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i don’t even know if you exist and yet i crave you

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Bellamy Blake learned young that not everyone was given a soulmate, but once you were given one, you had them until the end of the line. No one knew how they came about, but it happened at different ages for different people. His mother was in her thirties when she died, and she’d only received the marks that told her she had a soulmate a few months beforehand. His younger sister, Octavia, however, got hers when she was nine.

He received his at age twenty, four days after his birthday.

It started with a drawing of a dick on his forehead when he woke up in the morning.

Bellamy hadn’t been drunk the night before, and he walked into his bathroom, carrying the regular dull ache of sleeping on his shitty mattress. He groaned when he caught sight of the dick on his head, peeking through his messy curls.

“Why,” he moaned, splashing some water on his face before trying to scrub at it. Only, the mark wouldn’t come off; there was no smudging on his hand, nor on his forehead, and the dick stayed in perfect shape. It was crudely drawn, Bellamy noticed when he stared at it incredulously, with dashes of hair around the balls and the great idea to make little drops of jizz look as if they’re spurting out from the tip.

A little more annoyed now, Bellamy gave washing it off another go, before he moved to the door.

“Murphy!” He yelled. A moment later there was a thumping of one of his housemates falling out of their bed and a groan.

“Shut up!” Miller yelled from somewhere else in the house.

“What?” Murphy called weakly.

“Did you fucking do this to my head?”

“Do what?” Bellamy didn’t bother to knock on Murphy’s bedroom door, but pushed his way into the filth of the room. Clothes littered the floor and there was a musty smell like the windows had never been opened. Murphy was in the process of climbing back onto the bed, his blanket trailing haphazardly behind him.

“Do this?” Bellamy hissed, using his hand to lift his hair back. It was still damp and stuck backwards when Bellamy dropped his hand again. Murphy glanced curiously over his shoulder, before laughing.

“Dude, who fucking got you?” Bellamy’s housemate turned over in his bed, but his blanket didn’t follow. Bellamy groaned, slapping a hand over his eyes and looking away.

“Cover up,” he complained. “No one needs to see that!”

“On the contrary,” Murphy replied, prim. “Everyone needs to have this view at least once, it’s quite marvellous.”

“Spell ‘marvellous’,” Bellamy said dryly. Murphy paused before grunting.

“Touché.” Huffing, Bellamy lowered his hand from his face, looking back to his housemate. His eyes clamped shut when he found that Murphy hadn’t moved. That moment, Miller wandered in.

“What’s goin- dude! Cover that!” Murphy cackled and gave them the all clear a few seconds later. Bellamy cautiously glanced back to find the blankets properly covering Murphy’s body.

“My eyes are scarred,” he said with a sigh.

“I want that imagine out of my mind,” Miller agreed. “Now, what’s happening?” Bellamy turned to Miller, who promptly burst into laughter.

“Murphy, you did that?” Miller asked. Murphy shook his head from where he sat.

“I assumed you did. But hey – Bellamy’s allowed to show his dick but I can’t show mine?”

“Bellamy’s is better than yours,” Miller shot back, nodding to the drawing.

Bellamy huffed, rubbing his eyes with the back of his hand. “Guys,” he interrupted, exasperated. “Which one of you did this?”

“Neither, apparently,” Miller replied.

“Then who was here last night?” The other two glanced at one another before shrugging.

“No one,” Murphy said. “Remember? We watched Netflix and played darts with a picture of Miller’s ex.” Bellamy nodded, the image of Bryan’s face speared on the dartboard in his mind. Miller began to laugh again – a realising laugh, like he knew what was happening.

“Dude- Bell,” he grinned. “Did you try washing it off?” Bellamy nodded. “And it wouldn’t come off?” Miller laughed again. “I think you’ve got a soulmate,” Miller decided. “And someone drew a dick on their forehead last night.”

Murphy started laughing too, and Bellamy sighed, banging his head steadily on the door a few times. After a moment, he looked over to Murphy.

“Do you have a marker?” He asked. Murphy pointed him to a cluttered desk; a pair of shoes on his laptop, with rubbish and carrier bags covering the surface. Bellamy rifled through his stuff before finding a pen.

“What are you doing?” Miller asked. Bellamy pulled open a curtain and Murphy groaned from the sudden light.

“Writing a message,” he replied simply. Bellamy uncapped the pen using his mouth and wrote on the inside of his forearm.

Clean the dick off of your forehead, please. Some of us have work today.

-

Luckily, the drawing was gone by the time Bellamy went to go through the stock at the bar, which was mid-afternoon. As he arrived, Bellamy rolled up his sleeves, ready to work, and found a note underneath his.

Sorry.

He smiled to himself – he had a soulmate; an actual person who was out there, who he would love and who would hopefully love him back. Bellamy went into the toilets to wash off his note before going to work. Whilst this was a big thing – it was huge; a way to communicate with his perfect person – he also had work to do.

Bellamy owned the Dropship bar, and had for a few years beforehand. It had nearly gone under twice, but he’d just reached another calm period where it felt like the place could run for years. He was figuring out some more excessive budgeting techniques when he saw the lines start to form.

They weren’t much, but it was happening in real time – first a curved ‘W’ in what looked like a red marker, and then an ‘H’. After a moment, an entire message was written out.

What’s your name?

Bellamy stared at the writing for a moment; at the joined up letters, the over-sized question mark. He thought it was a girl – it looked like more feminine handwriting. But he couldn’t be sure because his was as neat as anything, and he knew no other man whose writing was so tidy. After a moment longer, he scrambled for a pen.

That sounds like some serious Tom Riddle shit.

For a split second, Bellamy wondered if it would have been easier to say his name. What if they didn’t appreciate the joke? What if they didn’t get it? Then his nerves calmed – this was his soulmate. They would get the joke, or at least, want to understand it. The universe wouldn’t pair him up with someone who didn’t like his sense of humour, right?

You ruined my plan already. Ginny, I’m ashamed.

Bellamy smiled – the universe had, for the first time, done right by him.

Sorry, Tom.

-

The thing about Tom – or, whatever their real name was – was that they had the uncanny ability to make Bellamy lose track of what he was doing, and instead stare at his arm, waiting for the response. It went on for months, like this. They never bothered to say their actual names, and sometimes remembering that there was another person who would receive the same marks as him just never happened.

Bellamy would remember when marks wouldn’t wash off at night, but otherwise he found himself writing his appointments and notes on the back of his hands. Sometimes Tom would draw little smiley faces next to them, little thumbs ups and well wishes. Other times, Bellamy would find entire doodles – massive drawings all the way up his arms, likes tattoos – and if he wrote (badly) on his other arm using his less dominant hand, that they were fantastic, he’d get a perfectly written response, saying thank you.

Sometimes they talked – if he couldn’t get to sleep he’d write ‘hello’ or a question on his hand and by morning his arms and legs would be covered with words and drawings; so many that he couldn’t follow the trail from beginning to end, and would walk downstairs in a shirt and boxers and his housemates would stare at him.

“What the hell happened to you?” Miller would ask, like always.

“I was talking with Tom,” Bellamy replied every single time.

It felt odd to go in the shower after those nights; wash away his half of the conversation and wonder if Tom – wherever they may be – would be watching the ink fade from their body. Bellamy sure did when he noticed the other half of the notes vanishing before his very eyes. He’d still watch a little section that didn’t leave though – and sometimes it just didn’t, like Tom had missed one little square on the back of their right calf.

“Is Tom’s name actually Tom?” Octavia asked one afternoon. Bellamy currently had a complex pattern on his shoulder – henna, Tom had told him the day before, before expressing how surprised they were that it worked like pen – and a smudged shopping list on the back of his hand that Tom had written-

chocolate, eggs, vodka x 4

“I doubt it,” Bellamy replied, resting his feet on the coffee table. Octavia had met her soulmate the previous year – a tall, muscular man named Lincoln, who was a few years older than even Bellamy. Whilst Octavia was still a teenager, living with their aunt Indra only a few roads away from Bellamy, the two soulmates had agreed to stay friends. Lincoln was an artist – much like Tom, it seemed – and Octavia’s arms were always covered with different patterns and designs, as if Lincoln sat down every day and spent his time drawing something beautiful for Octavia to look at.

Bellamy supposed, despite the age difference, that his sister had landed herself with a good soulmate.

“Is Tom even a guy?” Octavia questioned next. Bellamy paused before shrugging.

“I’ve never asked.”

“And you wouldn’t mind?” Bellamy shook his head.

“Girl, guy, whatever –the universe knows they’re going to be perfect for me, I’m not worried.” Octavia stared at him for a second, before looking helplessly at Miller, in the armchair. Bellamy’s best friend shrugged, shaking his head.

“Have you even asked to meet with this person?” Octavia asked incredulously. As Bellamy opened his mouth to reply, Octavia kept speaking. “This person who is your perfect person? Meet the person you’re destined to be with? Even consider that you have a direct line of communication with the person you know will be perfect for you?”

Bellamy didn’t respond and his sister huffed.

“You’re wasting this, Bell.”

-

Then, a few days later, he woke up to the word ‘DYKE’ across his forehead.

Have you seen your forehead?

The response came a few minutes later.

Yeah.

What happened?

Nothing.

Bellamy underlined his question, and looked back at the bathroom mirror, watching the word on his forehead smudge and wipe in different directions. A moment later, the words on his arm disappeared too. Tom didn’t write back.

Bellamy erased his notes before writing more, asking if Tom was okay, asking what happened, who did it, if they wanted to talk.

Tom didn’t say anything and Bellamy wondered if they were trying to scrub at the skin where he’d written, too. He wondered if they were scratching at their skin until it was raw, just trying to get rid of the words he’d left.

Bellamy erased them, too, and ended up leaving a single note.

I’m here if you need me.

-

Tom didn’t draw on their arms anymore – sometimes there were notes; appointments and times. Various doctors they were reminding themselves to see, pages in a book, and Bellamy held these small reminders of there being a person out there that was perfect for him. The drawings never resurfaced, but sometimes there were ink smudges and small lines like they’d accidently caught themselves with their pen, that Bellamy would stare at until they were slowly rubbed off.

Bellamy washed off and rewrote his same note every morning.

I’m here if you need me.

“Tom’s just not talking to you anymore?” Miller asked, pouring a mug of coffee. Bellamy nodded, moving to sit on the counter.

“Maybe you need to make a bigger action then,” Murphy suggested. When Bellamy frowned at him, he shrugged. “How long has it been?”

“Almost a month.”

“Precisely,” Murphy replied. “A month, you’re miserable, they’re probably miserable, and we’re starving because you haven’t gone shopping in weeks and all we have left is oatmeal and coffee.” Bellamy rolled his eyes, jumping down from the counter.

He moved back into his room, and pulled out a marker pen. First, he wrote his note – I’m here if you need me – over and over across his skin. The words covered his arms, his legs, feet, and he left it at that.

The next day Bellamy washed them off and looked for a response – hoping he’d just missed it amongst his own writing. But when he only found clean skin, Bellamy took out the pen again.

Tom, please talk to me.

He wrote it everywhere, hoping for his response, and looked that evening as he undressed for a reply. There was only the fading ink on the back of his hand from an appointment. The next morning, when he woke up and washed off his writings, he found a single word on the back of his hand:

Clarke.

Bellamy grinned then, rushing out of the shower to write directly underneath it. He assumed that was Tom’s real name – and Bellamy still couldn’t figure out their gender.

Bellamy.

Only a few minutes later was there a response.

Is that a girl’s name?

Boy’s.

Really?

This was underlined a few times.

Is yours a boy’s name?

Girl’s.

Then you’re not one to talk at all.

They moved back into the way they used to be – albeit slowly. The drawings slowly came back, alongside the conversations and notes. When she wrote her shopping list on the inside of her arm that she was going to pick up strawberries, Bellamy draw an arrow and wrote that he was allergic to them.

Allergic to happiness???

He grinned at the response.

When he worked at the bar, Bellamy would always keep a pen nearby in case she – his soulmate, Clarke – wanted to start up a conversation. After a while, she expressed that she’d stopped because she couldn’t cope with having a soulmate for a while; she’d fallen asleep at parties before and the worst she’d ever had drawn on her skin were dicks, like the one Bellamy had shared with her. She’d never had a slur across her forehead, and Clarke had supposed that referring to Bellamy by the name Ginny hadn’t helped her case at all. After that there was a downwards spiral she hadn’t figured out how to get herself out of. That confession took up his entire thigh and Bellamy frowned the entire time he read it.

People can be assholes.

He couldn’t think of a better response than that, but Clarke didn’t seem to mind.

That they can.

-

The drawings that covered his arms reappeared one day and Octavia stopped in the doorway when she saw them.

“Are those Tom’s?” She asked, moving towards him. Bellamy nodded. He’d been over the moon to find her drawing on their arms again, but Octavia had seen them before, so he wasn’t sure why she was so amazed this time.

“Yeah, why?”

“Are you sure you don’t know Tom’s real name?”

“Oh, I know her name,” Bellamy responded, moving away and into the kitchen. The cupboards were full again and Bellamy stared at the contents, trying to decide what he was going to do for dinner.

“You do?” Octavia asked incredulously, following him. “Why didn’t you tell me?” He shrugged, not knowing the answer.

“Why did you want to know anyway?” Bellamy questioned, barely looking over his shoulder.

“I’d just…” she trailed off for a moment before starting again. “I saw this already today.” Bellamy frowned at his sister.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, one of Lincoln’s friends – she had this on her arm.” Bellamy’s eyes widened and stared at his sister.

“Clarke,” he breathed. Octavia stared back at the same moment.

“Yes! That’s her name! Is that-“ she looked to the drawings on his arm. “That’s-“ It hit him suddenly; a realisation he hadn’t been ready to make.

“I have to meet her, O. I have to.”

-

 Octavia’s plan for Bellamy announcing to Clarke that he was her soulmate was much more romantic than his. But, Bellamy wanted to be himself – to show Clarke what kind of soulmate she was getting, so he went with his own idea.

There weren’t any drawings today, and Bellamy didn’t really stop to think about it. Instead, he gave a marker to Murphy, who smirked back.

“Are you sure this is how you’re going to do it?” he asked. Bellamy nodded.

“I wouldn’t do it any other way.” Murphy shrugged, uncapping the pen and drawing carefully on Bellamy’s forehead. It was only twenty minutes later that a note on his arm appeared.

You have a dick on your forehead.

Bellamy didn’t reply with anything other than a smiley face, and ignored the question marks she sent back when he didn’t wipe off the drawing. As the morning went on, Clarke’s messages progressively got more and more pleading-

Pleasssssee Bellamy

I have friends to meet today.

I can’t go out with a dick on my forehead.

Not even my hat will cover this properly.

I will find you and wash it off myself at this rate.

I will never live this down.

You’re a dickhead in every sense of the word.

I suppose I am too but that’s irrelevant.

Bellamy just grinned at them, and patted his hair down over the crude image, before pulling on a beanie, just for insurance.

He climbed into his car and picked up Octavia on the way to Lincoln’s house. There was a group get together that Lincoln had arranged; they were going to have a barbeque and play games – nothing taxing.

Clarke was supposed to be there.

“You know she might not come if she has a dick on her forehead, right?” Octavia asked, climbing out of the car. Bellamy nodded.

“If she doesn’t then I’ll get Lincoln to give me her address,” he replied with a shrug. Bellamy didn’t mind how it happened, he just wanted to enjoy the moment.

Lincoln greeted him when they entered, and moved them through the house, listing out names. Bellamy got lost after Raven, Monty, Jasper, and just waited for the one name he was looking for.

“Oh, and Clarke’s outside, refusing to come in.” Bellamy quirked an eyebrow and Octavia smirked.

“Why would she do that?” Bellamy asked, trying to keep a straight face. Lincoln shrugged, a smile toying at his lips.

“She was complaining about her dickhead soulmate when she arrived, and I think she had a mark on her forehead or something that he wouldn’t wash off?” Bellamy smiled, nodding, and Lincoln pulled Octavia away to meet someone. Bellamy watched for a second before turning to go outside. He braced himself.

Outside, the world was bright and sunny. The barbeque smoked and a girl stood by it, poking it with a pair of tongs. She had blonde hair that shone in the sunlight, and her arm was covered in black ink of little scrawls. Bellamy knew they were her notes, begging him to wipe off the dick on his forehead. She looked up briefly when the sliding door was pushed back against the frame, but she ducked her head back down almost immediately.

“The party’s inside,” she told him, flipping over a burger. Her voice was absolute heaven for Bellamy, and it just made him smile more.

“I’m sure it’s more interesting out here,” he replied. He moved over to Clarke, and watched as she tried not to look over. She didn’t reply, just focused on the food sizzling away in front of them.

“Come on Clarke,” Bellamy smiled. Her head darted up for a moment – not recognising his voice and not knowing his name, either. “I didn’t mean to be a dickhead.” He pushed his hands into his pocket and Clarke slowly turned to look at him.

Her hair did nothing to cover up the penis that Murphy had drawn; as similar to the original as possible. It looked downright horrendous.

She gazed at him with narrowed blue eyes and a cautious look, before Bellamy slipped off the beanie and lifted his hair.

“I just thought this was more romantic than writing ‘found you’ on my hand,” he shrugged. For a moment, Bellamy was sure that he’d wrecked it. Clarke stared for a moment of dead silence, before her lips quirked upwards and a laugh escaped her mouth.

Bellamy laughed with her, and the moment was all kinds of pure and perfection – he had never, in his wildest dreams, considered meeting his soulmate this way, but nothing felt more right.

It seemed as if Clarke felt the same way, because she moved forward without hesitation, pressing her lips against his. He experienced vertigo, his legs wanting to give out from underneath him – Clarke held them up, her mouth sure on his and her hands deft and soft.

When she pulled away at last, they both stared at one another before breaking out into laughter once again.

“It’s great to meet you,” she told him, pressing another chaste kiss to his lips. “But, for the love of God, please wash that dick off your forehead.”