his reaction to them.

What Lincoln told her about the possible future of her relationship with Bellamy has caused her to think about a lot of things… But what if he hasn’t? 

Still, Bellamy only replies, “I’ll build it for us.”

Oh god. If he could tone it down a little with the romantic statements maybe her heart would have a chance at beating regularly for once.

To conceal her fluster, Clarke smiles against his lips and decides to tease him, “Come on. You’re good with your hands, I know, but you’re not that good.”

His eyebrows shoot up in challenge as a wide grin stretches the corners of his mouth further apart. “Oh really? You wanna bet on that?” 

When she chuckles, Bellamy begins to toy with the collar of her shirt and work on its buttons. For the first time in forever, she’s wearing her own clothes: A sapphire blue shirt with a lacy pocket. He mouths at the sensitive spot below her jaw right at the juncture of her throat as he slowly peels the material off her shoulders, exposing her ruby-colored bra. 

“Jesus… You’re gorgeous.”

The smell of paint lingers in the room, but soon enough the only scent that reaches her nostrils is that of his hair; pine and rain infused with lemon, which is intoxicating in the best way possible. Because of this, she crawls into his lap to be closer to him and straddles his waist.

Bellamy hasn’t shaven in a few days, so the stubble on his freckled cheeks prickles her fingertips when she touches his face. The tips of their noses graze before she kisses him with surprising hunger. Wrapping his fingertips in her golden hair, he groans into her mouth and coaxes her lips apart using the tip of his tongue. 

In sudden yet strong need, Clarke mewls as she grinds her hips against his, which has him drawing back to breathe, his voice gruff, “Tell me what you want, babe.” 

“If I do, will you follow through on it?” 

At her sassiness, Bellamy tweaks her nipple through the fabric of the bra, which sends a rush of electricity shooting up her spine. “Who do you think I am, huh? Some amateur who doesn’t know—“ he temporarily cuts himself off to unclasp her bra and suck at her collarbone, which is definitely going to leave a hickey, “— every inch of your body. Trust me, Princess. I’m eager to please.”                                

With those words, Bellamy twists around and lowers her onto the soft duvet. Right away, Clarke moves closer to the headboard to make more room for him to join her. Biting her lower lip, she closes her eyes, listening to the crunchy sound of the sheets as he crawls towards her. Only when she senses his gaze on her does she let her eyelids flutter open again. 

He’s smirking above her in the kind of way that makes her heart flip. “Now, tell me what you want.”

Then his hand travels up her body to fondle her breast, which makes it difficult for her to form a coherent response. “I… I want—“ he leans down to suck her nipple into his mouth until she gasps. “God, I missed your mouth. I want it between my legs.” 

Though those words don’t seem to surprise him, Bellamy still asks her if she’s sure. She is, which she proves by unbuttoning her jeans and allowing him to pull them down her legs. Despite her desire, he has no intention of rushing this thing, giving her plenty of time to change her mind as he gets her worked up.

Of course she’s nervous, but feeling him kiss her inner thighs makes her forget about that. She wants to focus on the pleasure that he’s giving to her, but when his hands carefully remove her panties Clarke senses her stomach tighten a bit. 

This is going to be the first time they have sex in one and a half month.  

And yeah, that terrifies her more than she cares to admit. Honestly, it wouldn’t be such a big deal if the reason for their celibacy hadn’t been so tragic. Worrying her bottom lip, Clarke pushes the thoughts of guilt as far away as possible, reminding herself that there is no logic behind punishing herself.

Bellamy gives her knee a light squeeze, bringing her back to reality. “You okay?”

When she raises herself up, the sight of his head between her legs makes her face flush and her core throb in anticipation. He seems so at home there, but she understands that he must be nervous as well, even though he’s concealing it better.

“Yeah…” 

Drawing invisible circles on her inner thighs with his fingertips, Bellamy admits, “I can’t wait to taste you,” which just sends more heat to her cheeks. To her utter surprise, he adds, “But I think we need to do this differently. I can’t let you be all passive. You’re not gonna be present.” 

She quirks up an eyebrow. “What do you propose then?” 

Kissing her mound, Bellamy combs his fingertips through the small amount of pubic hair that has gathered there; it sends wetness pooling between her legs instantly, so she has to battle the urge to rub her thighs together. Much to her dismay, he moves away, but only to caress her breastbone.

Making eye contact with her, he lets his hot breath ghost over her parted lips. “Sit on my face. I’ll help you, come on.” 

With those words, Bellamy interlaces their fingers and pulls her up to sit in front of him. Before they go any further, Clarke removes his sweater, hoping that them being skin-to-skin will ease her mind.

He kisses her, pouring passion into it then lies down on his back so that she can place her knees on either side of his chest. Smiling, Bellamy trails his hand from her ass to the top of her spine. 

“Are you okay with this?” she murmurs, which prompts him to cradle the back of thighs. The situation is daunting to her for some reason, perhaps because he’s never eaten her out like this before.

Hell, Bellamy hasn’t even mentioned being into it, but judging from the intrigued glint in his eye, he is. “Yeah. Move up.”

“What if I’m… too heavy?”

His brow furrows, his gaze turning serious though its softness remains. “You’re not, Clarke. Believe me.” 

Ultimately it’s his reassurance that gives her the confidence to scoot up until her pussy is hovering above his mouth. His hot breath collides with her clit in a way that it never has before, and though nervous as she was to do this a minute ago, Clarke suddenly can’t fight the desire pulsing through her veins.

Unembarrassed, she lowers herself onto his face, moans when he grips her thighs tighter, his fingertips pressing into her skin. As his tongue dips into her, a gasp is released from her throat and she grinds without thinking, desperate for friction. Bellamy doesn’t seem to mind, though. In fact, he just groans, sending small vibrations through her body.

Knowing now that she likes it, he picks up the pace as he switches between sucking at her clit and placing open-mouthed kisses to her folds. “Bell—“ she whimpers, rocking down on his mouth again, which make him lap at her with even more hunger and fervor. 

To anchor herself, Clarke grabs the headboard, her breath trembling with the pleasure. “Oh, oh God, I…”

Placing a hand on her hip, Bellamy helps her maintain a steadier rhythm as she rocks, carting her fingers through his hair. Just when she thinks that she won’t come, that she’s too broken to let go, he thrusts his tongue into her, flickering it over her clit, and she tumbles over the edge with a loud moan.

She cries out, the wooden headboard creaking a little in her tight grasp. When she has wound down from the high, her skin is overheated from the aftershocks of the orgasm that are still coursing through her body like waves. In her haze, she realizes that Bellamy probably needs air, so she moves off his face.

Lying down next to him, Clarke scoots as close as possible. Then he rolls onto his side to face her, his chin glistening with her arousal before he wipes it away. Smiling, he leans forward to press a sweet kiss to her lips. 

“I came.” 

“You did.” Even though she still can’t believe it, Bellamy only chuckles as if making it happen was child’s play. Clarke doesn’t feel that way.

For a minute, she considers not telling him about how she’s really feeling, but it’s no use in the end, since he’ll figure it out as he always does. Also, they’ve agreed to be open with each other about everything 

With this in mind, Clarke murmurs, her voice barely audible, “… It was really hard for me.”

Bellamy rests his forehead against hers. “I know. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologize. I enjoyed it. It’s the aftermath that’s difficult, because I’m confused.”

At that, he raises his eyebrows, his eyes searching hers. “Confused how?”

Of course, talking more about sex than they used to is a good thing despite that it’s not easy to get used to. Being open and communicating such complex feelings to each other is challenging, but it’s important nonetheless, as it forces them to think about why they’re struggling.

Sensing her hesitation, Bellamy brings her into his chest and drops a chaste kiss to her shoulder. 

“I guess I’m torn between feeling guilty and wanting to get you off.”

In the end, she chooses to get him off.

Good-hearted as ever, Bellamy insists that she doesn’t have to, but she isn’t doing this out of obligation. No. She wants her fucking life back... so she can blow her boyfriend’s brains out without feeling ashamed.

Once he’s lying on his back again, Clarke touches him through his pants, the sensation surprising him enough that a sharp gasp escapes his lips. The sound empowers her once it reaches her ears, drives her to eagerly remove his pants and take his cock into her hand.

He’s rock-hard in her palm, straining against the fabric of the boxers, so she doesn’t hesitate to free him. When she begins to stroke him, he bites back a needy whimper to ask, “Can I sit? I want to see you better.” 

Hearing him say that makes a spark of curiosity flicker in her chest. Because of this, she gives in to his wishes, kneeling on the floor as Bellamy moves to the edge of the bed. Despite the fact he clearly doesn’t need to be worked up more, Clarke continues stroking him for another minute to reacquaint herself with the feel of him. Then she closes her mouth around the head of his cock without hesitation or warning. 

The growl that escapes him is almost animalistic. It turns her on like nothing else…

“Good girl,” he breathes, fisting the golden waves of her air. “So good for me."

Shit. She’s never been more relieved to hear his praise. For a moment, she’d feared that she’d lost her touch, but Bellamy doesn’t seem to think so. As she blows him, Clarke twists her wrist at the base of his shaft, because he’s simply too big to fit in her throat.

Still, she pushes herself to the limit, taking as much of his length as possible while she moves her hands up his bronze thighs.

“Damn, Clarke. How are you so...? Fuck, I’m gonna—“

At once, she draws back enough to say, “No, you’re not. Not ‘til I say.”

Through the pleasure, Bellamy manages to raise his eyebrows, “Are you dominating me, Princess?”

Without blinking, she replies. “Yeah, I am.” 

Instead of being flustered by this, Bellamy looks prouder than he has ever been, which makes her inexplicably happy. His lips curling into a smirk, dark eyes filling with sparks of amusement, Bellamy tilts his head back. “Oh, okay.” 

Now that they’ve settled that, Clarke can go back to pleasing him, smearing the bit of pre-cum at the tip of him with her thumb before taking him into her mouth again. He groans low in his throat and grabs the edge of the mattress, but doesn’t say anything. 

When her tongue gets involved, circling the head and tracing the entire length of him, Bellamy starts to struggle. Whimpering in need, he pulls a little at her hair, proceeding to do something that she never thought he would: Beg for it.  

“Please, babe. I—I can’t…” 

She finally gives him the go-ahead, caressing his knee. As expected, he comes right away with a groan so loud it bounces off the walls. Sensitive from the release, he pulls out of her mouth as soon as he has wound down and falls back onto the mattress, exhaling, ”Fuck... 

While she chuckles, he wipes the sweat off his forehead. 

“Was that good?” 

Comically, he throws his hands into the air. “Are you kidding me? That was… unreal.” 

For the next two hours — until their hungry stomachs scream in protest — they cuddle in the bed, their limbs entangled. Although they don’t say much, being too exhausted, Bellamy has to know if she still feels guilty. And it hits her then that she doesn’t.

Hallelujah.

 


 

“Do you know what we need? More pictures of us,” Clarke remarks, because despite their most vigorous efforts to redecorate the living room it never seems to be personal enough. Chuckling, Bellamy offers her a spoonful of his gooey Mac and Cheese.

“As narcissistic as that sounds, I get what you mean,” he replies before kissing her cheek.

Having framed photos of them in the apartment didn’t matter until now, since they weren’t a couple. Now that they are, it feels more like their home than ever before. There’s a small problem with the lack of photos, though: None of them really like to take selfies, so Clarke decides to message their friends to see if they’ve managed to capture she and Bellamy at some point (like the true spies that they are.)

 

DREAM TEAM™

 

Art hoe: Okay y’all. Pls turn over your photographic material of Bellamy and I.

We’re decorating.

 

Miller: Oh boy. #exposed I guess [picture of Bellamy and Clarke on the beach at night, their faces illuminated by firelight]

 

Miss McIntyre: Are we making a scrapbook for your wedding? I’m down, bitches. [two photos of them during a drinking game in Murphy’s apartment, sharing a Piña Colada]

 

Ya girl Emori: This is a group photo, but it counts because both of you are sporting some serious heart eyes for each other [picture of the group at The Mountain after Raven and Zeke’s engagement, Bellamy and Clarke smiling at one another off to the side]

 

Jordan (with them goggles): Personal space is a wild concept [picture of Bellamy and Clarke on the balcony, their elbows grazing and the sun sinking behind them]

 

Achilles was A BICON (Bellamy): Stay creepy, guys. Thanks.

 

For no apparent reason, Clarke places a noisy kiss to his cheek that makes him chuckle. Interlacing their fingers, Bellamy sighs. “What should we do for Thanksgiving?”

A bit of sadness lingers at the edges of the question, and she knows why. Celebrating that holiday will be hard for them this year, because how on Earth are you supposed to be grateful for anything when you’ve lost a child? Honestly, she’s thought of them just spending it alone, but that seems unnecessarily sad.

“My parents have invited us to New York to spend it with them. Wells and Jaha will be there, too.”

Bellamy nods, letting his thumb brush the top of her hand. For a minute, he doesn’t say anything and yet the question that they were both thinking pushes past his lips in the end, “You think we should tell them about…” his voice loses some of its strength, cracking a bit, “… the baby?”

Although neither of them wants to, it’s important to discuss this with the people they love. It’s easy to agree on the fact that talking about the miscarriage is devastating, but at the same time they need to acknowledge it for what it is: Something tragic that has greatly affected their lives and their relationship.

“Yeah, I think we ought to.” 

Her parents deserve to know, because they care about her, and it’s pretty obvious that they also care about Bellamy despite not knowing him very well yet. Still, they’re not even aware that she and Bellamy have been sleeping together for months — maybe breaking this to them would be easier if they did, but it’s no use now.

They’ll have to spill all the secrets at once. There’s no other way.

 

Chapter Text

As always, the Griffin family house is filled to the brim with love on Thanksgiving. At the second Bellamy and Clarke open the front door, they are greeted by the wonderful scent of roasting turkey — the delicious one her dad makes every year with a stuffing that’s out of this world. Obviously, she can’t wait for her boyfriend to taste it.

On the flight to New York, Bellamy told her that his Thanksgivings as a kid were nice, but his mom never had the time to make the food from scratch, which — as he points out himself — was a huge bummer. However, when he was sixteen he finally learned how to cook a turkey and whip a basic green bean casserole together, so from that point on the Blakes could have some homemade Thanksgiving food.

Wells and his dad are ready to greet them by the door alongside her parents as soon as they have let go off their luggage. When her dad has wrapped his arms around her, it’s even more difficult to step out of his embrace than she imagined it would be: She is enclosed in the spicy yet familiar scent of his aftershave and has to battle the urge to press her nose into his shoulder. If she does that, the tears will conquer her eyes. 

“Ah, only one suitcase!” Thelonius remarks. Around this time of year, he becomes much more of a jokester, but Clarke has a feeling of where this teasing is going. And she’s right. “Do you have news for us?” Honestly, it’s not that domestic to pack your stuff in a single suitcase, which is why Jaha probably doesn’t expect the slightly awkward silence that follows his question.

Before she can open her mouth, Bellamy says, “We’re roommates. Used to sharing things.” 

Hopefully this response will save them for now, because neither of them is ready to drop “the bomb” just yet. For Heaven’s sake, they’ve just crossed the doorstep. Still, they know — with an impending kind of dread — that the truth has to come out tonight: It won’t be pretty, but at least they won’t have to pretend to be fine around people who care about them. 

Jake Griffin is the direct opposite of Murphy if you look at the fact that he actually understands which beers are good. Clarke can see how surprised Bellamy is when he takes the first sip. Taking the bottle from his mouth, he has to look at the label right away. “Wow, this is great.” 

“It’s German.”

Clarke lets Bellamy small talk with her dad as she zones out for a minute. Even her parents’ home feels different now, though she’s aware that it’s only because she feels different. Everything in her world has been turned upside down, so nothing seems the same anymore; no matter where she goes, she faces uncertainty. Lately, the only constant things in her life have been Bellamy and their mutual friends. If it weren’t for them…

When she hears her dad ask Bellamy about his job, she is pulled back to reality. 

“Yeah, I got a new job last month, actually, at the library in Arkadia. To be honest, it’s still not ideal, but at least the pay is much better.”

In the past weeks, Clarke has become a pro at noticing Bellamy’s signature signs of sadness, even when he does his absolute best to suppress them. Right now, the corner of his mouth is twitching a little bit, letting her know that he’s holding tears back. The reason for this is far from a mystery: The good pay that Bellamy is telling her dad about was supposed to be used for baby items, and he can’t look at the extra money without thinking about that. His improved salary is therefore a curse — it keeps reminding him of what he lost. 

While knowing that comforting him right now could make her dad suspect something, Clarke cares more about her boyfriend’s well-being than maintaining a cover. She lets her fingertips brush his arm, and though her dad doesn’t seem to notice, Clarke feels someone else’s gaze on her as she continues to caress Bellamy’s wrist.

Wells.

The last time they were here for her birthday celebration, her childhood friend was the only person who picked up on the fact that she and Bellamy were more than just roommates. Because of this, it wouldn’t surprise her if he saw through them again, but she doesn’t want to worry about that right now. 

“Well, I’m glad that you’ve found something that suits you better. How about you, Clarke? Do you still like working with the kids?”

“Yeah, it’s great,” she replies, perhaps a little too quickly.

In reality, teaching the kids is a struggle for her, which is why she’s been browsing for other job possibilities as of late, but she doesn’t want to tell her dad that, because then she’ll have to explain it.

But she hates lying to her dad. Especially since her rushed response seems to worry him, his brow furrowing. “Are you alright, Honey?”

At once, Clarke feels the blood drain from her face. It’s as if the weight of a million eyes are on her, as if it isn’t just her dad staring. Before she can gather a plausible excuse, however, Wells asks her to pick out the board games for tonight with him — a Thanksgiving tradition they’ve had since they were kids.

Then he all but drags her into the guest bedroom and closes the door behind them, which makes it very obvious that they won’t be choosing any board games — at least not right now. “What’s up, Wells?” she asks, fighting to keep the tremble from showing in her voice. 

Her friend frowns, his dark eyes full of worry. “I should be asking you that. You’re not okay.”

It as if everything within her starts rattling, especially her heart: an obvious cry for help from her body. Suddenly, tears press against the inside of her throat, clogging it up and she knows that the only way to keep them at bay is to away, but her friend’s eyes are so insistently soft. 

“I’m… I’m fine.”

For fuck’s sake, stop lying! 

Clarke thinks back to when she told Lincoln about the miscarriage, how liberating it felt to reveal it in spite of the excruciating pain attached to it. Right now, she wants nothing more than the ability to do the same: Be honest — about what’s happened to her, to Bellamy. The truth is ugly and has a persistent presence in her life, but somehow it’s still damn near impossible to be upfront about it.

As Wells waits, patient as ever, her lower lip wobbles.

Then she closes her eyes. “You’re right. I’m not okay. I… We lost a baby.” 

After that, silence conquers the room for a minute, just as she expected because no matter whom you tell something like this to, they never know what to say. In our life, we aren’t taught how to deal with pain and grief; it’s too uncomfortable, so we shove try to shove it under the rug, but that doesn’t make it go anyway. It doesn’t make things easier. Only after experiencing this kind of grief herself has Clarke realized that society teaches you to pretend that it doesn’t affect you, mostly so that everyone else around you won’t feel uneasy or unhelpful.

But Wells surprises her.

Because the first thing he says isn’t ‘I’m so sorry,’ which is the default response. Instead, he says, his voice careful, “You and Bellamy?”

And when she nods at that, he still doesn’t go with the norm. “How far along were you?”

“Almost nine weeks,” Clarke sniffles, which has him embracing her. “We had decided to keep it at that point, so it was just… a loss. It hit me harder than I thought it would, and—“ though she chokes up, she wills herself to continue, “Working with the kids every day reminds me of what I could’ve had.”

The more she opens up, the more Clarke understands what the true problem with the default ‘I’m so sorry’ response is: It makes it so much more difficult to talk about what’s happened to you. After a person has expressed their condolences, you have no idea how to continue from there or whether it’s even best to do so.

“At least Bellamy and I are together now,” is what she says in the end, making Wells smile a little.

“I could tell how happy he made you the first time I met him, and that’s important when you’re going through something like this. When Mom died, my dad only had your parents to lean on, because I was too young to understand. You and Bellamy, you need to keep each other centered.”

Well, she’ll definitely remember that advice — Just as much as she has remembered Lincoln’s words to her about the future being bright.

 


 

 

During Thanksgiving dinner, Clarke passes the mashed potatoes to Bellamy and whispers in his ear that Wells knows. In silent response, he gives her hand a light squeeze under the table. As always, the meal is fantastic, and the fact that she has already told someone the truth makes it easier for her to enjoy it, but her boyfriend hasn’t had the same relief.

Not yet.

But by the time that the plates are being washed, the painful secret hasn’t been spilled. So she takes Bellamy upstairs to her room. Feeling guilt sting in her chest, Clarke meets his eyes before she admits, “I don’t know how to tell them. It’s…”

“About me?”

She blinks, her jaw slacking. “No, I want them to know about you. I’m just not ready to tell them about the… miscarriage. I have no idea how to.”

At her words, Bellamy dark eyes soften and he pulls her in for a comforting kiss. “Then I think we should wait. Telling people about this before you’re ready for them to know is just gonna do more damage than good.”

Despite knowing in her heart that she isn’t ready for her parents to know about the baby, it’s discouraging. What if she’s not ready for another year? What if she’s never ready? Will she have to pretend forever? 

No. She doesn’t want that. Fuck… 

Suddenly a light bulb flickers on above her head. “You brought Chip, right?”

Bellamy nods. “It’s in the bag. Why?”

Last week, they decided to name the stuffed animal that he bought for the baby, because it serves as the only symbol of the love they have for something that was never here.

Though it seems a bit silly, Chip could make it easier for them to start talking.

Well, it’s worth a try. 

Every year, her family eats the delicious pumpkin pie in front of the television, but the movie they watch is never the same. Tonight, her mom has chosen a romantic comedy called ‘Begin Again’, which is surprisingly empowering. About half an hour into it, Bellamy goes to the bathroom and returns carrying Chip. 

At first no one notices, but Thelonius — being the most observant adult in the room by a landslide — quickly catches a glimpse of Bellamy and Clarke who are sitting next to each other, holding the stuffed fox together. Because he doesn’t look away, not long passes before her parents catch on, wanting to see what their friend is staring at. The last person to notice is Wells, but he already knows. 

However, he’s still confused, because Clarke never mentioned Chip. “What’s with the stuffed animal?”

Jake Griffin humorously echoes, “Yeah… What’s with the stuffed animal?”

In the end, human curiosity never fails to raise questions, which is why this was a smart way of doing things. Sighing a little, Clarke looks at Bellamy, causing Wells to ask if he bought it for her. 

Knowing that he probably needs to get this off his chest to, she lets her boyfriend explain — even though it visibly affects him, his eyes filling with tears before he’s said anything at all. “No. I bought it for—I bought it for the baby that we were gonna have.”

Oh please note the past tense. That will omit the necessity for further explanation.  

Clarke kisses Bellamy’s temple, caresses his knuckles. Comforting him distracts her from feeling too sad, which must be why he dedicates most of his energy to soothing her every day. While it definitely serves its purpose, it’s clearly an unhealthy coping mechanism.

Abby is the first person to speak up despite being audibly shell-shocked, “Were? Oh Honey, what does that mean?”

“You know what it means, Mom…”

Yeah. She sure does, but that doesn’t mean that she wants to. Much like Clarke herself had done after receiving the news, Abby seems to be in denial. As a parent, your worst fear is your child suffering, especially if you feel like your hands are tied and there’s nothing you can do to make it better. 

You can’t kiss grief better; you can’t bandage sadness.

Because Bellamy’s still crying, he’s hopelessly trying to dry the tears off his cheeks. “Babe, please stop,” she murmurs as she takes his hands, revealing their romantic relationship without planning to. “Just cry. It’s okay.” 

Actually, crying is something to be thankful for. Where would they be without it? 

“We lost the baby at eight weeks,” Clarke explains, still looking at Bellamy. “He… he applied for the job at the library so that we’d be able to buy the things we needed, but we—we never ended up needing them. All we have is this fox.”

“Chip,” Bellamy murmurs, his voice so low that you can barely hear it, which makes her heart shatter.

“Yeah. Chip,” soothingly, she brushes her fingertips through his hair. What hurts the most is that she can sense how small Bellamy feels right now — that he’s embarrassed of crying in front of her family, but he clenches his jaw and works through it, gathering himself. 

Meanwhile, everyone else simply stares, being too shocked to say anything, and Clarke doesn’t blame them. Maybe it’s better like this: Without questions and pity. “Just so you know,” she starts, glancing at them for the first time since they all noticed Chip. “Bellamy and I weren’t together when I got pregnant.” 

When Bellamy speaks, his voice is much stronger than before, as he interlaces their fingers and kisses her knuckles. “But we are now. That’s the only good thing to come out of this… We know that it’s terrible timing, that we probably shouldn’t be telling you this today, but we’d rather be honest than sit here and pretend like everything is fine when it is, in fact, not fine at all.” 

To Clarke’s surprise, her dad is the first to respond, “I think both Abby and I are happy that you told us. Yes, it might be Thanksgiving, but no festivities should force people to suffer in silence.”

Thelonius nods at his best friend’s words.

Though the mood for the rest of the night has been dimmed, it’s full of love nonetheless. Perhaps it’s even clearer now as her parents, Wells and Thelonius band together to comfort them with board games and hot chocolate. 

Towards the end of the night, Clarke notices her dad standing next to Bellamy in one corner of the living room, small yet seemingly easy smiles on both their faces, and she releases a breath so heavy that she must’ve been holding for several minutes. When her dad places a hand on her boyfriend’s shoulder, Clarke doesn’t need to hear what he’s saying to understand that they are words of approval. 

Still, this is confirmed when her dad passes her on his way to find a beer in the fridge and whispers in her ear, “He’s brilliant, Honey. I’m so proud of you. Both of you.” 

“Thanks Dad.”

Then her eyes settle on Bellamy who catches her right away, his smile growing bigger. He’s still holding the fox, but he walks to her with it and hands it to her. Honestly, keeping this stuffed animal is one of the best decisions they’ve made for themselves.

Even if their life turns out like Lincoln predicted, if they have a flock of kids running around their home someday, Chip will have followed them to that point to serve as a constant reminder that they will always — no matter what — have a child that they cannot see.

 

Chapter Text

December greets them in the softest way, the light snowflakes clinging to the windows of the apartment, which is swept in cozy fairy lights and colorful ornaments (on the first day of the month, Clarke found a cute one that resembles Chip, so naturally she had to buy it). To her surprise, the beginning of December also shows her that it is in fact possible for Bellamy to be more romantic than he already is: Every morning there is a single Hershey’s Peppermint Kiss on her pillow, and the sight has a smile growing on her face. A perfect way to start the day…

Right now, they’re baking peanut butter/chocolate cookies that they can eat with their friends tonight when they are at Murphy’s apartment. The scent of them is purely divine, filling the entire apartment and making her mouth water. 

The true reason why they’re baking is that Bellamy mentioned not having made cookies since he was a teenager, and Clarke insisted that they change that. When she was little, she used to sit on the counter watching her dad bake all sorts of pastries, mostly sugar cookies because they were her favorite kind back then, but the cookies that they’re making now have been Bellamy’s favorite since he was a kid; in fact, it’s his grandmother’s old recipe.

He told her that even though his mother was tirelessly working through December to provide for her kids, she’d always find enough time to bake these cookies. Hearing him talk about the memories with so much fondness in his voice makes her heart swell. 

“They’re best when they’re a little warm, still gooey in the middle,” Bellamy tells her a couple minutes after he’s pulled the first batch from the oven. “Here…” When he brings one of the cookies to her mouth, she doesn’t hesitate to take a bite, and though she nearly burns the roof of her mouth it’s worth it. 

The chocolate is rich without being overpowering, and the peanut butter adds even more flavor to it. Damn. Granny Blake knew her cookies — that’s for sure. Watching as his eyes close at the taste once he himself has taken a bite, Clarke smiles. “Nostalgic?”

“Oh definitely.” 

“Jasper and Monty are gonna die,” is what she remarks, and it almost isn’t an exaggeration. Out of everyone in their friend group, these two best friends have the biggest sweet teeth, even though Harper is a close contender.

To be honest, Clarke hasn’t inherited her dad’s culinary skills, so her work is limited to putting peanut butter into a bowl and licking the remaining bit off the spoon when Bellamy says that they probably don’t need to make another batch. “Thirty cookies have to be enough, right?” 

She nods.

For their beginning of Christmas celebration, Emori is making her famous eggnog, which is so good that even Miller got tipsy from drinking it once; Harper’s bringing her Christmas loaf with dried cranberries and chocolate; Raven and Zeke are — same as every year — in charge of purchasing alcohol. 

Pulling her against his side, Bellamy presses a lingering kiss into her hair. “I can see how happy you are right now. I love that.”

“Yeah. Me too.”

Afterwards, they make hot chocolate and settle on the couch to cuddle. “You know...” she starts, stirring her beverage with a candy cane. “I don’t think I want to stop working at the school anyway. Today, I let the kids color The Grinch and tell me about their favorite Christmas. Listening to their stories reminded me of what it was like to be a kid. How simple everything can be. I don’t want to forget that.” 

When she was little she’d go to her grandmother’s house in Wisconsin and skate if the layer of ice on the fish pond was thick enough; she built snowmen with her parents, decorated the tree with them every year as if it were a sport, and there was something truly special about the atmosphere in the house during December.

She wants to experience that again. More than anything, now that Bellamy is with her the chance of it is bigger than it has been since childhood. Christmas, it’s about love, and they have a ton of that here, for sure. Sighing in content, Clarke leans against her boyfriend’s chest. 

“I hope Maya lets you keep the job… Now, what are you gonna do with a candy cane that’s all soft and melted at one end?”

At that teasing comment, Clarke sticks out her tongue. “Eat it, of course. Don’t be absurd.”

 

Rule one of Christmas: Never waste a good candy cane.

 

Proving himself to be a craftsman, Bellamy has made tiny decorations that smell amazing: Cinnamon sticks glued together to form a star and hung with red ribbon where they fit in the living room. Maybe she should steal that idea for a project with the kids… 

He kisses her then, smiling against her lips before she deepens it. Twisting her neck a little, Clarke wraps a hand around his bicep, making him chuckle. “Anything you want, Princess?”

Just to spark his curiosity, she hesitates a couple seconds before responding, “There’s something I wanna show you… in the bedroom.”

His eyebrows wiggle. “A gift? That is early.”

Well, it’s not a wrapped gift, which he probably doesn’t expect either given her rather obvious suggestive tone. As a grin stretches across her face, Clarke tells him to wait on the couch until she yells for him to join her, and he pretends to be more impatient than he is just to amuse her.

In the bedroom by herself, Clarke opens the closet doors to find a brand new piece of lingerie that she bought at Victoria’s Secret yesterday while she was shopping for her friends. As soon as she’d laid her eyes on it, there was no way she was leaving the store without it. Sure, lingerie has never not been sexy, but lately she’s wanted to buy it much more, longing for the sexual empowerment that wearing it gives her. 

Frankly, it’s only an added bonus that Bellamy loves when she wears it.

This particular piece of lingerie is a red lace bodysuit that hugs her curves and highlights her figure. When she has put it on, Clarke smiles at herself in the mirror, her chest sparking with confidence. Then she calls out for Bellamy who enters the bedroom so quickly that he must’ve been waiting by the door. 

As soon as his eyes land on her, his jaw slackens. “Holy shit, you look… amazing. But I’m just stating the obvious at this point.”

She grins at him until he steps towards her, cradling her face in his hands and kissing her with striking passion. Surprised, Clarke moans a little into his mouth before responding. When she buries her fingertips in his hair, Bellamy lets his hands travel down her body, slowly memorize every curve. 

Bellamy…” Clarke pants, drawing back to look at him with so much intensity that her message is crystal clear: If you’re not don’t take charge, I will. Smirking, he turns her around and pushes her against the wall, so that she’s standing with her back to him.

Once she has pressed her palms to the wall, he puts his left hand on top of hers, keeping his right hand free to encircle her hipbone. He sucks at the juncture where her neck meets her shoulder, which has a needy mewl escaping her throat. 

“Always so fucking sexy,” is what he murmurs against the shell of her ear, letting his fingertips trail along her spine and create goosebumps on her skin. Despite the fact that Clarke can’t see him, she feels him everywhere: His hot breath colliding with the back of her neck, his hands roaming over her body — it makes her shudder in pure anticipation. “Good girl,” he breathes just as he begins to massage her clit through the fabric of the bodysuit. 

Oh…

“Yeah, you like that, don’t you, Princess?” Bellamy mumbles, but she can only whimper in response. Although he most likely knows that she wants more, he keeps teasing her with his fingers for a bit. When her lips quiver around a moan, he squeezes her breast and snaps the buttons on the bodysuit open, exposing her sex without undressing her.

“Fuck, please,” she gasps before he has even said anything. For a moment, her eagerness causes him to chuckle, but — as always — Bellamy doesn’t waste too much time. Muttering mostly-incoherent praise against the back of her neck, he slips a finger into her heat, groaning in surprise at how wet she is for him. 

Usually, Bellamy prefers to get her off with his mouth. Still, right now the situation calls for fingering, and he doesn’t want to switch it up. “You relaxing for me, babe?” 

She nods, moans when adds a second finger. Only then does she begin to feel full, but the stretch is still nothing compared to his cock, which leaves her feeling a little disappointed. 

God, she misses having him inside her.

Despite the great difference in sensation, imagination takes her a long way. In the end, her thinking about being fucked by him brings her to the edge so quickly that it’s almost embarrassing — at least to her. Bellamy seems amused by it, if anything, chuckling before he kisses the back of her neck. 

“Maybe I should get an IUD,” Clarke thinks out loud, causing him to turn her around, so that he can look at her, his eyes gentle. “I’m not ashamed of wanting you.” 

“Hey, I know that,” he tells her, lifting her chin with his fingers. Are you sure you’re ready for that kind of sex, though?” 

To reassure him, Clarke smiles, placing her hands to his sternum. “Lately I’ve been thinking about it a lot more, so if you’re ready then I think we should try. It’s important to me, it’s important to us to be together like that… I really miss making love to you.”

When he sighs, the unsteady sound reveals the quivering of his heart. Then he rests his forehead against hers, offering her a tiny yet sweet smile. “I miss that, too.” 

A couple months ago, making love was an essential part of their relationship; they’d have slow, perfect sex for hours until their bones became a pleasant kind of sore. It’s safe to say that she’s never felt so close to anyone. She fell head over heels for him somewhere in the middle of their first time doing it, and every time she looks at his framed poem ‘Empyrean Love’ she is reminded of that fact. 

“I’ve heard that it hurts like a bitch to have the IUD inserted, though, so you better be nice to me,” she teases as to prevent herself from getting too sentimental. 

Running a hand through her golden hair, Bellamy chuckles. “At least we can burn the condoms.”

“Yeah, to hell with those.”

They look at each other for a moment until Bellamy bursts into warm laughter and pulls her close to place a lingering kiss to the crown of her hair. “You’re so beautiful.”

As always, those words make her blush a little, so to hide it she pushes him lightly until he sits down at the end of their bed. Smirking, she unbuckles his belt and pulls his pants down his legs.

“Fuck, you’ve got to be kidding me,” is his only comment as he runs his fingers through his hair, but it’s understandable given that she’s already blown him four times this week and he’s probably baffled by it at this point. 

“Nope. Sit still.”

Disobeying her order, Bellamy leans down to kiss her passionately. “I’ll do whatever the hell I want,” he teases, lifting his eyebrows, to which she responds by taking his hard cock into her mouth. At once, his laughter morphs into a moan while he massages her scalp with his fingertips. Since it’s damn near impossible for his entire length to fit in her mouth, Clarke works at the rest of it with her hands, twisting her wrist at the base and stroking the underside while she sucks.

Bellamy comes within a couple minutes, and she swallows like always, but this time his eyes are actually open to watch her do it. “Fuck, how are you even real?”

For some reason, her cheeks burn at that comment. “Relax. I’m sure it’s not the best blowjob you’ve ever gotten.” 

“See, that’s where you’re wrong.” 

With that reassurance, Bellamy pulls her into his lap. Somehow, she’d managed to forget that her bodysuit is still open at the crotch. Suddenly, they’re skin-to-skin in a way that they haven’t been for weeks now, and if his sharp intake of breath is any indication it leaves him shook as well. He gazes at her, dragging his thumb down her bottom lip then nuzzles her cheek, and her heart swells so much that it might as well have melted in her chest. 

When he pulls the bodysuit off her and removes his own sweater, Clarke is left breathless. Sure, nothing drastic is going to happen, because her birth control isn’t in place, but being naked with him is always an intimate experience — the most intimate experience.

It’s her favorite thing.

 


 

At Murphy’s apartment they stuff their stomachs with turkey sandwiches and delicious sweet treats. After three cups of eggnog, Jasper and Monty are singing Christmas carols while standing shoulder-to-shoulder like two bros at a football game (of course, Miller is doing the Lord’s work by filming the whole thing on his phone), which has everyone nearly dying of laughter.

“You seem really happy today, babe,” Raven remarks when they have a minute to themselves. Right then, Harper settles between them with a full plate of Bellamy’s cookies, which attracts Emori immediately (she has professed to being obsessed with them). 

“I’m having sex again, so that’s pretty awesome.”

She smirks around a cookie as her friends beam at her. Next to her, Harper is the first person to speak up, “Wow, good for you, girl! Get it.”

Honestly, it’s been so difficult for her to talk to her friends in the past month, because she didn’t know how express everything that she was feeling without worrying them. These girls, they care so much about her, and about Bellamy, too, but it’s impossible to relate to such deep pain if you haven’t experienced it yourself.

Poppy — who is now much bigger — jumps onto Clarke’s lap without the slightest warning, so it’s a good thing that she wasn’t holding the cookie plate. “How’s my favorite pup?” she coos, scratching the dog’s ear. As she keeps talking to Poppy mindlessly, Clarke feels the weight of a pair of eyes on her, so she looks up to find Bellamy watching her with a wobbly smile. 

Oh. The baby voice. Maybe it triggered something, but it doesn’t seem like he’s on the verge of tears. Still, she sends Poppy his way in hopes that it will cheer him up. “Go get him!” she chuckles, pointing to her boyfriend, and the dog doesn’t hesitate for one second.

A couple hours (and eggnogs) later, they decide to ditch the usual drinking game in favor of some karaoke. The girls cease the makeshift microphones (a hairbrush of Emori’s, a bottle of ketchup and an empty paper towel roll) first and decide to sing ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ because that seems more than appropriate right now. Emori actually has an amazing voice, but you wouldn’t be able to tell tonight, since she wants to scream just as out-of-tune as the others. 

To her immense amusement, Bellamy, Miller and Murphy take the “stage” next, nearly blowing everyone (and everything) away with their version of ‘Highway to Hell’. As if her stomach didn’t already hurt from laughing, Monty and Jasper have their go afterwards. 

“You guys call that Christmas spirit? Y’all know nothing. Let’s hit it, Monty!” 

Cue: A drunken Jordan/Green cover of ‘Last Christmas’. By the end of it, she wants to roll around on the floor, tears are clinging to the corners of Bellamy’s eyes and Raven has sent the video to their Messenger chat with the description: BEST SHIT I EVER SAW ASHDJKCPADJCD WTF.

The night wouldn’t be complete without a duet between Bellamy and Clarke who tone it down by singing ‘Wait for Me’. “This song is very special to us,” he explains, wrapping arm around her waist. “It’s the song we listened to the first day we met.”

Collective ‘awe’s’ sweep through the living room. When they begin to sing, Murphy and Miller flicker on their lighters and hold them into the air, and sure they might be drunk out of their minds but it’s still fucking cliché. 

“You listened to that on the day you met?” is Harper’s comment. “Wow, I’m not saying that fate exists or anything, but fate definitely exists. Confirmed.” 

Though Clarke sticks out her tongue at her friend’s words, she realizes that it is a little funny that this is the song that Bellamy wanted her to listen to on the balcony. Her favorite lyric is:

 

Perhaps I knew her long ago.

I wrote her poems at nine years old.

 

Because it makes her think of him — her poet. Furthermore, this song reminds her of how they got here, how it all started out on Murphy’s matchbox-sized balcony in March after she’d lost her job. She remembers wanting to be alone, being filled with pent-up anger and sadness but as soon as she started to bond with him it was as if she found someone who made her feel at peace in midst all the unforeseen chaos.

It’s been that way since.  

Standing on her tiptoes to give him a kiss, Clarke smiles against his mouth.

Yeah, they might’ve been through Hell and back during these past couple months, but they’ve managed to stay together in spite of it all. Even during the darkest of times, as when she almost walked out on him, they’ve found some light within each other. Sometimes, you don’t need more than that. 

In that moment, she thanks the universe — not for the tremendous amount of pain that it has inflicted on her. No… for him.

Honestly, she has not the faintest idea of how many stars had to align in her favor for Bellamy to come into her life like that, but it must have been a lot. And no matter what, she will always be grateful for that.

So she whispers to the stars: 

Thanks for giving me the love of my life.

 

Chapter Text

Growing familiar with intimacy again requires patience, but they don’t let it wear them down. After Clarke’s IUD is inserted, they spend every night of the following week cuddling naked in bed: Sometimes, he reads his poems to her or tells her about his day at the library, and it’s wonderfully calming just to listen.

 

Our hearts break

So that strangers and loved-ones can watch us live from the back row

As we cry and scream and rebuild

Our life folds, unfolds

So that we can learn how to mold these pains into dreams…

 

 

Interlacing their fingers, she leans in to kiss his freckled cheek, but because he turns his head at the last second their lips collide instead. Bellamy smiles, cradling the back of her head as he deepens the kiss by licking a little into her mouth. At the sensation, Clarke hums and takes The Story of Icarus from his hands, so that she can sit in his lap, which is easily her favorite place in the world. When she places her hand to his ribcage, she feels the warmth from the skin that wraps around it as his heart thumps lightly against her palm.

Kissing is something that they’ve done plenty of in the past few weeks, and by now it’s as natural as it was before the tragedy hit. Lovemaking, however, that’s still unfamiliar — not in the sense that they haven’t ever done it, of course, but they need to relearn it, because they know it’s going to be different.

Bellamy nuzzles her cheek, brushes his thumb across the beauty mark above her left breast. After gazing at him for a couple seconds (that’s long enough to make his Adam’s apple bob), Clarke closes the distance between their faces to steal another long, passionate kiss. The unspoken words cling to the candle-lit atmosphere in their bedroom, and though there’s no need for clarification, Bellamy mutters, “Are you sure you’re ready for this?”

Clarke nods, brushing her fingertips through his messy hair. “Yeah. I might cry, but that’s… that’s to be expected. I’ve missed this so much.”

“But you’ve also been afraid, right?” 

At that, her heart quivers. In the last couple of months, they’ve been able to understand each other’s emotions better than ever before, and that’s because they have shared most of them, even if they chose to handle them in different ways. 

“Of course I have,” she murmurs. “But I’m not anymore.” 

From their experience with tantric sex, they have come to understand just how important good foreplay is if you want to last for a long time; it has taught them that patience really does pay off in the end. Because of this, Bellamy sucks her nipples into his mouth and circles her clit with his fingers for several minutes until her breath turns heavier.

Feeling herself grow wetter by the second, Clarke grinds against him, causing him to growl. “It’s okay, Bellamy,” she whispers then as she lines herself up with him and takes his hard length into her hand. “I want you…” 

His lips parting, Bellamy looks up and their gazes connect instantly. Leaning forward, he presses a sweet, lingering kiss to her throat, waiting to push into her until she’s guided him to her entrance. 

It’s been nearly three months since they’ve had sex like this, and she feels that even though he’s barely inside her yet. Cupping her chin, Bellamy places a kiss to her jawline and lets a few moments pass before he moves again. Little by little, he is nestled completely inside her heat, and Clarke senses tears rise to her eyes at the familiar sensation.

Oh my god,” she mutters as she grasps his shoulders to brace herself.

Bellamy huffs against her throat, then starts to move, keeping the pace slow. Despite the delicacy, the tears break loose from her eyes after no more than a minute. This makes her relieved that she warned him beforehand, so that he doesn’t become worried. Or at least not as worried as he would have been otherwise… 

“Are you okay?” 

“Yeah. It feels good.” 

It does. Every once in a while, his cock brushes her clit, which has a tiny gasp escaping her parted lips. The patient pace of his movements allows her to map his back, reacquaint herself with the feel of his skin and muscles. Still, it’s a bit difficult to get out of her head.

So she kisses him to make the heavy thoughts dissolve. 

This is the man that she loves, with whom she wants to spend the rest of her life. And maybe he doesn’t know that, but it’s the truth — a truth that she is somehow scared to reveal. It seems a bit rushed, because they haven’t even known each other for a whole year yet, but everything they’ve been through together makes it feel as if they have known one another for a lifetime. 

“Are you with me?” Bellamy asks, thrusting a little deeper to catch her attention.

Smiling, Clarke admits that she wants to be on top for a while, and naturally he isn’t about to deny her. Already slightly dazed, he lies down on his back, his hands moving up to steady her waist while she sinks down on him. She takes him inch by inch to make sure that it isn’t uncomfortable, and though she is now in control she chooses to maintain the tempo that Bellamy has established. 

It’s languid yet it doesn’t lack passion.

The burning desire still exists, because the rough winds of tragedy weren’t enough to blow it out; it can be found within their eyes that refuse to let go of one another, and in the way the touching never stops despite how careful it is.

Though the silence is actually really nice, contributing to the romantic atmosphere in the bedroom, Clarke finds that she has to say something when Bellamy’s fingers travel down her body to settle between her leg. Grabbing his wrist, she prevents him touching her. “No. I don’t care if I come or not. I just wanna be with you.” 

As soon as she has uttered those words, it hits her how truly pivotal they are: In all the time they’ve been sleeping together, orgasms have always had a huge role to play. When they began engaging in tantric sex, release lost some of significance, but it still mattered. 

But it’s not that important to her anymore.

And of course, Bellamy is slightly shocked by it. “Clarke, you—“

Somehow, she already knows what he’s going to say, so she interrupts him to clarify, “It’s not that I don’t want to come or that I’m scared of it. It’s just not what matters most to me anymore.”

Then his dark eyes soften with affection and he leans in to give her a leisured kiss that makes her sigh against his mouth. Without the need for words, she understands that he appreciates her new attitude, even if he’s a little surprised by it. 

Despite that he could very well get her off, Bellamy chooses not to, and it doesn’t make the lovemaking any less special. In fact, after he’s come apart she finds it just as rewarding to spoon with him, poking his foot with hers. He laughs warmly against her hair, offers to make a cup of hot chocolate for her, but they end up lingering there for half an hour before settling on the couch to watch a cheesy Christmas movie. 

This is love.

 


 

 

Old habits die hard.

Despite that Clarke is much happier at work now, spending her energy on truly engaging with the kids and making sure that they’re encouraged for their creativity, Bellamy still shows up to walk her home whenever his shifts at the library allow it. By now, her students know who he is, even though he doesn’t interact with them beyond the usual greeting.

This is about to change. 

Because they’ve been so attentive and enthusiastic this week, Clarke has promised her students that she’d read a few pages of ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ to them before the end of the class. However, as she’s about to open the book Maya Vie appears next to Bellamy in the door and asks if she can come to her office. 

Apologetic, Clarke looks at the kids’ excited faces. “I’m sorry, guys. I’ll have to do the reading on Monday, okay?” 

Collective sounds of disappointment surge through the classroom, and when Clarke glances at Bellamy, the have a conversation with their eyes: He’s reassuring and supportive as always, but right now she’s even more thankful for it. Sighing in relief, she tells the kids, “Bellamy can read the story to you while I’m away, does that sound alright?” 

They nod, some of them clearly shy when Bellamy takes Clarke usual seat behind the teacher’s desk. As she’s leaving the room with her boss, she hears one of the girls ask, “Are you good at telling stories?” 

And his answer is very humble. “I think I’m decent.”

No. He’s fantastic. 

The thought of him is enough to calm her mind until she’s sitting in the chair in front of Maya’s desk and looking her in the eye. What’s going on? Still, her worry is perhaps illegal at best, because her boss is wearing an easy smile as she folds her hands. “So… Clarke, I asked your students about you.”

Her heart jumps in her chest. “What did they say?” 

At her question, Maya’s smile grows to a small grin. “Well, they clearly don’t want you to leave, had endless things to tell me about the art that they’ve created in your class. They love you — that’s clear as day, and lucky for you one of our two art teachers just chose to start his retirement… The teachers at Arkadia Elementary would be more than happy to welcome you here.” 

If it weren’t for the fact that she’d like to maintain some form of professionalism in front of her boss, Clarke would’ve squealed and jumped up from her seat in pure excitement. “So you’re saying I’m hired?” 

“Permanently, yes. The job is yours if you want it.”

Oh my god.

By the time she returns to the classroom (her classroom), the smile is actually starting to make the corners of her mouth hurt. Not wanting to interrupt Bellamy’s storytelling, she leans against the doorframe and listens as intently as the kids. When he has finished the first twenty pages of the book that Clarke told him to read, the kids protest a little until a boy named Kyle spots her. “Miss Griffin! Can your boyfriend read to us tomorrow, too?” 

Yeah, that must be a win for Bellamy.

“I don’t know,” she replies, still unable to fight the smile on her face as she walks up in front of the class. “But I do know one thing… We don’t have to say goodbye!” 

At first her students all appear a little confused, but after about a minute the first few start to realize what’s going on. “They’re letting you stay?” is Avery’s first question, and Clarke nods. 

“Yeah. I’m gonna be your new teacher.” 

As soon as she’s said that, Clarke watches their small faces light up like Christmas came early. Behind her, Bellamy releases a loud noise of triumph before he walks to the front of the desk to give her a tight hug, chuckling warmly against her shoulder. Right now, it’s strange to think about how this news would’ve been way less happy two weeks ago, because she’s so relieved that she won’t have to leave these art-loving kids behind once Christmas has passed.

“Cute kids,” Bellamy remarks as they’re walking back home, breathing the words into the cold December air. 

“Yeah… They’re pretty amazing.”

 


 

The next day, Bellamy surprises her by bringing home a real Christmas tree, which fills the entire apartment with the wonderful crispy scent of pine. Finally, they have somewhere to hang the many ornaments that they bought at the beginning of the month.

When they’re pleased with the result, Bellamy wraps his arms around her waist, lifts her off the stool that she was standing on and spins her around until the entire room is brightened by her warm laughter. “I love your sweater,” he murmurs into her hair, causing her to roll her eyes. 

“It’s yours.” 

Of course it is. Because her own have nothing on his, and that’s just a fact at this point…

Bellamy brushes a strand of her behind her ear. “Nah, it’s yours.” Instead of responding to this, Clarke buries her nose in his chest, overcome by a sudden urge to snuggle. As always, he knows just what she wants without needing to ask, so he carries her to the couch and pulls her onto his lap. 

From there, she can see the little ornament on the tree that resembles Chip; the sight is enough to make her tear up, though not in a bad way. “We’ll hang that ornament until we’re gray and old,” she says. 

Collecting her hair in his hands, Bellamy begins to braid it, knowing that it soothes her. “Of course we will.” 

Wait, did they just talk about growing old together? Well…   

Worrying her lower lip at the thought, Clarke leans back against his chest and hums in content, but he complains because she’s making it impossible for him to finish the braid.

She giggles, quickly apologizes and then tells him that her students asked about him today. “They were really curious. Wanted to know where you worked, how long we’d been together and stuff.” 

Even though she can’t see him, she just knows that he’s grinning right now, in that characteristically boyish way that she loves. “What did you tell them?”

“I told them that I am madly in love with you, which they all thought was pretty gross. Well, except for this one girl, Olivia, she asked if we were getting married.” 

Behind her, Bellamy chokes on nothing, and though she really can’t be surprised by that Clarke finds it amusing. Earlier today when the girl had asked her the question, however, she’d struggled to battle the strong blush that wanted to creep into her cheeks. 

Finally, he is able to speak, but only a single word, “And?” 

Clarke looks at him, placing a kiss to the bridge of nose right below his glasses. “I told them they had to ask you about that.” 

At that, he has the audacity to tickle her sides a little until she squeals. “Me, huh? Princess, we live in the twenty-first century. Who says that you can’t be the one to propose?” 

To be honest, she’s thought about it a couple times, but there’s no way that she’s telling him that, so instead she just continues teasing him. “Come on, Bellamy. You’re traditional as fuck at heart.”

“What makes you think that?” 

Now he’s being absolutely oblivious to his own actions, but it’s cute, and she’s happy to enlighten him. “You know, non-traditional guys don’t pull out their partner’s chair before she sits down or buy her red roses on a random Monday.”

He must know that his kind of gallantry is almost extinct within the male species. While his political views are far from conservative, his way of acting as a boyfriend is extremely 20th century-based. In his own defense, Bellamy sighs, “I watched a lot of old movies with my mom when I was younger, okay? They taught me etiquette.” 

Surprisingly, that’s not difficult for her to believe at all. There’s no doubt about it: Despite her limited time and energy, Aurora Blake surely raised her son well. In her lifetime, Clarke has never met another man who was as respectful of women as Bellamy is, but this is only part of why he is such an amazing boyfriend. 

She appreciates his vulnerability, his selflessness, commitment and honesty; all of this reminds her every day that Bellamy is with her for two simple reasons: Because he loves her and because he — as he once explained himself — chooses to stay.

Her dad even told her on Thanksgiving that any other man his age would’ve probably bolted after everything that’s happened, so the fact that he is still here with her speaks volumes. And who knows, maybe in a year — maybe in five or ten or fifteen — he’ll be her husband. 

“I love your etiquette.”

The world needs more men like him.

And more love like theirs.