Octavia finds Bellamy late one night, sitting at the edge of Camp Jaha. Alone, because of course he is.
Because apparently, if he can’t have Clarke Griffin, the rest of the world can’t have him.
She sits next to him, and joins him in his stargazing. The stars look different from the ground, and even though she only saw them from space for a few fleeting moments, she knows they’re more beautiful down here. Down here, they blend with the horizon of mountains and trees. Down here, they’re far away, and she doesn’t mind at all.
He’s thinking about Clarke. He gets this distant, sad look in his eyes whenever he does. And as much as Octavia burns whenever she thinks of Clarke, the angel fallen from grace, she knows that her brother is hopelessly devoted to her.
Flashes of Gustus and Lexa run through her mind, and she shudders.
“She thinks she wouldn’t be welcome,” Bellamy murmurs gruffly. Octavia frowns. “That has to be it. She thinks she’s alone.”
“Bell . . .” Octavia says softly, “Some demons are just too much. Clarke leaving has nothing to do with us . . . it’s all Clarke. This is something she has to face alone.”
“It doesn’t have to be,” Bellamy growls, “She knew that. I told her. And she left anyways.”
“Some people just cannot handle what they become,” Octavia says darkly, “Bellamy, Clarke is . . . she’s changed. She let hundreds die at Tondc.”
“And we killed hundreds at the Mountain,” he interjects. “She did what she thought she had to do.”
“Exactly. And that is why she left, because Clarke always does what she has to do. And you need to do the same.” Octavia grabs his hand, beseeching. “You cannot waste away because of her. Clarke has taken enough of you from me. Don’t let her have your soul when she isn’t even here to care for it-“
“You are and always will be my top priority, O,” Bellamy says angrily, “Clarke knew that, and you know that too. So don’t try and use that to-“ He stops mid-sentence, eyes squeezing shut, and takes a deep breath. They sit in a tense silence for a while until he finally looks at her. “Do you remember the stories I told you when you were a kid?”
There were many. Bellamy was always fascinated by history and mythology, and always had a new anecdote or story to tell her. Her favorites were always the ones their mother would help him with.
On the Ark, countries no longer existed, but everyone fought desperately to keep what was left of their cultures alive. Bellamy, especially, was proud of the heritage he inherited from whoever the hell his father was.
“I’m Filipino,” he had said proudly when she first asked, “I’m even learning a whole new language: Tagalog.”
Filipino mythology, in particular, always seemed to fascinate him, so whenever he wasn’t telling her stories of the first World War or the exploits of the gods and goddesses of Olympus, he was telling her stories that took place on beaches, with beautifully foreign names and creatures. Why mosquitoes would buzz in people’s ears. A tale of a feud between the ocean and a crow. Why old trees in the Philippines would weep syrup. A prince who wanted to marry a silkworm who was actually a beautiful princess. Most of the creatures in his stories were foreign to her, so Bellamy would have to bring old-Earth books to show them to her.
“I remember them all,” Octavia says. Bellamy’s mouth curls into something like a smile.
“Do you remember the story of Alunsina?” Octavia furrows her brows. “I didn’t think so, you fell asleep halfway through.”
“Refresh my memory, then!” Her brother’s got that look in his eye again, so she gently prods him. “Come on, it’ll be just like old times.”
Bellamy offers her a small smile. “Before there were people and animals, before the Earth even, there lived Langit, a gentle and compassionate god. He had a wife, too, named Alunsina, and they loved each other with everything they had.
“The world, however, was chaos, and Langit wanted to make order of it. He wanted to make it a comfortable home for the creatures he wanted to create. He told Alunsina of his plan for creation, but knew it would take many months. He even offered to take her with him.”
“But Alunsina hated long journeys,” Octavia breathes, remembering, “So he told her to wait, and that he would return.”
Bellamy nods. “Langit loved Alunsina, but he was frustrated. He wanted her to have the energy to create with him. And Alunsina could not understand why Langit would want to create when they had everything they needed with each other.”
At this, he pauses. He shakes out of it, however, and continues, “Langit worked for many months. Alunsina never heard from him, however, and began to worry. She summoned the Wind, and told him to find Langit. She told the Wind he could be in terrible danger, but really, she just missed him terribly.
“She didn’t want Langit to know how worried she was, so she told Wind to remain hidden. And off the Wind flew, to find Langit hard at work.Wind could not remain hidden, and when Langit discovered he was sent by Alunsina, he grew angry. He wondered why Alunsina hadn’t even bothered to come herself.
“He told Wind to tell Alunsina to leave. He told Wind she was lazy and selfish, and didn’t understand his work. Wind obeyed.”
“I think this is where I fell asleep,” Octavia teases gently, “Because I can’t remember the rest.” Bellamy rolls his eyes before continuing.
“Weeks later, Langit returned to find his home empty. Without Alunsina, the house was dull and lifeless. He slept alone, no longer was bathed in the warmth of her love and kisses. To distract himself from his loneliness, Langit created animals and fish and birds, but nothing was enough.” Bellamy glances down at his hands. “Nothing,” he echoes.
“Langit knew he could only be happy if Alunsina returned. He took his wife’s jewels and flung them across the sky, and they became the stars. Her pearls became the planets, her comb the moon, and her crown the sun. He hoped Alunsina would see the beauty he created for her and return home.
“But she never did,” Bellamy finishes quietly, “And sometimes, the pain becomes too much, and Langit’s tears fall to the Earth as rain.”
His eyes find the stars again, and Octavia wonders if these stars are the jewels he scattered, hoping Clarke would see them and return home.
“Why are you telling me this?” Octavia asks.
“Because,” Bellamy replies shakily, “I understand him, O. I understand Langit. I worked hard to make this place a place worth living in. Clarke and I fought to get our people back, we gave up our goddamned souls to do it, and once we do, she just leaves.” His eyes shut. “And I have nothing beautiful to give her to make her come back.”
“You’re wrong,” Octavia murmurs, “We do have something here. Something amazing. We have survivors and warriors and alliances we couldn’t have imagined." Bellamy still doesn't seem to be getting it, so she moves to crouch in front of him. "Build up this camp, build everything she could have dreamed of. And when she comes back, she’ll know she left her people in good hands.” Bellamy shoots her a rueful smile.
“I thought you were pissed at her.”
She is. Maybe she always will be. But Octavia also knows that Clarke, good or bad, would die for her and would burn cities for her brother, so that has to be worth something.
Octavia smirks. “I’m working through my shit. You should too, big brother.”
Bellamy cannot fling jewels and gold into the heavens, so he builds. And builds. And then builds some more. He starts with the medical bay, to nobody’s surprise. Raven joins him about two days into his project, and Wick joins in as well, because he’s Wick.
“Why are you always butting into my business?” she teases. Kyle winks.
“As I recall, you seem to like it when I butt into your business.”
Bellamy ignores her at first, but she’s a mechanic and he’s not, so eventually he welcomes her help. She, Wick, and he talk about everything and nothing. Bellamy usually just listens, and Raven is fine with that. Wick tends to talk enough for all three of them as he hovers around Raven, fingers brushing her back as she works or lips pressing against her hair in a quick kiss.
At first, Clarke is an elephant in the room. Raven may never forget what Clarke did to Finn (for Finn), but she has long forgiven her. She cares for her. And she knows, like everyone else at Camp Jaha, that Bellamy is slowly wasting away without her. He tells them, eventually, the story of Alunsina, and his eyes look so sad by the story’s end that Wick shoots straight into an over-the-top retelling of Humpty Dumpty.
One day, however, Raven’s brace breaks, and she falls onto the corner of a table, practically cutting her arm open. Abby is busy with a hunting accident, so one of her apprentices stitches Raven’s arm back together. Wick is right by her side, as always, and Bellamy sulks in a corner, watching the procedure with concerned eyes.
The kid (really, why does Abby have a fourteen-year-old stitching people?) leaves with a shaky wave, and Raven waits until he is out of site before commenting, “Clarke would have done better.”
Instantly, Bellamy’s head snaps up, and Raven bites her lip. Oops.
“I bet you wouldn’t have even had a scar,” he says after a pregnant pause. Kyle smiles and squeezes her hand. “Now come on, engineer, let’s get back to work,” Bellamy says. Raven pokes Wick in the side.
“I’ll supervise,” she says cheerfully.
The medbay becomes a clinic within weeks. Miller and Monty join the project two weeks in, and Jasper even shows up a week later. When it’s finished, Abby allows them to throw a party in celebration, which ends up being the entire camp taking off and sitting around for a few hours.
Bellamy, however, is a very noticeable absence. Raven asks Octavia where the hell the architect of the entire project is, and the girl just shrugs.
“Probably wishing Clarke was here.”
Octavia’s intuition proves correct when she finds him near the gate. He doesn’t acknowledge her presence as she sits by him.
“Well,” he says finally, “I tossed out my stars. Think she’ll see them?”
Raven smiles. “Definitely.”
There’s another myth, one Bellamy told Clarke one night when she couldn’t sleep, before they burned 300 Grounders, before the Mountain Men, about the first rainbow. A princess, Bighari, the youngest of the deities, was always late for important meetings called by her father Bathala, king of Heaven. One day, her father declared he would no longer tolerate what he thought was her insolence, and banished her from Heaven. Her brothers and sisters all begged for mercy for their absent sister, but Bathala could not be moved. If Bighari preferred playing in her gardens, she could remain there forever. Bighari was indeed in her gardens, having lost track of time. When she was informed of her banishment, she was crushed.
Clarke thinks about Bighari a lot during her solitude. The young girl who only wanted beauty, but ended up alone because of it. For weeks, which quickly bleed into months, she just wanders through the wilderness. Sometimes, she cries, and remains curled up beneath the same tree for hours on end. But she never stays still, she can’t. Being still means thinking of the haunted look in Jasper’s eyes, or the burning bodies of innocents at Tondc.
Four months into her exile, she stumbles upon a small Grounder village. Their leader, an older, scarred woman, asks Clarke in Trinsadaleg what she wants with them.
“Ai laik Klark kom Skaikru en ai gaf gouthru klir,” Clarke says clearly.
“Ai laik Lea kom Trigedakru,” the woman, Leah, replies. “And you are welcome in my village, Clarke of the Sky People.”
Though Leah and her people fall under Lexa’s dominion, they do not share the lust for battle Lexa had. They grow fruits and nuts, hunt with smiles on their faces. They love, and are loved in return.
“How do you live like this?” Clarke asks Leah one day. “No war, no bloodshed?” The older heda shrugs.
“We are irrelevant to the Commander’s ambition,” she says, “But she allows us to live in peace because this is where she began.” Clarke’s eyes widen.
“This is Lexa’s home?”
“No,” Leah replies with a wry smile, “But this is where she was born.”
“Did you know her as a child?” Clarke asks.
“I would hope so. She is ai yongon, my daughter.” Clarke’s shock must be evident, because the woman continues, “She has not returned to me since she was called to lead us. But she will come back to me.”
“How do you know?”
Leah smiles. “Because I know who she really is. And I have faith.”
Clarke tries remembering the last time she had faith. All she hears is Bellamy’s voice crackling through Raven’s radio.
Life goes on. Even in the aftermath of the death and destruction the war with the Mountain brought, life goes on. Clarke makes children smile, becomes friends with the village healer. She attends a Grounder wedding, dances in the celebration. She comes to terms with what she did, and vows to never forget, to make amends. To bring so much life into the world that it overcomes the death.
In Leah’s village, Clarke remembers how the myth did not end with Bighari’s sorrow. When she saves the life of a young warrior and his sister cries tears of joy, Clarke remembers how Bighari created thousands of bright flowers on Earth. And when she delivers a beautiful little girl to the world, Clarke remembers how the goddess used the flowers to create the first rainbow.
Clarke suggests they name the girl Bighari. They do.
She leaves for Camp Jaha the next day.
She thinks about Lexa as she treks back to the camp, and allows herself to hope that the beautiful, broken soul can one day return to the peace she came from. And if Lexa can, maybe she can too.
Now that she has a destination, Clarke’s journey home takes her one month. She stops at the Mountain and kneels on the grass, fingers digging into the ground. She allows herself to think of Maya and the children, allows herself to mourn the loss of life, the loss of innocence.
But she gets back up. She gets back up and keeps walking.
She awakes from nightmares that night, but this time, she lets herself see each burnt face, lets herself remember. She then recounts the faces of those she did save, the people she would not run away from anymore.
And she gets back up, and keeps walking.
She almost doesn’t recognize Camp Jaha when she emerges from the woods and sees the gates. They’ve built a second, sturdier wall, and though it’s not a masterful piece of architecture, it’s strong. Clarke feels a surge of pride for her people.
What a difference eighteen months can make.
“Holy shit!” comes a loud voice from the top of the wall. “Open the gates!”
The gates open, and Clarke doesn’t even have time to blink before she’s practically tackled to the ground by a very enthusiastic Monty. “We missed you,” he mumbles into her hair. Clarke lets out a surprised laugh as Monty lets go and guides her into the camp.
Raven and Wick emerge from a building (oh my goodness, they have buildings) and Clarke runs to them, enveloping first Wick, then Raven in tight hugs. She spies Octavia from over Raven’s shoulder, and the younger Blake offers a small smile and a node.
“Welcome back,” she mouths.
Jasper greets her next, pulling her in for a hug. “I understand,” he murmurs before adding, “It’s nice to have you back, Clarke.”
Clarke bursts into tears when she sees the clinic, and they flow even more freely when she learns who built it. It’s beautiful, and she knows that so many will benefit from the goodness of Bellamy Blake’s heart.
Word spreads quickly, and Clarke doesn’t get a moment alone until later that night. She sits alone with her mother in the clinic, marveling at the beautiful space.
“It became the camp’s pet project,” Abby says with a soft smile, “Bellamy had everyone working on it.”
Clarke bites her lip. “Where is he?”
“Hunting with the Millers and Kane,” she replies, “I know he’ll be happy to see you.”
“Will he?” Clarke asks in a small voice. Abby chuckles.
“Clarke, honey, this boy built all of this just to give you a reason to smile when you returned. I’m sure he’ll be happy to see you.”
Clarke does not wait for him at the gates. Instead, she goes to his cabin and sits down on his cot. His walls are almost completely covered in maps and makeshift schedules, but her eyes are drawn to a particular corner. Two sketches are pinned up, and she’d know them anywhere.
She’d drawn them.
When they were about to return to the village where Finn had massacred 18 people, Bellamy had walked in on her on the verge of a breakdown. In panic, he had grabbed stray sheets of paper and a pencil from the Ark, and thrust them into her hands.
“Draw Bighari for me,” he had whispered, “Draw those stories I’ve told you.”
And there are her drawings, one of Bighari among wildflowers and one of Alunsina staring at a starry sky. Suddenly, Bellamy’s makeshift door opens, and Clarke whirls around.
He freezes in place when he sees her. He’s tanned a bit, and his hair looks like it needs to be cut. He’s let his beard grow out a bit, it’s like a shadow across his defined jaw. His face bears no new scars, and Clarke lets out a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding.
“After many years of her exile,” she says rapidly, words tumbling out of her mouth, “Bethala saw Bighari’s beautiful rainbow, and his heart was softened. And then-“
“-she came home,” Bellamy finishes in his gravelly, deep voice that she’s missed so much. Clarke’s mouth widens into a smile as Bellamy surges forward, pulling her into his arms.
“She came home,” she echoes, burying her face into his neck. There’s a sudden commotion from outside, and they break apart, Bellamy tugging her outside with him. Most of the kids and even a few adults have gathered, and all of them are staring at the sky in wonder. Bellamy’s arm snakes around her waist as he looks up. Clarke’s eyes follow their gazes, and she laughs, actually laughs, for the first time in what feels like centuries.
A rainbow arcs over the camp.