Clarke would be lying if she said that she didn't find Bellamy Blake attractive. They had grown up together - she had watched him turn from a dorky, gap toothed nine year old into a teenager, watched as he grew into his too long limbs as he moved from 13, to 14, and 15. He had been a cute kid, sure, they had all the pictures to prove it, but he had grown into one hell of a teenager.
Bellamy was the high school rockstar. He played on the lacrosse team - who had won state finals last semester - and he always seemed to have a gaggle of tall, thin blonde girls following him around.
Once, she had seen Tammy Matthews get visibly upset when Bellamy hadn't been the one to serve her in their towns one and only coffee shop. He had that kind of affect on girls. People, really, because she knew full well there was at least three guys in her English class that wanted to pin him against a wall and see if he was a good a kisser as the rumour mill suggested.
Sure. She knew Bellamy was attractive. When he became the guy she obsessed over, she wasn't entirely sure.
Clarke wasn't much of a dater. A bad experience in freshman year (how was she supposed to know Finn Collins had a girlfriend? It was a small town, everyone went to JW High, didn't they? Apparently not Raven Reyes).
They had moved past that, eventually. It had all blown up for Finn when Raven transferred to JW, and Clarke had spent a week in hiding before Octavia coaxed her back to school with the promise of a protection detail. It had been nearly two years, and now Clarke considered Raven a , too, although the three of them had Chemistry together freshman year, and it led to some awkward conversations the first few weeks.
She couldn't help but smile, remembering Jasper's 'fix it all' suggestion.
"Threesome Clarke! Its the only logical answer."
Despite previous bad experience however, Clarke found herself staring at the back of Bellamy's head as he cleared a table in the Coffee Bean, wondering if she was every going to be anything other than Octavia's best friend to him.
"Clarke, earth calling Clarke. Are you still with us?"
Clarke snapped out of her thoughts, looking around their packed table. "Huh?"
Jasper was looking at her, laughing. "You're lost in your thoughts today Clarkey."
"I thought we agreed that Clarkey wasn't going to stick past middle school Jas." Clarke said, taking a sip of her coffee. "And I'm not lost in my thoughts."
"You totally are! You've been staring off into space for the past five minutes. You missed Jasper's whole big spiel on how he was planning on starting a crystal meth production line at school." Raven said.
"First of all Jas, no." Clarke said. "And I'm just thinking about college applications, I guess."
"Clarke." there was a unanimous groan.
"We're juniors Clarke." Octavia said. "Enjoy high school for now, and then start thinking about college."
"Its never too early to start thinking about college." Clarke muttered.
"Come on Clarke, you've been talking about going to Virginia State since we were kids." Jasper said. "Its all you've ever wanted."
"I think you'd be wasted on VSU."
Clarke looked up to see Bellamy standing at their table, a dish full of dirty cups in his hands. "Its a good school."
"Sure." Bellamy nodded. "But you've been the poster girl for JW's academic hall of fame since you started. You could look far beyond VSU."
Clarke shook her head. "I want to go there."
"Course you do." Bellamy didn't sound convinced. "You guys want anything else?"
"I would love another coffee Bell." Octavia said sweetly.
"I love you O, but I can't give away freebies." Bellamy said. "You can have another coffee if you pay for another one."
"Ugh." Octavia groaned, but reached for the crumpled ten dollar bill that was in her pocket. "You want something Clarke? I owe you a coffee from last week."
"I don't break promises." Octavia interrupted. "She'll have a skinny vanilla latte Bell."
"Coming right up."
Clarke watched as he walked away, his muscular frame easily visible under the thin material of the Coffee Bean's uniform t-shirt. She couldn't take her eyes off him as he slipped behind the counter, his attention on the coffee machine.
She was a goner.
"Clarkey, can you pull yourself out of dreamland for a second and focus on homecoming and how we're going to get completely fucked up without the chaperones noticing?"
"Sorry." Clarke said, focusing on Jasper and Octavia, and their masterplan. "I'm listening."
The next time she sees Bellamy outside of school, or the Coffee Bean is actually at homecoming. Clarke isn't exactly feeling comfortable, the burn of straight vodka lingering in her throat from their little pre-party, a hip flask strapped to her thigh, thanks to Octavia.
Sometimes she wondered why she was friends with that girl.
(that was a lie. octavia blake was the greatest friend she would ever have.)
(octavia was her sister, really. soul sister.)
The hall was too packed, and there was too many sweaty, drunken high school students dancing (badly) for her liking, and Clarke needed some air. Hand on her bag, she pushed her way through the crowd, feeding one of the teachers chaperoning the bathroom excuse.
The cool night air was refreshing as she walked out one of the emergency exits. She had always loved the weather in Virginia - autumn was never excessively cold, and she didn't need anything more than a hoodie.
Not that she had one right then. Clarke was wearing a deep purple dress Octavia had practically made her buy, her feet shoved into a pair of glittery heels. She didn't have anything against getting dressed up, but she felt uncomfortable tonight.
"Party get too much for you, princess?"
Clarke looked up to see Bellamy sitting on one of the walls by the school carpark, suit jacket tossed aside. "Something like that. You?"
"I think Tammy Matthews is trying to sexually assault me."
"She really likes you."
Bellamy shrugged. "I don't like her."
"Don't be so mean!"
"How is it mean? If a guy was doing it to her, they'd be considered a creep. I don't see why it can't be the same for her."
"Sexism and double standards in society?"
Bellamy laughed. "Something like that."
Clarke hauled herself up on the wall, pulling her hair down out of the intricate bun Octavia had twisted it up into. "She's kind of a creep anyway."
"Why," Clarke asked after a pause. "Are school dances always so awful?"
"Because they're school dances?" Bellamy laughed.
"High school looks so much more fun in movies." Clarke sighed.
"Are we friends?"
"I don't know. I'm a little drunk." Clarke said. "Well, tipsy. I'm curious and brave enough to ask, is what I'm trying to say."
"Of course we're friends Clarke. We've know each other forever.""We don't talk."
"Doesn't mean we're not friends."
"I just… I want to be something other than Octavia's best friend to you."
"You're not O's best friend to me. You're Clarke."
They lapsed into silence.
"Do you want a drink?"
"We're in a carpark princess."
Clarke grinned, hiking her dress up around her thighs, revealing the hip flask. "Your sister is creative."
"Seriously." Clarke unscrewed the cap, taking a drink. "I don't even know what that is." She grimaced, the alcohol too strong as it hit the back of her throat.
Bellamy took the hip flask from her, taking a swig. "Jesus. That stuff could blind you."
"I think Jasper brews it in his bedroom…"
"That kid needs help."
Clarke took another drink. "Numbs everything though."
"Why does everything need to be numbed?"
"There's 1147 people living in this town."
Clarke shrugged. "Maybe I don't like small towns."
"Says the girl who's planning on going to VSU - less than an hour away."
"Don't pick on my college choices Blake. Like you're any better."
"I don't want to go to college." Bellamy said. 'I never intended to."
"You're smart enough to."
"So? I don't want to go." Bellamy said. "Anyway, this conversation is about you princess. You could go Ivy League."
Clarke snorted. "I'm small town smart."
"Like hell you are." Bellamy said. "I've heard you and Jasper get all science-y and shit. You're far beyond small town smart."
"But." Clarke said, pausing to take another sip. "What if I leave here, and go to some big fancy school, and it turns out that the JW academic hall of fame was as good as it gets?"
"You'll never know if you don't leave."
"Maybe not knowing is the better option."
Bellamy took the flask. "The world's a lot bigger than Bowman, Virginia."
"Bigger is scarier." Clarke said. "1147 people, one high school, two elementary schools, a grocery store and a coffee shop. My world doesn't need to be bigger."
"I thought you didn't like small towns."
"I like Bowman."
"You're being a coward." Bellamy said, in a matter of fact manner.
"Says you, Mister I don't want to go to college."
"I'm not scared. I can leave this place any time I want to. I just don't want to go to college."
"And I just don't want to leave Bowman." Clarke replied, coughing mid swallow. "God, this stuff is awful."
Bellamy laughed, the sound a welcome break in their otherwise serious conversation. "Yeah, its bad."
The two of them fell into another, more comfortable silence, taking turns to swig from the hip flask full of fuck knows what.
"We're friends Bellamy, right?"
"Yeah. We are."
(friends. more than she had yesterday.)
They didn't have a normal friendship.
Not like the friendship she had with Octavia, or Jasper. Not like the loud, rowdy friendship Bellamy had with Miller, and rest of the lacrosse team. They didn't eat lunch together, or go on shopping trips.
But she knew they were friends.
Clarke knew Bellamy was her friend, and that was all that mattered.
Of course, being friends just meant that she was getting even more obsessed with him.
For the first time in their high school careers, Clarke had tagged along with Raven when she went to watch the lacrosse team play a match. She sat on the bleachers, wearing a blue and white JW jersey she had borrowed from Octavia, cheering in all the right places and beaming at Bellamy when he looked up at the stands, acknowledging her presence with a grin, and a nod.
She was glad Raven bought her excuse of 'trying to show more school pride', because explaining that she just wanted to watch Bellamy run up and down a field for a good hour would have been horrendously awkward.
None of her friends knew about her little crush.
She had left Raven to talk tactics with the squad after the game, choosing to walk home instead. She didn't exactly know much about lacrosse, and the post game breakdown was more Raven's thing.
"Princess, wait up."
Clarke paused mid step, and looked around to see Bellamy jogging behind her. His hair was damp with sweat, his gear slung over one shoulder. "Hey Bellamy." She squeaked, hoping he didn't notice her gaze linger on his broad chest for a second too long.
"I didn't know you liked lacrosse."
"Just, supporting my friend." Clarke offered, not quite making eye contact.
She didn't know if she'd done the right thing until two weeks later, when she spotted Bellamy in the audience at a public speaking competitions she, and Monty were representing the school in. The smile on her face when she stood up to talk about nuclear warfare was completely inappropriate, but it was worth it when she saw Bellamy clapping harder than everyone else when she had delivered her speech.
(their friendship wasn't normal.)
(it was better than that.)
It was Halloween when Clarke caught Bellamy looking at her the way she looked at him.
Peter Cartwright was throwing yet another 'epic' (Clarke used the term loosely) Halloween party, and the entirety of their high school was in his house, red cups in hand, costumes on.
"I feel like I'm in a bad high school movie."
"If you'd loosen up and have fun, you'd enjoy it more." Octavia said. "Come on, you deserve some fun Clarkey."
It was hard to take Octavia seriously when she was pouting at her from underneath about eighteen layers of make up and a catsuit, but Clarke nodded.
"Yes! I think they're playing drinking games in the front room, lets play a round."
Octavia led her through the crowd, and Clarke couldn't help but admire the sheer amount of jaw drops her best friend was getting. Octavia looked incredible all the time, but she went all out on Halloween. The catsuit clung to her every curve, her long, dark hair cascading down her back in loose waves.
"What are we playing then?"
"Spin the bottle."
"Tammy, what are we? Twelve?" Octavia rolled her eyes.
"Are you playing or not Octavia?" Tammy snapped.
"We're playing." Octavia said decisively, her and Clarke joining the circle. Clarke scanned the group, trying to figure out whether or not she should run - Atom (weird name but a good guy) Tammy (certified crazy person) Munroe (plays for the soccer team. Unbelievable hair braiding skills) Bellamy -
Clarke looked at him nervously, feeling incredibly self conscious all of a sudden. She was wearing one of Octavia's black dresses, going for the whole sexy spy thing - apparently, anyway. Clarke thought she looked more like a high class stripper, but according to Octavia both worked.
He was looking at her intently, and it felt like he was undressing her with his eyes.
She shouldn't enjoy it.
(She was enjoying it.)
"I'll go first." Tammy said, her gaze flickering to Bellamy, who didn't even notice. She spun the bottle, and it landed on Peter, who grinned widely, knocking back a shot.
"Lets go, Tamster."
"Don't ever call me that again." Tammy said, and kissed him lightly, pulling away after a second.
"You'll love me some day Tammy."
Peter simply grinned, spinning the bottle again. "Atom, my man. Is our friendship strong enough?"
"Shut up Cartwright." Atom kissed his friend quickly, pulling away and grabbing the bottle. He spun it before Peter had a chance to make another comment, and it landed on Octavia.
Octavia looked incredibly happy as she leaned in to kiss Atom, their kiss lasting far longer than the previous few.
"I don't need to see this." Bellamy grumbled.
"Chill out Bell." Octavia grinned wickedly. "I've done worse."
"Never say anything like that ever again."
Octavia ignored her brother, spinning the bottle. It landed on Clarke, and she couldn't help but laugh as Octavia exaggeratedly leaned in, pressing a light kiss to her lips. "Love you Clarkey."
"Love you too O." Clarke laughed, taking the bottle. She wasn't praying for it to land on Bellamy (she was) but she couldn't help her stomach flipping as it came to an agonisingly slow stop in front of - Peter.
She kissed him quickly, and pulled back to her position on the floor next to Octavia. The game continued without anything to eventful happening for another few minutes before Clarke stood up.
"I'm just going to go to the bathroom." Clarke reassured Octavia. "Stay here, I'll come find you in a minute."
She pushed out of the room, making her way upstairs to the bathroom.
She shouldn't be upset it didn't land on Bellamy.
Clarke sat on the edge of the bath, trying to pull herself together. She wasn't the girl who obsessed over a guy, and here she was, doing it. She might have grown up with Bellamy, and O, but she knew barely anything about her best friend's older brother.
She knew nine year old Bellamy, not nineteen year old Bellamy.
Clarke looked up to see Bellamy standing in the doorway of the bathroom, the same intense look he was wearing during spin the bottle, still on his face. "I just needed a breather."
He stepped inside the bathroom, closing the door behind him. Bellamy was wearing a simple shirt and jeans, the sleeves of his shirt pushed up to his elbows. It was purple, a colour not too unlike her homecoming dress.
Was he even wearing a costume?
"Who are you dressed up as?" Clarke blurted.
"Hawkeye." Bellamy grinned. "In casual clothes."
"So you didn't dress up?"
He shrugged. "Why would I?"
"Its Halloween." Clarke said. "Even I dressed up."
Clarke's cheeks flushed bright red. "I look like a stripper, don't I?"
"You look amazing." Bellamy said, sitting down next to her on the edge of the bath.
"Yeah." Bellamy confirmed, and before Clarke could say anything else, his lips were on hers. He tasted like tequila and beer, his lips as soft as the rumour mill suggested. She lost herself in the kiss, a gentle hand at the back of her neck.
She couldn't help but grab a fistful of his shirt, trying to pull herself closer. It felt like every one of her nerve endings was being set alight, exhilaration spreading through her body in waves.
Clarke was kissing Bellamy.
His chest was hard under her hands, his lips soft and his dark mop of hair even softer as her fingers twisted into the curls at the base of his neck. He might have tasted like alcohol, but he tasted like something else too.
He tasted like a beginning.
authors note: so, i accidentally wrote another AU instead of finishing my other fic. i'm honestly not even sorry - this is written in a different style than i would usually write, i think, so i hope you liked it. its not going to be a long one, and its all written already (thats a thing) so i'll update daily until its done! i hope you actually like this (because it would be really awkward if you don't)
feedback is much appreciated!
(also, this song was inspired by the betty who song 'heartbreak dream.' just so you know.)