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Faking It

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I.
Bellamy skidded around the corner of the Ark ship, chancing a look over his shoulder. Sure enough, the young girl was still trailing him slowly but surely through the crowd. Grinding his teeth, he quickened his pace and turned down another corridor, cursing at his luck when he found it mostly empty. Then a head full of familiar blonde tresses popped into view, and he breathed a sigh of relief.

“Princess!”

Clarke turned, a faint smile on her lips. “Hi, Bellamy.” She looked tired - they were always tired, these days - but even in her current worn state, he couldn’t help but notice how lovely she was. That had been happening a lot, lately.

“I need a huge favor,” he pleaded, and she arched an eyebrow.

“Bellamy Blake is asking me for a favor?” She teased lightly.

He didn’t enjoy begging, but this was one thing he couldn’t deal with any longer. “Come on, Clarke, please.”

“Depends.” She crossed her arms in front of her chest. “What am I getting out of it?”

He grinned, unable to resist. “Some quality time with me, of course.”

She rolled her eyes. “Seriously? That’s the best you can do?”

She prepared to walk away and he grabbed her arm. “Okay fine, fine,” he said hurriedly. “I’ll get you those damn plants you’ve been after. I’ll scour the area until we find every single one on your list.”

Clarke pursed her lips, eyeing him shrewdly as if to assess his intentions.

“Come on, princess, have I ever let you down?” He gave her his best smile, the one he always reserved for her (whether he realized it or not).

When she sighed and grinned, he knew he had her.

“You’ll also let me help with the training in Lincoln’s village,” she threw in at the last second, and now it was his turn to roll his eyes. She would.

“Deal.”

They shook hands just as sharp footsteps rounded the corner. Clarke looked over his shoulder, her mouth opening to greet the newcomer. Playing a hunch, Bellamy tugged on their joined hands and stepped forward as she fell against his chest. He covered her surprised gasp with his mouth, sliding his lips against hers as his hand gently cradled her face. He felt her shock, but hell he’d gone this far - no stopping now. His fingers tangled into her hair and he sucked on her bottom lip. There came a sigh he’d never heard, followed by tentative hands sliding up his chest to clutch his shoulders. Her mouth pressed against his with a familiar insistence, and he had the sensation that they were arguing, if wordlessly. He held her a little tighter.

When he finally let go, her lips were full and her cheeks flushed. Her wide eyes stared back at him as she caught her breath, and he couldn’t help but lean in again for another quick peck. Then Clarke’s eyes drifted over his shoulder and he turned, planting a look of surprise on his face to cover the triumph as he saw Lara’s shocked expression.

She stuttered out an apology moments later and retreated the way she’d come, making him laugh. He threw an arm around Clarke’s shoulders to hide his own racing heart.

“Thanks, princess. That was exactly what I needed.”

Clarke was silent, still trying to steady her breathing.

That was the favor?” She asked weakly, and he nodded. “I should have made you climb the new watchtower.”

He managed to chuckle at her indignance, though his pulse was thudding wildly in his ears. He took comfort in the fact that she was just as affected as he was. Only her sharp poke in his ribs made him snap out of it.

“So. The herbs. Tomorrow,” she said. “And I’m going to help train the newbies.”

“A deal’s a deal.” Bellamy could only hope his voice sounded normal.

She nodded and walked away, but the image of her swollen lips and bright eyes stayed with him for a long time.

 

II.
“Did you really have to come with me?” Clarke hissed.

“Package deal, princess. Just be glad I didn’t bring the gun.”

He knew she was pissed, but he didn’t much care. Hell if he was letting Clarke go for a goddamn stroll at night through the halls of Mount Weather. The two of them had returned to the awful place under the pretense of wanting to help their people, but only Jasper and Monty both knew the truth. They weren’t just going to escape - they were going to take down as many as they could on their way out. They’d easily found the cages again, and Bellamy thought he would be sick at the sight of so many bodies crammed into boxes like animals.

It was the Mountain Men who were the real animals. But not for much longer.

They were going to bring them down from the inside out - but it would take time. It wasn’t his preferred plan, but it was the best one they had. He had grudgingly admitted it was a good idea due to its sheer bravado. But the one thing he wouldn’t budge on was sending Clarke in alone, despite her many vehement protests. She’d called him all manner of things, and he’d stood and taken it because he knew behind her anger there was a real fear. It was the same reason he refused to let her go by herself. Sure enough, the night before they’d left, she’d crawled into his tent and meekly apologized before handing him an extra knife to hide in his boot.

So he’d watched as she smiled and shook hands with the Mountain Men’s grey-haired leader and assured him calmly that she was there to stay, that she’d learned her lesson in the forest and wanted to help them end the Grounders’ rule.

Only he saw the simmering rage in her eyes, the way she clasped her hands behind her back so she wouldn’t throw a punch, the way she tossed and turned on her mattress at night before finally falling asleep on the cold floor by his side.

So when he heard quiet footsteps leave the small dormitory that night, he’d immediately followed. Now they were in the halls, exploring the hidden corridors they were forbidden to go near in the daylight. They’d just avoided one set of wandering footsteps and backed into a new corridor when Clarke stopped suddenly. He bumped right into her and was about to ask when her hand reached back to grip his tightly.

“Someone’s coming,” she whispered.

He cocked his head, waiting, and sure enough the sound of footsteps reached his ears. They were getting louder by the second - whoever it was was headed their way, and fast. Clarke turned to him, her eyes panicked. Twisting his head towards the hall they’d just emerged from, he saw the shadow of feet by the door and shook his head at her. There was no going back that way. They were trapped.

“Breathe,” he urged. “Think, princess. Use that brain of yours.”

Her brow furrowed, and he saw the moment an idea sparked in her eyes.

“Well?”

“It’s crazy.”

The footsteps rounded the corner.

“We might need crazy right about now,” he said urgently.

She pushed him against the wall, hard. He had only a moment to register his surprise before her arms wound around his neck and her mouth touched his. Her fingers curled into his hair and Bellamy groaned as her nails raked his scalp. His arms surrounded her, pulling her to her tiptoes as he met her kiss fiercely. A small part of his mind wondered what good this could possibly do. But was quickly silenced by the rest of his body, which had decided if this was how he was going to go, he would damn well remember it.

A bright light broke his focus, nearly blinding him as he opened his eyes. Clarke’s face pressed against his shirt until the light lowered, and Bellamy blinked furiously as his vision adjusted.

One of the orderlies stood a few feet away with a flashlight in hand. He was surprised but only amused, his eyes absent of any suspicion. Bellamy felt Clarke’s fingers digging into his back regardless.

Then she giggled, so unlike anything he’d ever heard that he looked down in amazement.

“Sorry,” she said with a lopsided grin. Her arms tightened around him. “We were just looking for some privacy.”

Bellamy’s lips pressed to her hair in an attempt to hide his smile. She looked and sounded so like a teenager who’d gotten caught making out. Which, his racing heart happily reminded him, was exactly what they’d been doing.

The orderly only smirked and nodded towards the dorms. “You can find some privacy in the east wing. Not here.”

“Of course,” Clarke giggled again and grabbed Bellamy’s hand, threading their fingers together and leading him down the hall. Their shoulders brushed with every step, and neither of them let go until they were safely back in the dormitory.

Reaching up under her mattress, Clarke pulled out the small floor plan once again and sat down next to him on his bunk. He handed her the red marker and she placed an X on yet another hallway. “So they have someone here and on the floor above. But this time it didn’t feel random,” she whispered.

“No,” Bellamy agreed. “They were definitely patrolling. Something’s down there.”

Her sigh was weary and exhausted, and he took the map from her gently. “We can deal with that tomorrow,” he told her firmly. Her fingers held onto his a moment longer before letting go.

After he’d carefully hidden the paper again, he stretched out on the floor with a sigh. Clarke slid off his bunk to lie next to him, but neither of them slept a wink the rest of the night.

 

III.
Clarke was muttering angrily to herself when she walked into the tent where Bellamy was waiting. He took one look at her frustrated face and raised an eyebrow.

“Should I come back?”

As expected, she waved him off and perched on the small table. “What’s up?”

She was rolling her neck, trying to release the knots in her shoulders, and he shook his head at her selfless nature. The girl refused to give herself a break. He had come partly to escape and partly to complain about the stupidity of the adults (yet again), but in her harried state all he could do was worry about her instead. So he came closer and took her by the arms, waiting until she met his eyes.

“Clarke, what happened?”

She sighed, drooping instantly. “My mother happened,” she said glumly, and Bellamy repressed a sigh of his own. Abby was being difficult these days - moreso than usual, which was saying something. Neither them had a clue as to why, but they were both sick of it. Clarke was stressed enough as it was - she didn’t need her mother piling more on.

Instead of offering empty words, he wondered what he could do to help. Then he remembered the small surprise in his bag and smiled. Octavia had called it a gift, but it was not a gift - at least that’s what he kept telling himself. Clarke’s head lolled against his arm and he was unable to resist brushing her hair back lightly before he reached for his pack.

“I was saving these for later, but…,” Bellamy grinned and held out his hand. Clarke jumped and grabbed the strawberries immediately.

“Oh my god!” She bit into one with reverence, her face awash in pleasure. “Where did you get these?”

He chuckled. “The day patrol brought them in along with some extra meat. They’re Lincoln-approved,” he added, and she grinned. What he didn’t say was that he’d immediately put several aside specifically for Clarke while his sister looked on knowingly. But watching her munch on the fruit now, he would have gladly gone back and taken the rest, no matter who saw.

“Thanks, Bellamy.” She beamed gratefully at him.

He nodded and shoved his hands into his pockets, wondering where his sudden nerves had come from.

“Clarke?”

The smile vanished instantly as her mom’s voice sounded nearby, and Bellamy cursed Abby’s timing. Clarke brushed her hands on her jeans and prepared to rise, but he stepped in front of her.

“What-?”

“Don’t go running. Let her find you.”

“She’ll just finish her earlier lecture and then start a new one,” she grumbled, looking away.

“Maybe.” Bellamy moved forward, noting how her knees opened to allow him closer. “Or,” he murmured, “she’ll find something else and decide it can wait.”

Clarke looked up in surprise, her lips parting softly. He smiled and let his hands graze her thighs before gripping her waist. She sucked in a breath but didn’t protest, and when her wide-eyed gaze drifted to his mouth, he was a goner. Ducking his head, he bent to press a kiss to her neck. Her hum of agreement spurred him on, and he continued placing featherlight kisses up along her jaw until he reached her mouth.

There was no pretense or hesitation as their lips molded together. She tasted of the strawberries he’d just given her, and Bellamy decided he would find a way to grow the damn things himself after this. Her hands slipped under his shirt to press on his spine, urging him closer despite the table. When her knees locked around his, he groaned and twisted his hands in her hair, deepening the kiss. She responded in kind, and he completely lost track of their surroundings until a shocked gasp sounded behind him.

Clarke pulled away first, pressing her palm to his mouth when he tried to follow. A small grin flashed across her face before she peeked over his shoulder.

“I’ll stop by later,” she said pointedly.

His mouth twisted in a grin but he didn’t turn, simply touching his forehead to hers. His eyes closed while he tried to catch his breath. A moment later, Abby’s footsteps retreated behind him and then Clarke’s bright smile was the only thing he saw.

“Thank you,” she said breathlessly, and he nodded.

“Anytime.”

 

IV.
He was readying to leave with one of the patrols when she found him, pressing a list into his hand and chattering on exactly where she’d left off earlier that morning. He grinned at her familiar lecture and sharp poke as she reminded him to get the plant with straight leaves, not the jagged ones because those were poisonous and did he remember the last time he made that mistake?

Bellamy’s nod barely slowed the flow of words from her mouth and he suppressed a laugh. She was already annoyed that she couldn’t join them, but there were just too many patients that needed her attention today. For once, she couldn’t be everywhere - so she made sure he had all her instructions before she let him out of her sight. How he loved her, his bossy princess.

Her deft hands checked the latest bandage she’d put on his shoulder before another finger shook in his face as she warned him “not to be a hero, for once.”

He grinned. “Nobody would ever mistake me for a hero.”

Her blue eyes bore into him for a long moment. “I would,” she said softly.

The rest of her reminders were decidedly quieter and her pokes less sharp. Her words rang in his ears the whole time, and he felt his heart grow a little fuller. He stood still for her final inspection, arms held out to the side, and she rolled her eyes but her mouth quirked to the side anyways.

“Be careful,” she said for the thousandth time.

“Yes, princess.” He grinned and pulled her close, leaning down to kiss her soundly before exiting the tent.

Only when he’d reached the gate did he stop in his tracks, his hand drifting to his mouth.

Oh god.

He definitely had no excuse this time. Nobody had been watching, they weren’t trying to distract anyone or divert attention… he’d just wanted to kiss her. It had been such a natural thing to kiss away her worry and stop her incessant speech for a quick moment, just an extension of who they were. It had certainly calmed his mind, so much so that he hadn’t given it a second thought. A small, particularly vocal part of his brain piped up that he wouldn't mind being the one who got to kiss her every day. Besides, she hadn’t seemed startled when he left, and he was still standing without any broken bones, so maybe…

“Bellamy?”

Miller looked at him in confusion and he groaned internally at himself. He waved the other boy along, signaling for him to take the lead. As the others passed by, Bellamy looked back at the camp. Clarke had emerged from the tent to stand with Octavia, twirling a strand of hair around her finger as she talked. He knew she could feel his gaze, the same way he always felt hers, but she waited until Octavia left before looking over at him. Then she bit her lip and smiled shyly, mouthing go as her hands shooed him off. He grinned, feeling something flutter oddly in his stomach as he turned to leave. He could practically hear Octavia’s gleeful voice in his head - butterflies, Bell?

Yeah, O. Butterflies.