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i'd like to say you've changed but you're always the same (i've got a feeling that the marijuana's rotting your brain)

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“I found him,” Bellamy’s girlfriend says, “my soulmate. See the marks?”

Bellamy sees them, sees the cord of wiry lightning bolts streaking across her neck and down into the front of her blouse. He also sees something in her eyes he hasn’t ever seen—hope.

Bellamy couldn’t give her that, but her soulmate—a fucking stranger—can?

“I...I’m leaving you,” she says quickly. “I...I want to try it with him.”

Bellamy doesn’t know what to say, what to feel. His fragile heart, an aching and paper mache sculpture, begins to crumble. His fingers go numb and his chest begins to crack.

“Bellamy?”

Bellamy just stares as he falls apart, as the broken boy inside of him grows up into a broken man, as his limbs fill with lead and his glass heart shatters into ten million pieces.

He’s not meant to be loved. 

His destiny is not a soulmate, but a heartbreak.

“I’m sorry,” she murmurs, but she doesn’t look like it.

In fact, she looks fine, as if she hadn’t just killed a four year relationship with three words and a bunch of hideous coloured lines.

Bellamy’s head begins to shake and he’s curious as to why she begins to look so concerned when he notices she’s growing taller.

Or maybe he’s shrinking.

He realizes quickly that the latter is correct when his head hits the ground hard, the noise so loud it rips a cry from his mouth. The pain isn’t immediate, nor is it dull. It’s a sharp, bilateral pain on both sides of skull and it aches almost as much as his heart does.

“Bellamy?!” she shouts, but he can’t respond.

He watches her, though, in his last seconds of consciousness as she begins to sprint away, lightning bolts streaking down her body and across her back.

Bellamy hopes his soulmate is dead.

His shattered glass heart

Can’t be broken anymore.

He will never heal.

-

Bellamy doesn’t heal, much like his haiku predicts. His shattered heart can’t be melded together with some glue or tape, as much as Octavia tries.

He goes to live with his sister after She leaves him on the sidewalk, because he can’t take care of himself. He doesn’t want to.

“I know you loved Her,” Octavia murmurs, “but She wasn’t even your soulmate. Why’re you so messed up over this?”

She doesn’t understand. She doesn’t love people the way Bellamy does, recklessly, endlessly, inefficiently. She loves softly, delicately, and carefully.

She loves like she smiles. Bellamy loves like he speaks.

“You’ll get through this, Bell.”

No, he won’t.

He goes to his room and writes another haiku.

I hope that you’re dead

For I can not bear the thought

Of losing you again.

He hopes this one, too, is correct.

-

Bellamy spends three years in Octavia’s basement, robotically working at the local college, barely surviving.

He’d have died ages ago, though, if it weren’t for Octavia. He’d have forgotten to eat or drink or go to work if she hadn’t put him on a schedule, made it her full time job to care for him.

His chest still aches whenever he thinks of Her, but Octavia swears it’ll get better.

So far it’s only gotten worse.

His skin is barren besides the freckles, dotted with constellations that, somewhere in the universe, probably exist. It’s the only beautiful thing he can find these days.

He draws lines to connect them sometimes when O’s out and he’s alone with himself. He doesn’t do anything irrational when he’s drawing his lines and O doesn’t really mind. She even buys him a collection of expensive markers to feed his fascination.

Stars are infinite.

Soulmates are existential.

The Earth is lying.

His students don’t question the lines. No one does.

-

When he’s twenty seven, Octavia marries her soulmate.

Bellamy cries for a week straight. Lincoln is a good man, but he’s ten years her senior. Five years Bellamy’s senior.

Their soulbond is so strong that their marks glow pale blue in the darkness of the moonlight, illuminating everything that’s right with them.

Bellamy still wishes his soulmate is dead. He’s not sure if they are, but he can hope.

Suffering is the

World’s cruelest emotion and

I wish I was dead.

Bellamy moves into an apartment five minutes from the school, two minutes from a grocery store, and half an hour from O and Lincoln. When he unpacks his stuff, he sits in the middle of the floor and doesn’t get up for a day and a half.

It’s Spring Break anyway.

-

There is a kid in Bellamy’s class who seems to know it all.

He has sad, haunted eyes, but smiles when his friend looks at him. His name, Bellamy doesn’t know. It’s hard to keep track these days, what with his head being everywhere but there.

He answers Bellamy’s questions with vigor and a smirk. Bellamy dislikes him quite a bit.

He watches her, though, his friend, and is intrigued. Her skin, like Bellamy’s, is blank.

That doesn’t happen often anymore. Soulmates are more than common.

When he catches her in front of his apartment, nervously glancing around, he wonders why she’s there, but doesn’t ask. Just walks inside and crawls up in bed.

Octavia calls, but he ignores her.

She only calls to tell him to eat, but he’s not hungry.

He never is anymore.

Her hair is pale blonde,

Her eyes bright cerulean.

He calls her Sunshine.

-

“I found it,” Octavia says when he finally answers her call.

“What did you find?”

“The poems.”

“Which ones?” Bellamy begins to panic.

Those are his and his alone. O was never supposed to see the true depth of shattered heart, of his depression. She'll surely commit him if she found the ones about his darkness, of his death wish.

“The ones about—”

“Don't say Her name,” he begs.

He'd forbidden himself from thinking it, from saying it, because it burns. It sets fire to the broken glass in his chest and solidifies his sadness. It ruins him all over again.

“The ones about Gina,” Octavia repeats.

Bellamy’s jaw drops and he hangs up the phone, willing himself to just stay okay.

He's not great, he's not good, he's not fine. He's just okay. He wants to stay that way.

Freckles on my face,

Tears dampening my sad eyes,

I cannot go on.

-

Bellamy locks his door and pretends to not be home for three days. Octavia calls and knocks, sends Lincoln over, Jasper, and Maya, but Bellamy doesn't answer.

He eats a grilled cheese sandwich and calls off until he can walk again. Then he goes to school and does his job.

He starts his routine all over again. But Her name haunts him in his sleep, haunts him like she was his soulmate and he'd lost her. Not died, just left.

He'd be grateful if he found out that was the truth.

After all, she wouldn't be dead, but neither would he.

-

“Prof,” says the smart and irritating kid in his history class, “hey.”

Bellamy looks up at him and furrows his brow. He still can't remember his name.

“Hello,” Bellamy says softly. “Can I help you with something?”

“I just...my friend lost a pair of glasses and had work right after class so I told her I’d ask if you’d found them.”

He smiles like he’s too privileged to even try.

Bellamy wonders if he loves that way, as well. He can see the edge of his soulmark zigzagging across the backs of his hands.

“What kind of glasses are they? Because if they’re polka dotted, I took them.”

Bellamy’s a sucker for sunglasses.

“She’ll probably come in here and demand you return them,” the kid snickers. “Thanks anyway.”

Bellamy nods and watches the boy leave.

He rustles through his bag and grabs his keys. It’s time to go home.

Polka dotted cheeks,

Her expensive sunglasses,

I have stolen them.

-

The blonde girl is outside his apartment when he leaves the next morning. Bellamy recognizes her blue eyes from American History 101, but he can’t recall her name.

“Hello,” Bellamy says unsurely. “I’m Bellamy.”

“I know who you are,” the blonde girl snaps. “You’re my history prof.”

Gentle voice, blue eyes,

Angry tilt to her soft mouth.

She scoffs at my face.

“Those are mine!” She accuses.

“Hmm?”

“The sunglasses!”

“Oh,” Bellamy frowns, pointing to the polka-dot glasses on his eyes. “These?”

She's the annoying kid's friend with the missing sunglasses. Bellamy should've known.

“Yes, those! You stole them! Thief!”

“I did not.”

Bellamy may be a reasonably calm guy, but he doesn't not take well to be mislabeled.

Plus his head is pounding with every word from his own mouth and he could probably fall asleep standing up if she just went away.

“You left them in my room and, after three days of them sitting in my desk, I decided you didn't want them anymore. It's not thievery; it's thriftiness.”

Bellamy wishes he didn't exist anymore. Existing is exhausting.

The girl narrows her eyes, hand held out, palm up.

“I would like them back,” she snaps.

Bellamy is just so fatigued, so tired, that he can't help his sad sigh. His eyes hurt and he just wishes she would leave him and his sensitive eyes with the sunglasses.

“And I would like a reason not to kill myself, but we don't always get what we want, do we?” Bellamy turns around and walks back into his apartment, leaving a confused blonde girl in his wake.

I hide my sadness,

She doesn't hide her anger.

She looks like the sun.

-

When Bellamy shows up to his first class of the day twenty minutes late, it's understandable.

The blonde girl is sitting in the front row and looks surprised room see him alive.

Joke’s on her. Bellamy is too tired to die.

“Class,” he greets, voice firm. “Today we'll be having a discussion on how Nazi Germany was toxic to and benefitted the rest of the world.”

“Excuse me,” the blonde girl is suddenly standing up and running away, pushing through the aisles to escape Bellamy and his twisted, fucked up and chemically unbalanced brain. “I've to go. Sorry.”

And then she's gone.

Bellamy doesn't say anything, just scrawls a poem into his journal.

She runs like she's afraid,

Speaks like she's angry.

It doesn't seem she can handle

The truth of why we were made.

-

Bellamy buys himself a pair of expensive polka dotted sunglasses. It's not because he cares what she thinks of him or anything, but because they were hers. He's not a thief.

When he sees her in class, he walks through the aisles, lecturing about how the Americans joined together to fight in World War II. He drops her pair on top of her notebooks as he walks past, watching her sketch flowers in the upper right hand corner of her notebook.

She looks up at him, anger burning behind her surprised eyes. Bellamy continues walking, a smile smile blooming on his face.

He hasn't smiled just for himself since She left.

-

He calls Octavia later that day.

When she picks up, her voice sounds pissed.

“What the actual fuck, Bellamy?”

“Octavia—”

“No, you be quiet! You don't get to talk. That's not how yelling at you works!” She snaps. “You can't just fall off the face of the earth like that! Hell, I had to go to one of your lectures myself just to see if you were alive! You had me worried fucking sick, you inconsiderate douchebag.”

“Love you,” Bellamy replies.

He knows it's the only thing that'll calm her down. His declaration of love, his hugs, his presence. It's been like that since she was born. Since Bellamy decided to protect her instead of fight her.

“I won't disappear again. I'm here for good.”

“You better mean that,” O snaps. “I'll fucking kill you instead you leave.”

The only leaving

Bellamy will ever do

To her is dying.

-

Bellamy goes out for lunch with a fellow professor and gets shit faced. It's the not the first time he's gotten drunk before 5pm, but it is the first time he fucks someone after Her.

When he meets his students the next day, he can feel the blonde girl's eyes on him all class.

“Can I help you?” He asks as the rest of the students file out, but she stays behind.

A firecracker,

She is unpredictable.

Who even am I?

“Um. Hi.” She says and her voice is more awkward than angry for the first time since Bellamy met her. “I wanted to—”

“Thank me?”

Bellamy turns and looks at her, unimpressed. He'd thought she had a better grasp on English, but he supposes he was wrong when she flounders and fails in producing anything more eloquent than ‘um’.

“What's your name?” Bellamy asks as he sits down on the edge of his desk.

He doesn't want to go home. Not yet. Not to his bare flat with its empty picture frames and broken promises.

“Clarke Griffin,” she says and looks like she's judging him. “You didn't know?”

“Nope.”

Bellamy sighs and pushes himself further back onto the desk. He brings his legs up and crosses them. She smiles a little.

“I don't know your friend's name either. The kid with the sad eyes.”

“You'd know a lot about that,” Clarke murmurs and then, when he looks confused, “Sad eyes.”

“Bad guys. Mouth full of white lies.” Bellamy recites.

Lyrics are just another form of poetry, after all.

She just stares at him, a strange look in her eyes. Bellamy thinks she's the type to try and fix people.

It's a sad thing that Bellamy isn't broken. He's shattered.

“His name is Wells.”

“Weird name,” he says softly. “So what did you need?”

“I...um...wanted to apologize.”

“Oh?” Bellamy certainly hadn't expected that.

She doesn't seem like the type to be apologetic.

“For the other day before class. I was out of line.”

“So was I.”

He should've never said the thing about killing himself. No one wants to know what's going on in his head. No one cares, for that matter.

“Nah,” she waves him off, “It was all me. I'm sorry.”

Bellamy wants to believe her. But he can't.

“Okay,” he says softly. “Thank you.”

Clarke nods at him and glances at the door, looking too comfortable leaned up against the desks. Like she doesn't want to leave.

When she doesn't move, Bellamy looks into her eyes.

“Want t’get a drink?” He asks as he shoves his sunglasses on top of his head.

Clarke looks apprehensive, but nods and follows him out.

She calls herself Clarke,

He calls himself dead.

-

“I was just wondering,” Clarke says an hour later, “if you know any of your students’ names.”

“Some,” Bellamy admits.

He feels heavy with the memory of sweet syrup and Gina. Also light with the taste of hard vodka and the wholesome scent of Clarke’s woodsy perfume.

“Who? Probably Finn because he never shuts up,” anger flashes across her face as she speaks the words harshly, “or Raven because she's very fucking opinionated.”

“Nope,” Bellamy shakes his head.

He recognizes the names, knows their faces, but lies. He hopes the fallacy soothes her fury.

“I know Monty and Miller,” he actually does know them.

He'd gotten drunk with them once.

Bellamy’s apparently made a habit of drinking with his students.

Clarke makes an approving noise, “They're cool dudes. Sickly in fucking love, though.”

He nods and knocks back another shot. She does the same.

“Do you do this often? Drink with your students?”

“No, just a few times.”

They drink in silence for a while, sighing softly into the confines of their glasses.

Alcohol makes the pain lessen, but the memories always come back. He often chooses other means to shift the weight of his agony.

“Wanna smoke?” He asks.

He's got some weed at his place. He doesn't like doing it alone.

“Yeah,” she smiles, “I've got some good shit, if you want to.”

-

It sort of becomes a thing.

Not them, of course, but it. The ritual of getting drunk/high/fucked up with each other goes on until Clarke’s a senior in college. They don't talk much unless it's about class or sun glasses or how ‘fucking good’ Clarke's drugs are. They especially avoid the soulmates topic.

Fortunately. Bellamy couldn't take crossing more unprofessional boundaries with another student.

Bellamy doesn't imagine the way Clarke's skin might feel under his fingers and she returns the favour by not thinking about how Bellamy’s mouth might feel against hers.

It's better than Bellamy thought he'd ever get.

Six months after they start their friendship, Clarke finds out about Gina.

Bellamy’s slowly—achingly, painfully, slowly—becoming okay with thinking her name. Saying it. Touching the things she'd left in her destructive wake.

Clarke finds him holding a pink jewellery box and asks about it.

“I am well aware that the box could be yours,” she says, “but I'm not sure it is. So whose is it?”

“My...ex.”

“Why would she leave that behind? It's lovely.”

She reaches out to touch it, hands gentle and calloused, and Bellamy lets her.

He's too weak to resist.

“She said I deserved all of it back,” he whispers. “She...um...she found her soulmate and apparently didn't want me, so the jewellery was emotional compensation.”

“What a bitch,” Clarke says and the fire that always burns behind her eyes glows brighter. “Who's stupid enough to let you slip through their fingers for a stranger? It's stupid. She's stupid.”

“Soulmates are stupid,” Bellamy decides and he reaches for the golden sharpie on his desk.

-

Bellamy shows up to class on Monday with golden lines zigzagging across his arms. His students either don't notice or ignore them and treat him as usual.

Except Clarke. She stares at him openly, Wells nudging her every time he catches her. He stares at Bellamy every time he stares back.

“Read chapters seventeen through twenty three for Wednesday. See you ‘round!” Bellamy dismisses the class early.

He can feel Clarke's gaze, can feel the questions she has, and can't stand it any longer.

She waits until everyone including Wells leaves to approach him, hair frizzy and braided back from her face. It, too, is reckless with anger.

She nods toward the golden lines, apprehensive, “Is that your reason?”

“Reason for what?”

Bellamy takes a step toward her, minimizing the the distance between them.

“For not killing yourself.”

Bellamy makes an appraising noise and takes another step. She doesn't move back, looks at him with softness in her angry eyes, and takes a deep breath.

“No,” Bellamy murmurs. “It's just a coping mechanism.”

He absently traces the golden vines, wondering if this is as close to a soulmark he'll get.

He certainly hopes so.

“Interesting,” is all she says before lifting her shirt to expose her stomach.

Across it there are thin pink scars. Bellamy raises his eyebrows instinctually.

“From my wonderful teenage years. Dad...died. Mom was driving the fucking car. I was depressed.”

“And you aren't anymore?”

“I'm in remission,” Clarke answers. “Depression is like cancer. It always comes back.”

“How long?” Bellamy sees fingers twitch.

He sort of wants to touch the thin scars. Wants to press his fingers against her soft skin and watch her eyes as the anger dissipates for just long enough to fuck.

“Since I cut? A year and a half.”

“I haven't…” Bellamy bites his lip as she drops her shirt. “Not yet.”

“The urge is hard to resist,” she murmurs.

Bellamy just nods and looks at her.

“My ex...she used to say our soulmarks were invisible, you know? White lines somewhere on our bodies we couldn't see. That's what hurt the most, I think. The entire hopefulness I felt. Now it's like there's nothing. No hope, just...miles and miles of vast broken hearted emptiness.”

Bellamy figures it’s time. He knows Clarke’s secret and now she knows his.

“What a bitch,” Clarke says.

She says that every time he talks about Gina. It makes Bellamy smile and she knows it.

“You’re hot as fuck, smart as fuck, like doing fun things, and you understand what it’s like to feel messy. If I were her, I’d have married your ass before someone else took the chance.”

“There’s no one else to take the chance,” Bellamy murmurs. “She was the only person who wanted me when my chest wasn’t an empty container full of dust. Who would want me now that I’m nothing but shattered glass?”

He’s never spoken his metaphors out loud before. It’s terrifying and thrilling at the same time.

Bellamy’s sure she’s not going to say what they’ve both been thinking, not going to make their imaginary feelings real, but then her mouth opens and Bellamy’s world collapses for the second time.

“I would,” she says. “I want you in your brokenness, in your totality. I want you in your tears and your pain and in your prime. I want you twenty years from now, I want you fifteen years back. I want every piece of your shattered glass heart, Bellamy, and I’m so tired of holding it in. I want you drunk, I want you high, I want you painfully sober. I want your golden prevention lines, I want the pile of depressing books on your mantle, I want your fuzzy socks and your polka dotted sunglasses that are technically mine. I just want you and I’ve wanted for so long that it hurts too much to hold it in.”

Bellamy’s eyes fill with tears. He’s too broken for something so good. He can’t live with the knowledge that one day, some day, Clarke might leave. She might press her hands against another person’s skin and marks may bloom against the soft flesh of her arms and Bellamy will most certainly die.

She is too perfect.

I can’t obliterate that.

She will break my heart .

“Why couldn’t we have met before Gina?” Bellamy whispers brokenly. “Before I shattered, before I became nothing?”

“We probably wouldn’t have liked each other much,” Clarke says sharply. “I’m not the same person I was.”

“Same.”

Bellamy used to love life. He'd wanted to be the type of person to make a difference and help people.

Now, though, he doesn't even have enough energy to help himself. How would he help someone else?

“Clarke, I...I’m more broken than you think I am.”

“I don’t care,” she says fiercely and the anger flares up in her eyes so bright Bellamy winces.

She is so, so strong.

Bellamy is so, so weak.

His broken heart hums .

She reaches out for him, desperate to finally feel the firm line of muscle under his skin, to trace the golden vines of ivy cording around his arms. He doesn’t move away from her, too afraid to admit that he wants her, too.

“Clarke,” he murmurs pathetically. “You just want to fix me.”

“Maybe so,” Clarke says with valor, “but I need you to fix me.”

Her fingers graze his skin for the first time with purpose, more calloused than he’d ever thought they’d be, and he inhales sharply.

He hasn’t let anyone close, let anyone touch him, in years. It's a terrifyingly thrilling feeling.

Bellamy lets his eyes flutter closed as he takes a shaky breath. He doesn’t want to say it, doesn’t want to feel so open and naked, but he can’t just allow her to feel abandoned.

“I love you.”

“Hmm? What was that, Blake? You what?” She teases.

Bellamy grins a little, eyes still closed, and murmurs it again.

“Open your eyes,” Clarke whispers softly and Bellamy doesn’t respond.

He just wants to stay in this moment, in the softness and the familiarity of Clarke’s hands, while his brain is quieter than it’s ever been, for the rest of his life.

Maybe if he keeps his world bathed in darkness, it will stay. If he never opens his eyes again, maybe he’ll get to be the hero Clarke wants him to be.

“Please. Open your eyes.”

Bellamy’s jaw quivers, but he opens them anyway and the anger behind her eyes has fizzled out long enough to stare at Bellamy openly, lovingly, carefully. Bellamy leans close, the edge of his nose brushing hers, before he glances down at their hands, her nails painted shimmering silver.

He sees his gold lines, the ones he made, but underneath them are intricate lines that he did not make. A brilliant set of intertwining and curved edges, from golden pink to startling green.

Roses, he realizes as he starts to hyperventilate.

Their soulmarks are multi-coloured roses.

-

When Bellamy gets home that night, he writes two haikus. 

One he does while Clarke showers. 

My unsightly life

Is damaged beyond repair.

She still kisses me.

The second, he writes with her in bed next to him, her complaining about the shitty drawing lighting. 

He's never broken the rhyme scheme (or lack thereof, in his poems) but her golden hair and sharp blue eyes inspire him too much for seventeen syllables. 

If I have roses

For a lifetime, I would be

the happiest man

Alive.