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Bellamy and Clarke had known each other for only two years. They had met when Clarke, starting her medical studies, had bumped into him at the college he was working for. He had been holding his piled books in front of his eyes, obscuring his vision, and Clarke had been staring at her phone, oblivious to everything around her. When they'd rounded the corner, they'd found themselves crashing into each other, sending the pile of books into a puddle, and sending Clarke's phone unto the hard concrete. The screen, unfortunately, had then cracked. It was fair to say that, when they finally recovered from the shock, they'd immediately clashed.

They thought that they would never have to see each other again, but that changed when Clarke realized that her fellow medical student, Lincoln, was dating Octavia, Bellamy’s sister. Lincoln was her only friend from school, so she made an effort to go out with him often, which meant Octavia was often there too. And for some reason, Bellamy seemed to turn up everywhere his sister did. He came to the same parties she did, he came to college events she attended, and he even picked her up from school from time to time.

So, from then on, Bellamy and Clarke couldn't be in the same room without antagonizing each other. It didn't matter if it was a small thing, like choosing a restaurant, or a big thing, like debating about politics, they would always disagree. For a few months, it was how it worked between them.

It all changed when Clarke got into an argument with her mother.

Jake, her father, had died in a car accident a year before. Her father's death was still a difficult subject, but when she learned that her mother had somehow been involved in the accident, it had been the last straw. Clarke moved out of her mother's house and cut off all contact with her.

The problem was that she needed to find an apartment quickly because she couldn't afford to live in the streets if she wanted to finish her degree. She had already taken out loans for college, but she knew that the most difficult part would be finding someone to live with. Her first instinct was to go to Wells, but he was currently backpacking accross Europe. Then, she tried all of her other friends, but quickly realized that nothing would really work out the way she wanted too. Emori, Maya and Harper had just moved in with their respective boyfriends, and Raven already had two other roommates, Luna and Roan.

When she was beginning to think she'd never find anyone to share an apartment, Octavia suggested the impossible.

Clarke, Lincoln and she had been sitting in their favourite coffee shop, talking about the next semester, when the subject came up.

"What about Bellamy?" said Octavia, biting into her sandwich.

Lincoln, sitting beside her at the table in the coffee shop, raised his eyebrows.

"What about Bellamy for what?" asked Clarke.

"For a roommate"

Clarke froze, her eyes slowly meeting Octavia's. Her voice came out hesitantly, but still dripping with skepticism.

"Bellamy and me … becoming roommates?"

Octavia, who didn't let much phase her, shrugged.

Lincoln watched the exchange between the two women. He was used to Octavia being spontaneous, so it probably wasn’t a surprise for him that she had suggested something like this, but he also knew how much Clarke despised Bellamy.

It was a shame that Lincoln stayed silent, because Clarke trusted Lincoln's judgment implicitly, and she would have loved to know what he thought about this.

"I'm moving in with Lincoln in a few weeks, and Bellamy will need a roommate. You'd never even see each other, he teaches in the evenings and you have classes all day."

Clarke snorted. She highly doubted that Bellamy wouldn't find some way to annoy her.

"It's a terrible idea, Octavia. Your brother and I can't stand each other."

Octavia shrugged again. It seemed strange to Clarke that she didn't seem to think it was a problem that they fought all the time.

"It's your lost, my brother is an excellent cook."

Clarke raised an eyebrow, and gave her a look of disbelief. Octavia caught her expression and smiled.

"I'm serious, he is. Anyway, if you change your mind, you know where to find him."

And they went back to talking about school. Clarke almost forgot this conversation entirely, but she was ultimately forced to consider this option more seriously. She hadn't meant to change her mind, really, but after two weeks, she still hadn't found somewhere to live, and she could only impose on Harper and Monty for so long.

She had dragged her feet to Bellamy's office and stopped in front of the door. It had taken a few seconds to gather the courage to raise her fist. Finally, she had knocked at the door.

One second. Two seconds. Fifteen seconds.

No answer.

Throwing back her head at the sky and sighing, she had turned around and had walked back to Harper and Monty's apartment.

She hadn't thought she was going to hear about it again, but she had made the mistake of telling Monty about it. Monty, without telling her, had told Bellamy almost immediately, because, apparently, all of her friends thought Bellamy was pretty cool.

It's why she had been surprised when Bellamy had shown up two days later at the apartment.

She had opened the door and had expected him to scowl immediately upon seeing her. To Clarke's surprise, Bellamy hadn’t been here to see Harper or Monty, but to see her. That's when she had learned that Bellamy had waited for her to come to him, but since he had heard nothing at all of a few days, he had decided to come. It was one of the first time she really had had to swallow her pride and ask help from someone she hadn’t really wanted to talk to.

And so, their time as roommates began.


Clarke had moved in Bellamy's apartment the next week and had taken Octavia's old room. It was a cozy apartment. Only two bedrooms, one bathroom, one kitchen and one living room. In the first few weeks, Clarke had made herself as little as possible, because while she was grateful, she had still wanted to avoid him as much as possible. Unfortunately, the apartment wasn't big enough to avoid each other indefinitely. When Bellamy didn't teach in the evening, he liked to watch documentaries about Greek or Roman mythology, and one thing leading to another, Clarke had started joining him.

It was strange, because it had been the first time Clarke realized how passionate Bellamy could get about history. Of course, she had known he loved history because he was teaching the subject, but he became really lively when he talked about it. More than she had ever seen him, at least.

Their stupid fights turned into friendly debates, and the silence between them became more comfortable. That was if there was silence at all. Before, they had tried their best to avoid each other at all cost, but Clarke found that Bellamy liked to talk a lot with his friends.

That was new.

Being his friend.

It has taken a while for their other friends to realize that they weren't antagonizing each other anymore. They had gotten so used to it that it was a shock once it stopped. Octavia congratulated herself the most, because she was convinced they wouldn't have been able to get over their differences if she hadn't suggested the roommate thing.

Clarke didn't tell her, but she reckoned Octavia was probably right.


One day, Raven came over with her boyfriend Zeke while Bellamy was out. Raven hadn't been able to stop by in the last couple of months because she had to finish an important engineering project. Plus, Zeke was just coming back from his last tour with the army, and he had taken it easy for the first few months, which meant that Raven had even fewer reasons to get out of her house.

"I should've known Bellamy would have more history books than anything else," Raven said while she trailed her finger across the bindings of the books on the bookshelf.

"So Bellamy likes history?" asked Zeke.

He was still new to the group, and he hadn't met everyone yet. It was partially why he was visiting today, to meet Clarke for the first time. Being Raven’s friend, Clarke had heard about him many times before, but was pleasantly surprised when she realized she got along pretty well with Zeke.

"Likes history? Bellamy would survive on history alone if he could," said Raven, glancing at the rest of the apartment.

She gave an appreciative nod. Apparently, the apartment passed her inspection.

"I knew he liked history," said Clarke, "but I didn't think he liked it this much before moving in with him.”

Raven smiled.

"So, Murphy is the snarky one, Jasper is the loud one and Bellamy is the history nerd?"

Zeke glanced at Raven for confirmation.

"Please don't tell Murphy you think he's snarky, he'll take it as a compliment," laughed Raven. "But yeah, you have the general idea."

"History nerd is pretty accurate, actually," said Clarke, a smile growing on her face. When she thought about how passionate Bellamy got about history, she found it was very endearing. "He gets kind of cute when he starts talking about his job."

Raven glanced at her from the corner of her eyes. She was still walking around the room, taking in Clarke's new home.

"So... everything is fine between you guys now?" she asked hesitantly.

Clarke frowned slightly.

"Of course, but you know that."

It seemed strange to Clarke that Raven would bring this up. True, Bellamy and Clarke had surprised everyone when they started getting along, but after a few months, everyone was used to it.

Raven nodded, and Clarke could tell that she was trying to keep a neutral expression.

"That's nice,” continued Raven.

Clarke tilted her head to the side.

"Ok, what's up?"

Raven looked in her direction, but she was still avoiding her eyes. She shrugged.


Clarke raised her eyebrows.

"Right. You can try that again, but more convincingly," said Clarke.

Zeke plumped down on the couch.

"Come on, Raven, you can tell her. She's not going to freak out, come on."

Raven gave him a "please shut up" look. Zeke shrugged, and got his phone out,  possibly checking his texts.

"Tell me what?" asked the blonde.

Raven looked at Clarke, trying to find her words.

"I promise, it’s nothing. I just noticed, well we all noticed that… you've been talking about Bellamy a lot lately."

Clarke honestly couldn’t see the problem with it. Since they lived together, she was obviously going to bring up Bellamy often.

"So? We're roommates, so I talk about him."

"You talk about him more than you talk about your other friends."

"I'm sure that's not true."

"When was the last time you mentioned Monty? Or Harper? Or Lincoln?"

"I don't know, I don't keep track of things like that."

"Well, you've been talking about Bellamy a lot."

"Don't be stupid! I mention him... a normal amount."

"A normal amount?"

Raven got out her phone, navigating it quickly. She found what she was looking for and handed the phone to Clarke.

"Read your own texts, and let's see if you still think you mention him a 'normal amount’."

Clarke took the phone, which was currently showing a conversation between Clarke and Raven that happened a few days ago.


heeeey girl! we still meeting at 8 for drinks?

i'm so ready

that's the spirit ;)

do you mind if i go home early, though? bellamy and me are watching b99 together and it's our tv night

you and bellamy have a tv night?

yeah, it's super fun. i've been slowly introducing him to actual tv shows. he gets super cute about history, but sometimes i just need to have a good sitcom.

i hear you babe

also bellamy is going to be cooking, and he suuuuuch a good cook omg

i didn't believe octavia when she told me, but she was right

what?!?! he's going to be cooking at 10 at night?!?!

he just wants to make sure i eat.

i think he's worried i don't eat enough during the day

it's kinda cute

apparently bellamy's awesome

kind of, yes.

i like a guy that can cook, but i wouldn't trade zeke for anything

oh yeah, how did you date night go?

At first, Clarke thought Raven was only going to show her this small conversion, which didn’t seem that strange to her. Bellamy was a good cook, and he did cook for her late at night when he knew she hadn’t eaten. She assumed he used to do this with Octavia, because he took care of his sister more than their mother ever did. Clarke had never thought that much about it. But then, as she scrolled down more, she realized that Raven wanted her to look at all the other messages.

Clarke hadn't realized it until now, but she talked about Bellamy all the time. She often mentioned what he was doing, when she was going to see him again, what he had done the previous night, the nerdy joke he had told her a few minutes before, and the list went on. He had become such an important part of her life in such a short period of time that, without knowing, she had begun to care about him more than she thought was possible. It was strange, really, the way those things happened.

How a perfect stranger became an acquaintance, how an acquaintance became a friend, and how a friend became… so much more.

Her heart was beating faster, almost too fast, and for once, it wasn't a pleasant sensation. Panic crept under her skin, and she had to resist to urge to start breathing more heavily. Clarke swallowed, keeping her eyes on Raven's phone. As she began to understand exactly what it was she was feeling, she wished she was alone. Had she been alone, no one would've had to see her like this.

But, really, what good would being alone do?

"I didn't think I really understood until now," breathed Clarke, still not meeting Raven's gaze.

There was a moment of silence. She could feel Raven's intent stare.

It was obvious she was trying to guess what she was feeling. Clarke wasn't sure if she wanted her to succeed or if she wanted her to fail so that she could keep her secret a little while longer.

"Maybe, deep down, you did know. But maybe you didn't really want to face it yet."

Clarke looked up, still clutching the phone. Raven was giving her a soft smile, and it momentarily calmed the rising panic inside of her chest. Zeke, fortunately, was still trying to give them space by scrolling on his own phone.

Time to make a choice. Would she ignore this, or acknowledge it? There were already so many complications. Clarke couldn't stop her feelings for Bellamy, it was already too late. He was the most important person in her life, and she didn't want to change it for anything. She had made a new family when she moved out of her mother's house. She had Raven, and Monty, and Harper, and Jasper, and so many more. Now, Bellamy was part of this family she made.

Because of that, she hesitated before telling Raven anything. Would it be more painful to keep it all in? Clarke doubted it, but would it be any less painful to share this truth with someone else?

Clarke closed her eyes, and opened them again. Raven was still waiting for her to talk. Clarke looked into her eyes, and, for once, remembered that she could count on her friends.

She didn't have to do this alone.

She smiled back at Raven, but the smile was empty, almost sad.

"You're probably right... and it terrifies me."

Choice made.


Over the next few months, she still didn't tell Bellamy anything, much to Raven's chagrin. However, Clarke knew that she was in no way ready to deal with any sort of relationship, and she was even less ready to receive a rejection. She still had school to attend and finals to pass.

However, even if she tried her best to concentrate and study, she was always distracted. She didn't want to study medicine right now, she wanted to talk to Bellamy. She wanted to stop being so anxious around him, and she wanted some of her stress to finally go away.

Clarke knew her grades were suffering. She also knew that mediocre grades would set her back a lot. But she just couldn't seem to think about anything else. Everyone knows this feeling, this terror that comes when you feel you aren't doing enough. It was her constant companion now, and even when she was trying to do her best, she still felt like she was doing something wrong. Clarke was smart and capable, and she loved medicine. So how could something she loved so much suddenly become so difficult?

One day, as she was lying on the couch, trying to find the motivation to go study for her latest exam, the apartment's door opened. Bellamy entered, carrying a huge number of grocery bags, the snow falling off this coat.

"Welcome home," she said from the couch.

He smiled at her and walked to the counter to drop off the bags. She sat up, suddenly realizing how odd this looked.

"Why did you buy groceries? It's my turn this week, and I know I won't need this much food when you leave tomorrow."

With Christmas coming, Bellamy was going home with Octavia, as they did every year. Their mother had passed away a few years ago, but Bellamy still owned the house. He didn't live in it because it was so far away from his job, but they still went back from time to time. It was the Blake family tradition, and Clarke knew it was important to both of them. For a long time, Bellamy and Octavia had only had each other. It had changed them, in some ways for the better, but it also did scar them.

Maybe it was why they were so close.

"First of all, I know you've been eating less than you need too, so I'm cooking tonight," said Bellamy.

"I'm a med student, not a Roman legionnaire. I can't eat all of this in one week!"

Clarke, unlike Bellamy, was not going home for Christmas. It wasn’t really a surprise for anyone, especially considering she was still on bad terms with her mother. However, as the holidays got closer, she couldn't help but feel a yearning for Christmas this year. It was a time for family, for friends, for the people you love.

And this year, Clarke wouldn't have anyone.

"You won't have to, princess, I'll help you eat it. Don't worry, we'll figure out a way to make it work."

She got up the couch and walked to the counter. Bellamy was taking off his boots and hanging his coat on the hanger. As she got closer, she realized that he had bought food for what seemed like two weeks. She almost laughed.

"Bellamy, this is ridiculous, I won't need all this food.”

Bellamy didn't answer immediately, continuing to fiddle with his coat.

"I'm not leaving tomorrow."

It took Clarke a few seconds to understand what he had told her, and she frowned as she finally did.

"What do you mean? Are you guys postponing the trip?”

He shook his head.

"No, not really. We're... cancelling it, so I won't be leaving at all."


Clarke scanned Bellamy's face for any sign of trickery, but he was still slightly avoiding her eyes.

"It's not a big deal, it's just that Lincoln is going to visit his family, and Octavia wanted to come with him."

And then, she finally saw what she had expected to see when he told her about the cancelled trip: the disappointment on his face. At this moment, she wished she could hug him and comfort him, but it would probably not be a good idea. Instead, she would have to try to cheer him up, even if she wasn't sure how to go about it. After all, Clarke was familiar with being alone for the holidays, and it was not a good feeling.

"I'm sorry, Bellamy. I know how much it means to you to spend Christmas with Octavia, and I wish I could make it better. Obviously, I can't, but still."

Bellamy smiled softly.

"It's fine, Clarke. I... knew. I knew eventually Octavia was going to make her own way in the world. She's already doing a brilliant job of it, and now she's just proving that it's possible for us to find people who care about us, and want us with them when it matters the most. I mean, I know I didn't like it when she started dating Lincoln, but he's a good guy, and Octavia is lucky to have him."

Clarke was taken aback by how much Bellamy seemed fine with the idea of spending Christmas without his sister. She could still see he was disappointed, but at the same time, he also seemed to believe in everything he had just said.

"But what about you? What are you going to do?"

Once again, Bellamy tried to avoid her eyes. He seemed almost scared, like he was trying to find courage to say his next words.

"I know you were planning on spending the holidays alone, but would you mind if I joined you? I don't have anywhere else to go."

And Clarke understood that all too well. She, too, didn't have anywhere else to go. Which is why she was surprised by Bellamy's question, because Clarke couldn't imagine that, after all these months of living with her, he still didn't know how much she cared about him. Of course, she had tried to hide anything romantic feelings she had for him, but she hadn't tried to hide that he had become one of the most, if not the most, important person in her life.

He was the one she went to when she was sad, when she was stressed and when she was sick. When she had a big decision to make about her future, she went to Bellamy. Even when he didn't have any advice for her, he still made her feel better. He grounded her in a way that she had never anticipated, and it both thrilled her and scared her. She trusted him with everything she had, and she knew that she would continue to do so for a long time.

"Of course you can stay with me during Christmas! It's your apartment, Bellamy, so I'm not about to kick you out. But I do want to spend the holidays with someone, and if that someone is you, then it's even better. I didn't like the idea of being alone, and now I don't have to be."

"Yeah?" he said, smiling at her.

For once, he looked at her directly, and Clarke had to resist the urge to hug him once more.

"Yeah, of course. You're my best friend, you know that, right?"

Still looking at her, he nodded.

"You're my best friend too, Griffin, don't forget it."

"You don't let me forget it, believe me. I'm the one who has to sit through so many of your favourite documentaries."

"You love my documentaries!"

"I like watching them once, but after that it becomes excessive."

"You rewatch your favourite movies all the time!"

"A movie is a movie, but after you watch a documentary once, you already know all the information. What's the point of rewatching them?"

"Are you telling me that you forget what happens in your favourite movies after every time you watch them?"

"Well, no, but—"

"No buts, Griffin. Don't shit on my documentaries if you don't want me to shit on your movies."

"I'd like you to try, I could finally knock you down a peg or two."

"I'd like to see that.”

It was the same type of banter they used to do before they became friends, except that now, there was no animosity. They were smiling, and laughing, and teasing each other. It was more than nice, and Clarke loved it.

She wanted to stay like this forever, but she knew they couldn’t.

"You okay, Clarke?" asked Bellamy.

She hadn't noticed how deep in her thoughts she had gotten. She shook her head, almost trying to shake her worries away.

"Sorry, I was miles away. What did you say?"

"I'm cooking tonight to celebrate our impending Christmas celebration. Do you want pasta or steak?"

"Pasta! Please, I need it. It's been so long now and I'm really craving some."

"Your wish is my command, princess."

He smiled at her again, and she could see the lights of the apartment reflected in his pupils. There were shining brightly, like stars, and Clarke knew that she could have lost herself in her observation.

Maybe this was what happiness felt like.


Later, when they had finished eating, they decided to watch a random Christmas movie on TV. Clarke had no idea what it was, but Bellamy seemed to enjoy it, so she wasn't complaining too much. Even better, because of the cold air outside, Bellamy had insisted they share the only blanket in the apartment when they sat down on the couch.

Clarke didn't know what could be better. In just a few hours, her entire mood had turned around. She had been almost dreading the holidays, and now she couldn't wait. If it hadn't been so weird, she probably would've jumped up and down when he had asked to stay with her. There wasn't anything else she wanted more than to be with him, truly.

She laid her head down on his shoulder.

"Are you falling asleep?" asked Bellamy, his arm rubbing up against hers.


"No? Are you not sure if you're falling asleep?"

She groaned.

"I'm just so comfortable here, I don't want to get up.”

"My students do the exact same thing as you're doing to me right now, but they do it during class. I know this trick, and it’s not cool, princess."

"Relax, old man, they are worst things than falling asleep on the couch."

She could feel his breath now, and his body heat. Bellamy had always run hotter than she did, so in the winter, it was almost a blessing to have him nearby.

He shot her a concerned look.

"Have you been getting enough sleep lately? I know your finals were rougher than you would've liked, but was it really that bad?"

She groaned.

"Not this again."

"You stop taking care of yourself properly when you're stressed. Now, stop changing the subject, and answer the question."

Clarke hesitated. She knew Bellamy would never judge her for anything she did, but she still wanted to keep the reason for her academic difficulties a secret.

"I don't know, I just... wasn't feeling like myself. That's all, I promise. I'll feel better when school starts again."

He frowned, looking down at her head, still lying on his shoulder.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, don't worry about me. I already feel a lot better."

And it was true. Being with him, just like this, made her feel better. Suddenly, her previous worries about Bellamy seemed distant and unimportant. But then, Bellamy always made her feel like this. Like they could get through anything, as long as they were together.

"Okay, then I believe you."

There was a pause. Bellamy seemed to want to say something else, his mouth starting to form the words, but they died on his lips.

"What is it?"

He shook his head.

"It's nothing."

She raised her eyebrows, looking up at his face, and discovered he was staring intently at the television. She raised her head, looking directly at him, almost forcing him to acknowledge her. He met her gaze and looked a little uncomfortable. Finally, he came out with it.

"Clarke, I never want you to feel like I'm forcing you to talk about your personal stuff. I know I tend to be protective and overbearing, so please tell me if I ever go too far."


Of all the things, this was not what she was expecting him to say. She had never felt like he was bothering her, not ever. She welcomed every bit of time he invested in their friendship, and she was grateful for every day he stayed.

"Don't be stupid, Bellamy. You're one of the best things I've ever had, and I wouldn't trade you for anything, so stop worrying about pushing me away accidentally. It won't ever happen, even if you tried very hard. I care about you too much to just give up on this."

He swallowed. Suddenly, she had the feeling that maybe she let on a little bit too much about how she felt about him, and panic set in her chest.

"I have a gift for you," she said quickly, starting to walk towards her room, where she hid it.

Bellamy, still on the couch, looked confused for a second by the abrupt change of subject. However, Clarke didn't let him wonder for too long. She came back with a small package, wrapped in blue paper, and handed it to him while she sat down again on the couch. He took it slowly, unsure of what he was going to find.

"I didn't get you anything," he then said, still holding the gift, unmoving.

"You didn't need to," said Clarke. "I just wanted you to have something special."

He started unwrapping the gift delicately and softly, much like she would expect him to. It was such a small gift that it only took him a minute, and when he finally finished, he discovered... a new watch.

It was a bronze colour, and it looked very beautiful. Bellamy traced the edges of the package, stunned.

"When my dad died, the only thing I had left of him was his watch. It was an old family heirloom, and I always thought it looked ridiculous. But then, when I inherited it, I started wearing it every day. I carried it everywhere I went, and it was like I carried him with me everywhere. It gave me strength and comfort when I needed it. So, I thought you could wear this if you ever needed a reminder that you're not alone. Whatever you do, wherever you are, I'll always be with you."

She could now see the tears forming at the edges of his eyes, and the slight shaking in his hands. His breath, too, was shaky, and it took a moment for him to look at her properly. And for the first time, she was surprised by what she saw, because Clarke saw such gratefulness in his eyes, and happiness and love.

Bellamy set down the watch on the small table beside the couch, and raised his hand to caress her cheek. Suddenly, Clarke became almost afraid to breathe, and Bellamy started to seem nervous too.

He swallowed again.


But didn't finish his sentence.

Instead, he slowly closed the distance between them, almost testing the waters. When she didn't pull away, he pressed his forehead against hers. Their breaths mingled for a moment, and then he pressed his lips to hers.

Soft, tender lips, and all she could think of was Bellamy, Bellamy, Bellamy, Bellamy...

Clarke could feel his other hand wrap around her waist, pulling her closer to him. And then she was wrapping her own arms around his neck, passing a hand through his hair. He pressed his lips more intently against hers, and she knew that, in this moment, she wouldn’t change anything.

She didn't know how long they kept kissing, the smell of pasta still lingering in the air and the sound of the television still there in the background. She didn't even notice any of this, because she was still only thinking Bellamy, Bellamy, Bellamy, Bellamy.

Eventually, Bellamy he back, a little bit out of breath, but she could feel him smiling against her lips.

"Merry Christmas, Clarke," he said, his voice a little rougher than usual.

She smiled too.

"Merry Christmas, Bellamy."

Once again, he pressed his lips against hers, and all of her worries melted away.

Traditions change as you grow older, as you find your place in the world and as you meet new people. Some traditions change for the worst, and some for the better, and some traditions change just for the sake of change. And they didn't know it yet, but this new tradition would last for all the years still yet to come.

True happiness had come at last for Clarke and Bellamy, and it was only the beginning.

As the snow fell outside, the small apartment seemed to vibrate with a new kind of energy.

Everlasting hope.

Everlasting love.