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--∞--

Clarke makes her way through the crowded camp, past the mob flocking to Monty’s Unity Juice . She didn’t really want to know what was in that. For the briefest moment, Clarke had let herself pretend that her reality wasn’t...well, her reality. Listening to Jaha’s Unity Day remarks over the comms, she could almost pretend that she was a little girl celebrating with her family - with her parents, with Wells.

Then Finn had to snap her out of her reverie, claiming that it was a sham. That Unity Day was born out of violence. The thing is, she knows that. But still, sometimes peace could come out of violence. Sometimes violence was necessary. It was something that she was learning pretty quickly on the ground. Sometimes things had to break, had to fall apart, before they could come together. It didn’t make the peace any less meaningful, just because it didn’t have a perfect start. So what if the story wasn’t completely accurate? It gave people hope. That was something they all needed right now - both on the ground and on the Ark. Clarke didn’t need Finn taking that away from her or anyone else.

Lost in her own thoughts, she feels disconnected from the party rising around her. Finn’s comments put her in a bad mood, and then the comms had cut out completely. Now all she can do is dwell on the fact that the grounder could be back at any time, while all anyone else cares about is getting drunk. Jaha, her mother, and all the others would be on the ground with them in just a few days, and she wasn’t sure if she was relieved or anxious about it. At least she wouldn’t have to be in charge anymore. At least she wouldn’t have to make anymore difficult decisions alone. As her eyes sweep over the camp and land on Bellamy’s dark silhouette, she realizes that it isn’t entirely true. She’s not really alone handling things. As she told Jaha, a large part of their survival was thanks to Bellamy, whether she liked it or not.

Maybe because of that, she realizes the only person she feels like talking to right now is him. Which is ridiculous to say the least. It was just a few days ago that she had brought him with her because she didn’t want to be around anyone she liked. Yet, in this moment, he might be the only person she can stand to be around. At least he gets it, what they’re going through. What they have ahead of them. Before she can talk herself out of it, she makes her way to where he’s standing guard at the main gate. Crunching on an apple, he’s casually surveying the camp with a rifle slung over one shoulder. He looks like he doesn’t have a care in the world, but Clarke knows better than that. After their fight with Dax, she knows that she couldn’t have been more wrong about him.

--∞--

Bellamy has just taken a bite of his apple when he notices Clarke walking towards him. He can’t say that he’s really surprised she isn’t joining in on the festivities. 

“Hey,” she greets him. “Comms are dead. They cut out during the pageant.”

Bellamy laughs at that. “Best Unity Day ever.” 

He won’t pretend to be upset that they don’t have to listen to Jaha drone on about some bullshit any longer. It looks like everyone is having a lot more fun without him. He’s surprised when she laughs at his comment, and even more surprised by the feeling it stirs in him. Something like affection. It isn’t the first time, but he keeps shoving it down.

Clarke turns to look back at the camp and something like concern steals her smile. “Do you really think now is a good time to be having a party? I mean, the Grounder is out there-”

“Grounders,” he corrects. “By now, he's made it home. He's probably putting together a lynch mob.”

Clarke takes a deep breath, looking more stressed by the minute. For reasons beyond him, he jumps at the chance to sooth her worries. “Relax. I got security covered.”

Clarke was one of the most uptight people he knew - and admittedly, one of the most selfless. She deserved a night of fun. If he needed to watch over the camp to give her that...well, then that’s what he’d do. “Why don't you go get a drink? You look like you could use one.”

Bellamy watches as she bites back a smile and looks back towards the camp again, like she doesn’t want him to catch her enjoying his presence.

Too bad , Bellamy thinks smugly. I saw

“I could use more than one,” she tells him, quirking her eyebrow at him in the most subtle way. 

Bellamy laughs, surprised at the admission. “Then have more than one.”

Clarke snorts at that, looking down again as she smiles.

“Clarke, the Exodus ship carrying your mother comes down here in two days. After that, the party's over. Have some fun while you still can. You deserve it.”

Clarke doesn’t respond right away. Instead her eyes wander over his face, like she’s thinking it over or considering something.

“Yeah,” she finally agrees with a nod. “Okay,” she adds, abruptly turning back towards the camp with her hands in her pockets. When she’s a few feet away, she turns around again to face him. “So do you, by the way.”

Bellamy gives her a small smirk, shrugging. The idiotic side of him urges him to join her, to go grab a drink with her. If he didn’t know any better, he’d say she might even be flirting with him. Who knows where the night could lead…

He banishes the thought as soon as it passes. Aside from the more obvious reasons, like Clarke never going for him, one of them has to have their head on straight and stand guard - and Clarke deserves the night off. 

“I'll have my fun when the Grounders come,” he assures her. 

“Alright.” This time when she turns away, she keeps going. His eyes follow her as she joins a group playing games next to Monty’s batch of Unity Juice. He can’t help but smile at the sight in front of him. 

“Unity Day,” he laughs, taking another bite out of his apple. 

They just have to stay safe for a couple of more days, before help comes down. As much as he isn’t looking forward to the tyrants landing, he’ll admit he’s relieved at the prospect of someone else taking over. Clarke and him can’t handle this forever - even if they do make a surprisingly good team. 

Bellamy’s supposed to be watching the gate, but he can’t help but be drawn to Clarke instead. She’s joined in on the drinking games and she’s - she’s smiling . It’s a carefree version of her, a girl he’s never known. Intense disappointment washes over him at the fact that they had to meet each other under these horrible circumstances. Maybe in another life, he could be carefree too. They could flirt and drink. She could keep laughing at his jokes. It sounds nice, to say the least.

Still, he won’t deny that he likes the more serious, the more feisty side of her too. Even when she was challenging him...well, damnit if she didn’t make him smile from the very beginning. 

Brave Princess , he had teased her. Except he couldn’t even say it without a smile and it sounded a lot less like taunting than he had intended. It was strange to think about their first days on the ground, and how different things are now. It wasn’t even that long ago - it’s only been a few weeks since they landed. Yet, so much has happened and it feels like they’ve been here for ages. 

Clarke had snuck up on him, he realized. Unbeknownst to him, he had gone from willing to cut off her wrist to get that wristband, to feeling fiercely protective of her. Although if he’s being honest with himself, he probably never could have gone through with that. He was all talk, and she knew it from the beginning. That day, he had used the nickname Princess as an insult, as it was intended to be. Tonight, somehow, he had found himself standing guard for the Princess, playing the role of her good little knight - and the thing is, he doesn’t even mind.

--∞--

It’s been so long since Clarke felt so carefree. No one was more surprised to realize she was actually having fun than her. Yeah, so, Bellamy didn’t want to join in. Bellamy didn’t ask her to keep him company. But she shouldn’t be surprised - and she could have fun without him. Without Finn, too. Which is why it truly irritates her when Finn walks over to stand next to her. 

“Let’s go for a walk,” he tells her in a low voice.

“Did something happen?”

“I need you to come with me, but I can’t tell you why, okay?”

No, not okay , she thinks. “Finn, tell me why.”

Instead of answering her, he tries to pull her with him by her arm. “Hey. Don’t.”

“I set up a meeting with the grounders,” he confesses.

Clarke’s heart stutters, her fun, carefree night immediately forgotten. “A meeting? I don’t understand. With who? How?”

Finn explains to her how he met with the grounder - that grounder.

“If we want to live in peace Finn, we can't live in peace with people who've done nothing but kill us,” she argues. This is insane . They’re going to get themselves killed. 

“Can you think of a better way to stop the bloodshed?”

Clarke thinks of the guard on the Ark. For all the ways she hates their ruthlessness, at least they’ll be good for something down here. “Yeah. With the guns that the guard brings down.”

“You really want a war? Because at this rate, that's what's coming. Look. I know it's a long shot, but this is our world now, and I think we can do better than the first time around. I trust him.”

Finn trusts him. Trusts the grounder. Clarke wishes that she still trusted Finn. If that was still the case, she might not question this plan. But he lost her trust, no matter how much she wishes he hadn’t. It isn’t just about Raven, although that still hurts like hell. It’s deeper. He made a bad judgement, with her and Raven, and they all got hurt. How can she really know he won’t make another bad judgement, this time with worse consequences than breaking her heart. She thinks back to their conversation after Bellamy and her returned with the guns.

“Rifles are not the same as nukes.”

“In Bellamy's hands, they are. Clarke, come on. You can't predict what he's gonna do.”

“There's no perfect answer, Finn.”

“The grounder saved Octavia's life, and Bellamy brought him back here and tortured him.”

“Yeah, but if he hadn't brought him back here, - you'd be dead.”

“I know.”

“I trust him.”

“You can't be serious.”

“I am.”

“Clarke, you and Bellamy are leading us down a dangerous road. I wish you would've talked to me about it first.”

“I wish you talked to me about a lot of things, but you didn't.”

That was the moment she realized, to her own surprise, that while there was no her and Finn , there was a her and Bellamy . Finn didn’t know all they had gone through on that day trip, but those experiences only fortified her reaction to Finn’s words. 

It was Bellamy who was with her - they were in this together. It was Bellamy who she really trusted, in spite of everything.

“I don’t,” Clarke disagrees. She doesn’t trust this grounder, and she’s not sure how Finn possibly can. “But if we go, we bring backup,” she compromises, after a beat.

“No way. We're not bringing guns. Those weren't the terms, and if we're gonna do this, we’ve got to give it a fair shot.”

Clarke bites down on her tongue, swallowing her angry words. “Okay,” she says finally. “Okay. When do we leave?”

“In a few hours - before sunrise while everyone else is still passed out.”

Clarke nods, walking away from him without another word. 

--∞--

“Hey, I need to talk to you.”

Bellamy turns around, surprised to see Clarke looking like...well, like Clarke again. Like she’s on a mission.

“Having fun yet, Princess?” he teases. 

“I’m serious.” Apparently she’s lost her patience for his jokes. It was nice while it lasted.

“You always are. So talk.”

“Finn set up a meeting with the Grounders. I'm leaving to go talk with them - we’re leaving before dawn.”

Despite her straightforward words, the apprehension is clear on her features. Bellamy feels anger wash over him, the intensity of it surprising him. He never hated Finn. The guy is annoying as all hell, but he seemed like a decent guy. But then he went and screwed over Clarke when his secret girlfriend came down (yeah, he pays attention). He wishes he could pretend that he would have cared if it was anyone else, but the only reason it pissed him off so much, was because the grief on Clarke’s face was clear as day. He could see it, even when she was trying to put on a brave face. All that, and now this jackass was going to get her killed.

“Because you think that impaling people on spears is code for "let's be friends"? Have you lost your damn mind?”

“I think it might be worth a shot,” she whispers. “I mean, we do have to live with these people.”

Bellamy shakes his head at her, blinking fiercely. “They'll probably gut you, string you up as a warning.” He knows his words are harsh, but that’s the point. She should be scared, and she should not be going. 

“Well, that's why I'm here,” she retorts, gaze intense. “I need you to follow us, be our backup.”

Bellamy swallows, refusing to look away from her. “Does Finn know about this?”

“Finn doesn't need to know.” He eyes her curiously at that comment, trying to ignore the satisfaction it brings him. All this going on, and he still manages to get a thrill out of sharing a secret with her. He’s ridiculous, truly. 

“And, Bellamy,” she adds. “Bring guns.”

He only manages a small nod before she turns away from him. 

Yeah , he thinks. Like that wasn’t already my plan .

--∞--

Sitting on the ground next to the main gate, Clarke stares out into the dark forest. She knows it isn’t safe to just be sitting there, outside of the camp, but she needed a moment to think. She needs a moment alone. Besides, she might be dying in less than 24 hours anyways. What’s a little added danger?

Clarke shakes her head at thought. It isn’t like her to be so reckless, yet she can’t bring herself to move. All this time, the thought of her mother coming down in a few days filled her with apprehension. But now she wonders if she’ll even be around when she arrives. Despite the fact that her anger towards her mother hasn’t faded, she suddenly finds herself missing her in the most primal sense. She doesn’t want to be alone anymore.

You’re not , she reminds herself, as soon as the thought crosses her mind. Bellamy will help you .

She trusts that he’ll have her back, even though she’s not sure why she feels that way with such certainty. Thinking it over, she realizes that ironically, it was their trip to retrieve the guns that changed her opinion of him. 

Ready to be a badass, Clarke?

The memory makes her smile to herself, in spite of everything. Especially when she remembers how ready he was to show off, only for his bullets to be duds. Before that trip - before their fight with Dax, Clarke had seen him as a partner of sorts. A necessary evil. Someone to make decisions with, but not someone she could truly rely on. Not someone who would share her burden. 

There had always been something about him that Clarke couldn’t place, something right from the start. She couldn’t figure out why it felt so unnatural for Bellamy to paint himself the villain, despite him giving her every reason to believe it. But then she watched him with Octavia. Then she found out about the shooting, and why he did it. Everything fell into place. But it wasn’t until he crawled over to the tree to sit next to her, that she felt like she really saw him. She saw him as a friend, someone she could trust. Of course, when he briefly pressed his hand to her leg, the warmth that flooded her made her question whether friend was the right word. But that was neither here nor there. 

Bellamy had confided in her that night. He had let her catch a glimpse into who he really was, one she wasn’t sure he would ever let her see again. It only confirmed what she somehow already knew. Bellamy wasn’t a villain - he wasn’t even bad. He was lost. He was desperate. He had made an impossible decision to protect someone he loved. Putting loved ones before yourself was something Clarke understood all too well. She hadn’t exactly heeded her mother’s warning to take care of herself before everyone else - and look at where that had led her.

--∞--

Bellamy walks through the camp, looking for Clarke. He had just stopped by Raven’s tent and told her and Jasper that they were leaving at dawn - and to bring the bullets. Most of the camp has passed out, or are on duty standing guard. The camp has overall quieted and Bellamy reasons they probably have a few hours before they have to leave. Finally, he catches a flash of blonde hair by the main gate and furrows his brow at her. She’s just sitting there, unprotected. He rolls his eyes, shaking his head at her, but pauses before walking over to her.

He feels nervous around her, every since their day trip. Even before the hallucinations, before Dax, everything about her was throwing him off. He had every intention of leaving - after all, if Octavia didn’t need him, then what good would it do for him to stay? But then she kept saying we

I'm not going to fight you on bringing guns back to camp. I know we need them, but don't expect me to like it.

We need to talk about how we're going to keep guns around camp.

Where are we going to keep them?

It was we everything. It latched onto something inside of him, something he had no name for. He hated it. He loved it. 

Then he was helping her hold the gun, placing a hand on the small of her back like it was nothing. It threw him. This was Clarke . Since when had they slipped into such an intimacy that he could do that, and she wouldn’t say a word about it? 

Then he killed Dax. Another death on his hands, and this one broke something inside of him. He can’t help but cringe when he thinks of the vulnerability he showed when they talked at the tree. He was spent, was emotionally raw, and spilled everything to her.

You’re okay.

No, I’m not.

He wasn’t even sure where it came from. It was like with those two words, she broke open the dam protecting his heart and he couldn’t hold it in anymore. He can’t remember the last time he felt like that with anyone - he never trusted someone enough to open up to them like that. He knew his mother and Octavia loved him, but he always had to be strong for them. Or at least, pretend to be strong. With Clarke, he didn’t have to pretend - she made him stronger. Or at least, made him want to be stronger. 

For one insane moment, as she was talking about all the things they didn’t have a choice about, he nearly begged her to run with him. 

Screw everyone , he had thought. For the briefest moment, he envisioned a simpler life - just Clarke and him. Somewhere far away from everyone else, just them and the Earth. But he didn’t say it - he couldn’t. Clarke was strong. She would never leave the Hundred and he wanted to live up to this person she thought he was. 

I need you.

We all need you.

None of us would have survived this place without you. 

Her words had shocked him. No one had ever given him such credit, and he didn’t think that he was worthy of it. But if Clarke could forgive him, then the least he could do was try - try to be good. Try to make his mother proud. Try to make Clarke proud.

We’ll figure something out.

More we’s . She was killing him. 

Can we figure it out later?

Whenever you’re ready .

Clarke did figure it out - she defended him to Jaha. The way she spoke about him, like he was someone to be valued...it was unnatural. As pathetic as it was, he couldn’t remember the last person who showed any kind of appreciation for him. Yet there she was, fighting for him, instead of against him. 

A lot can happen in a day , he had told her. He was right, just not in the way he expected to be.

Bellamy pushes aside his trepidation and makes his way over to Clarke. If she notices him walking up to stand beside her, she doesn’t let it show. 

“You shouldn’t be sitting out here in the open like this. It isn’t safe.”

Clarke looks up at him from where she’s sitting on the ground. Her eyes reflect the fire burning in the camp, but they’re still dark. They look like they’re holding something too heavy to express. Her lips quirk to the side in a half-smile that doesn’t meet her eyes. 

“I thought you said the grounders are too busy putting together the lynch mob to attack us tonight,” she quips.

Bellamy lets out a small laugh. “Yeah, I suppose so.” 

Without giving it another thought, he slinks down to the ground next to her. They both sit with their backs against the wall and he’s reminded of them sitting next to each other against the tree, after Dax. Silently, they both stare ahead into the dark. The sounds of the forest are overwhelming to him, even though they aren’t very loud. All he knows is the steady hum of machinery. 

“I’m not sure I’m making the right choice,” she confesses, breaking the silence. 

“I don’t think there is a right choice. Just...choices. We do our best.”

“Maybe Finn is right. Maybe we shouldn’t be bringing guns. Maybe it’ll ruin things.”

Bellamy shakes his head at that. “Finn is only right in a perfect world, filled with rainbows and good intentions.” Clarke releases a breathy laugh. “The ground isn’t any of those things. It would be nice if Finn was right, but it isn’t worth the risk. It’s too dangerous.”

Clarke nods. He thinks she probably already knew that, but needed someone else to say it. 

“Clarke,” he starts. He swallows thickly, not understanding why his voice sounds so choked. She turns to face him and he realizes she’s a lot closer to him than he thought. Only a foot between their faces, their lips - no. Bellamy cuts off his thoughts with a shake of his head, collecting himself. “I’ll have your back tomorrow.” The conviction in his voice surprises even him, but he can’t deny the truth of it.

Clarke doesn’t say anything. He watches her eyes sweep across his face, landing on his lips before moving back up to his eyes. 

“You know...we could die tomorrow,” she murmurs.  

Bellamy opens his mouth to refute that. He wants to tell her that he won’t let that happen, even though he knows that some things are beyond their control. The ground taught them that. But as he gazes at her, he closes his mouth as realization washes over him. Her eyes aren’t just dark with fear - they’re hungry. 

“No telling what might happen,” he whispers back instead, treading carefully. If he’s reading the situation wrong, he’s going to make a fool of himself. 

“We should make the most of it. Might be our last night on Earth.”

“I can think of a few ways to do that,” he quips back, his confidence growing. Hell, he’s even feeling a little smug about it, but she doesn’t seem to mind this time.

“Enlighten me.”

Bellamy’s heart is racing - no, pounding . There’s a million ways this could go, bad and good, both in the next five minutes and in the days that follow. But Bellamy’s never been one to think things through too carefully. These days, he’s got Clarke for that. Clarke, who’s asking him for something that she doesn’t know how to ask for.

Fuck it .

Bellamy leans down, closing the space between them in a mere second and pressing his lips firmly against hers. He waits for her push him away, to scold him, to question him. No one is more surprised than him when she leans even closer to him, deepening the kiss in the process. Her lips are warm - so damn warm. Delicious like so few things are in life, especially in his life. Control leaves him as his large hands grasp at her sides, pulling her onto his lap without their lips ever parting. He opens his mouth to her, their tongues in a sort of battle that’s somehow familiar and new all at once. Clarke’s hands run up his chest and he can’t hold in the moan that escapes him as they continue up to his face, finally landing in his curls. She grips his hair roughly and he pulls her tight against him, both of them now grinding against each other on instinct. The push and pull of them, the give and take - this part feels familiar to him. Energy flows between them in a way that just makes sense, in a way so few things do. 

Bellamy feels every soft curve of her molded against him as she clings to him, licking into his mouth, searching for something. He’s already afraid he doesn’t have what she’s looking for, what she wants, what she needs. He knows she must feel him straining against his pants by the way she keeps grinding down on him. She abruptly pulls away from him and he’s hit with immediate fear, thinking that he’s somehow taken it too far. Thinking he’s lost her before he ever had her.

“Your tent,” she says breathlessly.

Bellamy can’t help but smirk at her, but he’s met with with a look just as feisty. It was the brave princess, looking at him fearlessly. A woman who knew what she wanted. 

“Whenever you’re ready,” he teases, echoing her words from days ago. She smiles at that - not a smirk, but a genuine smile. It makes him unconsciously squeeze her sides, pulling out some buried emotion in him that he can’t yet process.

Without another word, she stands and climbs off of him. She offers a hand to help pull him up, even though he doesn’t need it. He takes it anyways and doesn’t let go of her as they slink back into the camp and through the shadows towards his tent. Thanks to the Unity Juice, he’s sure no one has noticed.

--∞--

Bellamy’s hand encompasses Clarke’s completely as he pulls her along, finally pulling her into his tent with him.

What am I doing?

What am I doing?

What am I doing?

She can’t even believe her own actions, and yet, she can’t bring herself to regret them. She waits for guilt, or anxiety, or something to hit her. To remind her that this is a terrible idea. But her body betrays her. It thrums with anticipation, every nerve reacting to his every move as he runs his hands up her sides and leans down to kiss her again. 

The tent is shadowed, but the fire from outside illuminates it enough for her to mostly make out his face. Bellamy’s tongue runs along her bottom lip, seeking permission. She answers greedily, opening up to him as his hands continue pressing everywhere along her body. She had judged those girls who spent their nights in Bellamy’s tent, but if she had known it could feel like this , she probably would have been fighting them off. It’s an embarrassing thought, but she won’t deny the truth of it.

Raw want washes over her in a way it never has before. Not with any of the guys and girls she fooled around with on the Ark, not even with Finn, who she was on her way to falling for. It’s something more primal, something that has no explanation. It doesn’t feel like a simple act with Bellamy - it feels like a kind of communication, an agreement, a promise. It’s all the things they can’t say but need the other to know. 

Bellamy’s lips leave hers and travel across her cheek, along her jaw, finally landing at the soft skin of her neck. She wants to surrender to it, this intense warmth. She wants him to help her forget all the things that could go wrong tomorrow. She wants him to help her forget how scared she is. How scared she always is. 

“Please,” she moans, the plea escaping her on instinct. Her cheeks flush with embarrassment. When Bellamy pulls back, she expects a snarky comment of some sort. Or at the very least, a smug smile at the fact that he’s as good as he thinks he is. 

She doesn’t expect the sincerity in his eyes, the way he almost seems nervous. “You sure about this?” he asks her, voice more genuine than she’s ever heard. The unexpected intimacy of it makes her skin crawl. It feels too big, too overwhelming. Something she isn’t ready to examine yet.

“Aren’t you the one that said I deserve to have some fun while I still can?” she bites back, straining to keep her voice light and teasing. His hands are running up and down her sides and she bites down on her lip to keep herself in check. 

“I’m serious, Princess.” He doesn’t seem to be in a teasing mood anymore. 

“Yeah, I’m sure,” she murmurs. She didn’t take him to be the type of guy who questions a hook up for any reason, not based on what she’s seen since they landed. Then again, he’s been proving her wrong everyday since she met him. 

Clarke is caught off guard when Bellamy slams his lips into hers again, a new hunger evident by way he presses against her completely. There isn’t any hesitation - he isn’t holding back anymore. 

She lets him push her towards the makeshift cot and despite the intensity of his kisses, he’s gentle when he pushes her back onto it. Clarke takes the opportunity to pull on his shirt and he understands the cue immediately, pulling it off before helping her with hers. Her ratty shirt has barely hit the ground before Bellamy’s lips are pressed against her collarbone, his body hovering over hers. He presses bruising kisses into her ivory skin and she knows that he’ll leave marks. Maybe that’s what he wants. 

Belamy effortlessly unclips her Ark-issued bra from the back and she quirks an eyebrow at him as he pulls it off. 

“You seem to be pretty familiar with how those work,” she challenges.

Bellamy gives her a boyish grin that stirs something in her. Every new expression, every new side of him that she uncovers, both challenges and heals her. She doesn’t know what to make of it. 

“Complaining about my skill set?”

Clarke lets out an offended laugh, pushing against his chest. Whatever comeback she had prepared dies on her tongue as he palms her breasts and presses his lips to one. He alternates between kisses and the smallest of bites before he takes a nipple into his warm mouth. She moans at the sensation, biting down on her lip in an attempt to stay quiet. One of his hands moves lower, trailing down her stomach until he’s cupping her center over her pants, teasing her seam. It’s too much sensation, and yet not enough - she feels empty, her whole body desperate for something. 

Bellamy looks nearly offended when she pushes him off of her but his expression relaxes as she begins working on the button of her pants. He begins to help her and pulls them off of her when she lifts her hips. As if on instinct, her legs part to make room for him and he settles between them like it’s where he’s always belonged. 

Bellamy begins kissing her again - across her cheeks, her jaw, down her throat. Her want transforms into need and she reaches between them in an attempt at getting his pants off too. Bellamy grabs her wrist. 

“Not yet,” he scolds, lips brushing against her neck when he speaks. His tone sends a shiver through her as he begins working his way down her body, not leaving any area untouched, unkissed. She’s so used to being in control, being in charge, but he’s made it clear that won’t be the case. It surprises Clarke how much more that turns her on. In the real world, she has to be strong. Here, she can surrender. 

Bellamy makes his way to her center and slips his index fingers under the band of her underwear. He looks up at her, a question in his eyes, and she gives him a short nod. That’s all she can manage at the moment. Once he slides them off, his lips are back on her in an instant, making their way up her inner thighs. She grabs at his shoulder when she realizes his intention.

Bellamy looks up at her, eyes black. 

“You don’t have to,” she whispers. She doesn’t want him to feel obligated - that’s not what this is. 

He grips her thigh tightly before answering. “I want to,” he tells her, voice rough. 

She gazes at him for a second longer before nodding and letting her head fall back. She can’t bring herself to look anywhere but the ceiling of the tent, afraid of the sight of Bellamy between her legs. About what that means, about what it would do to her. Feeling his breath against her lips, she tries to grip at something beside her, but there isn’t a blanket or anything to hold onto. Right before his tongue slides across her, she feels his fingers interlace with her own, as if he knew that she needed an anchor. Her free hand grabs at her own messy blonde waves and his holds her hips down as he begins to lick into her. 

Clarke’s breathing grows heavy and battered. She bites down hard on her lip, possibly drawing blood in an attempt to keep quiet as she climbs higher and higher. The last thing she needs is the whole camp finding out about this. She begins squirming against him, challenging his hold on her. She nearly protests when he untangles his fingers from hers, but then he slips a finger inside of her, curving it just right. Letting out a low whine, she keens as he adds another and picks up the pace. He groans, mouth still against her, and the vibration sends her hurdling over the edge, clenching around his fingers. He slows his pace, easing her from her high before his fingers leave hers. Wordlessly climbing back above her, he grips her sides and she can feel his wet fingers brushing against her skin. When he kisses her, she tastes herself on his lips and knows she needs more. 

While they continue kissing, she again tries to work on his pants. He doesn’t stop her this time. 

“Yeah?” he murmurs, lips brushing against hers when he speaks. 

Clarke nods. “Yeah.”

Bellamy briefly climbs off her, quickly shucking off his shoes, pants, and finally his underwear. Clarke doesn’t have time to dwell on the image of him completely naked before he’s climbing back on top of her. He hovers above her, stroking himself a few times. It makes her heart pound, the way his face contorts in pleasure as he does.

“Bellamy,” she breathes.

He lowers himself, rubbing against her, gathering slick between her legs from his earlier work. She closes her eyes at the sensation. When she opens them again, Bellamy is staring down at her, an unreadable expression on his face. He kisses her again, more tenderly than before, as he pushes into her. His face moves to the crook of her neck, his low groan intermingling with the moan that he draws from her as he stretches her out. Clarke wraps her arms around him, hands pressed to his back muscles as she pulls him closer. He presses a kiss to her throat once he’s completely buried inside her. 

It’s at this moment Clarke realizes how insane it is. 

Bellamy Blake. 

Bellamy Blake is inside of her .

Nearly a month ago, she didn’t trust him. She didn’t so much as want to have a conversation with the asshole. Somehow, she’s found herself in the most intimate position possible with him, but as he begins to move, she can’t find an ounce of regret hidden anywhere in her. She only feels thankful, relieved that she knows him. That she knows this side of him. That he isn’t what she thought.

Bellamy moves slowly at first, letting her adjust before working up to a steady pace. It isn’t long before Clarke feels the warmth coiling in her core again. They alternate between kissing and pressing their lips against other parts of each other. Her neck, his shoulder. Her temple, his cheek. Clarke’s nails dig into his back and he begins pounding into her harder, gripping her sides tightly. Her own hands move to his curls, pulling on them and eliciting a low growl from him.

Clarke would smile if it weren’t for the heat in her rising higher and higher, demanding her full attention. Their old rivalry floats back to the surface as they pull and tug at each other, desperate for the other but not wanting to be the first to give in. Maybe this is what they always needed, just like Unity Day. The conflict before the peace, the storm before the healing. If Bellamy and her can come together, can find each other amongst the wreckage, maybe there’s hope for all of them. 

It isn’t long before it’s too much for her. She clenches down on him, surrendering, but Bellamy doesn’t last much longer. Forehead resting against hers, he fucks her through the onset of her orgasm before letting go himself, spilling into her with a loud groan and throwing her over the edge in the process. For a few minutes, as they both come down from their highs, heavy panting is the only sound that fills the tent. Bellamy has let his head fall back to the crook of her neck and her arms remain wrapped around him still, too dazed to do anything but lie there and catch their breaths.

She doesn’t know how long it takes, but eventually Bellamy pulls out of her and rolls over, laying next to her on his back. It’s a tight fit on the cot, their clammy arms pressed against each other, but they manage. 

“Fuck,” Bellamy sighs, breathing still not quite steady.

“Yeah,” she sighs. 

After a few more minutes, Clarke sits up, becoming increasingly aware of the fact Bellamy and her are just lying naked next to each other. She slides her underwear on and retrieves her bra, pulling it back on. Feeling the cot dip under shifting weight, Clarke glances at Bellamy and finds him pulling his boxers back on. 

“You don’t have to go,” Bellamy tells her, cutting through the increasingly awkward silence. It’s the nervousness in his tone that makes her pause. He seems more scared about asking her to stay than he did about inviting her in. 

“Only if you want,” he clarifies. 

Clarke turns to look at him and finds him running a hand through his curls. 

Fuck. Why is that turning her on. 

“You should try to get a little sleep,” he adds when she doesn’t say anything.

“Okay,” Clarke agrees, trying her hardest to sound unaffected by the offer. She lays down on her back again, staring at the ceiling of the tent as she feels the cot dip under Bellamy’s weight when he lies back down next to her. She knows that she’s acting strange, but she can’t help her thoughts from spinning. 

It was more comfortable lying next to Finn afterwards, that much she can admit. If only because she was sure of the situation...at least she was at the time. They liked each other. They had feelings for each other, beyond the sex they just had. Whatever this was with Bellamy...well, she had no idea what it was. That was the point. It was more complicated than Finn and her. Or maybe it was more simple. She wasn’t sure yet.

Bellamy laughs softly, breaking her from her thoughts. 

“What?” she asks, brow furrowed as she turns her head to look at him.

She finds him laying on his side, hands tucked under his head, looking back at her. Something about it makes him look so young. Boyish and vulnerable in a way that breaks her heart, that makes her want to shield him from the world. That feeling is a first, to say the least.

“You’re so tense. You don’t have to stay, if you don’t want to.”

Blood rushes to Clarke’s face and she feels the heat in her cheeks. Somehow, she’s more embarrassed by that comment than by the noises he was just drawing out of her minutes ago. What’s he implying? That she can’t do casual? She can do casual. In fact, after the Finn debacle, that’s all she wants. 

“Am not,” she argues. As if to prove her point, she rolls onto her side and scoots closer to him, pressing her back to bare his chest. She regrets it immediately. Despite the fact that he put his boxers back on, she feels him against her ass and already finds herself craving him again. This is going to be a problem.

Bellamy hesitates for a second before draping an arm over her waist. Not tightly, but still caging her in. Some strange instinct prompts her to pull his arm tighter against her, so that it’s wrapped around her bare stomach.

“Didn’t take you for a cuddler, Princess,” he teases in a low voice. His lips are so close to her ear. The nickname doesn’t sound like the insult it once was. There’s a certain fondness to it now. 

“Don’t make me regret it,” she quips back. 

Clarke feels his laugh, his chest vibrating against her back.

“Okay,” Bellamy agrees, voice softer this time. He surprises her by pressing her even tighter against him and ghosting his lips across the crown of her head. 

They’re quiet again for a few minutes. Even though she doesn’t hear or feel his breathing steady, she wonders he’s fallen asleep. Somehow, as the minutes tick by, the awkwardness drains. It starts to feel normal even, having him hold her like this. It’s really not a good sign. She can’t afford for this to be normal.

It nearly startles her when he speaks again.

“What you said before, about dying.” His voice is quiet. “You know I’d never let that happen, right? I won’t let you die.”

Clarke swallows thickly, trying to blink back the wave of emotion that comes over her at the sincerity of his words. They both know it’s a lie. Nobody can make promises like that, not on the ground. Still, she doesn’t argue with him. There’s no point in that.

“Okay,” she whispers, so they can pretend it’s true. So they can pretend to believe it. 

At the very least, Clarke trusts him, maybe more than anyone, to protect her with his own life. She would do the same for him, she realizes. Right now, that’s the best they can do.