[His father never trusted Murphy. It took years of begging for him to even get a quest. Even when he finally got one, he felt like it was a joke he wasn’t allowed to be a part of. His father assigned him to earth, one of the smaller planets in the universe He was trying to destroy. Not actively, but like, somewhere way down the list for sure.
Being half-demon, half-human, his father had always carried a certain kind of contempt for him. He hated humans. Not enough not to give in to sexual temptations, apparently, but enough to be disgusted with himself and the living proof of the brief encounter over it.
The thing is, Murphy wanted to prove himself more than anything. Wanted to show him he could be worthy of his love and affection. And he knew he could do it. How hard could it be to destroy one tiny little planet?
He doesn’t have any powers when he’s on earth -- save from his ever-present cynicism -- left to his own devices to make his mission succeed. That isn’t the problem. It's just… It’s just that Clarke Griffin wasn’t going out without a fight.
See, it's not so much Clarke Griffin by herself. It’s everyone around her, wrapped around her finger, willing to do whatever she deems necessary. It’s her soulmate Bellamy Blake, too. The two of them combined, they always manage to throw a spanner in his hard work. They are particularly hard to beat, those two. And Murphy doesn't know how many more chances his father is going to permit him.]
~ i. 1998, earth ~
A flash of a woman in a white, dress draped around her curvy body. Gold vines wrapped around her head. A spear wrapped in her hand. A background of olive trees and clouds of the smoke of destruction. A loud cry of war from her pink lips. Athena .
“Slam your body down and wind it all around, slam your body down --” Clarke surges awake to her alarm clock blasting the radio loudly, blindly reaching out to hit the snooze button.
She sits up in bed, rubbing her eyes sleepily before blinking over at her roommate -- thankfully still asleep. Emori would murder her if she had to wake up to another girl- or boyband song this early in the morning. Clarke wants to murder herself half ot the time, too, for choosing to only take pre-med classes that start at the most ungodly hours of the day.
She takes a minute to catch her breath, pressing a hand to her slightly damp forehead. It’s not like she had a nightmare and that’s why she needs a moment to recuperate. It’s just these -- these dreams .
A while ago, Clarke just started to assume she had an undiscovered kink she was exploring in her unconsciousness. She dreamt of woman after woman after woman, looking like mythological goddesses or sexy Joan of Arcs or wearing Shakespearean esque garments right before they took them off.
Then, the women started taking shape in a form much like her own, blonde wavy hair flowing down their backs, blue eyes sparkling in the moonlight, a little beauty mark right above their mouths.
It was a bit confusing, considering the dreams always left her feeling kind of -- aroused. Which was a weird place to be in, knowing all her dreams had been of herself. She was almost a hundred percent sure she wasn’t attracted to herself.
She knew of the legends, of course. Once you met your soulmate, occasionally, you would dream what they dream. It’s a bunch of bullshit, lies they told people to explain what they didn’t understand yet. The human brain was complicated, and still mostly undiscovered territory.
They were just dreams. Clarke hanging around Monty and his nerd friends in the library too much influencing her unconsciousness and revealing a secret love of women who probably only bathed every three months -- that’s reality.
Clarke takes a cold shower, then uses a scrunchie to throw the top of her hair into a bun, and slides into a white sweater and her paint-splattered overalls. She picks up her bookbag and walkman, deciding to skip the breakfast hall and instead munching on a granola bar on her way over to her lecture hall.
She comes to a stop in the middle of the quad, stuffing the empty wrapper of her bar into the front pocket of her bag as she waits for the familiar voice to catch up with her. She raises her eyebrows as she comes closer, jutting her chin slightly, “What’s up?
“Party at Soncha Kappa Kru tonight,” Lexa -- wearing heavy blue eye makeup and dark lipstick, two small buns on the top of her head -- tells her, cocking one eyebrow and threading the line between not giving a shit and giving all of the shits like a pro.
(She hooked up with the senior once, during orientation week last year. Lexa was older, cool in a way that didn’t seem forced. The most beautiful girl she’d ever seen. Her green eyes sparked something inside of Clarke besides numbness for the first time in a long while. She didn’t care much about anything or anyone else. Especially not about Clarke’s last name being plastered all over the newspapers thanks to her mother defaming her dead father’s good name to save her own ass. They bonded over their love for Josefa de Óbidos’ Sacrificial Lamb , Jimmy Eat World and Clarke’s secret longing to take art classes just like she was.
It didn’t take long before they stumbled into Lexa’s single-dorm together and it was good -- the best -- but she was close enough to drunk to start whispering about how she wished she’d dreamed of her instead. Instead of the neverending darkness after her last girlfriend died. It made Clarke feel small, and suffocated, like there wasn’t enough air in the world for her to get into her lungs. How could she even measure up Costia? How could she ever measure up to a soulmate ? She wasn’t even sure she wanted to. She stared at the ceiling in the dark, waiting for Lexa to pass out and then left.)
She doesn’t want to give her any ideas so Clarke presses her lips together in a tight, polite smile, already starting to walk again, “I’ll try to make it.”
Monty isn’t in the lecture hall when she gets there, which must mean his best friend slash roommate had him out smoking way into the early morning again. This does however mean he owes her one, considering she has to sit beside the guy -- John, she thinks -- with long greasy hair and an all black outfit straight from the Blade movie again.
He tries to strike up a conversation about their next visit to the morgue, which, read the room, John, it’s barely eight a.m. Luckily her professor starts his lecture and she’s saved from talking to the guy who can’t even tell mitosis from meiosis and she’s not sure is actually even registered to be taking any of these classes.
She spends her lunch in the library to avoid Finn, who showed up to one of her classes with a bouquet of withered lilies. She hates lillies. She told him she hates lilies.
“Raven works here , Finn,” she’d hissed, pulling him aside to avoid the glares from her classmates trying to make it to their next classes. His face used to make her sad, now it just made her angry. “What if she sees you here?”
He’d dropped his hand with the flowers in it when he realized she wasn’t going to take them and turned his puppy eyes on her, a lock of hair falling into his line of sight. She couldn’t believe the very same thing used to make her heart skip a beat. “This isn’t about her , this is about you and me--”
“There is no you and me, Finn,” she’d spit back venomously, grip on her bag so tight her knuckles had turned white. “There was never an us because you neglected to tell me you had a girlfriend !”
Finn’s adam’s apple had bobbed up and down visibly, desperate look in his eyes, like he was finally feeling as powerless to change her mind as she had felt finding out he made the other woman out of her. It made her feel good. He had shaken his head, eyes racking her face pleadingly, “How many more times do I have to tell you she was taking a semester abroad--”
“It doesn’t matter!” She had yelled, not caring students roaming the hallways were starting to look their way. They already thought she was the bad guy here and he kept making it worse. “Stay away from me!”
All she wanted to do at the end of the day was crash down on her bed and sleep . Maybe listen to some Wilson Phillips and stop feeling sorry for herself and then sleep. She was physically and emotionally exhausted.
Her roommate has other plans.
Emori sexiles her around 7, pushing her out of their room and throwing her bag and a change of shirts down at her feet. Clarke is shoved into Greasy John out of all people roaming their college, bending down to pick up her possessions as she glares up at Emori with a disgusted look on her face. “Him? Seriously ?”
The last thing she sees is him shrugging at her with a smug sneer on his face before Emori pulls him inside and slams the door in her face.
Logically, she knows Greasy John doesn’t look like the type of person who would last more than three minutes. Yet, she knows Emori and her extensive collection of toys not at all hidden on the top shelf of her closet: it could take all night. Clarke could go to the library, but it’s Friday and it closes at nine. If she waits it out in the common room she’s a sitting duck in case Finn decides to come look for her again. The kegger is at Monty’s fraternity, so there’s no chance of her hiding out in his dorm for the rest of the night. One thing is for certain: Emori is a fucking terrible roommate.
Clarke ducks into the community bathroom to switch her sweater for the tie dye tube top Emori threw her way, and goes to the kegger anyway, considering she doesn’t have many other options. Awkwardly talking her way out of a hook-up with a very convincing Lexa still beat freezing to death on a campus ground telephone booth because her roommate locked her out of her own room and she had no other friends to turn to.
She dumps her bag in the supply closet beside their front door before making her way around the party, trying to spot a familiar face as the beat of a TLC song pumps through the room. It’s hot and stuffy and crowded and Clarke is reminded why she doesn’t like parties. She doesn’t do well with big groups of people.
There, by the kegger, someone, finally. Bellamy.
“Hey princess,” he greets her, offering her a red solo cup he just filled with beer. Clarke doesn’t like beer, but she takes it anyway. It tastes bitter and from the thoroughly amused look of his face she does a terrible job at hiding it.
Bellamy is one of Monty’s friends, or rather, Monty’s friend Jasper hangs around him a lot. It doesn’t always seem like a two-sided thing, but Jasper has his charms, she guesses, along with a steady supply of weed. He’s a senior, majoring in Criminal Justice. He wants to become a cop, he’s told them, even though whenever Clarke has to take the last seat besides his in the library, he never seems to be studying anything even remotely to do with the classes he takes.
Even just six months ago, Clarke would not have voluntarily walked up to him, no matter how lonely or alone she felt in a crowded room. To say they got off on the wrong foot would be an understatement.
The college guy Clarke had been seeing right before the summer after high school turned out to have a college girlfriend , who happened to be Bellamy’s best friend. He was the one who found out about her and Finn when he walked in on the two of them making out behind one of the stacks in the library. He took one look at her -- the Rolex hanging off the wrist of the hand intertwined with Finn’s -- thought she did it with both willing eyes wide open, and he hated her on principle. Clarke had wanted to tell Raven, Bellamy told her not to. Finn was her only family after her drug-addict mom died last year, and she was going through a rough time. She didn’t need to be kicked while she was already down.
Finn barely walked away with just a black eye, and Clarke with the warning that she did a terrible thing and her punishment was ‘having to live with it for the rest of her miserable little privileged life ’.
In the end, she thought of how her mother had an affair with her colleague for years. The endless fights, the empty apologies. I wish you had the decency to at least be honest with me . The anger, the separation, the car crash.
Her own desperate guilt tainted with the fresh hurt of grief beat out his voice of reason, and one day she ended up cornering Raven after class and told her about Finn -- the lies, the excuses, the I didn’t know . It’s the first time Clarke ever broke somebody’s heart. Raven forgave her, but she couldn’t forgive him. Her grades started slipping and she ended up losing her scholarship. Her old professor Sinclair took mercy on her and pulled some strings to get her a job as a computer lab assistant on campus, where she still works now, just a few credits shy of a college degree she’ll never complete.
She’d pushed aside her pride and marched right up to Bellamy’s usual spot in the library and said sorry to him too, said she should’ve listened to him after Raven refused to listen to any more of her apologies and instead offered to do shots together instead. Clarke realized it the second she told her, realized how wrong she was, seeing it in Raven’s brown eyes the moment she said the words. Or rather, she saw the lack of surprise in them. She already knew . She already knew and Clarke took away her being able to deny it to herself any longer, desperately trying to hold on to the last thing that made her feel whole. Hungover-all-the-time-now Clarke had to put her guilt somewhere, and despite not liking him, she didn’t want him to hate her.
He had grabbed her by the arm, pulled her into an empty, narrow hallway stacked with books and stared her down with dark eyes. “And you just expect me to accept your apology?” His voice was cold, cruel almost, not even bothering to keep it down while he usually was the one shushing them. “Well, I’m sorry, princess, but you don’t have a hold over me just because you’re used to getting whatever the hell you want. I don’t owe you anything.”
His hand had dropped back down to his side, the imprint of his fingers still burning into the skin of her bicep. She’d frowned up at him, not at all taken back by his performative aggression. There was always anger bubbling under the surface with him, and she got a feeling he wasn’t so much angry with her as with the world. Clarke had always been easy to project on -- he thought she had had it easy her entire life. (Later, he would start to learn that just because she was rich didn’t mean she had an effortless existence, and with that, he got more calm around her. Comfortable. His wall of hurt and resentment lowered.)
Right then he hadn’t realized it yet, and there was anger -- lots of anger -- rolling off him with heated waves. Clarke had straightened, crossing her arms over her chest as she met his unfaltering gaze. He was an asshole, a humongous one, but not the kind of asshole who would hurt her. “I don’t expect you to do anything,” she’d bit back, equally as mean. “I was wrong. You were right. You can either accept my apology or not, that’s up to you.” She’d licked her lips, forced her voice to be calm as she pressed, tilting her head slightly, “I am sorry, I really am, I wish -- I wish I’d known, but it’s not your place to be mad at me for doing what I did to Raven. Not like this anyway.”
She now knew question his loyalty was never a good thing to do. Back then, she had to experience it in full force. Bellamy had huffed, shaking his head slightly as a murderous look overtook his face. “What would you know about friendship?”
It had been the lowest of blows. He knew her only friend -- her bes t friend -- Wells died when she was in her sophomore year of high school, and she had had trouble making new friends ever since. Fear of them leaving her like he did. It took her three months to even sit at the same table as Monty during lunch. Luckily, he was kind and patient, and never gave up on her. He made it easy.
Bellamy made it difficult. Difficult to like him, to be his friend. He was so closed off, all the time. Pretended like she didn’t belong with them. There was always that anger, raging inside of him. Sometimes she would see his soft side, like when he would insist on walking his drunk friends home to their dorms, or when she’d have to wait behind him in line for one of the telephones and overhear the gentle voice he’d use with his sister. It still made her want to try, see the good in him, which made her hate herself.
“I’m not going to beg for your forgiveness, Bellamy. I would prefer to have it, but I’m not going to let you hold it over my head when I already feel like --” she’d cut herself off, turning her head to the side to hide the way her eyes had filled with tears, how her voice had lost his strength.
She already felt like a piece of shit just thinking of how she hurt Raven the same way her mom hurt her dad. She despised her mother for what she did, how could she even try and justify looking at herself in the mirror with anything less but the same contempt?
His jaw had clenched in a way that looked painful as he raked her face, a flash of something -- something kinder, something mutual -- across his eyes. His fingers were curled into fists at his sides, still, but no longer angry, more like he was trying to hold something back. “It’s not easy to forgive yourself, huh?”
Clarke had forced a shaky smile on her face, trying to play it off as something that wasn’t so important, so dark and sensitive. She had a hard time being vulnerable, and he had given her no reason in the past to feel differently about that with him. Yet, she couldn’t find it in herself to lie to him. “Not if you don’t deserve it.”
A heavy silence fell between the two of them.
“I have a deal,” he had proposed, breaking the tension and the quiet all at once as his shoulders sagged, his hostility fading. “Do you still want my forgiveness?”
She’d wiped at her nose quickly, molding her face into something much more unaffected. “Depends on what you want for it.”
The corners of his mouth had turned up in a self-satisfied smirk. “Don’t worry, Griffin, I’m not going to ask you for your virginity.”
Her cheeks had flushed, and she’d shoved him in the chest, hard. She’d been proud of the amount of heat she managed to keep in her voice, “Like I would ever risk catching the amount of STDs you’re carrying around.” She had felt lighter, somehow, already.
Bellamy let out a small, amused sound, then his eyes turned softer, his smile making way for it to be replaced with something more serious. “I’ll forgive you, if you forgive yourself.”
His words for once felt genuine then in a way they could never have just a few minutes ago. Clarke raises her eyebrows, not giving in that easily. “And if I don’t?”
He’d pursed his lips as a way to keep them from curling up in a challenging, self-deprecatory smirk. “You know how petty I am. I love holding grudges. I sure as hell won’t make it easy on you.”
Clarke had swallowed hard, taken back by his sudden kindness as she stared up at him with her glassy blue eyes and tear-streaked cheeks. She didn’t feel small when he looked at her. He didn’t treat her like she was a child. He made it easier and she took the chance. “Okay.”
He grinned, bright and amiable, catching a stray tear on the bottom of her chin with his thumb before nodding back at the main hall of the library. “Come on. I’ll let you help me make my flashcards to buy my silence.”
“Your silence about what?”
“That you’re an ugly crier.”
(And yeah, the dreams started shortly after that. It doesn’t mean much of anything. Not to her anyway. It was just a silly childhood bedtime story.)
It took them a while, but they managed to co-exist in the same room as their friends. He’d try to keep his snide remarks about her brand new books or expensive Levis to himself, and she’d swallow her insults whenever he lectured one of her friends for showing up late to class or doing drugs on a Tuesday. Over time, she’d learned he didn’t do it out of some sick need of wanting to control them. He cared about them, was overprotective in a kind of sweet, twisted way. He wanted them to do well.
It got less hard to pretend to like him, which she figured meant that now she actually genuinely liked him. More often than not, she found herself wondering. What if she just asked him? Asked him what his dreams were about?
“Thanks,” she mutters, back in the present, taking another sip of her drink as she gives him a once-over over the rim of her cup. The white graphic t-shirt and the oversized flannel. His freckled cheeks are flushed from the alcohol, his head of curls pushed back by a red bandana.
She catches his eye and quickly averts her gaze, resting her free hand in the crook of the elbow attached to the hand holding her cup, pretending to look around the room while her heart hammers loudly in her chest. What the fuck did they spike this beer with?
“You having fun?” She hears the amused tone coating his voice, and doesn’t have to turn her head to see that arrogant smirk covering his features. She does anyway. She kind of likes his smirks.
“It’s a college party,” Clarke responds easily, like that’s an answer. He knows what she means though, knows now -- after months of hard work by the both of them -- she doesn’t mean it in a condescending way, like she is somehow above parties. It’s just not her thing.
A guy stumbles over his feet and knocks into her back, propelling her forward into Bellamy. He steadies her with his hands on her arms, and they both watch with horror as the same guy hurls the contents of his stomach in a nearby plant pot.
“Best college party ever,” Bellamy muses, eyes bright, and Clarke stifles a laugh, hoping her cheeks don’t look too flushed as she steps away from him.
“I’m going to try and find Monty,” she tells him, but his attention is already lost, gaze focused on something behind her. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” he mutters, his eyes turning into sliths as he stalks past her. Maybe his ex Gina showed up with his nemesis Roan again. He threw a three-hour, drunk fit about that last time.
She looks over her shoulder to follow his retreating figure, but he’s already disappeared into the kitchen. Clarke shrugs and sets off on her quest to find her friend.
Except, no one has seen him. Harper -- the girl he was supposed to meet for coffee after class -- tells her with sad eyes that he stood her up. He’s been crushing on her forever, and standing up is just not something he would ever do, so Clarke knows something is terribly wrong deep down in her bones.
She gets really worried when his roommate Jasper doesn’t know where he is, since those two share a telepathic bond and are always attached at the hip. Of course, Jasper is high out of his mind, talking shit to a broom and telling it to ‘talk to the hand’ as Clarke pulls on his arm to get his attention back on her.
“He left early this morning to go to the lab before class,” Jasper tells her with glassy, bloodshot eyes, reaching up to scratch his head and almost throwing off his bucket hat in the process. “You know those plants are his children.”
“Shit,” Clarke murmurs to herself, her head spinning as she loosens her grip on his shirt. No one has seen him all day . She stalks into the living room and spins on her heels when she sees Finn talking to some unassuming girls, probably asking around about her, before she tries the kitchen, trying to find Bellamy. She needs his help.
She does, find him, yelling at a vaguely familiar girl, young and completely unfazed by his words. She’s wearing neon-green biker shorts with one of their university’s sweaters on top, oversized on her tiny frame, butterfly clips holding back two strands of hair on the top of her head.
Now Clarke is closer, she can hear him over the loud music. Her pulse for some reason rattles irregularly as she watches the scene in front of her unfold. “Octavia, you’re fifteen ! You can’t just sneak out and travel half across the state whenever you want to!”
Her eyes blaze with the same kind of heat in Bellamy’s, her pointer finger digging into his chest as she snarls, “That’s easy for you to say when you’re not stuck with the foster mother from hell!”
“Miss Lightbourne is kind to you,” Bellamy interjects, his forehead creasing. Doubt flickers across his eyes for just a moment.
“ Simone is a raging buzzkill bitch with voices in her head!” Octavia spits right back, stomping her foot as the soft drink in her hand sloshes over the rim of the cup and trickles down her arm. “I had to bounce!”
He opens his mouth to respond, but Clarke tugs on his sleeve before he can say anything. “Bellamy, I have to talk to you.”
She can feel his eyes on her but Clarke can’t stop staring at the young girl, somehow not being able to tear her eyes away. It’s like she’s in a trance. I hate you. You can’t control me forever! This is definitely the girl she sometimes sees in her more serious dreams. The ones more like memories. My life ended when you were born. This is definitely Bellamy’s little sister. What the fuck.
“I’m kind of in the middle of something,” he says, irritated tone to his voice and his eyes narrowed as the flick back onto the young girl beside them.
Clarke snaps out of it, turning to look at him. “I’m serious.”
He deflates, sighing loudly as he tugs on his curls. “You always are.” Bellamy shoots her an incredulous look, lifting his shoulders a little as he shakes his head slightly. “So talk.”
“Monty is missing,” she explains quickly, not able to keep the worry out of her voice. “He went to the lab this morning and he wasn’t in class all day. Nobody at this party has seen him.”
“God, I knew the booze sucked because of a reason,” a voice rings out from beside them, and Clarke turns her head to see Raven kick herself off the wall in the corner beside the fridge. She’s wearing black joggers and a maroon colored high-neck crop top, her sleek hair parted in the middle. Raven always manages to look effortlessly beautiful in a way that makes the blonde envious. She knows it’s not a competition, but somehow Raven is still always winning.
“He probably just lost track of the time tracking his plant growth,” Bellamy reasons, even if he doesn’t sound all that sure.
Clarke meets his gaze, their eyes locking. She grinds her teeth, swallowing tightly. “Well, I’m going to the lab to check it out.”
“I’ll go with you,” Bellamy retorts immediately, scrubbing a hand over his face. His sister smirks, wicked and smug, and tries to quickly hide it when he flicks his gaze back into her. He catches it in time anytime, pointing his finger at her as he commands, “Don’t even think about it. You’re coming too.”
Raven wants to join too, stating the kegger is boring anyway. Finn -- wearing the stupid windbreaker she got him for his birthday because she didn’t know what else to get him -- spots her disappearing into the supply closet with Bellamy to get her backpack and suddenly she finds him inviting himself to come, too. Like he even gives a fuck about Monty, and isn’t just doing this to make sure she doesn’t sneak off with Bellamy somewhere and replace him. They don’t really have time to argue, so Clarke bites her tongue, and when Jasper hears they’re going out to look for his best friend, he insists him and his broom come along. At this point, a stoner and a cleaning supply won’t make much of a difference anyway.
They make their way across campus, and Octavia offers to ‘ open ’ the building if someone can provide a bobby pin. Somehow Finn pulls one from his pocket, complimenting her on her skill set as she gets to work.
Bellamy’s looking pissed the entire time, muttering something about atoms and bad influences and being right, and Clarke folds her fingers around his wrist, squeezing to catch his attention.
She tilts her head, offering him a small, nervous smile, hoping he’ll realize there’s more important things right now than lecturing his sister or knocking one of Finn’s lungs loose. It takes a beat, but he lifts the corners of his mouth in a likewise manner, giving her a small comforting nod before she drops her hand back down.
Clarke fishes her lab ID from the bottom of her backpack to get them inside the actual lab, and before the door even shuts behind them she can see the familiar bleached tips of her friend sticking out from behind one of the chemical lab desks.
“Monty!” She falls down beside him, sliding the last feet over the linoleum floor over to him on her knees. She brushes her hand over his jaw, luckily still feeling warmth radiate from his skin. There’s dried up blood on his temple, a purple bruise on his cheekbone.
Jasper falls down on his other side, lying the broom down beside him as he folds his hand over the other guy’s chest. He shakes him desperately, digging his fingers into his shoulder before Clarke can even say the word ‘ careful ’. “What happened, dude?”
First, his fingers move, then Monty’s head lolls to the side as he squeezes his eyes shut. He makes some indecipherable noises, Jasper lowering his head to his face to try and make out what he’s saying. Finally, he mutters something resembling words, “Your… mom….”
Clarke lets out a giddy laugh of relief, lowering her forehead to press it against his shoulder out of gratitude for him not dying.
“My head,” he murmurs, reaching up to wind his fingers into his hair on his injured side, wincing after Jasper’s pressed a loud smacking kiss to his forehead. He starts blinking his eyes open slowly, adjusting to the harsh fluorescent lights inside the lab.
“Your head’s fine,” Clarke insists, pushing his limp frosted tips away from his forehead as she taps it gently. “It has to be, because what’s up here, is going to save us all one day.”
“Have you met my broom?” Jasper says, and suddenly Monty surges up into a seated position. Clarke tries to tell him to take it easy, but his eyes are wild as he searches the room. “The subjects -- the countdown -- we have to -- we have to stop it.”
“What are you talking about, man?” Bellamy wonders, crouched down by his feet, a worried look in his eyes, one comforting hand on top of his ankle.
“This morning when I came here to check on my plants, one of the test subjects of some genetics project down the hall escaped.“ He nods his head to the glass separating them from the test room behind them to imply this is the down the hall he’s talking about. “I managed to hit it over the head with a fire extinguisher, but he isn’t the only one.”
“A rat?” Raven asks, leaning back against on of the desks with her nose scrunched up.
“Not a rat -- a human ,” Monty corrects her, pained expression on his face. “From what I read, someone tested some kind of Ripa virus on them and now they --” He swallows hard, shuddering at the memory. “I found Dax, or what was left of him.” His eyes flick over to her, pointedly, “They ate him, Clarke. And somebody wants them to be free, out there in the world, because they put a countdown on the cages in the test room and the doors of this facility.”
As if on cue, someone behind the glass pounds on it loudly, drawing their attention. The pounding intensifies as more hands join him in trying to break it, smearing blood all over it, growling so hard they hear it through the glass. There’s hundreds of them. They look human enough, but their skin looks like it’s decaying, their limbs like they’re falling apart, their red eyes like they’re hungry. Hungry for them.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Octavia sputters from behind them, with bright green eyes, and it surprises Clarke how not scared and absolutely thrilled she sounds. “Zombies?”
“This is crazy,” Finn shouts, pushing his hands into his hair as he shakes his head. “That can’t be real.”
“I swear to God, if this is one of you two’s hilarious pranks--” Bellamy barks, eyes narrowed, looking between the wonder twins threateningly. Even he recognizes the pale white looks on their faces aren’t part of some elaborate joke, gritting his teeth as he looks back up at the glass.
Monty pulls his knees up to his chest, squeezing his eyes shut like the memories are hazy. “I was in the middle of trying to stop the countdown when I got knocked out.” He opens his eyes, staring at the blonde beside him. “I think the virus is bloodborne. If they escape this lab, Clarke --” There’s no stopping this, no telling how far this goes, how many people die.
“I know,” Clarke cuts him off, tongue darting out to wet her dry lips before she looks over her shoulder at Bellamy. He looks just as lost as her. Then she catches Raven’s gaze behind him. She smirks slowly, lifting her eyebrows as she cracks her knuckles. “Where’s the monitor?”
“Shouldn’t we just call campus police?” Finn throws out there, his voice shaky.
“What are they going to do? Hit the countdown to death with their batons? They’re not me,” Raven snarls all too happily, as she sinks down on the stool in front of the grey computer displaying the one-hour countdown in green numbers.
“While she works, maybe we can find some supplies to barricade the entrances, just in case,” Bellamy suggests, clapping his best friend on the shoulder supportively. He’s not doubting Raven’s skill set, never , just the certainty that stopping the countdown is all it’ll take.
So him, Clarke, his sister and Finn head out of the room to find anything stronger than a chair or a glass bottle of chemicals. Not even two minutes later, a shrill guttural scream rings through the entire building, chilling the blonde to the bone. Instantly, she knows something is wrong.
They rush back into the bio lab to find Monty and Jasper hiding in one of the white coat closets. Bellamy swallows tightly as he helps a rambling Jasper move Monty out of the closet, the rambling isn't making any sense, might just be about the broom, so he cuts to the point, “Where’s Raven?”
All but one of the fluorescent lights are now dark, the one that isn’t flickering on and off, revealing Raven’s stool knocked over onto the floor and a trail of blood from the computer to one of the desks.
Bellamy takes a step forward first, instinctively, then he opens his mouth, shaking his head slightly as he gapes at the trail, his hand frozen in the air in front of him. “I’m --- I can’t--” His jaw clenches and unclenches, and Clarke heart squeezes painfully in her chest at the sight of his shiny brown eyes.
“It’s okay,” Clarke says quietly, lowering his hand with hers gently. She tightens her grip on his finger briefly, then nods at him. “It’s okay, Bell.”
She takes a deep, shaky breath, walking over towards the desk as her pulse rattles quickly in her throat. She rounds the corner of the desk, finding Raven blinking up at her with wide, scary eyes even if her face is hardened. One of her hands is pressing against her thigh to no avail, blood seeping through her fingers. Her voice is raspy, her skin covered in a tiny layer of sweat. “That fucking cockroach, he -- the blade , it broke off in my leg.”
“You’re okay,” she says, louder than necessary, making sure the rest hears as she motions for them to come closer. Instructing FInn to take off his belt as she uses it to tie around Raven’s thigh to cut of the blood flow to her leg, winding up tightly with a pen. She and Bellamy exchange a quick, grateful glance as Clarke wipes her damp hair away from her forehead, staining it with blood -- both relieved Raven is still alive.
Clarke turns back to her friend. “Let’s get you up towards the --”
The doors to the lab slam shut suddenly, music blasting over the speakers. It takes Clarke a second to realize it’s The End of The Road. The light behind the glass is turned on, highlighting all of their faces full of horror, and it’s revealed the back entrance to the test room is now open; the zombies free to roam the building until the countdown is over. Then they’re free to roam the world.
Well, not if it’s up to Clarke fucking Griffin.
“Seriously?” She turns towards the source of the music, Greasy John holding a boombox near the entrance of the lab, Emori propped on top of one of the desks, her elbow leaning on his shoulder. “This is your doing?”
“The zombies? Nah,” John answers, wicked look in his eyes, ugly snarl on his face. His long leather coat almost down to his ankles. “The impending apocalypse they’ll cause? Most certainly will take credit for that.”
“And you dragged Emori into it?” Clarke spits, disgusted, moving toward him. She runs into Bellamy’s arm, holding her back across the waist.
“Hey, “ he slides the boombox onto the desk beside her roommate, holding up a hand with dirty uncut fingernails in defense as his free arm bands around her roommate’s waist. “She came more than willingly.”
“This was such a missed opportunity, dawg,” Jasper speaks up through half-lidded eyes, leaning his weight onto his broom. “Zombie is all over the radio right now.”
“ Although we’ve come to the end of the road, still I can’t-- ” The speaker blasts, before John swipes it into the floor angrily, making the sound distort before it cuts off completely. He shakes out his wrist, a bloody blade unfolding from the handle in his grip. “Well, the party’s over anyway.”
Everything happens fast . John doesn’t seen Bellamy coming as he knocks the knife out of his hand, bringing his arm around his neck and using his elbow for leverage to choke the hell out of him. The lights flicker and Emori jumps onto his back, pounding on his shoulders to try and get him to loosen his grip on a blue-turning John. When that doesn’t work, she starts digging her fingers into his face. Clarke surges forward to help him just as Octavia cries out her brother’s name, but Finn holds her back so tightly, she has to fight him off first. Bellamy drags John over the floor as he tries to get rid of Emori by running backwards into the door, but she doesn’t budge. Suddenly, Jasper is charging at them with a loud cry, using the broom to hit Emori on the back of the neck, hard. Hard enough to snap it in half.
She drops to the floor with a loud thud. Not long before her boyfriend stops fighting all together and passes out in Bellamy’s arms. He slumps over, leaning his forearms on his knees as he tries to catch his breath. He only moves to high-five Jasper, praising him on his quick thinking. He nods over to his broken-in-half partner, toeing at the bottom half, “She had a great run.”
They take a minute to recuperate after they tie the both of them up and stuff them into the white coat closet. Raven tells them she can’t possibly hack the countdown in the little time they have left, not even with Monty’s help, because the software is encrypted. Defeated, is the way to describe how she feels.
“You know this lab has blast walls,” Raven pants after a few moments where they all allow themselves to be pathetic. “If I cross-engineer the vacuum chambers and Monty hacks the air filters to spread 100% molecular oxygen into the test room with those monsters instead -- we can make this entire building go boom.”
Clarke looks over at the testroom, the creatures clawing at the glass. There’s less of them now, many of them escaped through the back entrance. It’s not a difficult choice to make. While they’re still contained in the building, they should get rid of them. She snaps her head back towards Raven. “Do it.”
The computer lab-assistant starts giving everyone instructions and Clarke is so distracted looking at the zombies behind the glass, she doesn’t feel Bellamy moving up beside her until his arm brushes hers. She turns her head just enough to look up at him, catching the corners of his mouth turned up in a slight smirk, even though his eyes are sad, “Barbequed zombies, I like the sound of that.”
She shares a grin with him, feeling a little bit better for a second before she looks over at Raven. Her head is lolled back, her face as white as a sheet as she struggles to form complete sentences. The zombies could be anywhere in the building, so paramedics can’t come inside and they can’t go out. The tourniquet is not doing enough. If they don’t do something, soon , she’ll bleed out and die.
Clarke sighs, rubbing the middle of her forehead with the palm of her hand as she goes over it in her head first, then thinking out loud. “There’s a first aid kit in the hallway, I can use that to remove the blade still in there. In the basement there’s a supply closet with a clotting agent -- Celox. If we put it inside of the wound, it should stop the bleeding and stabilize her. If we take some fluids and an IV, we can prevent her from going into full shock.”
“I’ll go get it,” Finn pipes up suddenly from behind them, having overheard them, suddenly choosing this moment to feel guilty about what he did to Raven. Or maybe he’s just trying to prove something. Clarke doesn’t care, as long as she gets her supplies.
She doesn’t look at him, instead grits out, “Fine.”
Bellamy puts his hand on top of her shoulder, “I’ll go with him.” It surprises her, and it surprises her it affects her so deeply. She turns to look at him again, eyes wide with fear, taking in his serious dark eyes, the red welts over his cheekbones, the weak smile playing on his lips. “I’’m not entirely convinced he won’t run.”
She doesn’t want to risk him, but she knows -- she knows Finn would never succeed on his own, Bellamy would never allow his sister to go, Jasper is still high as fuck and they need Monty here. Besides, him not being allowed to go because she needs him doesn’t sound like something she should admit out loud. So she has to. Risk it.
“I--” She starts, raspy, fiddling with the tattoo-choker around her neck, adorned with little sunflowers as their eyes lock. The dreams. They’re not always women -- a woman -- she dreams about. Sometimes it’s nightmares. Sometimes it’s a little girl with sharp cheekbones and an even sharper mouth telling Clarke she hates her. A woman her mom’s age coughing up blood while her own hand reaches out to wipe her sweaty forehead with a wet cloth. A different woman in a suit with the name tag ‘Diana’ behind a desk telling her that if she continues to be this angry at the world there’s not much left to do for her. Maybe deep down, she’d known it was him. She just never wanted to admit it to herself. Clarke leans up, presses her lips against his cheek briefly as her fingers dig into his shoulder. There’s so much she wants to say, but she knows he knows. He has always known, and he will always know every part of her. Before she pulls away, she murmurs near his ear, “Be careful, okay?”
He nods, once, giving her one last lingering look before he and Finn disappear through the doors, weaponed with Clarke’s empty backpack, a chair leg they yanked loose and a fire extinguisher.
Time moves fast. Clarke works on keeping Raven alive long enough for her to instruct Octavia step for step how to reroute the wiring of the vacuum chamber so it resembles an ignition while Jasper splits wire after wire, getting them ready for her. Monty is behind one of the still functioning computers, hacking the air filter control system. It’s not long and the longest time ever before Raven rasps, “It’s done.”
It’s all set up. Just the press of a button. The countdown timer now having less than a minute on it.
“They’re not back yet,” Clarke argues, knowing it’s a rational argument to make. Bellamy is their friend. She doesn’t just care because he’s her -- he’s hers. “Bellamy’s not back yet.”
“He wouldn’t want us to wait for him,” Octavia says, solemnly, and Clarke fixes her gaze on the streak of grease on her nose as the blood inside of her body rushes towards her ears. There’s just the steady drum of her heartbeat. Thump. She wishes his sister was wrong, but Clarke knows, knows deep down that she is right. Thump. Less than ten seconds on the clock. It hurts to look at Octavia when she looks so much like him. Thump.
Clarke slams her hand down on the button just as the countdown timer buzzes, indicating it’s reached a count of zero. A second passes. Nothing happens.
“Oh wait,” Jasper calls out, connecting the orange wire in his hand to a wire hanging loosely from the panel Octavia was working on earlier. “Boo-yah!”
Before he even finishes the words, the building shakes. The sound that comes next is deafening. In the minute that follows, it’s dead silent.
The blast of the explosion was still strong enough to fling them backwards, and Clarke finds herself afraid to roll over, stand up and look at the damage. There’s no way anyone on the other side of the window, beyond the walls of the lab survived that detonation, and it makes her chest ache with a sharp pain not unlike heartbreak, but so much worse. It’s like a piece of herself just died.
Octavia helps Raven up with Jasper, and Monty takes her hand as he opens the door to the rest of the building -- not much left of it standing -- and Clarke tries not to look at the bodies they have to step over to get through the smoke and reach the curb outside.
She turns on her heels to look back out at the building, going up in smoke as sirens start to come closer and closer. She should be happy. They saved so many people. She reaches up with shaky fingers to push her hair from her face, feeling her cheeks are wet with tears.
“Clarke!” Someone calls her name, and it sounds like it’s coming through a layer of thick cotton, her eardrums probably damaged from the blast. Slowly, she turns her head to follow the sound.
There’s Finn, smiling nervously as the lights of a campus police car flash across his face. Clarke’s face creases -- it doesn’t make sense -- her eyes moving to the side. There, beside him, there’s Bellamy. Her stomach flips. They got out in time. The timer reached zero and they left before the explosion.
At the sight of him, her heart leaps, her feet moving without her permission as she runs towards him, flinging her arms around his neck. It takes him a second, but then his arms band around her middle, squeezing her tightly, lifting her off the ground slightly.
“I got those supplies you wanted.”
She kisses the side of his neck, closing her eyes as she breathes him in. “Shut up.”
It takes for his sister to let out a loud whistle for her to pull away from him. Her hands bracket his cheeks, and she can’t help but lean forward and touch her forehead to his. “You know you have the weirdest dreams?”
“Aren’t you the STEM major? Don’t you dream to process the events of your day or something?” He counters, hands steady on her waist, a stupidly wide grin on his face. “It’s not weird I’m minoring in classics.”
Clarke pulls back slightly, licking her lips as she searches his eyes. “You never figured out your dreams were mine?”
“I hate to break it to you, princess, but your dreams are pretty generic. Just girls and paintings, Space Jam and the occasional being naked in public one,” Bellamy retaliates, amused. His eyes soften, a sort of uncertain apprehension flashing across them. “I didn’t start having dreams about myself or anything.”
“I just -- I never considered you as an option, you know?” Clarke reasons, hoping to settle his worries enough. It’s not like she wouldn’t have dreamed about him if she knew he was actually a possibility for her. It’s hard for her to open herself up to others, and she was afraid if she let him in, let herself entertain herself with those kind of thoughts, he would never leave. “I thought you hated me, so I couldn’t let myself go there.”
He tucks a strand of hair behind her hair, hand brushing down her face to cup her cheek, thumb running over the dip in her chin. His eyes dip down to her lips. “I never hated you. I hope my dreams at least showed you that.”
Clarke leans up on her tiptoes, pressing her mouth against his. It’s soft and warm and everything she’s wanted for a long time now. “As long as you never make me dress up as Athena, we’re good.”
He’s too busy laughing to make their next kiss a good kiss, but it’s still perfect in every other way. It makes her feel complete, at home.
[Clarke and Bellamy 1, Murphy 0.]
~ ii. 2052, earth ~
[Earth is in bad shape and all Murphy had to do was kickback and watch humans do all the work for him. If they weren’t destroying the world, they were destroying each other. It was great to watch.
Then of fucking course Clarke Griffin got reborn, and he was doomed to watch his mistakes repeat themselves all over again.]
One night, after a grueling twelve hour shift, Clarke gets pulled into a white, nameless van on the hospital parking lot. Her phone clatters to the floor, and her purse is thrown outside before the doors slam shut in front of her face.
She tries to scream, tries to grab a hold of anything, kick, scratch, tries to find purchase on the wooden flooring of the van -- but nothing works -- and soon there’s a sharp pain in her arm before the world turns black.
The next time she wakes up, the world is a bright white. She’s in a bed, she can tell that much, and surges into a seated position, observing her surroundings as her eyes still adjust to the blinding lighting in the room. It is a room; a small, round room without any windows, no edges or sharp corners, the only thing in it her bed -- not a bed really, just a soft circular mattress -- the only color in it white. Her head is pounding.
She swings her legs off the mattress, flinching as her bare feet touch the cold, vinyl floor. Clarke stands up, takes a second to stop feeling dizzy before she stares down at her body, lifting her tank top and twisting her arms and looking over her shoulders. It looks relatively fine, relatively untouched, besides the small bandage on the inside of her bicep and the fact she’s been changed out of her blue scrubs and into an all white outfit. She reaches up to touch her face, flinching when she touches her lip -- it must be cut, feels swollen.
Finally, her gaze lands on the white door smack in the middle of the wall straight across from her. It has a small circular window in it, and Clarke has to give whatever psycho put her in here some credit, at least they’re committed to their vision.
She walks up to the window, observing the empty grey hallway behind it and the row of rooms similar to hers across it. Clarke knows her odds. She knows the longer she’s gone, the less likely she is to be found. They threw away all her personal belongings. Probably cut the cameras in the parking lot. Probably cut her ID chip from her upper arm. Nobody will know she’s missing until her next shift -- twelve hours from her last one.
It would be easy to give in. To let them do whatever they want to her. After everything that’s been taken from her, what more could they do? But she thinks of Madi, thinks of her bright blue eyes framed by those adorable bushy eyebrows, about her sharp mouth too smart for her own good and the dauntlessness pivotal in every cell of her tiny body. Thinks of the promise she made her. I will never leave you. Because she knew. She knew what it felt like to be abandoned. Madi could probably survive this, survive her, but Clarke doesn’t want her to have to.
Without thinking, she slams her hand through the window. When it doesn’t work the first time, she does it again, even as her bones crack and pain shoots up her arm. And again. Until the fourth time, the window finally gives in. She reaches through it to unlock the door from the outside, cutting the inside of her wrist on the way back.
Blood drips down her arm as she opens the door and crouches down to pick up a big shard of glass, holding it tightly in her hand. Clarke winches as she steps on top of a piece of glass she didn’t see, the fragment digging into her sole. She limps away from the room to the end of the hallway, pushing the button of the elevator.
Her whole body is on alert. This is too easy. This can’t be right. Then a bell dings, and the doors slide open. A man in uniform has his back towards her, murmuring into some sort of radio he’s holding up to his mouth, and just as he turns to greet her, she grabs him by the back of his harness, using the momentum of her pull as leverage, yanking him against her chest as she slams her back into the back wall of the elevator. This way she has all her angles covered. Clarke presses the shard of glass against his neck, fingers digging into his side, just under his ribs.
“Press the button that takes me to the exit,” she rasps, her voice shaky, as the doors slide shut. It doesn’t move, waiting for instructions. Her entire body is buzzing from adrenaline. “If you don’t do what I say, you die. If you trick me, you die slowly.”
She stares at his reflection in the mirror with dark eyes. He’s wearing a cap on top of his head of curls and there’s a cut on his cheekbone and right above his lip. He holds his gloved hands up in defense as he grits his teeth together. He doesn’t even look scared, just merely annoyed. “M’am, you really don’t want to do this. Trust me .”
Clarke digs the glass further into his neck, hard enough for it to break skin. “Look, I’m a nurse -- I know exactly where to stab you to have you bleed out on me within thirty seconds and I know exactly where to stab you so it paralyzes you and takes longer than thirty seconds for you to die on me.”
“That’s pretty badass,” he answers with a dry chuckle, sounding way too smug for her liking. Does he want to die?
“Press the button,” she sneers, flicking her face slightly to get her hair out of her eyes as they roam over the mirror and land on the nametag on his chest. “ Sergeant Lovejoy .”
“That’s not my name,” he murmurs, barely a whisper, and the sentence catches her off guard for a split second. A split second long enough for him to slam his hand into the elbow resting on his shoulder, using it as leverage to switch their positions and slam her into the mirrored entrance. His grip on her wrist is so tight, digging into the fresh cut there, she’s forced to drop the shard. It clatters to the floor loudly, shattering in half.
His gloved hand is wrapped around her neck, not tight enough to cut of her oxygen supply, but tight enough to let her know he could, tight enough keep her in place. His brown eyes find hers -- and they’re warm, softer, than she’d expected. Her eyes widen, almost desperate. What the fuck does he think they’re doing here? She’s not about to beg him for her life, and she’s about to tell him just that when he points at his ear.
“They’re listening,” he mouths, loosening his grip on her throat as he uses his free hand to press the button for the basement floor. The elevator starts moving, and he rips a piece of fabric off the white shirt he’s wearing underneath his harnas, tying it around her wrist quickly.
Clarke can only stare at him in silence, stunned, as she cradles her arm to her chest. She can’t trust him, her head tells her, he is wearing a guard uniform in a place designed to keep her in. She trusts him, her gut tells her instead, and it startles her in such a way, she stumbles further into the mirrored doors, away from him.
The elevator stops, and the door slide open. She takes a step backward, still keeping her shifty eyes trained on him. He nods his head over to the side, signaling for her to follow him. It only now dawns on her that her whole body is trembling.
He punches a code into the lock of a door at the end of the hallway, leading her into a huge warehouse. She spins around slowly, taking it all in -- the rows and rows of boxes of food, supplies and even art. What is this place?
Clarke reaches out with quivering fingers, touches one of the paintings resting against a shelf nearby. It’s an excellent copy of a Van Gogh. Her hands itch to try and replicate it herself.
The guard chuckles, hands on his hips as her head snaps towards him at the surprising sound from his mouth. She retracts her hand quickly. Sarcasm coats his voice, his eyebrows lifted, “Yeah, the guy in charge is a real art enthusiast.”
Clarke swallows, hoping it’ll make mouth feel less dry. “Who are you? What is this place? Why did you take me here? Why did they--”
“Slow down,” he urges, holding up his palms, the corners of his mouth turning up slightly. “You could’ve at least asked me for my star sign first.“ Her expression remains stoic and he reaches up to wipe away some damp hair from his forehead, sticky with sweat, sighing loudly as he mumbles, “Not really one for small talk, huh?”
Is this just a fucking game to him? She takes a threatening step towards him, as threatening as half a limp can be, chest puffed out. “I want answers.”
“Brave princess,” he admires genuinely, the words gentle in his mouth, brown eyes locking on hers. She wants to look away, doesn’t want to give him the satisfaction, but she physically can’t force herself to do so.
Her eyes flick down to his nametag, her shoulders sagging just a little. Fine. If he wants small talk, she can do that. For now. “Your name?”
“Bellamy Blake,” he answers, and she realizes she has no way of knowing if he’s telling the truth or not. “Yours?”
“Clarke Griffin,” she grits, aggravated with his refusal to just tell her what is happening. She can do smalltalk, she just won’t do it willingly.
“I get that you are confused.” He lets out a long sigh, pressing his thumb and forefinger into his eyes tiredly before he looks back at her. He looks hesitant, then seems to find something in her face that makes him continue, “You were taken. From the looks of it before they started using you as one of their guinea pigs, which makes you one of the lucky ones.”
“Yeah, I feel like I just won the lottery,” she remarks dryly, her forehead creased together in frustration as she crosses her arms over her chest. “I know I got kidnapped, but what are you doing here?”
“You are in Mount Weather.” He explains it’s some sort of doomsday prep facility created by a few very rich people who will make sure they’re the last ones standing once radiation levels reach dangerous heights. It was common knowledge water was already contaminated at this point. First the birds started dying, then the fish, and slowly, animals all over the world lost their lives. Animals and the lesser fortunate of humans. More often and often people would come into Clarke’s ER with similar symptoms, all leading to ARS. Radiation sickness. It moves fast. First there’s headaches and vomiting, then there’s bleeding, infection, death.
Realizing it’s useless to try and get information from him he doesn’t want to share willingly, she takes a different route. “What do they need me for?”
Bellamy’s mouth forms a thin line, an angry thousand yard stare taking over his features. “They don’t want to be locked in here like prisoners for the next hundred years or more, dying as they wait for the world to be habitable again.”
A chill runs up her spine as he continues, meeting her gaze again, “So they’re testing some sort of radiating cure on the subjects they keep here.”
Clarke nods, suddenly feeling sick to her stomach. They’re testing on actual human beings. Instantly -- she knows. She knows this is her mother’s work.
He fiddles with the radio attached to his hip, checking his watch. Explanatory, but more like he’s thinking out loud, he says, “My tech girl looped the cameras a few hours ago for reasons unrelated to you, but which hopefully means they won’t start looking for you yet until the guards do their next rounds.”
She frowns, trying to connect the dots. He certainly doesn’t work here. He has people on the outside he’s communicating with via the radio on his belt. “Your tech girl?”
He smirks, a teasing glint in his eyes. “You jealous?”
Clarke rolls her eyes, shaking her head slightly. What an idiot. “You’re an undercover cop?”
He winces, which strikes her as odd, all humour leaving his face. “Technically yes.”
More hesitance, then he finally seems to realize she’s the only person in this place who could possibly deserve his trust. She didn’t come here willingly. “They took my sister. My boss told me it was too dangerous for me to go in here. That I was too close to the case.”
Clarke tilts her head back slightly, tying it all together. He seriously is an idiot. “So you went rogue.” It’s not much of a question, the look on his face is enough of an answer.
He narrows his eyes. “Is that judgement I hear?”
“It’s a stupid plan,” she bites back, and maybe she sounds a little bit self-righteous but it’s been one hell of a night and it feels good to let it out on someone.
He scoffs, almost amused. “Well, so is deadly injuring yourself trying to escape a building that might as well be a prison facility, attacking a guard and then blindly following him into a basement.”
He has a point. Not that she’ll admit it.
Clarke limps over to the wall beside the van Gogh, lowering herself to the floor. She grits her teeth together, then pulls out the shard of glass without even making much of a sound. Bellamy watches her tie it off with a strip of fabric she rips from her tank top, like he’s trying to figure her out, then after a moment, like he’s been holding it back, “Why doesn’t any of this surprise you?”
Clarke figures, what the hell. She was kidnapped by an evil organisation trying to use her body in their favor. He is probably the dumbest, most reckless agent she’s ever met, too arrogant for his own good. She is probably going to die here. Why not share her burdens?
“Because I knew of this place. Not of Mount Weather specifically, but my mom providing test subjects to a company.” She explains her mother works in the same hospital as her, that it’s the perfect place to make people disappear; prey on the weak and defenseless. A homeless person would check into the ER and two hours later they’d be gone. A self-discharge, a refusal of medical care was always the excuse. That’s how she first started noticing. Then she did some digging and she found out her mother knew. That the hospital -- her hospital -- was receiving money from a company to provide them test subjects. The hospital was about to go bankrupt, and if they did, they wouldn’t be able to treat anyone. In the long run, they could save more people like this. “She looked me dead in the eye and told me she did was she thought she was best.”
“Acceptable losses, huh?” Bellamy says after a tense moment, kicking off the shelf he was leaning against. He unfastens and then shrugs off his harness, tossing it on the ground. “My sister one of them, I guess. She was a runaway. They didn’t want to give me custody, so they tried to put her in some sort of boarding school.” He smiles, faint, sadness covering his walnut colored eyes. “Nobody could ever tell her how to live her life.”
Clarke swallows tightly, then after a beat, presses, “Could?”
He looks off somewhere to the side, sniffing like it’ll help hide the emotion clear on his face. “Like I said, you’re one of the lucky few.”
“No. Not…” He shakes his head, cutting himself off. Not yet . He starts back up, “No, but she’s in the med bay on the third level. I tried to get to her but because of the weak immune systems on that level, only medical personnel have clearance.” His jaw tightens, and he doesn’t keep the bitterness out of his voice this time, “They can’t risk their experiment being ruined.”
Clarke hums affirmatively, processing it all as she leans her head back against wall. She squeezes her eyes shut. There’s a dull ache in the middle of the chest, one that stems from realizing the people supposed to love you unconditionally refuse to.
“Are you-- are you okay?” She hears him ask, nearer this time, doubt laced in his voice, like he’s not supposed to ask her that. When she opens her eyes, he’s crouched in front of her, closer than she had expected. Close enough so she can make out the specks of gold in his concerned eyes, the freckles splattered over his nose and cheeks, his full pink lips. Her fingers itch again, wanting to put it on paper.
“I’m fine,” she insists, even if her voice is hoarse. “I just -- this was my mom, you know? She threw my dad under the bus and then she wanted me gone.” Clarke lets out a bitter huff of laughter, gritting her teeth together to keep from crying in front of a practical stanger. “She didn’t just want me gone , she figured they could experiment on me first.”
“I’m sorry,” he says, quietly, at least sounding half genuine. He offers her a grin, one that makes everything feel a little bit less awful. “Being an orphan isn’t all bad, I promise.”
She laughs, despite the tears in her eyes. “Thanks for the reassurance.”
“Lets find my sister, shut this place down and then we can put your mom behind bars, okay?” He sounds oddly hopeful, like it’s all a piece of cake, easily done, enough to make her feel some of it instead of the doom she thinks is in their near future.
Clarke licks her cracked lips, sitting up a little. Her head’s been feeling faint for a little while, her body now covered in a thin layer of sweat. “Before we do any of that -- have you ever stitched someone up?”
Bellamy offers her a sympathetic smile. “No. But my mom taught me how to sow.”
“Good enough,” Clarke mumbles, figuring beggars can’t be choosers. She’s good at teaching people she thinks, she can talk him through it. “If we don’t close the wound on my wrist, I’ll bleed out before we even make it off this floor.”
He digs up a first aid kit from one of the boxes down the end of a path of shelves, sitting down across from her, switching his uniform gloves for plastic blue ones from the kit, the kind that smell horribly like rubber. He takes her wrist in his lap, untying his earlier handywork and admiring the cut with a kind of queasy look on his face. It would be cute, if she couldn’t possibly die from this.
He rests her hand in his lap after tossing a generous amount of antiseptic over her arm, starting to thread the needle. Clarke inhales sharply, knowing this is going to hurt as she reminds him, “Make sure you cross over every stitch. Remember it doesnt need to look pretty, just make sure both edges are together.” She watches him put the needle to her skin, suddenly feeling cold all over. “Distract me please.”
“Okay.” he mumbles, as the needle pierces her skin for the first time, but makes no effort to actually do so, too focused on his hands, on doing a good job.
Clarke closes her eyes, reminds herself to breathe. Figuring she can do it herself. “Why did you become a cop?’
“After those ULA terrorist attacks in 43 took my mom’s life and left me and my sister on this world alone, I wanted to do everything I could to make them pay for what they did,” he explains, working carefully. He’s a bit sloppy, uncoordinated, and she can tell he has to put thought in every stitch, but does the job. “Of course, Diyoza is still out on the loose and I make minimum wage posing as a junkie to put small time drug dealers behind bars.”
“This is depressing,” Clarke groans, leaning her head back against the wall. Her chest is starting to burn now, too. The air starting to feel heavy. “Can we talk about something else?”
He chuckles, a warm, deep sound that’s kind of calming. “How about i tell you a story? Any preferences?”
“ Anything ,” Clarke answers, sure just the sound of his voice is soothing enough to get her through this, gritting her teeth together in pain and inhaling sharply through her nose.
“Everybody knows Zeus was the biggest manwhore around,” he starts, and she can’t help but let out a surprised laugh. Not what she was expecting from his mouth at all. He continues, unbothered, “There’s this woman, Leda, who kept refusing his advances. So he transforms himself into a swan to seduce her.”
Clarke’s forehead creases. She knows it’s an old myth from the old ages, but still. “How does a swan seduce a human?”
“Do we really want to know?” Bellamy grins almost goofily, meeting her eyes briefly from under his fringe of curls. “Anyway, Zeus and Leda mate, and two set of twins were born. One of the children was born from an egg, actually. They named her Helen.”
“Let me guess,” Clarke says, unimpressed, eyes flickering down to see he’s wrapping up one of the last stitches. “Helen of Troy?”
“The most beautiful woman alive, allegedly,” he replies, casually, then adds, even more casual, “But they never knew of you.”
She snorts softly, watching him put down the needle on the lid of the first aid kid and take out a bandage to wrap around her arm. He truly is the biggest idiot she’s ever met. “I give that line a solid C minus. The groundwork was there, but the execution could use some work.”
He smiles at her joke half-heartedly, it fading into downturned corners of her mouth quickly like his mind is elsewhere occupied. He puts the bandage back in the kit slowly, almost like he’s trying to stall, letting go off her wrist as he sits back on his haunches. Like he physically needs to keep his distance.
Bellamy meets her eye, his gaze suddenly hardened, his guard up. “Clarke -- I’m not sure anyone is coming. After I went rogue --there’s just me and a few friends that are doing me a personal favor by helping me, but other than that, I think we’re on our own.”
He’s giving her an out. She knows that much. Even if she thinks that she won’t stand much of a chance without him anyway. She approaches it lightly, cocking an eyebrow, “We?”
He tightens his jaw, sarcasm coating his voice, “Unless you wanted to turn yourself into a swan and seduce your way out of here, of course.”
“I was thinking about it,” Clarke counters back, but humour leaves her voice at the grave look on his face.
“They’re not just trying to find a cure against radiation, Clarke. They’re trying to profit off it. Once they have it, they’ll artificially start raising radiation levels. Anyone who pays the price can live here, survive the end of the earth and receive the cure.” He shakes his head, curls bouncing slightly. “My friend -- the tech girl -- she found a way to take them down, but -- it’s not pretty.” Probably involves some people dying, he means. He swallows hard, searching her face. He finds it difficult to phrase his thoughts in understandable words for her, “I’m -- I know you’re not -- all I am saying is you don’t have to help me. I’ll make sure you get out of here either way.”
She might look soft, but she is far from it. Clarke forces a teasing smile on her face, even if she feels exactly what he is feeling. Fear. “And have you take all the credit? No thanks.”
“Hey,” he counters amicably, and she can see his shoulders relax, the relief on his face. “I’d definitely mention you in my Nobel Prize for Peace acceptance speech.”
Something about this thing between them -- the ease of it at all -- makes her bite down on her lip, makes her reveal, quietly, “I have a little sister, too. Her name is Madi. She is only fourteen.” His eyes finds hers again, reassuring. He is listening, really listening. She digs her fingers into her thighs to keep her voice from shaking. “My parents weren’t soulmates. My mom had her in secret. The dad was one of her co-workers, one who shared the same soulmark.” She pauses, licking her dry lips as she fixates on a spot on his collarbone. “She gave her up for adoption. Madi got sent from foster family to group home, even did a stint in juvy just because they had nowhere else for her to go.” She finally dares to look at him again, but finds no judgement on his face. “I didn’t learn about her until recently. I’ve been trying to adopt her ever since.”
It’s not much of an answer to his unasked questions, but it’s proof they have a lot in common. “So you have a reason to get back.”
“Yeah,” Clarke agrees, happy he sees she is just as invested in this as him. “And an even bigger one to burn this place to the ground.” Her eyes turn dark, like a stormy sea. “We can’t let these assholes ruin the planet we live on.”
He rises to his feet, offering his hand. “And I didn’t even have to turn into any animals to convince you.”
She takes it, lets him pull her up so they’re almost chest to chest, blinking up at him through her lashes. It’s almost magnetic, the pull between them, the heat blooming, the tension thickening.
He clears his throat after a moment, turning his head away as he drops her hand. Bellamy takes off the gloves, throwing them on top of the first aid kit before he walks over to one of the boxes, picking it up and dropping it at her feet. He avoids eye-contact. “There should be something in here that fits you. Some shoes too.”
“Thanks,” she replies, her own voice obnoxiously loud to her ears as she takes out a hoodie. She pulls her now more red-than-white tank top over her head without thinking about it. Bellamy doesn’t even try to look away, his eyes fixating on the soulmark peeking out from between her bra-clad breasts.
She knows it’s an unusual one, rare even -- one crow, it’s feathers made out of five smaller crows, blooming on her sternum. An omen of death . She breaks his gaze when tugs a clean tank top over her her head, zipping the hoodie up over it. He finally looks away, his jaw clenched once again. It must be sore at this point. “So what’s the plan, sergeant Lovejoy?”
Clarke doesn’t miss the way he flinches, even if he tries to hide it with the overly casual look he schools onto his face. “Well, Dr. Tsing -- you’re new here today. Helping out on the level three medical unit.” He takes out a badge from one of the pockets on his cargo pants, lets it dangle from his fingers. “Like I said, there’s barely any security on that level. You need to get all the test subjects safe into the quarantine rooms on the fifth level. it’s where they kept you. The whole level is radiation proof.”
She takes the badge from him, making sure not to touch him. She looks down on the badge, luckily no ID photo on it. “And you?”
Bellamy starts shrugging back into the harness, readjusting the strips of velcro. “I’ll be in the level seven command centre, having my tech girl and her Not Boyfriend talk me through reprogramming this whole facility to flood toxic levels of radiation inwards instead of outwards.”
Level five is radiation proof. And level seven? He’s not seriously going to risk his own life, is he? Clarke tries hard to keep the concern out of her voice. “What about you?”
“Let’s just hope I manage to keep level seven out of the heat and not mix up any wires.” He crouches down beside a row of paintings, pulling out a small backpack from behind them. He takes out a small radio, handing it to her. “This way you can contact me so I know when you’re all safe.”
She takes it, nodding her head to let him know the plan is clear. Still, she can’t help but wonder, “What good will any of this do? You cut off one head, two others grow back.” Even if they stop this place, what’s to say they won’t just build another?
Disgust covers his features as he starts re-stocking all his pockets with supplies. “The guy who owns this place -- Dante Wallace -- he ordered a summit tonight and invited the wealthiest of the Forbes 500 list to meet him here and discuss what color carpet they want in their post-apocalyptic suits.”
Not just a little death, a lot of death. Clarke can’t even say it bothers her. “So whatever we do, we have to do it tonight?” No use calling for help, it’ll be too late.
He agrees. “Tonight.”
They go over it one more time and discuss some more minor details, then head over to the elevator and step inside. As they start to reach the medical bay, she turns towards him. He looks at her, curious. Clarke opens her mouth, closes it. She reaches up and adjusts the cap on his head. “Be careful, okay? Your sister needs you.”
He raises his eyebrows challengingly. “How would you know?”
“Everyone needs an idiot willing to break into a top-notch, fully guarded facility for them, with no real regard for their own life nor any concrete plan to get out in their life.”
He grins, but tries to hide it from her, and then the elevator dings, the doors sliding open. Clarke presses her mouth together in a firm line, polite almost. “Sergeant.”
One last lingering look, one last I don’t know you and I can’t explain why but please make it back to me , and she’s out the elevator.
She makes her way into the medbay fairly easily, improvising like her life depends on it, but of course everything goes to shit. It takes her an hour and a half before she’s even near Octavia’s bed alone, there under the guise of changing the dressings on the blisters covering her skin.
Octavia has a mouth on her, because of course she does, and has all the other people in the medical ward wrapped around her finger. Clarke needs her to come along, so the others will, too. She is unwilling to trust her, a stranger, until she mentions Bellamy’s name.
For the first time since Clarke met her, her green eyes lose some of their dark heat. “My brother is here?”
The blonde nods, careful, scanning their surroundings cautiously for anyone who might overhear. “He asked me to get all of you to the quarantine rooms. Do you think we can do that?”
She tilts her head, a kind of defiance on her face that is now familiar. “If you have an ID it’s not impossible.”
Luckily, Octavia can stand, and she rallies everyone together while Clarke fills up a few syringes on a nearby cart of medicine with sedatives. The first nurse who walks up to her receives one in her arm. She sneaks up to another doctor on shift in the nursing post, making notes on a computer, jamming it in his neck from behind. She goes back to the ward, leaning everyone out of the medbay without much fuss.
They make it to the quarantine rooms almost too easily. A long twenty minutes past their agreed upon time, the radio crackles. “Clarke?”
“Bellamy,” she gasps, reaching for it, a sigh of relief in her voice. For some reason she feels close to tears. She channels her conflicting feelings into a pointed, “You’re late Every three hours means every three hours.”
“Are you through?” He says, unbothered, not waiting for an answer. “Clarke -- we have to talk fast. I was made. It’s only a matter of time before they break through the doors. Did you get them all to safety?”
“Of course I did,” she counters, easily, catching Octavia’s stern frown from across the room. It’s hard to keep the desperation out of her tone, but she manages. “You don’t get to bail on me now, Blake. Hold up your end of the deal.”
He sighs loudly, frustration evident. “This would’ve been so much easier if I went in this place knowing what a periodic table was.”
She laughs softly, despite herself, despite the throbbing behind her eyes, despite everything that has happened, still needs to. “Who needs brains when you got all of that beauty?”
“Solid B plus, princess. If we were in a bar i would’ve let you take me home,” he retorts, voice rough, and Clarke smiles, resting her forehead on the radio briefly before it starts to crackle again. There’s the beginning of a word, then it distorts, a loud crash on the other end of the radio before it cuts off completely into static. She tries changing the settings, tries to get a hold of him as she drowns out the worry gripping around her chest like a vice. “Bellamy?”
“Clarke, what’s happening?” Octavia stumbles over to her,
Clarke racks her face, racks her own brain for anything to say that makes this sound less horrible. He’s on the other side of this place, and she has no other way of contacting him. What if he’s hurt, and needs help, what if he succeeded and they go out there and die? “I don’t know, he’s not -- he’s not answering. He told me to get you all to quarantine and he would --”
Octavia slaps the radio from her hand angrily, cutting her off, looking very threatening for such a weakened girl covered in sores and bandages. “I thought you said you were helping him!”
She scrambles for words, shaking her head slightly. “I’m trying the best i can!”
The other girl narrows her eyes into deadly sliths, moving up even closer as she spits, “It’s not good enough.”
The tension grows thick between them, full of worry and confusion and anger about something neither one of them understands. Why Clarke would even care this much about a guy she barely met a few hours ago. What her angle is.
Harper, one of the other test subjects, steps in between them, forcing them to part with a clearing of her throat. She holds out a scalpel, balancing it on her palm. She’d stolen it off one of the doctors earlier. “We can hold the fort down. If any of you two wants to go--”
Clarke snatches the scalpel off her hand before Octavia can, knowing she is too weak, finding her dark eyes. Promises, “I’ll bring him back.”
She takes the elevator up to level seven, not knowing what to expect there. There could be dozens of guards, trying to get into that command centre. She’s good with a scalpel, but not that good. She hides it in the sleeve of her hoodie. The doors slide open and it’s quiet, eerily so.
Clarke steps out of the elevator, wary of her surroundings as she moves past all the rooms and towards the one at the end of the hallway. She’s halfway there when something hits her in the temple, hard.
She’s knocked down on to the floor with a loud groan, her vision blurry at the edges as she rolls over the floor, trying to get onto her back. A man with half-long hair and an expensive suit slithers up to her, looming over her body with a sneer on his face. There’s a white sticker on his breast pocket, HELLO I AM Murphy . “I can’t let you go up there, Clarke. I can’t let you ruin this for me again.”
Her head pounds as she blinks up at him, tears falling from the corners of her eyes. She’s conscious, but still feels like she’s floating on the edge of it. “I don’t even know who you are.”
“You once did,” he counters, almost wistful, like that makes any sense, and Clarke uses all of her strength to rise into her haunches, fingers pressed into the concrete ground for stability. She looks up at him through a curtain of blonde hair, swallowing the taste of metal in her mouth.
He sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose, probably realizing she’s not catching on, pulling out a gun from the inside of his suit jacket. “Let’s say I’m one of the investors in this apocalypse.”
He squats down in front of her, pressing the weapon to her forehead, effectively rendering her powerless. She doesn’t move, not even when he runs his finger down her sternum. There’s a smirk on his face she can’t wait to punch off. “Shame, you were so close.”
She uses the move Bellamy used on her in the elevator when they met, slamming her palm against his elbow so the gun clatters to the floor. She uses her other hand to jam the scalpel into his shoulder, using the disbalance she caused to kick him backwards onto the ground.
He groans as his head hits the doorpost of one of the rooms, rolling over beside it. Clarke moves quickly, kicking him in the ribs, and when he makes even the slightest move to reach for the gun, she grabs the door handle of the open door, slamming it into his head, once, twice, three times until he’s no longer making any sound. She pants heavily, stepping back.
Deciding not to think twice about it, not now, she bends down to pick up the gun, running towards the command centre at the end of the hallway, not wasting any more time.
The door is cracked, and Clarke opens it a little bit wider, carefully. Stepping back when two people come into view, cautious not to give away her presence. Bellamy is on his knees, staring down the receiving end of the barrel of a gun, held by another guy in a suit. “You know he had a five year old?” He says, taunting tone to his voice. “You know that? You know you made that kid an orphan when you took his life all for an uniform? All to stop the inevitable?”
Lovejoy , Clarke realizes, he’s talking about Lovejoy. She can see the words are getting to Bellamy, wetness pooling in his eyes, much of the fight in him before having left him. She can’t let him die, she realizes.
Clarke pushes open the door. She hasn’t ever used a gun before, but she points it at the guy in the suit and pulls the trigger, closing her eyes. Nothing happens. She tries again as the guy turns his head to look at her, a cleft lip scar above his smirk as he laughs maliciously. “Miss Griffin -- of course.”
He starts for her, but she ducks quickly, sliding the gun over the ground towards Bellamy. He takes off the safety, moving the slide on top back and forth so an empty shell clatters to the floor, then fires three perfect shots at the other man. Head, neck, heart. He drops to the floor, and so does the gun from his hand.
He rises to his feet, immediately charging for her, coming to a stop directly in front of her, like he’s suddenly come to his senses. He sounds out of breath, a crease in between his brows. “Clarke, what are you doing here? How did you…?”
She wipes some sweat off her forehead with the back of her hand, closing the final few feet between them. “I told you, I’m a nurse . I know how to hit them where it hurts.” She smiles, despite the moment not even close to calling for it, bright, relieved, consoled. “Did your tech people manage to teach you about halogens and noble gasses in time?”
His eyes gleam with a certain kind of fondness she hasn’t seen directed at her in a long time, leaning against a nearby chair as his legs buckle beneath him, one arm coming across his waist to support his ribs. The guy did a number on him. “Maybe I should’ve spent more time teaching you how to use a gun.”
She rolls her eyes, holding him up by slinging an arm across his back, helping him over to the panel in the front of the room. The screens in front of it have ‘ INITIATE RADIATION PROTOCOL ’ flashing across it. She wraps her hand around the lever as she shifts her head to looks up at him sideways. “Now or never.”
It won’t be long until they’re found by someone else, or they evacuate the place. Bellamy uses his teeth to pull off the glove on his hand farthest away from her, the black material shredded, his knuckles grazed.
“Together?” he asks, and she nods, insistent. “Together.”
He puts his bare hand on top of hers, and suddenly she topples forward slightly, her sternum burning with a fierceness that knocks all air from her lungs, a heat spreading all the way to the tips of her fingers and toes, the top of her head. Clarke blinks open her eyes with a gasp, seeing his shirt hangs open enough to show the skin below his white tank top glowing in a similar way hers is. His jaw is clenched, his whole body rigid.
His eyes spring open, locking with hers. They’re tainted, tainted with fear and disbelief and yet understanding. She swallows hard. There’s voices coming from down the hall. They pull the lever. They can figure out the rest later.
~ iii. 2103, somewhere above earth ~
[Humans are like filthy little cockroaches. He’s managed to destroy the earth at last, make it unliveable, or well, some robot virus bitch without a conscious named ALIE did. He doesn’t get the technicality behind it all, but in the end, some female scientist lady lost her marbles and a few reactors blew the whole planet to shit.
Somehow a few of those pesky humans still managed to escape. It’s not really an apocalypse unless every living thing is perished, so he can’t show up to his Father like this. There’s loose ends. His Father hates loose ends.
Griffin is once again reborn. Booyah. This time in space. Just to make it interesting.]
He is dreaming of the earth; green trees rustling in the wind, dirt permanently stuck under his fingernails, every breath one of fresh air made by plants and not stale, recycled oxygen. Then suddenly the earth is shaking, the ground trembling beneath his feet, and everything turns dark.
Slowly blinking open his eyes, he realizes someone was trying to wake him. Blinking a few more times, he can make out Fox, her fingers wrapped around his forearm, a dip in the mattress because of her weight. “Mr. Griffin, there’s a patient in the medbay.”
He groans, turning his head on the pillow to look at the clock on the wall. 3:45 AM. He sits up, rubbing his eyes. When he opens them, Fox is still sitting on the edge of his bed, now impossibly close to him. Her cheeks redden and she quickly scrambles away from the bed and towards the door. “I’ll tell her you’ll be right there.”
“Thanks,” he mumbles, swinging his legs off the bed and stretching. Who the hell manages to get hurt on a tin can in the middle of the night when everyone is supposed to be asleep? He slips into his shoes, quickly washing his face before making his way over to the exam room. He nods at Mr. Miller, posted by the door of the on-call room. Asleep is one of the few time he gets to be alone anymore.
When he walks in, the girl is sitting on the exam table, her back towards him, her shoulders rigid and her grip on the edge of the table tight. Long, wavy black hair flows down her back and when he makes it around the table, he can see it’s covering her guard uniform. Makes sense.
“Rough night?” He starts off lightly, meeting her gaze as he disinfects his hands, taking a look at the damage. There’s a few cuts on her face, and the way she’s holding her posture tells him she’s fighting with herself not to show any other injuries.
“Let’s just get this over with,” she snaps, avoiding his eyes and instead focusing them on a spot behind him on the floor, thick brows furrowed heavily.
“Sure thing,” he mutters, rolling his eyes as he turns to pull open the drawers of a supply cart nearby. He takes out some gloves, sterile cotton swabs and disinfectant. He rolls the stool in the corner towards the exam table, taking a seat in front of her.
She immediately turns her head again, not even flinching when he puts the first alcohol-drenched cotton swab to a cut on her sharp cheekbone. He’s working for a while in silence when he finally breaks. “So are you going to tell me what happened or am I going to have to ask your superior officer for details?”
Her head snaps forward suddenly, a murderous look on her face. “Of course you would threaten to pull rank.” There’s disgust in her tone, and she doesn’t even bother to cover it up.
“I take it you’re not from Alpha Station,” Clark fills in, unbothered, picking up a clean swab and drenching it in the disinfectant he poured into the small kidney dish. She’s not the first one to be mad at him for being born on the right side of the ship.
The girl just scoffs loudly, but at least this time she doesn’t look away from him. There’s more silence, and he’s in the middle of getting a bandage from the supply cart, his back towards her, when she mumbles, “Little boy died of starvation yesterday. There was a riot. Agro station. I was patrolling by myself.” He hears her wince as she adjusts her position. “Guard uniforms make great symbols for the system that controls us.”
Clark turns back around, doesn’t say anything. He puts the bandage on a cut on her eyebrow, bringing the edges of the wound together. Instead, he orders, leaving no room for argument, “Take off your shirt.”
She tilts her head back, slapping his hand away from her face. “Excuse me?”
He just cocks an eyebrow, repeating himself slowly, word for word. “Take off your shirt.’
“You’re not in charge of me,” she bites, shoving him aside so she can get off the exam table. It’s visibly painful, her face scrunching up in agony as she tries to slide off it. “I can do whatever the hell I want.”
He stops her before her feet reach the ground, putting a hand on top of her forearm. He keeps his voice steady, compassionate, understanding, “You’re in pain. Let me check you for injuries.”
The girl stares up at him warily, still, and he sighs, scratching the back of his head. “Look -- let’s just, start over. I’m Clark.”
“Bellamy,” she mutters, and it costs her something. Without saying another word, she reaches for the zipper on her jacket, shrugging out of it with a clenched jaw. Next, she reaches for the hem of her shirt, inhaling sharply through her nose like she’s gearing up for a fight.
Clark swats away her hands carefully, lifting the shirt of her slim frame even though she’s protesting the entire time, insisting she can do it on our own. He looks down at her chest, heaving up and down heavily, the dark purple bruises blooming across her ribs and the abrasions covering the skin on top of them. Jesus Christ .
“It’s okay,” he assures her softly, already distracted by the possible medical diagnosis running through his head, reaching out to prod her side carefully. “We all need a little help sometimes.”
She closes her eyes forcefully, her jaw set and her shoulders straight and stiff. She sounds bitter as she retorts, “Like you’re so perfect.”
Clark’s hand freezes, his ocean blue eyes flicking up towards hers. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
She lets out a huff of bitter laughter, like she somehow thinks he’s taking her for a fool. “The guard. By your door.” He stares at the freckles splattered across her nose and cheekbones, more enticing than any of the constellations of stars surrounding them, especially now she’s found one of his weaknesses. He doesn’t like being vulnerable, but somehow she doesn’t seem to give him any other options. “You did something. Something that made them scared enough to have only our most experienced guards shadow you. Scared enough of you escaping a metal spaceship hovering above an destroyed planet even though there’s nowhere else to go.” She tilts her head slightly, smug look on her face. She knows she’s right, and it’s annoying. “Which means they’re either scared of someone getting to you, or you getting to someone.”
She’s smart, perceptive. He gets why she became a guard. He wants to lie, but physically can’t. The words just flow out of his mouth without his permission. “My dad -- he figured out there’s a problem with the air filtration system. There’s a limited supply of oxygen left.” Clark’s eyes widen, not sure why he just said that.
“How limited?” She bites, demanding. Her brown eyes are dark, narrowing in on his blue ones. “Five years? Ten?”
His lips form a thin line, pressing the back of his hand to his forehead briefly. “Enough to float him over it to keep it from getting out to anyone else.”
Her grip on the table tightens, her knuckles turning white. Bellamy snarls, meanly, “And you’re just over here playing doctor until we all die?”
“Of course not,” he retorts immediately, just as heated. He opens and closes his mouth soundlessly, then eventually presses, “They put me in lock-up until I was eighteen. They wanted to float me, but my mom -- she put in all her personal favors to save me even though I begged her not to.” He grits his teeth together, brief. “It’s sickening. I never wanted to live with a secret this big.”
“That’s some alpha station bullshit,” she spits, venomously, eyes still trained on his, a tick in her sharp jaw. Bitterness coats her deep voice, “I’ve been living with a secret my whole life. Sure beats being dead, I can tell you that much.”
Silence stretches between them for a moment. Then, “A secret?” He prods, careful.
Bellamy inhales sharply, reaching for her ribs with one hand. “I have a sister. Her name is Octavia. We hide her beneath the floorboards. My mom bribed guards to tell her when random check-ups were coming until I was old enough to become one.” This time she is the one to look surprised at her own eagerness to tell the truth, although she hides it quickly. “Besides, you have a choice. You’re choosing to live with it.”
“In case you haven’t noticed, I’m being shadowed at all times. Even if I wanted to get a message out, they would float me before I even opened my mouth.” The only reason no one is in here with them right now is because Bellamy is a member of the guard. They trust she would never say anything, even if Clark did end up telling her. “And they made sure to let me know if I told anyone else, tried to get a message out through one of my friends or my patients, they’d float them too.”
A dark cloud washes over his blue eyes, and he frustedly takes off one glove, flinging it on top of the supply cart carelessly so he can scrub a hand over his beard. He’s gone over this -- thought of all the possibilities. If there was a way he could make sure the message could get out, of course he would. The people deserve to know. His father died believing exactly that.
Bellamy doesn’t seem very compassionate. “And you’re trying to tell me the great Clark Griffin never tried?”
“Of course I did,” he admits, heated, then all of it leaves him all at once. “I tried to tell my best friend -- Wells. He didn’t seem surprised. Then I figured out he was the one who ratted out my dad before he got the message out.” He doesn’t speak to him anymore. As a matter of fact, he barely speaks to anyone anymore. Clark finds her gaze again, searching it for something -- anything . Tentatively, he presses, “You know, they’re shadowing me. Not you.”
She flicks her eyes to the ceiling, annoyance covering her features. She makes one, careful, calculated move with her arm, moving a hand through her hair to get it out of her face as she huffs. “What’s telling everyone going to do? It’s just going to cause chaos. Angry crowds make bad decisions. Everyone is going to end up dead before the oxygen runs out. And I’m not looking to die on this thing.”
Wasn’t this exactly why she was angry with him earlier? For not speaking up? This girl is just looking for a reason to be upset with him.
“There is a plan,” he reveals, sitting back down on the stool in front of her as he reaches for a cotton ball this time, dipping it in the kidney dish with his gloved hand. He starts cleaning the abrasions on her side, trying to rid it of the lint from her shirt by swiping carefully.
She cocks an eyebrow, watching his movements on her ribs with interest.
Clark tells it easily this time, not even surprised at his willingness to do so anymore. He tells her the truth, because he simply cannot do anything else. “Exodus. They’re dropships. They want to bring everyone down to earth.”
Bellamy snorts, even if the abrupt movement makes her flinch in pain. Her voice sounds strained, just a little. “Isn’t that rock still littered with radiation? The air toxic?”
“They think it might be habitable, now our bodies have adjusted to living in space we have a higher tolerance to it.”
Her face hardens, talking like she already knows the answer. “And who are the lucky ones who get to try this out before they even think of sending the vermin that lives on Alpha Station down?”
Clark pauses, ripping open a big white bandage to cover her ribs with. “They sent down a hundred kids. From the Sky Box. A few weeks ago.”
“Of course,” she mutters, cynically, absolutely poisonous look on her face. “Most of those kids are from Factory station, or Mecha.”
Clark swallows hard, placing the bandage over her ribs and smoothing it out as he plasters it on. “It’s liveable. Earth.” He knows the bracelets they were wearing showed as much. But they’re young, inexperienced, by themselves. Regret coats his voice as he drops his hands in between his knees, pulling off his other glove. “There’s not enough room on the Exodus ship for everyone.”
Bellamy just sounds defeated next. “Especially not for a girl not supposed to exist.”
“Don’t do something stupid,” Clark says immediately -- concern coating his voice despite not even likin g this angry, arrogant girl -- watching her struggle to put her shirt back on, but not risking his life by offering her any help.
“I wouldn’t dare,” she mumbles sarcastically, getting one arm through the short sleeve of the shirt. He would get her painkillers, if they weren’t running low on supplies.
Clark rests his hands on his knees, giving her an unimpressed look. He’s not stupid. “You know there are escape pods. You learned about them during your guard training. You can use them to get your sister and mom down.” Rationalizing, he urges, trying to make her see reason, “Once they come down, they’ll kill all three of you.”
“My mom was floated years ago,” she bites, anger radiating off of her in hot waves, then, her eyes narrow. “What do you even care if they kill me?”
“I don’t know,” he admits, and he learns he can’t lie, not even about what he doesn’t understand, but he can avoid the truth, at least. “I care about everyone.”
She suddenly presses her mouth against his, hard. He feels himself rise to his feet, stool shoved back and clattering into the wall loudly. He’s kissing back, one hand disappearing into her soft dark hair, the other on the junction between her hip and ass, sliding her closer towards him. She bites down on his bottom lip, tugging on it meanly as she opens her knees wider, drawing him closer. His mouth opens and she slides her tongue inside, tasting like fresh mint, vaguely like metal. The pained gasp against his mouth as he tries to move her further down the table brings him back down to earth, pulling back from her.
They both pant heavily, their foreheads still touching. She whispers against his mouth, breath hot, “No, you don’t.” It’s as much of a challenge as it is a reproach.
Thoughts and feelings he can’t place flood his brain. He can’t make sense of this. Heś never been drawn to anyone like this before. Been this open with someone he barely knows before. He’s not even this in touch with his feelings usually. “Bellamy --” he starts, pained, stepping back. “I can’t just --”
“Nevermind. I thought --” She retorts, shaking her head as she cuts herself off. He can see the walls come back up, the way her eyes glaze over with an unapproachable hardness. “It doesn’t matter.”
Someone throws open the door, pushing a cleaning cart against it to keep it open. He looks up at the both of them, although he doesn’t look all too apologetic. “Oh, I didn’t realize it was occupied.”
Bellamy doesn’t even bother covering up her chest, just blankly stares at the janitor. “Get out, Murphy,” Clark snaps, glaring at him.
He holds up his hands in defense, kicking the cart back out of the door before it falls shut behind him. Whatever moment they were having before is completely gone by now, Bellamy already struggling to pull her shirt further over her head.
Clark helps, tugging her hair free from the back of it and helping stretch the material enough to get her other arm into it. She barely looks at him when she shrugs into her jacket.
“I don’t think any of your ribs are broken,” he says, just to have something to say. It’s not like it makes much of a difference. Broken, bruised, treatment on the Ark’s just the same. “But you should take it easy for a couple of days.”
“Not all of us have that luxury,” she mumbles, feet hitting the floor before she shoves passed him.
He cleans up, head hitting the pillow barely ten minutes afterwards to no real avail, he doesn’t sleep much more after that. He finds himself thinking of angry brown eyes, full pink lips turned downward, soft brown skin radiating heat, sharp collar bones below stiff, guarded shoulders.
Morning comes too slow, the Ark’s automated lights turning on at 6:30 sharp. Clark gives report to Eric who is covering the next shift before making his way over to his room, taking a quick shower.
He eats breakfast in the mesh hall by himself like always, Mr. Shumway not too far off, keeping an eye on him. For the first time, he spots Bellamy, sitting somewhere in the back near a dark boy and a blonde girl. The two of them are talking, but she is reading a book, messy hair falling from her ponytail and into her face. There’s a dark bruises forming below the inner corners of her eyes, probably from the hits she took to her nose.
He’s thinking about an excuse to go over there when his eyes meet those of his former best friend. He comes over, even though Clark is sure his face is telling him desperately not to. “I know you don’t want to talk to me--”
“Then why are you?” He bites back, shoving his tray away from him angrily.
Wells slides in a seat down beside him, desperation in his eyes. “Some janitor, he told Diana Sydney about the oxygen problem --”
“ Don’t talk to me about that,” he raises his voice so loudly, a few people look their way, speaking in hushed voices.
“No, listen to me --” Wells insists, pleading, forcing Clark to look at him. “He told Diana and she is going to tell everyone else. I know you know people have been dying from oxygen deprivation already. The other day a little girl went blind. The council has decided to come forward first. Give a few people the chance to sacrifice themselves, buy the rest of us more time while they try and fix the oxygen system.”
“A few?” Clark’s heart hammers loudly in his chest, coldness seeping into his bones.
Wells flinches. “Three-hundred.”
His blue eyes wander over to the table in the back of the room mindlessly. “A culling.” It’s not a question. The word tastes bitter in his mouth.
“Who’s the girl?” Wells inquires, trying to sound innocent, casual, but Clark knows him, knows him better than anyone, still, recognizes the faint traces of jealousy in his voice.
“No one,” he bites, quickly, then exhales loudly. “Just a patient.” He looks over at Wells, and his chest aches. More than anything else, he wishes they could still be the same two boys who just to sit here and eat their breakfast over a game of chess. For a moment, he pretends they can be. “It’s weird. No matter how badly I tried not to, I had to tell her the truth about everything.”
His friend smiles, but he looks sad. “That’s because you can’t lie to your soulmate.”
Clark’s head snaps towards Wells, stunned. “Don’t tell me you believe in soulmates?”
His dark eyes find his, clearing his throat slightly. Regret pools inside them, longing too. A longing Clark could never reciprocate in the same manner, no matter how much he tried. “I always have, you know that.”
“When will they announce the culling?” Clark asks, his mouth dry, ignoring what he said. He can’t get into that, not right now, probably not ever again. Not when his heart is pounding loud enough to drown out his own thoughts; deep down knowing, knowing it like he knows himself, Bellamy is about to do something very stupid.
As soon as they announce it, the people riot. They’re angry, hurt. Feel like the should’ve known sooner. Before people got sick, before they could still decide how to live their lives. Now it’s too late, and they want more, they want them to sacrifice their lives.
“We don’t have much time to waste,” Chancellor Jaha addresses the crowd, Wells at his side. Her mom, too. “The culling will take place tonight. We hope this gives everyone enough time to say their goodbyes.” If no one volunteers, they’ll hold a raffle.
Clark finishes his busy shift at ten, thirty minutes before the culling is supposed to take place. He moves through the thick crowds, not even knowing what he’s searching for.
He finds Bellamy in one of the abandoned hallways, Murphy pinned to a wall roughly, despite her hurt ribs. “You ruined everything.”
Clark rushes up to them, putting a hand on Bellamy’s shoulder to draw her attention. “What’s going on?” It takes another second for her to drag her glare away from the janitor, blinking up at him instead.
“What’s going on?” He repeats, sternly, and Bellamy takes a step back from Murphy, releasing her tight grip on his shirt. Scoffing as she looks him up and down. “He eavesdropped on us yesterday. He wanted to tell everyone .”
He knows why Bellamy is mad. She was going to try and get her sister on one of those escape pods. Now that everybody knows that’s no longer an option; they’re under surveillance 24/7 by multiple guards.
“Why?” Clark presses, arms crossed over his blue henley, now turning his attention onto Murphy, too.
“None of your business,” he sneers, flinching when Bellamy flashes forward to press her forearm back against his throat, hard enough to make him splutter for air. “You better speak before I take that privilege away from you permanently.”
Bellamy relents, just a little and the janitor croaks out, “Those hundred kids down on the ground will be wiped out by natural causes soon enough. They’re not built to survive out there. They’re young and stupid, no real leadership. I can’t let more people go down, if they do -- odds are one might be left standing.” His eyes narrow. “I can’t let you two ruin it for me again.”
“You’re a psychopath,” Bellamy spits, pressing into his windpipe once more before stepping back completely, eyes covered with disbelief. “You’re a certified psychopath.”
“Come on,” Clark says, pulling on her wrist. He would hate it for her to be caught getting into a public fight right now, of all times. They might just have her be part of the culling on principle. “He’s not worth it.”
Clark makes it halfway down the bridge looking out at the moon before he feels like he’s pulling along dead weight. He stops, turning to look at Bellamy. Her hands are folded over her hips, her eyebrows raised. “I’m not going with you. I have fifteen minutes to get to the B dock in sector 17.”
He tilts his head back, knowing exactly what she’s talking about but refusing to believe it. “What are you talking about?”
Bellamy licks her pink lips, hesitant. Something real flashing across her eyes for only a second before her guard is back up, her features hardened. “I asked Chancellor Jaha to spare my sister in return for my life.”
He starts shaking his head. No. He searches her face, hoping to find a trace of dishonesty on her face. Then he remembers that if Wells was right, she can’t lie to him. “What? You can’t -- you can’t do that.”
“Why not?” She asks, almost taunting, narrowing her eyes as she takes a step closer to him. And another. Her beautiful, delicate but at the same time roughened features covered in the pale moonlight shining inside from the bay window. “I told you, I do whatever the hell I want.”
Clark stammers trying to look for an answer that won’t leave him feeling like he just put his heart out there for her to break and Bellamy rolls her eyes like she’s bored with him already. “That’s what I thought.”
She stalks back the other way, towards the culling. He doesn’t know why but he knows he can’t let her do it alone. (Or maybe he knows but refuses to admit it to himself). They do it together, or not at all.
“Wait!” He calls after her, hurrying to catch up. “If you’re going, so am I.”
“Don’t be stupid.” She whirls back around, crossing her arms over her chest. There’s an angry. dent in her forehead. “You barely know me.”
He jabs his finger into her shoulder, satisfied with the way she takes a tiny step back. “Tone down the arrogance a notch. It has nothing to do with you.”
Her nostrils flare, her teeth gritting together. Clark doesn’t falter, holds her gaze with as much determination as he can muster together. He can see the wheels in her head spinning, the conflict whirling in her dark eyes, but in the end she doesn’t give in. “ Fine . Be my guest. Die along with all of us commoners.”
She turns on her heel, marching away from him. He follows.
Clark signs his name down on the list after Bellamy’s, sliding down a wall in the dropship beside her and her two friends. They introduce themselves, even though it’s not much use. Miller and Harper.
They’re going to turn of the oxygen supply to the dropship, wait for them to die in their sleep, then open the back hatch so they can all be floated easily. It’s a noble death, Clark thinks, to die amongst the stars, trying to save what little is left of the human race.
Their shoulders brush and he keeps his gaze fixed on the ceiling, pulse rattling quickly. “Do you believe in soulmates?”
Bellamy’s head lolls to the side so she can look at his profile. Her voice is softer than she’s used to. “Do you?”
He opens his mouth, but nothing comes out. Then he remembers it’s no use trying to lie. So he shifts his head against the wall so he can look down at her. “I didn’t. Until you showed up to the medbay in the middle of the night.”
The corners of her lips turns up, sadly almost. Sad because of lost opportunities and a life they could’ve shared together, if only they weren’t born in space. “I thought maybe you just loved the sound of your own voice.”
She thought he was her soulmate, but she wasn’t his. That’s why she acted so weird after that kiss. Clark lets out a rough, practically elated huff of laughter, pulling his knees up to his chest, folding his arms around them. He rests his chin against his shoulder, smiling softly. “Trust me, you don’t even know the half of how emotionally constipated I am.”
“There’s still time,” she muses with a small smirk, making him laugh even though the situation far from calls for it. He leans his head back against the wall and Bellamy leans her cheek against his shoulder. Clark lowers his arm so he can slide his fingers into the spaces between hers. They’ll find each other again.
The doors to the main ship slide open suddenly, Wells running aside and pressing a large red button beside it to close them quickly. Guard line up behind the glass, and Clark sits up, looking over at him in confusion. He can make out Shumway yelling at his guards, pointing at the door of the Dropship.
“What’s going on?” Bellamy asks before he can.
Wells leans his hands on his knees for a second, trying to catch his breath. He nods over at a tan brunette with a long sleek ponytail, leaning against a wall not too far from the door. “I had -- I had one of my friends from Mecha Station hack the system and change the Dropship’s programming.”
Clark’s entire body feels numb. “Why would you do that?”
“Because I couldn’t let any more people die,” he says, solemnly. A grave expression takes over his face, pain evident in his dark eyes. “I couldn’t let you die not knowing the truth.”
Suddenly everything clicks together. Wells was never the only one who knew. Never the only one who could’ve reported his father. Clark had just been too naive to consider the other option. The walls start to shake, and Bellamy squeezes his hand, tightly.
He back at the door leading towards the Ark -- the place he’s spent his entire life being stuck on -- sees his mom pounding on the glass door, screaming something that looks like his name before someone pulls her back. His best friend let him hate him just so he wouldn’t lose the last parent he had. He looks over at Wells, hope it conveys everything he wants to say. Sorry, thank you, I love you . Wells just smiles, brighter than the sun, “We’re going to earth.”
~ iv. 2149, earth again ~
[So, it turns out, Murphy is literally the most unlucky bastard in the universe.
They were never alone on the ground. Apparently some people survived the first apocalypse, and that crazy lady scientist came down to start some sort of cult. He kind of digs that, at least. If only it wouldn’t defeat the whole purpose of an all-life-ending apocalypse.
Of course, some problems solve themselves and a second nuclear apocalypse fixed it almost completely. Instead for the tiny, tiny patch of green left standing.
At least, this time, Clarke was put on a ship far, far away into space and Bellamy was reborn on earth years and years after her time. Murphy was so fucking sure this was going to be it. That time he could let the apocalypse just take everything before one of them decided to meddle with it.
He planted himself with Clarke, and even staged a coup on the Eligius IV ship she was on to make sure she was killed off. They didn’t exactly kill her off, but they put her to sleep, which is good enough for him, and when the time would come that she finally awoke, the plan would be nearly done. Grounders -- the last human standing -- were fighting over the last bit of green earth, destroying it in their wake.
Sweet, sweet victory so close he could almost taste it.
Then Eligius IV suffered a glitch in their system and they all awoke years before they were supposed to. He’d made sure they had little rations left, so when they did finally woke up, they’d have no place to go and would all kill each other over them.
The green patch wasn’t death just yet, so of fucking course Diyoza made the bright plan to get the ship down to earth and take it from whoever stood in their way.]
Clarke didn’t think there was anyone left on earth after all this time; all those years they spent asleep while the earth tried to recover from it’s last nuclear apocalypse, it was nearly impossible to survive.
Earth was never their mission, never her mission, but she guesses she’s no longer the same girl she was when she signed on as a doctor on an interstellar mission just to get as far away as possible from her mother. Someone long dead by now.
Surrounded by a bunch of escaped prisoners, Earth seemed pretty damn good right about now.
Clarke finds out the hard way they weren’t the only humans left after all.
Minutes after being back down on earth, McCreary figures out a way to finally get her alone, shoving her up against a tree roughly while Vinson keeps watch, no doubt waiting for his turn. He uses his knife to start to tear open her black tank top from the bottom, leaning in to take her earlobe in between his teeth. His breath warm on her neck. “Not such a foul mouth now, huh?”
She struggles beneath him, but his arm is too heavy, keeping her pinned down. His elbow digging into her shoulder as his hand is covering her mouth. Clarke doesn’t give up, doesn’t make it easy for him, not even when his hand starts unbuttoning her pants.
Suddenly there’s a loud whoosh, and something pointy sticks from his chest and into the tree above her shoulder. A spear. All she hears is her blood rushing to her head for a few seconds, until his grip on her frame loosens and she finally hears his screams of pain instead of just seeing his mouth move without making any sounds. She ducks from underneath his arm and tries to run, but someone grabs her arm, and something dark is shoved over her head.
Her, Vinson and McCreary are thrown in a room with Shaw, Murphy and Kodiak. There’s another girl, one she doesn’t know. The girl is quiet, covered in dirty and wearing old rags for clothes. She flinches every time someone raises their voice.
It’s a few hours before a man storms into the room. He’s of average height, but has broad shoulders and a dark gaze intimidating enough to make up for it. He has messy, dark curls on top of his head, dark black makeup smudged around his eyes.
He tosses a knife into the middle of the room, and it thuds on top of the soft hay-like covered ground. “One of you must die, either you decide who it is before the morning light comes, or you all die.”
Then he’s gone.
It takes all of five seconds for McCreary, Kodiak and Vinson to start fighting each other for the knife. Clarke tries to reason with them, even if her heart’s not really in it. She doesn’t really care if any of those three die. Shaw the same. Murphy decides to take a nap.
McCreary wrestles the knife from Kodiak finally, taking a step back. He turns his leering eyes back on Clarke. “Let’s finish what we started, huh?” Then they flick over to the girl, hiding in the corner. “Or shall we take the new girl out for a spin first?”
She whimpers, her green eyes full of fear, and she doesn’t know. She doesn’t know he likes it that way. He smirks, starting to move towards her.
“No,” Clarke screams, scrambling to her feet. Her heart hammers loudly in her chest. “No! Just take me instead. Do whatever you want to me. Just -- leave her alone.”
“Come on, man,” Shaw spits angrily, but Vinson is already jumping up to hold him back.
Paxton lets out an almost delighted little laugh, turning on his heel. “So now you’re begging for it, huh?” His smirk spreads even wider and Clarke feels nauseous, lowering her gaze just so she doesn’t have to look at him. “Diyoza was holding you back.”
He starts to move for her, but suddenly the girl in the corner easily removes the knife from his grip, using his arm to maneuver him down into the floor loudly. She spins the knife in her grip, digging her knee into his chest as she presses the knife to his throat. “I’ve seen enough,” she calls out, keeping his gaze as she presses the blade against his skin harder.
The cell doors open, the guy from earlier looming in the doorway. The girl tosses the knife at him, and he catches it easily. She dips her fingers into the blood that has pooled into the little ditch of skin at the bottom of his throat, smearing it across her cheeks as she holds his gaze.
Clarke is certain he is absolutely shitting his pants.
Finally, she pushes herself up, joining the guy on the other side of the cell doors. She doesn’t even spare them a second glance. He squeezes her shoulder briefly.
“Way to be dramatic, O,” the guy mutters, slamming the cell doors behind them as they disappear up a set of stairs, whatever she says in return lost in the distance.
It’s not long before they’re tossed into separate cells. Hers is besides Shaw, and she finds out through him that the girl in the cell with them is some sort of commander. The leader of the people they’ve stumbled upon.
“She gave Diyoza an ultimatum,” he says quietly. “To put down her weapons, or one of us will be killed off every three days.”
“She’ll never do that,” Clarke mutters into the darkness, shivering slightly from the cold. She is valuable because she is their only doctor, and Shaw is valuable because he is their only pilot, but they’re not as valuable as ground to live on, fresh air to breathe in, food that grows on trees.
He sounds defeated. “I know.”
Shaw is pulled from his cell for a questioning, and it’s eerily quiet then. Clarke has never felt this alone before. Not even when she was up in space with hundreds of criminals. Not even after they murdered half the crew and held her hostage.
Her cell door opening scares her awake, and she sits up straight immediately, staring at the entrance. It’s that guy again, from before. The not-all-too-tall one with the face makeup, except this time his face is bare, and instead of layers of precious fur, he’s just wearing a black outfit.
He grumbles something in a language she can’t understand, even if it does sound familiar, throwing something her way. She looks down at it to realize it’s a shirt, and she didn’t register until now that her whole body is trembling from the cold. Her torn shirt not doing much to shield her from it.
She shrugs off her jacket, keeping her eyes on him, just in case. “What is that language?” She tugs the shredded shirt over her head, not bothering to turn away from him. He doesn’t even blink, keeping his stoic gaze on her, arms crossed over his chest.
She has to step closer to him to pick up the shirt, and tries to keep him distracted, “You speak English, too, right? You did it earlier.” Clarke pulls the shirt over her head, removing her hair away from her eyes after, smoothing it down. Her eyes flick over to the open entrance. She hesitates, then, carefully, “What’s your name?”
He barely even looks like he heard her, and she decides to take her chances. She flashes forward, opening her fist to reveal a rusty nail she found buried in the hay earlier and making a move to stab him with it.
He easily has her pinned against the wall, rather hard. She winces, shutting her eyes briefly as pain spreads from the back of her skull to the rest of her head. Grumbling, he tells her, “I can tell what your next move is going to be five minutes before you make it.”
His brown eyes search hers in the dark and she refuses to look away. His grip around her wrist tightens enough for her to drop the nail, and he kicks it away. He lets out an amused huff of laughter. “You are terrible at hand-to-hand combat.”
“I am a doctor,” she bites back just as viciously. “I was trained to heal, not hurt.”
He tilts his head slightly, observing her. Then he sneers, almost like he’s mad at her, “If you were better at self-defense maybe that guy wouldn’t have hurt you.”
“You think I asked for him to assault me?” She yells, yanking on her arms roughly, like maybe by some miracle she can escape his tight grip, tight enough to constrict blood flow to her now numb fingers. She tries to kick him, knee him, too, but he avoids every hit easily. She scrunches up her nose in disgust. “Go float yourself.”
He has the audacity to grin then, almost like it’s a joke. “Am I supposed to be offended by that?” He relents, stepping away from her. His eyes rake over her wrists, like he didn’t just violently constrain them. Something darker flashes across his eyes now. “If your leader doesn’t obey, he will be the first one to die. I’ll make sure of that.”
She picks up her jacket, starts to shrug it back on roughly. “My hero.” She lays back down on the patch of hay in the corner, turning her back towards him.
He doesn’t leave immediately, she can feel his presence looming behind her. Finally, after what feels like hours, there’s the familiar clinking of a cell door closing.
McCreary is the first one to go. She hears his screams from inside the building.
He comes back that night, crouching down beside her makeshift bed and holding out his hand, palm up. There’s a ration in it, a small bar the colour of earth. She blinks at it warily, half asleep. There’s not much more to do in her cell. They get water once a day, no food ever.
He takes a small bite. “It’s safe. I promise.”
She takes it then, eager, hastily stuffing it into her mouth. She hasn’t eaten in what feels like years. Only after she’s scarfed it down does she find his eyes watching her curiously. She feels shy all of a sudden. Why is he kind to her?
“What is your name?” He asks, like it’s some kind of secret he’s asking in return for feeding her.
“Clarke,” she mumbles, freezing when he reaches out to brush some hair away from her face with his forefinger. His hand drops, and the hair moves back into place immediately.
“You’re still covered in blood,” he notes, voice gruff.
“Yeah,” she bites back, not being able to help it, even though she can’t find much heat inside of herself. He is confusing her. Probably playing a trick on her. “The hot shower you guys let me take couldn’t get it all off.”
She eyes the basket beside him, and he pulls out a flask, using a little of it to wet the end of his sleeve, using it to wipe away the dried blood beneath her nose. His free hands holds out the flask, offering it to her. “Drink.”
He pauses long enough for her to take a greedy gulp, and then his warm fingers are back on her face, cleaning her up. She is mostly stunned, too stunned to do anything about it. Clarke studies his face in the pale moonlight streaming in from the small, barred window in the corner of her cell. “Why are you doing this?”
There’s a long silence, he takes the flask from her to dampen his sleeve again. Rubbing at some dried blood on her forehead before he tucks her hair behind her ear, finger trailing down her cheek and jaw before it drops back down in his lap. His eyes stay on her forehead. “You protected her.”
“Your commander,” Clarke confirms, still confused. His eyes flick down towards her in recognition, and her forehead creases. Did she save his wife, is that why he is sneaking into her cell at night, feeding her, cleaning her? “Is she..”
The corners of his mouth turn up, amused. He’s always amused with her. “My sister.”
He runs his finger over the slope of her nose, almost affectionately, and then he rises to his feet, picking up the basket as he does so. He tosses a blanket at her, nodding once before he disappears back into the darkness.
It’s been days. After McCreary, Vinson was next.
The same night, he’s there again. He looks tired, dark circles beneath his eyes.
“There’s only one spot of green on this whole planet,” Clarke says, matter-of-factly, as she tears off a piece of the bread he handed her moments earlier. It’s so fucking good.
He snorts. “Tell me about it.”
She sends him a pointed look. He turns everything into a joke. “And now they’re going to destroy it.”
He lifts a shoulder, unaffected Like always. “Probably.”
She frowns, putting the bread down on top of the basket. “That doesn’t bother you?”
“Of course it does,” he answers, but his voice is light, like they’re discussing the weather. “But my sister -- she is stubborn. She’ll never give in.”
Clarke sits up, shaking her head slightly. She needs him to understand. “Eligius has weapons -- weapons you couldn’t even dream of overpowering. They’ll wipe all of you out within minutes, and they’ll take the valley along with them. The only way --”
He cuts her off, venom in his voice. “If you’re suggesting what I think you’re suggesting, you’d be wise to shut up.”
“You’re -- you’re smarter than this. If the valley is destroyed, we all die,” she argues, skillfully, even if it’s no use. He’s already shut her out. “If she stands down, we can come up with a better plan to take them down.”
“Eat,” he presses, jaw tight, tossing the bread into her lap. Then he’s gone.
Kodiak is the third person to die. It’s just her, Shaw and Murphy now. The odds she’s next getting bigger each day that passes. Barely ten day and she’ll be dead, she knows that much.
“I’m sorry,” she mumbles, when she feels his presence behind her that night. “I know she’s your sister.”
“It’s okay,” he returns, and she turns onto her other side, facing him. Her eyes take a second to adjust to the darkness. He looks apologetic. “Sorry, one of the guards on duty almost caught me coming out here. I had to ditch my supplies.”
“It’s okay,” she echoes, just looking at him. The scars covering his face, the permanent dent of worry in his forehead, the specks of gold hidden in his eyes. “Can you --” She swallows tightly, knowing she’s probably crossing way too many lines. But she’s lonely, and she’s dying, and she wants to be held. “Can you maybe stay? For a little while?”
He nods, lowering himself from his crouching position onto his side, sliding an arm around her waist and pulling her into his chest. She presses her cheek against it, listening to the steady thump of his heart. She tried to save it as long as possible, the question she wanted answered the most, like maybe as long as she didn’t know, she would get more time with him. Which was stupid. She wasted all this time, not knowing his name. “What’s your name?”
He smooths his hand down her hair, trying to get out the knots. Maybe it’s the darkness and the threat of sleep playing tricks on her, but his voice sounds impossibly rougher then, “Bellamy.”
A few days later, she surges awake to the sound of a commotion further down the block of cells she is in. There’s yelling, thudding, pounding, grunting, the scuffle of feet across the floor. She walks up the bars, tries to get a look. There’s smoke, at the end of the long hallway, the heat of a fire already having warmed the air surrounding her.
Murphy runs by her cell, up the stairs. She calls out his name. He freezes. Slowly, he turns, making his way back down. She looks at him with pleading eyes, her grip on the bars so tight her fingers feel numb. She never particularly liked Murphy, but she also never hated him. He wasn’t evil, she liked to think. At least not evil enough to leave her to burn to death.
“Oh what the hell,” he murmurs, tossing the key into the hay behind her. He crouches down to put one of the guns he’s collected down on the ground.
“Where are you going?” She yells after him as she fiddles with the lock from the inside.
“I have some unfinished business,” he yells back, already halfway up the stairs. “The least I can let you do is say goodbye.”
None of it makes sense, but Clarke doesn’t care. She scrambles for the key and opens the cell. She picks up the gun, stuffs it in the band of her pants. She frees Shaw, tells him to go to Diyoza. He asks her what the hell she is going to do. “Put an end to this.”
Clarke takes a coat off the rack by the door, puts the hood up as she navigates her way through the village until she reaches Octavia’s cabin. There’s only one way.
Before she reaches it, she’s pulled behind one of the regular cabins, pressed into the wall softly. Her hood falls down in the process. She doesn’t even have to look at him to know who it is. “Bellamy -- you know it’s the only way.”
“Just --” He searches her face, desperate. “Let me try, first? Okay?”
She nods, and he visibly deflates, a harsh breath leaving his mouth. He leans his forehead against her shoulder, and she wraps her arms around him tightly. He pushes off of her, disappearing back towards Octavia’s cabin. She stands there for a moment, collecting her breath, before she goes after him.
Once she gets there, she can make out their voices, faintly.
“Your vision is clouded by that sky girl.”
“Your vision is clouded by power,” he argues back, just as heated. “Lincoln--”
“ Don’t you talk about Lincoln.”
Their voices are quieter then, and Clarke has to hide further away from the cabin when her personal guards start to wander down the premises.
Suddenly, Bellamy calls for help. A dark woman and a woman with braided hair -- Indra and Kara, she recognizes them as -- rush into the cabin, soon carrying her out and towards the medbay.
“I can go make a deal in her place if I can convince them to let me go. If I go now--”
She nods. “It’ll be suspicious.”
“You should be back in your cell.”
“About that…” She starts, looking over her shoulder briefly at the dark fumes rising up from the far end of the valley.
He inhales sharply, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Okay.” He mutters something in a different language. “Okay. At least this way maybe they’ll think it was one of you who poisoned Octavia.”
She puts her hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry.” Not so much for the cell, but for what he had to do.
“Come on,” he says, voice low, hand on her lower back to guide her. “You can hide in my cabin.”
He stops in front of his door, reaching across her to push it open. She steps over the threshold, turning before he closes the door, leaning up to press her mouth against his. Eyes still closed, she whispers, “Thank you.”
He sounds a little dazed. “For what?”
“For keeping me safe,” she says, pointedly, smoothing out the frown in his forehead with her thumb. “I know it was you who made sure I wasn’t the first one sacrificed. And every time after that.” Octavia never liked her, despite what happened her first day here. She doesn’t trust her around her brother. It must have costed him something.
He squeezes her hand once again, then disappears back into the darkness. It’s only a matter of moments before she’s pulled from his cabin and thrown down on her knees in front of Octavia’s bed in the med bay. She looks weak, very weak, her chest heaving up and down heavily -- but there’s darkness in her eyes, like a raging fire. Clarke is afraid to look at the person beside her, already knowing it is him.
“You tried to have me killed,” Octavia says, simply. It’s not a question nor an accusation. Merely a fact.
“It wasn’t him,” Clarke starts, desperate, and Kara hits her across the face with the back of her hand. She bends down, getting on eye-level, “Don’t speak unless spoken to, Sky Girl.”
“It wasn’t his idea, that I know. Never in the twenty-one years I’ve been alive has my brother ever doubted me.” She leans back in her bed, coughing slightly. Yet she seems so collected, disattached. “It was you who planted the seed, and then sat back and let him do your dirty work.”
Clarke wants to protest, but catches Bellamy’s gaze. He shakes his head slightly and she keeps her mouth shut. If only because she doesn’t want them to take it out on him next.
“And now you’ll both suffer for it,” Octavia decides, coldly. “The arena, tonight. You’ll take up the 10:30 slot. A fight to the death.”
Her heart stutters in her chest. She’s yanked away, held in a dark shed until the sunlight streaming in through the cracks has long disappeared. She’s thrown into a weapon’s room next, her breath catching in her lungs when she sees him. She rushes over to him, throwing her arms around his neck. He holds her close, tight.
“What if we refuse to fight?” She murmurs into his skin. Wetness seeps into her shirt, right above her shoulder. They both know his sister would never accept it.
He pulls back to look at her, his eyes glassy. “Come on. You’re a fighter. It’s not in your blood.” He grins, big and genuine and she might love him. “The girl with the horrible, no-good self-defense skills beating everyone that’s been training for it their entire lives. The legend writes itself.”
She’s crying now too, her fingers folding around his wrist of the hand cupping her cheek. “You know what this means, right?” She thinks they’ve both known, both seen the similar marks on their wrists, but more than anything -- felt it since they first time they looked into each other’s eyes.
He takes a hold of her hand, pressing a kiss on top of it before he turns it so her palm is up, looking down at the soulmark on her wrist. His thumb runs over the numbers no longer smudged, but clear as day: 223522112149.
22:35 22/11/2149. The time of death of your soulmate.
“I do,” he rasps, forcing a smile on his face just for her, and her chest aches, aches, aches. It’s so unfair.
She tugs on a curl hanging in front of his forehead, pushing it back. Her voice shakes. “I think I loved you before I even knew you.”
He leans down to kiss her then, finally, tasting like salt. Hers or his, she can’t tell at this point. Tasting like the cruel twist of faith they’re powerless to change. He touches his forehead to hers, and then they’re pulled apart, thrown into the arena with two arsonists -- or guys blamed for the fires in the cell complex at least -- and Aden. Barely a boy. Trained since he was a kid by Octavia herself. Until he stole from her. A sword he had wanted for years.
Her gaze locks with Bellamy as Indra starts the countdown. Aden charges for her first, grabbing a sword from the wall on his way there. The other two take Bellamy.
Bellamy told her about Aden before. About how he used to tell the boy stories before bed every night, when he wasn't too cool for them yet. He had nightmares after his parents got killed in a raid. Bellamy had told him to slay his demons while he was awake, so they couldn't hurt him in his dreams. The next day, he killed the guy responsible for his parents' dead. He was the youngest survivor of the arena then.
Aden cuts open her arm easily, making her cry out in pain as she reaches to cover it with her hand. She's not going to fight a child. Bellamy is choking one of the guys from behind, one of the arsonists already down on the floor with an axe stuck in the middle of his chest. Tears stream down her cheeks, knowing this is. There's a thud of another body just as Aden makes another move for her.
Bellamy throws himself in between them, eyes steady on Aden's. They circle each other, until Clarke is behind the boy. "It's okay," he says, voice calm and soothing, catching her eye briefly. "Just make it quick."
Aden is crying silently as he drives his sword into Bellamy’s chest. Clarke cries out his name, pushing a trembling Aden aside to fall down into her knees beside him. She pulls his head into her lap, rocking him slowly. "I'm so sorry," she sobs, wishing she never had a soulmate, that he never had to suffer this fate because of her.
“I told you you would win," he chokes out, blood dribbling down his chin. She uses her sleeve to brush it away, much like he once did for her.
She smiles despite herself, weak and shaky and absolutely destroyed. “You call my soulmate dying in my arms winning?”
“I--I feel pretty go-good about i-it,” Bellamy tries to grin, but is too weak to fully succeed, and she leans down her forehead against his, free hand cradling the side of his face. Her heart lurches painfully as his fingers weakly wrap around her wrist. “I wish I could’ve saved you like you saved me.”
“You.. you did,” he rasps, choking for air as his eyes shift everywhere, gaze unfocused. She wipes his sweaty hair away from his forehead, nose against his, looking in his eyes. She feels calm somehow, despite it all. Reassured. Her tears drip onto his cheeks, and she wipes them away with her thumb. His hand falls from her arm into the floor, the rest of his body relaxing. He’s gone.
She sobs loudly rocking his body as she uses her shaking forefinger and thumb to close his eyes. She picks up his hand, lying limply on the ground, runs her finger over the inside of his wrist carefully. 223622112149. Calm. Because it’s her time too. Pressing another kiss to his still-warm lips she untangles herself from his body, rising to her feet.
Aden is still standing there. Frozen in shock. She hears his sisters screams, barely glances over at her behind the fence, only being held up by Indra. He was never supposed to die. But she knew him, she knew he would never be able to live with himself if he walked out of here and Aden didn't.
“Just do it --” Clarke says, her eyes dark as she falls down into her knees in front of him. She wipes at her face roughly with the back of her hands. She refuses to cry any more. She’s not scared. “Kill me, please. It's okay. I want to be with him.”
Aden’s hand barely trembles as he reaches for his sword. She closes her eyes.
[It’s not long before Murphy manages to set off a doomsday protocol on the Eligius Ship that’ll use all of it's rocket power to destroy the valley and everyone in it. Their bodies wiped off the earth like any other living thing. This time, they all die.
His father will be so proud.]
~ v. 2234, sanctum ~
[His father barely spared him a second glance in the end. Half-heartedly bothered to ask him why it took him so long, tosses him a new mission. Sanctum. A moon somewhere half-across the solar system, home to two suns and a bunch of crazy, body-jacking psychos. It almost makes him miss earth.
Imagine Murphy’s lack of surprise when they’re there.]
Clarke always knew Bellamy was special. Sometimes she'd look at him, and a flash of him -- not entirely him, not her Bellamy, but eerily similiar -- would flash across her eyes. It wasn't until her mother told her about soulmates, and how you'd see their previous lives, that Clarke made the connection.
It didn't make much of difference to her. Bellamy was her best friend. The one who one day found out she, with her skimmed knee on the middle of the playground after Josie pushed her, was a nightblood and never told a single soul. Not even his sister, who he would die for. If people knew, she might end up like Delilah (brain-dead, and Clarke quite liked her brain). When he left for college on what might as well have been the other side of the world, a piece of her felt like it was missing. She talked to him on the radio every day, for four years, even though she knew the messages would never get to him -- radio signals blocked by the anomaly. He returned with a girlfriend and she was heartbroken. Her sixteen year old little sister told him about the radio calls one day, drunk on her first tree sips of beers, and he showed up at her door in the middle of the night, asking her to tell him about all of them. The girlfriend went back to her own town in the far North and Bellamy never left her side again. He kisses her goodmorning, and braids her hair at night to keep it from tangling, and sits still for impossibly long hours while she tries to paint him (it's never quite right, never quite all of him). He saw her best sides, her worst sides, and all the mistakes she made in this life and the ones before that, and he forgave her for each and every onea of them. He still chose to love her -- he's special, soulmate or not.
It figures the day of their wedding, he shows up, stumbling into the sanctuary during the middle of the ceremony, kissing Emori's neck and gniffling rambunctiously. At least he found her again, after centuries of looking for her. And isn't Clarke just absolutely thrilled for him.
Bellamy notices him first, squeezing her hands. They turn to him, simultaneously, recognition behind both of their eyes as they spit, resentfully, “You.”
John lifts a shoulder, unbothered. "Bygones be bygones?"