Raven hung onto the beam determinedly as her leg buckled under her again. She counted her breaths, slow and steady, until she was able to lower herself to the floor as if it was by choice. Slumping against the beam, she exhaled loudly in the empty room.
She was sitting in the unfinished space that would eventually become a unit of the hospital they were building in the newly expanded camp. The whole area was littered with spare parts and slabs of wood and makeshift scaffolding. It was the reason most people had voiced their concern when she volunteered to help.
But hell if they were going to shut her up in the mechanics tent all day just because of her bum leg. Thanks to Wick’s brace, her motion wasn’t as limited as it might have been. And eventually, they all came to see that - Clarke was the first to place a tool in her hand with a smile. But day after day of standing in the sun without much break had taken more out of Raven than she would admit, and long after everyone had left, all she could do was sit and catch her breath.
“Reyes, you still up there?”
She knocked her head against the beam as Wick’s voice floated up from the first level. He would be the one to find her like this. His shoes squeaked on the ladder, and moments later his head popped up. His smile disappeared as soon as he saw her pained face.
“Don’t, “she warned. She didn’t need anyone’s pity.
“Hey.” He came over and crouched next to her, his hand squeezing her shoulder until she looked up. “You don’t have to hide it all the time, you know. There’s nothing weak about letting yourself feel pain.”
When she didn’t respond, he continued insistently. “You’ve been up here hammering away while also hacking into the Mountain Men’s radio signal and keeping Clarke sane. You’re practically wonderwoman.”
“Forget it. Just an old story. The point is, you do too much alone. At least accept my help for 30 seconds.”
Raven leaned into his touch a little longer. “Fine,” she relented. “30 seconds.”
He nodded with an easy grin that made her heart flip. To her surprise, he stood and made his way back down the ladder. Confused, Raven pulled herself over to the edge and looked over to see him waiting expectantly at the bottom.
“What, you need help getting down or something?” He grinned, ducking as a screwdriver flew past his head.
Raven rolled her eyes, positioning herself carefully on the ladder before slowly moving down.
“You better not be watching my ass.”
This time, she didn’t fight the smile. As she neared the halfway point, her leg buckled again and she slipped. His arms surrounded her, strong and steady, until she could get her balance.
“I’ve got you,” he said quietly, and Raven believed him.
She let him lift her off the ladder, his arm sweeping up under her legs for support. Despite herself, her head rested against his shoulder. It was nice to feel taken care of now and then. He carried her past the remaining debris before carefully setting her down.
“Thanks.” She smiled up at him and he gave her ponytail a tug before heading outside.
She was about to follow when her ears picked up a familiar voice nearby. Turning in that direction, she slowly walked over until she could make out Clarke’s quiet tone. Raven spun in a circle, trying to find the source. Her friend’s voice was echoing through the empty construction site, but she couldn’t actually see her. Then another low voice answered, and Clarke’s short laugh made her look up.
Clarke and Bellamy sat high up on an unfinished deck. Bellamy’s long legs hung off the edge, his arms resting against the railing while they talked. Clarke was curled next to him, her legs folded beneath her, and she played with a small thread in her hands.
“I can’t believe it’s actually happening,” she was saying. “We’re building a hospital. On Earth.”
“Better believe it, princess. It’s gonna be all yours.”
She smiled at that. “Mine and my mother’s.”
“But mostly yours.” He grinned. “I think Chancellor Griffin’s found her true calling.”
“She is pretty good at it, isn’t she?”
“Not just pretty good.” He chuckled ruefully. “She still hates me, though.”
“She doesn’t hate you. She just doesn’t know you yet.”
“I don’t really see that changing…”
Clarke nudged him lightly. “She’ll learn. Just like I did.”
He looked over with a surprised smile, and she held his gaze for a moment before looking away. They were silent for a few minutes, but even in the stillness Raven could see their shoulders relax, the lines erased from their face.
At Bellamy’s huge yawn, Clarke laughed. He rested his head on his arms contentedly. “I could fall asleep right here,” he murmured.
“I won’t tell.” When he shook his head and stretched, she poked his side. “Seriously. You should rest.”
“I’ll be fine.”
“Bellamy. I know you’re not sleeping.”
He sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Pick your battles, princess,” he said wearily.
She watched him carefully before putting a hand on his shoulder. “I am.”
Raven backed away slowly. Out of everyone, the two of them had it harder than most. The least she could do was give them some privacy before something or another called them away, which it inevitably would. But when neither of them appeared at dinner, she smiled at their small victory.
Jasper woke on the cold floor. Blinking to clear his vision, he tried to sit and immediately laid back down as the room began to spin. He groaned and clutched his head, closing his eyes. What the hell had been in that moonshine?
After several minutes had passed, he cracked an eye open again. No spinning. That was a good sign. He lay on the floor, staring at the flickering ceiling light until his bladder made him consider moving again. He really did need to find a bathroom. Or a bush. Whichever came first. Carefully, he inched himself off the ground until he was sitting on his knees. Looking around, he recognized the cargo bay of the Ark ship. He couldn’t remember how exactly he’d gotten so far inside, but he would bet everything that Monty had been with him.
The hammering in his skull increased as he stood on shaky legs, but the room didn’t spin. Step by step, he wobbled into the hallway and began to look for a way out. He was in the tail section of the ship, which was being used mostly for storage since it was otherwise uninhabitable after the crash. Most rooms were packed with extra supplies or equipment they’d been able to salvage from the various Ark sections that were scattered around the area.
He was about to turn left when he heard a giggle down the hall. Scrunching his eyebrows, he followed the sound to a small room in the corner. It was littered with lot of medical equipment that he didn’t recognize, and the floor was mostly covered by crates. Some were empty; others filled to the brim. But his eyes were drawn to the opposite side of the room immediately.
Bellamy and Clarke sat against the wall in their own makeshift fort, surrounded by a semicircle of boxes. Her head kept drooping against his shoulder before she caught herself and leaned back against the wall. A minute later, it was right back on his shoulder. He didn’t seem to mind so much. A large flask passed back and forth between them.
“This was a lot of fun,” Clarke sighed.
“Yes it was.” He sounded particularly smug.
“I haven’t danced like that… ever. Only Raven could get me to do something so silly.” She laughed. “Good thing nobody will remember it in the morning.”
Bellamy smirked. “Oh, I will. I’ll never forget you shaking your-”
Her hand covered his mouth. “Don’t finish that sentence,” she warned.
His shoulders shook with laughter as he pried her hand off, but their fingers linked together instead of pulling away.
“I’m glad we did this. They really needed it,” she said after a moment.
Jasper just knew, from her quiet voice, that they meant the rest of the 47. Of course she’d been behind the heightened moonshine. The two of them never stopped thinking about everyone else.
Clarke tilted her head back to look at Bellamy.
“You really needed it.”
He didn’t deny it, only saying, “So did you.”
Her head dropped back to his shoulder. “Mmm. I did. I haven’t felt my age in a long time.”
“That’s because you’re a middle-aged woman trapped in an 18-year-old’s body,” Bellamy replied, and she elbowed him in the ribs.
“Hey! Middle-aged? Have you ever seen a middle-aged woman dance like that?”
His grin turned cheeky again and she slapped his arm repeatedly. “Stop replaying it in your head!”
Bellamy's laughter bounced off the walls and Jasper shook his head, quietly retracing his steps until he smelled fresh air. What the hell had they done to that moonshine?
It was one of the most beautiful days Octavia had ever seen. The wind rushed through the trees, carefree and wild, sending leaves scattering and her hair flying around her. The sun was out in full force, as if to apologize for the many days it had been away. The sky was the bluest of blues. Even the clouds were fluffy and light, nothing like the dark covering that had blanketed the sky and brought storms for days. So she’d gone on a hike with Lincoln, partly because she knew he wanted to and partly because she wanted to be alone with him. As always, she’d promised her brother she’d be careful and agreed to find a few extra herbs for Clarke.
She hadn’t realized how far out they were until she saw the cliff face. Turning back, she and Lincoln had just sat down to rest when she heard a splash. Her head whipped around.
“The hot springs.” Lincoln answered her question before she could even ask. “Remember, I told you there was one here? Your brother mentioned he found it the other day. A few of your people must have come to see.”
Octavia nodded, patting his knee. “I’m going to go look. Be right back.”
He looked like he was about to protest, but instead he just smiled and said, “Knife in your belt?”
“And my boot.” She grinned and kissed him quickly before slipping through the trees. Sure enough, the ground dipped after a couple of minutes, and she could feel the steam from the geyser permeating the air.
“I can’t believe you actually found it!”
Octavia slowed down at Clarke’s voice.
“Always the tone of surprise,” came Bellamy’s reply, and she stopped altogether for a full minute.
Carefully, she tiptoed through the trees until she got as close as she dared. Clarke and Bellamy sat side by side on the ground, their pants rolled up to their knees as their feet dipped into the hot water. Their shoes lay a few feet away, next to the guns.
“Do you know what this means?” Clarke said excitedly. “There’s so much we could use this for. So much potential. And now we know there’s one, there must be more. What if-”
“Princess, does your mind ever power down?” Bellamy interrupted with a grin.
She rolled her eyes and splashed water at him. “I’m just saying-”
“I know. But look around you. The sun is shining, there’s no Grounders to be seen, nobody’s got a life-threatening injury… hell, I think I even heard a bird chirp. And you’re sitting at a hot spring,” he said pointedly. “Relax, for once in your life.”
He flicked water at her and she shoved him, grinning.
“I don’t even know how to do that anymore.” She’d meant it as a joke, but a real sadness crept into her voice and Bellamy glanced over at her. The ache in his eyes said he understood her far too well. She kicked absently at the water until he nudged her. When she looked up, he offered a gentle smile.
“First things first, you gotta turn your mind off. No more thinking about the camp or patrols or patients. Just close your eyes and let yourself drift off.”
“Sounds a lot like sleeping.”
“Call it whatever you want, but you could use more of it.”
“Said the pot to the kettle.”
“Nothing,” she waved in embarrassment. “Just an old saying I read somewhere.”
“The pot calling the kettle black?”
Clarke eyes flew to his in surprise, a delighted smile bursting onto her face. He laughed. “Are you seriously telling me I’m the pot?”
Her laughter mingled with his for a few moments before she shook her head and laid back on the ground. "Alright. How's this for a start?"
Bellamy looked down at her until she tugged at his shirt and patted the spot beside her. With a grin, he stretched out on his back so they were shoulder to shoulder.
“So what now?”
“Now you stop asking, ‘what now’. Come on, Clarke, you can’t tell me there’s nothing you’d rather be doing." He turned curious eyes towards her. "What would you do, if you didn’t have all this to worry about?”
She was silent for sometime, her brow scrunched in thought. Then a longing sigh. “Paint.” She stared up at the sky, her finger tracing the fluffy white clouds. “I would paint this day. The trees, the clouds, the water. I never dreamed there could be so many colors. So many shades of blues and greens and browns.”
Clarke’s fond voice drifted on the wind, her words eventually coming out slower and slower until they stopped altogether. Bellamy grinned triumphantly as her eyes closed and her breathing evened out. He brushed a stray curl away from her face before resting his arms under his head and staring up at the sky.
Octavia returned to Lincoln, who looked up in surprise. “That was fast. Didn’t get tempted to jump in?”
“Nah.” She smiled. “It was just two idiots messing around.”
Miller walked nervously towards the tent. Bellamy was going to kill him. All his friend had asked was that he supervise the builders so he could have a morning to himself. Bellamy rarely asked for anything - so of course he’d agreed. But Dana just had to go out there earlier than the rest of them and climb to the second-highest level on her own. He’d followed her out of concern when she wouldn’t listen to his protests. She was so blinded by her need to impress the others that it made her reckless. The sharp snap of wood had been his only warning before she fell. It scared him so badly that he was a wreck for a full minute before managing to snap out orders at the few others who’d gathered nearby.
But the one thing he needed right now was Clarke, and she was nowhere to be found. So he had no choice but to go to Bellamy. Lifting the tent flap, he walked in and opened his mouth.
And stopped in his tracks.
Bellamy was stretched out on the cot, fast asleep. Though that was a miracle in itself, it wasn't what had Miller's attention. Miller was processing the pale arm that was wrapped tightly around Bellamy's waist, and the blonde hair that spilled over the dark blankets covering them both. Her face pressed between his shoulder blades, barely visible, but there was no doubt in his mind.
He’d found Clarke.
Miller started to back away, his brain trying to process how to wake them up without them realizing he’d seen anything. In his haste, he stumbled against a small stool, and by the time he regained his balance and glanced up, Bellamy was looking back at him.
They didn’t speak for a moment, as Miller looked between him and the rifle that was laying right next to the cot. He honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if the gun was pointed at him. But when he opened his mouth to apologize, Bellamy held a hand up, pointing at the sleeping girl next to him. Miller nodded in understanding and watched as he carefully - and reluctantly - extracted himself from Clarke’s grip before walking over.
“What is it?” His voice was gruff with sleep, but otherwise he didn’t seem particularly angry.
“Dana. She went up on the damn wall to try and finish part of the cementing and… she fell.”
“Shit.” Bellamy rubbed a hand over his face. “Weren’t they supposed to start that later?”
“She wanted to go up early and surprise everyone.” Miller sighed. “I tried to talk her out of it, but she wouldn’t listen. I’m sorry, man. I didn’t mean to-”
They both turned to see Clarke sitting up on the cot, rubbing sleep from her eyes. Bellamy’s demeanor softened instantly. He knelt beside her, his voice low but urgent as he quickly explained the situation. By the time he was done, Clarke was wide awake and nodding. She swung her legs off the cot and pulled on her boots while asking him to make sure there was an empty bed ready in the medical bay. As she gathered her hair into a ponytail, he pressed a kiss to her forehead and squeezed her shoulder, so quick and simple that Miller didn’t even have time to look away. Then she’d grabbed a dark jacket off the chair and was walking over to him with a weary smile.
“Hey. Take me to her?”
He nodded gratefully. As they made their way over, he tried to answer Clarke’s questions about the injury as best he could. As soon as they reached Dana, he got out of the way and watched Clarke go to work, only stepping in to help when she asked. She was efficient and focused while managing to soothe the younger girl, and he admired her for it.
Sometime later, after Dana been taken to the medical bay and Clarke finally stopped moving around for longer than two seconds, the siblings found them. There was a full bag on Octavia’s shoulder, and she looked over at Dana and shook her head before walking by. Bellamy and Clarke shared a quick glance that managed to convey everything without saying a word.
Octavia emptied her bag on a nearby table, explaining that Lincoln had helped her find some plants to aid with healing. Clarke smiled in thanks and walked over, her ponytail swinging behind her.
Bellamy clapped a hand on Miller’s shoulder and he looked up in surprise. “Thanks for finding me so quickly earlier.”
Miller nodded in relief, answering his silent question. “Clarke’s the best we got.”
That prompted a brief grin from him. “Yeah, she is.”
They joined the two girls by the table as Clarke began grinding together some of the herbs. Octavia was still talking, pointing at a few specific items.
“And these two mixed together with water can be cooling, which he said to only use if-”
Octavia stopped mid-sentence and looked at Clarke strangely.
“Why are you wearing Bellamy’s jacket?”
“What?” Clarke looked down in confusion. “Oh. I must have grabbed his this morning when Miller came to get me,” she said distractedly.
The shrill response made Clarke’s head snap up. Her wide-eyed gaze landed on Bellamy, who grinned sheepishly and shrugged. Miller struggled to contain his laugh, but he needn’t have bothered.
Octavia’s whoop of joy could be heard for miles.