A Worthy Something
Summary: Bellamy Blake respects Clarke Griffin...a little more than he should. And Clarke Griffin doesn't want to be on Earth without him, which is a surprise to her.
Spoilers: Everything aired plus spoilers for S1Ep7 "Contents Under Pressure"
Notes: The 100 is very good crack, causing my muse to strike for the first time in a long while. Italic text = thoughts.
PS - I edited this a little after publishing. The conversation with the Ark needed a bit of improving (for clarity) and correcting some typos that annoyed.
PPS - Thank you for the lovely reviews. Several asked if I would continue this but, unfortunately, I cannot due to real-life getting crazy. Sorry to disappoint y'all.
Where the hell was she?! Bellamy pushed through the crowd. One minute, she'd been tending to Spacewalker when he got called away to defuse a fight and when he'd returned, Clarke had disappeared. According to their new arrival, she'd bailed as soon as the radio started to pick up her mother on the coms. The one time he might need Clarke focused on the Ark and she's not cooperative. Figures.
Sick of looking, he grabs a nearby arm. Some skittish kid. "Did Clarke come through here?"
The kid gulps, clearly not happy to be faced with an angry Bellamy Blake. "Yeah." He points to a nearby storage room. "She went in there."
Bellamy gives him a curt nod and stalks over to the door. Before he can hit the control though, he hears it. When she was little, Octavia would cry a lot especially when she was forced to sleep under floor. Their mother couldn't risk a visitor in the night & not having time to get her hidden. He'd spent far too many nights trying to sleep on the floor, listening to his sister sniffle and sob to mistake the sound. Bellamy hesitated.
He knew that a part of him should be glad. The princess is human after all. But, between the thunder from outside and the shuffle of the crowd in the drop-ship, he heard Clarke falling apart for the first time since hitting dirt and Bellamy could not bring himself to open that door.
Bellamy knew she and the Spacewalker were close but if Wells' death didn't deserve a breakdown, then Finn dying of a stab wound didn't either. He leaned against the wall next to the door, assessing the room. Usually when someone upset Clarke, there were two reactions. One, regretful and shifty. Because sometimes dealing with a disappointed or angry Clarke was like facing your mother after she found out that you'd given your locked-in-a-small-confined-apartment-sister double candy rations. Two, pleased and standoffish. Those were usually his enforcers. Or him. And he was in the clear on this one.
However, looking around the room, at first he saw neither. The crowd parted for a moment, showing the 'radio station' that Raven had set up near the center of the room. Raven...huh, looked regretful and shifty.
Damn outsiders. His fisted clenched. They just needed some breathing room. A break. Endangering the group by threatening their healer was not acceptable. Bellamy huffed, knowing he had pissed Clarke off plenty. However, he'd also never made her cry. Because he wasn't an idiot. No one who'd survived Octavia's terrible-twos would believe that you could maintain any authority whatsoever while dealing with a crying overly innocent girl who couldn't stop asking 'why?' all the fucking time.
Speak of the devil, his sister made her way through the crowd. He took a breath. They hadn't really spoken since the screaming match at the gate. Which, judging by the number of wary gazes, everyone knew about. Damnit.
Octavia approached, pointedly looking around the crowd. Seeing him, she rushed up. "Where's Clarke? We need to check Finn-"
"Busy." He ground out, putting as much authority as possible into the word.
Of course, Octavia ignored the tone. Narrowing her eyes, she opened her mouth. Before she could get out a word, a sob echoed from behind him. Octavia paused, eyes travelling from him to the door and back several times. He could see the accusation in her eyes and no matter how badly they'd just fought, it stung.
In a quiet voice, he asked. "Can't it wait?" He shifted against the wall. "She'll be a while."
Octavia's eyes and face transformed. Bellamy rolled his eyes before he could stop himself. Sometimes, little sisters were such a pain in the ass. Now smirking, she whispered. "I'll handle it. Let me know when she's free."
Snorting, he responded. "She's never free." Octavia's grin widened yet more. He, trying to stop her from being annoying, added. "Weighed down by all that responsibility and self-righteousness."
Octavia snorted back, mirroring his expression. "Yes, what a shame that no one around here understands what that kind of burden feels like."
Bellamy froze, wishing he could take back those words at the wall. What they exposed and how they hurt each other. Having delivered her jab, his sister melted back into the crowd. Bellamy stayed on the wall, taking deep breaths. Clarke's sobs drifted out from behind him.
There are no clocks on the drop-ship. But, it was an unacceptably long amount of time before the princess got herself together.
Stop it. Stop it. Stop it. Clarke gulped in air, furious with herself. She'd been fine. Treating Finn, keeping people calm, dealing with Bellamy. But then, it happened. Raven had come through. Her mom's voice echoed in the drop-ship before disappearing with a crackle.
Her mother killed her father. When she'd said it to Finn, Clarke thought that she was too numb to freak out about it. Too many disasters since they landed. No time to spare for family feuds. Bellamy and Octavia at the gate flashed in her mind for a minute. She smiled despite herself. Of course, the Blakes would make time for a fight. Although, judging by the look on Bellamy's face, Octavia won that round. Clarke shook her head, trying to calm down.
She'd been wrong. The second she heard her mother, it was all new again. Her father getting sucked out that airlock. Her mother in the cell block telling her that she'd be safe...in an irradiated wasteland with a bunch of criminals. Clarke knew that her mother loved her but sometimes, she had no idea what the hell she was thinking.
And now, they needed her mother. Finn needed her mother. Clarke knew that the chances were small and a part of her envied Raven the freedom of freaking out. She wiped her nose on her sleeve, standing shakily. Finn wasn't hers to freak out about, anyway. She didn't have anyone to freak out about and, that was probably for the best, right? Someone in this group needed to be sensible. Bellamy's face screaming "Whatever the hell we want!" flashed before her eyes.
Clarke started to dust herself off, stopping in realization. Her hands were covered in blood as well as her shirt. Finn's blood. Who the hell would notice some dust with all this? Taking a moment to search the shelves, she grabbed some dried herbs and a few more bandages.
She needed to regain some focus. Check on Jasper, pick a fight with Bellamy, something normal. She hit the control for the door, wincing at what she found. Figures, damnit.
Bellamy Blake stood up from his position next to the door. Clarke froze, mind racing and horrified. He was next to the not-at-all-soundproof door. Her fingers tensed around the medical supplies. Her jaw clenched as she nodded to him. "Can I help you?" She'd put as much standoffish disdain into the four words as possible. In her head, Clarke heard a voice which sounded a lot like Bellamy calling it her 'princess voice'.
For a moment, he stared at her. Clarke braced herself the blow that would no doubt come. But then his eyes drifted to the medical supplies and he folded his arms. "How's Spacewalker?"
Clarke hesitated at the unexpected start to the conversation. "As well as can be expected." She patted the bandages. "Not many of these left, had to dig a bit back there." He froze at the obvious lie. Because, even without listening at doors, he always knew when she was lying. Of course, he always made sure that she knew it. Because he just couldn't help himself from-.
"I'll get someone to start preparing more." He gestured to the edge of the crowd. Three kids peeled off, headed toward him. "You three – head to Jasper and my sister. The Spacewalker's using too many bandages and we're going to need to make more. Got it?" They nodded before moving away. Clarke gaped, staring.
He knew. She could see it in his eyes. Those walls weren't soundproof and he'd been right there. Bellamy Blake had the perfect opening and he'd forfeited the fight before it started. She saw the moment he registered her surprise, saw the smirk he couldn't suppress.
"Come on, princess." He bowed, in a way that anyone watching would have assumed was mocking. Except, Clarke Griffin knew what a mocking Bellamy Blake sounded like and it was nothing whatsoever like this. "Let's get you back on task, alright?"
The crowd parted for the two of them, Clarke eying Bellamy out of the corner of her eye. What the hell?!
Well, that was fun. Bellamy grinned, feeling Clarke's incredulous but trying-desperately-to-hide it-stare. The number of times where he'd gotten one up on her were too damn few. It was a good change from the red eyes and shaky hands that he saw as she opened that door. Before Clarke had seen him. Then, like those superhero movies from Before, she'd ducked deep inside, put on her armor and was Princess of the Ark once more.
Which, as much as he didn't want to admit it, was exactly what these people needed right now. They were almost to Finn when Raven's voiced called out. "Signal's back!"
Her mother's voice rang out and Bellamy watched Clarke stiffen. Seems like all wasn't well in the Griffin's kingdom. Still, if Finn was going to live, then Clarke had to get focused. Bellamy leaned over her, that always pissed her off. He grinned. "Princess, do you want to save the kingdom or not?"
She stepped closer, glaring up at him "Stop calling me that."
"Don't we have bigger problems?" Bellamy jerked his head in the direction of Finn's bed. Clarke wrinkled her nose before stepping around him with a sniff. Something in Bellamy loosened. She walked toward the radio, head up and purposeful. Like Clarke was supposed to walk. Bellamy followed, making sure that he was close enough to hear over the bustle of the crowd.
"Where's my daughter, Raven? Is she there? Is she okay?" The good doctor's voice inquired.
Before Raven could pipe up, Clarke's voice cut through the static like a welding torch. "I'm here and I'm fine." Bellamy knew that tone. He had no idea what her mom did but he definitely understood wanting to be a whole planet away from Clarke when she was that pissed.
"Oh, Clarke! Thank God! You're alive! What's going on? How many-"
"Mom." The doctor's voice halted at the word. Clarke swallowed and took a breath before continuing. "We have a situation down here and I need your help. There's an injury."
The other end of the line was silent for a moment. A lull which said "I'll cooperate but we will be talking later. Don't think you're getting out of it". Bellamy wondered if all Griffin women were capable of that kind of telling silence. Then he remembered that there were only two of them and thank God for small favors. Clarke's mother continued, voice carefully neutral. "Tell me the situation."
Clarke, who just moments ago had been losing her shit in a storeroom, did just that. He'd never mock her princess attitude again. Bellamy laughed to himself. Okay, that was a lie. Still, she turned that privileged background around on the Ark. She was making her own mother kinda, sort of choke on it.
It took a couple of hours. The radio got dragged closer to Finn's beside and they'd all chipped in. Raven fighting with everything to keep the signal strong. Jasper and him, holding the boy down while Clarke worked. Monty and Octavia mixed up herbs and readying bandages in the background. The crowd behind them but it felt like they were a million miles away, outside their circle. At the center of it was Clarke.
The bubble burst just as they were wrapping up. Clarke was taking some vitals to report back to her mother when a new voice came on the line. "Ms. Griffin, now that the boy has been seen to, we would appreciate an update on the situation."
Clarke and Bellamy both stiffened at Security Chief Kane's voice, although for different reasons. The voice continued. "It's fortunate that the group has survived under your leadership-"
"I'm not in charge down here." Clarke cut him off. Bellamy waited for it. The second they found out he had taken over. She met his eyes over Finn's body and, damn it, Bellamy couldn't help but plead with her silently. Please don't, please don't-
"Well, could you please put-"
"Mr. Kane," Clarke cut him off again. She was staring at Bellamy, her face going slack for a moment before she recovered. He'd spent a good bit of time since they hit dirt learning her moods. It was self-defense. And, Bellamy Blake had absolutely no idea what she was thinking right now. "I'm not in charge down here." She took a deep breath. "And neither are you. We appreciate you allowing your doctor to aid us in tending to our wounded." Her voice, though not raised, carried over the crowd. "But, the present leadership situation is not up for discussion and not your business."
He sucked in a breath as her mother's voice rang out once more. "Clarke, are you safe? You don't have to-"
"No, I don't." Which was true. Bellamy couldn't get her to do shit if she didn't want to. Clarke, microphone still on, still staring at him, continued. "And I am safe. As much as anyone down here. Our present leadership is doing the best that he can. I trust him, and that won't change."
Octavia used to look at him like that. Before masquerades and airlocks. Like he could make any wrong in the world hurt a little less. Like Bellamy Blake meant something. His eyes widened, and even knowing that everyone was watching, he couldn't help but stare back in shock. Because she just declared him worthy of leading this band of delinquents. Clarke had just declared him – Something. In public. To the Ark. And her mom.
Surprisingly, it was Chancellor Jaha who responded. "Understood, Miss Griffin. As a gesture of good faith -" Bellamy stiffened, noticing Clarke did as well. "is there any other help that we can provide?" That we would accept, Bellamy added.
"I will consult with the others." She motioned to Raven on the radio. "Our equipment needs some work. We will try to re-establish contact in a few hours."
"We await further contact."
"And Chancellor? I expect that everyone on the Ark is aware that you pardoned us all." Clarke emphasized the last word, adding. "No matter our crimes."
"Of course." With that, Clarke removed the headset, handing it off to Raven.
He'd expected to fight the others to get control. To protect his sister. To fight the grounders and the mutants and anything else the world threw at them. Because Blakes did that for every scrap that they had. Bellamy never expected that someone handing him authority and safety (and trust) could feel as satisfying as going out and taking it.
Bellamy folded his arms, feeling the presence of everyone on the drop-ship behind him. Knowing that he would never, ever be rid of her now. Every vent-rat, every ration-thief, every petty and not so petty criminal on the ship who'd never been chosen first by anyone ever. And, when push came to shove, Clarke had chosen them. Him.
A few days ago, he would have been be furious. In all honestly, he was surprised how little anger he felt. Because as his sister and the others looked on in shock, Clarke Griffin tidied up the medical supplies like she hadn't just defused one bomb and set off about a dozen more. Brave princess.
"Reinhold, Monty, Raven, Anna. Get with Clarke and make sure we take maximum advantage of the the Ark's generosity." A snicker rose from the shadows at his mocking tone. "I want us to get everything we can on ground conditions and any tips we can get to survive. Put together a list of what we need to know."
Clarke's very deliberate shuffling of supplies took on a decidedly pleased undertone. Good. Bellamy knew it wasn't quite enough. But, it would do for a start and he needed time to think. "Jensen, Michael and Mouse. With me, let's see how much damage the storm's done to the camp."
As they exited through the crowd, he pretended not to see his sister's grin. A pain in the ass, like always.
No one had noticed her hands shaking. Clarke supposed that she should be thankful for small favors. Like Bellamy very pointedly being any place else for a little while. Because she didn't know what would have happened if he kept looking at her like - She had just told the Ark to suck it. Clarke took a steadying breath. Well, not actually suck it. But, God, close enough. And she had done it for Bellamy Blake!
She hadn't meant to. He'd never believe that. But, she hadn't. When she'd been all business with her mom, Clarke could feel his smirk as they worked. Not that he was actually smirking, they were operating on Finn and it was serious. But, underneath, she could feel him. Way to go, princess. Stick it to the man. Ugh.
She gestured to a bowl of used bandages, expecting Jasper or Octavia to take them away. Instead, some bulky kid who usually hung out with Bellamy's hunters took it. "I'll take care of that." His tone was a respectful whisper.
That was when she realized how quiet it was. The drop-ship had one hundred (ninety) people it – it was never quiet. Blinking she looked up to find one hundred (ninety) teenagers staring back, including Jasper and Octavia. Everyone had serious expressions, many of them looking at her with respect for the first time since they landed. Except Octavia. She bounced in place, giddy. Clarke straightened. Might as well make use of the situation. "Who wants to help clean up?"
They had more volunteers then she'd ever remembered. When the kids realized that the medical supplies were as cleaned up as they were going to get, people were actually going up to Monty and asking what else they could do to help. Clarke let herself sulk a little. It only took telling the Ark to stuff it to get them to come together. God, she hated it when Bellamy was right.
She frowned. Not like him to dodge out of a chance to prove her wrong. Clarke's frown deepened. Except he'd done it twice now. After a day like today, she didn't need Bellamy being weird on top of everything else.
"Hey." Octavia appeared by her side, still clearly pleased.
Clarke fidgeted. "Hey."
"Thank you." Octavia cut off her attempt to play dumb. "Don't. You-" She breathed for a moment. "My brother-" The girl shuffled her feet for a moment before hugging Clarke quickly. "Thank you." She whispered again before pulling away. Clarke didn't meet her eyes but gave the girl a nod.
She had to get away from the crowd. Because she could feel it as surely as if they all screamed it. Why? Why? Clarke was grateful that Octavia couldn't bring herself to ask. But, she knew that Bellamy, when he got back, when they got a moment, would ask- no, demand to know. Clarke winced at the pile of used bandages. "I'm going to check the storeroom again. Be back in a few."
She ducked into the crowd, hoping to disappear. But they parted for her. Like they do for Bellamy. She gave curt nods to people who usually treated her like the only mom at a party before seeing it. A ladder. She grabbed the nearest arm. Some skittish kid. "Is the storm still going on?"
The kid gulped, shaking his head. "No, just a little bit of rain now." Clarke smiled in thanks before turning to the ladder.
I've never been up here. Despite the weather, the view was actually quite nice. Free of the press of all those people, she sat down on the wet metal near the hatch. She needed a few minutes to get herself together. To accept what she'd just done. To have some idea what she'd say when Bellamy inevitably got over his shock and confronted her about this.
"Princess." Clarke couldn't help rolling her eyes. Of course. She turned, watching him approach and sit beside her.
"How did you get-"
"Ladder." He grinned mockingly at her for a moment. Then, Bellamy let the humor fade, watching her seriously. "Shouldn't you be downstairs enjoying your victory?"
Clarke snorted. "Shouldn't you be downstairs enjoying yours?" Bellamy nodded at that, apparently not offended at her tone. For once.
"So-" He drew out the word, let the question rise up out of the sound. The change in tactics surprised and cut any lies off before she had a chance to form them. Clarke expected him to come at her angry, like always. Blakes are like that. In your face and in your space and never, ever being sensible. Wanting to know her game, wanting to know...everything.
She takes in the view before answering. She wished she had more time. To come up with an answer that he'd believe. Because the truth...Doesn't make any sense at all. When she'd looked at him with Kane's voice in her ear, Bellamy's eyes had begged her even though he would never admit it. And she imagined what being down here would be like without him. What the last ten days could have been without him pushing and taunting and - Dealing with Murphy (and Charlotte) without him. Dealing with Wells' death without him barking in the background for a burial team. Dealing with the grounders and people maimed by acid fog. Dealing with the others who just hated the Ark and everything it represented.
It was an unbearable, unthinkable possibility. And if anyone at the Ark or on the ground tried to make it true, Clarke would never, ever accept it. And they needed to know that. Because there were too many problems down here for them to waste time fighting over who was in charge. Or who shot the Chancellor.
Clark nodded to herself before speaking. "You're the best hunter here." She felt Bellamy's stare. "The others listen to you." She fidgeted with the hem of her jacket. "We have enough problems."
He snorted. She turned to find raised eyebrows. He wasn't yelling but he may as well have been. Clarke frowned, noting that sceptical look or not, this made Bellamy grin. He shifted, facing her. Clarke noticed something in him brighten. It was the kind of look that usually meant he was about to do something foolish and reckless and selfish and-
"I used to read my sister bedtime stories."
Clarke blinked the apparent subject change. Despite herself, her frown faded. Making her suspicion clear, she gestured for him to continue.
His grin widened and his posture regained some of its usual cockiness. "A lot of princesses." He looked away and back at her. "Lot of princes, too. Before, it seems princes had to hide a lot." He leaned over whispering conspiratorially. "Evil uncles, bad wizards, dangerous rebels." His eyes twinkled at the last one. Clark knew exactly what category Bellamy Blake thought that he belonged in.
"But, there was a certain kind of prince." His voice softened, taking a wistful quality that usually only Octavia got to hear. Bellamy looked away again before continuing. "That didn't believe he was a prince, not really. He had hidden so long, that he forgot."
"Some princes are idiots." Clarke couldn't help herself. He glanced back at her and she half-hoped that he'd pick a fight with her now. Give her back something normal and sensible and when had Bellamy Blake ever done any such thing? Instead, he did it again.
Clarke had been staring at him then. When she told the Ark, that he was in charge or else...While deliberately not letting them find out the guy that shot the Chancellor was actually leading them. Because Kane would be stupid about it. And they needed the Ark's help. The Ark would accept it (him) in time because Clarke knew that her mother would make them. In that moment, she had seen Bellamy Blake stare back. Only it wasn't a look that she had ever seen before. The closest was when he was with Octavia but even that wasn't exactly right. And here it was once more. An expression that did not, could not belong on Bellamy Blake's face. Especially when looking at her. Because that's how her Dad had looked at her Mom and-
"Sometimes, princesses " She ground out the word. " just want someone to stop being an idiot. To start to being -" Clarke gestured with her hands. "Something." She poked him with an elbow. "Someone who is, of course, being uncooperative."
Bellamy shifted closer. "Something." He rolled the word out slowly, like he was savoring it. "That's good. Better than nothing." His voice tried for casual. Please. Bellamy Blake was about as casual as a log to the face.
That was one thing he always got wrong. Thinking that she didn't understand what it was like to not be seen. But, that was actually a piece of him that made perfect infuriating sense. Children of Councillors were children of privilege. Even if she could have denied it before being dropped, she couldn't now. But there was something cruel is showing children the levers of control and never, ever letting them wield any of it, not even over their own futures.
Clarke decided to take his approach, be direct. "So, how long can a truce between us really last?"
"A while." He met her incredulous stare with a smile so bright, that Clarke's heart stopped. He elbowed her gently, adding. "We have enough problems."
Clarke let out a hysterical giggle before she could stop herself. She glanced up at Bellamy who looked absurdly pleased with himself. Well, I guess he should. He's king of the world now.
Just then, the sun broke through the clouds bathing them in light. Her chest tightened and Clarke felt like the light shined right down into them both. No shadows. No where to hide. She saw the moment Blake realized it too. He stiffened, confidence ever so slightly ebbing out of him. Because he wasn't used to being seen either. Because he didn't believe that he could withstand it. Because he was very, very wrong and Clarke's job was to keep Bellamy from being this extremely wrong about things.
"What?" He asked, defensive. Clarke sighed at the familiarity before replying.
"Something." The look was back, confidence turned on like a switch.
"Oh?" As casual as a log to the face. He took a deep breath, before grabbing her hand and dragging her upright. "Let's not waste it, then, yeah?"
Once upon a time, a princess and a prince (although he didn't believe it at first) were trapped in a broken, dangerous land. And they lived happily ever after...