Clarke felt like falling apart. She stood just outside the gates, looking down on the graves of the 100 that was lost to them. She liked to come here to get away and be alone to think without wandering too far from camp. No one else liked to come here and be reminded of the death surrounding them every day.
The last 10 days on Earth had been filled with such chaos and heartbreak that is was almost too much to bear. Clarke missed her best friend Wells and wished that she had had more time to repair their friendship before he was murdered. She had to watch a young girl, no more than a child really, jump to her death in order to repent. She found comfort in Finn then the next day lost him to another. She had to kill a boy just to end his suffering. Then Finn getting stabbed by a Grounder and the only way to save him was contact her mother. The same mother who got her beloved father floated for the crime of wanting to warn the people about the conditions on the Ark. And finally, her giving Bellamy the okay to torture another human being just so she could save Finn from a deathly poison.
How much could one person take before they broke? She wished she had someone to turn to but she's lost everyone that she could count on down here. The last person to comfort her was Bellamy, letting her know that her actions regarding their survival don't necessarily reflect the person she is inside. She had a feeling that he was also including himself in that statement. It was a softening in him that she hasn't expected but it allowed her to see a glimpse into the real him. The him that existed outside of this place.
Clarke could feel tears streaming down her face as the thoughts tumbled around in her head. She froze as she heard a twig snap behind her.
Bellamy had been looking for Clarke for a few hours. They needed to decide on what to do about the Grounder. She was right when she had said that they couldn't keep him there at camp.
After searching the entire camp he wandered out to the gravesite to see if she went there. He couldn't believe she would be that stupid with the danger of Grounders. The fact that she went was all alone as everyone else was still cleaning up after the storm made it even worse. He was muttering to himself about stupid brave princesses when he froze at the sight upon him. Clarke was crying.
She was always so brave and strong when dealing with him. Whether in his face fighting with him or forcing him to listen to her way of thinking, he forgot that even she could be fragile too. He got glimpse now and then, such as when Charlotte died, but it was so easy to forget the rest of the time.
He didn't do so well with crying. Yet he knew that he couldn't leave Clarke out her by herself. Not only would there be several pissed off people if something happened to her, he knew he didn't have it in himself to walk away from her when she was hurting this badly.
Bellamy took a step forward and a twig snapped beneath his foot. He saw her freeze and he stopped.
"Princess?" he spoke softly, without the usual sarcasm.
"Go away Bellamy"
Clarke took a moment to gather herself together, quickly wiping away the tears.
"Can't do that Princess. It's not safe to be out here alone"
She looked out of the corner of her eye and saw him giving her an intense look. As she turned towards him, it slipped away and she instead got the trademark Bellamy smirk.
Instead of answering, she started walking back to the gate. Bellamy fell in step beside her, neither saying a word. She could feel that he wanted to say something but for once, he seemed to be holding back. She appreciated that he understood that she wasn't ready for conversation.
When they were within view of the gate, he grabbed her elbow lightly to hold her back. He turned her towards him. He seemed to hesitate a moment before making up his mind.
Clarke stared at him a minute, shocked that he would ask. She knew that he thought she was a pain in the ass and nosy as hell. He'd made his opinion of her quite clear over the past few days so this was out of character, even for him. The longer she stared at him, the more uncomfortable he seemed to get and she could swear that a faint blush was creeping into his cheeks.
"What?" he snarled, reverting to his old standby attitude, "I'm not a total asshole Clarke! Even I know when someone is hurting."
She paused, realizing that her silence had hurt Bellamy's feelings. Her. The Princess.
Bellamy was embarrassed, hurt and angry. All because The Princess didn't think he was capable of being kind. Why did he bother if that's all she thought about him? That he was a heartless bastard. He thought they were past all this. That she understood him better after they spoke her regarding her involvement in the torture of the Grounder.
He turned away, not wanting to let her see how much she had upset him. He respected her after what happened with Atom and just wanted her respect in return. Though why he did was beyond him. He knew that they saw things differently but that didn't mean they couldn't work together.
That's when he felt it. Clarke had reached out and put her hand on his arm, right below where he had pushed his sleeve up earlier. He felt her skin against his skin and it shook him slightly. His heart beat faster but he didn't know why. Maybe it was because of the events of the day. Maybe it was because of the surprise that she willingly reached out to touch him. Maybe, just maybe, it was for the same reason that he looked for her whenever he woke up in the morning and right before he went to bed. The feeling that she was important to his survival, even if he couldn't put his finger on the reason just yet.
"I'm sorry Bellamy. I didn't mean to…" she paused, as if unsure how to finish, "I just…I'm just sick of all of it. The pain, the death, the constant worry. You were right earlier when you said it's not easy being leader."
She started to pull away and he grabbed her hand, "No, it's not. But someone has to do it. Who better than you and me?"
"I guess we do make a good team. When we aren't trying to kill each other that is" She gave a small smile at that.
He grinned in response, "True, but that's part of the fun of it"
That started a laugh out of her and she gave a true smile. Not one that he usually got to see directed at him. It made his heart skip a fraction of a beat but he brushed it off. Satisfied that they made headway and that she didn't seem as depressed as she had been only few moments ago, he nodded his head in the direction of the camp.
"We should probably head back inside camp now"
"Yeah, we should before they send out a search party for us."
In union, they both looked down at his hand still holding hers as if surprised to find that they were still touching.
Clarke couldn't believe that she and Bellamy were practically holding hands and that it hadn't bothered her. At least not in the way she would have thought it would a few days ago if he had done it. It gave her pause and she looked up to find that he was already looking at face. He had an intense look on his face and seemed to be almost gauging her response.
Her heart was thumping so loudly she could swear he could hear it. She felt like something had just shifted between them but she wasn't sure what. She opened her mouth to speak, unsure of what was going to come out, when they were interrupted by cat calls coming from the gate.
Bellamy dropped her hand like it burnt him and he took a step back. It took only seconds before the smirk was back on his face and it was like the last few minutes never happened.
He was once again the Rebel Leader and she was the Brave Princess.