[Bellamy & Octavia]
Just a little snapshot of a cold night on the Ark for young Bellamy and Octavia.
673 words | rating: G
Bellamy was half asleep when a small hand rocked his shoulder.
“Bell?” Octavia said softly.
“Hmm?” He didn’t bother to open his eyes.
She didn’t say anything.
He counted to ten in his head. He had a test in the morning in physics, and he needed a good grade or he’d be stuck cleaning toilets the rest of his life. “What do you want, Octavia?” he mumbled.
She made an exaggerated shiver. He popped one eye open to look at his ten-year-old sister. She wore only her nightgown which was just one of his extra shirts that was way too big on her. Captain Wigglebottom, her stuffed bunny, was tucked tight to her chest. She shifted from foot to foot as if to prove how cold the ground was.
He propped himself up on his arm. “What?”
“It’s cold in here.”
“It is. You should put on some warmer clothes.”
She crossed her arms, pouting. “I only have one outfit and Mom is washing it.”
His face flushed. “Oh.” He glanced over to the empty bed Octavia usually shared with their mom. She’d gotten into the habit of disappearing at night. Bellamy didn’t ask a lot of questions because he wasn’t sure he wanted to know the answers.
Octavia bit her lip, waiting. Part of him wanted to tell her to get lost. She had her own blanket, and he needed to get some sleep. But she looked at him with big, watery eyes and a quivering lip. Whenever he got frustrated with her, he tried to remember that she had no one else. Her entire existence was this room. Him and their mom—that’s all she knew. As socially awkward as Bellamy was thanks to his circumstances, at least he could say he had friends. He’d even had a girlfriend or two. Octavia had nobody. And never would. He was her only friend.
He sighed then scooted over, lifting the blanket. She dove in next to him and curled up to his warm body. He yelped when her ice-cold feet touched his legs as she squirmed around, looking for a comfortable position. Sliding his arm under her neck, Bellamy pulled her close to keep her still as much as to warm her. Soon her breathing evened out, and he could tell she was falling asleep.
Bellamy laid back and stared up at the ceiling of his bunk—the little seven by three foot space he could call his own. The bed wasn’t made for two, and even with Octavia’s tiny frame, it was a tight fit. But he didn’t complain.
For one, he was a lot warmer with her in the bed with him. And two, he had to admit he kind of liked having her close. They shared a bed when they were little until around the time he turned twelve, and well, his body started changing. He demanded privacy. At six, she didn’t understand why he kicked her from the bed. Now he regretted it because he always slept better with her near. That way he knew she was safe.
He covered his eyes with his free arm and tried to fall back asleep.
“Bellamy?” Octavia mumbled into his chest.
“You’re the best.”
He smiled at the ceiling. “No, you’re the best. Just next time, don’t leave your feet outside of your blanket until they go numb before coming over here. You’re not fooling anyone.” He jabbed a finger into her ribs. She giggled and tried to touch his leg again.
“Okay, time to go to sleep,” he said with a yawn. “Or you’re going back to your own bed.”
“Would you do that?” Her voice sounded tiny.
Bellamy stared at her for a long time. He couldn’t believe she thought he was serious? Octavia looked back at him, eyes wide, her lip caught between her teeth. He brushed the hair from her face and kissed her softly on the forehead. “No. I’ll always let you stay, cold feet and all. Always, O.”
And he meant it.