The 100 | 1454 words | [PG]
Canon divergent. After a year on the ground, Bellamy and Clarke are finally ready to confront their feelings. As long as Bellamy doesn’t break his neck first. Written for April Camp NaNo.
By Clarke’s calculations, they’ve been on the ground for around 380 days. It’s the end of September. Or maybe it’s early October. It’s hard to tell. The chill of autumn has chased away the sweltering heat of July and August, but summer is making a last stand. The sun that filters through the treetops tickles her skin, leaving little goosebumps down her arms. She glances to her side—those might be from another reason, though.
Next to her, Bellamy’s hair flutters around his head in the warm breeze. He repeatedly shoves it out of his eyes with a huff, but it does no good. Watching him try makes her grin.
“You need a haircut.”
He snorts. “Thinking of making a career change to hair stylist, princess?” he asks without any of his usual derision. He shoots her a smile that crinkles the corners of his eyes and releases a swarm of butterflies in her stomach.
Clarke looks away before he can see her blush. She’d never hear the end of it. If there was one thing Bellamy was good at it was teasing her. He knew how to push all of her buttons. Which, she has to admit, isn’t always a bad thing. Out of the corner of her eye, she can see him still smiling. It looks good on him. She wishes he would do it more often. “Why are you in such a good mood?
“What do you mean?”
She doesn’t believe his innocent act for a second. And she’s not going to fall for his charm. Not much anyway. She narrows her eyes at him, hoping she looks more stern and less like he has her insides doing gymnastics. “You’re acting weird. What are you up to?”
“Are you always this suspicious?”
“When it comes to you—yes.”
They stare at each other a moment before they both crack a smile. Bellamy shrugs. “It’s a nice day. I don’t have to deal with the whining back at camp. What’s not to be happy about?”
He has a point. It does feel nice to get a break from the monotony of camp where everyone constantly needs her attention. Bellamy, though, seemed especially eager to get away when she mentioned she needed an escort to the river. Usually, he pawned babysitting off on one of his gunners—Harper or Monroe went with her a lot. This time, he jumped at the opportunity then looked embarrassed by his enthusiasm. It was kind of cute.
Bellamy hops onto the crumbling remains of a wall. She watches him balance along it like a tightrope walker, arms out, as he climbs higher.
“You’re going to fall,” Clarke says, blocking the sun with her hand as she watches him cross the wall ten feet in the air.
“I’m not going to fall. Will you relax, Clarke.”
She rolls her eyes. Why did he have to be such a pain? “One of us has to be responsible.”
He ducks under the branch of an overhanging tree and looks down at her. “You think I’m not responsible?”
She squints up at him again. She can’t really see his face with the sun blinding her, but she imagines his annoyed look. “Not with your own life. Not really.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” He sounds genuinely offended.
Clarke shrugs. “When it comes to your own safety, you don’t seem to care much.”
“I’m just trying to keep everyone alive.”
“I know, but you don’t have to risk your own life to do it.”
He cocks his head. “So who’s life should I risk? Monty’s? Jasper’s? Yours?”
“I know you know what I’m talking about so quit acting like a jerk and get down here.” She bites her lip when he wobbles a little, but he recovers effortlessly. She’s pretty sure he did it intentionally just to give her a heart attack.
“Now I’m a jerk?” At least the devilish grin is back on his face.
Her heart flips. She’s not sure if it’s from that look he gives her or the fact that he’s one wrong step away from breaking his neck. He eyes a tree a good five feet from the wall.
“Bellamy-” Clarke warns, but as usual, he doesn’t listen.
He jumps, snagging the branch easily. His smirk lasts about three seconds. Then the branch gives with a loud crack. Bellamy lands with a thud on his back, the air rushing out of him in a groan.
Clarke runs over, sliding to her knees next to him. “Are you okay?”
His eyes roll back as he fights for breath, but eventually, he gasps. Clarke lets out her own relieved breath then smacks his chest. “I told you to be careful.”
“No, you didn’t.” He pries a rock out from under him, tossing it into the woods. “You just said I would fall.”
“And you did.”
Bellamy gives her a crooked grin. “Still didn’t tell me to be careful.”
She smacks him again. Sometimes she thinks he argues just to annoy her. “You didn’t give me a chance. Besides, it’s implied, smartass. Are you all right?”
“I think so.”
Clarke helps him sit up, watching him carefully for signs of injury. He seems okay. “You know, there are easier ways to impress me.”
His face flushes scarlet. “Why do you think I’m trying to impress you?” he sputters, voice sounding a little strangled. She has to bite back a smile because his awkwardness is adorable.
Neither of them says anything for a long time. They’ve been dancing around their feelings for over a year. It’s exhausting. She’s about to tell him she’s tired of playing games, but he cuts her off.
“I wanted to spend time with you. Is that such a bad thing?” Bellamy says softly. He picks up a twig and nervously breaks it apart. “We’re both always so busy.”
Clarke sucks in a sharp breath. She didn’t expect him to come right out with it, but now that they’re actually talking about this, she’s a little terrified. She swallows hard but the lump is still stuck in her throat. “If you wanted to spend time with me you could have just asked. You didn’t have to fall out of a tree to get my attention.”
Bellamy ducks his head. “It’s not like I did it on purpose.”
His cheeks are still rosy, but Clarke sees the smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. “For reference in the future, what do I have to do to impress you?”
Her heart does another backflip. “For starters, just tell me when you want to hang out instead of elaborate plots to get me alone.”
He blushes again—it’s charming how insecure he is right now. “What if I want to do more than hang out?”
His eyes widen. She’s not sure who’s more surprised by his confession. Before he can take it back, she leans closer. “Then quit being a baby and make a move.”
She can see the moment he realizes she’s serious. He cups her face slowly—giving her a chance to change her mind. It makes her love him even more. The second their lips brush, an explosion of desire chases the butterflies away. Clarke’s entire body vibrates. The heat between them burns her skin, but she can’t get enough of it. She tangles her fingers in the curls at the nape of his neck causing Bellamy to growl. The sound makes her head spin. She’s lost and doesn’t care if she’s ever found. How does he even have this effect on her?
When they finally pull apart, Bellamy’s pupils are shot, giving him a dazed look. “Wow,” he murmurs, breathless. “You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do that.”
Clarke’s heart threatens to beat right out of her chest. The way he’s looking at her right now might be the most beautiful thing on Earth. And it took way too long for her to find it. She pulls him closer—she’s tired of waiting. “I think I do.”
This kiss is sweeter. Tender. It’s a side of Bellamy she wouldn’t have believed existed a year ago. She’s glad he’s finally showing it.
“Am I impressing you yet?” he says against her lips.
Clarke laughs. “Bellamy, you’ve been impressing me since the day we met.”
He leans back, eyebrow cocked. “Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”
She pretends to think. “I’m not sure. You might have to kiss me a few more times-” He doesn’t give her a chance to finish. Which is fine. Clarke can’t remember what she was talking about anyway. It may have taken 380 days, but it was worth every argument and smartass comment it took to get here. Well worth it.
The war may be over, but the battles never end. Bellamy contemplates the consequences of war. Post-season 2 finale.
608 words | [PG-13]
The history books never tell you that the end of the war is just the beginning. It’s the start of cleaning up. Of healing wounds. Of returning to life. Or starting a new one.
Now that the war is over, Bellamy’s finding this part to be the hardest. As far as he can tell, they won, but it doesn’t feel like a victory. He’s exhausted—physically and emotionally. He feels like he’s been torn apart and stitched back together, but the seams don’t quite match up. His world has tilted into something unrecognizable. The color drained, sounds muffled. He wades through pain and swims in a fog so thick he can’t breathe without drowning.
He’s killed more people than he cares to count. His hands aren’t just covered in blood, he’s bathed in it. He hates the things he’s done. Hates the things he’s seen. He hates himself and the world and God if there is one. The war may be over, but the echoed screams of a murdered generation haunt his dreams. They wrench him from restless sleep—sweat-soaked and tear-stained. Only there’s no escape this time because he’s the monster in this nightmare.
Bellamy settles at a table in the mess hall but has neither strength nor motivation to eat. He stares blindly at the food, pushing it around on his plate. He thinks it might be pot roast. The mess is filled with people just like him—adrift in a stupor of heartache and misery. Personal hells of their own making. He’s never been more alone than in this crowded room.
He forces a smile on his face as his friends sit down, ignoring the empty spaces between them. They don’t talk about the missing. They don’t talk about anything really. Like Bellamy, they fake their smiles and chit-chat about the weather. And when they’re done, they’ll all go back to their quarters and weep for the people they once were.
This is the part they forget to tell you—that you don’t just mourn the dead. You mourn what used to be and what could have been. You mourn the spark of life that has fizzled out inside of you. You mourn the innocence you can never get back.
War is a one-way street—no U-turns allowed. Or maybe it’s like a raging river, tossing you in rapids until you are bruised and battered against the rocks only to throw you over the precipice of a waterfall that has no end yet you drown in it all the same.
The panic wells up out of nowhere. Bellamy’s world tilts a little more. He grips the table to ground himself and manages to breathe through the terror without anyone noticing. They’re all far too consumed by their own nightmares to notice his screams anyway.
Peace comes with a price. Surprise!—you fought for a future you no longer deserve. The blood on the fields will dry. The dead can be buried. Wounds heal and the sun rises, but a shattered soul can never be made whole. In his head and in his heart, Bellamy knows he’s broken—a fractured reflection of himself. His sins require absolution he cannot give.
So he eats with his friends and laughs at their jokes. He breathes in and out. In the mornings, he goes to work, and every night the Devil returns to chase him to the brink of his sanity. He’s afraid one day he might jump. It would be a lot easier.
Because the books don’t tell you how to make peace with your demons.
They don’t tell you how to start over again.
They don’t tell you it’s the beginning of the end.
Canon divergent. With a brutal winter ahead, Bellamy realizes there might be more than friendship growing between him and Clarke. Written for April Camp NaNoWriMo: breathe.
1539 words | [PG]
Bellamy gets back to camp late. It’s hard to tell the exact time with it getting dark so early, but he figures it must be after nine. The sun went down long ago, and it’s abysmally cold. He blows into his hands, trying to warm his numb fingers. Two fires are burning, but the space around them is empty of their usual laughing kids.
Sterling and two of the other guys he’s with make a beeline for the fire, practically holding their hands in the flames. The other three high-tail it into the dropship. Raven and Monty are still working to get the heat going, but eighty-something bodies crammed into a tin can keeps them warm enough for now. It’s better than being outside anyway.
It’d taken all day, but they’d finally buried the three they lost last night–Edith, Jerome, and Bennett. Edith was only fourteen and down here for talking back to a teacher. He shakes his head. He still can’t believe what they did to these kids. Sure, some of them were hardened criminals. There were killers and rapists among them, but most of the kids were arrested for petty stuff—shoplifting, fist fights, hoarding. It’s almost as if they knew they needed the bodies to fill the dropship so they arrested the kids for anything. Bastards.
His body aches, but he still goes down the line, checking the tents to make sure everyone has moved inside. As he nears the dropship, he hears something in the darkness. His hand drops instinctively to the hatchet at his waist. He approaches slowly. Someone gasps then goes quiet. Crying. He finds Clarke leaning against the dropship, wiping away the tears with her fingertips as if trying to erase the evidence. He’s not sure what he thinks about that.
Bellamy looks around, wishing one of her friends would suddenly appear. Monty or Raven or Octavia. Someone that isn’t him. They’ve been getting along okay the last few weeks, but that doesn’t mean he wants to listen to her blubber about whatever girl thing is bothering her. Of course, there’s no one in sight. He wants to leave her, but an instinctive force compels him forward.
He’ll probably regret this. “You okay, princess?” His voice sounds rougher than expected. Must be the cold.
“I’m fine,” she mumbles, not looking at him.
Of course she is. He steps closer. “Then come inside; it’s cold out here.”
Clarke laughs flatly, her breath hanging in the air for a few seconds. “It’s cold in there, too. It’s cold everywhere.” She sniffles, covering her face with her hands.
Bellamy taps his finger against the hatchet. Definitely going to regret this. Joining her against the dropship, it’s obvious why Clarke picked this spot. He can’t even see camp from here. Their world is suddenly nothing more than trees and brush. And darkness. It’s comforting and intimidating. Vast yet intimate. He listens to Clarke cry softly. He thinks he understands. He’s just as frustrated. Just as scared. He worries about everyone constantly.
It used to be just Octavia. He came down to protect her—his sister, his responsibility—but instead, he gained ninety-eight other brothers and sisters. They’re down to eighty-two at last count, and every death weighs on his mind. Every grave dug takes a bit of his soul. The deaths seem nearly daily now which is why he ordered everyone inside tonight. Too little, too late. They’ll be lucky to make it through winter. They’ll be lucky to make it through the month. If the cold doesn’t kill them, they’ll starve to death soon enough. He leans his head back with a sigh. He doesn’t know what else he can do.
“I can’t save them,” Clarke whispers, mirroring his thoughts.
Bellamy looks over at her. Her arms are wrapped tight around her as she stares into the darkness. He doesn’t know what to tell to her because the weight of those eighty-two lives crushes him, too. “We’ll figure it out,” he finally murmurs. Because what else can he say?
“We’re going to die.” She sniffles again.
He hates seeing her cry almost as much as Octavia. He reaches for her without thinking but stops, hand hovering uncertainly over her shoulder. She looks up at him with desperate, watery eyes. Something cracks in his chest, letting a warmth rush in. He slips his arm around her shoulders and pulls her close.
He’s surprised when Clarke wraps her arms around his waist and settles her head on his shoulder. “We’re going to figure this out,” he whispers.
He has no answer. “I don’t know, but the two of us together can do this.”
“But they keep dying. And I can’t save them.” She sucks in a breath and lets it out in a sob. Bellamy tucks her head under his chin, rubbing little circles on her back like he used to do for Octavia
“You’re not a doctor, Clarke. You’re doing the best you can. I should have made everyone move into the dropship days ago.” He swallows hard. “You warned me, and I didn’t listen. So if anything, it’s my fault.” He keeps making one mistake after another. He just buried three of them.
“It’s not going to be enough. There’s still no heat. Food and water are low which is making everyone edgy. The bullies are preying on the other kids-”
“I’ll take care of it.”
“And even then our chances are slim. All it will take is someone coming down with a virus. Everyone packed in close quarters is a recipe for disaster. Everyone will get sick and they’ll die.” The words tumble out.
He cups her face in his hands. “Clarke, breathe.”
She grabs his wrists, gasping for air as she fights to regain control. Bellamy finds it more than a little unsettling to see her like this. He’s come to rely on Clarke to be strong. He looks to her for guidance. If he sees that almost imperceptible nod of approval or the little twitch of her lips when she’s trying not to smile, he knows he’s on the right track. He needs Clarke. The thought blindsides him, but the moment he thinks it, he knows it’s true. A sudden lump in his throat threatens to choke him.
He squeezes his eyes shut and presses his forehead against hers. “We’re going to get through this,” he tells her firmly, trying to convince himself as much as her. “You and me.” He’s not really sure what he means. His words are filled with more meaning than he’d intended.
“Do you really believe that?” she asks.
“I do. We can do anything together.”
When he opens his eyes, her penetrating gaze meets his, sending his heart racing. Damn, when did this happen? When did Clarke start having this effect on him? He’s not sure he likes it, but he can’t look away. She slowly licks her lips—his eyes tracking her tongue. Why is he thinking about kissing her now? This is not the time. No, there is never a time because it’s never going to happen.
Then why does she seem closer than she was a second ago? Did she just look at his mouth? He’s suddenly not very cold anymore. In fact, he feels sweat trickle down the back of his neck. Crap. He doesn’t want this. His life is complicated enough without falling for Clarke. They can barely stand to be around each other half the time.
Before he can do anything stupid like kiss her, he tugs her into another hug. Her arms wrap around his neck this time. He wishes he knew what she was thinking because his thoughts are bouncing all over the place. They keep landing back on how good it feels with her in his arms. How he never wants to let her go. How much he wants to kiss her. He shivers at the thought.
Clarke steps back with a sigh—almost reluctantly. She wipes her eyes and laughs. “I’m a mess.”
Bellamy bites back a smile. “We’re all a mess, Clarke,” he says, wiping his grimy hands on his even grimier shirt.
“I meant on the inside.”
“I know.” Her eyeroll settles his nerves. They’re going to be okay. They have to be because he’s not sure he can do this without her. He doesn’t tell her that, though. He bottles up all of the emotions—all the urges— raging through him then clears his throat. “We should get inside before we freeze to death.”
Clarke grabs his wrist. “Promise me, Bellamy,” she says, voice cracking. “Promise we’re going to make it.”
The lump is back, making it hard to breathe. Her hand slides down until their fingers tangle together. He can’t make that promise, and she knows it. But he nods anyway. “I promise.”
She gives him a weak smile then squeezes his hand once before letting it go. She squares her shoulders then marches out of the shadows and into the light of the fires glowing in front of the dropship. Bellamy follows her because he has no other choice. They’re in this together, and they will make it. Together.
Six sentences of dialogue from my NaNo notes.
“You cannot marry Renee.”
“Why not? We’ve been together forever.”
“Well, for one, you’re only seventeen! People are going to start thinking we’re some kind of backwards hillbilly morons.”
“Like they don’t already think that.”
I’ve given up on Camp this month. Hey, I won back in April, so I’ve already got the shiny banners to prove it. I’m just too depressed to concentrate on anything. I did get five stories posted this month. That’s great.
And I did write every day. My journal is full of rants, vents, and brainstorming. And I got in at least 100 words of some creative writing each day. Most of it wasn’t in anything I was supposed to be working on for camp, but with my mood, any words are a win.
This is how mental illness affects your life in ways people don’t consider. Writing is something I love to do, but the last few weeks, it’s gotten harder and harder to push words out. I’ve had to force myself several days–writing the bare minimum. Feeling like that towards writing just makes me more depressed. It’s a cycle that’s hard to break.
I may have failed camp, but I’m proud of myself for pushing through the depression to do some kind of writing every day even if it was only ranting in my journal about being depressed. A year ago, I would have given up completely and not written anything for three months. I have the spreadsheet to prove it.
Another week down.
I’m having a hard time coming up with anything witty to say. The last few weeks have been tough mood-wise. The depression hasn’t let up. There are moments it’s not as bad, but for the most part, I just feel blah all of the time.
And because of that, not much is getting done. And I also don’t care which is the worst part. The depression lets me give up. It makes me want to give up because there doesn’t seem to be a point. So far, though, I’ve pushed through. I might not have written anything that qualifies for Camp, but I have written.
Writing: The goal was 100 words to a WIP from April or March. I added 548 words to “writer’s choice.” The rest of the week I worked on a personal project–a self-indulgent fanfic that no one else will ever read. That way I can let loose and not worry about all of the stuff in my head. I’ve managed to write 5k words for that so far. It’s not what I intended to write this month, but they’re words. D
Editing: The goal was 1 hour every day. I did none. I tried a couple times, but mostly just sat there re-reading stuff then staring at the screen with no idea what to do. No editing means no new stories being posted this week. Sad face. F
Yeah, this past week was a fail for Camp NaNo, but a mild success in that I managed to keep writing through the depression. It wasn’t what I intended to write, but it’s a huge thing for me. So, I guess I could grade on a curve and give myself a C.
Total words this week: 6,050 (only 548 towards Camp goals)
Total hours editing this week: 0
Next week will be better.
I almost considered not writing this post. Then I decided it might be a good way to highlight one of the difficult hurdles in my life. Depression.
The last couple weeks, it’s been getting worse. This is not good news, especially for my writing. When I’m depressed, I don’t want to do anything. Sometimes, I just stare at the wall, lost in my own dark, swirling thoughts. Usually I get on Facebook and read stupid articles and even stupider comment threads. Or play Candy Crush. Mindless things. The last thing I want to do is write. It’s like the depression squeezes off the flow of creativity in my brain.
And, as it often does with depression, not being able to write makes me more depressed. It’s a vicious cycle that is hard to escape. So far, I’ve managed to continue writing every day. I’ve written in my journal which doesn’t always help with my mood, and I’ve managed to add words to WIPs. Sometimes nothing more than twenty. But those are twenty words I didn’t have before.
Why am I saying all of this? No real reason. I just thought I’d mention what a struggle this past week was. I feel like I got nothing done, but looking over the stats, I’m surprised at the number of words I have. So maybe the failure is more in my head–the depression whispering sweet nothingness in my ear.
My goal was 100 words each day. According to my spreadsheet I have over 2,000 words not including today (since I haven’t written yet). Well, that’s impressive. Except only about 60 of them are editing words. That’s fine. The rest are words added to WIPs. I guess I get to give myself an A+ even though it doesn’t feel like I got anything done.
Editing. This is where my failure shows. The goal is one hour each day. I believe my grand total for the week is about 47 minutes. Forty-seven of 420 minutes. F- – – Lack of editing means lack of posting things. Of course, someone might look at my blog and be like, “what are you talking about? There are two new stories posted this week.”
Ah, yes there are. Except they were both finished last week and only scheduled to post this week. Oh well.
I’m going to have to give myself a C- for the week (those extra minuses on the F really pulled things down).
The problem with depression is that is sucks up all of your energy, and for me, my creativity. On the other hand, it also lies to you and tells you that you suck at everything and are failing. My perception of last week was a lot more distorted than I expected. Either way, I still feel like I failed. Guess that means the depression is winning?
But on to next week which will hopefully be better. Here’s to those that keep trying despite the pain and exhaustion and despair.
Total words this week: 2,192 (not including today)
Total hours editing this week: <1
Well, it’s been a week. Yeah, it surprised me, too. I’m not sure whether to call this one a win or loss.
On one hand, I posted three stories this week (none of them from April Camp), but on the other hand, I haven’t done much else. I finished editing one April story (“blood“), and I’ve been editing another (“inside“). I think I’m going to put it away for now because the words are all starting to blur together. I got a lot done, though.
Unfortunately, a lot of editing doesn’t always equal a lot of words. My goal was 100 words each day, and I managed to average 93/day. Sounds great except most days were under 100 words. I’ll give myself a C-.
I also missed my mark most days on hours editing. I’ve only done a full hour a couple times. I’ve come close a few other times, but I’m always interrupted. Or get distracted by shiny things (Tiny Tower = teh devilz). Despite that, I managed to get six hours of editing in over the course of seven days. So, I’ll give myself a B on that.
Averaging them together, I get a C+ for the week. Not bad, but could be better.
Total words this week: 653
Total hours editing this week: ~6