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Back to You

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Bellamy Blake met Nathan Miller when he was eight years old, about to turn nine.
Bellamy’s junior baseball team was falling apart, they had old taped bats, two balls, and they only had a second base and the home plate. They had ratty old gloves that their parents had to tape together when they fell apart (or in Aurora Blake's case sew together). Their coach, Shumway was arrested on drug charges and murder.
They had no one who could coach them, all their parents working full-time jobs.

David Miller was a police officer who coached his son’s baseball team in his spare time. When he heard about the team that Shumway had abandoned, he stepped up to the plate.
He felt guilty that the children on the team were affected by Shumway's actions.
So he offered the kids a spot on his team.

The parents of all the players all crowded together in Bellamy’s kitchen whispering frantically while Bellamy and the kids played outside.
Could they trust this police officer?
How would they get their kids there?
How much would it cost?

Bellamy’s mother Aurora Blake was appointed the spokeswoman for the team and she sat down with David Miller a few days later. She held her head high, dressed in her waitress uniform as she entered through the shiny doors of the police station on the other side of town.
Nathan Miller took one look at the woman and fell in love.
Two bus rides later, she was back with the parents and they had another conversation behind closed doors.

Bellamy and his best friend John Murphy tossed a ball back and forth while his four-year-old sister, Octavia watched them.
That night his mother sat him down and told him that Officer Miller was willing to drive them home from practice and that one of the other fathers, a Mr. Griffin would pick them up.
Bellamy wanted to argue that he shouldn’t be getting into stranger’s cars but the look on his mother’s eyes made him pause.
Her eyes were bright, pleading with him.
So Bellamy swallowed his words and that Saturday, he and Octavia walked to the park where Mr. Griffin would be picking them up.
Joining him was Murphy, Zeke Shaw- who was two years older than him, Zoe Monroe-a seven-year-old girl, and Dax- the local neighborhood bully.
Bellamy held onto this sister’s hand tightly and he kept one eye on Monroe as Dax had taken to bothering her because she had to cut her hair after an incident involving her stepbrother and gum.
They stand in silence, all worried about what to expect and missing half of their team.

Mr.Griffin pulled up to them in a clean light blue van.
He was tall with light brown hair and a kind smile.

No one said a word so Bellamy stepped up.
He held out his hand.
“Hello, Mr. Griffin. I’m Bellamy.”
Jake raised an eyebrow impressed with his manners.
“Nice to meet you, Bellamy. Please call me Jake.”

He gave the others a grin.
“Are you ready? Do you have your equipment?”
Murphy pointed to the bag that was falling apart.
“All of our stuff is in there sir.”
He emphasized the word sir, jutting his chin out in anger.
Bellamy gave him a look and Jake picked up the bag.
“Hope in, seatbelts everyone.”

Dax scrambled for the back seat and Shaw and Murphy sat next to him, Octavia and Monroe sat in the middle leaving Bellamy no choice but to sit next to Mr.Griffin.
Jake turned on the radio and Octavia squealed when she recognized the song as a Disney one.
Jake caught Bellamy’s eye.
“Sorry, my daughters were here earlier.”
"How old are they?"
"Three and four."

They get to the baseball field in once peace and they all crowd together, even Dax.
The grass is green and the lines are freshly white, they have all the bases and everyone has brand new gloves.
David Miller approaches them.
“Nice to meet you, I’m Coach David... Bellamy right? Your mother mentioned that you would be coming.”
Bellamy gives him a stiff nod.
He turns to the others and smiles at Monroe and Octavia.
“You must be Octavia, we got a special place for you to sit.”
Octavia gives him a small smile.
David Miller leads them to where the other kids are standing.

He places a hand on the shoulder of the kid with the beanie.
“This is my son Nathan. He can help you with anything you need.”
“ Boys, we have some new people joining us today. This is Bellamy, Johnathan, Ezekiel, Dexter, and Zoe.”
Bellamy saw Monroe frown and he cleared his throat after he realizes that she was going to be silent.
“She likes to be called Monroe sir.”
David Miller stared at him and then nodded.
“I’m sorry. What about the rest fo you?” He scans them.
“Shaw please.
Nathan Miller nods and gestures to his teammates.
“I’m Nathan and I’m seven, Riley is ten, Wells is five…”
He rattles off the names and Bellamy knows he will have trouble keeping track of who is who.

Coach David splits them into twos and has them practice throwing balls at each other.
Murphy gets partnered with Nathan and he ends up with Wells.
Wells is silent as they toss the ball back and forth, which suits Bellamy just fine.
Bellamy gets into the rhythm of it that he doesn't realize something is wrong until he hears Monroe cry out.

He turned to see her on the ground, clutching he mouth.
He looks around, Coach David is focused on another pair across the field and there are no other adults around.
He dropped the ball and rushed over, Wells on his heels.
“You’re a girl, girls can’t play ball.”
Monroe pushes herself to her feet, hands balled into a fist.

Bellamy reached for her but there’s a flash of blonde and the next he knows, the boy is on the ground, clutching his jaw and a small blonde girl in a pink leotard and tutu is standing in front of him.
“Girls can do anything boys can do.”
She placed her hands on her hips and the boy’s friends take a step toward her and Bellamy automatically, moved in front of her.
Bellamy glared at the boy.
“Don’t you ever put a hand on a girl.”

The boys snicker and the one who got punched stands up.
“Does the little princess have a knight in shining armor? Oh, wait you don’t have any money for armor.”
The little girl peeked her head around his body and stepped next to him. Bellamy has to fight the urge to pull her behind him.
“Leave him alone McCreary.”
“Or what princess? You going to get your daddy and coach? I’m so scared. Go back to dancing princess, maybe in a few years you will be dancing for me.”
Bellamy’s body stiffened at the implication and Clarke lets out a little yell and she kneed him in the crotch.
He goes down and one of the other boys grabs her arms and Bellamy punched shim.

“What is going on here?
Coach David’s voice is booming
“McCreary, what is going on?”
He glares at the boy.
Meanwhile, Jake Griffin knelt in front of Clark and Bellamy. "Honey what happened?
"Nothing dad."
Bellamy raised an eyebrow at the word dad.
So this was Jake Griffin’s daughter.

"It's my fault sir.”
Monroe speaks up quietly.
“He said something to me and she stepped up and defended me and they made a move towards her and Bellamy moved in front of her tp protect her and then she defended him.”
Jake turned to look at Bellamy.
”Thank you for trying to protect my girl.”
He looks at Clarke and shook his head.
“You got your tights dirty. Your mom is going to kill me.”
“They wash dad.”
Jake grinned and ruffled her hair.

He leaves to go talk to David Miller and Bellamy looked down at the girl.
She blinked her blue eyes at him and smiled.
She’s blonde with her hair pulled into a tight bun, her leotard has a bit of dirt on it and her arm has a dark handprint.
He pressed his fingers to it gently.
“You need to be careful princess.”
She pouted at him.
“I can take care of myself!”
He chuckled because she sounds just like Octavia.
His head snapped up, searching for her and he can't see her.
“What wrong?”
“I can't find my sister.”
Clark placed a hand on his arm.
“She’s sitting with my sister right over there.”
She pointed to the top of the bleachers and sure enough, he can see his sister with a small blonde girl.
“That’s my little sister Josie. I’m Clarke.”
“That’s a pretty name.”
It comes out and Clarke covered her mouth in shock.
She didn't mean to say it out loud.
His cheeks turned pink and Monroe stiffened a giggle.
He turned towards ger, startled forgetting that she’s there and Clarke laughed.
“Let's go join the team, Monroe.”
Bellamy snapped at her and Monroe shook her head.
It was amazing how this little blonde girl was making her tough broody friend blush.
Clarke walked beside him and they head to where the team was gathered.

“Hi, Clarke.”
Clarke thew her arms around Nathan and then around Wells.
“I thought class was supposed to be longer?”
“Miss Di got sick. And Josie and I had to go home with Ash.”
She wrinkled her nose and Wells frowned.
“Is she still giving you trouble?”
Clarke nodded and frowned.
She opened her mouth but she gets interrupted by David, who clapped his hands.
Bellamy came to see McCreary standing with Jake at the end of the field, bag by their feet.

“We are going to have a practice game, split into two teams.”
Clarke waved to them and rushed to join her sister and Octavia. Bellamy watched Clarke sit on the other side of her sister and give Octavia a smile and its not long before the three girls were laughing.
Without meaning to, Bellamy and the other drift towards each other, and after a moment’s hesitation, Miller joins their team and so does Riley and Wells.
Jake and David exchange a look but decide to let the division of the teams slide for the day, it's the first practice and David had a lot of angry parents to deal with. He would let the kids work at their own pace to become an untied team.

The three girls sit on the sidelines cheering on both teams.
Murphy nudged him after he caught Bellamy staring in that direction for the fourth time in five minutes.
“Cute girl.”
“Mr. Griffin’s daughter.”
Murphy raised an eyebrow but doesn't say anything else and he watched Miller hit the ball.
“He’s good.”
Bellamy grinned as they watch one of the boys on the other team, Sterling throw the ball from his spot in the outfield.
“They are good.”
Murphy jerks his head toward Sterling.
“He’s good but we both know Ben is a better throw. Shame Ben couldn't make it.”
Ben’s mother was a single mother just like Aurora but she had five kids and she couldn’t afford to have one kid on the other side of town.

Their team loses 3-2 and Coach Miller praises them in between telling them what they need to work on.
Jake Griffin began to hand out water bottles to everyone and passed out some apples.
Bellamy took one until he realized there isn't enough for his sister and he freezes.
Clarke sees him and she looked between them until her eyes widened.
She shoves her apple into Octavia’s hands.
“I had a snack earlier in class.”
Bellamy opened his mouth to tell her that he doesn't need charity but his sister takes a huge bite of the apple and he can’t do that to her.
So he settled for shooting a frown at her and Clarke’s smile disappears from her face and he feels bad.
It makes him feel guilty which is ridiculous because she's some rich princess and he doesn't need charity from her.

It becomes a thing, every time they get a snack break, Jake Griffin hands them each something and then Octavia gets a special brown bag.
He tells her every Saturday that Clarke and Josie made it for her.
It’s always full of little treats- apple and pudding cups, stickers, and ribbons.
Bellamy wants to hate the little blondes but he can’t.
There is something special about the Griffin girls.

They come by after their dance class, hair in buns, jackets over leotards and stay for the last ten to fifteen minutes of practice and Clarke always gives him a smile and a sweet “Hi Bellamy.”
Murphy tells him that the five-year-old is crushing on him but Bellamy is quick to kill the rumor.
No need for the adults to hear the rumor or for it get to back to their side of town.
It doesn't stop Wells and Nathan from eyeing them everything they are near each other (which is those last minutes of practice).

They have their first game in May on a Sunday (all games are on Sunday), which are the only days the Griffin girls don’t have dance practice.
Aurora calls off from work that day and she and Jonathan Murphy take the bus with the kids to the game. To say that they are nervous is an understatement.
As the others joke around on the benches, Bellamy feels sick.
He knows its just a game and its for fun but to him, its more,
It's about proving that the rag-tag players of Mecha belong on the same team as the kids from Alpha, in the same league as all the teams in Arkadia.

He knows that his mother and Octavia and Mr. Murphy are somewhere in the stands and he knows the Griffin girls are there too but all he can focus on is the pounding of his heart.
He can’t breathe.

“Bellamy? Bellamy? Bell? Hey, look at me.”
A hand cupped his face
It takes him a bit to realize that Clarke is in front of him and he turned his head to look at her.
She gave him a soft smile and he blinked, taking her in,
Her hair is in loose curls and she’s wearing a simple blue shirt and shorts.
“Hi. nervous?”
She reaches for his hands and squeezes it and he does bother to tell her to leave him alone.
She's a welcome distraction, one that he needs right now.
“Miss Di says that the only person you need to worry about it yourself.”
“She sounds smart.”
Clarke beams at him.
“She is." They look at each other and Clarke's cheeks begin to turn a light shade of pink. She has never been this close to his face and she never realized that he had freckles- they remind her of the stars. " Bellamy, good luck. I believe in you.”
She kisses hsi cheek quickly and then she runs off.
He watched her curls bounce and she runs off, his cheeks are pink and when Muprhy find him, he gives him an odd look.
“Are you okay? You look weird.”
Bellamy shook his head, his cheek where she kissed him burned and placed his hat on his head.
“I just got a good feeling about this game.”

They win the game 10-7.
Bellamy feels on top of the world, having scored a home run that sent Shaw and Murphy home.
He's proud of himself and as he watched Miller and Shaw high five while Riley and Monroe fist bump.
As he hugs Murphy his eyes drift along the bleacher and right there next to his sister is Clarke and Josie.
Clarke waves to him and he waves back. Behind him, Murphy and Miller exchange high fives, Wells nearly chokes on her water and Shaw slips Monroe the friendship bracelet on his wrist.

To his surprise and his delight (not that he will ever admit it) it becomes a thing, every Sunday before the game she finds where he is hiding out and kisses his cheek with a whispered good luck.

Then one Sunday, he doesn't feel nervous at all, so he has no need to hide out and he sits on the bench with his team side.
Clarke freezes when she sees him sitting there.
She's happy that he's not nervous anymore but disappointed.
She squares her shoulders after a moment's hesitation, she walks toward him. Her kiss is a ritual, like Miss Di tapping her foot behind hr six times before she gets on stage.
When Bellamy saw Clarke, he wondered if she would just keep walking and he tried to ignroe the feeling of disappointment he felt.
Instead, she walked up to him and gave him a quick peck on the cheek, her own cheeks bright red as she can feel everyone looking at her.
"Good luck, Bellamy."
He catches her hand and she looked at him wide eyes.
“Brave princess.”
Wells gives him a hard look while Nathan looks amused and Monroe bit back a giggle. Murphy raised an eyebrow and Jake Griffin doesn't even blink.
David Miller simply blew his whistle and they all huddle together for a quick cheer.
They win 7-5.

Clarke no longer feels embarrassed about kissing Bellamy's cheek and their friends never say a word. When one of the girls on the other team makes a comment about Clarke, Miller snaps back.
"You are just jealous because she's good luck charm."
The older girl, Anya flushes and her hands tightened around the bat.
Later on, when they win, she shoved past Clarke, nearly knocking on the ground and Bellamy glared at her.

Clakre and Josie leave for vacation for two weeks in July and Bellamy is off his game and everyone notices.
He's more quick temper, getting into a shouting match with one of the players on the other team, throwing bad throws.
They lose 10-4.
No one says anything about how he misses blonde princess.
But when she comes back, she kisses Bellamy on the cheek and he gives her a quick hug.
Clarke's eyes are wide before she hugs him back tightly.
They all exchange looks. Wells and Nathan exchange cash, Monroe bites back a giggle when Riley nudged her and Dax snorted and Shaw shook his head while Muprhy rolled his eyes.
Leave it to his best friend to fall for the blonde princess.
He watches as Clarke presses a quick kiss to Bellamy's cheek and his eyes are soft.

Chapter Text

Summer dance class ends at the end of July and then Clarke and Josie are at every practice after that.
Bellamy starts to look forward to the weekends. For a five-year-old, she’s smart and witty.
They start to talk during snack time and sometimes even in the car ride there. He learns that she likes to draw and she started dancing last year.
She sits with him before the games on Sunday and he tells her about the books he is reading.
She reminds him of Octavia- wide-eyed but it doesn’t feel the same.
He has never turned pink when his sister kisses his cheek.

While practice is going on, Clarke, Josie, and Octavia sit in the stands, baseball caps on their heads, hair pulled into ponytails. Some days they sit on the bleachers and cheering them on.

And on other days, Josie and Octavia play soccer in a corner of the field and one of the team’s former player Roan, who knows play for the high school team stands by them. He had been stopping by every now and then to help Coach David.

Clarke usually sits in the bleachers a sketch pad in her lap, pencil on the paper. She doesn't stop drawing until he sits down next to her during snack time and she smiles. They watch Octavia open up her snack bag and instead of being upset, Bellamy enjoys the smile on Clarke’s face.

Bellamy is sad when school starts again and baseball season is over because it means he won’t see Clarke anymore.
Or so he thinks.

Until Jake Griffin pulls up to his house and gives Bellamy and Octavia a smile.
“Jake. What are you doing here?”
“Your mother didn’t tell you? I’m taking you and your sister to the movies with Josie, Clarke, and Miller. We need to pick up Murphy and Shaw.”
Octavia bounces on her feet as Bellamy locks up. She fires question after question and Jake answers them with his endless patience.
Clarke, Miller, and Josie are already in the car and Clarke beams at him.
He climbs into the seat next to Clarke and nods at Miller, who is on her other side.
Octavia sits next to Josie and the two start to whisper, giggling.

Shaw sits in front and Murphy squeezes into the backseat with the three of them.
Josie asks for music and Disney music starts to blast and Bellamy can’t help it smile as Clarke and the other girls start singing along.
Murphy and Shaw gets into it and Miller rolls his eyes but Bellamy sees him mouthing along to the songs.
When they get to movies, Wells and Roan, who is fifteen, is there.

They end up splitting up.
Jake takes Josie and Octavia to see one of the more kid-friendly options while the other boys and Clarke (who begs until Jake breaks down) go with Roan who takes them to see a Harry Potter double feature.
Octavia and Josie had been shown a preview of the Harry Potter and both had freaked out when they saw Voldemort.
Jake had sighed and said maybe in a year or two.

Jake took them to buy popcorn ad Bellamy and Murphy exchange a look.
Between them, they had enough to buy one small bag for Octavia but Jake simply stepped up and asked to four large popcorn.
He took one bucket and gave one to Roan, another to Shaw and then to Wells.
Jake and the girls waved to them as Roan ushered them into the theatre.
Wells went in first and then Miller and then Murphy followed by Clarke and him. Roan takes the seat at the end of the aisle next to him.

Bellamy has never seen Harry Potter but he had read the books and he was enchanted by the magic and Clarke couldn’t help but look over form them to time to see his wide eyes.
When the turban came off Clarke let out a small squeak and Bellamy reaches for her hand.

The second movie is a bigger problem.
Clarke has only seen the first and the fourth movie and she didn’t realize she was afraid of snakes until halfway through the movie and Bellamy feels her squeezing his hand tightly and shaking.
He wants to tell Roan who is watching the movie with an intensity.
But he then remembers how badly Clarke begged her father to see the movie so instead, he moves the cup divided in between then and pulls Clarke closer to him.

When the Basilisk comes on, she buries her head into his shirt, peeking out every now and then to see what is going on.
She lets go of him once the snake is defeated and once the movie is over, she skips out of the theatre as if nothing happened.
Murphy gave him a look and shakes his head.
It came out sharper than he intended and Murphy raises his hands and doesn't say anything.

He and Octavia’s get an invitation to Clarke’s 6th birthday and he worries about what to get her. He doesn’t have too much money to spend.
He heads the library with Octavia for storytime on Sunday and he sees people dropping books off outside the library table. There’s a sign that says free books. Please take me home.
His eyes light up.
He sees a copy of Harry Potter and is quick to place it in his bookbag. But the closer he gets to her birthday he worries that it isn't enough and he finds some spare fabric and in small messy stitches he sews a golden crown on it.

At the party, he eyes the big stack of gifts wrapped in colorful paper and he can't help but compare it to his book, which is wrapped in a brown bag. His present looks sad and out of place.
He and his family and his friends are out of place here in Alpha.
They stick out like a sore human and to make matters worse it’s the first time he meets Abby Griffin.
She eyes them critically and Belly feels small but Clarke's smile makes it all worthwhile. She barrels into him giving him a tight hug and a “You are here!”
Clarke gives the others brief hugs but then she stands at his side.

Abby Griffin sniffs at them and Bellamy doesn't like her. She gives them a fake smile but Aurora greets her with nothing but respect and makes her way to David Miller who is quick to introduce her to other people, his hand on her back.
( Jake Griffin sees this and smiles)

Octavia’s and Josie slip off to do who knows what with a small Asian boy, a boy with goggles on his head, and a blonde-haired girl.
Murphy, Monroe, and Shaw join Wells and Miller who are playing video games. There are some kids Bellamy doesn't recognize but he watches Miller introduced them.
Roan is on the couch, his arm around a pretty redhead and he gives him a nod.

Bellamy feels really overwhelmed and Clarke who always seems to know what he's feeling, tugs on his hand.
She drags him to the kitchen where she calls out.
“Uncle Theo!”
The man turns around a cupcake in his hands and he laughs when he sees her.
“Guess you caught me.”
He hands her and Bellamy a cupcake winking at them.
“Whos’ your friend Clarke?”
“This is Bellamy.”
The man looked him up and down, a smile on his face.
“So this is Bellamy. Clarke talks about you a lot. I’m Well’s father.”
Bellamy looks at Clarke’ whose cheeks are pink, the same color as her dress.

Clarke opens her mouth to say something when Abby appears.
“There you are, Clarke. The Wallaces are here and they brought Cage.”
Abby taps her foot and Clarke saves Bellamy a look as her mother drags her away and Bellamy looks to the man who sighs.
“Abby can be a bit…. she’s her mother.”

Bellamy joins the others on the couch and when Wells raises an eyebrow, Bellamy mutters to him.
Wells shoulders slump.
“I hate him.”
Miller passes Bellamy the controller.
“He’s the worst. I’m going to go find Monty and Jasper. Make sure Cage doesn't bother them.”

Fifteen minutes later McCreary walks in and Bellamy and Murphy stiffen. Monroe tenses and then Clarke appears.
Her eyes are dimmed but she squeezes in next to Bellamy on the couch.
Bellamy passes the controller to Shaw and Roan grabs the other controller, the redhead was gone. Roan turns to look at Clarke.
“What did Cage say? “
Clarke shoes her head.
“It’s nothing Roan. I can handle it myself.”
Roan frowns but doesn’t say anything.
Bellamy didn’t like that but then Jake approaches them.
“Clarke your mother wants to cut the cake. Where is your sister?"
I think she’s hiding in the basement with the others.
“I’ll go get her.”

Clarke groans.
“I hate cake time.”
Bellamy isn’t sure how it’s possible but as he watches Clarke stand in front of the cake taking a picture after picture, he can see why.
Her mother has her take a picture with pretty much every person in the party and when it’s their turn she orders them around and tries to put Bellamy, Murphy, and their group as far away from Clarke as possible but Clarke doesn’t budge.
She reaches for Bellamy and pulls him to stand next to her and Octavia stands in-between Jasper and Josie. Murphy stands behind Josie and Clarke, Miller is next to him giving Murphy bunny ears, Harper and Monty are sticking out their tongue while Monroe is smiling, Wells is next to them rolling his eyes and Roan hangs out in the back a smirk on his face.
It’s Clarke's favorite picture to come and Abby hates it.

After cake, it's time for presents and Clarke is seated on a huge chair, Abby is next to her while Jake films. Bellamy and the other kids sit on the floor while the adults all gather around.

Clarke opens gift after gift and each one makes Bellamy feel odd.
On the baseball field, it's easy to forget that they come from two different worlds.
She’s a princess with people who can afford to get her a Disney karaoke machine and an American Girl doll.
He's the boy who couldn't afford to get her a gift and he didn't' want to ask his mother for money.

When it comes time for his present Abby frowns and Clarke opens it gently.
Her eyes widen when she sees the book and she looks to him.
“Harry Potter?”
Abby presses her lips into a thin smile.
“How nice. Well, I can hold onto it until you are old enough to read it.”
“No need sweetheart, I can read it to Clarke.”

Clarke notices something in the book and she opens it up to see a slip of fabric with a crooked stitched crown.
It’s a bookmark.
She runs her fingers over the rough, crooked stitches and looks up at him.
She holds it up and Bellamy’s cheeks turn red.
“Did you make this?”
He nods and then Clake is out of her seat and she throws her arms around him, hugging him tightly.
“I love it. Thank you. I’m going to use this forever.”

Abby glowers behind her.
From behind the camera, Jake smiles. David leans into to whisper something to Aurora and she nods staring at her son and Clarke.
Looks like someone has a little crush.

For Christmas, Clarke invites then to see her and Josie dance.
Bellamy is excited.
He takes care to find a clean shirt and he slicks his hair back.
They sit with the Griffins, Abby saying nothing when she sees them. Aurora sits next to David and no one seems to notice the little glances he keeps giving her.

Bellamy is starstruck, the moment Clarke comes onto the stage. He never had seen her dance like this, sure she did a little turn or she would show Josie a certain step or a position but he had never seen anything like this. On stage Clarke was different.
He watches her dance quickly, light on her feet, she’s breathtaking.

When the recital is over, Bellamy wait with the others while Abby goes to collect the girls. He looks around and sees everyone with bouquets of flowers in her hands and he feels out of place. Well sees Bellamy looking around and he can tell what’s in the boy's mind. So he reaches into his own flower bouquet and pulls two roses.
"Bellamy here." Bellamy looks at them and he is surprised.
Wells and him, well they aren't exactly close friends, they tend to clash too much, but he is thankful, so he takes the roses.
Miller leans in close to Wells and says “That’s a nice thing for you to do." Wells shrugs. "I know how he makes her happy”
Miller pats his shoulder, aware of his friend's little crush on Clarke but they are also aware of Clarke’s crush on Bellamy.
Clarke and Josie come out Abby behind them.
They make a beeline for Jake who drops to his knees and laughs when both girls bury them heads into his shoulder.
“You were amazing. I’m so proud of you!”
He pulls away and looks at both of his girls.
The girls turn to David Miller and Theo Jaha, both who hand a girl a bouquet of flowers.
“Thank you, Uncle Theo! Thank you, Uncle David!” Both girls hug them and then Clarke’s eyes light up when she sees Aurora.
“Miss Aurora! You came!”
Aurora smiles at the two girls and gives both of them a hug.
“You girls danced so well!”
Clarke blushes and looks down at her black flats.
Josie curtseys and then squeals when she sees Octavia.
The two girls hug and Jake snaps a quick picture.
Clarke gives Wells and Miller a quick hug and they hand her a bouquet of flowers. And then she’s in front of Bellamy.
He hands her one of the pink roses and she smiles shyly.
“You were really good.”
“Thank you.”
He has never seen her like his, all dressed up in costume.
Her hair is slicked back into a tight bun and she has a white flower in hair and her costume is a simple white tutu with gold flowers embroidered on it.
“You look pretty.”
Whatever Clarke wants to say is interrupted as a girl bumps into Clarke hard and Clarke scowls.
“Who’s that?”
“That’s Ash. She hates me.”
Bellamy wants to ask her why but then Josie throws her arms around Bellamy.
Bellamy laugh and hands Josie the other flower.
“You did really good Josie.”
Jake orders them all into a picture and Bellamy wraps an arm around Clarke and she's turns her head to look at him and Jake takes the picture then.
Abby orders another one and tells them to all look forward and they do and they take another one.
Jake takes them out for hot chocolate and Bellamy goes home with music from the ballet, Clarke in her white tutu twirling in his head as he sleeps.

Baseball practice starts in April and it's recital season for Clarke and Josie so they don’t come to practice too often. Abby has them both in Ballet and Tap classes and then when they aren't dancing she has them in art classes.
Bellamy misses her but he’s excited because they have new team members.
There’s ten-year-old Brian, seven-year-old Atom, nine-year-olds Bree and Roma, and eight-year-old Conner.
Atom, Bree, and Roma are from his neighborhood and they are a welcome replacement for Dax who had gotten into trouble and the twelve-year-old had been asked not to come back.

But despite Clarke and Josie not being there, Octavia always gets a snack bag and sometimes they are things for Bellamy in there too.
Clarke leaves him little drawings of himself and Murphy playing baseball. Some days it's of him and Octavia. She draws them in cartoon format and he loved it.

He goes to their summer recital and this time Clarke’s in a pink tutu and he watches her spin. And he hugs her tightly he notices a tall girl giving Clarke and Josie a nasty look.
He forgets about it later.

He turned ten in May and Clarke is there, a cupcake in her hand and a present in her hand.
She ignores Bree and Roma’s looks as she hugs Bellamy tightly.
“Happy Birthday!”
“Thank princess!”
He blows out his candle and then they all get cupcakes but Bellamy can't stop looking at Clarke.
How could he think of her as some spoiled princess?
She was the farthest thing from that.

She blushes when she gives him a friendship bracelet, it’s in different shades of blue and he remembers her asking him what his favorite color was.
“I know it’s kind of silly and Ash said it was girly..”
Bellamy doesn't let her finish.
“I love it. Can you put it on me?”
Clarke helps him put it on sticking out her tongue as she tries to ties it.

David looks at Jake.
“I’m thinking high school.”
Jake shakes his head.
“No, those two are too stubborn. It’s going to be a long time. College.”
“We shouldn't be betting on our kid's love lives.”
Jake chuckles.
“No, but mark my words if she doesn't marry him I'm going to be very surprised.”
“Does it worry you?”
“No, he’s a good kid. polite, kind to both of my girls. She likes being around him.”
Jake watches Clarke and Bellamy laugh as Murphy tells a joke, Josie looking up at him adoringly.
“What about Josie? It seems like she has a crush on Murphy.”
“It’s cute but she will grow out of it. Trust me. Clark and Bellamy, it’s different.”
David Miller nods in agreement.
“Speaking of crushes. I asked Aurora out on a date.”
“What did she say?”
“She’s coming to the game on Sunday and says that I can pay her ice cream. She didn’t have anyone to watch the kids and she isn’t sure how Bellamy will react to her dating. So we will take it slow.”
Jake pats the man's shoulders.
“Good for you only took you about a year to ask her out.”

Bree and Roma ask Murphy about Clarke and hs shrugs.
“She’s one of his best friends.”
Clarke is there for every game with her good luck kiss and Bellamy takes the other team's teasing the blue friendship bracelet on his wrist.
At the end of the season, he gives her, her own friendship bracelet that he had one of Shaw's sisters teach him how to make it.
Clarke’s eye widen when she takes into the blue, black, and white bracelet.
“It’s supposed to be like the night sky.”
He ruffles his hair and she throws she arms around him.
“Put it on me?”
He does and their bracket never come off.

When Bellamy and Murphy are twelve, Murphy's father dies.

Clarke had invited Bellamy, Octavia, Murphy, and Shaw over for a movie night.
Shaw was going to his winter formal and Murphy had been out of school for a week, sick.
She drags him down the stairs to the basement and she stops.
He stares in awe.
There’s a tent in the middle of the room.
He moves closer to examine it to see that it’s actually a blanket fort.
Blankets are draped over chairs and random poles which he later learns are PVC pipes. hold the blankets up.

Inside the fort is Wells and Miller sitting off to one side, while Josie, and her three friends, Monty, Jasper, and Harper are on their stomachs, a bowl of popcorn in front of them.
“About time you got here.”
Ocatvs slides in next to Josie and gives the boy with the goggles, Jasper a smile. The boy turns pink and Bellamy's eyes narrow.
Clarke tugs on his hand and he looks at her.
“Come, let's watch a movie.”
They all sit under the fort and the movie starts.
Clarke rests her head on hair shoulder and Bellamy smiles as he tucks the blanket under her legs.
Octavia and Jasper are whispering under a blanket and Clarke pats his knee.
“Bell, she’s eight. They are friends.”
Miller mutters own thing that sounds like,
“Didn't stop you.”
But they ignore him and his comments.

They are halfway thought movie when they get the phone call.
Jake comes down grimly.
“Bellamy, Clarke, Miller, Wells, I need to talk to you.”
The four of them leave the blanket and Clarke tells Josie to keep going with movie and her sister reluctantly presses play.

Jake has them sit down and Clarke has never seen her father look so nervous, so solemn.
He sighs and pulls a chair in front of them.
“I have some sad news.”
Clarke reaches for Bellamy’s hand and he squeezes it.
“There was an accident. Mr. Murphy went to the store to get some medicine for John and someone came in to rob the place…”
Bellamy can’t breathe.
He has an idea where the story is heading.
“The police came and there some shooting and Mr.Murphy got hit.”
Wells lets out a soft sigh and Jake contusion in.
“He died.”
Bellamy closes his eyes thinking about his best friend.
He doesn’t even realize he’s crying until Clarke is wrapping her arms around him and he can feel her tears hitting his leg.
“O. I need to tell her.”
He wiped away his tears and Jake shakes his head.
“I don't think it's a good dea..”
“Mr.Murphy, he helped mom. He’s O’s godfather.”
Jakes goes to get O and when Bellamy tells her she bursts into tears.
Clarke is there hugging the smaller girl and Bellamy hug them both.

Bellamy hates wearing suits.
He hates how stiff they are, but what he hates most of all, are the rare occasions that he has to wear suits.
He hates funerals.

Aurora has Octavia on her lap, David Miller on her side.
When he had come in here was a murmuring but Murphy had hugged the idler policeman tightly.
Jake Griffin is on the other side of Aurora, Josie on his lap.

Clarke looked so small wearing black and she had grabbed his hand when she saw him.
He leads her downstairs where Murphy was picking at some food.
Miller was drinking water while Shaw stood there, a cup of coffee in his hands, his girlfriend next to him.
Clarke knows some of the kids from the baseball team and they all gave her nods and she makes her way to Murphy.
She hugs him tightly and to everyone's surprise, Murphy hugs her back.
She rubs his back and Murphy stays like that for a bit, his head in her neck. She mummers into his ear and Bellamy just watches his two best friends.
When Murphy pulls say his eyes are red and he looks so young.
Gone is the boy with the snarky attitude, in his place is a boy grieving.
Bellamy wraps an around Clarke and presses a kiss to her hair.

Chapter Text

Starting high school isn’t easy.

For starters, they are no longer on the junior baseball team, but Bellamy and Murphy still go back to help David Miller when possible.
Second of all, he and Octavia are no longer in the same school and he doesn't like not being there to take care of her.
Third of all, Murphy is dealing with his dead father. Finding out that Dax’s brother was the one to shoot him was not easy. When he first found out, he had been angry.
He had grabbed his baseball bat and was dead set on heading to Dax’s house and Bellamy and Shaw and Jake Griffin had to talk him down.
So instead they took him to a batting cage and Jake spent about fifty dollars to Muprhy could hit ball after ball.
At the end of it, Muprhy crumples onto hsi knees and he cries.

When they start school, Dax is there leaning against his locker, his tattoos prominent. He grins when he sees them.
“Blake! Murphy!”
Bellamy has to remind Murphy not to start anything because Dax had joined his brother’s gang and the least thing Bellamy wanted to do was bury one of his best friends.
So Murphy has all this anger and no outlet. Baseball season doesn’t start till spring so Murphy joins drama and Bellamy gets into track and field.

Bellamy didn't expect Murphy to like drama.
Murphy somehow nabs a big role for a freshman and he loves it.
Getting a role in Macbeth is perfect for the angry boy who practices at Bellamy's house his lines with a dramatic air and occasional in ridiculous voices that makes Octavia laugh.
Neither boys say anything about all the time that Murphy starts to spend at the Blake’s. Aurora simply sets out blankets and a pillow for him on the couch.
Aurora sees the faint bruises on his shoulder and she ruffles hsi hair and presses a kiss to his forehead.
Bellamy doesn’t say anything when Muprhy falls asleep on his shoulder when they take the bus. Instead, he takes care not to move.
Murphy's his other best friend, but he’s more than that.
He’s family, he’s Bellamy’s brother.

Fourth of all, there is also this weird distance between him and Clarke.
He’s in high school and she’s in the fifth grade and suddenly having a best friend who’s in middle school is weird. Clarke isn't his sister and she’s more of his friend that her sisters and he’s not sure what to refer to her as when people ask about the blonde girl on his phone screen..
She’s just his Clarke.
She's the person who cheers him on, she’s the one who makes him smile.
She’s his best friend.
She’s his princess.

But it doesn't change the fact that she's in middle school and he’s in high school.

So whenever someone asks him about the girl in the picture in his locker, he tells them that she's a friend of his sister who is like a sister to him.
He changes his phone screen to a picture of Octavia, Clarke, and Josie and refers to them as his family, his little sisters.
He ignores the weird feeling in his stomach every time he says it.
He also ignores the slight frown on Murphy's face every time the boy hears him.

But despite the weirdness, Bellamy tries to see Clarke every weekend.
They spend a lot of time at her house watching movies in the blanket fort, baking in her kitchen, and sometimes they spend the day doing their one thing in the same room- her drawing as he reads.
He likes these days they are peaceful.

Clarke is exhausted.
Clarke had joined the competitive dance team which raised her dance classes that she was taking to three- ballet, Hip-hop, and competition.
If she was being honest hip-hop wasn’t really her favorite thing to do she prefers the slow-moving, peaceful movements of ballet.
Josie, on the other hand, loves hip-hop but Abby had insisted that the girls do all three, making their busy schedule became even busier. This was why Clarke cherished her weekends with Bellamy.
Things had been odd between them when he started school but now they seemed to have settled into a rhythm.
They called each other twice a week and just talk. Some days they didn't even talk, he would do his homework and she would do her's and occasionally one would make a comment. But weekends were her time with Bellamy.
Sometimes Miller and Wells and Muprhy would come over and it was always fun but Clarke likes it when it is just her and Bellamy.
Bellamy is her favorite person in the world, outside of Josie.
He’s her best friend and Clarke has a small crush on him.
She tells herself its because he’s gotten taller and stronger and that it will go away soon.
After all her small crush on him when she was five faded and now at eleven it’s back because’s he looks good, much better than the boys in her class.

Clarke’s birthday is on a Sunday and she has a dance competition the night before.
She comes home so tired and all she wants to do was go to bed and sleep for a while.
She had asked Bellamy to hang out with her on Sunday and he said that he had made plans with some new friends. She was disappointed but happy that he was making new friends in high school.

She wakes up to someone opening her curtains and she buries her head under the blanket when the light hits her eyes.
“Hey princess.”
“Hey, Bell.”
It takes a second and then Clarke sits up, eyes wide, hair a mess.
He smirks at her, taking in her messy curls, the makeup under her eyes and the fact that she’s adorable.
He holds up three fingers and slowly lowers them and then everyone starts to sing.
Clarke’s eyes fill up with tears as she looks at everyone in her room singing to her.
Josie with Muprhy’s hand on her shoulders, Octavia next to her with Jasper, Monty, and Harper- the two boys singing off-key, loudly. Miller and Wells are on the other side of the bed, while Bellamy sits on the bed next to her.
Her father has the video camera and Abby stands next to him, a small smile on her face.
Bellamy hands her plate of stacked pancakes and she blows out the candle in it and everyone cheers.
“Did you make a wish?”
Clarke nods and her eyes land on Bellamy.
She wishes that she and Bellamy would always be friends.
Jake orders them all out os she can get ready and Bellamy hugs her tightly befor he leaves the room, her plate in his hand.
Clarke jumps into the shower and gets changed into a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. She grabs one of Bellamy’ old hoodies and throws it on.
Everyone is gathered around the table eating and she slides into the seat next to Bellamy who hands her a hot chocolate.
It’s been a while since everyone has been at her house and Clarke is so happy to have everyone.

After breakfast her father ushers them all into the cars and Clarke sits next to Bellamy who smiles as she bounces in her seat in anticipation of what is to come.
He slides a blindfold over her eyes once they get near and helps her out of the car.
When he removes the blindfold she gasps.
“We are going mini-golfing?”
Jake nods and Abby smiles as she hands out some wristband.
She’s in a good mood and even gives Bellamy a smile.
He thinks that Abby might be slowly warming up to him.
Clarke picks out a classic white ball and the others all stake out their balls, with Bellamy calling dibs on a blue ball.

The mini-golf course is glow-in-the-dark and Clarke's face lights up when she sees how all her friends grow.
Jake makes them stop and take pictures and Clarke is all smiles.
She and Bellamy have a good time, competing with each other and during a particularly hard shot, Bellamy helps her line it up.
Murphy rolls his eyes as he watches Bellamy helps Clarke aim.
But he also felt pity.
His two best friend were in for a bumpy ride. Right now the age difference seemed like a lot but in a few years it wouldn't matter,
But would it be too late by then?
There’s a photo booth and they all squeeze into at the end of the game.
Then the younger kids corner it and so Murphy and Clarke get into an intense game of air-hockey while Miller, Wells, and Bellamy shoot some hoops.
Murphy eventually beats Clarke and he ruffles her hair and she hugs him.
They get into the photo booth once Octavia and Josie get out, and they pull some funny faces and then Wells jumps in, scaring Murphy.
Clark takes pictures with just Wells and then with Miller and then just her sister, then Bellamy climbs in and he presses a hand to her cheek and then smiles at her.
“Hey princess?”
“Happy birthday. “
He kisses her cheek and she closes her eyes and the camera catches the moment.
The next picture of them is of her on his lap, peace signs thrown up.
It’s one of Clarke's best birthdays.
Twevele is off to a good start.

When Bellamy is fifteen (and Clarke is twelve going on thirteen), his mother marries David Miller is a small ceremony and they move to Alpha that summer.
It’s a huge change.
He’s no longer at school at Mecha which means that Murphy is on his own as Shaw had graduated and had enlisted in the US Navy.
It’s weird walking into Alpha High alone for his sophomore year.
He has Miller, who’s a freshman and just as lost as he is but still it is like being a different world.
He recognizes a couple of kids form baseball and they invite him to sit and lunch but Bellamy finds himself missing everyone.
Octavia, Josie, Jasper, and Monty are all in the fifth grade, Harper, Clarke and Wells are in sixth.
That’s when he meets Gina. She’s in his Spanish and Autotech class.
She’s too smart too sweet and Bellamy has a huge crush on her. The junior is pretty with brown curly hair and a pretty laugh.
Somehow she and Bellamy become friends and they are working in taking apart an engine and she’s struggling with removing a screw and she refusing his help because she can do and she looks up at him with a smile and she has a spot of grease on her chin and it comes out.
“Will you go to homecoming with me?”
Gina laughs and she puts the screwdriver down.
“I would love to.”
She gives him her phone number and later tells him her dress is green.

When Bellamy sees Clarke that weekend he tells her excitedly.
He didn’t see the brief look of sadness pass across her face.
But Murphy does and so does Wells.
They exchange looks and Murphy gives Clarke an extra tight hug when he leaves her.
It hits Clarke that as of now, she’s just a kid. Bellamy is in high school and he’s around girls his age.
She tells herself that she doesn’t care.
Bellamy brings Gina to movies and Clarke wants to hate her.
But she's really pretty and really sweet and just perfect for Bellamy.
It takes all Clarke has not to cry.
She tells herself that her crush on Bellamy is just a crush and that she will be okay.

The weekend of homecoming he gets all dressed up, Aurora helping him with his green tie on his neck and he and Gina take tons of pictures.
Miller goes to homecoming with some of his friends, he had asked Murphy to join them but the boy had declined and said that he had promised the girls that he would spend time with them, as Wells and his father would be out of town.
Murphy’s job is to keep Octavia, Josie, and Clarke entertained which is how he ended up letting Octavia paint his fingers nails and lets Jose puts makeup on him.
Clarke is busy practicing her routine for her solo.
She’s been quiet all day and her phone has been silent. Normally it would have been vibrating, a message form Bellamy on the screen.
But it’s silent.
But it wasn't like she messaging him.
So Murphy sits silently and Josie put blue eyeliner on him and as Octavia paints his nails in a matching shade.
“All done!”
Josie sings-songs and she hands him a mirror.
Murphy is impressed.
The eyeliner actually looks good on him.
It makes his eye pop but he still looks cool.
He wonders briefly what would happen in the showed up to school with eyeliner on.
He puts the mirror down to see Clarke pirouette, her posture perfect but she has no life in her like she normally does.
He turns to the two girls.
“Hey, can you give me and Clarke a minute?”
Octavia nods and pulls Josie behind her.
“Gina’s nice but I’m rooting for Clarke.”

She doesn't seem to hear him, her air-pods blasting Cinderella .
He walks over to her and when she sees him she neatly finishes her dance.
She looks up at him and gives him a small smile.
“Nice eyeliner.”
“Thanks your sister did it.”
He tugs the blonde to sit on the couch next to him.
“Talk to me.”
“It’s stupid Murphy.”
“So? Tell me.”
“I’m just jealous. Like I get it, I'm still in middle school and Bellamy is in high school so of course, he’s dating and making new friends and I'm fine with it…”
“She’s perfect, Gina is funny and smart and pretty and she's perfect and I can't hate her. She's the type of girl Bellamy deserves, someone who has time for him in his life. Not someone who can only see him twice a week, if I'm lucky. What if he doesn't want to be my friend anymore?”
Murphy wraps an arm around her.
“Clarke, listen to me, you are still his best friend. He's not going to forget about you just because he's dating Gina and making new friends. You are his princess.”
“You heard him, Murphy, he really likes her.”
Her blue eyes fill with tears and Murphy runs a hand through her hair.
“How about you let O and Josie do your nails? It will make you feel better.”
Clarke wipes her eyes and nods.
“Can we watch a movie?”
Murphy groans.
“Let me guess… Grease?”
Clarke looks at him and Muprhy sighs.
“Whatever the princess wants the princess gets.”
He stands up to start setting up the blanket fort downstairs that he doesn't hear Clarke muttering.
“Not everything. I don't get everything I want.”

Bellamy has a good time with Gina, talking but he can’t help but keep looking at his phone.
Normally Clarke would have been texting him but she had not messaged him anything since the night before.
He wonders if everything is okay.
So instead of texting her, he texts Murphy who sends him a snap of Clarke with red lipstick and blue eyeliner on, Josie’s hand in the frame.
Makeover and the it’s time for some summer loving.
Bellamy feels a twinge of concern.
Grease is Clarke’s comfort movie.
She enjoys singing along to the songs because it always puts her in a good mood.
Bell: Is everything okay?
Murph: It's fine. Enjoy your dance.

Gina tugs his phone out of his hand.
“Come on Bellamy, dance with me.”
He lets her drag him to the dance floor and Gina laughs as he spins her around.
She takes his mind off his best friend.

Bellamy brings Gina to’s Clarke’s birthday party.
When he asks for her permission, Clarke didn't have the heart to say no even with Murphy standing behind Bellamy shaking his head.
As Clarke gets ready, she eyes her pink sweater.
She’s about to turn thirteen and her clothes make her feel like a child.
She tugs on the sweater, looks at herself in the mirror, and then bursts into tears.
She had brought this sweater about two months ago and then overnight she hit puberty and it was bad.
Most girls want big boobs, but Clarke's a ballet dancer.
It throws her weight off balance and now the pretty sweater she picked out doesn't fit over her chest.
“Clarke honey?”
Clarke races to the door and locks it.
Then she sinks down onto the floor and cries.
She’s thirteen, her chest is too big, she has a zit on her nose, and the boy she has a crush on his out of her league and dating someone else.

Another person knocks on her door.
“Clarke, it’s Murphy. Can I come in?”
She doesn't respond.
A few minutes later, there’s a sound of scratching and then the door swings open and Miller looks pleased.
“Told you I could do it. “
“Yeah yeah, you are the best. Now go keep Bellamy distracted.”
Miller nods and Murphy locks the door behind him.
He eyes the crumpled girl on the floor.
“What happened to you?”
She gestures to herself and he helps her pull off her sweater and Clarke lets her head hit her mattress.
She has no shame in being half-naked.
She’s a dancer, she strips down often in a room full of girls to get ready for the next performance.
Murphy raises an eyebrow and he feels a wave of pity.
Clarke has a chest most girls would kill for but at thirteen she could care less about it.
He helps her up.
“Come let's get you ready before Bellamy bursts down the door.”

Bellamy sits on the coch holding Gina’s hand.
Clarke has yet to come down and Murphy disappeared twenty minutes ago.
Clarke hasn't responded to any of his texts and Josie is quiet, talking with Octavia who is holding Jasper’s hand.
Gina squeezes his hand.
“Are you okay?”
Bellamy nods.
He was thankful that Gina wanted to come. She has asked him out on a date and he was about to say yes before re he remembered that Clarke’s birthday party was that weekend and he couldn't miss it.
He had told Gina about it and she told him not to worry and then without thinking it through he had asked her to come with.
She had agreed.
Murphy and Clarke come down the stairs and Bellamy stands up. "Hi princess." Clarke throws her arms around him and he spins her around.

Gina is many things, stupid is not one of them.
She knows that something is wrong with Bellamy and even though they have only been together for about two months, she has been talking to him since the first day of school.
She knows that Clarke is special to Bellamy and as she watches Bellamy and Clarke her heartaches, but not for herself both for Clarke.
Clarke is head over heels for Bellamy and Bellamy doesn’t seem to realize it.
But if you ask Gina, Bellamy isn’t in love with Clarke.
At least not yet.
He won’t let himself be in love with her because of her age but in a few years, once she’s in high school or even maybe when she’s in college, the age won’t matter.

Gina has two options, she could tell Bellamy that Clarke is in love with him and that she knows without a doubt that he will love Clarke back one day or she can keep quiet and let her relationship with Bellamy runs its course.
It sounds cruel but she knows exactly where she stands with Bellamy, she won't fall in love with him because she gets that Clarke already owns his heart but Bellamy is kind and he makes her smile and its been too long since someone made her feel pretty.
She watches Bellamy wrap and an arm Clarke and she laughs and when she catches Clarke's eyes she smiles at her.

The blonde girl approaches her as Bellamy and Octavia belt their hearts out during karaoke.
“Bellamy really likes you.”
“I like him too.”
“Please don’t break his heart,”
Gina nods, her mind wondering how the girl can ask her this.
Clarke is breaking her own heart for the sake of keeping Bellamy happy.
“Happy Birthday Clarke.”
Clarke looks at Gina and she wants to hate her.
But she can’t because Gina is pretty and kind and perfect for Bellamy.
She watches Bellamy smile at Gina as he sings and even though it hurts, she wants Bellamy to be happy.

Bellamy wraps an arm around Clarke as Josie pulls Muprhy up for karaoke. Gina is talking to Shaw who had come home for a brief visit before he shipped out.
“Enjoying your birthday princess? I noticed you came down late. What happened?”
“I had a rough morning but it's all good now.”
“What happened?”
“A mini-meltdown because my sweater wouldn't go over my chest.”
Bellamy's eyes flicker downward than they bolt right back up, his cheeks red.
“Murphy helped me though."
Bellamy ignore the flare of jealousy in his chest.
"But its all good now?"
“It’s good. I’m having fun. I’m glad you are here Bell.”
“Did you actually think I would forget my princess's big day? I would never ever forget it.”
Clarke giggles and she interlaces their fingers.
“Hey, Bellamy?"
She waits till he turns to look at her.
" You are my best friend.”
His eyes soften.
“And you Clarke Griffin are my best friend.”
There a pause before Clarke has to ask.
“You really like her don't you?”
“Who Gina?”
Clarke nods and Bellamy’s arm tightens around Clarke's shoulder.
“Yeah, I do. She makes me happy.”
“I’m happy I want you to be happy, you deserve to be happy.”

Gina and Shaw watch Bellamy and Clarke.
“How does he not know that she's in love with him?”
Shaw snorts not expecting the girl to ask him that question. She had seemed too sweet, too good to ask such a question.
“Because Bellamy is an idiot.”
“That idiot is my boyfriend.”
“Does it bother you?”
Gina thinks about how to explain the thoughts in her mind.
“Yes and no. Am I thrilled that my boyfriend will one day be in love with another girl? No. Do I understand? Yes. I've seen the way he and Clake are near each other. They have this connection, and the only thing keeping them apart is their age, and I know I can't compete but Bellany is good. Besides if I'm dating him, he's not with someone else and Clarke doesn't have to worry about someone else catching his eye. “
Shaw raises his bottle of lemonade to her and Gina clinks it against her can of sprite.
“Heres to the idiots.”
“Here's to them. It's going to be a long ride.”
Shaw laughs.
“This is what the kids call a slow burn right?”
Gina laughs and their eyes meet.

Chapter Text

Gina and Bellamy break up in Janurary.

To say that Clarke was surprised was an understatement.
Their break up had come from nowhere and a part of her was a little offended that Bellamy didn’t say a word to her especially considering the fact that he usually tells Clarke all about their dates and how much fun he's having with Gina and how he really likes her.
Of course, his conversations about Gina would lead to Clarke to talking to Murphy.

Murphy would say that Bellamy was as an idiot and he would tell Clarke to talk to Bellamy and explain how the conversations were making her feel but she didn’t want to lose her friendship with Bellamy.
So Clarke kept silent and she sat there, a fake smile on her lips, as Bellamy went on and on about Gina.

His dating life was starting to put a strain on him and Clarke because suddenly all the time he usually spent with Clarke is spent with Gina.
Clarke tries not to let it bother her but when it became a thing pretty much every other week, with him canceling on her, it begins to hurt.

However, the first crack in Bellamy and Gina's relationship is during Clarke's winter recital.
She’s going to be the youngest girl in the class performing a solo and he had promised to be there.
Clarke was looking forward to seeing her best friend but he had not responded to any of her messages but then she checked his Snapchat and saw that he and Gina were ice-skating.
She blinks back her tears and Josie looks at her in alarm.
"Clarke is everything all right?"
Clarke laughed.
"Everything‘s fine. Are you ready?"
"Are you? I’m not the one who’s got a solo."
Clarke smiles and reaches for her sister’s hand and she squeezes it.
"I’m ready."

Josie smiles faintly and goes back to pinning flowers in her hair.

Bellamy is so busy with Gina having fun that he loses track of time and when he sees his phone, his eyes widen.
“Oh shit.”
“What's wrong?”
“I’m late, it’s Clarke recital and I promised her that I would be there. She has a solo.”
They rushed to take off the ice skates and they sit in the Uber, waiting in traffic to get to the show. Bellamy is jiggling his leg up and down frantically, his fingers tapping.
Gina doesn't even bother to calm him down.
He’s worked himself up into a frenzy and nothing she can do will help.

They make it to the second half of the show right before her solo.
Bellamy buys Clarke a bouquet of roses and gets Josie a smaller bouquet.
As soon as Clarke comes on stage, Bellamy leans forward in his seat and a starstruck look on his face.
Gina watches Bellamy watch Clarke.
He looks dazed and there’s a soft smile on his face that she calls the Clarke smile because it only appears when Clarke in near or he talks about her.
Gina likes Bellamy and it would be so easy to fall in love with him but his heart is taken by someone else.
She feels bad for them.
Three years isn't a huge age difference and it wouldn't matter in the future but right now, it's a huge thing.

Clarke is the last one in the dressing room and is packing her shoes up when she is shoved.
She hits the side of the table and she cries out.
She turns her head to see the familiar ponytail swinging out and a quick flash of a panda charm on a girl's bag before the door closes and she hisses.

The taller and older girl had been a thorn on her side since she first started dancing.
Clarke has no idea why she hates her so much but Ash was out to get here.
When she was younger it was petty things, taking her shoes, her tights, locking her in the bathroom once.
But as they got older, it escalated to more physical things- shoving her into doorways, almost hitting in her in the face during practice, making comments about her height and weight and appearance.
It had gotten worse now that they were competing for the same roles.
Clarke may have been younger than Ash but they were at the same level

Her mother didn't believe her saying that Ash was a nice girl.
Bellamy didn't care about dance politics and he was too busy with Gina to know what was going on. Jose had no clue because Clarke was not going to let Ash lay a hand on her sister.
She grabs her bag and winces at the weight on her shoulder.
Ashe had knocked into her a few days ago and she had hit her shoulder on the door frame.

Clarke's eyes scan over her friends and family as she and Josie walkout. Her parents her Uncles David and Theo, Wells, Miller, Roan, Octavia, Aurora, Murphy, and Bellamy and Gina.
Clarke freezes.
He came.

Her bag hit the floor in front of her father as she ran to him and jumped into his arms.
He held her tightly.
“You came!”
“I wouldn't miss it for the world princess.”
He hugs he tightly and Murphy looks at Gina who is looking at then with a sad look in her eyes.
Murphy feels bad for Gina. She's a cool girl but she's no match for Clarke.
Bellamy gives her the bouquet and Clarke beams up at him, blue eyes bright.
Clarke hugs the others and Muprhy swings an arm around her and Bellamy’s eyes narrowed at the sight.

When did they get so close?

Jake takes them to get hot chocolate and as Clarke peels off her jacket to reveal her ice blue tutu, Bellamy’s eyes catches sight of something tied around the strap of the costume and tucked into the front of her cosutme
Without thinking he reaches over and pulls it out and his eyes widen as does Clarke’s.
For two different reasons.
Clarke can’t breathe because Bellamy is too close to her chest and Bellamy can’t breathe because he can't believe Clarke wear his friendship bracelet with her costume.
“You wear it while you dance?”
Clarke nods.
“Of course, I said I would never take it off.”
She unties it from her costume and holds out her wrist.
Bellamy ties it for her and he presses a kiss to her head.
Bellamy then sees the bruise on her shoulder.
"What happened?"
Clarke licks her lips and shakes her head.
She's a big girl, she can handle Ash. She didn't want Bellamy to worry about it. "It's nothing, I was running and ran into a door."
Bellamy laughs.
"Clumsy princess."
Gina watches them as her phone vibrates.
She reads the text and smiles to herself.

Bellamy breaks up Gina after a date. He asks her out the movie and sends half the date worries she will hate him. Gina can tell something is wrong but she doesn't say a word knowing that Bellamy will tell her when he's’ ready.
They are in the car when he blurts it out.
“Gina, I really like you but I think we should break up.” She is not surprised.
She presses a kiss to his cheek and reassured him that there are no hard feelings and that's it.

In January, Clarke learns that she will be allowed to skip 7th grade and Clarke is so excited. Abby is less thrilled because it means Clarke will be doing stuff that takes away from her dancing but Jake is excited.

She’s ready to tell Bellamy when he’s supposed to come over for a movie night but he cancels on her and Clarke instead tells Miller and Murphy, who are both excited for her. She also tells them that she will be starting her pointe training and Muprhy whistles, impressed.

Bellamy calls her later that night and tells her he broke up with Gina. Clarke is torn with being sad because she did like Gina but also happy that Bellamy broke up with her.
Bellamy comes over to see her on Sunday it's like his relationship never happened. He's not upset or anything. Instead, he reads a book while Clarke does her leg band exercises on the floor.

Clarke think that's the end of Bellamy’s dating life for now.

Clarke gets the chance to play Cinderella in the upcoming show and she's excited. She’s the youngest girl to get a chance to play a role and the youngest in her ballet class. The fact that she beat out Ash for the role makes the victory a whole lot sweeter.
She invites everyone to the show and Bellamy is the most excited of all. He had been watching Clarke practice because she wants to prove to everything that she can do it.

Clarke sits her in her dressing room as Josie does her make-up.
Her younger sister is the only one she trusts to do her make-up.
But eventually she is the only one in the dressing room and it's fifteen till curtain.
There’s a knock on her door and she turns to see Bellamy.

“Hi princess.”
He closes the door behind him and he looks at her.
Her hair is pulled up into its usual bun and despite the simple costume that she wears for the first half of the ballet she is still pretty.
Clarke blushes.
She nods.
“Nervous but excited . This is the beginning. If I do well with them then I can start trying out for sone of the other more complicated ballets- Giselle, Sleeping Beuty, Firebird, Swan Lake. This sis everything I have ever wanted.”
“You are going to do amazing, princess. I believe in you.”
Clarke squeezes his hand.
“That means everything to me, Bell.”
She touches his wrist where the friendship bracelet she made all those years ago is and she pats her heart.
”I got mine right here. Your mom helped me sew a little pocket so i can keep it on me at all times.”
Bellamy smiles widely as he presses a quick kiss to her cheek and heads out the door.
He calls over his shoulder, “Break a leg princess.”

He walks through the hallway quickly and a tall brunette girl bumps into him.
“Oh! I’m sorry!”
She looks up at him and Bellamy blinks.
She’s pretty with long dark brown hair pulled into a tight bun and pretty brown eyes. She’s tall and slim and is dressed in a pink tutu.
He clears his throat before he responds. “No, I am. I should have looked where I was going.”
She looks at him and then smirks.
“You aren’t supposed to be here.”
Bellamy scratches the back of his neck.
“I just wanted to tell my friend good luck.”
“Who’s your friend?”
“Clarke Griffin.”
Bellamy doesn't notice but her eyes get darker.
“She’s so sweet and such a lucky girl to get the leading role.”
“She's the best dancer I know but I'm probably a bit biased.”
"Just a bit?"
He holds up two fingers.
"Just a little."
She laughs.
“I’m Ash.”
They shake hands and he sighs.
“Look can you not tell anyone that I was back here?”
“I will... if you go on a date with me this weekend,”
She winks at him.

Bellamy thinks about it for a second.
Ash is cute and bold and the complete opposite of Gina and she’s also a dancer like Clarke so he understands the time commitment.
“I would like that.”
He gives her his phone and she puts in her number and then she rushes off.
Bellamy makes his way to his seat and smiles.
A date and he got to see his best friend.

As usual, Bellamy loves watching Clarke dance and seeing her take on such a large and important role is amazing. He watches her leap and spin and he gets into it.
Bellamy loves watching Clarke dance because she brings the story to life.
He knows that one day she will make it big and he can’t wait to see it.

Bellamy hands Clarke her flowers.
When she sees him, she throws her arms around him and he spins her around.
"Did you see me? I did it!"
Neither of them notices Ash watching them.
Clarke poses for pictures and Clarke is all smiles, high off the adrenaline from the applause she got.
Bellamy never brings up his date and Clarke is none the wiser.

A few weeks later, they celebrate his 16 th birthday by going to the amusement park but Clarke can’t go because she has a dance competition. Ash comes along and when Bellamy asks her about it she laughs.
“I don’t compete. I prefer sticking to ballet and only ballet.”
Bellamy laughs, his date with her had gone really well and they had been on several more dates since than.
When he introduces his friends to her, he had said that she was just a friend. Miller had nodded and Muprhy had given them a strained smile.
Octavia had glared at her but Bellamy ignored her as she had been pouting that Josie couldn't come because she had to be at the competition.
He spent the day laughing with her and he even managed to win her a stuffed panda. He ends up walking her to the bus stop and she kisses him lightly and winks at him.
He goes back to his friends with a goofy grin and Murphy feels his heart sink.

Bellamy doesn't want to tell Clarke about Ash, mostly because he knew that she liked Gina and he also didn't want Clarke to freak it out about him dating a girl from her dance studio.
So in between helping David out with baseball and spending time with Clarke in between her summer dance classes, he dates Ash.
Somehow he goes through the entire summer without having to tell Clarke about his new girlfriend.

Chapter Text

Clarke starts the 8th grade in the fall and he’s a junior in high school.
She’s been taking pointe for a little more than six months now and she’s auditioning for a part in Giselle that is being put on by a dance company.
So is Ash.

Luck seems to be in Clarke’s favor the morning of the auditions because if her father had dropped her off a few minutes later, she would have seen Bellamy’s car pull up, Ash in the passenger seat. She would have seen them kiss right before the audition, which could have thrown her off.

But she got there five minutes before Ash did and was already stretching her legs out at the barre as the girl breezed in, her hair a mess and her lipstick smudged.
Clarke keeps an eye on her as she stands next to a girl named Gaia, who’s two years older. They share a smile and the two make small talk while they stretch with Gaia giving her some tips. Gaia had been the Sugar Plum Fairy at the age of 12 and she told Clarke not to be intimidated by the older girls performing.
“You wouldn’t have been asked to audition if they don't think you were good.”

They are each asked to perform a series of steps and then taught a bit of the choreography for two hours.
Then they perform.
Clarke is focused, not paying attention to the girls who are tapped, asked to step out.
Then they are brought back after a short break in small groups of three to perform some more turns and leaps and catches.

She’s in the same group as Ash and Gaia and the three take turns right after another.
Clarke is turning when Ash stumbled into her, mid-leap, her foot hitting her in the back of her knee.
She lets out a soft cry as she hits the ground.
She runs a hand over her legs as they run to look her over.
Ash is apologizing but Clarke is paying no attention to her as she answers their questions.
They suggest she goes home and Clarke shakes her head.
“I can still dance.”
One of the judges, Callie shakes her head.
“Go home, and ice it. You did great.”

So Clarke calls Bellamy needing him and he picks her up and she cries in the car thing.
She's pretty sure that she blew her shot at a chance to be in the ballet.

Bellamy texts his girlfriend about it and she's all apologizes, saying that it's her fault and she feels so bad about what happened but that she isn't sure how to apologize to Clarke and Bellamy tells her not to worry about that it will blow over and that Clarke will forgive her because its an accident.
Then without asking Clarke for permission, the way he did with Gina, he invited her to Clarke's fourteen birthday party.

On the day of Clarke’s fourteen birthday party she finds out two things.

The first is that she got a role in Giselle, and not just any role but the lead herself.
She had submitted a video of herself finishing the routine in hopes they would still consider her and she had gone to two doctors so make sure she was all good. She had bruised her shoulder badly and a small sprain. But two weeks after the audition, she was good to go and they had given her the role.
She messages Gaia. who will be playing the role of her lover, and Clarke is excited to be sharing a stage with the older girl.
The two girls had bonded and Gaia had reached out to check up on her and they had gone to get ice cream twice. Her mother Indra was a famous ballerina and Gaia was hoping to follow in her footsteps.

The second thing she finds out is that Bellamy is dating Ash, her ballet nemesis and bully.
She gets the call about Giselle and the first thing that comes to mind is that she can't wait to tell Bellamy at the party.
They are going bowling and then coming back for a movie and Clarke slides into a simple thank top and ties a button-up shirt around her waist.
She gets to the bowling alley and Murphy scoops her up when she tells him the good news. The older boy is proud of her and Clarke is thrilled to see Bree, who Murphy had been dating casually for the past two months.
Bree congratulate her on the ballet and the girls start a conversation about cheerleading and ballet.

Bellamy is late and they are on their second game when Bellamy and Ash walked in.
Octavia took one look at them and her eyes had widened.
Her brother had told her not to say anything to Clarke because he wanted to tell he first and O had agreed hoping her brother would have dumped his new girlfriend before Clarke found out.
But clearly, he didn't.
And clearly, he was an idiot, who invited his girlfriend to Clarke's birthday party.
Murphy jaw drops and he wonders what he can do it fix this.
But then Bree call out.

And Clarke turns around, a huge smile on her face that falls when she sees Ash by his side.
It’s like watching a car crash, you can’t look away even though you know it's horrifying.
That’s how Murphy feels watching Clarke’s face.
She looks so betrayed.

Bellamy doesn't seem to notice as he wrapped his arm around the girl next to him.
‘This is my girlfriend Ash. you two dance together.”
Clarke smiles stiffly.
“I know who she is.”
Bellamy moves to hug her and Clarke hugs him back stiffly.

Ash turns to look at the young girl and gives her a fake smile.
“Clarke happy birthday! Congrats on being 14, wow it's hard to believe how young you are.”
Clarke stiffens and Bellamy laughs, rubbing the back on his neck.
“Three years younger than your guys isn't that much of a difference.”
Ash shakes her head, her brown ponytail bobbing up and down.
Her voice is condescending and Clarke's lips are pressed into a straight line.

Bellamy frowns and Ash sees it from the corner of her eyes and backtracks.
“How’s the ankle?”
Clarke smiles brightly.
“Perfect, I’m all cleared to play Giselle.”
Ash clears her throat and Bellamy's eyes widen.
“They released the cast list?”
“You got the the part?”
Clarke laughs, a small smirk on her lips.
“I got the phone call this morning. I got the lead!”
Bellamy scoops her up and spins her around and she laughs.
“I knew you could do it, princess!”
Bellamy doesn't notice that Ash’s hands form small fists nor does he notice anger in her eyes.
When he put Clarke down, Ash is smiling.
“Congrats. Lucky break.”
Clarke crosses her arms over her chest and Ash's eyes drift downwards.
“Yeah, I got lucky that the sprain wasn't more serious.”
Bellamy gives Ash a look and she sighs.
“Look I just wanted to apologize for what happened at the audition, I should have been more careful and realize that you were still turning, I was just counting in my head…”
Bellamy doesn't realize the implications behind what Ash is saying but Clarke does.
It's a subtle dig to Clarke's skills as a dancer and her timing.
She opens her mouth to fight but then she sees how Bellamy looks at Ash and she swallows.
“It’s fine. I mean I still got the lead.”
Josie calls for her sister to bowl and Clarke runs away.

Miller gives her a smile and squeezes her shoulder and Wells shoots Bellamy a glare.
“He’s an idiot.”
Clarke give them a faint smile and bowls.
She spends most of her party avoiding Bellamy and Ash who spend time talking to Bree and Murphy.
Bellamy is a bit hurt by Clarke's silent treatment and also annoyed by the way she ignores Ash.
Murphy rolls his eyes when he brings it up.

“Did you ever tell her you were bringing her or did you just decide to?”
Bellamy doesn't have a response to that and Murphy shakes his head.
“ Do you even listen to what Clarke has to say?”
Bellamy looks at Murphy surprised by the change in his voice.
“Yes, I do.”
“Then you would know that she and Ash don't get along.”
“It was an accident. She didn't mean to hurt Clarke.”
Murphy slams his hand down onto the seat.
“Do you honestly think? Do you not remembering Clarke telling you about a year ago about the girl who used to bother her during practice?”
“Ash is mature. Are you seriously saying that my girlfriend is who is a teenager in engaging in petty behavior with a child? Clarke’s just an immature kid, Ash is a teenager. Ash has no reason to bother Clarke.”
Murphy snorts glares at the freckled boy.
“Do you honestly believe the words that are coming out of your mouth or are just trying to convince yourself?”
Bellamy opens his mouth and Murphy shakes his head and holds out hand.
“Just save it.”
Murphy heads off and places his hand on Josie's shoulders who is laughing at Wells. Bree follows him giving Ash a fake smile.

Bellamy wraps an arm around his girlfriend.
“Do you want to head out?”
"Do you mind. I feel like this was a bad idea."
"I'm sorry, I guess this was a bad idea."
"Don't be sorry. I'm happy to be here. I know how important Clarke is to you. I just don't think that today was the right day for us to meet." Ash kisses him softly and Clarke’s laugh dies as she sees them kiss.
She feels like he's been stabbed in the stomach.
She watches Ash leave and Bellamy gestures for her to come over so she does.

Murphy looks at them and Miller winces.
“I have a bad feeling about this.”
Wells buries his head into his hand.
“I don’t want to look.”
Octavia scowls and Josie squeeze her hand.
“Wells, it's your turn.”
Wells gets up to bowl and Murphy hands the two younger girls some cash.
“Go buy yourself some tokens and go play dance revolution or something.”
Josie rolls her eyes.
"You know that we are twelve, not six right?"
They run off and Murphy sighs as he watches Bellamy scratches the back of his next.

Clarke is used to smiling, she is used to fake smiling. It's part of being a dancer, always have a smile on your face.
But never did she think she would have to use these skills on Bellamy.
“You are leaving?”
He scatches the back of his neck.
“Yeah, Ash and I…”
Clarke shakes her head.
“It’s fine. I get it. Your girlfriend and you have somewhere else it be. I get why don't you want to spend a Saturday at your best friend's fourteen birthday party.”
Bellamy winces.
“It's not like that.”
Clarke shakes her head and turns away. She calls over her shoulder.
“Thank for coming.”
He grabs her hands and pulls her towards him.
“Look at me, Clarke you're my best friend. And I really want you and Ash to get along and I don't think your birthday party to the best place for that. She feels uncomfortable so I'm going to drive her home. I'll see you for a movie later okay?”
He presses a kiss to her forehead and then he’s out the door.
Clarke blinks back tears as she watches him walk out the door.
This was not how she thought her birthday party would go.

Clarke comes back in and Wells wraps an arm around her shoulder
“You okay?”
“Yeah, Bellamy said he’ll see us later tonight for the movie. Ash needed to go home.”
Murphy scowls and Bree can tell the girl is struggling so she smiles brightly.
“Clarke it’s your turn!”
Clarke takes the bowling ball and bowls but her heart is not into it. It's a gutter ball.
Josie and Octavia come back and they try to cheer Clarke up and it's not long before she is laughing and smiling.
Miller goes home because he has a date with a boy named Bryan and Murphy goes to drop Bree off and he promises Clarke that he will be over.
Jake picks the girls and Wells up and the two girls are quick to talk while Clarke sits in silence.

Harper, Monty, and Jasper join them for movies and Clarke settles down between Wells and Murphy.

Bellamy doesn’t mean to get caught up with Ash.

He drives her home and her foster parents aren’t there, so, like any teenage boy that gets the opportunity to spend some time with his girlfriend, he takes it.
They end up in her room, making out .
She’s in his lap, her hands are in his hair and despite it all, he's not really looking to sleep with her, at least not yet.
She reaches for his shirt and he pulls her hands away but keeps kissing her.
He keeps his hands at her waist and her hands head for his belt buckle a few minutes later and he pushes her away gently.
She glares at him.
“ What the hell?”
“ I’m sorry Ash, not today.”
She gets off his lap and drops onto her back and groans.
“ What is your problem? You stop me every single time. Do you not like sex or something?”
Bellamy is quiet as he thinks about his answer, trying to figure out how to word it right.
“ It’s not like that, I just I don’t want to rush into things.”
“Babe we’ve been seeing each other for half the summer. Am I like ugly or something? Most guys would kill to sleep at their girlfriends and here you are pretty much telling me no every time.”
“Ash, you know how I feel about you.”
She jumps up from the bed, hands in the air.
“Do I? I mean you rejecting me every time I try to have sex with you do you think I’m hideous? Do you not love me?”
Every word out of her mouth has her voice reaching a higher pitch and Bellamy is quick to reassure.
“No that’s not it. Ash, I love you. I’m just being a dumb boy.”
He pulled her toward him and she swings a leg over his waist and she kisses him hard. Bellamy‘s hands tremble as she pulls off her shirt and undoes her bra. She tugs off his shirt and kisses him, grinding on his lap.

Bellamy doesn’t mean to be late.
He doesn't show up until the second movie is almost over and Wells and Harper are gone and Monty's on the verge of falling asleep and it’s clear by the look on the girls' faces that he’s in the doghouse.
Octavia pulls the blanket around her, Jasper, Monty, and Josie tighter.
So he takes a seat next to Clarke who turns her back away from him and curls up into Murphy, who has his arm around her shoulder, him playing with her hair.
Bellamy tries to ignore the flash of jealousy that he feels.
They’re just friends.

Clarke is aware of Bellamy being near her and she shivers.
Murphy tucks the blanket around her tightly and she sighs.
After the movie is over, Clarke hands the remote to Bellamy.
“Pick something.”
It’s a sign of forgiveness and Bellamy feels his shoulders relax.
Murphy knows the Clarke has forgiven Bellamy and sighs but he removes his arm from around her and Clarke moves back until she’s pressed against Bellamy and his arms go around her and Bellamy presses a kiss to her temple.
Clarke sighs.
This wasn’t how she expected to be celebrating her fourteenth birthday but at least he is here with her, not with his girlfriend.
She’ll take what she can get .

She feels his chest vibrate from laughter and she smiles.
He turns to look at her.
“Yeah, princess?”
“ You’re my best friend.”
“You are mine too.”

Unfortunately, things get worse for Bellamy and Clarke.
logically she knows seen Bellamy can’t hang out all the time .
But it doesn't stop her from feeling jealous every time she sees Bellamy and Ash in the car. It doesn't stop her from looking away every time she watches Ash kiss Bellamy right before practice, the way the older girl plays with the panda necklace he got her for their anniversary. It’s doesn't stop her from digging her fingernails into her palm every time she sees Ash holding up a sign during Bellamy‘s track meets. It doesn’t stop hurting her every time Bellamy has to cancel and she feels that surge of jealousy.

It bothers Bellamy that the only time he gets to see Clarke most days are small glimpses, the quick flashes as she runs out to see him before or after her dance practice. Bellamy offers her a ride every time but she says no every time she sees Ash waiting.

It bothers him but he doesn't want to push the issue.
Ash is cool with the fact that his best friend is younger than him and while he wishes they would get along he doesn't want to ruin his relationship with either girl.
He wants to spend more time with Clarke but she's busy with the practice for Giselle .
He knows it's an amazing opportunity. When his girlfriend got one of smaller roles, she had been disappointed but she said that she can not turn it down.
Ash is a serious dancer, she needs to take all roles if she wants a shot in New York.
Since both of his favorite girls are in the ballet, he hardly sees them and when they are not busy he tries to divide his time equally, but he tends to spend more time with Ash because she pouts every time and Clarke simply gives him a soft smile.
He doesn't realize how much he is hurting her, choosing Ash over her every time.

Come Christmas, Ash has amazing news for him. Her foster parents have agreed to transfer her into his school come January.
He’s excited because it means more time with his girlfriend, which hopefully means free time to spend with Clarke.

He tells Clarke the good news in December when he sees her for the Christmas party that her parents have.
It’s the first time he has spent more than a two hour with her without his girlfriend at his side.
She looks pretty, dressed in dark green, her hair in a braid.
For a second, it's hard to remember that she’s only fourteen, she looks older, much older.

He notices Clarke talking to a dark-haired girl.
“Who’s that?”
“That’s Gaia. Friend of Clarke’s from dance. She plays one of Clarke’s lovers in the ballet.”
Murphy steers them to where the girls are laughing and Gaia looks him up and down.

She knew a lot about Bellamy Blake.
Nether Clarke of Ash would shut up about him.
She can see why Clarke is in love with him and it’s obvious by the way he looks at Clarke that he loves her.
What was a guy like him, a guy who from what both Clarke and Josie had told her was sweet and kind doing with a girl like Ash?
She had seen the way Ash was at practice.
She was a good dancer, talented, but her personality left something to be desired.
She never went out with them during their breaks and she made comments to Clarke.
The other girls ignored her, petty comments were part of the trade but it bothered Gaia. Clarke was one of the youngest girls in the dance and while no one could deny that she earned her part, there was some resentment that a fourteen-year-old beat out a sixteen-year-old girl for the part.

With the exception of Ash, no one was outwardly nasty to Clarke.

Gaia watches the way Clarke sinks into Bellamy’s side and how his arm goes around her waist.
She tugs on Murphy's am.
“Come on, help me find the bathroom.”
They are gone before Clarke can say anything.
Bellamy and Clarke find themselves heading to the fort downstairs.
It’s quiet and the perfect place for the two best friends or catch up.
She tells him about practice and he tells her about Ash switching schools.
Her heart skips a beat and she tries to hide her disappointment.
Bellamy squeezes her hand.
“Do you know what this mean princess? It means that since I will see Ash at school I will have more time to spend with you.”
Her eyes brighten.
He nods and she squeals, throwing her arms around his neck.

Clarke has no desire to head back upstairs and neither does Bellamy and so they don't move on and she settles against his chest and he plays with a strong of her hair.

He spends his winter break with both girls.
He takes Octavia, Josie, and Clarke to go the arcade and he splits his tickets between the three. He takes Ash ice skating (he tries to get Octavia to go but she refuses). He had Ash over for dinner and Octavia behaves like a brat and it annoys him. Miller and his boyfriend Bryan sit silent and David and Aurora exchange polite smiles.

He goes to see the nutcracker with Ash and has a movie night with his friends.

One night during Winter break he and Asher are making out on the couch in her foster parent's house when she pulls away.
“What do you think about the name Echo?”
Bellamy stills, confused.
He’s panicking.
Please don’t be pregnant please don’t be pregnant.
“Yeah, I was thinking if I want to be a real serious dancer, I need every edge I can get. my dancing just doesn’t have to be unforgettable so does my name. And Ash is such a common name. Echo that’s not a name you’re going to forget.”
“ So you want to change your stage name?”
“No I want to change my actual name.”
She looks so excited and happy and Bellamy didn’t doesn’t have the heart to say something negative or ask her why.
It feels weird on his tongue and its probably because he’s not used to it yet.
So he says it again.
“Echo.. this is my girlfriend Echo. I love you, Echo.”
It still sounds wrong but she beams and her shirt comes off and Bellamy‘s eyes widen.
She grabs his hand and pulls him toward her bedroom.

Calling her Echo after that becomes a lot easier.

Echo transfer to his school and in his three of his classes.
When he introduces her to Gina, there is a weird tension between the two girls.
Echo starts to grill Gina on her love life and Gina leaves in a huff after a few minutes and after Echo offers to set her up.
Bellamy chases after herand corners Gina by her locker.
“She’s a bitch Bellamy!”
“I’m sorry Gina. Look she just wants to fit in and make friends.”
“I get that! But Bellamy, she’s..”
She's not Clarke hangs in the air.
“She’s my girlfriend.”
Gina shakes her head.
“What about...”
“She’s a kid Gina!"
"She’s three years younger than you!”
“She’s in eighth grade. Echo is my girlfriend and I love her.”
“You love her?”
Gina shakes her head.
“I don't believe you. You might love her but you will never love her the way you love…”
Bellamy slams his hands into a locker.
“Enough Gina! Clarke is a child. It’s a stupid childish crush. She means nothing to me. Echo is my girlfriend, and you need to accept it.”
Bellamy has no clue that Echo had followed him and that she had her phone out.

He and Echo go to the Valentine’s dance and they spend the night laughing and kissing and dancing. He smirks at every guy who eyes Echo because he knows hot his girlfriend is.

But is not all sunshine and rainbows.
His seventeen birthday is the same day as one of his baseball games and everyone goes to see him play.
Echo is with her friends and when she sees him, she blows him a kiss and bothering to say hi to him.

Clarke sits with Aurora, Octavia, David, and Miller. Wells has a debate tournament and Murphy has his own game, out of town.
Seeing Echo is his jersey makes her sad but then she sees that he has her bracelet on and she’s fine.
When he sees Clarke at the game, he heads up and Echo beams thinking he's heading her way.
Her smile falls when she realizes where he is going, and who is he smiling at.
“Can I get my good luck kiss from my two favorite girls?”
Both Octavia and Clarke kiss his checks and Echo stares at him as he makes his way back to his team, not asking her for a kiss.
Her friends gush about how cute Bellamy is with the two girls and it makes her mad.

They fight about in the parking lot later.
“What was that?”
“What was what?”
“You and Clarke kissed!”
“It was on the cheek and Octavia kissed me too.”
“Octavia is your sister! I'm your girlfriend. If anyone should be giving you a good luck kiss it should be m.”
“It’s a thing Echo. It’s a tradition for me and Clarke. You may be my girlfriend but Clarke is one of my oldest friends.”
“She's a kid Bell! Don't you think it cruel? Leading her on like this? She has a crush on you.”
Echo cups her boyfriend's face.
“I get how important she is to you. But she’s a kid and what you are doing, leading her on, that's just mean.”
Bellamy falls silent.
Happy 17th birthday to him.

A few days later, he is dressed in a dress shirt, roses by his feet.
After months of practice, the time for Giselle to be performed in front of people is at hand.
Bellamy sits with the others excited to see Clarke and Echo perform but his girlfriend's words have not left his head.
Is he leading Clarke on?
Is he being cruel to her?

The question disappears from his head the second the lights dim and Clarke leaps onto the stage.
Every time he watches her dance, it still makes him feels something.
He is captivated by Clarke playing Giselle and the story that is being told.
(He is also a bit confused but he knows that Clarke will explain it all to him later.)
She looks graceful, dressed in light pink, small flowers in her hair and he watches her leap and twirl.
He watches her and Gaia dance, and he can feel anger in his veins as the girl playing Gaia’s fiancee appears and Clarke takes on a heartbroken look on her face.
He wonders what she thinks about to get such a painful look on her face.

Bellamy's heart jumps when Clarke falls on stage.
He knows that it’s a part of the dance but seeing her act out Giselle’s suicide still hurts him.
He has tears as he watches Gaia crumple to her knees in pain and regret.

He doesn't even realize he is crying until Octavia and Josie hug him as the lights come on.
He knows that it's not real but he doesn't ever want to think about a world where Clarke Griffin isn't in his life.
He runs his fingers on the friendship bracelet and reassures himself that she's there.
He sends her a quick text and she sends him a picture of her and Gaia blowing him a kiss.
He can see Echo's bag behind her in the picture and he feels a pang of guilt for not texting her.
But then Murphy says something and he forgets about texting his girlfriend.

The slights dim again and Bellamy is once again spellbound.
He watches his girlfriend step out from behind the tombstone long veil covering her face.
She raises her leg in the air and lowers it gently.
Her movements are soft and slow and elegant.
The white costume and the dim blue light gives the scene a haunting effect.
As the queen of the Willis, this is the time to shine.
The other dancer joins her, moving quickly onto the stage and then they are dancing. He watches them leap and spin and dance, spell bounded.
It’s his first time seeing Echo dance like this and he’s impressed. She’s easily one of the best dancers but it’s different from Clarke.
Echo's leg doesn't waver and her posture is perfect.
But she has had more years of practice.

Echo has perfect technique but Clarke dances from her heart.

Then both of his favorite girls are on stage and he glued to his seat.
The music changes as Gaia appears. He watches the two girls duke it out, leaping across the stage. He watches Clarke match Echo step by step.
He feels something churning in his gut. He gets a bad feeling.

He watches them dance closer and faster together and then Clarke leaps her hands clutching Echo's and she switches her legs in midair but then her hand slips out of Echo's and she falls. There’s stunned silence and then several of the girls help Clarke up and they dance with her.
Clarke is smiling but he can tell something is wrong.
Echo shakes her head and she gets back to her routine.
The other girls and Echo leave as Clarke defeats Echo and slows her dance down. The ballet ends with Clarke on stage by herself as she does her final dance.
The lights dim and then Bellamy is on her feet as applause filled the room.
The light comes up and the other join Clarke on stage.
Gaia is right by her side and they take their bows in groups.
The body, the Willis and Echo, and then Echo by herself. Gaia and Clarke and then Clarke on her own.

Bellamy waits with everyone all who have flowers in their hands. Josie is chatting with Octavia and he sees her sigh as Abby starts to scroll through her phone already looking for what dance will be performed next. It’s Clarke's big night and she is already looking for Clarke's next role.
Clarke had mentioned that Josie had asked her mother to let her quit ballet and let her only take hip-hop but her mother had refused.
It wasn't that Josie didn't like ballet but that it bore her. She preferred the quick sharp moment of hip hop over the elegance of ballet.
He watched the door opens ad the cast joined the families.

Murphy leans against the wall as he watches Bellamy watch the door.
He wonders who Bellamy will greet first. He also wonders how Clarke feels about her fall.
Clarke had practiced the step over and over again with the barre in her house, with Gaia, with him. She never messed up so he was surprised when she fell but he was going to keep quiet. He and Bellamy had reached an uneasy truce after Clarke's party.

Clarke come out with Gaia, the two girls arm in arm and he watches her scan the crowd as she looks for someone.
She smiles wide when she sees them a Murphy watched Bellamy take a step forward and then hesitates but it doesn't matter because Clarke is making a beeline for him.
She leaps into his arm and Bellamy catches her, spinning her around and Clarke laughs.
She buries her head into his shoulder and Bellamy feels happy.
“You were amazing, princess.”
He put her on her feet and she smiles up at him but she doesn't even get a chance to say anything before Josie attack her.
The two sisters hug each other tightly and then Clarke is pulled into a sea of hugs.
Bellamy doesn't even realize that Echo has come out until she is next to him and places a hand on his arm.
“Hi! You were great!”
She wraps her arms around his neck and kisses him and he feels a bit uncomfortable kissing her in front of his family and friends.
He pulls away but he doesn't see Aurora frown or Octavia turn away, or the way Clarke shifts closer to Murphy.

He hands Echo a bouquet of pink roses and her smile drops.
She had been hoping for red roses or tulips, her favorite flowers. He turns to Clarke.
“Here you go, princess.”
The roses are white and Clarke face lights up.
“You got me roses?”
She dances over to him and goes on her tiptoes and tugs him down and kisses his cheek.
“Anything for my princess.”
He sees the bracelet on her wrist and his smile grows.

Jake raises his voice.
“Who wants ice cream!”
He leads them outside and Bellamy goes to follow them but Echo grabs his arms.
“I was hoping you and I could go alone? My foster parents are out of town.”
Bellamy looks at Clarke who is laughing with Miller and Wells and then back at Echo. She raises an eyebrow and he knows that if he says no it will cause a fight and he doesn't want to fight with her.
“Let me just say bye.”
He jogs over to Clarke and her shoulders and her smile drops.
“You aren't coming.”
“Echo… she’s tired.”
It's a weak excuse and he knows it.
Clarke rolls her eyes.
“I’m sure she is.”
She can’t help the bitterness in her tone and Bellamy frowns.
“She's my girlfriend.”
“And I’m your best friend.”
Clarke shakes her head.
“Just go drive Echo home. I’ll see you later.”
She walks off and Bellamy watches her walk away.
He watches Murphy wrap an arm around her shoulders and Josie laughs as Murphy throws his another arm around her.

Clarke plays with her ice cream and Murphy exchanges a look with Miller. She sees them looking and smiles up at them but it’s fake.
Her friendship bracelet sits on her wrist and she plays with it on the car ride home.
She takes a deep breath.
Bellamy and Echo have been together for almost a full year.
She's got no choice but to accept it for now.
She will be in high school with them in a few months which means she will see Bellamy more often.
Their friendship will be fine.
She and Echo will never be friends and even acquaintances but she can be polite.
She has to be, for her best friend.

Chapter Text

Having Clarke at the same school as him is weird.
After having her in a different school than him,it's a shock to realize that they are finally on somewhat of an equal footing.
But it doesn't make things easier.

The summer before Clarke’s freshman year is not like their usual summers.
Clarke is gone for most of the summer at an intensive dance camp and so Bellamy spends most of his summer with his girlfriend when she’s not dancing.
He and Clarke exchange a few letters but he finds himself missing her a lot.
He misses her smile and her laugh.
Every time he finds himself missing her he has to fight the urge to call her.

Echo gets involved in the summer production of Sleeping Beauty and is cast as the lead.
So while she is at practice, he is working. Murphy and Miller have taken over helping David Miller’s baseball team and when Bellamy's free, he goes to the games and sits with Octavia and Josie who laugh with Jasper, Harper, and Monty.
Bellamy tries to spend more time with Octavia in his free time but every time he suggests something, she asks if Echo is coming and then refuses to come with if he said yes.
Bellamy tries to have patience but the fact that his sister hates his girlfriend bothers him.
Echo has done nothing wrong to Octavia so he doesn’t see why she was acting like a little brat.
He doesn't want to push the issue but it drives a wedge between the siblings.

The day Clarke comes back from camp, he made plans with Echo and he feels guilty for not being there when she comes back and he apologizes again and again but she tells him not to worry about it.

He sees her later that night, dressed in a pair of shorts and one of his hoodies sitting on his front porch.
She beams when she sees him and runs over to where he is standing by his car and throws her arms around him.
She’s gotten a bit taller and her hair is longer but she still his princess.
He spins her around and buries his head into her strawberry scented hair and she laughs.
Having her back, it feels right.

“Are you coming in?”
She shakes her head as he puts her back down on the ground.
“I’m tired. I just wanted to see you. I’ll see you tomorrow?”
“Want a ride?”
She tucks a strand of hair behind her ear.
“That would be great.”
She presses a kiss to his cheek and pulls away, eyes taking him in.
“I really did miss you Bell.”
“I missed you too princess.”

Bellamy leans against the front door.
“Miller lets go.”
His stepbrother runs down the stairs and gives him a smirk.
“What’s the rush? Missing the girlfriend already?”
Bellamy pinches the bridge of his nose.
Miller had joined his sister on her anti-Echo campaign.

And to make matters worse he has a headache. He and Echo had gotten into a fight the night before when he told her that he couldn’t pick her up for school because he was taking Clarke.

Bellamy opens his mouth to say something to Miller but the boy is looking past his shoulders. Bellamy turns to follow his gaze.
Whatever he is going to say dies on his lips as he looks at Clarke.
Clarke tucks a curl behind her ear blushing at the boys.
“Do I look okay?”
Miller gives her a slow nod and Bellamy blinks a few times.

Her hair is swept into a low bun, with a few curls framing her face.
He has seen Clarke in a dress, and the dress she is wearing is simple. It's a simple blue sundress with lace around the low neckline. He feels guilty for letting his gaze drifted downward and his eyes drop to the ground and he notices the light blue converse she wears and smiles.
Bellamy wants to shove his hoodie at her but then the idea of her in his hoodie takes root in his mind and he shakes his head, not willing to let the idea go any further.
He pushes Miller to the car and he crawls into the backseat and Clarke smiles at him as he opens the passenger seat door.
The radio is playing some pop song and Clarke and Miller sing-along laughing.
It feels right, all they are missing is Octavia and Josie are who are being driven by Jake for their first day of eighth grade

Echo doesn't feel her phone vibrate in her pocket. She’s too busy making out with Mr. Wallace, the history teacher.
She’s proud of herself, she had met Cage Wallace through his father, who sponsored ballet. Cage had taken a liking to her and she knew that this was a connection she could not afford to miss out on, so while he was away at college she wrote to him and sent him pictures and on occasions, went to see him.
When he told her that he was going to be the new history teacher taking the place of Ms.Diane who had been fired for her abuse of power, she saw her chance and took it.
She had suggested that they keep their relationship going and Cage was quick to agree.
Cage was rich and a good kisser. He would help her go to Juilliard.
Bellamy, on the other hand, serves as her arm candy, cute and funny and good. The fact that he was close with Clarke was an added bonus.

The alarm on her phone goes off and he pulls away groaning and she winks at him.
“I’ll see you later Sir.”
She slips out of the classroom, leaving him to adjust himself and heads outside to wait for Bellamy.

She frowns when she sees Clarke Griffin get out of the passenger seat.
To say she disliked the blonde girl was an understatement.
She hated her and everything she stood for.
Clarke Griffin was a spoiled brat. There was nothing special about her.
Echo watches as Bellamy’s stepbrother takes off to where his boyfriend is and how Bellamy and Clarke fall into step.

Bellamy walks Clarke to her locker and she smiles when see that Wells is three lockers down. Wells’s homeroom is on the same floor at their locker, while Clarke's is by the Senior hallway so she hugs Wells goodbye and then heads off with Bellamy.
She leans against the wall as Bellamy opens his locker.
He gives her a brief rundown of teachers and classes.
He closes his locker and points to the number.
“This is my locker. You need anything you come find me here.”
He’s about to lead her to her class when his girlfriend appears throwing her arms around him.
“Bellamy I miss you!”
She kisses him hard and Clarke takes a step back.

Bellamy hits the locker and Clarke’s shoulders slump and she walks away to her first class.
By the time Bellamy pulls away, Clarke is gone and he feels disappointed that he doesn't get to walk her to the first class.
“What wrong baby?”
“I just wanted to walk Clarke to class. It's her first day.”
“She’s a big girl. I think she can handle it.”
Bellamy signs and heads to his first class.

He doesn't’ see Clarke until lunch and she’s sitting with Miller, Bryan, and Wells.
He wants to join them, check in with Clarke and her first day but Echo’s tugs him to where her friends are sitting. He lasts there for most of the lunch period but eventually, he kisses her cheek and goes to check up on Clarke.
“Hey princess. How was your first day?”
She looks up at him a smile on her face.
“Great. I really like my English teacher and my biology teacher is cool. The history professor creeps me out a bit. “
“Who do you have?
“Mr. Wallace?”
Bellamy frowns, thinking of him. He was relatively new, this was his second year teaching. He taught history to freshman and seniors and coached the girl’s soccer team.
“If he doesn't do anything you will tell me?”
Clarke nods her head, a blonde curl falling out of her bun.
She sighs and tucks it back in.

“Hey, Clarke!” Save you a seat in algerbra.?”
The boy who calls out to her is dark-haired and has a killer smile.
Bellamy doesn't like him.
She smiles politely at him.
“No thanks. I’m going to sit with Wells.”
The boy shrugs.
“If you change your mind, you know where to find me.”

Bellamy's eyes narrow as he watches the boy walk away.
“Who’s that?”
“That’s Cillian. He’s in history with me.”
“He’s been flirting with Clarke since then.”
Wells groans and Clarke signs.
“I’m not interested.”
Bellamy wonders how many others have flirted with her that day and how many guys found she pretty.
“What’s your last class? “
“I’ll swing by to walk you to the locker? I have my business class in that hallway.”
She nods and then the bell rings.

Clarke looks surprised to see him outside her classroom but then she smiles widely when she sees him.
He leans against the lockers shooting Cillian a glare when he sees him and Clarke looks at him.
“Bell, go get your stuff. I’ll meet you by car.”
Bellamy leaves her reluctantly and he frowns when he sees that Cillian has his locker across from Clarke.

He goes to his locker where Echo is waiting for him.
She crosses her arms, an annoyed look on her face.
“Where were you?”
“Clarke had art and its near business.”
Echo signs and leans against the locker, slamming her foot on it.
“Bellamy. Clarke’s a big girl, he doesn't need you hovering all the time. Remember what we talked about? I know you worry but you don't want to lead her on.”
Bellamy sighs.
He knows Echo was right.
Leading Clarke on was wrong.
He has to find a balance between being her friend and not leading her on.

The car ride home is silent .
Clarke makes a few remarks but for the most part, Bellamy manages to ignore her, Echo’s words on his mind.
When he drops her off in our house she pauses.
“I’ll see you tomorrow?”
He swallows hard.
“See you, tomorrow kid.”
Clarke turns away.
The word kid stabbing at her heart.
She grabs her shoes and ties her hair up and turn up the music in her room.
Soon she gets lost in dance.
She does her plies until her thighs burn and she raises herself onto her toes until they bleed. She spins until she feels like she is going to throw up.
She dances until she can't dance anymore.
She heads to the shower and then goes to sleep, homework and food a problem for tomorrow.

Things between Clarke and Bellamy start to change. It's like being on a roller coaster.
Some days are okay and it as if nothing has changed, they are laughing and he calls her princess with a fond smile.
Other days he's distant and it hurts.

A month into the school year, Cillian asks Clarke to homecoming and she tells him no.
She has an audition the day after homecoming and she can’t jeopardize it.
He’s disappointed but he understands.

Clarke is nervous for Swan Lake and the fact that Gaia won’t be at the auditions doesn’t help. Gaia had an audition for another performance and had gotten the lead role. However, she had sent Clarke encouragement.

The morning of the audition Bellamy is the one to drive her as her father can’t. She climbs into the front seat and he hands her a chocolate chip muffin.
Her hand fiddles with the friendship bracelet and his eyes soften when they land on it and he reaches for her hand.
“You will do amazing as always.”
“You really think so?”
“You can do whatever you put your heart into.”
Clarke looks at him and she smiles and he smiles back.
He does let go of her hand as they drive and the fact that they are picking Echo up doesn't ever bring Clarke down.
When they get to her house, Clarke is about to pull her hand away but Bellamy tightens his grip on hers.
She turns to look at him and he opens his mouth to say something but then he shakes his head and closes it.
When Echo comes out he pulls his hand away and Clarke feels cold.
She shivers and he hands his coat off to her and she covers herself with it.

Echo frowns when she sees the blonde in the front seat.
“You are in my seat.”
Clarke still and looks at the older girl in shock and Bellamy stares at his girlfriend, never having heard her use that tone of voice.
“What? I’m your girlfriend.”
“You can sit in the back, it won't kill you.”
Clarke looks between the two and she moves to remove her seatbelt but then Bellamy flung an arm across her chest and Clarke stiffens, she could feel blood running to her cheeks and she could feel a warmth from where his arm was.
“Get in the car Echo. We will be late.”
The older girl huffed but threw herself into the backseat.

The drive to the audition in mostly silent, country music playing softly in the background. Clake finishes her muffin and once they get to the audition, her hands tremble.
Bellamy hugs her once they step out of the car and he presses a kiss to her forehead.
“You got this princess.”
She hugs him tightly, arms wrapped around his waist and he’s hit by the realization that she so small and despite the delicate nature of ballet, Clarke is anything but delicate.
He watches her remove the bracelet and tie it around her bra strap, hidden there.
He watches her then run off and he turns to look at his girlfriend who crosses her legs.

“Look, I’m sorry. I’m didn't get a lot of sleep last night and I'm worried about this audition.”
“That doesn't make it right. Clarke’s…”
He runs a hand through his hair, not sure how to explain to his girlfriend what Clarke means to him. “Your best friend, I know, I just really wanted to hold my boyfriend's hand, I needed you to support me and you didn't.”
She looks at the ground and he feels guilty.
He pulls her close and wraps his arms around her.
“I’m sorry.”
Echo grins into his jacket and when he pulls away she gives him sad eyes.
“I love you, Bellamy.”
She kisses him softly and he let out a sigh when he pulls away.
“I love you too. I’m sorry.”

She hurries into the audition and smiles when she sees Clarke stretching.
“Break a leg, Clarke.”
The younger blonde looks up at her eyes wide.
“Thank you.”
Echo hurries away to start her own stretching.

They both get their parts. Clarke as Odette and Echo as Odile. Opposite swans. Normally they would be played by dancers who are similar but the people in charge were impressed by their dancing and the tension they have.
Dante Wallace can see the underlying tension in between them.
He can see the ballet come to life.

When Echo finds out the news she is upset that she is second to Clarke again but she decided to use it to her advantage.

After the very first practice, Echo grabs some paper and a pen and writes as she and Clarke wait for Bellamy to pick them up.
When she sees Bellamy’s car, she jumps up.
“Here you go, I made a list of all the mistakes I noticed. Don't worry they are all little things, easily fixable,”
She shoves the list at Clarke and slides into the back seat, in a good mood to even fight with Clarke for the front seat.

Clarke stare after Echo, the list in her hands, as she watches Bellamy pull up.
He beeps the horn when she doesn't make her way and she shoves the paper into her bag.
Bellamy gives her a smile and she holds out her arm and lets him retie her friendship bracelet.
Neither of them notices Echo eyeing it.
Clarke is silent, the paper burning a hole in her bag and Echo leans over to whisper to Bellamy at a red light.
“I was thinking we could have some fun some tonight?”
“Actually, I can’t. Murphy has the play tonight. Don't want to miss that.”
Echo pouts but then she laughs.
“Can I come?”
“All tickets for opening night are sold out.”
Clarke says absentmindedly and Echo sighs.
“How about tomorrow?”
“It’s my birthday party tomorrow.”
"Aren't you a little too old to have birthday parties?"
Echo looks at Bellamy who stares forward, jaw tight.
"It's a time to spend time with my friends."

Bellamy drops Echo off and as they make their way back to Clarke's, he looks at her.
Her blonde hair is now out of its bun, curling around her face and the shirt she is wearing hangs low on her shoulder revealing the green bra strap and a good portion of the top of her right breast.
He immediately looks away, hating himself for noticing her that.
Just because she's fifteen, doesn't mean it's okay for him, an almost 18-year-old boy to look at her. He reminds himself.
“How was practice?.”
Clarke plays with a strand of hair.
“It was good. I had trouble with one of the turns but I know I can nail it with some practice.”
“Excited for the play?”
Bellamy laughs.
“Yeah, who would have thought that Murphy would have stuck with drama class for all four years.”
Clarke shrugs.
“He likes it and it looks good on college resumes.”
“Speak of college, how were all the tours? You talked about them briefly in your letters but we never got a chance to talk about it.”
“I liked seeing the campuses, it was fun going with David and bringing Murphy along. Think I'm going to stay close to home though, someone needs to keep an eye on all of you.”
Clarke lets out a breath she didn't know she was holding in. A part of her had been afraid that he would have been swayed by the fancy schools in the bigger cities.
“We can take care of ourselves.”
He looks at her, she smiles when their eyes meet.
“I know you can princess.”
“What about Echo? What does she think?”
“What does your girlfriend think about you sticking around here? Most of the top name dance school are in the cities, will you guys do long distance? Break up?”
Bellamy shakes his head.
“Whoa, princess. Echo and I haven't talked about it yet. And its none of your business.”
Clarke bites her lip and looks out the window not used to his harsh tone.
Bellamy watches her look out the window, her body shifted as far as from him as she can in her seat and he feels guilty.
He just doesn't want her to know that her question got to him.
He never thought about Echo and his college plans.
They make the rest of the ride in silence and when he pulls up to Clarke's she is out of the car before he can utter an apology.

Bellamy watches as Clarke and her sister and his sister whisper to each other during intermission.
The play is great.
Murphy had gotten the lead in Grease and Bellamy was surprised to see that his friend sing.
Aurora has had a proud smile on her face.
Bellamy knows how proud his mother is of Murphy and it makes up for the fact that Murphy's mother is not there.
Probably too drunk to function.
Bellamy frowns when he sees a boy looking over at Clarke, he glares at the boy until he looks away.
His arm thumps on the back of Clarke’s seat bored as he waits for intermission to be over.

He’s so out of it that he doesn't even realize that Clarke is done with her conversation until she sits back and his fingers brush her shoulder.
She stiffens and he looks at her.
She ignores him.
“Look, princess, I'm sorry about earlier. It's just that college is so closer and I'm scared and I like Echo and the fact that we haven't spoken about our future bothers me. “
“You really like her?”
Bellamy is quiet as he rubs her shoulder absentmindedly.
He’s not too sure what love is and what it is supposed to feel like but Echo makes him happy and she's pretty and they have used the words I love you.
“I love her...”

The lights dimmed he doesn't get to finish his sentence and Clarke is in a panic.
I Iove her
I love her.
Her heart is breaking and she wants to cry.
She’s hopelessly devoted to Bellamy and he's in love with another girl.
He's never going to see her as anything more than just a friend.
Just a kid.
Another sister for him to look after.
She may be his best friend but that's all she ever will be to him.

She tries to ignore the pain, smiling as she watches Murphy dance.
It had taken him a while to learn the dance moves and Clarke had studied the video he had sent her so she could teach him and help him practice.
It looks like it all had paid off.
She laughs as Muphy spins his co-lead around, dipping her, smiles on their faces.
When the play is over she and Josie jump to their feet, Aurora and Octavia only a few seconds behind him.
His cheeks turn pink at the attention but Murphy is all smiles.

Clarke throws her arms around Murphy nearly hitting Bellamy in the face with the bouquet of flowers.
Bellamy pauses at how tight the hug is between the two and he feels uncomfortable.
Clarke presses a kiss to Murphy’s cheek.
“You did amazing!”
“It’s all thanks to you, princess.”
He winks at her and Bellamy smile drops.
That’s his nickname.
When did Muprhy start to call Clarke princess?

Aurora gives him permission to go to the after-party and to his surprise, Jake tells him to take Clarke.
Abby argues but Jake is firm.
“I rather her get drunk with the boys we trust than for her to get drunk with ones we don’t.”
So that how Bellamy finds himself driving Miller, Bryan, and Clarke to the party.
Miller and Bryan disappear almost instantly making their way to a couch where they will spend the night talking to each other, knees touching, not trying to draw too much attention to themselves.

Murphy is leaning against a wall, talking to the girl who plays Sandy, a pretty girl by the name Niylah.
She looks Clarke up and down and the fifteen-year-old girl blushes under her gaze.
Murphy tells me you are the one to thank for his smooth moves.”
Clarke blushes and she twirls a strand of hair around her finger.
“It wasn't easy but I think I did a good job.”
“ My feet thank you. Can I get you a drink?”
Clarke hesitates for half a second but Niylah is pretty and Clarke sees no harm in one drink.
“Sure thank you.”
Niylah leaves and Bellamy glares at Clarke.
“I thought you weren't drinking.”
“One drink isn't going to kill me.”
Bellamy opens his mouth to argue but Niylah comes back with an unopen wine cooler and Bellamy crosses arms. Murphy rolls his eyes and uses his shirt to twist off the cap.
Clarke takes a sip and it's not bad.
Niylah puls Murphy to dance and he tugs on Clarke’s arm who gives Bellamy a smile that he can’t return.

He watches Clarke sway to the music and watches the many guys and girls who look at her.
She’s dressed in jeans and a simple loose top but the top does nothing to hide her fuller chest or her curves.
She gorgeous and everyone in the room is aware of it.
He watches as Niylah pulls Clarke towards her and whispers something in her ear.
He leaves for the kitchen and grabs a beer, all thoughts about how he is supposed to be driving is gone.
He returns to his spot on the wall and he watches Clarke dance.
Murphy spins her around and she laughs blonde hair flying.
Niylah pulls her close and Clarke tilts her head back in laughter and Niylah starts to move closer.
He goes to get another beet and comes back to find Clarke leaning on the wall, waiting for him, a smile on her face.
Her face falls when she sees the beer in his hands.
“Are you drinking?”
“Relax princess, it's my second beer.”
“Can we dance?”

He wants to say no, tell her to go back to her court but she pouts at him and he can't say no.
So he lets her pull him to the dance floor and she presses herself against him trying to dodge the others. He can't see any of their friends but then Clarke grabs his hand and places them on her waist and he stops worrying about them.
He’s too focused on the fact that Clarke is too close.
She presses against him and her hip are moving and she’s so small, his hands cover a big portion of her waist.
Clarke closes her eyes and Bellamy holds her as she dances.
She’s not drunk but this might be her only chance to be this close to Bellamy and not worry about Echo killing her.

After a few more dance Bellamy excuses himself to the bathroom and when he comes back Clarke is gone.
He starts to panic immediately and goes from room to room looking for Clarke.
He finds Murphy making out a girl but as soon as Murphy finds out that Clarke is missing, he’s pulling away from her without a second thought.

They find her in the garage sitting on the floor, a drink in her hand, laughing.
Bellamy sees the bottle in the middle of the circle and he wants to grab Clarke and pull her out.
Clarke looks up when she sees them.
“Come play.”
Murphy sits down next to Clarke who bumps his shoulder playfully while Bellamy takes a seat on the couch.
One of the boys spins th to e bottle and it lands on another boy.
Niylah and the others hoot and the boys exchange a quick kiss, both of them blushing.
That boy spins and he lands on Niylah who after kissing him, spins the bottle for it lands on a girl.
Bellamy watches the bottle not sure what to do if it lands on him.
When Niylah gets her second turn, the bottle lands on Clarke and he watches as Niylah kisses Clarke softly, it lasts longer than the other kisses. Clarke pulls back eyes wide and she giggles.
She spins the bottle and it lands on Murphy and the boy laughs.
Bellamy watches his body stiff ad Murphy kisses Clarke.
He wants to rip his friend off her, he wants to be the one kissing her. She pulls away laughing and her eyes are bright and Muprhy swoons and then leans back in for a second kiss.

And that when he snaps.
He jumps to his feet, the sound startling several people in the room including Clarke and Murphy.
“Clarke, it's getting late, we are leaving.”
Clarke and Murphy exchange a look and both of them jump up.

“What the hell Bellamy!”
He turns to look at Murphy who is glaring at him.
“What the hell was that!”
Bellamy shoves him hard.
“She's a kid Murphy. What the hell were you think kissing her?”
Murphy snorts.
“Is this what's it about? She's fifteen Bellamy. She's not a kid anymore.”
“You shouldn't have kissed her. Jake trusts us..”
“He trusts us to protect her, it was a harmless simple kiss. It was a game. Why are you so worked up about it?”
“We have known her since she was a kid Murphy…”
Murphy explodes and he walks towards Bellamy, a finger in the air.
“So? She's younger than us! You know what this is? This is you being jealous. You wish the bottle landed on you. You wish that you got the chance to kiss her, admit it the whole reason you are with Echo is because she keeps you from being with Clarke. You are so, so stuck on not being with her that you can't see how much you are hurting her.. You can't admit how much you want Clarke so instead you throw yourself into a relationship with the one girl who hates Clarke, who belittles her, a girl you don't even love…”
Bellamy throws a punch and he hears a scream but it doesn't fully register in his head.
“Shut up Murphy! Echo is my girlfriend and I love her. Clarke, she's just a kid with a stupid pathetic crush.”

There's a gasp and they both turn around to see Clarke with Miller and Bryan.
She gives him a sad smile, blue eyes wide, her lower lip trembling. She blinks and he can see tears.
She turns to Miller.
“Do you have your permit?” Her voice is shaky and Bellamy hates it.
Miller nods.
“You are driving, Bellamy and Murphy have been drinking.”
She grabs the keys from Bellamy's pockets and tosses them to Miller and then she pushes them into the backseat.
She sits in between him and Murphy.
Murphy is quiet and Bellamy looks at Clarke.
“Clarke, please.”
“You're drunk Bell.”
He grabs her hands and she pulls them away and Bellamy feels cold.
He’s pleading and Muprhy closes his eyes.

Bryan gets dropped off and then they make their way to the house.
Miller and Bellamy walk to his house and he watches Murphy and Clarke walk to hers, the boy's arm around her shoulder as she leans into him.

He wakes up with a guilty feeling in his stomach and with the sinking realization that he’s supposed to go to Clarke’s birthday party.
How can he go after all the things Murphy said? All the things he said and did?

As the time for her party draws nearer he feels more and more guilty, so he goes over to Echo’s, knowing that he's making a mistake.
When she opens the door he kisses her hard and she kisses him back.
It's not long before they are stumbling into her room.

She can tell something is wrong and she presses a kiss to his shoulder.
”Stay with me?” He shakes his head, he feels worse.
“Murphy and I got into a fight, I'm going to go sort it out.”

He heads over to Clarke’s door and hesitates before he rings the doorbell.
All he can see is Clark pulling her hand out of his and the words that he said.
He's about to leave when Jake Griffin opens the door.
“Clarke says you and Murphy got into a fight.”
Bellamy scratches the back of his neck.
“We were drunk and he said some things, I said some things and it was a mess. Clarke overheard us and I'm really sorry about last night.”
“I'm sorry too. I know Clarke is torn up about what happened last night.” He squeezes the boy's shoulder.
Bellamy's shoulder slump.
“She loves you you know.”
Bellamy swallows hard.
“I don't deserve it. Not after last night.”
“If not you, then who?”
Bellamy shakes his head.
“There are a lot of people who are better than me. Can you give this to Clarke?”
“You aren't going to see her?”
“After last night with Murphy, I'm the last person she will want to see.”
He walks away before Jake can convince him otherwise.

Jake stares at the box and he looks between the boy who ran and his daughter.
He doesn't agree with Bellamy leaving but he can't force the boy to come back.

Clarke is laughing as Murphy stumbles and as Octavia dances her way to a high score on Just Dance. Her shoulder slump when she sees he's alone.
He handed her a box and she freezes when she sees the card.
”He’s not coming is he?”
“He feels bad about last night.”
Clarke turns to look at Murphy whose cheek is bruised.
“He’s my best friend dad. But I feel like we are falling apart faster and faster and I don't know how to stop it.”
“You and Bellamy will find your way back to each other.”
Clarke isn't so sure.

She opens the box and pulls out a pair of crown earrings.
She closes her eyes and Muprhy sees her standing by the window, box in her hand. He peers into the box and presses a kiss to her head.
“It’s going to be okay.”

Clarke wears the earrings but come Monday her father is the one who drives her to school.
He’s not by her locker and when it's time to go home she finds him and Echo kissing.
She tucks a strand of hair behind her ear and they break away. Echo gives her a dirty look while Bellamy won't meet her eyes.
“Are you driving me home today?”
“Sorry, Echo and I…”
Clarke laughs and shakes her head.
“Don't worry about it.”
She turns on her heels and walks away.

Instead of getting a ride or calling for one, she decides to walk.
She hears a car horn beep and she jumps but then she hears her name.
She turns to see who it is.
He grins at her.
“Need a ride?”
She nods and hurries into the car.
“What are you doing here?”
“Missed seeing all of you. I was hoping to come to the party but I had to cover someone’s shift.”
“I’m glad you are here.”
“Tell me everything I missed.”

So she does she tells him about Josie and Octavia's crush on Jasper and Murphy's play. She tells him about Miller's boyfriend, about ballet, about Bellamy's girlfriend Echo.
Roan laughs and asks questions when needed but when Clarke talks about Bellamy and Echo, he is silent until the end.
“How are you doing with Bellamy's new girlfriend?”
“She's not new, they have been together for a year. She hates me. She gives me a list of mistakes I made at rehearsal so I can improve and I told Abby but you know how she is. She was like Echo is so sweet, looking out for you. But I'm okay, it's hard, we don't spend too much time together. Some days it's like he's my best friend and other days it's like he can't get far enough away from me. He and Murphy got into a fight at a party but Murphy won't tell me anything, but Bellamy said something about a pathetic crush. ”

Clarke thinks back about the list that she has stores in one of her books. Bellamy had given it to her a present about a year or two, it was a hollow book so she could hide stuff. The list was there. There was also a picture of her and Bellamy in there.
Roan joins them for dinner. It’s almost enough for her to forget about Bellamy.

Bellamy feels guilty about Clarke and when he sees her earrings he wants to hug her tightly but all he can think about is her rejection and it hurts. All he can think about is the things he said and the way he has treated her. She deserves so much better than him and Echo deserves someone who loves her.
So he throws himself into his relationship with Echo.
He holds her hand and walks her to class. They go on more dates and spend more time together.

When Miller gets his license, he starts to drive Clarke to school and Clarke starts to make friends outside of their group.
She befriends Lily in her biology class and she talks to Niylah. They have gone a few dates and she has kissed her a few times.
Clarke wants to tell Bellamy about how she likes kissing girls and boys but they aren't talking anymore.
He doesn't apply to all her texts and when he does he is short and the few times they talk at school he won't even look at her.
It hurts.
She starts to throw herself into dance more.
She gets a chance to teach a younger dance class and she loves it.
She starts to help Miss Dioyza around the studio more, staying late to sweep and type out schedules.
When she's not helping at the studio, then she's dancing, practicing her turns and her lifts.
She ignores Echo and her criticism only talking with her when necessary,instead she goes to the director and gets feedback. She bites her tongue every time Echo start to talk about college and her auditions for all the dance schools.

Sometimes she thinks about Bellamy and wonders if he and Echo have had the college talk.
They have.
They sat down a few weeks after Clarke's birthday and talked. Bellamy was surprised when Echo pulled out a notebook full of scholarships and colleges in New York where she was hoping he would consider. He started applying to schools that weekend and while he does apply to some nearby schools, the idea of leaving and making something of himself appeals to him. A part of him feels like he still had much to prove to other people.
He doesn't tell anyone about his outstate applications.
No one finds out until he gets her first acceptance letter and Aurora sees the postmark.
She doesn't say a word because Bellamy hasn't brought it up to her.

Everyone is surprised when Bellamy shows up at the Griffin Christmas party.
He’s barely even beginning to get his jacket off when he hears a gasp and the sound of running feet. He looks up to see Clarke and she throws herself into his arms and without even thinking he hugs her back tightly.
It feels so right to have her back in his arms.
He's missed her so much and keeping his distance has been hard.
“I’m so sorry so sorry."
He keeps whispering it in her ear and she buries her head it’s the crook of his neck.
"I missed you so much.”
The sound of someone clearing their throat is what separates him and Clarke.
Clarke turns to look at Echo's dress black, her long hair clipped into an elegant bun she’s the definition of elegance something the Clarke has yet to achieve, according to Abby.
“Do you mind if I steal my boyfriend?”
Clarke’s smile is tight.
“He’s all yours.”

She makes her way towards Murphy who looks at her.
"You okay?"
" I really missed him, Murphy."
He nods in agreement.
"I've missed him too. “
Murphy didn't realize how much he has missed his best friend until then. He and Bellamy had been friends forever, how did things change so much?
"Things are going to be okay.”
“You really think so?”
Clarke looks at Murphy, blue eyes full of hope. “It's Bellamy.”

Murphy then pulls Clarke out to dance, spinning her around and she laughs. Bellamy looks at her longingly before a hand touches his arm and he looks at his girlfriend feeling guilty.
He lets her pull him to the dance floor and he tries to keep his eyes from drifting over to where she is.
Clarke winces as Jasper steps on her toes, fumbling with the waltz but he’s getting better.
Octavia eventually akes Jasper off her hands as Harper and Monty join her.
Clarke is happy, she can see Josie and Miller dancing as Bryan watches them. Murphy is talking to Wells. David, Aurora, and Jake are laughing and she feels warmth in her body.

She excuses herself from the dance floor and heads downstairs to use the bathroom when she pauses.
Coldness fills her blood and she hurries down the stairs something telling her that something is wrong.
They are not in the fort but still seeing Bellamy and Echo pressed against the wall, makes her sick.
Her dress is bunched up her waist and Clarke makes a noise and Bellamy turns to look at her.
His eyes widen.
She shakes her head and flies up the stairs.
Bellamy is quick to fix his shirt and Echo puts a hand on his arm.
“Bellamy, babe, just leave it.”
“No! Echo she's...!”
“She's what? Your best friend! You two don't even talk anymore. Bellamy, you are in two different places in your life! You are going to New York with me and she's staying here in high school.”
Bellamy shakes his head not wanting to hear it.
He bolts up the stairs but no befor he hears her.
“It’s okay to admit that you are growing apart.”

He find Clarke in her room.
She shakes her head and turns around so she doesn't have to look at him.
“Princess, please. Listen to me.”
“Go away, Bellamy.”
He steps closer.
“I made a mistake.”
He reaches to place a hand on her arm when she suddenly spins around her dress twirling around her ankles and he takes a step back at the hurt and the tears in her eyes.
“How could you? ”
“We didn't do anything!”
“Her dress was up.I'm not dumb Bellamy!”
“We didn't get that far and I was going to stop.”
Clarke rolls her eyes.
“I don't believe you.”
“I’m sorry Clarke….”
“You always say that. You always say you are sorry. Actions speak louder than words! You get mad at the after-party. You missed my birthday party, you been hot and cold with me for the past few months, you nearly fucked your girlfriend in my house! What is going? You are not the Bellamy I know and lov..”
Bellamy staggered back and sank onto the bed.
“Don't. Please don't Clarke.”
She takes a few steps towards him and he looks up at her as she stands in front of him, in between his legs.
Her voice is soft and she looks at him, bleu eyes soft and curious.
She cups his face but he shakes her hands away and rests his forehead against her chest.
They stood there in silence the words heavy in the air.
It doesn't matter that she didn't finish her sentence, they both knew what she was going to say. They both knew the weight of her words.

He looks up at her, brown eyes soft and pleading for her to understand and she cups his face again and he places his hands on her forearms needing to feel her.
He looks at her, blonde hair in curls around her shoulders blue eyes focused on him, red dress hugging her curves.
She's beautiful. She’s so small, but so strong.
But even strong things can break.
And he doesn't want to break her.
He's not good enough for her.
Clarke Griffin is a princess who can do so much better than the boy who used to sew and tape his baseball glove back together. Deserves so much better than him. Someone her age.
But it doesn't stop him from wanting her.
It doesn't stop him from wanting to tug her onto his lap and kiss her, to run his hand through her hair, to hold her, and dance with.
It doesn't stop him from loving her.

He stands up slowly, his hands sliding up her arms until he’s cupping her cheeks.
He moves slowly as he tilts her head up and he tilts his head down.
They have never been this close, never have reached this moment, till now.
He has never let it happen before but he’s tired of fighting it.
He wants to know.
“Tell me to stop Princess.”
Clarke closes his eyes and he moves in closer, their noses touching.
Her hands go to his chest a she can feel his breath.
Never has she ever wanted something so badly.
But before he can kiss her, she whispers, “You have a girlfriend.”
It doesn't matter how badly she wants to and it doesn't matter how much Echo hates her, she can't do that to Bellamy.
He would never forgive himself for cheating on anyone.
He pauses and she can feel him shudder.
She feels his hands leave her cheeks and her cheeks feel warm even though she feels cold.
Bellamy stares at her and all he can feel is guilt.
Guilt that he loves a girl almost three years younger than him. She's a freshman and he's a senior.
Guilt that he almost gave in to temptation.
He needs to leave.
He needs to leave before he destroys Clarke.
He needs to go to Echo.
She doesn't open her eyes until she hears the door close behind him. When her eyes open, the tears she had been holding in, make their way down her cheeks.

Clarke spends her winter break dancing. She’s going to be the best swan she can be, the memory of Echo and Bellamy, the memory of Bellamy almost kissing her, of him leaving, fresh in her mind driving her to practice until she has no choice but to stop.
She hasn't seen Bellamy all break, but it hasn't been enough time for her to prepare to see him.
She doesn't expect to see Echo and Bellamy leaning against his locker, arms around each other, kissing.
He pulls away and when his eyes land on her they flicker back to Echo immediately.

The hurt she feels every time Bellamy passes her by is channeled into her dancing.
Every time she sees Echo laughing or kissing Bellamy as he picks her up, it fuels her practice.
She stays longer, dances more, and it takes a toll on her sleep and her body weight. Miss Di looks at her sadly.
“You lost yourself, Griffin. You used to dance with your heart. Now you dance with our head, you let anger cloud you.”

In March, she’s at practice and its storming.
The wait for the bus is fifteen minutes and she has only a hoodie.
She’s cold and wet and trembling and Bellamy knows that he can't leave Clarke in the rain.
“Echo get in the back.”
She raises an eyebrow.
“Are you kidding me?”
She looks at Clarke trembling as she waits for the bus.
“You haven't spoken to her in months.”
“It’s raining and she's cold and I'm not leaving her here. Get in the back, she's going to need the warmest seat.
They stare at each other and then Echo sighs once she realizes that he's not budging and climbs into the back and Bellamy knows he will hear about it later.
He drives to where Clarke is waiting and when she sees his car she wants to run, her heart is in her throat.
“I’m taking you home.”
Clarke doesn't say anything but she gets in the car.
Bellamy watches her shiver and he hands her his jacket.
Clarke peels off her hoodie and then her tank top leaving her in a light blue bra and Bellamy looks away. Echo is the back seat furious as Clarke slides his hoodie over her bra.
He puts the heater on high and the seat warmers and Clarke sighs.
She closes her eyes as she looks out the window content with ignoring Bellamy.
She doesn't want to get her hopes up anymore.
Bellamy has so much to say to her, so much that he can't say cause his girlfriend is in the car with him. So much he can't say because he can still feel how soft and small she is.
Clarke is under his skin even now months later. He can still feel her breath, he can still feel the weight of the words he doesn't deserve.

So he doesn't say anything and Clarke falls asleep.
He drops Echo off and the older girl kisses him hard even though Clarke is alseep.
When he gets to the Griffin house, he doesn't want to wake her up so he unclips her seat belt and carries her up the stairs.
Josie opens the door and he is stunned for a second.
He hasn't see her since the Christmas party and even then it was a brief glimpse of her and she has hit a growth spurt.
She’s taller than Clarke and her hair is longer and straight.
She raises an eyebrow at him and he's reminded of Octavia.
Her eyes land on her sister and her eyes widen.
“What happened? Did she pass out again?”
Josie shook her head, her pony tail bouncing.
“She's been working herself to the bone.”
Bellamy isn't sure what to do and Josie jerks her head up the stairs.
“You can just put her in her bed.”
He carries her to her room and pauses. He hasn't been in here since the party.

The room is different.
There are drawings covering the walls and the floor is covered in paint and shoes. Gone is the neatest of her room, there are pictures on the wall and there is an open book on her table, a flower pressed in between the pages.
He tucks her in, removing her shoes and then against his better judgement, he sit on the edge of the bed and looks at her.
Her face looks pale and she has dark circles under her eyes. When he removed her shoes, he had noticed how bad her feet were and she had bruises on her arms and hips.
She has also lost weight.
He tells himself that it has nothing to do with him.
She's just stressed and tired from dancing.
He brushes her hair back and before he can stop himself, he presses a kiss to her forehead.

Bellamy’s 18 birthday ends up in an argument.
He and Echo had gone to the beach and then they have plans to have dinner with his family at a fancy restaurant.
They are sitting at dinner and Echo is trying to convince him to order some sushi.
“Bellamy how do you expect to make it it in New York if you don't like sushi?”
She laughs and Bellamy smiles.
Aurora's fork slips and Octavia’s eyes widened.
“New York?”
Bellamy freezes as he realizes that he had never said a word to his mother about his change of plans.
“I’m moving to New York with Echo after graduation.”
“You never told me this.”
“I wanted to make sure everything was set. I got a full ride to one of the schools there, just need a place to stay. Me and Echo found a roommate, a girl named Raven.”
Aurora is proud of him for getting a full ride but New York is so far and she's not Echo's biggest fan.
“So that it? You are just leaving? Without even talking about it with me? “
“It’s my life, my future, my choice.”
“We would help you pay if you want to stay.”
“Well, I don't!”
His birthday lunch is eaten in silence, Octavia glaring at Echo and Aurora's face stony, David squeezing her hand while Miller and Bryan whisper to each other.

Octavia wants to tell Clarke but her friend is finally getting back to normal, she been eating more and sleeping and she doesn't want to be the one tell her. She knows the news would devastate Clarke, even after everything, Clarke still had a soft spot for her brother.

But it’s Echo who breaks the news to Clarke.
It’s the day before prom and Echo is in Cage's classroom, getting dressed after another rendezvous.
Clarke had tutoring and was dropping some papers off when she hears laughter coming from the room which is supposed to be empty.
She wasn't surprised to see Cage putting his pants back on (he always gave her the creeps) but she was surprised to see Echo sitting on his desk pulling her shirt over her head.
They were talking about New York and Clarke moves closer to hear what they were saying.
“Going to miss me when I leave New York?”
“Can you blame me?”
He kisses her and Clarke gags.
“You can tell everyone you fucked me over your desk when I'm a famous ballerina.”
“Still can't believe Blake is going with you.”
“You kidding? I shoved so many brochures into his lap and rewarded him with sex whenever he completed an application for a school in New York. It was Palov’s dogs.
Clarke feels sick but she's not sure if it's because of Echo cheating on Bellamy with their gross history teacher or because of Bellamy leaving them all behind.
It can't be true,
Bellamy wouldn't leave them behind.
He’s all about his family through and through.

Bellamy is getting ready for prom when Clarke storms into his room the very next day.
She had wanted to go the night before but he had been at work and then she had practice in the morning.
But instead of telling him about Echo cheating on him, the first words out of her mouth are,
“You are going to New York with her? “
Bellamy rolls his eyes.
Of course, his sister had told her.
“She’s my girlfriend.”
“You have been together for less than two years! Is that a little too soon?”
“I’m not having this discussion right you.”
He turns back to his desk and jumps when she slams her hand on his books.
He turns to her.

“Discussion? You didn’t even tell anyone about this! Not me, no your sister, not Murphy, not your mom! I was your best friend until you pretty much cut me off! But even then you should have told me. ”
He ignores the dig at him about cutting her off.
“ I knew you would have something to say. You hate her!”
“She’s cheating on you!”
“Enough Clarke! I’m tired of you and O saying horrible things to and about Echo when she has been nothing but nice to you both!”
“Nice? She made my childhood a living hell! She’s the reason I sprained my ankle. The reason I got dentition. She’s cheating on you with Mr.Wallace.”
He scoffs.
“That’s was an accident and you know it. Echo tripped. And she’s not cheating on me. I think I would know if she cheating on me with our teacher. ”
Clarke threw her hands above her head.
“Do you hear yourself? Are you really defending her after everything? After what she did to me, what she said to Octavia. I saw her with my own two eyes. I saw her with Mr. Wallace! And you don't believe me? I would never lie to you about something like this and you know it! Now you are moving to New York with her? You were so dead set on staying here. This doesn't make any sense! There’s nothing there for you!”
Bellamy laughs. “Nothing? My girlfriend. My girlfriend is there.”
Clarke takes a deep breath she can’t even look at him.
“So that's it, you date a girl for less than two years and you are just going to leave everyone and everything behind? Us, your family? For some girl? For a girl who is cheating on you? Is the sex really that good?”

She is standing in front of him, dressed is jeans and a tank top hair spilling out of its bun and she's gorgeous even angry. Her chest is heaving and he can't stop his eyes from flickering down a few times .
He wants to pull her close, tell her that she beautiful and that he rather stay with her than leave.
But New York is a way for him to prove himself as something more than the boy from Mecha.
And Echo made that possible. She found scholarships, she helped him. Maybe he doesn't love her the way she should but he does her.
Clarke puts her hand on his arm and its first time that she has touched him since the party not counting the time he carried her to her bed.
His heart is pounding and he says the one thing that he knows will make Clarke stop.
“I’m going to marry her Clarke.”
Clarke snaps her head up and she looks to him.
“No, you wouldn't. I won’t let you.”
He raises an eyebrow.
“You won’t let me? You don’t get a say in who I marry!”
“I do when I know she’s not the one for you! She's cheating on you. How many more times do I have to tell you until you believe me? I wouldn't lie about something like this.”

He wants to shake her and tell her to get it through her head that they can't be a thing, no matter how badly they want it. She is fifteen and he’s eighteen. They wouldn't work together.
“Cause what the princess says the princess gets.”
He has never said her nickname like that, with anger.
“Here's the thing princess, I don't believe you. You have always hated her. You are acting like a spoiled princess. You're a kid Clarke, you are a kid with a pathetic crush, but Echo, she's my girlfriend.”
Every word is supposed to hurt ad they hit their mark, Clarke's heart is breaking with every word but she not backing down, not without a fight.

“That's not it! New York isn't the place for you. It and Echo will eat you alive!”
“I'm going to New York and that is final!”
He’s breathing hard and he turns away from her.
She walks up to him slowly and places a hand over his and he turns to look at her. Her blue eyes are full of unshed tears and she speaks quietly to him.
“You don't have to prove anything to anyone.”

He scoffs and pulls away from her
“Open your eyes, princess we are two different people from two different lives. New York in my future.”
“Future? There is nothing there for you. What are you going to do? Rent a shoebox, bus tables until you can afford a few classes.”
“I got into Columbia.”
“Columbia? Since when did you apply? I thought your dream was to stay here, be a teacher.”
“Dreams change, New York in a new life for me, its chance for me and my girlfriend.”
“And what about us?”
“There is no us.”
Clarke freezes and she swallows before spinning on her heels and the door closes with a definitive click.
Bellamy throws a punch at his wall and he shakes his head.
He doesn't feel like going to prom anymore but he can't bail on Echo.

He goes to the dance recital the week after that and he watches as everyone crowd around Clarke praising her dancing as Echo talks to someone from one of the dance schools. He wants to tell Clarke that he still loves to watch her dance and that seeing her die on stage made him cry and he hates the idea of losing her.
But he has lost every right to so.
Clarke keeps sneaking looks at Bellamy, the friendship bracelet back on her wist as soon as the show was over.
Murphy sees where she looking.
“He’s an idiot.”
Clarke shakes her head.
‘It doesn't matter. He made his choice.”

The day that Bellamy leaves comes quickly. Echo had left earlier to get things set up and because she signed up for a training camp.
He had made his rounds saying goodbye to Miller and Bryan, Murphy. He had even gone to his old neighborhood and played a quick game with Monroe and the others.
He said goodbye to his friends and his teammates.
He said goodbye to everyone but Clarke.
Clarke tries not to let it bother her but when Josie comes home saying that Bellamy told her goodbye, she cries.
Murphy offers to beat him up but Clarke tells him not to worry about it.

The morning that Bellamy is supposed to leave Murphy offers to drive her to dance.
When she sees him clutching the steering wheel, his knuckles white, she knows that he isn't taking her to practice and she's right.
They drive to the airport in silence and the closer they get the worse Clarke feels .
She can’t do this.
All she can hear are the words from their past fights in her heads, the things Echo had said to her.
She has to let him go.

Murphy looks at her.
“I can’t. Please.”
Something on her face convinces Murphy to listen to her. Murphy nods and gets off the highway. They are halfway home when she clears her throat.
“Drive me to the baseball field.”
He turns to look at her.
“Please Murphy.”

The field is empty, elementary school classes are still in session.
Clarke closes her eyes, she can see herself twirling around the field, head thrown back in laughter. She can see herself sitting with Bellamy, smiles on their faces.
She can see Bellamy blowing her a kiss from the pitcher's mound.
She can see herself pressing a good luck kiss to his cheek.
She can see him teaching her how to play.
She can see him blushing when he gave her the bookmark.
The wonder on his face as she ties the friendship bracelet around his wrist.
She can see them.

She sinks to her knees and sobs.
Murphy sits in the bleachers and looks up to the sky as a plane flies over them.
He looks at Clarke sobbing and his hands curl into fists.