“I'll use you as a warning sign, that if you talk enough sense, then you'll lose your mind.”
She was born with a silver stripe down her spine, like moonlight embedded right into her skin. It's a part of her, like her eye color (blue) and her hair color (blonde) and the fact that she can logic her way out of anything (even arguments with her mother). It's a part of her, and it doesn't mean anything, no matter what they say. Every girl on earth is born with a mark, all different colors and shapes and placements. No two marks are the same. And on their 18th birthday, every boy develops a mark that correlates. And they call them soulmates.
But Clarke Griffin believes in science and science tells her that these marks are simply that, marks. Things on skin that mean nothing, that can predict nothing, that hold no power. The belief that people hold in these things, she theorizes, comes purely from a desire not to be alone. Everyone likes the idea that there's someone out there for them, no matter what. She sees how this is a desirable notion. She just doesn't believe it.
On her birth, just like every girl on Earth, her mark had been scanned and catalogued. And when a boy turns 18 and develops his correlating mark, he will go to the hospital and have it scanned. They will each receive the other's contact information from the government. And that will be the end of it. She won't talk to him. She doesn't want to know him. She doesn't want to feel compelled to be with someone because he has something on his skin that makes other people think he's hers. She wants a choice.
Of course, Bellamy Blake feels entirely differently about the matter. She's known Bellamy her whole life. They grew up next door to each other, constantly in and out of each other's houses. They have been best friends since they were five. He's been in love with her since he was seven. He doesn't say it and she pretends not to know. But she can see it in his eyes. He has an almost reverential outlook on the marks. She knows this is because he thinks, when he turns 18, he will have moonlight embedded in his skin, just like she does.
“And I'll use you as a focal point, so I don't lose sight of what I want.”
He's always been able to see the auras, like an inner light from each person, different colors, different brightnesses, different dispersion. Every person has one. They aren't unique. Not like the marks on people's skin. To this date, he's only seen eight different colors. Lots of people have the same aura. But he has noticed one thing, in all his years of observation. The people with the matching marks, the soulmates, always have the same auras. He's told this to Clarke a thousand times.
She doesn't believe him. Or, at least, she doesn't believe that it means anything. She says that what he can see has a scientific explanation (he challenges her to find one and she sticks her nose in the air and tells him maybe she will), and that his perception of the world doesn't change how it works. He tells her that she's cynical and she doesn't deny it. In their friendship, Clarke is the head and Bellamy is the heart. It doesn't bother him. Because he believes.
She never asks about the auras, so he doesn't talk about them. She's the only one he's told anyway. People think he's weird enough, without adding that on top of things. Clarke says he isn't weird, just sarcastic and too obsessed with the Romans. But she's known him forever, so he's not sure she gets to judge. Being best friends definitely makes her see him in a nicer light.
He loves her. He can't remember not loving her. She loves him too, just not in the same way. But he thinks she could. If she would stop walking through life like she's reading an instruction manual and actually just look up for a second, he thinks she might love him back. Clarke sees the worlds in facts and figures. She measures it, like a scientist. She stands two feet back from everyone else and nothing touches her. He wants to touch her.
She's got silver in her skin, like stardust or crushed diamonds. That color is imprinted on the insides of his eyelids. It is a color he knows by heart. He catches sight of it when she wears her hair up, starting at the base of her neck and disappearing under her collar. It is a color that makes him think of winter and night time and the way Clarke, even in a crowd of people, is alone. It is the same color as her aura, but she doesn't know this. If she asked, he'd tell her, that her aura is silver, just like the mark. He'd tell her the color of her aura is unique. He'd tell that her aura is the only color he's never seen more than once, unless he counts his own.
“And I moved further than I thought I could, but I missed you more than I thought I would.”
“I'll miss you.” He's got his sincere eyes on and she tries not to look too long because she knows that it'll get to her. He's being overly sentimental, really. It's only a few months.
She rolls her eyes. “I'm only going to boarding school. I'll be back for Christmas.” She should be excited, really, it's one of the best schools in the country and maybe she's a little disappointed that it's an all girls school because she's never really had girl friends (she's really only ever had Bellamy), but it's a good thing. She should be pleased. She is pleased, it just hasn't fully sunk in yet, is all.
“I'll still miss you.” Does he have to feel everything so much? The depth at which Bellamy is capable of feeling things never ceases to amaze her. He's nothing like her. The way he feels things scares her. Doesn't it hurt?
“I'll miss you too, idiot.” It's the best she can do, under the circumstances. She will miss him, or she thinks she will, but she's not gone yet and how do you miss someone when they're standing two feet away from you? It doesn't make any sense. She knows you can, because she can see it in his eyes, that he misses her already. How does he do that?
He laughs. “Thanks.” That's the great thing about Bellamy, as much as he feels everything, as much as he seems to be able to vocalize exactly what he feels with absolutely no embarrassment, he never takes offense that she's different. He's never hurt that her words are a little harsher, a little less affectionate, a little less intimate. That's just how she is. She wishes she could be different. She wishes she could love him the way he loves her because he deserves that. She's just not like him. Sometimes she thinks she's not like anybody.
“You're coming to dinner tonight, right?” she asks as she slams the trunk of her mom's Mercedes. It turns out, the essentials of her life pack up quite neatly into one suitcase and a small box.
“Yeah, of course.” She already knew his answer. Bellamy isn't the sort of guy who misses his best friend's going away party. But it's easier to talk about the party than about leaving.
“Mom's being insane about all the preparations. I told her she didn't have to make a big deal about it, but you know how she is.”
“She's normal,” Bellamy teases. “You're the weird one. People like it when other people celebrate them.”
“It's unnecessary,” Clarke points out. Like she said to Bellamy earlier, she's only going to boarding school. From the way everyone's acting, it's like they'll never see her again.
“We'll see.” She gives him a quick hug before they hike up separate, but parallel driveways to their houses. He keeps looking at her with those sad eyes and she'll literally see him in two hours so what the hell does he have to be so sad about? She's not sure, but she keeps her mouth shut. He's a sixteen year old boy, he's not supposed to make sense, right?
It turns out she really likes boarding school. She's never had many friends, but something about the place just feels right and suddenly she has a whole group. Her roommate, Raven, is undeniably her favorite, all no nonsense and brilliant with mechanics. She's got a full sleeve of bright red and orange flames up one arm as her mark, and it fits her. In the end, though, she loves them all, Harper, Monroe, Fox, even Anya (who is cool and aloof and a little fierce). She never expected to make friends like this.
She also never expected to miss Bellamy so much. In her whole life, she's never gone more than two weeks without seeing him before. Logically, she'd known all this beforehand, but it doesn't do anything to prepare her for the dull ache in her chest. It's hardly noticeable most of the time, a minor annoyance at worst, but then she'll see something about Augustus in her history book, or Raven will make just the right sarcastic comment, and she just misses him. They're best friends, she reasons, it's to be expected. It's just highly unpleasant.
It doesn't account for the dreams. They aren't sexual, or anything, but there's something intimate about the way Bellamy appears in them, messy curls and freckles and eyes that are so, so soft. Usually the dreams are just scenes from everyday life, breakfast at his house with Octavia still in her pajamas, sitting in the treehouse in her backyard, making mozzarella sticks at three in the morning because she's hungry. They're just dreams. Because she misses him.
They shift so slowly, she doesn't even notice. First, it's one about slow dancing at homecoming, and then it's watching a movie curled against him on the sofa, and then one morning she wakes up from a dream that featured kissing Bellamy Blake and it's different. She could do that, she thinks hazily as she lies in bed, and then she dismisses it, because she couldn't.
Bellamy believes in soulmates and true love and she just doesn't. It's all chemical reactions, what people tell themselves is love and this heady feeling she has from dreaming of him and she can't make herself think it's more than that. Bellamy deserves somebody who can believe the way he does, love the way he does.
So if she hugs Bellamy a little harder when she gets home for Christmas break, it's just because she really fucking missed her best friend, okay? He swings an arm over her shoulder and she rolls her eyes like she's supposed to while he plants a kiss on her temple. It's the first time in months her chest doesn't hurt at all.
Bellamy turns seventeen in the middle of snowstorm, two days before Clarke has to go back to school. They have a furious snowball fight, one which Clarke is pretty sure she wins, before Bellamy drags her inside and makes soup and grilled cheese and a fire on the hearth.
They watch one of Bellamy's history documentaries and Clarke only grumbles minimally and elbows him in the ribs a couple of times when he tugs on her hair to shut her up. She falls asleep just after ten (not even feeling lame for it) curled against him, the tv on in the background. She has a moment, just before she loses consciousness, that she notes vaguely that she now knows how to miss someone before you leave them.
She's pretty much convinced herself that it hasn't changed anything for her, missing him and seeing him and missing him while he's next to her, by the time she gets back to school. It doesn't take a lot; it's ingrained down to her bones, the facts, not the feelings.
She doesn't account for Raven coming back from Christmas with a permanent smile and a photo of her soulmate, a boy with shoulder length hair and brown, smiling eyes. Raven's the most practical person Clarke knows, aside from herself, but she's wearing a necklace Finn made her and everyone else is always asking her what it's like.
She doesn't know how it happens, because it's not like she runs around yelling it, but somehow, one night, when the girls are all piled into her room and Raven is showing Harper a letter that Finn had sent it, it just sort of bursts out.
“I don't believe in soulmates.” And of course it starts an inquisition of sorts. Clarke is a minority, clearly. So she explains it all over again, something she hasn't done in years, the science behind love and the marks on their skin and why they make absolutely zero scientific sense and how it's more likely a myth, created to make people feel better.
“So what are you going to do when your soulmate contacts you? Just ignore him?” Harper asks, head tilted to the side, looking at Clarke the way you look at a somewhat perplexing piece of art.
“Depends,” Clarke shrugs. “Bellamy is convinced it's him, but the odds on that are astronomical.”
“Bellamy,” Raven says slowly. “Your best friend, Bellamy, thinks he's your soulmate?”
“Yeah, since we were little,” Clarke says, trying to figure out why everyone is staring at her like they are. She's never really had to explain this to anyone. In the past, anyone who knew her already knew Bellamy; the two of them were practically attached at the hip. It was just one of those things that everyone knew.
Raven sighs. “You seriously don't see the issue with this?”
“Clarke, that means he's already in love with you.” Raven is staring her down, like this should be new information, but it's not. She knows this. She's spent her whole life knowing this.
“And this doesn't seem like a problem?”
“No. Look, Bellamy needs to believe the soulmate thing. There was shit with his mom that it isn't my business to tell you, but he believes it because he has to, okay? And he'll get the name of the girl he's marked like and he'll get over how he felt about me. We'll stay best friends. I'm just a placeholder, and that's okay.”
“But what if he is your soulmate?” Fox speaks up softly. Clarke opens her mouth to respond, but comes up empty. It's practically impossible, so she's never much entertained that as a possibility. She thinks about freckles and grilled cheese and snow ball fights. She answers Fox with a shrug and manages to steer the conversation in another direction. She doesn't believe in soulmates, but if she did, of course Bellamy Blake would be hers.
“I'll use you as a warning sign, that if you talk enough sense, then you'll lose your mind.”
It's not really a surprise that he misses Clarke a lot. He'd always known he would. Hell, he'd missed her when she'd gotten her wisdom teeth taken out and had refused to see anyone for three days until after the swelling went down, so boarding school is in another whole ballpark. He thinks it's manifested itself into constantly feeling like his breathing is a little restricted.
Christmas is great, but it makes him miss her all the more when she goes again. He has to take solace in counting down the days until she'll come home for summer. Then he gets offered this great opportunity to shadow an archaeological dig in Italy (some of it is even underwater) and it's going to look great on his college applications which he really needs. The downside is that he'll have to leave three days before Clarke gets home and by the time he comes back, she'll be gone again.
It hurts him all over, but he boards a plane on June 1st and he goes. This is the best thing that's ever been offered to him and he's excited, but he wishes it could be just a little later. Still, it has to be the best summer of his life, the sun and the culture and the museums he goes to in his spare time. It's exciting to be at the forefront of things, and sure, he's basically a glorified personal assistant, but he's so eager about the history that his boss sometimes gives him special privileges. At the very least, he's getting a fantastic recommendation letter.
By the time he gets home, it's by far the longest he's ever gone without seeing Clarke. He's happy, he really is, and he wouldn't give up the experience he just had, but he's starting to feel like he hasn't gotten a proper breath in months and the waiting isn't over. It's only September.
Bellamy's had a mental countdown to his 18th birthday for as long as he can remember. Just because he's sure that Clarke is his soulmate, it doesn't mean that anyone else really believes him. Once he's 18, there will be no more arguing about it. He doesn't even blame his friends for not listening to him; statistically, Clarke is right, it's practically impossible. How he feels doesn't have anything to do with statistics and will take a lot more than that to make him doubt his instincts.
Nothing really shakes him like finding out Miller is gay. It's not that he cares about the fact that Miller likes guys, and apparently really, really likes Monty. It's that this, more than anything, is the proof that the whole soulmates thing doesn't make sense. It matches boys and girls, and Miller is never going to fall in love with a girl. Bellamy's known, for years, about these arguments, but there's nothing quite like seeing it happen with one of his closest friends.
He thinks he does a pretty good job of not freaking out about it, but he knows his friends see it. He hasn't been exactly quiet about his thoughts on the whole soulmate thing and he's never said it, but everyone knows he kind of needs to believe it. He doesn't talk about his mom, what happened to her, but they know. It's why he understands Clarke so well, the way she needs to not believe it. She doesn't talk about her dad either, but he knows.
In the end, it's Monty who confronts him about it, on a rainy afternoon in November. “You know it doesn't make you wrong,” he says, with no preamble at all, as he snags a seat in the arm chair next to Bellamy. There's a group of friends over at Bellamy's house, most of them distracted by arguing over Portal, but Bellamy's on the sofa, rereading a book about the Roman Empire.
“Me and Miller. It doesn't make you wrong about soulmates.”
He doesn't really want to talk about it, but the words leave his mouth before he can. “How can it not?”
Monty shrugs. “I still believe in it.”
Bellamy blinks. “But...”
“I'm gay? Yeah. Who says all soulmates have to be romantic or sexual? People are unique, relationships are unique. I think the only requirement for a soulmate is that they'd be someone you love, someone you can always rely on, maybe someone you just really understand on a deep level. Maybe sometimes that's platonic, and sometimes that romantic, and sometimes it's just... two people. I don't know. But I believe that the marks mean something, and personally, I'm really looking forward to meeting whoever I'm connected to. I bet she's pretty cool.”
Bellamy stares at him, and he doesn't know what to say, but he can't stop thinking that Monty has to be right about the girl, because he's a really fucking amazing person.
“I think you should be careful, though,” Monty adds. He's got an aura like his personality, bright and even and the color of sunflowers.
“Because if Clarke isn't your soulmate, it's going to hurt you. And if she is... She loves you, obviously she loves you, you're her best friend, but if you turn out to be her soulmate, she's going to feel obligated to be with you, to make you happy. I know you don't want that.”
And he's right, is the horrible thing. To Bellamy, it's always been about proving that he's her soulmate, that he's known all along, like that would somehow make her believe, but he's kidding himself, isn't he? She won't believe it, even if he's got her moonlight under his skin too. She won't believe it because she can't, just like he needs to. Monty's right; she'll try to make him happy, if she can, and he never wants her to feel like she doesn't have a choice. Bellamy isn't sure there's any way to win this.
Clarke doesn't come home for Christmas. All flights are grounded due to the biggest winter storm of the century and Abby decides that it doesn't make sense for Clarke to only come home for a couple days after Christmas, so her whole trip is cancelled. It's not like he hasn't had any communication with Clarke, but they're both terrible on the phone and her school is in the middle of absolutely nowhere, so text messages tend to get lost. Mostly, he writes letters and Clarke sends him weird doodles back. It's really not the same as seeing her.
He wants to see her, but he's honestly a little relieved. He hasn't had to face Clarke since he started to realize that being her soulmate might be just as devastating as not and his birthday is creeping up and he's pretty sure he needs a plan before he sees her again.
He wakes up on the morning of his 18th birthday and just lies in bed, eyes closed. Once he opens his eyes, he has to acknowledge it's happened. He counts to ten, opens his eyes, slides out of bed. The floor is freezing on his feet, but he ignores it as he pushes open his bedroom door and slips into the bathroom, looking at his tense reflection in the mirror over the sink. He takes one final, deep breath, and twists to see his back. He'd been so sure about this his whole life, but when he sees the silver stripe down his spine, his mind feels completely blank.
“I'll use you as a makeshift gauge, on how much to give and how much to take.”
She's never missed Christmas with her family, not once. And it's not like Christmas is important, really. It's a holiday for a faith that she isn't much involved with (she'd gone to church as a kid, but she hasn't been in at least three years) that's basically been taken over by corporations cashing in on people's faith. So it's not Christmas that matters, but her friends and family and Bellamy.
She'd expected to see him over summer break, to maybe have a chance to work out the shift in her feelings for him that she's too afraid to even name. She's happy for him, that he got to go to Italy and have this amazing experience and probably get deliciously tan (she banishes this last thought as quickly as it pops up). Bellamy hasn't had the easiest life and she wants the world for him. But damn, she wishes she could have seen him.
He'd sent a package from Italy for her birthday, a big box, full of books, and candy, and postcards (she'd teased him that he'd been meant to mail the post cards, not just stick them in a box), and a leather bound sketchbook. The box had also included a letter that was ten full pages long, all about everything he was seeing and doing and how amazing the whole thing was. It had only made Clarke wish she could be there with him.
So Christmas hadn't been important for the holiday itself, but for the chance to see her best friend. And now she's not. She can't explain, even to herself, why it had felt so important to see him. Obviously she misses him. She always misses him. But there's something else, just beyond reach.
She spends Bellamy's 18th birthday with her heart in her throat and an inability to admit why. She doesn't say anything to her friends, but Raven eyes her suspiciously all day, and Fox quietly asks her to stop tapping her pen, which Clarke hadn't even realized she was doing. She crackles with nervous energy all day until everyone else has gone to bed and the reality sinks in. She'd gotten no phone call. It hits her all of sudden, and it feels like she can't breathe.
She pulls her knees up to her chest, leaning back against her headboard, gasping for air. She doesn't even believe in soulmates, so they shouldn't have ever been able to hurt her, but it doesn't matter what she tells herself, there are tears on her cheeks and her chest hurts.
“Clarke?” Raven is sitting up groggily in bed.
“Sorry,” Clarke chokes out. “Go back to sleep.”
“Clarke, what the fuck?” Raven scrambles out of her own bed and crawls onto Clarke's, her eyes full of alarm. “What happened?”
“It's nothing.” Clarke shakes her head, trying to stop the tears on her cheeks, but she can't. “It's stupid.”
“Seriously, Clarke.” Raven's voice is no nonsense. And Clarke wants to tell someone, even though it's ridiculous and she can't explain whys she's crying.
“Bellamy turned 18 today,” she breathes, finally. It takes a moment for Raven to place the words, but when she does, the intensity goes out of her body. She wraps an arm around Clarke, holding her close.
“You don't believe in soulmates, Clarke.”
“I know,” she cries. “I know, but I just... If someone matches him, it's me. It just is.”
Raven rubs her back. “You love him back,” she says, slowly, and it's not something Clarke has even let herself think, so hearing it said out loud, by Raven, makes it real.
“It doesn't matter.”
“Fuck, Clarke. Of course it matters. Screw the whole soulmates thing. You never believed in it anyway. You love him, you told all of us that he loves you. That's the important thing.”
Clarke can't answer that, can't explain to Raven that it doesn't matter because Bellamy believes in soulmates and he's just found his. It's just not Clarke.
The months until she graduates drag. She keeps waiting for a letter from Bellamy where he'll tell her about the girl, his soulmate, but it never comes. He sends letters, of course, just as many as he always did, but he never once mentions his birthday or the marks or soulmates. She supposes it's his way of avoiding an awkward topic of conversation. He'd been so confident for years that it was her. Maybe it's easier not to talk about it.
Raven's fed up with the whole thing. “You should just call him and tell him you love him,” she says about four times a day.
“He's been waiting for his soulmate his whole life, Raven,” she argues.
“No, he's been waiting for you.”
They have some variation of that argument frequently. But Raven doesn't know Bellamy, so Clarke doesn't think she's in a place to judge. She knows all her friends are growing frustrated with her. It's not like she's trying to be a downer, she just hasn't really felt the same since Bellamy's birthday. She's not sure she's ever going to be the same.
“Oh, and I found love where it wasn't supposed to be, right in front of me.”
They seem to think they're doing him a favor, letting him be the one to pick Clarke up from the airport. And to be fair, they're basing that on how much they think he wants to see her, which is a lot. It's been a year and a half since he's seen her. So they're right. He just also doesn't know what he's going to do.
She'd graduated and her mom had gone for the ceremony and the two of them had immediately embarked on a Hawaiian vacation, but Clarke's flying back so that she's home in time for Monty's birthday party that night and Bellamy's on airport duty.
He'd never gone to the hospital to get his mark logged. He couldn't think of anything else to do. If he went, they'd match him with Clarke and send her his information and she'd know. And then she'd try to be with him, because she's amazing and giving and she'd put his happiness first. He doesn't want that. So he hasn't been the hospital and Clarke doesn't know and now he's trying to figure out what he's supposed to do.
He forgets about all this when Clarke appears, carry on in hand and her hair at least six inches longer than the last time he saw her. Then it's just Clarke, blue eyes, blonde hair, so familiar, but so missed. He catches her up in his arms and spins her around until she's laughing and telling him to put her down. It's still so easy to be with her, even with his secret hanging over his head.
She doesn't bring it up until they're halfway to Monty's, her suitcase in the bed of his truck and her feet up on the dashboard. He didn't even realize he missed driving with Clarke in his passenger seat until now. But of course he did. He's always missed everything about her.
“So, how's your soulmate?” she asks. Her voice is light, but it sounds a little off and he chances a glance in her direction to see that she's frowning. He wonders what that's about.
He shrugs. “Haven't been in contact with her yet,” is all he says. It's true. Technically. Sort of.
“At all?” Clarke asks, and her voice is disbelieving, but sort of... relieved? He hadn't put too much thought into the fact that by him not getting logged by the hospital, she's entirely sure he'd been wrong about them. He'd been too focused on worrying that he might accidentally force her into a relationship that she doesn't want.
“Nope.” She doesn't push for more information, but he catches her looking at him with a strange expression a couple of times. He's a little relieved to get to Monty's, tires crunching on gravel as he pulls up the long driveway.
He hops out of the truck, immediately sinking into mud and leaves, and walks around the back. He's decided to take Monty's birthday as an opportunity to return the chainsaw he borrowed from Miller three months ago and forgot to give back. He's only got one hand on it, bent over the side of the truck bed, when he hears Clarke make a sort of sharp, breathy sound. He drops the chainsaw to turn and look at her.
She's standing only a couple feet behind him, eyes wide, lips parted in surprise. He doesn't understand why she's looking at him like that, until her hand reaches up and to touch the back of her own neck, and then it dawns on him. He'd been leaning over the side of the truck bed, stretched to reach the chainsaw, his clothes must have moved enough that she'd seen the mark. After all, he's got a line of silver straight down his spine.
“You didn't want me to know?” Clarke asks, her voice very small and very hurt and he'd never, ever wanted to hurt her. He was going to try to figure out a way to tell her that would soften the blow, that would give her choices, real choices, but that's all gone now and the look on her face isn't one he's ever seen before and it paralyzes all the things he wants to do or say, so he just looks at her helplessly. If this is the end of the world, it's quieter than he thought it would be.
“Talk some sense to me.”
She'd promised herself she wouldn't cry in front of Bellamy, but this is not an actuality that she'd planned for. How could she have ever planned for this? Because she's lived every single day of her life with that mark on her skin, and she's just seen it on his. And he kept it from her.
“Why would you do that?” She hears her own words as if from a very great distance. This feels like a dream, far away and unreal.
“You don't believe in soulmates,” he manages, eyes desperate and hands shaking.
“But you do.” She doesn't understand what her lack of belief in soulmates has to do with anything. He's known that about her for years and it's never stopped him from expressing his opinion before.
“Exactly,” he says helplessly, like that explains everything.
“I cried all night on your birthday,” she says suddenly, the words bursting out of her and it's a stupid thing to say right now. She doesn't know why she said it, but the expression that crosses his face might have something to do with it.
“What?” He sounds baffled and is it so hard for him to believe that she might have feelings for him too? She shrugs, looking away from him. She can feel her ears burning.
“I don't know. I couldn't explain it then either. I guess I always thought it would be me.”
Bellamy takes a step towards her. “But you don't believe in any of this,” he says, slowly, like he's trying to piece his worldview back together.
“I know, but if you were getting matched to someone, of course that should be me,” and she's crying now and she feels like an idiot because she doesn't even make sense to herself, of course she doesn't make sense to Bellamy. He reaches out, tentatively, until his hand makes contact with her arm and that's enough to have her surging forward, pressing her face into his chest, probably ruining his shirt with her tears and her mascara. He doesn't seem to mind, only cradles her carefully.
“It is you, Clarke. Of course it is. It always has been. You know that.” And he's right, except for one thing, because he lied. If he loves her, why wouldn't he want her to know?
“But you lied,” she says into the warmth of his chest.
“Because I love you.” He's never actually said it before. She's known it her whole life, but hearing him actually say it makes her heart stop. “And you're my best friend,” he continues. “And I knew that you would do anything to make me happy, even be in a relationship with me if our marks matched, even if you didn't want to. I wanted you to have a choice.”
Clarke leans back just enough so that she can look at him, so that it's clear. “If you'd just asked me, I would have told you,” she says, and she's still got tears on her cheeks, but this is something she has to do. “I'd always choose us.”
She's not at all surprised to find that kissing Bellamy Blake makes her think about moonlight and crushed diamonds. She's still not sure she believes in soulmates, but she guesses it doesn't matter, because either way they got it right. It might be fate. It might be choice. Clarke really couldn't care less. Bellamy will later tell her that her aura is silver, and entirely unique, save for his.