Set not long after s1e10 (I Am Become Death). Clarke is left to clean up the dropship on her own, but Bellamy thinks there’s something more important that she should be doing.
886 words | rating: PG
Bellamy finds Clarke inside the dropship. She kneels next to the last two sick kids and helps them sip some water. Less than twelve hours ago that was him lying on the floor near death. A tremor works through him at the memory. He’d never been so scared in his life.
When the kids have had their fill, she makes them comfortable, wiping blood from their faces and whispering comforting words. Then she picks up a bucket and starts scrubbing at the floor. He looks down at the dark stain by his feet. The floor is covered in them, and the smell of death hangs heavy in the air.
He notices for the first time that no one has stayed to help her clean up. Anger burns in the pit of his stomach. It’s just wrong on so many levels. When Clarke sits back on her heels with a tired sigh and rubs at a spot on her shoulder, Bellamy’s had enough.
He clears his throat, taking a few steps inside. “Hey, Clarke, can I talk to you a minute. Outside.”
She glances over her shoulder then back at her patients.
“I’ll get someone to watch them. I need your help with something.”
She nods and gets slowly to her feat, dropping the rag into a bucket of filthy water. Bellamy grabs the first three kids he sees and tells them to go clean up the dropship or he’ll have them digging the next latrine. They grumble as they pass Clarke.
“Volunteers,” he tells her with a crooked grin.
“I’m sure.” She crosses her arms over her chest, watching him warily. “What do you need?”
He flinches at her tone. It didn’t used to bother him as much when she got this standoffish. He jerks his head to the side and starts walking, knowing she’ll follow out of curiosity, if nothing else. He leads her over to his tent and holds the flap back. She stops, a brow arched. “What is this about?”
“I swear it’s nothing bad.”
“You know what they’re going to think if I go in there?”
Bellamy laughs. “Since when do you care what other people think?”
Her eyes narrow, but she seems to take his words as a personal challenge, turning and marching inside. She looks around, eyes catching on the pile of blankets in the middle of the tent. Bellamy pulls a crate over and pushes her down onto it.
Then he places a plate of food in front of her. “You need to eat something before you fall over.”
She stares at the plate. “I didn’t ask for your food.”
“I know you didn’t ask. I know you never would. That’s why I’m offering. Actually, I’m insisting.” He squats down and pushes a strand of hair behind her ear. “Clarke, you do so much for us, and we repay you with whining and complaining and making you clean up that mess on your own. You deserve better than that.”
She shakes her head, pushing the plate away.
Bellamy holds it on her lap. “It’s time you let someone take care of you for a change.”
She sucks in a sharp breath. “Bellamy, I don’t know what to say,” she whispers, voice shaky.
He hadn’t meant to say all of that, but when she looks at him, tears trailing down her cheeks and lip quivering, he doesn’t regret it. He meant every word. And she needed to hear it.
He swallows hard, forcing down the sudden lump caught in his throat. “You don’t say anything. You just eat.” When she still doesn’t move, he taps her knee. “Come on, don’t make me feed it to you.”
That gets a laugh. “That won’t be necessary.”
Bellamy’s relieved when she finally starts eating. He pulls over another crate and swipes a piece of food from her plate. “I said I’d share, not give it to you.”
She laughs again then ducks her head. “Thank you.”
There’s a twinkle in her eyes when she looks up. He’s happy to see it’s no longer tears making her eyes shine. He shrugs. “You’d do the same for me.”
Her hand lands softly on his arm, sending a spark of electricity coursing through his entire body. “You scared me, you know. When you got sick.”
He forces himself to meet her gaze. “You scared me, too.” The air in the tent has gotten too hot and too charged with static for his comfort. Especially considering that it’s Clarke sitting across from him. He looks away. “I mean, I can’t run this place without you.”
Clarke tears apart a piece of meat. “Is that the only reason?”
Bellamy licks his lips, all sorts of thoughts and emotions swirling in his head. He’s not sure what his reasons are, so he decides to go with what he knows best—deflection. With a crooked grin, he takes the chunk of meat right out of her hand and pops it into his mouth. “Well, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.”
Clarke shakes her head and laughs, the tension easing. They finish the plate in amicable silence. And when Clarke looks up at him with a thankful smile, setting butterflies loose in his stomach, Bellamy knows for sure there are other reasons. But that’s something to share another day.