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How'd We Get In This Position

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When Clarke decides she needs to get the hell out of her current apartment, she has two goals: to live alone, and to own her own place.

If not for her family, both dreams would be out of reach. Like most millennials, she can cover rent from month to month, and if she could just get together enough for a down payment on a place, she could afford a mortgage too. Her mother could easily help her, but Abby is of the opinion that she's a self-made woman, and Clarke should be too, so she doesn't even ask, but luckily, she still has her father, and once she's found somewhere she likes, all she has to do is come up with a budget and a payment plan and talk to Jake, and he agrees that, yeah, it would be nice for her if she could own her own place, and he's happy to help out.

She knows how lucky she is, really. It's awesome.

Her last apartment was a cramped two-bedroom over a convenience store with two roommates who broke up while Clarke was living with them. She'd only been there for a year, but it was so awkward a month after the breakup that she was basically living in the hipster coffee shop around the corner while desperately looking for new jobs and new places to live. By the time she was moving, she hated everything about her old place, and anything would have felt like paradise by comparison.

But her new place really is a huge improvement. It's the third floor of a newly renovated buidling, the smallest unit but still so much more space than she had before. Even if it's smaller by square footage, it feels better, especially with no one to share it. She has a giant kitchen that she really will learn how to use, someday, a bedroom for herself and a spare room for guests, in-unit laundry, and a deck in the back. She gets a kitten her first weekend, and for a solid month she feels like she's dreaming, it's so nice. Even with the stress of figuring out the new job, when she gets home she can feel her whole soul get lighter.

Her favorite place is the deck, even though it's still a little cold for it. She gets a nice, soft chair and sits out there bundled up in her robe and slippers with a book, trying to ignore the kitten's huge, sad eyes at being abandoned inside.

It's there, on a mild night in late April, that she first sees her neighbor's dick.

"It was probably an accident, right?" she asks Roan, the next day. He's her expert on intentional male nudity.

He sips his tea in a deliberate way. "I'll need more information. Paint me a word picture."

"I'm not describing my neighbor's dick."

"You are more of a visual artist," he grants, magnanimous. "I'll take a drawing."

Clarke rolls her eyes. "He's got a big--" Roan leans forward, all anticipation, and Clarke wasn't trying to bait him, but now that she is, she might as well keep rolling with it. "Window. Facing my deck. Or, not quite facing? It's kind of on an angle, he might not know I can see, but we have other neighbors."

"I can't believe how little fun you're having with this."

"I'm not trying to have fun, I'm trying to figure out if it's going to happen again."

"Well, you should be trying to have fun." He drums his fingers on the table. "So, he was just in the window. Hanging out, as it were?"

Clarke groans. "Yeah. I just looked up and there he was. All of him."

"You can at least tell me if he's attractive. Generally speaking."

"I can't actually. I mean, he's definitely ripped, he looked good. But he was drying his hair, so I couldn't actually see his face. I don't even know which neighbor it was."

"So you're in something of a Cinderella situation."

"Where I'm looking for the owner of the dick I saw?"

"Are you not?"

"It might be better not knowing. So, what do you think?"


"On purpose? Accident?"

"How often do you consider if someone might be looking out their window at you in your apartment?"

It's an interesting question. Clarke is aware of her blinds when she's getting dressed, but she doesn't always remember them before she's dropped her towel. Granted, her bedroom doesn't really face any open windows next door, but it could. And she doesn't have to be naked to not think about people looking in. She rarely feels exposed walking down her hall, but she has a seat by the window in her spare room and she likes to sit there drawing, sometimes in nothing but a tank top and short shorts. It's not inappropriate, but she's never aware, when she's there, of the window next door, which could contain her naked neighbor, glancing over and seeing her.

"Not that often," she admits.

"If he was doing it for your benefit, I assume he would have lingered," he adds. "Or made a show of it."

"So, accident?"

"Yes. And I would assume it will happen again. He probably doesn't realize," he clarifies. "That you saw him. Which means he has no reason to stop doing what he's been doing. So, for your sake, I hope he looked good. This might not be your last eyeful."

He's clearly fishing for more information, and Clarke deliberately sips her coffee. "Thanks for your expertise."

He sighs. "Of course. Any time."


Clarke doesn't make it back out on the deck for a solid two weeks after the neighbor sighting. Not out of any fear of getting another look at his dick, just because it's either raining or looking like rain or too cold even for her to brave the outside. She sits inside listening to the sound of the raindrops on her roof and snuggling with her kitten and only periodically wondering if anyone is looking through her window and forming opinions of her.

She wonders much more regularly if the men she passes walking to and from the bus might be her neighbor, but it's an idle question, one without any real answer. For all she saw a lot of him, she didn't really get details. His skin was tan, but she couldn't pin down an exact shade. He was muscular, but she doesn't know what he'd look like with clothes on. Even without clothes, she'd mostly be looking for the hung guy who does some minimal manscaping. Which she's trying not to think about.

But once the rain clears up, the weather tips from cool to warm, and all of a sudden, she's not the only one out on the deck.

Of course, she's still the only one on her deck, but most of her neighbors have their own decks, and it's easy to see them from her own. It seems to be a fairly young neighborhood, which is nice, and even if Clarke hasn't made any friends yet, it doesn't seem impossible that she might, someday, be invited to some of the deck parties she sees other people having.

Even if she doesn't, she likes watching and eavesdropping, and the naked neighbors are her favorite targets.

From what she can tell, there are two guys who live in the third unit next door, and based on her somewhat vague memories, either one of them could have been the naked one. She would put them both in their late twenties or early thirties, and both are stupidly hot and could be ripped with nice dicks, for all she knows. From her surreptitious watching, she prefers the one with the messy hair and glasses, mostly because he spends more time on the deck. He goes out to eat his breakfast there on weekends, and he's the one who waters the plants that have started appearing. The other one usually only comes out in the evening, and they sit around with beers and will, occasionally, get worked up enough that Clarke can hear what they're arguing about, which is usually pop culture, and good pop culture. On Friday, they have a small gathering where the curly-haired guy gets drunk and rants about Emperor Caligula loud enough Clarke can hear most of it, and her heart flips over with weird longing.

She has friends, of course. But if she was trying to fill her deck for a gathering, she'd have to think pretty hard to get enough people.

It's not until June that she actually manages to interact with the neighbors, not that she was actually trying. If she makes eye contact with anyone, they'll sort of nod, but there's nothing really to say, as far as she's concerned. She's never been good at just talking to strangers, and she doesn't have a conversation to start.

But they do. "What are you planting?" Clarke hears, one Saturday morning, and she startles up from her new planter to see the curly-haired guy leaning on the railing of his deck, smiling at her. Unavoidably, her eye is drawn to his forearms, trying to compare them to the hazy recollections she has of the naked guy, but she can't really feel sure.

She also can't feel sure the guy he lives with isn't her boyfriend, so she definitely shouldn't be wondering if the nice dick she saw belongs to him.

"Nothing exciting," she says, straightening up and flashing him a smile. He's not close enough that she's speaking at a normal volume, but they aren't going to disturb the neighborhood. Still, she goes over to the edge of her own deck, mirroring his position. It's nice to actually be able to look at him without feeling weird about it. "It's just native seeds that are supposed to be good for bees."


She frowns. "Bees are important." Luna has given her a lot of lectures on this subject, and she's definitely a convert.

"No, not--that's cool, it's a good idea. I was just thinking I wasn't sure I'd really want to try to lure bees onto my deck."

Her defensiveness evaporates, and she laughs. "Well, I'm not trying to get wasps. Also, what plants are you growing that don't need bees?"

"Corn," he says, without missing a beat. "But I take your point."

"Corn doesn't need bees?"

"I pollinate my own corn. Which sounds weird, now that I'm saying it."

"I did bring it up. You can grow corn on your deck?"

"It's tall, not wide."

"So, you grow your own food?"

"Some of it. Corn, tomatoes, carrots, sugar snaps, strawberries, and some basic herbs." He smiles, shrugs a little. "I like gardening."

"And cooking, I guess," she says. "I wouldn't even know what to do with those."

"Most of them you can eat raw, if you want. But yeah, I do like cooking. And just having somewhere I can grow stuff. It's exciting."

"Yeah, I'm pretty excited too. Assuming I don't kill my wildflowers."

"I think those are pretty hard to kill. They're supposed to do okay without your help." He raises one hand, smiles with half his mouth. "I'm Bellamy, by the way."


"When did you move in?"

"End of March."

He nods. "Where are you coming from?"

"Downtown. That's why I'm so excited to have some actual outdoor space. And privacy, I had two roommates before."

"I like having a roommate," he says, glancing over his shoulder like he'll be able to see the other guy through the door. "But two would maybe be too much in our place."

Not dating, apparently, so she can check them out without feeling bad. At least until Bellamy mentions a significant other. "What's your roommate's name?"

"Miller. Or, uh, Nathan, I guess. Nate? Whatever, I call him Miller."

She has to smile. "I didn't think that was going to be a tough question."

"Yeah, I probably should be better at it." He smiles too, and he's really cute. "Well, uh--nice to meet you, Clarke. I hope you get a lot of bees."

She bites her lip on her smile. "Thanks. Me too."


The next time Clarke sees a naked person in the building next door, she knows it's Bellamy. It's a casual, easy kind of nakedness, one she sees just in passing. She's in her window seat sketching and Bellamy just walks by the window across from hers, looking straight forward, with a towel over his shoulders. He isn't wearing is glasses, which feels like a bizarre thing to notice when he isn't wearing anything, but that's her first thought. Then her eyes drift down, but the angle is wrong--or maybe right--and all she sees is his bare ass, which is very nice, and she wouldn't mind getting a better look, but he's already leaving her line of sight and disappearing into the rest of her apartment.

Me: How do I tell someone I can see them naked?

Raven: Like, in your mind?
You close your eyes and bang, naked?

Me: Like they need to close their blinds

Raven: Oh
Yeah, that makes more sense
You think they don't know?

Now that they've been introduced, Clarke and Bellamy do interact, after a fashion. They'll wave when they see each other on the deck, and Bellamy asks how her flowers are doing, and she'll ask him if he can eat anything he's growing yet, and it's not a friendship, but it's probably what it's like, having a neighbor. They're on friendly terms.

She still has no particular reason to think he wants her to see him naked or vice versa, but if he did, she thinks he probably wouldn't do it like this.

But she's asking Raven for a reason. Roan thought it wasn't on purpose, but Raven might think differently. More occurrences means she wants more opinions.

Me: You think my neighbor wants me to see him naked?

Raven: I don't know
But maybe he just doesn't really care?
Like he knows he's naked and it's not a big deal
I've definitely just wandered around in a towel and I know maybe someone could see but like who cares? I look good

Me: So I shouldn't tell him I can see him naked because you think he already knows I can see him naked so it doesn't matter?

Raven: I figure if he wants his blinds closed, he can close them
If you want to not see him naked, you can close your blinds, right?

Me: The first time I saw him, I was on my deck

Raven: Yeah, okay
Still jealous you've got a deck btw
Anyway if it was me? I wouldn't want to have the "hey I can see you naked from my deck" conversation
I'd just live with it
How much has this happened?

Me: Twice so far
That I've noticed
Maybe he does it a lot and I'm just not looking up at the right time

Raven: So you want to see him naked more?
Then you definitely shouldn't tell him
Keep on checking him out

Me: Now I have to tell him because I feel creepy

Raven: Is he hot?

Me: Definitely
Again, that doesn't make it better

Raven: Idk, it's probably better to see someone hot naked than someone not hot, right?
Like if I had to choose

Me: Or I could tell him that I can see him naked and hope he stops
It's weird!

Raven: I'm not saying it's not weird
Just that like
It's ALSO weird to go up to your neighbor and be like
Hey I just moved in next door and I've seen your penis
Just FYI

Me: We have talked
Not about the penis but we talk about plants

Raven: Perfect
Just be like, hey, what plant do you think your dick most resembles?
I've got my answer because I can see it from my window

Me: Tbh that's better than anything I came up with

Raven: What would you want him to say if he was seeing you naked?

That one stops her again, because it is a real question. She doesn't know if she'd want him to say, but she'd also feel weird if he had seen her and didn't tell her. Then again, it's only been twice. This is still in fluke territory.

Me: Third time's the charm, right?
He has one more, and then I tell him

Raven: Cool
Keep me posted
Have fun with your hot naked neighbor

Me: I'm trying


Clarke's air-conditioning isn't set up yet, which is one of those things she discovers when she's lying in a pile of sweat on her couch wondering why her AC isn't doing more. She goes downstairs to ask her perfectly nice neighbors who moved in last week if their AC is working, and then the first floor who moved in last month, and once they as a group establish that everyone's AC is on but doesn't seem to be doing anything, unit 1 texts the guy who sold them the units to see if there's something they're missing.

Clarke makes sure the cat has enough water and then goes out onto the deck to try to cool off. The temperature isn't much lower, but there's more of a breeze, and the sun will go down soon.


"Seriously, you're hanging out on your deck today?"

Clarke startles and sees Bellamy leaning on his railing again, shirtless and in sunglasses. It's a good thing she's not closer, because she wants to lick him.

"So are you."

"Yeah, but I don't have AC and my fan broke and I don't want to walk to the store. What's your excuse?"

"My AC doesn't work."

"Huh. I figured the whole point of buying a renovated unit was that everything would work."

"You would think. It's supposed to work, we're working on it."


"Me and the other units."

"Well, good luck with that."

"Are you going to put a shirt on?" she blurts out.

Bellamy looks down at himself, frowning a little. "That would kind of defeat the purpose of trying to cool off."

With care, she tries to thread the needle of normal conversation and this isn't my first time seeing your bare chest. "I'm still trying to figure out where the deck falls in terms of public/private space."

At least Bellamy doesn't seem to think it's weird. "Oh, yeah, that's kind of awkward. I think it's like a private beach."


"I think so? I've never been on a private beach, but--swimsuit level is fine, but we also all recognize that it's not public space. It's more about your comfort levels."

"I guess, yeah. It just feels private, and then I remember everyone can see me."

"Yeah, you get used to that. Do you want me to put on a shirt?"

He sounds like he'd actually do it, but it's not like his shirtlessness bothers her. She couldn't be friends with Roan if she had issues with shirtless guys generally, and Bellamy specifically looks really good.

"Nah," she says. "It's your private beach. Go ahead."

The next day, when it's still hot and the official story on the AC is that it's functional but needs to be hooked up and the contractor is booked for the next week or so, Clarke goes out to have dinner on her deck in a sports bra and shorts, trying not to feel weird about it. It's nothing she wouldn't wear to work out, but it also feels performative, like she's doing it for Bellamy's benefit. Not even to try to flirt, but just to even the score. If he sees her in her sports bra, it's kind of more okay that she's seen his dick twice, right?

Of course, he doesn't come out, and she starts getting chilly, so the whole exercise is a total wash.

It really shouldn't be this weird to have a neighbor. Miller doesn't cause her this much grief. The people who live in her actual building aren't this much of an issue. It's just Bellamy and his stupid smile and his stupid glasses and his stupid six-pack abs.

She goes out in the sports bra again three days later, but that's because it's so fucking hot she's losing brain function. She even brings the cat out, in a carrier, because he deserves fresh air too.

"I have beer," Bellamy says, and Clarke startles.

"How do you always sneak out?" she demands.

"I didn't think I did."

"I never notice you."

"Yeah, you always seem pretty busy." He smiles. "Anyway, we're having some friends over, if you want to come hang out. Drink cold beer and pretend it's nice out?"

"How many friends?" she asks, as a stall tactic. "If you get too many people up there the body heat is going to cancel out the breeze."

He shakes his head. "Not many. Miller's boyfriend, his best friend, my sister, her boyfriend. We should be able to hang out without overheating."

Ideally, she'd text Raven or Roan or Wells or someone for a consult, but it's not like she can really do that in the middle of a conversation. She just has to make her own decisions.

"When should I come over?"

"Whenever. You can come now, if you want."

She glances down at the cat carrier. Thomas is asleep and seems pretty happy. Honestly, he seemed mostly confused when she brought him out, like he didn't even realize he was overheating.

But still. She's going to be a responsible pet owner. "Let me figure out how warm it is in my unit and if my cat will be okay inside."

"You have a cat?"


"Miller's got a window AC unit, you could just bring the cat over to hang out in his room."

"You're volunteering your roommate's room for my kitten?"

He opens his mouth, pauses, and closes it. "Let me text him."

Clarke googles how hot is too hot for cats while Bellamy deals with that, and in the end she decides that the cat can safely stay home, but if it ever gets really hot and she's worried, Miller is happy to let her bring him over.

"I'm hoping I'm just going to have AC of my own soon," she points out. "But thanks. Let me just get on some clothes and I'll come over?"

"Sure," he says. "I'll be here."

Clarke has most of a six pack in her fridge, which seems like enough of a contribution to the party reserves on such short notice. She grabs that and a t-shirt and aggressively resists her nerves until she's next door, staring at the buzzer marked Blake/Miller.

Bellamy has a last name. Cool.

She rings the bell and hears the heavy footfalls coming down, and then suddenly there's Bellamy, right in front of her. He's not as tall as she thought he was, and he has freckles all over his face that she couldn't see from her deck.

She saw his dick before she saw his freckles; that's a new one.

"Hey," he says, with a big smile. "Thanks for coming over."

"My favorite kind of party is the one where I don't have to go far."

"Hey, you had to come down three flights of stairs and now you're going back up."

"Really just two flights."

"Still. Thanks for coming over anyway."

"I brought what's left of my beer."

"Even better."

She follows him upstairs, making notes of the differences between their two buildings. His clearly hasn't been renovated lately, and she wonders with a wince how long that will last, how long he and Miller will be able to rent here before some investor buys it and decides to flip it into luxury condos. It's one of those things she doesn't know how to change, personally, but she knows she benefits from it and is complicit in it.

"It's probably not as nice as yours," Bellamy warns, opening up the door, not helping at all.

But the actual unit is pretty nice. It's clearly not as new as Clarke's, but it's not run down or anything. The kitchen looks recently redone, with updated appliances and smooth marble counter tops. The rest of the living room is a little more worn-in, but clean and bright and open, a nice place. It could still be sold for condos, but it doesn't feel like cheap pickings.

"How long have you been here?"

"About three years now? But I'm not sure how much longer we'll last. Miller and Monty are getting pretty serious, I think they're going to move in together pretty soon. And I couldn't cover rent on my own."

"As long as it's not just me driving you out of the neighborhood," she teases, and he laughs.

"Not yet. Beer?"

"Sure." He opens two and hands her a bottle, and she leans against his counter, watching him. It's a little surreal, being in such close proximity to him, being expected to actually talk to him. It feels like it's been years since she tried to get to know someone just because she wanted to.

"So, what do you do?" Bellamy asks, apparently on the same page with the getting-to-know-each-other thing. "Other than try to attract bees."

"That's not really a major part of my life. I'm a social worker."


"Not a good thing to be?" she asks. It's hard to read his tone, but his face feels like it's closed off.

"I haven't had the best history with social workers. No offense."

"None taken. It's not like I'm the social worker you have a bad history with, right?"

He laughs. "No, I guess not."

"Can I ask about the bad history?"

"Let's go outside first. It's too hot in here."

Seeing her own deck from next door is weird too, if not as weird as talking to Bellamy. It looks sadder than she thought, with its one pathetic planter and total lack of decoration. She could at least throw some lights up.

"My mom died when I was eighteen," Bellamy tells her, taking a sip of his own beer. "My sister was thirteen. Her social worker didn't want to give me custody."

It's Clarke's turn for an awkward, "Huh." It would be nice if she could just agree that whatever happened to him was shitty, but--eighteen is so young to have a teenage dependent. Especially one whose parent just died.

Bellamy's mouth twists into a wry smile. "The older I get, the more I get it, but it was a really shitty few years where it felt like the guy was constantly breathing down my back."

"Yeah, that sucks," she says, without hesitation. "Did you get to keep her?"

"I did."

"And you think it was a mistake?"

He frowns. "What makes you say that?"

"You said you get it more and more."

"Oh, no. I teach high school. The older I get, the younger the kids seem. If one of my seniors told me they wanted custody of a thirteen-year-old--" He shakes his head. "I did okay, but I can't act like I think it's always a good idea."

"Yeah, it depends a lot on the kid. And the sibling, honestly. But if I'm ever in that position, I'll make sure not to give the older kid too hard a time."

"The benefit of the doubt," Bellamy says. "That's all I wanted."

"Deal. You said your sister was coming tonight?"


"How old is she now?"


That puts him at thirty, about what she thought. "So, tell me about your plants. I'm curious."

Bellamy is apparently very enthused about growing his own produce, and he's still showing her all his different herbs when the doorbell rings.

"Okay, I'm gonna go get that. You good?"

"Yeah. Still have a little beer left, even."

"Cool, back in a sec."

He returns with his sister and her boyfriend, which means the conversation shifts from gardening to how she and Bellamy met and other leading questions. It's surreal because, of course, nothing is going on and everything is on the level, but Clarke has still seen Bellamy's penis, and some part of her brain is waiting for Octavia to say the secret phrase that makes her drop that bombshell.

It gets better once everyone else shows up. She's formally introduced to Miller, who seems cool, and his boyfriend is nice, and Clarke gets to mention that she's bi, and Bellamy gets to mention he is too.

So far, so good.

When she leaves, he promises to invite her the next time he's having people over, and they exchange numbers, just to be safe.

It would all be so encouraging, except that she feels like the nudity is this thing now, a secret she's keeping from him. When you don't know someone, it's more polite to not tell them you can sometimes see them naked, but the more you talk to them, the more awkward it becomes to keep it to yourself.

Then again, maybe he won't actually call her. Maybe he was just being nice, and she'll never see him again.

He waves and says, "Hey, Clarke," the next morning when she goes to water her plants, and she's pretty much doomed.


The third time she sees him naked, she's had functioning AC for two days, and her life is in all ways better. She's on her deck not because it feels slightly less miserable than being inside, but because she can enjoy the sunset despite the heat and then go inside and cool off, which is still novel enough to be staggeringly amazing.

As is usual when she sees Bellamy naked, she's not actually looking for him. She's doing some sketches, and when she looks up, there's the window across the way, and there's Bellamy, towel-drying his hair, as is his apparent custom. She can tell it's him now, even without the face, knows the differences in his build and Miller's, the ways he moves. That's Bellamy's broad shoulders, Bellamy's defined abs, Bellamy's stupid dick that she can't help seeing for a second before she tears her eyes away.

This was the agreement, right? This is the time she tells him.

She has to assume Miller isn't around--that's probably why Bellamy is wandering around naked--so there's probably no time like the present. She's had two glasses of wine, the ideal balance of tipsy confidence and sober awareness, and she knows he's home because she literally just saw his dick.

Before she can talk herself out of it, she glances up to make sure the window is empty and goes inside. She takes her time finding something to wear, checking the cat's food, getting some water, until finally there's nothing left to do but go. It's probably long enough for him to have gotten dressed. It's not like it takes long to put on clothes.

It's not until she's ringing the doorbell that she remembers Bellamy is a fellow millennial and the unexpected sound of his doorbell probably freaks him out. She's got her phone out and ready to text him, but then there's the familiar thump of feet on the stairs and Bellamy opens the door, hair still damp, wearing a tank top and flannel pajama pants.

He frowns. "Hey, everything okay?"

"Yeah. I have AC, I thought you might want to come cool down."

His eyebrows go up, and Clarke tries not to fidget. She hadn't been planning to invite him over, but having this conversation in his sweltering apartment sounds terrible.

"You couldn't have texted?"

"I could have, but I didn't. Come on, you can meet my cat."

"Yeah, okay. Let me just go grab my keys."

He comes back down with a t-shirt on instead of the tank, but the pajama pants remain. "Miller doesn't want to come?" she asks, just to test her hypothesis.

"He's at Monty's."

"Does Monty have AC?"

"He does. Miller's going to be there all summer. Which means I can hang out in his room."

"Why don't you just get your own window unit?"

"Just stubbornness, at this point." A wave of cool air hits him as Clarke opens the door and he actually moans. "Fuck, that's good AC."

"Welcome to the future. Or the present." She leans down to scratch the cat's ears as he comes to greet them. "This is Thomas."



"Big name for a little cat." He lets the kitten sniff his hand and butt against him. "No nicknames?"

"I mostly just call him cat, honestly. Do you want something to drink?"

"Water would be good."

He pokes around while she's getting the water, and once she's got their drinks, she offers him a tour. He clearly knows something is up, but he's not asking, and Clarke lets out a breath when they get back to the living room.

"So, uh, this is awkward."

Bellamy smiles. "Yeah, I was getting a weird vibe."

"I keep seeing you naked," she blurts out, and he chokes.


"Your back window? I can see it from my deck. And you, like--"

He cuts her off. "Wait, how much can you see?"


"Jesus. I, uh--I thought the window was high enough it would just be my chest? Maybe some abs,"

"Maybe if you stood closer to the window? But you don't, so--" She shrugs. "It's happened a couple times."

"Fuck, I'm so sorry, I didn't--"

"You're sorry?"

"Yeah, obviously. It's like a low-tech dick pic."

Clarke has to laugh. "I thought I should apologize. For not telling you. But I didn't even know it was you the first time!"

"I can't believe it happens a lot."

"That's what happens when you don't have AC. You get naked and your neighbors see."

"That was pretty much exactly what happened, yeah. I'm still sorry."

She bites the corner of her mouth, torn. Bellamy is nice, apparently single, and she likes him. He's stupidly hot, and she definitely wants to make out with him. This won't be her only chance to make it happen, but it definitely is a chance. And if she doesn't take it, she doesn't know when the next one will be.

"I really didn't mind. It was a pretty good view."

A slow grin grows on Bellamy's face as her meaning sinks in. He shifts a little closer on the couch, kicking Clarke's heartbeat into overtime. "I like those little shorts you wear," he says, low. "With the stars on them. And all the tank tops."

"That's just because you haven't seen me naked yet."

"Yeah, you're probably right. We should work on that."

Clarke puts her glass of water aside and shifts closer. "Yeah, I was thinking the same thing."

"Good thing you've got AC," he teases, and kisses her before she can say anything.

But given how much of a sweat they work up, he's definitely not wrong.


Six months later, Bellamy's lease is up, and Miller is moving in with Monty.

"Maybe I could get a real yard," he muses, stretched out on Clarke's couch.

"Do you want a real yard?"

"Sort of. I wouldn't mind having more space to grow things."

"So you want to move away from this neighborhood?" Clarke asks, keeping her voice light and casual with effort. "Just get farther and farther out of the city?"

"Not really. But I don't have another roommate lined up and I can't afford to live around here alone. If I go into the suburbs my commute sucks, but I could get a lot more room for the same price. So I'm trying to look on the bright side."

"Is there a reason we're not talking about you moving in here?" she asks, finally. There might be, for all she knows, but the only thing she can really come up with is that it's only been six months, and he thinks they're moving too fast.

Or he isn't really that into her, but she knows better on that one, for the most part. He's definitely into her.

"Because I didn't want to make it a thing," he says, careful.

"Like, you don't think it should be on the table?"

His mouth twists in a smile. "Like I didn't want to make you tell me you didn't want me to move in."

"Okay, so if I tell you I think you should move in--"

"Are you sure?"

"I don't want you to move an hour away," she says, the teasing natural, but his face is guarded. "Yes, I want you to move in. You can grow vegetables on the deck and I'll make sure we have enough bees and tell you if I think you're ever flashing the neighbors."

He laughs, bright and delighted, all the tension bursting out of him. "When you put it like that, how can I say no?"

"You can't."

"Nope." He kisses her. "Wouldn't want to scandalize the suburbs with my dick."

"It's a public service."

"Obviously. Only one neighbor gets to see me naked."

Clarke settles in, her smile stupidly big. "Yup," she says. "Just me."

She should send her dad a card or something; this condo really was the best purchase ever.