Based off the released photo around the campfire.
Shaw is good at watching people without being obvious.
Living with criminals helped master that skill. And though he is accepted as "part of the group" now a days, he can't help but notice some still being a bit hesitant with words when he's in the room. So, if he is found starring when he's just really trying to observe the new people now in his life, he's sure it wouldn't earn him brownie points.
So Shaw sits quietly, looking at the fire but really not looking at Clarke.
She's the one he's had the least contact with so far. Sure, there were the moments back on Earth, but they weren't good ones. He had extended kindness to her, though, when she had been kept prisoner in her own home and Shaw knows she remembers that. So Clarke is cordial to him, only a little weary of him being too close to Madi, and other than that generally just leaves him alone. Which, really, means a lot since those who don't want to leave him alone are those who still don't exactly trust him.
Shaw had volunteered to join the first journey onto the planet with Clarke and Bellamy, as the others had other duties that required them elsewhere. Echo quickly jumped at the task as well, and so here they were. And here was Shaw, observing whatever the hell was going on in front of him.
Bellamy was relaxed in Ehco's arms, her hands weaving through his dark hair as they both stared absently into the fire. Clarke was off to the side of them, rubbing her hands and trying, and failing, to not keep glancing at them every five seconds. Her lips were slightly curled in a scowl, her back stiff, and she just looked quite put off to be in the couple's vicinity.
Raven has tried to fill him in on the relationships, platonic and otherwise, within the group.
"Clarke and Bellamy…are Clarke and Bellamy."
"And that mean's what exactly?"
"Look, they're a whole can of worms that I really don't care to open right now. Just know that they're like attached at the hip basically."
"Yeah, that's going to be interesting to watch."
"So, they've dated?"
"No, but they act like it."
"Married and all the good and bad that applies."
"Raven this isn't making any sense."
"And so you understand the thing that is Clarke and Bellamy."
Shaw still isn't sure what the two are to each other. Obviously, they're the leaders their people look to, so there is a partnership there. But then, beyond that, well, he guesses he'll just have to wait and see.
And he is seeing a lot now.
Clarke and Bellamy may have never dated, according to Raven, but there are definitely feelings there. It's more than obvious, to him at least, that Clarke is none too happy Bellamy is now spoken for.
"I'm going to take a walk around our perimeter."
Bellamy is immediately up and aware, Echo's arms falling to her sides. Shaw notices the slight narrowing of her eyes.
"No, you're not. Clarke, this is an unknown planet at night. We don't know what's out there."
"Which is why someone should be keeping watch." She counters, already rising to her feet. "I won't go far. Just around the perimeter we set up."
"Then I'm going with you-"
"Bellamy," Echo said through clenched teeth. "I'm sure-"
Shaw knows this conversation is going to lead nowhere good, and though it would be interesting to watch, it probably wasn't a good idea for them to raise their voices on the unknown planet. At night.
"I'll go with her." He announces, jumping up before Bellamy can.
Bellamy looks at him with uncertainty. This isn't the look of the ones who don't trust Shaw quite yet, though. Bellamy had warmed up to Shaw almost immediately. No, Shaw is sure the look of distrust in his eyes right now would be given to anyone who was going off with Clarke with the possibility of danger around the corner.
"Just around the perimeter," Shaw reminds.
Bellamy frowns but nods his head. He falls back against Echo, who is frowning herself, and the comfortable and relax aurora the two had moments ago is completely gone.
Clarke doesn't wait for him, silently marching away. Shaw follows, speeding up a little so they can walk side by side.
Once they are out of ear shot of the camp, Shaw says and a silent Hail Mary and says, "You know, you could just talk to him about it."
Clarke glares at him. "Excuse me?"
"And what would I be talking to Bellamy about?"
"Whatever issue you have with him and Echo."
She rounds on him, stopping their path. "I do not have an issue with them."
Shaw was never one for beating around the bush. He likes honesty and being direct in conversations, and he wasn't going to sugar coat anything for Clarke and whatever issue she was working through. "You do. Maybe it's not obvious, but anyone who takes a minute to look a little closer can see it."
"Look, you don't know me-"
"I don't, you're right. But from what I heard from Raven, the two of you are close. And if some kind of rift is going to form because something is bothering you, I don't think any of us can afford that right now."
Clarke's mouth widens slightly. "What do you mean by that?"
"Everyone looks to you two and we are all in uncharted territory right now. Everyone needs you and Bellamy to be one your game and lead us through this."
At that, Clarke quiets and even looks a bit guilty. Her eyes dart down to ground, the defensive stance she had just took sagging into something along the lines of defeat. "It's…complicated."
She scoffs. "You think it's that easy."
"If you two are actually that close, then you should be able to talk to him about it."
Crossing her arms across her chest, Clarke gives him a unimpressed look. "And what, exactly, do you think it is?"
"I'm sure, like you said, it's complicated. Being sent to Earth, it almost being destroyed how many times, then a six year separation? Yea, you all have the backstories of some messed up history book. And when he comes back, he comes back with Echo."
"Observant one, aren't you?"
Shaw shrugs. "Had to be considering the company I kept. I'm going to take a guess here and say that, maybe, you'd be hoping your reunion would have been a little different?"
Clarke is silent for a minute. She looks like she wants to talk about, but also run back to the camp and pretend it never happened. Finally, she releases out a whispered, but meaning "Maybe"
"Talk to him." Shaw implores. "Because you keep that bottled in, it's going to be ugly and twisted when it comes out. And it will come out."
"Oh really? Don't think I'm capable of just living with it?"
"I'm sure you're capable of living with a lot of things, Clarke." Shaw says, and not unkindly. He knows, from Raven, all the hellish situations they've been in. The hard choices that had to be made. The blood that will forever stains their hands. Clarke, more than any of them. And he won't say this, because they're not that close yet and she may not believe him, but Clarke doesn't deserve to carry any more shit around on her shoulders. They all deserve a second chance. Or fifteenth chance, really. They deserve a life and to be happy and God, he wants that so much too. Which is why when he met Raven, he fell so quickly. Because he respected her, liked her, and why the hell not act on that? "But you shouldn't have to." He settles on saying.
That seems to soften Clarke, who doesn't smile but it looks like she wants to. Instead, she nods her head, a silent acquiesce. "I…will. But not yet. There's too much going on."
"We're on an unknown planet," Shaw grins. "I think a lot is going to be going on the foreseeable future."
Clarke does grin at that, and then resumes their walk.
"I'm rooting for you, by the way."
Clarke looks questioningly at him. "Why's that?"
"Echo tried to get me killed, more than once. Stuff like that sticks with a man, Clarke."
They laugh quietly in the night, a small moment of reprieve that doesn't last as long as it should.