The last thing Bellamy remembered was retrieving his emergency stash of functional bullets from the deserted drop ship, then a sharp flash of pain shooting through his skull as he fell quickly into darkness.
Earlier that day, as dawn broke and shone a light over the destruction of the night before, he and Clarke had made the decision to completely abandon the camp after the first wave of attacks from the Grounders nearly flattened their defences and wiped them out. They wouldn't survive much more, and they had to take advantage of the respite the daylight had given to them to get everyone else to safety.
It was only a matter of time before a second wave came, and Bellamy would be damned if any more of their people would die on his watch; they’d lost enough already.
The guns he and Clarke had found at the abandoned supply depot had been a definite advantage, allowing them to initially repel the invaders who wielded primitive weapons in comparison. Yet, their numbers and experience were a force to be reckoned with, and Bellamy found himself agreeing with Clarke’s plan to escape as soon as possible.
They’d all agreed to head south; away from the known direction of the Grounder’s camp and towards a bunker the Ark had uncovered in some old records a few weeks prior. Bellamy had scouted out the location while hunting to check it for supplies and found it usable, though they’d determined it wouldn't be suitable to relocate there. The recent events at camp had quickly changed their minds, though. The Grounders seemed to know everything about them, likely thanks to Murphy. Bellamy had wanted to wring his neck, though he was nowhere to be found, and he wondered whether a Grounder had done the job for him the night before. The plan was by no means perfect, but considering their limited options it was the most suitable, and safe, place they could hide out for the time being. Plus, chances were the Grounders had no idea the sanctuary existed.
Thanks to Octavia, despite how much he hated how she’d gotten the information, they had known the Grounders planned to launch an assault on their camp, and blowing up the bridge would only hold them off for so long. For their safety, they’d sent the youngest kids, and those unable to fight, in a group first just hours before the initial attack, as the sun slowly set in the sky, taking with them as many supplies as they could carry. It was Clarke’s suggestion as she figured they’d be more of a hindrance than a help, and she’d rather they were away from the fighting so they wouldn't have to worry about protecting them. It was initially proposed to be a temporary measure. Bellamy had approved, and Finn, being their best tracker, had agreed to lead them to the bunker, along with a few armed guards.
The attack came as the sun went down and covered the camp in a blanket of darkness. It was chaotic and bloody, and their bullet supply was running thin.
Bellamy had wanted Octavia to leave with the first group, but her stubbornness rooted her to the spot by her brother’s side until the battle died down and the Grounders appeared to retreat. There were several casualties and numerous injuries that Clarke found herself treating as quickly as possible.
The two leaders realised there would be no holding back another attack; they’d all be dead as soon as their ammunition ran out.
Bellamy wanted to get everyone out of the camp before the sun went down; the Grounders knew the forest inside out, and they’d have no chance against them in the dark if they were looking for them.
Clarke suggested pairing up the injured with those who weren't to help quicken their pace; she was resolute that no one would be left behind.
As the sun lowered in the sky, and still no Grounders had been spotted on the perimeter, the camp was all but deserted. Only a small group remained, including Octavia who had still refused to leave Bellamy’s side. He didn't know whether to be happy she was trusting and even talking to him again, or irritated that she wouldn't follow his orders to get to safety as soon as possible. Bellamy managed to convince Clarke to take his sister, along with Jasper, Monty and a few remaining others, on ahead so he could do a final sweep of the camp to see if anyone was left behind, as well as retrieving his last supply of ammunition.
That had led him to the drop ship, which in turn had led him to waking up facing the floor, a blinding pain emanating from his temple and stars dancing across his vision. Bellamy realised he must have blacked out for a second as he couldn't even remember falling to the ground. His surroundings blurred before him and he blinked rapidly to clear the haze, with little success.
Bringing his hand up to his temple, he winced as he made contact with the open wound and his fingers came away red. Not good.
Then the thought struck him and he froze: someone had got the drop on him. Grounders? Whoever it was, he certainly wasn't alone.
A snigger of amusement behind him caused Bellamy to snap back to some semblance of reality and turn sharply to look over his shoulder, a move he quickly regretted when white spots danced before his eyes. He clenched his jaw and tried to get a handle on the pain, eyes widening in surprise as his vision cleared and he found himself looking up at a familiar figure.
“Murphy?” The name came out distinctly slower in his disoriented state.
“You've got good instincts, Bellamy.” The boy stated, nonchalant. “You should have killed me when you had the chance.”
He quickly glanced around for his gun; gut clenching as he caught sight of it in Murphy’s hands, along with the emergency bullets he’d just retrieved. Definitely not good.
The haze that had overcome him cleared slightly as the reality of the situation kicked in. He was in serious trouble, and being the last one in camp meant there would be no one coming back to save him. He stared at the traitor in disgust. “Who says I won’t get another chance?”
Before Bellamy could even react and defend himself, something he blamed on his recent head injury, Murphy’s face transformed into a scowl and he swung at him with the butt of the gun. It caught him in the cheek, making him see stars, and made the pain in his already throbbing head increase tenfold.
Disoriented, the only thought that crossed his mind was how this would be the perfect opportunity for Octavia to make some joke about his hardheadedness.
He realised he must have blacked out again as when he awoke he was yet again on his front, arms pulled taut behind his back and his wrists tied tightly together with thin rope. He let his forehead rest on the cool metal ground, giving himself a small scrap of relief from the constant pounding rattling his brain.
Murphy crouched down next to him, grabbing onto his hair and pulling it back harshly. “Time to go.”
Blinking away a steady stream of blood that was slowly dripping down the left side of his face, Bellamy was hoisted to his feet with a harsh jerk. His shoulders and wrists burned as Murphy pulled the restraints tighter, making sure there was no chance of him escaping.
Mind racing over various ways he could get himself out of this mess, Bellamy’s thoughts screeched to a halt on one thing: his knife. He vaguely remembered holding it when checking the drop ship before being ambushed, so figured if Murphy didn't have it, he must have dropped it when he was initially attacked. The thought set his mind racing, calming him down and giving him something to focus on.
A quick scan of the floor as Murphy stuffed some supplies into a bag came up empty, until he glanced at the ground near his captor’s feet. His heart picked up its pace in anticipation as he inched his way towards it. Yet, there was no way he could conceivably reach down to get it without drawing attention. He needed a distraction.
His body aching all over, Bellamy wasn't all that hopeful about what he was planning to do next. Throwing himself at Murphy, he decided, would give him the opportunity to drop to the floor and try to retrieve it. It was a long shot, he knew. But really, at this point he would take any opportunity for escape he could think of.
Gathering up all the strength he could muster, he launched himself at his former ally. Murphy was caught off guard and Bellamy managed to push him off balance with his shoulder and into one of their makeshift wooden tables, sending the items atop it scattering and the table itself splintering with a loud crack. Taking advantage of the few seconds it would take for Murphy to get back up, Bellamy spotted the knife and rolled onto his back on top of it. He winced as the handle dug into his spine, and shuffled backwards until he could grab it in his hands.
The sense of relief was immediate and he swiftly hid it in his right sleeve, flat against his forearm and out of sight. The relief, however, didn't last long. Murphy was now hovering over him as he lay on his back, his previous smirk turned murderous. Bellamy hoped his shot at freedom hadn't sealed his fate in death.
Bellamy was pulled to his feet again, making him stumble slightly as the blood rushed to his head. He was abruptly confronted with Murphy who glared at him, voice cold. “You’re going to regret that.”
He could feel the warmth of his blood continuing to trail down his cheek and glanced down to see a scarlet stain slowly blooming across his shirt. He probably looked half dead, or at least that’s how he was feeling. He needed Clarke. He sighed with a tinge of acquiescence, feeling lightheaded, and spoke frankly. “Why don’t you just kill me?”
Bellamy figured if he seemed resigned to his fate, he could get Murphy to lower his guard around him.
Murphy shook his head. “We’ll get to that, don’t worry. There are some people who want to see you first.”
Bellamy paused, disbelief written across his face. “Wait, you mean the Grounders? You can’t possibly have made a deal with them, are you insane?” He figured he already knew the answer to the last question, if his current predicament was anything to go by.
“I’m sick of taking your orders.” Murphy replied, ignoring his questions and fishing a black strip of cloth out of his pocket. “Stay still,” he ordered. “I can’t kill you just yet, but it doesn't mean I can’t shoot you in the arm.”
Bellamy reluctantly allowed himself to be gagged; the cold steel of the knife pressed against his arm the only thing standing between his freedom, or the promise of torture and, if he was lucky, a quick death.
Clarke was worried.
She was hanging at the back of the group, constantly on alert and waiting for Bellamy to catch up with them. He couldn't have gotten lost; he’d taken the same trail multiple times in the past week alone. He was taking too long, and she wished she had insisted on staying with him. He’d refused when she’d asked, handing over the responsibility of his sister to her and going back to check everyone was gone. Clarke was at least pleased that her trust in Bellamy was clearly reciprocated; he’d depended on her to look after and keep safe the most important person in his life.
The light of the moon was her only guide as she marched through the forest, gun gripped tightly in her hands. She only had a few bullets left, which left her in a better position than the majority of the group she was currently travelling with. Bellamy had promised to pick up the last of their stash before he sent them off into the unknown.
Clarke could just about spot Octavia in the distance talking in hushed tones with Jasper to her right, with Monty walking in step with them on her left. Bellamy had wanted her away from camp as soon as possible but, as stubborn as she was, she’d refused to leave her brother until the very last group had departed. She watched as the younger Blake slowed her pace, glancing back to Clarke and stopping to wait for her, motioning for her two companions to carry on.
Octavia waited for her to catch up, wringing her hands together and worrying her bottom lip. “He should be here by now,” she stated as Clarke reached her.
The healer slowed her pace to a stop. “I know. Something doesn't feel right.”
Nodding in agreement, Octavia turned to look back the way they came, the forest looming over them like a predator lying in wait. “We have to go back for him.”
“You know he’d kill me if I led you right back into danger.”
Octavia was growing increasingly more frantic. “Someone has to go back! Clarke, you know as well as I do if your positions were reversed he wouldn't hesitate in coming back for you.”
Clarke bit her lip and sent a worried glance down the trail back to camp. She met Octavia’s anxious gaze again and sighed in defeat, placing a comforting hand on the younger girl’s arm to calm her down. She knew Octavia was right. She looked to the rest of the group as they continued forward, noting how Monty and Jasper had slowed their pace so that the girls wouldn't get left behind.
“I’ll go back, okay?” Clarke acquiesced. She was just as much of a leader as Bellamy was; it was her responsibility to be the one to go back. She couldn't leave him behind. She had no idea what she’d do, and how she’d keep the group alive, without him by her side. It was dangerous, but it needed to be done. “But you’re not coming with –“
“– the hell I’m not!” She cut in, incredulous. “He’s my brother! And he’d kill me if I let you go back alone!”
The last comment made her pause, but she didn't question it. Instead she took a long look at the younger girl, determination hardening her features, and knew what she would plan to do. “You’re going to follow me whatever I say, aren't you?”
Octavia stuffed her hands in her pockets, staring at the medic in defiance. “Yep.”
Clarke reluctantly gave in. Again. Arguing with a Blake was clearly fighting a losing battle, and they didn’t have time to be hanging around. At least going with Octavia allowed her to keep an eye on her; she couldn’t risk her going off on her own to look if Clarke tried to leave her behind. “Ask Jasper and Monty if they’ll back us up. It won’t take long to go back and check, we haven’t walked too far. And tell the rest of the group to carry on to the bunker; we’ll head there as soon as we find Bellamy.”
Octavia visibly relaxed and smiled at her earnestly, “Thank you.”
Clarke nodded and tried to send her a reassuring smile in return.
The cold metal of the gun pressed callously into the back of his neck as he was unwillingly marched toward the doors of the drop ship. The camp was eerily silent as they began to walk towards the gates; tents abandoned, belongings scattered, the walls on the verge of falling apart. Every small piece of their existence they’d managed to create here diminished in a single night.
“You try and make even one move against me,” Murphy warned, “then I’ll tie you to a tree and make sure Octavia gets a bullet in the head. And yes, I know exactly where everyone is heading. It won’t be too hard to find her; everyone thinks I’m reformed now anyway.”
Bellamy felt his whole body tense at the thought, white hot rage pulsing through his veins. Threatening him was one thing; yes he’d done things he regretted, and maybe he deserved what fate handed out. But threatening Octavia, who was innocent in all of this? There was no coming back from that.
“And maybe I’ll take out Clarke too while I’m at it.” He continued, “See how this camp runs without a leader. Chaos, I’d imagine.”
Teeth gritted and fists clenched tightly within their restraints, just itching to beat the life out of his captor, Bellamy grudgingly complied with Murphy’s demands. A thousand different scenarios flashed through his mind. His sister hurt, or worse, because of him was at the very top of his fears. She had been his one constant since the very moment she was born. He was more than just her big brother; he was her guardian and her protector. He’d practically raised her, and there was nothing in the world that he wouldn't do to defend her.
And Clarke … well, their relationship was a lot more complicated. They antagonised the hell out of each other, but there was something about her that drew you in and didn't let you go no matter how hard you tried to shake it off. She had a kind heart and an optimism that balanced out Bellamy’s negativity built through a lifetime of fear and desperation. She made him question everything he’d become in the past year, and he would catch glimpses in himself of the good-hearted boy who used to give his sister pony rides and read her stories every night before bed. Everything he’d been before his mother was floated and Octavia was cruelly ripped away from him. Clarke made him want to be a better person; a better leader. And after the past few weeks she was undoubtedly working her way into his heart, however much he’d like to deny it.
Bellamy pulled at the bonds tying his wrists together, testing for weaknesses. The knife he’d picked up during the scuffle was still resting against his forearm. He slowed his pace slightly to try and force Murphy to walk beside him. There was little chance he could cut the ropes on his wrists with him stood right behind, watching his every move. Murphy didn't seem to sense Bellamy’s ulterior motives and merely shoved him roughly in the shoulder to make him quicken his pace, though eventually they fell into step side by side.
Murphy was taking him to the Grounders, to be tortured no doubt. But he didn't plan on getting there. He would either escape or die; he just had to time it right and get his gun back as soon as his hands were free.
If he was dead, Murphy would have no need to go after Octavia. She was perfect leverage for making him do whatever he wanted while alive, but after he was gone he knew she would be safe with Clarke. That gave him some comfort in this dire situation, at least.
With a quick glance to determine that Murphy was keeping in step beside him, Bellamy twisted his hands around to reach into his sleeve. He managed to pull the knife out without dropping it, and tried to turn it around to rest the blade against the ropes. It was difficult to get the right angle, and his wrists hurt like hell as the restraints rubbed against his skin, but he managed to do it.
They emerged out of the camp gates, shrouded in darkness, and Bellamy began to saw at the ropes, little by little, ignited with the hope that he had a chance to get himself out of this mess.
It didn't take them long to reach the camp, and thankfully there had been no sign of Grounders since they’d turned back. Clarke figured they hadn't expected the strength of resistance they’d received, and it was taking them longer to regroup than anticipated. That would at least work in their favour, but she still wanted to get them all, including Bellamy, away from there as soon as possible.
Clarke had promptly split them into pairs; Jasper with Monty and her with Octavia so at least one of the two had a working weapon. Jasper had as many bullets as she did, and Monty was all out so he’d strapped it to his back, useless. Octavia had given hers away to someone else during the chaos of the attack, though she’d told Clarke earlier that she was relieved; she couldn't shoot straight anyway. Instead she had her brother’s prized axe clenched in her hand; a gift he’d bestowed the moment he’d seen her weaponless.
“Clarke, over here.”
Her head snapped up from checking yet another empty tent to see Monty poking his head out of the drop ship. She and Octavia jogged over and Monty gestured to his friend as they passed. “Jasper found something.”
She quickly found Jasper crouched low, examining the floor with a furrowed brow. Then she saw what he was looking at: blood.
Octavia’s sharp intake of breath cut through the silence. “Bellamy’s?”
Clarke frowned, thinking hard. “It must be. It wasn't there before I left, and he was the only one left in camp.”
“You sure he was the last one?” Jasper asked.
Clarke pursed her lips. They had been in too much of a hurry to compile a proper census to see who was dead or missing, so they really had no idea if there was anyone still there. That was Bellamy’s last task before he disappeared.
Jasper stood up and headed towards the entrance of the drop ship, eyes trained low as he scanned the floor. “There’s more blood here.”
“And clear signs of a struggle in here.” Clarke added as she took in the surrounding area. This place had been her life for the past few weeks; she knew when something was out of place. She took particular note of the splintered table someone had created out of some spare pieces of wood, the items previously atop it lay scattered all over the place. Then she spotted something hidden in the corner that caused her to let out an involuntary gasp. Three sets of questioning eyes shot to her as she bent to retrieve it. Bellamy’s pack; empty except for a few pieces of clothing.
Octavia’s face turned ashen and she swiftly headed over to Clarke, taking the bag out of her hands to look at it more closely. “It’s definitely his.” She confirmed. “He wouldn't have left without it.” The younger girl’s strong facade seemed to crumble before Clarke’s eyes, and she looked at her helplessly. “You think the Grounders took him?” She asked, voice barely above a whisper.
“I think that’s our best guess right now,” Clarke confessed as she fought to clamp down on the apprehension coursing through her body. “We’ll find him, Octavia. I promise.”
Clarke figured she shouldn't dole out false hope like that, but it was the only thing she could think to do to take away the lost look on her face.
“There are two sets of fresh footprints heading out the gate.” Jasper noted.
“Only two?” Monty questioned.
Clarke scanned the drop ship again, looking for something, anything, that could indicate what had happened or where Bellamy was going. It didn't make sense. “Something’s not right about this.”
Monty turned his attention away from the footprints with an obvious look of concern. “They’re going the opposite way to the bunker.”
Jasper nodded, then cast a worried look at Octavia who had frozen on the spot. “They’re going to the Grounder’s camp.”
Clarke frowned, “And I doubt he’s going willingly.”
They all headed back outside and towards the gate, on high alert.
“We’re never going to find him in the dark.” Jasper whispered, attempting to follow the footprints. Clarke knew that Finn had been teaching him tricks of tracking, but he still had a lot to learn.
Octavia rounded on all three of them, her previous fear transforming to anger and determination. “We know the way to the Grounder’s camp, don’t we? If we keep in a straight line, and try and follow the footprints as best we can, we could catch them before they get to the river.”
“Octavia, we have no idea how many of them there are,” Monty reasoned.
“Assuming one of the sets of footprints are Bellamy’s, we have only one hostile, judging by the tracks, right?” Clarke determined.
It was perhaps a long shot overall, but it was certainly worth a try. All the signs pointed to Bellamy being taken by force, hopefully by only one person. It was most likely a Grounder, though Clarke wouldn't have figured they’d be working on their own. There was something they were definitely missing.
Jasper nodded. “Though I can’t be sure. There’s lots of footprints in and out of camp, but those two are the most recent, excluding ours anyway.”
Octavia clenched her fists and let out a frustrated growl at the lack of action. “My brother risked getting killed by Grounders to save me. I’m doing the same for him and I don’t care what you say.” She began to march away from them.
“You don’t even have a gun,” Clarke called after her, trying to make her see reason. There was no chance she’d let her go on her own. As far as Clarke was concerned, she was her responsibility until they found Bellamy.
She spun around. “Then give me yours!”
“I will.” Clarke replied calmly, quickly earning a wide eyed stare from Jasper. “But I’ll be the one holding it. I’m coming with you.”
He managed to cut through one of his ropes, but he quickly realised he wasn't free yet. It was slow and painful progress, his wrists burning with each strained movement. He was comforted by the thought that they were still some way from the Grounders camp. He had time.
Bellamy chanced a glance behind him, checking that there was no way Murphy could get a good view of his wrists and the knife he held.
“You expecting to be rescued?” Murphy asked, assuming he was looking for someone to help him, as he pushed him roughly in the back and gestured for him to keep moving. “Your princess won’t save you now.”
If he thought that than he didn't know her at all, Bellamy mused. She was stubborn as hell, and if she wanted to find him, she would. He couldn't decide whether to be elated or worried at the prospect.
He slowed his pace again, giving him more time to get free and keeping Murphy slightly ahead of him.
He could tell his captor was getting increasingly aggravated at his dawdling, and that probably pleased Bellamy more than it should have.
“Keep moving, Blake!” He all but yelled, “Or I swear I’ll shoot you where you stand.”
Bellamy wished he could make some clever retort about how that would hardly please the Grounders, but the gag kept him silent. Instead he was forced to acquiesce, and clenched his jaw in frustration as he had to hide his knife back in his sleeve when Murphy began to walk behind him.
Clarke found it was easier than expected to follow the tracks, as if Bellamy was deliberately making his footfalls heavier in the hope that someone was following them.
It seemed he was still alive at least.
Suddenly a faint voice cut through the silence and Clarke froze, gesturing for the others to do the same. The voice was familiar, though by rights the owner should have been far away from here by now. She looked at Jasper in surprise, “You hear that?”
He nodded, face grave. “Sounds like Murphy.”
Clarke turned her attention to the direction the voice came from. “Definitely Murphy. And if I heard right, he’s pissed and he’s got Bellamy.”
Not Grounders then. The thought immediately allowed her anxiety to lessen, however slightly. Murphy was still unpredictable though, and after everything they’d done to him there was no telling what he might do.
Disregarding what danger she may be heading into, she knew they needed to get to Bellamy as soon as possible.
She turned to her companions, "I'm giving you the opportunity to turn back. If you do, I won't hold it against you."
All three objected and insisted on staying with her, much to her relief.
"Okay then. Guns up, stay alert. Octavia, stick with Jasper and stay at the back. We need to hurry before we lose them."
She clutched hold of her gun like a lifeline and ran towards the source of the voice, the others hot on her heels.
Bellamy could have sworn he could hear someone, or something, approaching. His pulse raced, thinking about the encounter with the panther soon after their arrival on Earth, and hoped Murphy was as good a shot as Wells if it tried to attack them. Because if it did, he didn't really have much of a chance.
The sound of rapid footfalls was soon accompanied by a flash of blonde abruptly emerging from the dense foliage. Bellamy turned to stare at her in surprise, the flicker of hope he’d previously held quickly transformed into a full blown bonfire. Clarke seemed to return the sentiment with a wide eyed stare as she took in the scene. Bellamy couldn't pinpoint the exact moment when he’d placed so much trust in Clarke, but now seeing her in the clearing, gun in hand like an avenging angel, he didn't think he’d ever seen a more beautiful and welcome sight.
She was soon followed by Jasper and Monty, who both staggered to a halt behind Clarke as they registered him and his captor. Bellamy’s hope that he may actually get out of this one alive was quickly tempered by distress when Octavia came into view to join them.
They must have come back to find him, probably at his sister’s insistence.
He distantly wondered whether they’d followed his tracks, or if this was just dumb luck.
As soon as he’d noticed the new arrivals Murphy immediately took cover behind him, using Bellamy’s body as a shield and wrapping an arm around his throat, the other pointing the gun precariously at the newcomers.
“Nobody move!” He seemed to spot the guns in Jasper and Clarke’s hands and the grip on Bellamy’s neck tightened, threatening to choke him. “Put your guns down, now!”
Clarke turned to a questioning Jasper and nodded, and they both slowly lowered their weapons to the ground.
“You too Monty.”
Monty did as he asked, swinging the gun off his shoulder and placing it on the floor with the others before taking a small step back, arms raised in surrender.
Clarke turned her attention briefly to her fellow leader and he could see her visibly tense as she surveyed his condition. Bellamy could imagine how bad he must look; a crimson blemish slowly spreading over his shirt as his wound continued to drip with blood, the gag in his mouth making it difficult to breathe, with no help from the fact he was currently in a choke hold, and his arms still restrained tightly behind his back.
With their guns no longer an immediate threat, Murphy released Bellamy and took a step back, aiming his gun back at his captive.
“You take so much as a step this way, and I’ll put a bullet in him,” he warned.
Bellamy figured it was becoming less and less of a priority for Murphy to get him to the Grounder’s alive.
Bellamy surveyed the small group again and his hope sunk further. They were now weaponless. Clarke stood a fraction ahead of the other three, hands out in front of her and palms facing the ground in a placating gesture. He noted Jasper and Monty had both positioned themselves slightly in front of Octavia on either side, getting in between her and Murphy as much as possible, to which he was more than grateful.
Bellamy caught his sister’s worried stare and sent her what he hoped was a reassuring look to assure her that he was okay, and that she better stay back out of harm’s way. Without realising what he was doing, Bellamy had taken a step towards them, instincts in overdrive to protect Octavia and get between Murphy and any damage he may inflict.
Murphy immediately caught sight of his movement and, thinking Bellamy was attempting to flee, kicked him in the back of his left knee so that he dropped abruptly to the hard ground. He let out a muffled grunt as his knees collided with the floor, and the jolt sent waves of pain crashing through his already battered body, yet he managed to remain upright, albeit with significant effort.
His sister immediately dodged past Jasper, rushing forward towards him. Bellamy’s eyes widened in panic as Murphy swung the weapon in her direction, his shouts for his sister to stay back, and threats to what he would do to Murphy if he hurt her, were rendered incomprehensible by the gag around his mouth. As she ignored the imminent danger she was carelessly throwing herself into and started towards her brother, she was quickly caught by the elbow and pulled back by Clarke, who could barely restrain her from her efforts to come to her brother’s aid. He observed his fellow leader with gratitude as she handed his sister, who was cursing Murphy relentlessly, off to Jasper and Monty who were slightly more successful in keeping her back and out of immediate peril.
“Do you want me to kill him!?” Murphy snarled, pointing the barrel of the gun back to Bellamy and causing Octavia’s voice to cut off immediately in fear, face turning pale. He was growing agitated, and that was anything but good when attributed to a criminal with a gun and a grudge who had nothing to lose.
Before the tension could escalate further and one of them was killed, Clarke took action. She needed to calm the situation down, and outnumbering Murphy as much as they did wasn't helping matters. She decided to kill two birds with one stone. Breaking her attention away from the gun for a second she addressed Jasper and Monty, her voice remaining perfectly calm despite the situation and her own internal conflict.
“Both of you, take her to the bunker.”
All three of them reacted immediately in protest.
“– No, I can’t leave my brother!”
“– Clarke, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“– We can’t leave you here alone!”
“Take her!” She demanded, voice raised, cutting off their simultaneous objections. If she was going to get Bellamy out alive, she needed to get Octavia safe and out of the picture first. She figured Murphy would underestimate her as a threat if she was alone, and he would be less likely to make any rash decisions. Plus, having Octavia away from immediate danger would calm Bellamy down considerably, and she needed his help, however limited it could be considering his restraints, to get out of this.
Clarke lowered her voice as she turned back to Murphy, noting with an alarm she quickly tried to repress that his gun was now pressed maliciously into Bellamy’s left temple. “I’ll deal with this.”
It was clear none of them were happy about leaving, but one swift reassuring nod that she had it under control, despite the fact she really had no plan whatsoever, was enough to persuade them to get to safety. To the relief of both Clarke and Bellamy, Murphy allowed the three of them to go without protest.
Bellamy had never been more relieved than he was the moment he watched Jasper and Monty pull his sister away towards safety, nor more grateful or astounded by the girl who resolutely stood her ground, weaponless, against an unstable criminal with a vendetta, holding a gun no less.
He’d learnt long ago that it was never a good idea to underestimate Clarke Griffin.
As Octavia headed further away into the forest, Bellamy felt a weight lift off his shoulders. His sister was, and would always be, the most important person in his life. There was no way he would let her put herself in danger, especially for his sake. Looking at Jasper and Monty closing ranks on Octavia, Clarke at the head, Bellamy felt a quiet sense of comfort that, if this was indeed his last day on Earth, his sister would not be alone.
Clarke’s eyes had remained resolutely on Murphy as the three retreated to the safety of the bunker. Only when they had disappeared, and Murphy turned his attention solely to her, did she finally train her gaze back to Bellamy, barely veiled concern contorting her features. She glanced at the splash of red spreading down his front and quickly trained her medical eye upon his head wound. It looked deep, and the bleeding didn't seem to be stopping. He needed help, and soon, as head wounds were notorious for causing heavy bleeding, and he could be suffering from concussion, or worse. She noted Bellamy seemed lucid enough at the moment though, which afforded her some measure of reassurance.
“Let him go Murphy. Let’s talk about this.”
Murphy scoffed. “And why would I do that? I’m the one with all the cards here; you have nothing to bargain with.”
Clarke glared at Murphy, fists clenching tightly at her sides. “Because you won’t get out of here alive if you hurt him. I’ll see to that myself.”
Murphy barked out an incredulous laugh, clearly regarding it as an empty threat.
Bellamy watched the exchange, tense, before returning his concentration on sawing at his restraints. The ropes were loosening. But he wasn't being fast enough. He hoped Clarke had it under control; if she could just keep him talking, it would give him the time he needed to get free.
“You know, I don’t want to kill you Clarke." Murphy continued, "So what would it take for you to just turn around and go back to your little bunker?”
Even if she did leave, the whole camp would be in jeopardy if Murphy knew the location of the bunker, which he seemed to. He was probably there when they announced the plan anyway. The only thing she could think to do was keep him talking, and wait for an opportunity to try and disarm him. Clarke knew she was by no means a skilled fighter, but with enough determination she figured she could at least knock him to the ground and hope for the best. She pulled herself out of her thoughts and focused again on Murphy, realising he was still talking.
“You can forget about Bellamy, you’ll be the leader of the camp. He wouldn't do this to save you.”
Clarke disagreed; Murphy clearly didn't know him at all, not anymore at least. The Bellamy that tried to force her to take off her wristband was not the same Bellamy who was knelt before her. He had noticeably changed in the weeks since they had banished Murphy, at least in her eyes. He actually cared about people; it was no longer every man for himself.
Suddenly Bellamy seemed to decide it was time to intervene. He tried to say something, but the gag was rendering him incomprehensible.
Murphy sighed and seemed to hesitate before he forcefully pulled the cloth away from his mouth and Bellamy took in a deep breath.
“Got something to say to make her go away?” Murphy asked, clearly enjoying himself.
Bellamy looked at Clarke, but addressed his captor. “You let Clarke leave, and I’ll go with you without protest.”
Clarke stepped forward a fraction, then stopped herself before she could go any further. “Bellamy, no –“
He managed to shoot her a soft smile, though there was something else she couldn't quite decipher hidden in his loaded gaze. “It’s okay, princess.”
She shook her head, if he thought he was giving up that easily he was mistaken. She wasn't just going to let him roll over and die. She needed him. They all did.
Murphy looked like he was considering the offer. “How sweet, who’d have thought Bellamy Blake would sacrifice himself for a privileged princess? What do you say, Clarke?”
Clarke steeled her resolve. “I’m not going anywhere without him.”
Bellamy sighed internally at her stubbornness. Why wouldn't she just leave?
He was nearly through his ropes and needed her out of the crossfire so he could ambush Murphy.
She took a tentative step forward. “You don’t need to do this, Murphy.”
“Yes I do. I made a deal with them.”
Clarke stopped short at his unexpected confession. “You mean the Grounders?”
“They said that if I brought the virus into camp, they’d let me right a few wrongs done to me, and to them, by our esteemed leader. He’s pissed a lot of people off lately.” He spared a loaded glance at Bellamy and flashed her a smug smirk. “It wasn't hard to convince them to let me go. Though by now I’d hoped they would have killed you all in the attacks last night, but I figured I’d bring him to them instead seeing as you were all leaving. So I waited, and watched. I was going to pick off the last few of you, but Bellamy stayed behind. Everything worked out perfectly. Until you decided to show up, that is.”
“So that was the plan? You give them Bellamy, and what? They torture him, you kill him, and they let you live happily ever after with them?”
One look at Murphy’s reaction confirmed she’d hit the nail on the head, but he clearly didn't appreciate the way she’d incredulously phrased it. She had no idea how much contact he’d had with the Grounders since he’d been banished, but she wasn't naive enough to think that they would welcome him with open arms once he’d outlived his usefulness.
“They’ll kill you, Murphy. And I for one will be grateful for it.” Clarke was surprised by the venom in her voice, and continued to stand her ground. She figured she probably shouldn't antagonise him, but in her eyes he more than deserved it. There was no way she was letting Murphy leave with him if she could help it. If Bellamy was taken, it was almost certain he wouldn't make it back alive.
Her heart beat a rapid rhythm in her chest as Murphy continued pointing the gun at her, his expression turning cold. He cocked his head to the left slightly, as if contemplating something. She resisted the instinctive urge to raise her hands in surrender. She wouldn't show any weakness. And as long as Murphy was looking and training the weapon on her, he wasn't focused on the core of his festering hatred: Bellamy.
Bellamy had taken the opportunity of Murphy’s attention being elsewhere, despite how it being trained on Clarke was by no means better, to work at his bonds. He was so close to being free, even with the awkward positioning of his hands significantly hindering his progress.
Murphy’s next words were directed at Clarke, but he was clearly addressing Bellamy. “You know. I’m getting more convinced that killing your princess is a good idea. I’m sure the Grounders will appreciate me bringing them both leaders. Alive or dead.”
Bellamy did not like where this conversation was heading. He decided he needed Murphy to return his attention back to him and away from Clarke before she got herself killed. “Hey!” He called out, voice hoarse. “It’s me you wanted Murphy, alright? She has nothing to do with this.”
Murphy ignored him, continuing to look at Clarke as if deciding what he was going to do with her.
Suddenly, Bellamy felt the ropes on his wrists slacken and relief washed over him. He looked over to make sure Murphy knew nothing was amiss, but his focus was still on Clarke who was perhaps who he considered the biggest threat whilst he was supposedly incapacitated.
Bellamy’s mind quickly raced through working out a plan of action, without getting Clarke hurt in the process. He needed to give her some sort of signal. Getting her to leave was clearly not going to work, so he needed her to get out of the way at least.
Clarke caught his gaze and he did the only thing he could think of: he winked. It was the only out of the blue thing he could come up with, without moving, to tell her he was planning something. She frowned slightly in response before returning her attention back to Murphy.
She seemed to know he had some sort of plan. Or at least he hoped she did. At least she’d be prepared.
She chanced another look at him, as if to confirm he was up to something. Bellamy caught her questioning gaze again and nodded slightly. He needed to make sure they were on the same page.
She replied with an equally imperceptible nod.
Bellamy made the first move.
In a split second he’d thrust aside the cut ropes that had bound his wrists and clutched the knife in his right hand.
“Clarke, get down!” He yelled as he launched himself at the startled Murphy with an animalistic roar. They both crashed to the ground in a tangle of limbs and fists, Murphy’s gun going off wildly in his arms before skittering across the ground to land a few feet away.
Clarke had dropped to the earth as soon as Bellamy moved, barely missing getting hit by Murphy’s stray bullet as Bellamy tackled him to the floor. She froze as she watched them fight, chest tightening in worry as her mind flew back to Dax and how close they both came to dying that day.
Bellamy managed to roll on top of Murphy and swing the knife down towards him, but he managed to deflect it at the last second so it barely missed his body and buried itself in the soil by his shoulder.
The scuffle began to escalate and Clarke snapped back to reality the instant Murphy seemed to gain the upper hand. She scrambled to the right to grab the nearest gun, whose it was, she had no idea. Standing up she aimed it at them, but her concern for shooting Bellamy by accident caused her to hesitate. But only momentarily.
She saw an opening and pulled the trigger.
It responded with a click.
Clarke cursed as she quickly realised she’d picked up Monty’s gun and cast it to the side in frustration. Keeping an eye on the ensuing fight, and taking comfort in the fact Bellamy was still holding his own, she scrambled back to pick up another gun.
Bellamy could feel exhaustion creeping in on him. The adrenaline pumping through his veins seemed to be keeping the pain at bay, but he had no idea how long that would last. The answer came soon enough.
Just one direct punch to the face, aggravating his earlier injuries to the point of blinding pain and causing an instant wave of nausea, was all it took to disorient him, and Bellamy fell onto his back, dazed.
Seconds later he felt his captor’s hands begin to enclose around his neck.
He’d realised long ago that Murphy didn't believe in a fair fight.
The second gunshot came out of nowhere and Bellamy froze as the pressure on his neck instantly lightened. He found himself staring into vacant eyes as Murphy let out a strained gasp, mouth wide in shock as his whole body relaxed and he toppled unceremoniously to the side.
Bellamy coughed and gasped in precious oxygen, mind racing. “Clarke?”
Bellamy’s voice was barely audible as he tried to call her name, all the while feeling himself drifting in and out of consciousness. Was she okay? Was she alive? What the hell had happened?
He tried to sit up, but his bruised and exhausted body was unwilling to cooperate, and he fell back down with a muffled thump. Bellamy’s eyelids slowly drifted closed. He’d just rest for a second. Regain his strength.
A second later he faintly heard a shuffling sound and felt the lightest of touches on his arm. His shoulder. His face. Then the soothing sound of his name on her lips as Clarke tried desperately to bring him back to consciousness.
An intense feeling of relief hit him at the sound of her voice, though he was having trouble registering her words. It was as if he was being held underwater, and she was trying to swim down and pull him up to the surface.
“Bellamy? Bellamy! Open your eyes for me.”
He felt a slight pressure on his neck; she was checking his pulse to see if he was still alive. He tried to tell her that, yes, he was still here, but nothing came out.
Clarke was growing increasingly frantic. His heart was still beating, which was obviously a good sign, but he’d clearly suffered a significant head injury, and going to sleep was dangerous.
Her hands were clasped on either side of his face, pressure increasing each second he was unresponsive.
“Please, Bellamy. I can’t do this without you, so don’t you dare check out on me.”
She exhaled in relief as his eyes fluttered open, a slightly bewildered expression as he took in Clarke mere inches from his face. Her cheeks were flushed and his brows furrowed as he absently noted a cut above her right eye. She pulled back slightly at first, and then sat back on her heels, though her right hand didn't leave his cheek as she looked down at him intently.
Bellamy stared blankly at her for a second, unconsciously leaning into the touch. Then his expression transformed in a heartbeat to a mix of confusion and concern. “You okay, princess?”
She let out a forced laugh, eyebrows raised. “Me? God, Bellamy. You’re the idiot with a serious concussion, covered in blood, who nearly died a minute ago. Don’t you ever scare me like that again.”
Clarke eyed him with alarm. “What do you remember?”
Too much, he wanted to say, but held his tongue. It was coming back to him in flashes and he scrunched his eyes closed as the headache that had been an ever growing presence suddenly intensified.
“Hey, I need you to keep your eyes open.”
He felt himself complying with her whispered request when she took her hand away from his cheek. He briefly mourned the loss of contact until she clasped his arm in a bid to help him sit up. He tried to help her get him off the floor, but instantly regretted the movement. Bellamy was hit by an abrupt bout of light-headedness and reached out to her to ground himself. Her hand caught his in midair and Clarke gave it a reassuring squeeze. “How do you feel?”
Her voice was soothing, calming him with its very tone. Perfect bedside manner, he noted. She would have made a brilliant doctor on the Ark.
His eyes flickered from their clasped hands and up to her concerned face, “Like my head is about to explode.”
She nodded, as if she expected as much. “You feel dizzy at all? Nauseous? Confused?”
He grimaced. “All of the above.”
Clarke pursed her lips and reached her free hand up to gently brush his hair, matted with blood, away from the wound, being careful not to touch it.
“How did you find me?”
She halted in her ministrations. “You didn't show up so we went back to find you. And before you ask, I didn't want Octavia to come. But she wouldn't take no for an answer.”
The corner of his mouth quirked upward. “Sounds like O.”
He turned his head to the left, scanning the surroundings with a frown as he paused on the lifeless body a few feet away. “Murphy?”
Her eyes immediately lowered, and he could sense the grief coming off her in waves. “He’s gone.”
Clarke swiftly released his hand and busied herself with her pack, pulling out a relatively clean piece of cloth. She proceeded to wipe away the blood covering the left side of his face. He winced as she neared his temple, but didn't try to stop her. She knew what she was doing. He trusted her implicitly.
Bellamy found himself automatically staring at her as she concentrated. She was biting her lip as she worked, the lightest of touches dancing across his face.
He glanced again at Murphy, and the realisation suddenly hit him with full force: she’d done it. She’d been the one to kill him. She’d taken a life, for him no less.
His stomach clenched in sympathy and guilt for getting himself into a situation where she was forced to end a life to save his.
He let out a sigh, relieved that she was okay and relieved that Murphy was gone. Her eyes flickered across again to briefly meet his, and he knew he had to erase that look of guilt from her expression. He had to do what she had done for him not so long ago, in a situation so like this, but so very different at the same time. He took a breath, hand reaching out to the one tending to his wound. He held it still to make her pause and pay attention to what he was going to say. She had to understand what she’d done, and how much it meant to him.
“You saved my life today, princess.”
She couldn't hold back a slight smile of gratitude. Even the smallest curve of her lips, he noted, brightened up her face.
“Guess we’re even now.”