Bellamy stares at the metal door right ahead and feels Gus jiggle in his lap. On instinct he wraps his hand around his tiny foot and stops him from nervously kicking around, simultaneously leaning over and kissing the top of his head that had the same curls he did and humming quietly and calmly.
“Come on, Gus, ease it out, buddy.” he mumbles in the ear of his three years old son as he pushes his back to his chest.
Gus looks up with his big brown eyes that were a little bit lighter than his own-they were all Gina’s, but his hair, his face, everything else, it was him.
She used to joke they made a mini him and from the moment Gus was born he already had a lot of hair that curled around his tiny ears.
Now three years later he was a spitting image of his dad, face and back marred with freckles, hair curling up and falling over his eyes in the most adorable of ways, even his mouth thinned out when he was angry in the same way Bellamy’s did.
They were waiting outside the doctor’s office.
The narrow Ark medbay hallway was mostly empty for which Bellamy was glad as he usually was more worried about Gus getting his vaccines than the kid itself.
Gus was a quiet boy but he had his dad’s curiosity for learning and his mom’s patience for understanding.
He didn’t always talk much to people he didn’t know but at home, in their tiny Factory station compartment that was given to Bellamy and Gina when they were married, he could talk almost all the time, always asking his dad questions, needing to know more.
At day care he liked learning new things, would spent half the day on the tiny round table drawing or going through books the teachers gave him even if he couldn’t read yet.
He loved playing with the other kids too and he had a few friends he got along with but he was good at keeping to himself as well.
Bellamy checked his watch, making sure he wouldn’t be late for his shift.
He had taken the morning off as it was Gus’ first visit at the doctors in the past few months and he had wanted the kid to be checked out thoroughly not just be given a shot.
Gina had always been better when they had to come here. She used to make fun of him when Gus was still a few months old baby and they had to come in for his first vaccines.
Bellamy had held him in his lap while the doctor did his thing and when Gus was crying Bellamy had cried too, whispering how sorry he is he’s in pain and that it’d all stop hurting in just a second and that he’ll kiss it away.
Gina had rubbed his back but Bellamy had been adorably upset all day, he couldn’t even concentrate on his work and got scolded by his boss but he didn’t care.
In the evening when he came back and found Gina nursing him, he had smiled and asked to hold him.
“You know you’ll have to get used to the idea of him experiencing not just good things.” she had said then as she watched Bellamy walk around the small compartment and nuzzling his nose against Gus’ “He’ll have not just joy but also pain in his life.”
“Not if i can help it.”
“Except you can’t”
“We’ll see about that.” she had chuckled and shook her head deciding to let him off the hook but she had been right.
When barely seven months later she died in a working accident where half of Factory had ended up on fire and she had burned trying to help some of her coworkers back to safety, Gus had been left with no one but his dad in the world and it had broken Bellamy’s heart.
Now here he was almost two years later, with his son jiggling in his lap and his mind going back to Gina, thinking how great she would’ve been with this if she was here.
No matter how hard he tried, he thought himself to be a shitty dad.
He worked long hours, so they could have enough rations and spent all his time off the factory with Gus, making sure he knew how loved he was, playing with him, learning the colors, the numbers or the letters with him, tucking him to bed next to him, bathing him, kissing him and hugging him all the time, not afraid to show him affection.
But he had also failed a couple times too like when a few months back Gus had gotten so sick he developed pneumonia or how he didn’t have enough rations for vitamins these days and how Gus’ jacket was getting smaller for him and he needed a new one because other kids were making fun of him.
He felt like no matter what he did, he’d still never be enough for his boy and it broke his heart.
“Dada?” Gus turns his head up to him and reaches his tine hands to cup Bellamy’s stubbled cheeks “Sad?” Bellamy smiles and kisses his forehead.
“No, baby boy, I’m not sad, just thinking.”
“There’s nothing to be scared of” Bellamy says calmly, running his fingers through his son’s thick hair. Gus leans a little into his chest and looks up at him with big puppy eyes. “Let’s go over it again.”
It was a thing Bellamy did with him, reminding him to go through the steps of what was to happen so he sees there’s nothing to be afraid of.
“We will meet the new doctor” their last one Harrison had retired a few months back and they were to meet the new one now, someone going by the name Griffin as the nurse at the reception desk had informed him “We’ll answer all the questions he has for us, then we’ll take off your shirt and he’ll give you the shot.”
“And it’d be…like a pinch!” Gus exclaims and pokes his dad in the chest with his tiny index finger. Bellamy giggles and kisses him again.
“Exactly” he cups his cheek and lifts his head up “So you see…nothing scary!”
“Olrait.” Gus agrees but moves up, turns his tiny body around and climbs into his arms like a koala bear, resting his head over his dad’s shoulder.
Bellamy holds him tightly, closing his eyes briefly and breathing him in-god he still had that baby smell, that sweet softness to him.
He never wanted his skin to harden the way Bellamy’s has, he never wanted him to have the callouses he did or the tired circles under his eyes, he never wished for him to stand up for long hours and operate on machines or lift heavy stuff and help patch this old metal can up.
He didn’t want his back to constantly hurt him so much that he walked hunched on their way back home from work and day care, he didn’t want people to give him pitiful looks or wonder how much he’s busting his ass to provide for his child all alone.
He wanted better for him.
And he’d be damn if he doesn’t provide it for him.
Gus stays there, playing with the strap of his work jumpsuit and cooing quietly on his own like little kids sometimes did.
It was sweet nothings really, words that didn’t even make sense but Bellamy closed his eyes and listened to him, letting his heart slow down and gather all his strength for what was about to happen.
When the door opens with a loud ugly crack that he should be used to considering it’s not their first time here, he jumps a little in his seat. He must’ve started dozing off a little, he was that tired and when he rubbed at his eyes tiredly and looked up he sucked in a breath.
“Bellamy and Augustus Blake?” a young woman, maybe a few years younger than him with beautiful blond hair and bright blue eyes, dressed in the usual doctors attire-scrubs and a white coat with stethoscope hanging over her neck smiled at them.
His jaw fell down a bit and Gus who was usually very shy with strangers at first but otherwise actually enjoyed going to the doctor’s office, dared a quick peak before burying his head back in his dad’s chest.
“Doctor Griffin?” he asks confused and she smiles even brighter.
“Bet you thought it’d be a 50 year old white haired guy huh?” he looks away shyly as he stands up and Gus wraps himself tighter around his dad. “Don’t worry, that’s the reaction I’ve been getting since I started this job.”
“Sorry, I just didn’t think-”
“It’s all good, come on in.” she welcomes them in her office which is the same as doctor Harrison’s one except now it looked a lot more welcoming especially to kids.
There was a little table in one of the corners with books and toys, even some pencils and paper, some paintings on the walls that catch Gus’ attention and he moves away from his dad’s embrace to stare at them with curiosity.
“So, I got from his chart that you’re up for the mandatory vaccines.” she announces when she gestures at Bellamy to sit on the cot and he tries turning Gus around so he’s facing the doctor but his boy has his arms wrapped so tightly around him he refuses to let go for now.
Bellamy was pleasantly surprised, doctor Harrison didn’t usually do his homework especially for patients coming from Factory.
He had always treated them with what Bellamy called quiet disgust.
It’s like he knew he had to do this cause it was his job but he secretly hated even touching them, like they were a disease that could somehow be spread.
Doctor Griffin definitely didn’t seem like that. She was holding Gus’ file in one hand while she chew on her pen as she went through his data.
“Yes, but I’d like for you to give him a regular check up if possible.” Bellamy explains and she lifts her head up in his direction “I have the ration points for it.” he moves up a bit so he can take out his white ration card from his pocket and extend it in her direction.
Doctor Griffin drops the file she’s holding and furrows her eyebrows at his hand.
“You can check, I’m not lying. I have the right amount.” Bellamy adds upon seeing her confusion.
“No, it’s not that I just-” she sucks in a breath “Did Harrison make you pay for a regular check up before when you came in for a vaccine?”
“Well-” Bellamy rubbed Gus’s back up and down more in a way to calm himself down than the kid though he was feeling him going slack in his arms once more which meant he was easing up to the situation.
“Yes. I mean when it was vaccines he’d do just that and we’d leave unless I paid for a check up too.”
“But that is a mandatory thing for doctors to do.” Doctor Griffin huffed outraged as she turned around and tossed the folder on her metal desk “He should do it without charge.”
“Oh.” Bellamy shrugs a little and his hand drops still gripping the card “Are you sure? I don’t mind paying for it, I already earned it.” she shakes her head as she comes closer and pushes his hand gently back to him.
The touch is electric.
“You’re not paying for a basic health check up that has to be done anyway especially when a child is to receive a vaccine.” she says a little angrily but he can see it’s not directed at him.
Still he nods gratefully and shoves the card back in his pocket while adjusting Gus in his arms.
“Now can I see that sweet face?” she leans closer and carefully touches Gus’s back, not too pushy but gently.
“Gus say hi to doctor Griffin.” Bellamy urges but his son doesn’t turn right away so Bellamy has to kiss his head and run his fingers through his curls.
“Come on, buddy, it’s fine. Nothing to be scared of remember?”
Gus finally pulls away and peaks at Clarke. She smiles at him as she sits on the cot next to them in the most non-intimidating and sweet way Bellamy has seen from a doctor.
“Hey, Gus. Nice to meet you.” she says.
“Gus!” Bellamy has to prompt him before Gus finally responds.
“Hi” he says letting the tiniest and most adorable of greetings before his eyes fall on the tiny monkey that’s pinned to Clarke’s white coat pocket.
Clarke of course, immediately notices.
“You like that?” she asks and Gus nods carefully while she unclasps it and puts it in her palm extending it so he could see better.
“That’s the brave monkey. I put it on all the kids that come in here for vaccines or if they’re really hurt.”
“What does it do?” Gus asks peeking down at it.
“Helps them stay brave and overcome the pain.” she says carefully and Gus peels a little more off his dad “Do you want to wear it today?”
Gus hmms then looks up and Bellamy can see he’s no longer shy or scared.
“I think you put it on dad, cause dad is more scared for Gus than Gus is.” both Clarke and Bellamy chuckle at that and she gives Bellamy a knowing look.
“Is that so?”
“Yeah. He always cries on the way home.”
“Okay, buddy, easy there now.” Bellamy rubs his hand up and down as he finally untangles him from himself and places him on the cot between him and the doctor.
“I still think you’ll need it more than I do.” Bellamy tells him and Gus after contemplating for a few seconds gives doctor Griffin a nod and she pins the monkey to his pants.
“We put it here first cause we’ll need to take that shirt off so I can listen to your heart and lungs okay?” she explains and Gus nods giving his dad another brief worried look before Bellamy squeezes his hand briefly and nods at Clarke.
He helps her take off his shirt and maneuver him deeper in the cot before she warms the stethoscope up by breathing into it and pressing it to his chest.
Quite honestly Bellamy’s surprised with the way she’s doing her job-doctor Harrison never talked to Gus, flat out ignored him and only spoke to Bellamy, asking him to take his clothes off or put them back on or hold him down if he was wiggling too much.
Clarke was very gentle with him, asked him to breathe in and out, carefully examined him and put down data in the folder (again something Harrison never did.)
She checks his throat, his eyes, his pulse, even his blood pressure which is much fun for Gus who has never seen or had a cuff put on him and asks her all the questions about it.
“I saw in his file he’s been sick a few months back?” Clarke asks while she takes his temperature.
“Yeah…a bad case of pneumonia. Started like a regular flu but spiraled up very fast, I…I had to bring him in the middle of the night and we stayed in medbay for five days.” Bellamy still shivers at the memory of his son’s weak coughing body shaking in his arms, his forehead burning, his eyes barely opened as he begged for his dad to hold him. “Is he okay now?”
“Lungs are clear” Clarke assures with a soft smile “His heartbeat’s strong, his blood pressure is perfect, no temperature. You don’t have anything to worry about.” he exhales and watches his son’s eyes pinned on the monkey, staring at it with curiosity.
“Thank you.” Bellamy exclaims relieved and she nods as if surprised he’s ever thanking her for doing her job.
“Okay, let’s weigh you in, big boy.” she suggests as she picks him up by his armpits and Gus giggles at that, he always did, before she puts him on the scales.
That was Bellamy’s worst part of the examination-he always worried about his weight. Ever since he was a boy he always ate fine, nursed good from his mom, then when she was gone, he would eat the formula just as well but once he started switching to algae, he’d have a hard time getting used to it.
He wouldn’t want to eat, Bellamy would have to force him, beg him sometimes and on couple of occasions he’d dropped weight before putting it back on. He lost quite a lot when he was sick too and Bellamy knew he may have not yet got it all back on.
Clarke must sense his anxiety but she still urges Gus to stay still while she checks on the numbers.
“Is it okay?”
“It’s great. Within the normal rate for his age.” she assures and he exhales a little as he helps her take Gus from the scales and back on the cot.
“Should I-…should he gain more?”
“Is he eating healthy?”
“Three times a day, one of them at school. He’s not doing well with the algae but I’m trying my best.”
“Hm” she rubs her chin as she lets Gus take the stethoscope off her neck and play with it while the adults talk “You give him soup?” Bellamy nods “There are these new biscuits Farm station are making, have you tried with those? It’s shown kids respond better to them than the soup.”
“I uh…” Bellamy rubs the back of his neck feeling embarrassed “I’ll need to check how many ration points those are.” she doesn’t even give him a beat to think of an excuse or try to swipe it under the rug that he may not have enough ration points for that at the moment before she goes to her desk, pulls up a prescription and writes something down.
“You don’t need to do that. I’ll write you a prescription, it’ll be valid for a month so you can see if he likes them and then figure it out from there.”
“Thank you, doctor.” he says and carefully tucks the piece of paper to his front pocket. He honestly didn’t expect such generosity from a probably Alpha station raised doctor (most medical personal were from Alpha, or at least…about 80% of them).
“I’m…we’re really grateful.”
“Dada, you should let doctor Griffin check your hand!” Gus exclaims while he’s still staring at her, maybe a little too much than necessary but he does notice the blush on her face “She’s so good, you don’t have anything to be afraid of!”
Bellamy’s and simultaneously Clarke’s eyes fall on the dirty bandage wrapped around Bellamy’s left hand.
He had gotten a bad cut at work yesterday while they were moving these pretty heavy metal pieces for a patch in Hydra and it had cut him quite deeply staining half his clothes.
When he had taken Gus from daycare the kid had been so startled by his looks he had thrown himself in his arms and asked what’s wrong and where does it hurt.
He had thought he was bleeding all over when it was just his hand. Bellamy tried to assure him it’s fine but Gus always worried about him. He’d assumed it’s only fair considering he was his only living relative. Well he and Aurora, his grandmother who Gus adored but that was about it.
“What’s that?” Clarke asks and before he knows it she was pulling his hand up to inspect it, trying to undo the bandage and check on it before he can pull away.
He sure tries to but her grip on his wrist is pretty strong.
“It’s nothing, just a cut.” he tries to explain but Gus is on it.
“He had lots of blod! Can you please check it?” Gus asks politely.
“Gus, we’re here for you, the doctor still has to give you your shots, alright?” Bellamy reminds him but Gus doesn’t give up.
Instead he completely ignores his dad and turns to Clarke, tilting his head to the side a bit and giving her his signature puppy look that was always what pushed Bellamy to tell him yet another story before bed.
“That looks infected.” doctor Griffin says with a tired sigh and when her eyes fall on Gus’ cute and worried face she reaches to touch his shoulder.
“Of course I’ll take care of it. But your dad’s right-first we do your shots, then you can play with some of the toys in the corner huh?” Gus peeks behind his dad’s back to the colorful table and spots the pencils.
“Can I draw?”
“Absolutely.” she promises and he contemplates for a moment but then agrees with a quick nod.
She takes the stethoscope off his hands and they decide to put him in Bellamy’s lap so he can hold him while she prepares the shots. Clarke notices Bellamy’s biting his lip and getting a little pale at that himself while Gus is just waiting anxiously for her to do it.
“You should probably look away.” Clarke tells Bellamy while she cleans up Gus’s tiny arms preparing them for the shots. “If you think it’ll make you sick.”
“I got it.” he assures and keeps his eyes on his son, not even flinching when she comes to Gus’s right side. One of his arms is looped around Gus’s stomach and the other is holding his left hand tightly. “You good, big boy?” he asks him as he tightens his grip and Gus nods.
“Yes you are.” Bellamy gives Clarke a quick nod, silently giving her permission to do it and she pinches Gus’s right arm doing the shot with quickness and expertness Bellamy had never seen of any other doctor before. She quickly moves to the left side before Gus had had enough time to get too distraught and repeats the action.
“Good boy, oh you’re such a good boy, great job Gus.” Bellamy praises him once it’s over and Clarke is adjusting the band aids on his arms rubbing his leg gently while Bellamy lifts him up and turns him to him. Gus’s eyes are filled with unshed tears and he’s biting his lip, trying very hard not to cry.
“No,no, it’s okay, it’s alright, buddy, you can cry.”
“But I want to be brave.” he lets out voice tiny and broken as Bellamy runs his fingers through his hair and pushes his head to his chest, carefully moving them up and down in a soothing manner.
“Oh, Gus, the bravest people cry.” he says whispering in his ear not ashamed of the doctor overhearing him. Gus pulls away a little, the tears finally streaming down his face, looking adorable in his tiny messy glory.
“Absolutely.” Bellamy assures as he keeps rubbing his back “Showing your emotions,how your heart truly feels-” he taps at his chest with his finger and smiles “that’s the strongest and bravest thing one could do.” Gus sniffs a little and tilts his head to the side, thinking over his dad’s words.
“Dad cries too, remember? Like on our way home from the doctor.” Gus nods at that “You think there’s anything wrong with that?”
“No.” Gus says right away “Dad just cares about Gus.”
“Exactly.” Bellamy kisses his forehead again “It’s out of love. Because I love you soooo much!”
“From here to the Earth?” Gus asks lip still jutted out in the most adorable of ways.
“From here to the Earth and then back and then over and over and over again-” Bellamy peppers his face with kisses, brushing away his tears and making him giggle “Infinitely.”
“That’s a lot!”
“I know!” Bellamy smiles as he cups his cheeks “And it’s still not enough to show you how my heart feels.” Gus smiles already forgetting all about the pain and reaching to tap his dad’s chest like he had before.
“You have a big heart, dada.” Bellamy blushes a little at that and finally remembers Clarke’s there too when she comes closer again.
“Yes he does” she chimes in “You doing better, Gus? Do you hurt?”
“No” Gus shakes his head cleaning his face with his own tiny palms, obviously having forgotten his hurdle “Can I go draw?”
“I don’t think we should keep the doctor up anymore, Gus. Let’s get home and I’ll-”
“You’re not going anywhere until I check that hand!” doctor Griffin cuts him off before he can protest and pushes him back to the cot.
Bellamy would fight her if she didn’t look that scary but he agrees with a sigh and helps Gus put his shirt and sweater back on, return Clarke’s monkey pin and hop off to the table.
“Here, let me-” he says, taking the pin from Gus and leaning closer to Clarke, adjusting it on her pocket with unsteady hands. He’s not thinking too much of it but when he pulls back she finds Clarke staring at his hands, blushing a little so he feels the redness creep up his cheek too. “Sorry I-”
“No,thank you, that was kind of you.” she clears her throat and goes back to being serious, focusing on his hand and pulling a metal table with some supplies between them and carefully placing it down. “So, how did that happen?”
“Oh just…work. We were trying to close this hole in a Hydra hallway and I got cut on it.” she humms at that and focuses on unwrapping the bandage and cleaning up the wound.
“I hope you don’t mind me asking but-” he jumps a little when she presses harder trying to get some of the debris stuck in him “Is his mom around?”
“No, she uh…she died in that Factory station fire two years ago.” he explains carefully.
“I’m sorry.” she says and she sounds like she actually means it which struck him even more. “I remember that explosion, me and my mother were on sight, trying to help the wounded.”
“Many people lost their lives that day.” Bellamy comments a little angrily, but tries to control it, knowing that his thoughts about the way things were at his station and how often there were accidents of various sorts leaving people killed or maimed was not going to help things.
“So you’ve been raising him on your own?” she’s smart to direct the subject back to Gus for which he’s grateful.
“Yeah, well, my mom helps out when she can but she works a lot too. Insists on giving me a hand with our ration points, says I’m giving everything for him which I am but that’s what a parent does.”
“True but…”she stops her work for a moment and looks at him “You need to take care of yourself too. You can’t neglect your own health or well being.”
“I’m fine.” he waves it off like it’s nothing “It’s nothing but a cut, doctor.”
“It’s an infected cut. If that got septic you’d be dead in a week.” she cuts him off harshly not taking in his light mood and tightening the grip on his hand. He swallows hard and looks away shamefully.
“I’m not trying to scold you…okay maybe I am but you must know you are this boy’s whole world so don’t gamble with your life, alright?”
“Thank you, doctor.” he says it meaning it fully and she relaxes a little happy that she’s made her point as she keeps cleaning up his cut before carefully bandaging it up. “You did a great job with him. He seems like a really sweet kid.”
“He is.Except when he doesn’t want to eat his algae.” they both chuckle at that and Gus lifts his head up for a moment before resuming his work on his drawing. “I’m glad you’re our doctor” he adds when she wraps his hand up carefully.
“So am I.” he stands up and clears his throat nervously, reaching for the card in his front pocket again.
“I uh…I think there’s enough in there for those bandages and everything else-” he tries but she puts her hand over his and shakes her head.
“You’re not paying me for this.”
“But-” he’s at a loss here. He knew well enough doctors had to write down every supply they used and explain why they needed them. “You have to-”
“No. I’ll write it up in Gus’ chart. No one will check if a kid has a bandage or not.” she assures and pats his chest lightly “I insist.”
“I didn’t get into this job for rations, mister Blake.” she says seriously and looks into his eyes “I can see how much you care for your son and want the best for him, how you’re sacrificing for him. I became a doctor to help people. And I want to help you and your son.” she’s so close now he can feel her breath fan his neck which makes him blush even more. “Would you let me?”
Bellamy stares into her eyes and something tugs at his heart, something he hasn’t felt in a very long time-it’s familiar, yet not fully, it’s strange but…warm. Ever since Gina died he had always felt his bones cold but now…now with Clarke so close to him, he felt warm for the first time in years.
“Okay” he agrees, even though he’s never taken help from anyone. Even though he had made a promise to himself to raise this boy on his own, to give him everything himself and never ask or beg for anything.
But Clarke was pleading with her eyes and there was warmth in his bones and something…something tugged at his heart.
And his heart agreed before his mind had, before his pride had made her case, before his shyness gave voice and spread like a red flag to his cheeks.
He trusted her. For some odd and weird reason, he did.
“We should uh…we should probably go.” she pulls away a little just as Gus comes running to them waving a drawing between them and asking Clarke to see it. It was her, in her white coat and blue scrubs with an entirely too big stethoscope hanging from her neck.
She told him it’s the best gift she’s ever had and immediately pinned it on the cork board near her desk making Gus proud and in awe that someone was actually admiring his work.
She hugs him goodbye and gives Bellamy one last look as she instructs him how to change the bandage.
When she closes the door behind them, Bellamy finds himself in the empty hallway with Gus’ tiny hand in his big one already blabbering excitedly about how cool doctor Griffin was.
“Huh?” Bellamy asks as they take down the hallway.
“I can make another drawing for the next appointment, right?”
Bellamy smiles and ruffles his curls.
“You most certainty can.”