With two new graves dug, Bellamy finally realizes he’s going to need help keeping everyone alive, but first he has to get everyone inside the walls.
1108 words | rating: PG
Bellamy finds Clarke sitting against a tree, staring at the freshly turned earth. The sun’s gone down, and it’s getting cold. Behind him, the kids are locking the camp down for the night. Threat of another Grounder attack blankets the camp with a layer of tension that weighs down everyone’s spirits. No one wants to be caught outside the hastily built wall, especially at night. Except one person.
Clarke hugs her legs tight to her chest, face buried in her knees. Her shoulders rise and fall with each muffled sob. He has no idea what to say to her, but if there’s one thing he’s learned in the few days on the ground, though, it’s that you have to approach Clarke Griffin head-on.
Bellamy clears his throat. “You shouldn’t be out here by yourself.”
Clarke says nothing, but she tenses at the sound of his voice.
“Look, it’s getting dark. You need to come back inside the wall where it’s safe.” His eyes dart to the grave in front of her—one of two new ones dug yesterday.
“What do you care?” she murmurs into her knees.
Why does he care? Clarke has got to be the most frustrating person Bellamy’s ever met. She’s bossy, brash, and overbearing. It doesn’t matter what he does, she’s arguing the opposite side, making him second guess every decision, sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. But then there are moments she takes him completely by surprise.
Two days ago, he watched her plunge a knife into someone’s neck. She didn’t do it all cold and emotionless. No, not Clarke Griffin. She hummed, showing the compassion of a lover as she killed a boy to save him from a drawn-out, painful death.
Bellamy had threatened to kill Jasper in a moment of arrogant superiority. He really thought he could do it if it settled everyone down and put the kid out of his misery. It wasn’t murder if the kid was going to die anyway, right? But then Atom. He sat there watching his friend die, and he couldn’t do it. But Clarke could. In that moment, he’d seen someone entirely different from the pretentious, know-it-all princess he assumed her to be.
She lets out a sob then sucks it back in. Bellamy runs a hand over his face then squats down in front of her. “Hey,” he says, tapping her knee. “Clarke.” She refuses to look at him. He sighs, letting his hands dangle between his knees. “I know this is hard for you, but you need to come inside. It’s not safe out here.”
“Just leave me alone.”
Bellamy shakes his head. “Not gonna happen, princess. I can’t leave you out here alone.”
“For one, you’re not armed. And two, you’re not exactly in the best state of mind for making rational decisions.”
She snorts. “Because you’re such a great judge on rational decision making.”
He smiles—surprised that Clarke even has a sense of humor—then sinks down next to her. He rests his head against the tree, eyes fluttering closed. The air tingles his skin in an unfamiliar way. It feels good. It feels natural, unlike the recycled air on the Ark. A fight breaks out inside the wall, but he’s too tired to care at the moment.
“Are you really going to sit out here all night?”
Bellamy glances down at her. “If you’re staying out here then I’m staying out here.”
She frowns. “Why?”
He’s tired of dancing around the subject. “Because I don’t want anything to happen to you.”
“I am being serious, Clarke. These kids need you.”
She looks away. “Right, the kids need me.” She sniffles again.
“God, Bellamy, why can’t you just leave me alone?”
Anger boils up. Why does she have to be so ungrateful all of the time? But then she starts crying again. Big, stupid tears spilling down her cheeks, soaking the knees of her pants. Something wrenches in his chest then drops to the pit of his stomach. He thinks it might be his heart.
He squeezes her arm gently. “Because you just lost your best friend, and you shouldn’t be alone. Because you’re the closest thing to a doctor we have. Because-” He sucks up his pride and catches her eyes. “Because I can’t run this place on my own. I need your help.” The other night made him realize that, because there are things he’s not prepared to do—can’t do. But Clarke never hesitates.
As if to highlight his point, the yelling from inside the camp gets louder. There’s a crash and a scream. Bellamy rubs at his tired eyes, letting his head fall back.
“What happened to ‘whatever the hell we want?’” She sniffles then wipes her nose on the sleeve of her jacket.
He groans. He knew that would come back to bite him in the ass. “Things are different now. The Grounders-”
“I’ll go inside,” Clarke interrupts, “if you admit you were wrong.”
He frowns at her, trying to hide his relief. “Wrong about what? No one suspected there were people on the ground.”
Clarke’s eyes narrow, but the corner of her mouth twitches. “That’s not it.”
Bellamy stands, stretching his arms over his head. “Wrong about how useless princesses are?”
“Close, but no.”
He bites back a smile at her eye-roll then reaches a hand down to her. She stares at it for a few seconds before gripping it tightly. He easily lifts her to her feet but doesn’t let go. Her fingers are cold but soft—so different from his own covered in cuts and callouses. His thumb rubs over her knuckles as he steps closer.
“Fine. You were right,” Bellamy says softly. “We need rules or someone’s going to get hurt.” They both look at the mounds of dirt marked by simple wooden crosses. He sighs, letting her hand slip from his. “Maybe if we work together we won’t be digging graves every other day.”
Clarke sniffles then wipes her cheeks with the backs of her hands. When her entire body trembles, Bellamy puts a gentle hand on her shoulder, turning her towards camp. She goes without protest, his hand sliding down her arm as they walk. He squeezes her hand once when they get to the gate. She gives him a weak smile then walks in ahead of him.
Bellamy takes one last look into the dark forest then glances at Miller standing guard. “Anyone else missing?”
“You’re the last.”
“Good. Lock ‘er up,” he says, twirling his finger in the air as he follows Clarke. At least they’re all safe for one more night.