The 100 (TV) fic: At the Center of the Night
Sleepless nights send Bellamy and Clarke on a crash course to finally fixing their friendship. Post season 3.
2043 words | rating: R
I’m not even sure why I’m here. I was on my way back to my quarters, but took a wrong turn. I guess I wasn’t paying attention. But now that I’m here, I’m not sure what to do. The hall is dark, the power low to reflect the late hour, and it’s quiet. Everyone went to bed hours ago. I think about turning around. I think about going through with it. I think about running for my life because I’m sure this might be the biggest fucking mistake of my life.
All of this runs through my head in the matter of seconds. While my brain is trying to sort it out, my feet get a mind of their own. Next thing I know, I’m standing in front of Clarke’s quarters.
This is okay. Isn’t it? We’re friends. After everything we’ve been through, it’s perfectly normal for one friend to call on another. I ignore the fact that it’s three in the morning. She said we needed each other. That had to mean something, right? And right now I need her. I need to talk to her. She always gets me like no one else can, not even Octavia. I need to talk to her. I need to see her face. To assure myself that she’s still here. That she isn’t some cruel prank my brain is playing on me. That she’s real, and she stayed this time.
She needed me.
And now I need her.
I hover in front of her door, rooted by indecision. On one hand, Lexa just died. It’s not like I’m asking her to marry me—I just want to talk. To spend time with her. We’re friends. On the other hand, the world is probably going to end in another month. There aren’t going to be many more somedays. I pull my hand back to knock, but then I hear footsteps.
My heart leaps into my throat as someone rounds the corner, but it’s just one of the guards. Probably heading home from the late shift just like me. He barely gives me a nod as he passes, his heavy steps scuffing the floor. I let out a breath. This is ridiculous. If I’m jumping like a startled school kid caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar then I know this is wrong.
I spin on my heel and force myself to walk away. Without looking back. This never happened. I won’t even think about how close I came to making a fool out of myself. I’ll go home, take a hot shower, pretend I can sleep in my soft bed, and when I get up, she’ll have breakfast with me and our friends. She’s real. She’s here. She wants to be here.
Because she has nowhere else to go.
I hate that part of my brain that doubts everything. But I can’t turn it off. It’s been right more times than I want to admit. I still hate it though.
Before I know it, I’m rounding the corner of my corridor. I stop dead in my tracks as someone almost crashes into me. I reach out instinctively to steady the person. Our breaths hitch at the exact same time.
“I couldn’t sleep,” Clarke blurts out before I can even find my voice.
I nod dumbly. She bites her lip, eyes darting around like she’s afraid to see the expression on my face. But I can’t look away. She’s looks awful. In a beautiful way. Her hair is dry and brittle, still braided and matted. There are dark circles under her eyes and her skin is pale. Her cheeks slightly sunken. I know I’m not much better. The stress of living on the ground—the daily struggles just to survive—and the impending apocalypse have left us exhausted. Walking dead, the both of us.
I can’t look away, though, because she’s the most beautiful thing I’ve seen. My heart thuds painfully against my chest, threatening to tear free. I’m pretty sure Clarke can hear it. It takes effort to keep my breathing steady.
Her eyes finally meet mine, and her cheeks have lost that pallid look as pink tints her skin. It’s adorable. “You wanna come in?”
She furrows her brow, looking from me to the door then back. Her indecision and confusion are familiar. I shoot her a small smile as I punch in my access code, flubbing it twice before getting it right. The lights come on automatically when I enter, but Clarke doesn’t follow at first.
I can’t remember ever seeing her this nervous. That’s just not Clarke. Now I’m even more curious.
“You just got off duty; you probably want to rest. I should-” she finally says.
“Clarke, you obviously came by for a reason. Might as well come in now that I’m here.”
She grimaces. “I wasn’t really thinking about it. I just sort of ended up here.”
I grin. “You don’t say.”
Confusion contorts her face, and all I can do is chuckle. I open the door wider, stepping to the side. “Come in already.”
It takes her a second, but then she’s moving. She ducks her head as she scuttles past. I take a second longer than necessary to shut a door while I get myself together. The stupid smile on my face is going to be a dead give-away. I lick my lips and watch her. She takes in my quarters. I don’t think she’s been in here before. Hell, I’m rarely in here.
“Um-” She looks up at me, the pink deepening. “I really didn’t think about what time it was. I don’t-”
“Sleep? Yeah, neither do I. So make yourself at home.” She still doesn’t move so I take her by the shoulders and force her to sit on the bed, and fuck, if that doesn’t turn me on more than anything she’s ever done. Clarke Griffin is in my room on my bed. I’m done.
She fiddles with a tear in her pants, not looking at me. I hate that things have been so awkward between us. I wish we could go back. I’d even settle for way back when we were constantly at each other’s throats because at least we could look at each other without all of the regret and guilt. Now is not the time to be dwelling on that because I’m sure the smallest thing is going to make her bolt like a frightened rabbit.
I grab a bottle of water from a crate in the corner. “I’m gonna take a quick shower-” She starts to get up, but I gently press her back down. “I’ll be like fifteen minutes.” She takes the water but just turns the bottle around and around in her hands.
I watch her for a second until I’m sure she’s not just going to leave then I take the quickest shower in my life. My hair is still dripping into my eyes and my clothes are sticking to my wet skin when I leave the bathroom, terrified she’ll be gone. But she’s not. She’sstretched across my bed, a book covering her chest.
I try not to smile, because Clarke sleeping has to be the cutest thing I’ve seen since Octavia was a baby. She snorts then absently rubs at her nose, face all scrunched. She must have been tired. I’m not really sure what to do now. Clarke’s taking up most of the bed. The floor doesn’t look very appealing, but there’s a certain lack of furniture in my quarters.
The whole predicament strikes me as humorous. After everything we’ve been through—the near-death, the fighting, and starving—how many times were we camped out next to each other or crashed wherever there was space? We’ve been through so much. Standing here like an idiot is stupid. Clarke came here because she wanted to be here. With me.
I keep telling myself that as I gently lift the book from her limp fingers, setting it on the table. I pull the blanket from the foot of the bed then slide in next to her. After a second she scoots over. I’m not sure she’s even awake until she grunts.
“You’re a bed-hog,” she mumbles.
“Me?” I can barely contain my laughter. “I’ve got like five inches over here.”
She squirms away until I can fit almost half of my body next to her. “These beds were not designed for two.” She giggles, sending a surge of warmth through my whole body.
The only way we’ll fit is if I tuck my arm under her head, but that seems to work for her. She scrunches up next to me, arm across my chest, her head cushioned by my shoulder like it’s the most natural thing in the world. And fuck, it feels natural. Like this is the way it should have always been. Like I can’t imagine sleeping any other way.
Clarke lets out a little sigh. “Read to me.”
“The book. It looks interesting, but I’m too tired to read. I can’t even see straight.”
I pull the book over, flipping it to the last page I dogeared and start reading. Only a few minutes pass before my tongue feels like lead and my throat starts to close up. I nearly drop the book when a yawn hits me. Clarke is sound asleep, though, her soft snores tickling my skin. I’m still kind of in awe about the whole thing—she’s really here. After everything that happened, I wasn’t sure she’d ever be a permanent part of my life again, but here she is. In my bed. Whatever the fuck that means. All I know is that I want this every night for the rest of our short lives. I slide my hand down her head, over her hair. She hums at the touch which sends all sorts of tingles through my body.
Clarke squeezes closer to me, burying her face further into my neck. I think she’s doing it on purpose because she’s driving me nuts. I set the book on the table then dim the lights before sliding further under the covers. I pull her closer when she starts to move away.
“Bellamy,” she says softly, voice groggy.
“Is this okay? Me here?”
What does she want me to say? That I’ve been dreaming about this very thing for the last six months? Probably not. I work at keeping my breathing steady. “Yeah, it’s fine. It’s not like I needed a full bed to sleep on anyway.”
She slaps my chest. I hold her hand over my heart that is thudding so loudly I think they could here it back up in space. “Yeah, this is okay.” More than okay, I want to tell her, but maybe it’s best to go slow. Rushing into things tends to get us both hurt. I’ve learned at least that much on the ground. “You wanted to talk to me about something?”
She yawns. “It can wait.”
I smile. “You wanna know the truth, Clarke?” I feel her nod. “I was on my way back from your place when we ran into each other. I don’t know how I got there. I was going home, but ended up there instead.”
“I couldn’t sleep.”
“You don’t seem to be having any problems right now.”
Clarke shrugs. “I guess not. How about you?”
I look down at her little upturned nose—the way her lashes flutter as her eyes move under the lids—and the soft roundness of her lips as she puffs out air. “If you stay here, I don’t think I’ll have any trouble sleeping.”
I hear her laugh, but she snuggles in closer. The tension falls from my shoulders. The world has been trying to kill us since we set foot on it, but if it’s my time to go right now, I’m good as long as Clarke is by my side. I press a kiss to the top of her head as she returns to snoring. I listen to the sound of her breathing, feeling the rise and fall of her chest against my own until the darkness swells up and everything else fades away. It’s just me and her and that’s all I ever need.