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time is the fire in which we burn

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Bellamy finds her in the med bay as she’s going over inventory.


He had been at one of the bunkers, collecting supplies, when Kane had radioed that the others were back. He had quickly wrapped up the mission, thankful that the two guards accompanying him worked fast.


He stops in the doorway for a second, relishing in the fact that he gets to see her again. He takes his time wandering his gaze from her golden hair to the slope of her nose, taking in her focused profile as she counts bandages and jots something down in her notebook. He’s been standing there for a while and she’s so engrossed in what she’s doing that she doesn’t even look up until he softly clears his throat.


Clarke’s head snaps up and she smiles so warmly at him that his heart breaks a little at the sight. We’re running out of time.


“You’re back.”


Clarke drops the herbs and her pen, and swiftly crosses the room to hug him. As her arms go around his neck, they both give a sigh of relief. It wasn’t the last time. But it could be, any moment now could be their last, and Bellamy doesn’t know how to live with that truth hanging above them. Praimfaya is coming much faster than they anticipated and even if Raven and Abby make it back in time, it’s going to be a close call. He doesn’t want to die before making sure she knows.


Like their other hugs, this one feels like it lasts a lifetime but ends too soon. They pull away at the same time and he knows the relief in her eyes is mirrored in his own. Their gazes linger for slightly longer than they’re used to, so Clarke breaks the moment by stepping back and starting to give him updates.


“We received a signal from Raven a couple hours ago. She should radio in by tonight, hopefully, and then – “


“Hey.” Bellamy softly interrupts her. She has a slight frown on her face as he takes a step towards her to close the distance between them. “I’m glad I could see you again.”


He knows what’s coming next, that she’ll stop him and shake her head and say “of course we would”, but he can’t let her this time. He knows he’s going back out there soon to try to find Octavia – black rain or not. He can’t leave without saying what he has to say.


Just like he predicts, Clarke tilts her head at him and starts, "Bellamy–". He feels like it’s now or never, and he is so scared of never when it comes to Clarke.


“Everything’s happening so fast, Clarke. I mean, we thought we had six months, and look at us. It’s barely been a month and Praimfaya is almost here. I just – I can’t shake the idea that we’re running out of time.”


“No, Bellamy.“ Clarke is shaking her head vehemently now, and he can see the tears in her eyes. “We’re not saying goodbye.”


“Clarke.” He looks at her and he never wants to say goodbye. He never wants to see tears in her eyes, never wants her to be afraid, never wants to leave her side. But he’s going to have to, and he needs her to know. He has a feeling she does, when she closes her eyes and a few tears slip out.


Breaking an unsaid rule that he only broke once before when he tried to rescue her from Roan, he reaches for her face to wipe the tears. Clarke looks up at him.


“Clarke, you have to know.” His voice breaks, so he tries to swallow the knot in his throat.


Her breath hitches and he realizes he doesn’t have to say anything else. She knows, everything he wanted to say to her, every word, every feeling he never said out loud but showed in his every action, she knows.


It still takes him by surprise when she reaches for his neck and pulls him down, touching her forehead to his. Her hand finds the hair at the nape of his neck. They both close their eyes, his thumb still gently brushing her cheek.


“I do.” He can feel her breath on his lips as she whispers the words. “That’s why I need you to live. Please, Bellamy.”


He opens his eyes then and sees her looking at him, wrecked but determined.


“We will see each other again, no matter what happens.”


She slides her hand deeper into his hair, closing the distance between them, and seals her promise with a kiss. It’s tender and full of sorrow, and despite her words, he thinks about how a first kiss can feel like goodbye.


He never wants it to end, but it does. It’s Clarke, and he’s always been afraid of never when it comes to her.