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it's a small world

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At eighteen, Clarke Griffin has her whole life ahead of her. A fresh new acceptance to a Pre-Med program far away from Arkadia gives her the opportunity to escape the constraints of her dysfunctional home life and lackluster teenage experiences. An opportunity to ensure that the illness her father died from does not happen to any other family, just by studying at one of the schools she’s dreamed of since she was young. It’s an opportunity all her friends and family, including herself, planned that she would receive because of her high grades, list of extra curriculars and countless hours of volunteer work. Nobody is surprised that Clarke Griffin receives the acceptance letter.

 

The only time anyone is surprised is when she breaks up with Bellamy Blake, boyfriend of three years, a week before she’s set to leave.

 

“We talked about long distance,” Bellamy reiterates, the confusion twisting his face into a puzzled expression. He slowly closes his front door behind him, not trying to disturb the household at this odd hour of the night, never taking his eyes off the long haired blonde before him. “I juggled my first year at Arkadia, working, watching over O and dating you just fine.”

 

“I’m going to be living in a three hours away, Bellamy,” Clarke’s eyes are red, but her voice is steady, the tears leaving her eyelids long before she stood in front of Bellamy. “I don’t think you understand-”

 

“I made plans to visit.”

 

“In the midst of your own school work, your job and Octavia?”

 

“We did it this whole year.”

 

“Yeah, while I was in high school and you commuted twenty minutes away to a community college!” Clarke cries.

 

She doesn’t have to elaborate. Bellamy straightens, realization dawning on him as Clarke sinks back herself, guilt ridden all over her face. Clarke tucks into herself, her arms crossed over her chest in an effort to shield herself from the cool air of the August night and not directly look at Bellamy. The night sky hangs above them, the lack of visible stars glaring down at the scene before them. Despite the intense August heat, the absence of sunlight has manifested a cool chill. Clarke wraps her arms around herself once more, realizing she’s going to have to get used to warming herself.

 

She can’t resist, though, taking in the pained expression on his face when her eyes meet his. Clarke takes a step towards him, her hand reaching out, only for him to jerk back so quickly, his elbow knocks against the wood of his front door. Clarke slowly retreats back. Bellamy can only look at her completely dumbfounded, the mix of hurt creating a lump in her throat.

 

“I don’t want this to be forever,” Clarke says honestly, quietly. “I love you.”

 

“Not enough to believe a guy that goes to a community college can stay with a girl going to an Ivy League,” Bellamy scoffs.

 

“You know that’s not what I meant.”

 

“We’ve been together for three years, Clarke.”

 

“I don’t not want to be with you! Right now, we’re on different paths. I still know that you’re my future-”

 

The darkness in his eyes steals the light from hers. “But I’m not your right now.”

 

Tears spring to Clarke’s eyes again, leaving red hot trails down her cheeks. Bellamy’s teary eyed as well, but Clarke can’t get past the hurt painting his features. His lips pressed tightly together in a line, the scar above upper lip protrudes and quivers, only to twist into a scowl within a couple of fleeting seconds. A cool breeze blows through her blonde locks, flailing all over her pale face awkwardly.

 

Bellamy takes another step back.

 


 

 “She doesn’t want to marry me,” Clarke laughs.

 

Raven raises an eyebrow, watching her friend pour a glass of orange juice with a chipper smile on her face. Clarke sets the jug of orange juice on the marble island, taking a long gulp of her beverage before setting down the glass gently. Raven sits on the barstool opposite to her, her legs crossed in a haphazard position that gives her ample access to stare at Clarke in bewilderment and utter confusion.

 

“You are awfully content for someone whose marriage proposal got rejected,” Raven points out. Clarke laughs again, reaching for her glass of orange juice. Raven leans across the island, grabbing Clarke’s hand before she can. “Do I need to check you in somewhere?”

 

Clarke swats Raven’s hand away, retrieving her glass for another sip. The liquid travels down her throat, allowing the citrus to eliminate the soreness, caused by a night’s full of screaming and crying. Clarke finishes the glass, turning so her back is facing Raven and walking over to the sink across from her. She twists the knob, watching the water fall from the nozzle before running her now empty glass under it. Clarke can feel Raven’s eyes on her, but knows she probably has no idea what to say. Clarke doesn’t even know what she wants to hear.

 

It wasn’t like Clarke proposed. Well, she hadn’t purchased a ring yet, at least. Which is a good thing she brought it up with her girlfriend of two years before investing in such an expensive piece of jewelry, so she could learn that Lexa had no plans to marry her anytime soon or in the near future. Clarke clenches the glass harder, allowing the mixture of water and soap to run over knuckles as it overflows.

 

“So, Lexa wasn’t the one,” Raven says from behind her. “I could have told you that.”

 

Raven’s lack of sympathy didn’t surprise Clarke. It just stirred her annoyance, especially when her friend knew just how meticulous Clarke was. Clarke was looking for the one, and she loved Lexa, enough to consider marriage. Now, she would have to start over, and that would throw away everything she tried to build within this two year relationship.

 

At twenty eight, Clarke was looking at her next step. She successfully received her Pre-Med undergraduate degree within four years, even achieving valedictorian before climbing onto the next milestone; medical school. Once that was completed, with a pretty decent 3.7 GPA, she got an internship in the town of her alma mater, which was ridiculously lucky for a clinic in such high demand. Now, with the beginning of her residency, her career was on the right track, if not almost at her end goal.

 

For years, Clarke put her academics before her personal life. It cost her a lot of fun social events, even more friendships and potential relationships that continued to linger in her mind. None of it came easy to Clarke, she had to work hard to keep up her academics and had to work even harder to maintain relationships – majority of which were platonic; seeing as her romantic life was put on pause pretty much since she was eighteen. A string of hookups would satisfy her until she was able to get to a place where she could fully invest in a relationship.

 

And for a while, she didn’t see herself ever being with anyone seriously. For years, the only person her heart belonged to was Bellamy; but it was made clear mere months after she ended things that he was not waiting for her the way she was waiting for him. He never returned her calls, blocked her on the then-popular social medias and even got his sister to respond to Clarke’s demands asking to never speak to him again. It broke Clarke’s heart, knowing he wanted nothing to do with her, even though she promised him he was her future, no matter if they weren’t together in present time. But she guesses she broke his heart first, and it’s not fair to ask someone to wait, especially for someone with an impending career in the medical field.

 

So she swore off dating all together. The closest she ever got within eight years of leaving Bellamy Blake was a non-exclusive relationship with Finn Collins towards the end of her undergraduate degree. And all that revealed to her was that Finn was in an actual exclusive relationship with Raven Reyes, who albeit soon became one of her closest friends, but further deterred Clarke from the dating world.

 

Meeting Lexa was not planned. The further Clarke got to finishing her medical degree, the more she desired for the relationship she once had so secure. The hookups no longer satisfied her and her loneliness grew. And she already stalked Bellamy on his new social medias, only to discover his engagement to a gorgeous tree-hugger with long legs and glowing skin, meaning reaching out to him after eight years of not speaking was very much not an option. And in the midst of that heartache, was Lexa.

 

“You have this thing,” Raven continues. Clarke shuts off the sink, setting the dripping glass on the drying rack before turning to face her friend. She leans against the counter, arms folded and raises an eyebrow, daring Raven to continue. “Where you have one person in your mind and you think that’s it.”

 

“What?” Clarke huffs.

 

“Lexa, for example. You meet her at a bar, she’s hot, she’s confident, she’s a workaholic like you, and you’re sold,” Raven explains, the hand gestures making her point more boisterous. “So you completely ignore the red flags. She’s cold, barely opens up, prioritizes her career over you-”

 

“I do that, too.”

 

“She’s not marriage material. She doesn’t even want kids.”

 

“Lexa’s great with kids, she just doesn’t want them right now. And neither do I.”

 

“You’re missing the point,” Raven sighs, pinching the bridge of her nose in exasperation. “You guys fought all the time. She wasn’t responsive, she didn’t put in an effort to see things your way, despite you doing it for her all the time. She wasn’t the one.”

 

Clarke breathes in deeply. Her relationship with Lexa has always been turbulent, and she always thought it was because they were so similar in a lot of ways. They were always such head-first thinkers and abhorrently stubborn that fights were a side effect of their love for one another. Despite Clarke assuming their passion would keep them together forever, she knows it was wishful thinking. Especially when Lexa pointed it out weeks ago, citing logically it could never work between them for that exact reason.

 

She’d only suggested that Lexa think about the possibility of marriage being on the horizon soon. If Clarke had known it was a tipping point, she may not have brought it up at all. It dawns on Clarke at that moment, that maybe that was all to telling all together. Her constant tip-toeing around Lexa stemming from her fear of being alone wasn’t a love strong enough for marriage. Not that she’d admit it to Raven in the moment.

 

“And then there’s Bellamy,”

 

Clarke’s head snaps in Raven’s direction so fast she gets whiplash and before she can play it off, her hand flies to her neck and her face twists in discomfort. Raven smirks, leaning back on the barstool with her legs intricately folded beneath her. Raven’s never met Bellamy, but Clarke used to talk about him enough that she’s conjured up an idea of him in her mind and has accurately spoke of their relationship as if she’d been there, a whole decade ago.

 

“You guys were broken up for eight years before you started dating Lexa,” Raven points out. “And in those eight years, you acted like he was your only option. Like somehow, someway, you’d find your way back to each other like a cheesy, horribly written show on the CW.”

 

“Well, I loved him since I was fifteen.”

“And you are now twenty eight. It’s time to be a grown up and get on Christian Mingle if you really want marriage right now.”

 

Clarke sighs, holding her arms tighter across her chest. She doesn’t want to be married just to be married and she knows Raven is just poking fun, but her outward desire to have everything in her life meticulously planned to a T is kind of ruined right now.

 

It’s not that she thinks she deserves happiness more than the average person. A lot of her friends are married right now, and she sees the light in their eyes when they look at one another, some even cradling newborn babies and yet, she has to admit, none of them have careers that take half as long to fulfill as hers. It’s a part of the job, she understands, long hours in the clinic don’t leave much time for bonding with partners. Maybe once her residency is completed, by thirty three or thirty four, she’ll have met someone.

 

Clarke has time to meet someone new. There’s millions of people in the world that she hasn’t met. There’s at least one that’s right for her.

 


 

Clarke admits, she’s been a bit lazy about finding the one, especially with her timeline that gives her at least five more years. On the bright side, the other side of her bed is never cold.

 

Three months of officially being single, Clarke’s taken advantage of the lack of commitment. After a tough shift, she heads to the bar, picks up a random that will either leave in the middle of the night or that she’ll escort out in the morning. They satisfy her needs perfectly fine, rejuvenating her for her shift the following morning and encouraging her to repeat the process later on that night. It’s a habit she fell into in undergrad and practiced throughout medical school, so it’s kind of like she’s stepping into old shoes. In fact, it’s a lot easier to resume than it was to start after a breakup.

 

There’s no particular type. For the past month, there’s been more pretty girls in the chosen bar than good looking men, and she can usually guarantee that she’s going to come when she brings home one. She programs a fake number in some of their phones, tells them she works under a different profession, only blatantly honest about the fact that this is nothing more for her than a hookup. The one thing they all have in common is that they agree, with only a handful attempting to make it more than that afterwards.

 

“Grounders, tonight?” Her colleague, Luna, asks.

 

Clarke packs her scrubs into her duffle pack, folded neatly in a Ziploc bag. She’s finally taken her hair out of the ponytail she’s held for nearly fifteen hours and is sporting a white mini skirt with a less than festive black tank top and matching belt. Not attire for a clinic.

 

“Sanctum,” Clarke corrects her.

 

“Hot date?”

 

“Not tonight.”

 

Luna smirks at her, clearly not believing her colleague. Clarke rolls her eyes, itching to get away from the stuffiness of the clinic, heaving her duffle bag over one shoulder. She glances at the clock in the breakroom, the digital letters reading ten forty six back to her. She promised Raven she’d be at the bar by eleven, but the drive is already twenty minutes and she’s not even out the door.

 

“I don’t know how you do it,” Luna admits, her tone dripping with condescending undertones. “Over a twelve hour shift and you still go out to party? What a life.”

 

It’s called having a life,the thought manifests inClarke’s mind, but luckily never makes it out of her mouth. Clarke suspects Luna had a thing for Lexa, the way she would be sicky sweet whenever her girlfriend was around compared to the shady remarks she made in her absence attested to that. The dislike Luna had for Clarke was subtle enough for her not to have any solid proof or evidence to bring it up, but it’s more than irritating most times. Before, Clarke never cared and Lexa never paid Luna any mind, but when word got out the two split, she swore she saw a hint of a smile on Luna’s face as she gave a half-ass attempt at a Everything Will Be Okay speech, despite Clarke’s more than professional behaviour.

 

Clarke fishes her phone out from her belt loop, noting the Uber approaching within two minutes. She smiles tightly at Luna, not even attempting to appease her with a response before heading out the door.

 

By the time she’s slammed the backdoor of the Uber, Clarke already only has ten minutes to get there. She’s expecting a call from Raven promptly at eleven o’clock, but there’s nothing she can do about it, so she smiles politely at her driver and asks how his day is going while he leisurely ushers Clarke to her destination.

 

Clarke’s phone vibrates in her pocket at exactly 11:00pm as predicted.

 

“Hello,” Clarke braces for –

 

“Tell me you at least left the clinic,” Raven shouts.

 

“I’m in the Uber.”

 

Yesss,” Clarke recognizes Harper’s voice, definitely after a couple of shots. She hears a struggle over the phone, Raven begging Harper to be careful, only for her to relinquish power in the end. “Clarke, I’ve missed you so much! I mean, I love my baby, but this is the first time tequila has tasted these lips since before pregnancy!”

 

Clarke smiles to herself, picturing the blonde haired woman clinging to Raven in Sanctum’s bathroom, after her first night out since the birth of her baby. Come to think of it, it’s the first night in months all their friends have gotten together in months. All of Clarke’s friends have pretty demanding careers and personal lives to match, and in the years since graduation she’s seen them start their lives while she pursued medical school. Harper, a criminologist married Monty, an engineer a couple of years back, just welcoming a baby boy, Jordan, a couple of months ago. Raven, a fellow engineer, currently engaged to Shaw, a pilot trainee. Then there was Jasper, freshly dating a sweet girl he met at the botanist conservatory he worked at.

 

The six of her friends have always been able to combine their professional and personal lives with ease. Clarke admired it, never absorbing the trait herself, always juggling and having to choose one or the other. That’s why dating Lexa came so easily. Clarke worked long hours, Lexa worked long hours, they had a basic understanding that seeing one another came second and only possible if their jobs allowed them to. Looking back, maybe that wasn’t the most normal thing, but it was system that worked for them for two years.

 

The sound of murmurs and muffled whispers fill the line, Harper and Raven most likely struggling over who gets control of the phone. Clarke peels her own phone away from her ear to check the time, just two minutes passed eleven pm, meaning she still has at least ten minutes to go before she’s there. A loud grunt echoes over the line, causing Clarke to instantly put the phone back to her ear.

 

“Harper, it’s a surprise!” Raven angrily whispers.

 

“A hot guy isn’t a surprise, it’s a gift!” Harper slurs. Another grunt coming from one of the girls, before Clarke assumes Harper has successfully yanked the phone from their friend. “Clarke, Shaw brought the hottestguy for you.”

 

“Oh God,” Clarke sighs. “What’s wrong with him?”

 

“Nothing!” Raven insists. The two are on speaker now. “I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want you to think we were setting you up.”

 

“Which you are.”

 

“Oh, we totally are. But I know you hate blind dates, so we’re all here. The guys love him.”

 

“He’s so hot,” Harper chimes in. “I’m a married woman, but even I can admit he’s so hot. The only downfall is that he’s divorced.”

 

“You’re setting me up with a guy whose divorced?” Clarke holds her hand over the receiver, trying to lower her tone. She eyes the driver through the rear view mirror, whose clearly eavesdropping as her cheeks turn bright red. “What on Earth made you think that was a good idea?”

 

“He’s super sweet and Harper’s right, hot. He doesn’t even think this is a date, he thinks he’s just hanging out with all of us.” Raven explains.

 

Clarke stares out the window as the Uber halts. They’ve come to a red light, stopping in the midst of traffic. They’re in the heart of the city now, people busily walking down the streets on this Friday night. In the crowd of people, she watches as a handful of couples pass, hand in hand, giggling, all over each other or all the above. She watches the smiles on their faces just looking at one another, remembering a time she used to feel that giddy around Lexa, remembering how she always felt that way with Bellamy.

 

The hookups are temporary. They please Clarke for now, but the longlines for stability remains. Maybe Raven is right, that’s she’s scared of getting back out there cause she thinks she already met the greatest. But if that was true, Clarke wouldn’t have moved on the first time.

The Uber begins moving again, and Clarke’s vision of the strangers waltzing along the sidewalk blurs. Raven and Harper are saying something, probably something that would be useful for Clarke to hear, but she’s completely zoned out. Clarke coughs, making it seem like she’s been paying attention.

 

“I’ll be there in five minutes,” she estimates.

 

Clarke presses the end call button, not waiting for their response. She sinks back into the seat, leaning her head back against the cushion. The driver says nothing, only peers at her through the rear view mirror and since she’s no longer looking into polite small talk, Clarke just offers a simple smile.

 

She could give the guy a chance. Worse comes to worse, Harper and Raven both agree he’s hot, so hopefully that means he’s a good fuck.

 

The Uber screeches to a stop a little over five minutes later after a relatively silent ride. Clarke thanks the driver, and climbs out of the car, rating him five stars before waltzing to the entrance. A twenty minute Uber ride, alone, costs her approximately fifteen dollars that she doesn’t have to spare between rent. She curses, hoping she can share an Uber pool with someone or catch a ride with one of her friends if she doesn’t end up leaving with the guy.

 

Clarke’s expectations are low. Raven’s definition of a blind date could just mean another decent fuck, which puts her mind at ease, but she just hopes this guy doesn’t think anything. It doesn’t matter if Raven says he doesn’t, she has no idea what Shaw said to this guy about her. Clarke knows at the back of her mind – the engaged pair came up with this idea together and it only makes her more anxious. If she’d known this was a potential date, maybe she would have dressed a little less slutty.

 

It doesn’t matter, though because she’s here and she misses her friends and a hot guy is just a bonus. The fact that she barely ate all day means it’s going to be a lot easier and a lot faster for her to get drunk tonight and at least there’s always a drinking buddy in Jasper. Plus, Harper already seems gone.

 

Clarke enters Sanctum after providing the bouncer with ID, recognizing the aroma of sweaty adults and onion rings instantly. The lights are dim and the music is low, but there’s a couple drunk partygoers swaying on the dancefloor near the DJ booth with tables full of people munching on food, the bar crowded with people itching just to taste alcohol. It’s a bar and restaurant that the group have gone to since their undergraduate days, conveniently located just ten minutes from campus. Clarke’s grateful they all stayed relatively close to the city.

 

It’s only just past eleven, meaning the group probably just ordered a round of drinks and sets of appetizers, so Clarke etches into the dining section, scanning through the packed tables for her friends. The Friday night makes everybody harder to find, but Clarke hears them before she sees them, following the sound of Jasper’s cackle to a booth in the left corner. Jasper’s new buzzcut has taken some time to get used to, but the big grin on his face is enough to bring a smile to Clarke’s face. He throws his head back in laughter, too pre-occupied with another to notice his friend approach the table.

 

They’re sitting in a round booth, one of the bigger ones in the establishment. It’s usually that way, thanks to the size of their group, but it’s not uncommon for them to squeeze into a smaller booth just for the hell of it or if the place is super busy.

 

Clarke steps closer, only noting Jasper’s small frame. He has his arm thrown around someone, who she assumes is Monty, because it’s always Monty and is laughing so hard he has to hold his ribcage in order to refrain him from doubling over. It’s only as she gets closer that his laughter subsides enough for his eyes to land on Clarke. They bulge so wide, it’s almost out of his hand, as he throws his left, free arm in the air to wave at her.

 

“Clarke!” Jasper calls. “Come over here!”

 

Clarke knows he couldn’t see she was already on her way, shaking her head in amusement. Monty peaks out from the booth, opposite end of Jasper and grins. “You’ve got to meet this guy! He’s a hoot!”

 

Monty’s just as drunk as Harper, Clarke can see by his flushed expression. He’s not easily amused either, especially by Jasper’s antics, which means the alcohol has worked wonders or this really hot guy is also really funny.

 

It only takes her one more step for the man in question to come into vision and she’s already approached the table; no way of backing out. Clarke freezes, her heart lurching and smile dropping from her face as Jasper hugs the guy tighter to him. The whole crew is there, all bright eyed and mostly drunk, giggling over a plate of onion rings and a dozen half-empty glasses. None of it registers in Clarke’s mind, she can only look at him.

 

Bellamy Blake stares back at her, an all too familiar smirk dancing across his lips. He figured it out before her, she realizes as he brings his glass to his lips, the smirk never faltering and takes a sip. He huffs placing the drink back down on the table and leans back in the booth, swinging his arm over Jasper’s shoulder, sending him into another tailspin of laughter.

 

“Hey princess,” Bellamy greets her. Clarke’s heart begins beating again.

 

His voice is deeper, if that was even possible. It’s warm and welcoming, but condescending all together, matching perfectly with the smugness that exudes from his face. Clarke recalls seeing a beard in his wedding pictures on Facebook, which is completely gone now, his cleanly shaved face accentuating the sharpness of his jawline and the freckles that pattern his cheeks. The scar above his lip is still ever so prominent, etched into his features and emphasized by the smirk that has cursed his mouth for decades.

 

Clarke doesn’t even think he’s really here. It’s the first time she’s seen him in person in a decade, and yet he’s all the same, his eyes just a little more worn. The curls that clump together on his head are exactly as she remembers, so fluffy and perfectshe can feel them from where she’s standing.

 

The nickname is what gets her. As a teenager, it made her stomach flutter and between her legs dampen simultaneously. It yields similar results to this day. The amount of times she’s slipped her fingers downwards and closed her eyes just to imagine him saying it to her over and over again flood back to her. Yet now, the title causes her stomach flutters, between her legs dampen, in addition to an overwhelming feeling of nausea.

 

Everyone’s looking at her, not that Clarke really notices. They peer at her stillness with curiosity but Jasper’s maniacal, drunken state is a key distraction, causing majority of them to shift their attention back to their other, more lively friend. It’s Bellamy that’s kept his eyes steady on her, the amusement in his eyes, like he’s planned this encounter for years. Meanwhile, he ignored her calls and pleas for almost three years straight after the breakup.

 

It clicks for Raven first. “Hey, I think I need to head to the bathroom. Clarke, come-”

 

Raven makes an awkward move to stand, only to be roughly yanked down by Harper, a big, easy grin on her face. “You just peed! Now come on Monty, move over so Clarke can sit.”

 

Monty scoots closer to his wife, patting the extra seating beside him. Clarke takes the cue, finally tearing her grip away from Bellamy Blake to sit on the velvet seat. She shuffles in awkwardly, haphazardly smiling to her friends in greeting. When her gaze focuses in front of her, Bellamy is still looking at her, that smirk still planted on his face, drink still clutched in his hand.

 

He looks like he has something to say. Bellamy always has something to say, Clarke reminds herself, but not to her and not in a while. The last words she ever heard from him in correlation to her was said through Octavia, but after a decade of not speaking, she assumes he’s less cordial about the silent treatment now. Yet, Clarke doesn’t say anything either, grabbing Monty’s glass of whiskey and downing it before he can open his mouth to protest.

 

Harper is too busy chatting away to let her husband – or anyone else for that matter – get a word in either. Clarke zones her out, for the most part, eyes glued to the glass in front of her, only picturing Bellamy smiling politely at her friends and sideways glancing at her, amped by the uncomfortableness of the situation.

 

“Oh my God,” Harper shrieks. “We didn’t even let Clarke introduce herself.”

 

“I don’t think that’s necessary,” Clarke begins, only to be silenced once again by Harper.

Harper reaches over Monty, her body sprawled across his lap in attempts to grab Clarke by the bareness of her shoulder. Clarke’s head jerks up, catching Harper as her hand falls from her shoulder before she faceplants in her crotch. She steadies her the drunken mom by the wrist, only providing her with further encouragement. “This Clarke Griffin. Single, Clarke Griffin. Single, doctor Clarke Griffin.”

 

“He calls her Princess Clarke,” Jasper reminds the group. He glances from Bellamy to Clarke and then back to Bellamy. “Is that because of the long, blonde hair? It’s kind of Rapunzel-like, right? Or is it because she was late, like a modern day Cinderella?”

 

Jasper ooo’s and awe’s, encouraged by Harper nodding eagerly at his conspiracy theories. Just like it clicks for Raven, the same look of recognition falls on Shaw and Monty’s faces. Clarke only wishes she can sink back into the safety of the clinic and deal with more people that are dying instead of sitting here in this booth. She can only wince, her hand shielding her face as she glances at Raven. The engineer mouths sorry to her friend, before turning to her fiancé and nudging him in the ribs.

 

“Actually,” Bellamy starts. Clarke looks at him, his dark eyes staring directly at her. “When I met Clarke, I thought she was a bit of a spoiled brat. Hence, the name princess.”

 

It takes a moment for it to register for Harper and Jasper. Raven slowly sips at her drink, Monty and Shaw exchange uncomfortable glances while Clarke sucks in a breath. Bellamy seems anything, but phased, a look of amusement sprawled across his features. He takes the final sip of his drink, finishing it off, before sliding it to the middle of the table.

 

Clarke watches him easily interact with the intensity of the situation, a little jealous and a lot frustrated with the idea. He refused to speak to her for years and when she finally stopped trying, he made no effort to come to her when he was clearly over their relationship andher. He completely erased Clarke from his life, not even open to the idea of remaining friends despite their long term friendship and now he comes to her city, settles in with her friends and acts like everything is nonchalant and happy.

 

Clarke is happy with her life. She has a successful career and amazing friends and yes, she’s single, but her one night stands are more than enough to keep her content. That’s more than she can say for Bellamy, who according to Harper, is freshly divorced.

 

“That was a long time ago,” Clarke remarks. “People grow out of nicknames.”

 

“Not everybody,” Bellamy shrugs. “Seems to fit you still.”

 

Clarke furrows her eyebrows, opening her mouth to spit venom, when Harper sighs in exasperation. “You’re Bellamy? High school sweetheart Bellamy?”

 

Bellamy laughs, his row of bright, white teeth flashing at Clarke. “You’ve talked about me?”

“Just to fill in the gaps,” Clarke laments. She scans the room, spotting a pretty, blonde waitress just finishing up with a table across the bar. She heaves her hand up and waves. “Waitress! A round of shots, please.”

 

The shots do wonders. While Jasper and Harper are cut off pretty early on, the rest of the group indulge in a slew of alcohol, making the whole situation a lot less tense and tolerable for Clarke. Bellamy talks mostly to Shaw or addresses the group as a whole, refraining from singling out his former girlfriend in front of her friends. They all love him, laughing at his jokes or awing at his stories. Clarke even catches Raven biting back a smile.

 

It annoys Clarke to a point she believes it shouldn’t. Bellamy was invited here by Shaw, he didn’t ask to be a part of this evening or her friend’s lives and certainly not her own. That’s what gets her, she thinks, that Bellamy spent so much time avoiding her that now, he sits across from her comfortably, like a stranger in a bar or a mutual friend. Time can heal all wounds, but Clarke almost prefers he be angry at her, or uncomfortable with the situation or literally anything that she is feeling in this very moment. Aside from the snarky remarks, Bellamy makes no further references to Clarke or their past relationship. Everyone’s too drunk to even remember.

 

Clarke wishes she didn’t know it would be easier for her to black out with these shots then it would be to forget.

 

By the fifth shot, their group has dispersed. It’s just after midnight, meaning more people are pouring in, heading directly to the dancefloor. Harper follows the trend, dragging along Monty who drags along Jasper, whizzing into the crowd of dancers that crowd near the DJ booth. Clarke thinks then, the conversation would switch back to the elephant in the room, but Bellamy downs his sixth shot, not even the slightest recognition of regret on his face.

 

“I still can’t believe you’re slumming it with Murphy,” Shaw marvels, his face twisting in regret after taking another shot.

 

“John Murphy?” Raven baffles. “I’m so sorry.”

 

“He’s not too bad,” Bellamy admits with a teasing smile. “A bit of a pig, a lot of an ass. But we get along just fine.”

 

Clarke sees her opportunity to toy with him. After taking one of the last few shots for confidence, she sets her glass down and gives him a sickly sweet smile. “What God forsaken force causes you to live with Murphy?”

 

Bellamy doesn’t miss a beat. “I met him through a mutual friend, back in college. He moved here, I needed a place to crash, he offered. And then he introduced me to Shaw-”

 

“That’s not what I mean. Why live with Murphy? Why leave home?”

 

“Got a job offer here.”

 

“Worth leaving the wife?”

 

Bellamy’s tongue pokes the inside of his cheek and Clarke knows she’s struck a nerve. His lips purse tightly, and an instant feeling of regret sinks in. She wants to apologize, but her pride stops her, and the drinks she’s already taken enable her to further drown her guilt in more alcohol. Shaw and Raven’s uneasy stares affirm her decision as Clarke reaches for the last shot.

 

Before she can react, Bellamy grabs the shot. He throws his head back and with a gulp, rests the final empty glass on the middle of the table with a louder than necessary thud. No disgust or twist of regret on his face. “She left me.”

 

Clarke really feels like an asshole now. She scratches the back of her neck, the sharpness of her nails not even close to compensating for the pain that’s settled in her chest. Out of the corner of her eye, she can see Raven sending daggers her way, begging her to say something as Shaw lets out a low whistle in response to the silence. All of the glasses are empty, no escape in alcohol left and all any of them can hear is the low beat of the music echoing through their ears and shaking the table.

 

She wishes she could take it back, say she’s sorry, but when her mouth opens, nothing comes out. Clarke watches him as he runs his tongue over his lips, trying to taste the last bits of alcohol. His expression solemn only a couple of moments ago, morphs into a pokerface, almost as if he’s trying to appear as bored. Given the situation and that his mannerisms are still the exact same from high school, Clarke knows he’s just trying to put up a front and thanks to her, she gave him the perfect excuse to do so.

 

Bellamy’s eyes flutter from the glass to the open floor, a familiar cheeky smile playing up on his face. Clarke turns, noting the cute, petite waitress from before flounce down the aisle, a tray of drinks balancing in her right hand. Bellamy catches her gaze, and he summons her over with an easy wink. Clarke gulps, watching the waitress smile brightly as she approaches the table.

 

“What can I do for you?” She asks sweetly.

“Well,” Bellamy leans in closer and squints, before settling back in his seat with a smile. “Josephine. That’s a beautiful name.”

 

Josephine very obviously suppresses a giggle, a blush rising to her cheeks. “How beautiful is yourname?”

 

“It’s Bellamy. So you can be the judge of that.”

 

“Bellamy, that’s so unique.”

 

The flirtation goes on right before Clarke’s very eyes. She guesses she deserves it, she did pull the wife card, which was a very low blow. Bellamy and Josephine fall into the ease of small talk and Clarke nearly gets nauseous looking at it for so long that she has the gull to look at Raven and Shaw who only stare back at her in irritation and annoyance.

 

“One more round of shots,” Bellamy’s loud voice booms, emphasized by his fists banging on the table. He tilts his head to Josephine, that smirk making an appearance once again. “Please, Josephine.”

 

“You got it.”

 

Josephine saunters away with the pep of a school girl. Clarke can’t help but roll her eyes, wishing she had a glass to hide behind at this very moment. She’s more tipsy than she is drunk, but the alcohol is already rushing to her head, thanks to a lack of food and her interactions with Bellamy. She should have just followed Harper, Monty and Jasper to the dancefloor instead of staying put at the table in hopes of entertaining Bellamy.

 

As the waitress disappears behind the bar, Bellamy reaches for a napkin placed at the edge of the table. Clarke eyes it before he has the chance to grab it, noting a sprawl of numbers with a cutesy heart drawn underneath. It’s no secret it’s Josephine’s handwriting. Bellamy lifts upwards, tucking the napkin into his back pocket without a word, before turning to Shaw and talking about his new teaching job in the area.

 

Just that easily, like Clarke’s comment never spewed from her mouth. Shaw eagerly jumps at the conversation change and Raven scoots closer to Clarke for emotional support, but she silences her with a glare before she can even open her mouth.

 

It amazes her how Bellamy is so quick to brush things off, move forward at the slight of a hat. He’s been that way his whole life, she guesses, especially with all the shit he endured early on. It worried her before she got through to him when they were dating. It’s why she thought he would be okay with a friendship going into school, as selfish as it was for her to decide it. Yet, he didn’t speak to her for three years and when she stopped trying, he moved on. Like nothing happened.

 

Josephine returns with the shots, and Clarke has to undergo another scene of her and Bellamy flirting before she goes back to doing her actual job. Clarke doesn’t even wait for them to finish, grabbing one of the shot glasses, filled to the brim with God knows what, and chucking it back. She reaches for another before the rest of them even has a chance to get their first of the round.

 

The rest of the night, Clarke proceeds with caution. She doesn’t make a statement or a remark, barely says a word throughout the night and if she does, it’s certainly not directed towards Bellamy. He glides through conversations, even welcoming back the trio from the dancefloor with a grin and earning a couple of solid laughs. All the while, Clarke takes shot after shot, rarely letting her friends grasp at a glass. Bellamy sneaks in a few good shots, but only after Raven places an arm on her friend’s shoulder and tells her to cool it.

 

The night winds down around two am, Harper and Monty being the first ones to leave because Harper is too far gone to stay. Jasper decides to head out in the Uber with them, not before putting Bellamy’s contact information in his phone and giving him a kiss on the cheek as a goodbye, taking one more shot before departing with the married couple. That leaves the four of them, again and Clarke may be a lot drunker than before, but she’s smart enough to know she can’t stay.

“Did you call an Uber?” Raven asks, getting to her feet to steady Clarke as she wobbles out of the booth.

 

Clarke motions for her to step aside, shaking her head. “I just want to get some air. I’ll call it when I get outside.”

 

“Why don’t you just wait in here? It’s a lot warmer-”

 

“It’s fine, I need some air. I’ll text you when I’m home.”

 

Raven’s lips close firmly as she reluctantly sinks back into her seat. Clarke gathers her items, dusting herself off as she stands, intending to just swivel around on her heel and leave. But she makes the mistake of looking at Bellamy, who only stares at her pitifully and it churns her stomach. Clarke’s tolerance for alcohol is pretty high, especially after years of practice, but the need to vomit up everything has never been higher than when Bellamy looks at her in a way that makes her feel like a damsel in distress.

 

Clarke doesn’t even say her goodbyes. She nods, if they can even call it that, she can’t really confirm that her head moves upwards or downwards. She waddles out of the club, embarrassingly trying not to appear as gone as she is, half hoping Bellamy doesn’t watch her walk away while the other half yearns for him to watch her leave with a smile.

 

The cool air of the night hits Clarke the minute she bursts out the door, giving her the brief feeling of serenity and calmness she hasn’t received in God knows how long. She stumbles to the front of the building, leaning against the cool brick. For a moment, she just stands, allowing the exposed areas of her body to level her temperature in combination with the airiness of the night. She closes her eyes and thinks about the time between her Bellamy and the Bellamy now.

 

Bellamy, Bellamy, Bellamy.

 

She can almost hear him now, calling her name.

 

“Clarke!”

 

Shit.

 

The energy it takes for Clarke to open her eyes makes her head pound. She winces, the vision of Bellamy approaching blurry, but real. She closes her eyes again, as if that’s going to make her invisible. She only realizes it’s stupid when she hears Bellamy chuckle. She feels him lean on the wall beside her, the roughness of his leather jacket scratching against her bare forearm.

 

“Did you call an Uber?” Bellamy asks.

 

Clarke’s eyes remain closed. She slurs, “I’ll get to it.”

 

There’s pause before Clarke attempts to heave herself up from the wall. She fails, her heel not steady enough with ground as she flails backwards, only to be caught by the forearms by Bellamy.

 

“Hey, hey,” Bellamy cautions her. He gently guides her, the softness of his fingers attempting to prop her upwards. Clarke slumps against him in defeat. She can’t help it, she has no energy and she’s very upset and very drunk. “Let’s get you home, okay?”

 

Clarke doesn’t remember exactly how they got from Point A to Point B. She recalls Bellamy asking for her address, and laying against him in a backseat, but the drive only feels like a couple of seconds and in a flash she’s fumbling with the keys to her apartment, only to huff and slam them into Bellamy’s chest. Somehow, someway, the door is opened and Bellamy lays her down on the couch, tells her to stay put and she can no longer hear him.

 

In any other state of mind, Clarke would be embarrassed. She hasn’t felt this drunk, this dizzy and this out of her mind since a party in her undergraduate years. At least then, it was Raven taking care of her and dealing with her sheer drunk stupidity. Now, it’s Bellamy Blake, who before today Clarke hadn’t spoken to in a decade. Yet, Clarke can’t figure out if she just doesn’t care in this moment in time because she’s drunk or for the exact reason that the person standing in her apartment isn’t a stranger for the first time in weeks.

 

Clarke curls up on her couch, tucking her legs beside her stomach and arms behind her head. She wants desperately to sleep, to drift off and wake up with no recollection, but as much of an ass as Bellamy is, she knows he won’t leave her like this. She’s not even surprised when she hears his footsteps signal his return to the living room. She feels the couch dip when he sits at the other end, but makes no move to accommodate for his presence.

 

When Bellamy’s body shifts, Clarke assumes he’s leaning over the lower half of her body. “Hey, sit up. I brought you water.”

 

Clarke groans in response. She hears Bellamy huff before heaving himself off the couch. She hears the sound of glass gently settling atop of her coffee table, before she feels Bellamy’s hot breath just inches away from her face.

 

“You won’t be able to sleep like this,” Bellamy soothes. His tone is low, but calming and soft. “Just a couple of sips. I promise, I’ll let you sleep after.”

 

It’s the compassion in his voice that encourages Clarke to detangle herself, sitting up on the couch at an awkward 150 degree angle, just so the water can travel down her throat without her choking. Bellamy chuckles, so low Clarke strains to hear it all the way through. She opens her eyes halfway to see him lean over and grab the glass full of water. She reaches her hand out to take it, but Bellamy shakes his head, otherwise completely ignoring her. He places a hand at the back of her neck, steadying her as he brings the glass to her lips.

 

Clarke sips, allowing the water to soothe her dry throat. She tilts her head back against his hand to signal he’s done, almost wishing she didn’t as Bellamy retracts, the heat from his hand leaving her cold once more. He places the near empty glass back on the coffee and sighs.

 

“I’m sorry,” Clarke speaks. Bellamy glances at her, confused. “About your wife.”

 

Bellamy smiles tightly, taking a seat on her couch by her feet. She doesn’t mean to do it, but by instinct, she slings her legs over his lap. He eyes her legs, then looks back at her, but comment on it. He doesn’t move either. “It’s okay. I technically left her.”

 

Clarke shoots up so fast, her head pounds in incredible ways. She groans, clutching her temple as she leans back on the couch. Resting on the softness of her cushion for a moment, she regains some of the strength she had before Bellamy opened his mouth.

 

“Then why would you lie? To make me look like an ass?”

 

“Partly,” Clarke can feel him smirking. She doesn’t expect him to elaborate, the mystery of twenty nine year old Bellamy Blake hanging over her hauntingly. But he continues, “I sent the divorce papers, but she basically asked for them.”

 

“What did she do?”

 

“A story for another time.”

 

Clarke’s sure there won’t be another time. To have your ex-boyfriend of over ten years take care of you incredibly drunk, which is mostly motivated by his surprise appearance, isn’t exactly a campaign to see someone again. Even if they met under different circumstances, walking down the street or catching each other in a grocery store, Clarke doesn’t think he would ever want to see her again.

 

“I’m sorry you have to take care of me,” Clarke apologizes. “I know you’d rather be anywhere else doing anything – or anyone else.”

 

Clarke opens her eyes just in time to catch Bellamy smile at her. “I haven’t met anyone I’m inclined to fuck yet.”

 

“What about Josephine?”

 

“The waitress? She’s sweet, but definitely not tonight.”

 

“Why not tonight?”

 

“Because I’m currently watching over my drunk high school sweetheart.”

 

“I don’t want to hold you back. I’m an adult, I can take care of myself.”

 

“You’ve never held me back.”

 

The silence hangs above them. If her head wasn’t pounding and the room wasn’t spinning, Clarke may have had the courage to say something. But nobody says anything, until Clarke’s stomach rumbles, loudly. Her and Bellamy both stare at her stomach, like it couldn’t have possibly emerged from her, but it most certainly did. Through half-lidded eyes, Clarke can see the small glimmer of a smirk.

 

“I only had a granola bar today,” Clarke admits, a tone that is much too harsh for her own wrongdoing.

 

“How the hell are you a proper doctor if you don’t eat?” Bellamy gawks.

 

“I’m just amazing.”

 

“You have bread?”

 

“What? Of course. I’m a functioning adult.”

 

“Cheese slices?”

 

“Shredded, cause who the fuck uses sliced cheese now. Why?”

 

Bellamy gets up from the couch, heading back into the kitchen. Clarke can sort of see him through her blurry vision, walking around her space and opening cabinet after cabinet. He pulls out a fresh loaf of bread from the lower cabinet before walking to the fridge and retrieving the bag of shredded cheddar cheese. He walks over to the stove and turns a knob before ruffling through more cabinets.

 

“Are you making a grilled cheese right now?” Clarke sits up, balancing on her forearms.

 

“Yes,” Bellamy states. He finds a whole bunch of pots and pans in the drawer under the fridge, selecting the one he likes before placing it on the stove.

 

Clarke watches her former high school sweetheart, who she has not seen in ten years, maneuver around her kitchen with her eyes half open, head pounding and drunk off her ass as he prepares her a grilled cheese at approximately two thirty am. He does it with a scary amount of comfortability, too, slicing a corner of butter and splattering it into the pan, swishing it around by the handle so it covers all the surface area.

 

She decides it’s best just to lay back and let it happen. Allow Bellamy Blake to make her a grilled cheese in her own apartment, because she knows that the one thing that hasn’t changed in this decade is his stubbornness. And by the way her stomach grumbles againthere’s no solid reason for Clarke to protest.

 

Bellamy puts the grilled cheese on a plate for her when he’s finished, cut into two triangular pieces. As she curls into the couch, chomping away at the freshly made food, Bellamy takes his time washing the dishes and placing all the ingredients back in their proper spots. By the time Clarke’s finished the grilled cheese, she’s half-sobered up and he’s finished cleaning the pan. He comes into the living room only to grab her plate.

 

“I can wash it in the morning,” Clarke insists, reaching for it.

 

“I don’t mind,” Bellamy shrugs. Instead, he uses his free hand to hand her the water on the coffee table.

 

Clarke accepts it from him, taking a long sip. She’s finally regained her senses. Her vision returning and her migraine dissipating slightly. She follows him into the kitchen, taking him in as he slides the leftover crumbs into the compost bin before proceeding to turn on the sink to rinse. Slowly, she climbs onto the barstool, watching Bellamy’s back move and contract as he scrubs.

 

“I don’t deserve this,” Clarke sighs.

 

“I’m just helping out.”

 

“This is more help than I need or deserve.”

 

“Let me decide that, won’t you, princess?”

 

“I love when you call me that.”

 

Bellamy falters a little, Clarke notices him tense. Normally, her sober self would regret saying such an arrogant, sultry comment to a man who hasn’t given her the time of day in such a long time. But her drunk-self adores this attention from someone as wonderful as Bellamy, as she can’t help that she’s a little damp in between her legs because of it.

 

Nonetheless, Bellamy ignores the comment. He dries the dish, then places it back in its rightful spot. He turns back to face her, Clarke’s big doe eyes staring back at him. She’s more than okay now, alert and fed. He surveys her over, balancing a hand on her marble countertop.

 

“I should go.”

 

“You don’t have to,” Clarke gets to her feet. “I mean. If you want to, you can go. But it’s late and I don’t mind if you crash here.” A pause, that’s maybe a little too long. “On the couch. Or I can take the couch, since you’ve been kind of a saviour tonight-” She stops mid-sentence. A smile has crept its way onto Bellamy’s face. “What?”

 

“You had me at you don’t have to.”

 

It’s just before three am when they move to the couch. They sit on opposite ends, expecting to doze off, but it’s no surprise that neither of them wants to be the first one to fall asleep. It’s not long before their legs are entangled with one another as Bellamy and Clarke talk and talk and talk. Ten years is a lot to miss out on, and they waste no time filling each other in on details. They fall into a rhythm, a sync that neither of them were able to define as teenagers and certainly can not in present day as adults.

 

It scares Clarke, how open and fluid she’d been with Bellamy in these past couple of hours when it took her current friends years to break through her shell. She supposes it’s because of the foundation they built long ago in their formative years, but when she gazes at Bellamy her heart just opens in a way she can’t categorize into single emotions. She just feels safe with him, open in a way she hasn’t felt in a long time.

 

Clarke sobers up fast after the sandwich and water, but she and Bellamy stay put on that couch until five am. It’s still dark outside thanks to the coolness the fall season, but when Bellamy glances at the clock, his eyes go wide in shock.

 

“Do you have somewhere to be?” Clarke teases.

 

“No, I’m surprised how late it’s gotten,” Bellamy confesses.

 

“When do you plan to leave?”

 

“Already rushing me out the door, princess?”

 

That feeling, of the butterflies in her stomach and the dampness between her legs returns at such a force, she has to gulp it down. Bellamy eyes her, like he was expecting a more reactive episode, but Clarke is sober now. She stays put on the couch, if only squeezing her legs just a little tighter.

 

“No,” Clarke clarifies. “Leave whenever you want. I don’t have a shift today.”

 

Bellamy leans his head back on the couch, still gazing at her, like he’s mulling over what to say. Clarke drums her toes against the cushions, missing the warmth his legs brought hers. She still has her miniskirt on and tank top, and it’s less than comfortable, but she hasn’t really got the nerve to leave Bellamy to change, even for the moment it would take.

 

“I think I’ve overstayed my welcome,” Bellamy settles on.

 

Clarke’s heart drops as he swings his legs off the couch. She watches him stand and make his way to the door, going to slip on his shoes. She follows, practically skipping over to him as he leans down to tie his shoes. It’s all painfully slow, giving Clarke ample time to think of something – anything, to say. He reaches up, giving her a tight lipped smile before reaching for the door handle.

 

“Thank you,” Clarke pipes up. Bellamy turns to her. “For taking me home and keeping me company. You definitely haven’t overstayed.”

 

Bellamy taunts her, leaning against the doorframe, still managing to keep his hand grasping the handle of the door. Clarke raises her eyebrows, crossing her arms over her chest. He’s intimidating, but also widely confusing at times. She used to be able to read him like a book and in these few short hours together she’s thought she’s done a pretty good job at it. But sometimes, he throws her a curveball.

 

No words leave his lips, he just stares at her with a smirk and half-lidded eyes, almost like he’s the drunk one now.

 

“What?” Clarke snaps, after moments of silence.

 

“You sobered up?”

 

“Fully sober a good hour ago. You’re good to leave, I promise I’ll be fine in my own apartment.” Clarke notices him falter. She tilts her head upwards. “Is there a reason you’re staying?”

 

Bellamy coughs, clearly being caught off guard. Clarke smiles triumphantly as he brushes off the non-existent dust on his shirt. “Just making sure you can see straight.”

 

Clarke shifts her weight from one foot to another. Bellamy smiles, one with his lips closed followed by a head nod as a goodbye. Clarke smiles back, not sure what else she can say, knowing she’s probably forced him to stay much longer than he was comfortable with just for her own sake. 

 

Bellamy turns to the door again, and Clarke’s heart lurches. She’s gone ten years without seeing him and the sickness she feels when he reaches for the door handle is too inhumane for her to ignore. She knows she’s not thinking logically, she said goodbye to Bellamy all those years ago, and doing what she’s about to would throw everything out the window. But honestly, wholeheartedly, right now Clarke does not care.

 

She grabs him by his free hand, causing him to turn in surprise. She doesn’t wait for the smirk to lift onto his features or for him to say some stupid remark about how she can’t keep her hands off of him, using the hand that’s not holding his to cup his face and crash her lips against his.

 

Clarke balances on the tips of her toes, trying her best to taste as much of him as she can. Bellamy’s arms wrap around her hips, pushing her upwards so she can get a lot closer as she wraps her arms around his neck. He tastes familiar, if not the same, sprinkles of coffee from the high school cafeteria replaced with fragments of vodka from the previous night. The way he kisses is what’s different, no longer falling into the category of rough or soft, but desperateas he deepens the kiss without much prompting from her.

 

Bellamy lifts Clarke with ease, cupping his hands over her ass as she wraps her legs around his torso. They stand there, lips interlocked for a while, just clinging on to one another. Bellamy’s the first to pull away, leaning his forehead against hers. “This what you wanted all along, princess?”

 

Clarke gulps, too out of breath to do anything but eagerly nod. He leans in this time, taking her lips with vigour. He strides over to the kitchen with her in his arms, despite the couch and bedroom a couple feet away. He slams her down on the marble countertop, moving his hand from her ass to her neck. She moans into his mouth as he grasps at her, soon replaced with whining as their lips break contact.

 

Bellamy lowers her down so she sits against the marble. The coldness pricks at her exposed skin, but it’s overpowered by the heat between her legs. They dangle on either side of Bellamy as he steps away, only to start kissing up the inside of her thigh. Clarke sighs, grasping at his hair as he reaches the middle of her. He hooks his fingers under her thong, disregarding it somewhere on her kitchen floor before licking up the middle of her.

 

Clarke’s skirt restricts what she can see, but she’s too much in bliss to stop him now. Bellamy keeps a steady pace, licking stripes down her while he uses his thumb to circle her clit. She reaches to grasp at his hair, but he pins her wrist down with his free hand.

 

“Bellamy,” Clarke breathes. Bellamy, Bellamy, Bellamy.

 

She arches her back just to feel him get any closer to her dripping cunt. He moves his hand from her insert his fingers into her, giving Clarke the extra leverage she needs to heave her hips upwards. She cries out in pleasure, her orgasm edging as he pumps his fingers in and out of her and licks eagerly at her clit.

 

Clarke’s almost there when he pulls his fingers away from her, standing up so she can get a full view of him popping them in his mouth and wiping them clean. Clarke scoots closer, just to feel his touch one more time. He smirks placing his fingers under her thighs to pull her closer. She sits up, almost on command.

 

“You taste so good, princess,” he whispers, so close their lips touch as they move.

 

“Not good enough to finish the job?” Clarke pants.

 

Bellamy grins. “I thought we were just getting started.”

 

Bellamy wastes no time in tugging at her tank top. Clarke removes it with ease, and to Bellamy’s delight reveals she’s not wearing a bra. She removed it after her shift, the underwire having dug into her for far too long, and the tank top giving her just enough support that it really emphasized her cleavage. Bellamy takes it as a win for him, wasting no time taking her left one into his mouth while he palms the other.

 

Clarke sighs, leaning her head back as she combs her hand through his curls. He switches, giving the other nipple just as much adequate attention. She grinds against his torso, begging for some sort of release, but Bellamy’s smart enough not to give it to her just yet. Clarke lifts his head up by his hair, connecting their lips one more. She tastes herself on his tongue, and it only fuels her to bring him closer.

 

This time it’s her lips that leave his allowing Bellamy to focus his attention her neck. She basks in the affection for a moment, before finding the courage and strength she needs to hop off the counter. Bellamy’s lips smack together in confusion, before Clarke places her hands on his chest and spins him around. His lower back collides with the counter top as Clarke begins working on his buckle.

 

The palm of his hands grip the countertop as Clarke yanks down his jeans, his boxers following without warning. Bellamy’s breath hitches as she takes him in her hands, slowly working her way up and down his shaft. Clarke leans closer, taking the lower part of him in mouth. Bellamy groans, his knuckles turning white as he grips the countertop. Clarke licks up his shaft, her tongue swirling around the tip just to taste him before taking all of him in her mouth. She bobs up and down, her saliva collecting at his base and giving her more leverage to go faster.

 

Bellamy moans out. “Fuck, princess. I forgot how good you are at that.”

 

It’s enough encouragement for Clarke to go faster. She hopes it’s the best blowjob he’s had in ten years, better than the wife who couldn’t keep him around. Her tongue swirls around him as she moves up and down and she knows he’s close when he grips her hair, gliding her along for encouragement.

 

Clarke manages to find the strength to remove her lips from his cock despite the need to taste every ounce of him. His dick pops out of her mouth with a loud sound to match, but before Clarke can even sit back on her knees and wait for his complaints, Bellamy leans down and yanks her upward by the wrist. She yelps in surprise before his lips crash onto hers once more, so powerful she falls against the sink, her only support being his hands on her lower back.

 

Clarke removes his jacket, and then tugs on his shirt, silently begging him to be as bare as she is. Bellamy yields his shirt over his head so that they are chest to chest, skin to skin, their only sources of warmth coming from each other. Clarke holds him tighter, Bellamy’s lips travelling to the nape of her neck to bite down.


“Bellamy,” Clarke breathes out again. “I want you now.”

 

Bellamy hums in response, his lips still pressed against her neck, adamant about leaving a mark. Clarke moans, running one hand through his curls and scratching at his back with another. She’s afraid he didn’t hear her when he lifts his head, lips captured once again in hers. He moves his hands down her forearms, sending a chill down her spine as his fingers brush against the exposed skin. Her hands drop to her sides, allowing Bellamy to intertwine their fingers as he leads her back, until he crashes against the island once more, their lips never leaving one another.

 

In one swift moment, Bellamy’s hands are on her hips, spinning her around so she’s against the countertop. He heaves her up easily, breaking contact to lay her down once more against the coolness of the marble. It’s enough to bring Clarke back into focus, watching intently as he climbs on top of the countertop, on top of her. Bellamy hovers over her, every feature of his face in high definition right before Clarke’s eyes. She reaches her hand up, tracing her finger lightly over his freckles. He kisses her finger before leaning down to kiss her slow and passionate.

 

Bellamy places his hand beside her face to remain steady, using his other hand to guide himself between her legs. Clarke’s eyes follow his movements, his cock slipping into her without any restraint. He eases into her slowly, Clarke feeling every inch of him as he fills her up. It’s been a bit over a month since she exclusively brought a man home, but no man can compare to the way Bellamy fits in her, making her feel complete just by burying his dick inside of her.

 

“Shit,” Clarke moans.

 

“Are you okay?” Bellamy asks tentatively, his eyes glazing over in a mix of pleasure and concern.

 

Clarke smiles slyly at him, bringing her hand to the back of his head and kissing him once more. He doesn’t seem to take that as a yes, because he pulls away pretty quickly, his dick still in her but not moving like she know he can, and eyes pleading for an answer. She leans her head back and nods, “Yes, Bellamy. I want to feel every inch of you over and over again.”

 

It doesn’t take Bellamy long to respond, beginning to pound into her fast and strategic, the rawness of him hitting every ounce of her in ways she forgot was possible. The hand that’s not keeping him upright on the counter runs circles quick and hard over her clit, keeping a steady pace with his dick pumping in and out of her. Clarke cries out, arching her back and tightening her grip around him in every possible way, her toes curling and fingers scratching at his back begging for him to keep going, to never stop, to finish her the way she knows he’s going to in just a matter of moments.

 

Clarke can feel her orgasm approaching as Bellamy’s pace quickens. She finds the strength to move her hand up to his neck and bring him down to her again. They come together as they kiss hard and slow, collapsing against one another as they finish. Bellamy’s face falls as he pants into her neck, Clarke’s grip loosening but not releasing around his torso. She combs her fingers through his hair, trying to catch her breath and fathom the fact that she just fucked her high school sweetheart of over a decade ago on her marble countertop.

 

The pair remain there, breathing in sync, caught up in the presence of one another. Clarke assumes they don’t stay still for too long because soon enough they relocate to her bedroom to fuck a couple of more times.

 


 

Sunlight peaks through the satin curtains in Clarke’s bedroom, casting a shadow along Bellamy’s bare chest as he sprawls out on her mattress. It’s just past seven am, and they’ve just finished their fourth round of fucking after a night of booze and no sleep, so the fatigue is catching up on them fairly quickly now. Bellamy’s eyes are half open, staring absent-mindedly at the popcorn ceiling. Clarke’s under the covers, her ex boyfriend’s head laying on top of the sheets over her lap. She gazes down at him, hugging her arms to her chest, head spinning.

 

It sinks in now, as her eyes become drowsy and she’s drenched in sweat that twenty four hours ago Bellamy Blake was a memory. Now, they’re in her bed, after hours of amazing sex and Clarke just can’t wrap her head around it. She’s grateful she doesn’t have a shift today because she’s going to need the day to process it, if not more time.

 

Clarke’s hand reaches down to brush a curl out of Bellamy’s face, tearing his gaze away from the ceiling. He looks up at her as if forgetting where he was. The hesitancy worries her, especially when the ghost of a smile graces his lips. His mind is racing, but so is hers, and yet she doesn’t look nearly as concerned as he does.

 

“Are you on birth control?” Bellamy asks now.

 

“No,” Clarke admits sheepishly. “But I can get the morning after pill.”

 

“I’ll pay for it.”

 

“I wouldn’t ask-”

 

“I know.”

 

Bellamy jerks up from his position on Clarke’s lap. They brought their clothes with them when they waltzed into the bedroom hours ago, disregarding them somewhere else in the vicinity. Bellamy scans the room, spotting the lump of clothing near the closet. He walks over, reaches down into his jean pocket and fishes out his wallet, plopping a fifty dollar bill on Clarke’s dresser before beginning to slip on his boxers and pants.

 

“You’re going?” Clarke asks. She crawls across to the foot of the bed, leaning over to open the top drawer, haphazardly causing the fifty dollar bill to slip inside. She makes a mental note to remember it later, retrieving a navy, oversized shirt and slipping it over her head, all while Bellamy is almost completely dressed.

 

“Yeah,” Bellamy responds, tone dry and sharp. “Murphy’s probably worried sick.”

 

“I highly doubt it.”

 

“Yeah, me too.”

 

The hint of a smile grazes his lips when Clarke giggles. She catches it, before it fades, a stoic expression resonating over his features. Clarke scoots to the side of the bed where he stands, slipping on his jacket. Her legs dangle, watching as Bellamy inhales and exhales before zipping up the jacket to his neck.

 

“You’re not going to ask for my number?” Clarke challenges, wincing as the nervousness in her voice fails to be covered up by her flirty tone. Bellamy hesitates, Clarke can see his back tense. Her stomach drops and her tone switches to become alittle more defensive that she anticipates. “Is something wrong?”

 

“No,” Bellamy lies.

 

“Bellamy.”

 

Bellamy inhales sharply. He turns to face her, his blank expression morphing into a sorrowful one and Clarke knows what’s coming. She perfected the speech throughout her college days, and has had more than enough practice over the past month. She braces herself.

 

“My divorce isn’t even finalized yet,” Bellamy sighs. “I don’t think I can start anything new right now. Especially not with you.”

 

“Especially not with me?” Clarke stands. “What does that mean?”

 

“Clarke-” Bellamy begins, running a hand through his hair in exasperation.

 

“No, what did you mean, Bellamy.”

 

“I meant our time has passed. We’re different people now.”

 

“Isn’t that the whole point? We’re not teenagers anymore. We’ve grown.”

 

“Into different people. And I can’t speak for you, but I’m not someone who wants to get involved with the person I used to love who left me so she could become this new and improved person without me.”

 

Clarke stands still, the words hitting her square in the chest like a ton of bricks. Bellamy’s chest rises and falls, maintaining his breathing while Clarke feels like all the air was sucked out of her lungs. Suddenly, she’s back to eighteen, standing on Bellamy’s doorstep while her dignity is shattered into pieces. She hates the way he looks at her now, pitifully like this was something she should have known was coming. However, she hates the guilty feeling she has for chasing a career she worked so hard for and loves, so much more.

 

“You’re right. I may be a different person now,” Clarke steps towards him pointedly. Bellamy sucks in slightly, his head tilting upwards. “But you’re still the same person you were when we were teenagers.”

 

“I’m sorry Clarke,” the monotone of his voice upsets her more.

 

Clarke doesn’t move, allowing him to take a step back. Her gaze follows Bellamy as he nods his head to her, significant enough for a goodbye, before turning on his heel and walking out of her bedroom. She can hear the sound of his footsteps lessen as he steps through her apartment, the door unlocking and swinging open before it gently comes to a close.

 

And just like that, Bellamy is out of her apartment and once again, out of Clarke’s life.

 


 

A month goes by since Clarke has last seen Bellamy. She knows he’s close by, since she’s aware Murphy’s apartment is mere blocks from hers, and it’s enough to send her into a tailspin most nights, but not enough that she goes to track him down. Her group of friends hasn’t gotten together since that night because of their busy schedules and whenever Clarke meets up with Raven, she refuses to discuss Bellamy or their night together. She doubts Bellamy told anyone about it either.

 

Clarke occupies her time with additional, longer shifts at the clinic. She’s deathly afraid of running into Bellamy at a bar, even more terrified of him being there with a girl. So for the past month, she’s resorted to old names in her contacts. Most consistently, it’s Niylah, who gets the memo that she’s a booty call and views Clarke in a similar light. They get along personally almost as much as they do sexually, so it’s a good fit.

 

Clarke thinks about Bellamy all the time. What he’s doing, who he’s with, when his divorce will be finalized. It’s the beginning of September, so she knows he starts his teaching job within the next couple of days, so he’s probably really busy. Clarke’s really busy, too, juggling residency at the clinic and her failure of a love life. So much so, those are the only two priorities that stand out in Clarke’s mind.

 

“Wow,” Clarke hears Luna marvel from behind her. She mentally curses, packing her items into her duffle bag a little faster. “Someone’s in a hurry.”

 

“Long day,” Clarke supplies.

 

“I can tell. There must be a lot of long days, cause you seem overworked all the time.”

 

“Do you realize how condescending you sound whenever you speak?” Clarke snaps, spinning around to face Luna. Her short temper surprises her colleague as much as it does her, but Clarke maintains her firm stature.

 

“Don’t take your PMS out on me, Clarke,” Luna huffs. She marches out of the change room and Clarke watches as she goes.

 

How cliché of Luna to blame Clarke being fed up with her on periods. Clarke rolls her eyes just thinking about it, turning back to her duffle bag. Like God, she’s not even onher period right now. She shoves her phone into her duffle bag, when she realizes, I’m not on my period.

 

Clarke steals the free pregnancy tests from the clinic before she leaves. It’s stealing, because patients are only supposed to take one, but Clarke’s not a patient and she takes six.

 

The drive home is excrutiating. Clarke’s in her own car since she hasn’t been heading to bars after her shifts, but she wishes she just rode an Uber. She can barely focus on the road. She’s almost run at least three red lights and pedestrians just seem like an afterthought at the moment. Her thoughts race and heart pounds as she tries to rack her brain.

 

Bellamy placed the money on her dresser for the morning after pill. She took it and bought it that day, right? Clarke can’t remember, the only memory of that day being her curled in bed thinking about him.

 

Clarke practically runs up to her apartment before her car is even in park. Her neighbours say hi, and she tries her best not to ignore them, but by the time she reaches the elevator Clarke can’t even bother. It dings on the seventh floor, and Clarke races past a couple walking hand in hand, so fast they break apart. The couple falls against either side of the wall, but before Clarke can yell back a sorry, she’s at her apartment.

 

It’s a good thing Clarke never wastes her breaks on going to the bathroom because she has enough pee to fuel all six tests and probably more. She sits on the toilet, laying each test out across the sink and painfully waits the five minutes. She watches the timer countdown on her phone, but she’s sure she’s only slowing time.

 

There’s no way she’s pregnant. With every other male in her lifetime Clarke has been an avid condom user. There’s never been a guy that’s had his penis inside her without a condom on aside from Bellamy Blake. In high school she was on birth control for majority of their relationship and when she switched off of it because of it’s side effects, they either sucked it up and used a condom or – regrettably – practiced the infamous pull out method and morning after pill.

 

Clarke doesn’t screw up, not with things this big. There’s no way that she’s pregnant.

 

Her phone dings, signalling the end of the five minute mark. Clarke stands from the toilet and takes a deep breath. She turns, hovering over the sink to glare at all six tests. All six positive pregnancy tests.