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Jen
28 March 2017 @ 01:59 pm
They've been on the ground a week, and Clarke has had enough of the whining. She needs a break. Too bad Bellamy can't seem to leave her alone. Too bad she sort of likes that about him.
1570 words | rating: pg-13


Clarke has had about enough of camp. Of kids whining about splinters and complaining about blisters. They come to her about every little injury or ailment. Not that she can do much to help any of them. They don't get that, though. They see that she healed Jasper, so she'll fix them as well.

But I'm not a doctor.

She's done dealing with them. At least for today. Jasper is out of the woods, and only a girl named Melissa is sick with what might be chicken pox—Clarke’s not sure. Unless someone cuts off an arm, she doesn't want to hear about it. Of course, they will never leave her alone if she stays in camp.

[read more]

I'll just go down to the river and collect some samples. Anything to get away.

She grabs her bag and a bottle of water then sneaks out the gate. Or what will be a gate eventually. It looks like a bunch of junk right now.

Nobody bothers her for fifteen minutes. She sighs in relief. At least she got away without being noticed. Of course that's exactly when someone steps out in front of her. Clarke yelps in surprise. But it's only Bellamy. Sometimes she really wants to punch that smug look off his face.

"What do you want?" she says, shoving past him.

"Going for a walk, princess?"

Clarke grits her teeth. "None of your business and quit calling me that."

"None of my business? You traipsing around the forest alone and unarmed is what my business is all about."

"Go away, Bellamy. I'm not in the mood to deal with you right now."

He doesn't go away. Instead, he falls into step next to her. "Where are you going?"

"Away." He hates it when she doesn’t let him boss her around.

Bellamy huffs at her nonresponse. She expects him to turn around. Or start pestering her for more details about her destination. What she doesn't expect is him grabbing her arm to stop her. His usual smirk replaced by a furrowed brow and tight lips. "What's wrong?"

Clarke cocks her head. Is he serious? She tries to pull free, but he tightens his grip until she glares at him. In that moment she thinks she's capable of murder. Why does he have to be such an ass all of the time?

"Clarke, what's wrong with you? You're acting-"

"There's nothing wrong with me. I just want to be alone. Okay. I can't take the bickering and whining and bullying." She emphasizes the last word then jerks free, turning on her heel. She's not surprised that he follows again.

"Who's been bothering you?"

She wonders if she's imagining the concern in his voice.

"Nobody. Everybody. You."

He snorts. "Wanna talk about it?"

She stops to stare. "You cannot be serious. Maybe I should be asking what's wrong with you. Did you hit your head or something?"

Bellamy faces her, crossing his arms. "Why is it so surprising that I'm concerned?"

"Because you're you. You don't care about anyone besides yourself. And maybe Octavia." She walks away again, slipping and sliding her way down a steep hill. She hears rocks falling behind her and knows he’s still following her.

She trips at the bottom, but Bellamy catches her. He gently sets her on her feet again, his hand lingering at her back. Clarke’s heart skips at his touch. She's not sure what to make of that, but knows she doesn't like it.

Liar.

"That's not true,” Bellamy says as they start walking again. “I care."

She frowns, frantically trying to clamp down on those unwanted feelings. "Really? Should we go over your resume of actions since we landed? Where would we even start? 'Whatever the hell we want.' Encouraging Murphy to get into a knife fight with Wells. Oh, threatening Wells with a gun. Letting Murphy bully everyone into taking off their wristbands-"

"Okay, okay, I get your point. You can stop now."

When Clarke glances up at him, his face is tinted pink and he's frowning. They walk in silence. The longer they go without Bellamy saying anything, the worse she feels. I shouldn't care. He's a jerk and deserves it. And yet her stomach coils into a knot like it knows she did something wrong. But I didn't do anything wrong—I just told him the truth.

She sighs in relief when she hears the rush of the river ahead. It drowns out her swirling thoughts. Bellamy wanders down the bank, watching the woods for trouble. And brooding. She's scraping moss from a rock when he returns, his shadow blocking her light. She watches him warily as she stands and shoves the sodden mess into her bag.

"I do care what happens to you, Clarke," he says suddenly. "I know I don’t always show it, but I do."

Clarke blinks, shocked by his confession. He looks anywhere but at her, body tense, one hand resting on his hatchet. She's never seen him so uncomfortable. It's kind of charming.

She wipes her hands on her pants, trying to put all the facts together in her head. He followed her out here to make sure she was safe. He stayed even after she told him to leave. He still hasn't left. Would he do that for anyone else? Maybe.

The knot tightens, forcing a lump into her throat. "I care what happens to you, too, you know. You make it really difficult sometimes."

Bellamy ducks his head. Clarke's sure she sees him blush, but when his gaze meets hers again, he has his trademark smirk on his face. She waits for him to say something snarky, but he only smiles. "You ready to head back?"

Clarke sighs, looking around for anything else to do, but she's already taken samples of everything. "Yeah, I guess."

They scramble up the embankment, Bellamy pulling Clarke up by the hand. He holds it several seconds longer than needed. At least it feels longer. The knot in her stomach morphs into a pack of fluttering butterflies sending shivers up and down her spine. She hates that she kind of likes it.

"So, did you find everything you were looking for, princess?" he asks, interrupting her scattered and confusing thoughts.

She takes a deep breath to get herself under control. "Why do you have to keep calling me that? I'm not a princess."

He chuckles. "Because it annoys you."

"Of course you would do that," she mutters, rolling her eyes.

Forget what I said about charming.

"Come on, Clarke, lighten up a bit." When she doesn't say anything, he stops her with a hand on her shoulder. "If it bothers you that much, I'll stop. Okay?"

She's not sure if he's being serious. The look he's giving her is intense and makes her body tingle all over. "It does bother me."

"Okay."

"You're really going to stop? Just like that?"

Bellamy shrugs and starts walking again. "Why not? I can control my mouth when I want to."

This makes Clarke laugh. Okay, maybe he can be charming. Sometimes. When he lets himself. She wishes it were more often.

"Can I ask you something?" The look he gives her is skeptical, but he nods. "How come you try so hard to be a jerk when it's obvious you're a nice guy? The way Octavia talks about you, you'd think you were a saint or something."

He looks away, rubbing at the back of his neck. "Yeah, well, she's my sister, so she has to say stuff like that."

"I'm pretty sure there are no rules for siblings. She really means it."

They can see the camp coming into view up ahead. He slows, Clarke matching his pace. "Let's just say I do what I have to do to survive. You should do the same. Princess." His eyes sparkle at her glare, and he raises his hands in surrender. “Last time, I swear.”

He walks away backwards, a disgustingly adorable grin on his stupid face then turns and swaggers through the gate. Clarke flushes—she can feel it from the ends of her toes to the tips of her ears.

And sometimes he can be too charming.

She really, really hates admitting that she gets a little thrill every time he calls her ‘princess.’ Especially with that hint of affection in his voice.

She takes a few seconds to pull herself together before entering the camp, hoping her face isn't too red. Bellamy’s already barking orders at kids who are standing around. Clarke watches him a moment. She doesn’t get him most of the time, but she kind of understands where he's coming from. He doesn't have the luxury of being soft if he wants to maintain control. And it doesn't bother her that he's in control. He’s a good leader despite his faults. She admires that.

Not that I’d ever admit it.

Marley—the best friend of the girl with chicken pox—runs up in tears as soon as Clarke enters the camp, her face covered in little red dots. "Clarke, look at this. What is this?" She sounds frantic. There are three more waiting inside the drop ship. Clarke sighs. No rest for the weary, I guess.

Or the wicked.

She hears the last part in Bellamy's voice, and it makes her smile. She follows Marley inside, confident the dim lighting will hide her blush this time. She’ll just have to ignore the butterflies.

 
 
Jen
04 March 2017 @ 08:08 pm
Kid #1: But it's a free country.
Dad: No, it's not really a free country.
Kid #2: Not any more.

I had to bite my lips to keep from laughing.
 
 
Jen
01 March 2017 @ 05:25 pm
Apparently someone recced my Stargate fanfic somewhere because my blog has suddenly exploded with hits, and just about every Sam/Jack story has been read--many more than once.

I always find it kind of funny that my blog is where I my fanfic is read the most despite being posted on LJ (where the Stargate community was for so long) and AO3. Why my blog?
 
 
Jen
04 February 2017 @ 05:35 am
Saying good-bye gets harder and harder. Bellamy hopes this one isn't forever.
586 words | rating: PG


Every time we say goodbye, it gets harder and harder to let you go.

I want to tell her that. It's on the tip of my tongue, but my pride stops me every time. Or fear. Fear of being rejected. Fear of being accepted. Fear of losing a part of me. I prefer the pride theory—it doesn't sound as pathetic.

This goodbye just might kill me, though. My heart races when I realize she's serious about leaving. Is she insane? Maybe there's a tentative peace with the Grounders, but there are other dangers out there. And who knows how long the Grounders will honor the truce. Or if they all will. A lot of them dislike Clarke with a passion. She tends to have that effect on people. You either hate her or love her.

I know. Because I really hate the way her mouth keeps repeating, "I'm so sorry," over and over. And I hate how defeated she looks. How defeated she makes me feel when she looks at me with those haunted eyes. I hate her for making me hurt this damn much.

[read more]"Clarke-"

She cuts me off, as she did the other four times I tried to talk some sense into her. "I just can't, Bellamy. You have to understand."

I'm trying. I really am, but panic is setting in and overriding whatever part of my brain is left for empathy. It's selfish of me to want her to stay just for me, but I'm damn near close to begging her. The thought of her out in the forest alone scares me a lot more than losing my pride, but I bite my tongue and hold my breath.

My heart pounds in my head. I wonder how it got up there when it's supposed to be in my chest. There's probably no room left because I still haven't let out that breath. She looks sadly over her shoulder at the camp. We worked so hard to get this started, I want to tell her. You can't go now. Not yet. Not without me.

I'm ready to offer to go with her, but she catches me off guard when she leans up and kisses me softly on the cheek. It's not my pride that keeps my mouth shut this time, but unbridled fear. Because I don't know what that kiss means. I do know it's not enough. The only thing keeping me from throwing her over my shoulder and dragging her back to camp is the fact that she's carrying a knife and could carve my still-beating heart from my chest if she wanted.

That, and my unyielding respect for her. She walks away from me as I'm forced to swallow another breath, to keep pushing air in and out when it feels like the world is crushing me. She's really doing it. And I'm letting her. And I think it might kill me, but what choice do I have?

If I told her the truth—that I needed her, that I didn't think I could get through a day without her—would she change her mind? I almost died for her. I don't ask, though, because it would hurt too much if she left anyway.

Maybe the next goodbye will be easier. If there is one. Because as I watch her disappear into the treeline, I vow there will never be a "next time" because I won't let her go alone. Next time she won't get rid of me as easily.
 
 
 
Jen
03 February 2017 @ 07:46 pm


There are a lot of dangers on the ground, but Bellamy found out quickly that the scariest one was Clarke Griffin. She had ways of hurting him he'd never imagined, and yet, he keeps going back for more. Like a moth to a flame in the center of hell.

Written for fanfic50: #35 follow

849 words | rating: PG-13



He watches her. From across a room. Across the camp. Trudging through the forest when he should be watching for danger. But then again, Clarke Griffin represents a real threat to Bellamy Blake. At first it was a threat to his authority. He'd taken advantage of his age and the uniform he'd stolen to influence the kids on the dropship. Years of indoctrination had them automatically looking to someone older to tell them what to do. He liked having the power for once. He liked the way the kids looked up to him. Were afraid of him. Except Clarke.

No, she had to stand in his way, constantly challenge his decisions, or just ignore his orders. He may have had a "no rules" policy, but she split loyalties. Created a wedge in the group. And Octavia was on her side. That stung the most. For the first time in his life, his sister didn't have that hero-worship glean in her eyes when she looked at him. That wasn't Clarke's fault, but it was easier to blame her than himself.

[read more]Later, the danger became physical because everywhere Clarke Griffin went, pain seemed to follow. She attracted trouble like moths to a flame. She was always going off on some fool-hearty mission, and bringing back trouble. She just had to take a group to find Mount Weather. A group including Octavia. That right there put her on his shit-list. But then she came back minus one geek, an injured Octavia, and a grounder army on her tail. And then wanted to go back out and find Jasper. She'd talked him into that particularly crazy scheme. Manipulated him to be more exact. It wouldn't be the last time—Clarke knew how to push every one of his buttons.

Now the danger is completely different, if not related to the first two. She continues to get in his way every move he makes, arguing about his choices, making him second-guess every decision. And there is still trouble wherever she goes. Still grounder armies prowling around her. Still attempts on her life that he has to avert. Still fights to keep her safe. But the real danger now comes from deep down inside of himself.

He watches her from across the corridor. She gestures frantically at her mother, her voice rising with her passion. She’s pleading to go back out and find Finn. Her mother looks less than convinced. Actually, she looks like letting Clarke leave camp ever again is the last thing she’ll allow. She apparently doesn’t know her daughter very well. Abby is not going to win this fight. She makes a valiant effort, though—metaphorically putting her foot down.

The conversation settled in her mother's mind, Clarke spins and stalks towards him. She looks like hell—her face broken and bruised, but the fire in her eyes lights flames in his chest, the heat radiating into every inch of his body. She'd hugged him when he walked into camp. Nearly knocked him off his feet with the intensity she puts into everything she does. He hadn't been expecting it. Hadn't realized it was exactly what he needed to heal wounds he hadn't time to even catalog. He'd held her tight despite Octavia's quips and smirk. Up until that point, he didn't know if she was alive or dead. Battered and alive and in his arms was definitely a best-case scenario in their lives.

Right now, she locks eyes with him—her gaze never wavering, jaw set in a dangerous way. Whatever is on her mind is going to hurt. Physically, mentally, probably emotionally, because everything with her hurts. She barely slows as she passes him.

"We're going to need guns," she murmurs.

Of course they are. Because there is no doubt she will ignore her mother’s final say. Finn is still out there and nothing will stop her. Nothing ever did. Bellamy can’t stop her. The grounders can’t stop her. The Mountain Men will probably regret the day they met Clarke Griffin. He learned long ago that fighting it her pointless. Instead, he runs through probable scenarios that will result in the acquisition of weapons.

His body aches everywhere. He's been beaten, nearly incinerated, almost fallen off a cliff, and has just walked fifteen miles half-carrying an injured Mel. He wants nothing more than a shower, a hot meal, and a soft bed. Nothing more except to keep one head-strong princess safe. So he ignores the pain and goes to work. He'll find her guns and help her escape into enemy territory. He'll search for Finn and watch their happy reunion without a sound because it's what she wants. Needs. And he needs for her to be safe. And happy if that is possible.

Trouble follows Clarke everywhere, but she is most dangerous to Bellamy because she's wormed her way into his heart. He’s in way over his head, and he knows it. Loving Clarke will open entirely new avenues of danger. But he'll follow her to hell and back if she asks. Which he is sure is exactly where they are heading right now.
 
 
Jen
29 January 2017 @ 10:01 pm
Sleepless nights send Bellamy and Clarke on a crash course to finally fixing their friendship. Post season 3. For fanfic50 prompt: sleep.
Bellamy/Clarke friendship | 2043 words | rated R for language



I'm not even sure why I'm here. I was on my way back to my quarters, but took a wrong turn. I guess I wasn't paying attention. But now that I'm here, I'm not sure what to do. The hall is dark, the power low to reflect the late hour, and it's quiet. Everyone went to bed hours ago. I think about turning around. I think about going through with it. I think about running for my life because I'm sure this might be the biggest fucking mistake of my life.

All of this runs through my head in the matter of seconds. While my brain is trying to sort it out, my feet get a mind of their own. Next thing I know, I'm standing in front of Clarke's quarters.

[read more]This is okay. Isn't it? We're friends. After everything we've been through, it's perfectly normal for one friend to call on another. I ignore the fact that it's three in the morning. She said we needed each other. That had to mean something, right? And right now I need her. I need to talk to her. She always gets me like no one else can, not even Octavia. I need to talk to her. I need to see her face. To assure myself that she's still here. That she isn’t some cruel prank my brain is playing on me. That she's real, and she stayed this time.

She needed me.

And now I need her.

I hover in front of her door, rooted by indecision. On one hand, Lexa just died. It's not like I'm asking her to marry me—I just want to talk. To spend time with her. We're friends. On the other hand, the world is probably going to end in another month. There aren't going to be many more somedays. I pull my hand back to knock, but then I hear footsteps.

My heart leaps into my throat as someone rounds the corner, but it's just one of the guards. Probably heading home from the late shift just like me. He barely gives me a nod as he passes, his heavy steps scuffing the floor. I let out a breath. This is ridiculous. If I'm jumping like a startled school kid caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar then I know this is wrong.

I spin on my heel and force myself to walk away. Without looking back. This never happened. I won't even think about how close I came to making a fool out of myself. I'll go home, take a hot shower, pretend I can sleep in my soft bed, and when I get up, she'll have breakfast with me and our friends. She's real. She's here. She wants to be here.

Because she has nowhere else to go.

I hate that part of my brain that doubts everything. But I can't turn it off. It’s been right more times than I want to admit. I still hate it though.

Before I know it, I'm rounding the corner of my corridor. I stop dead in my tracks as someone almost crashes into me. I reach out instinctively to steady the person. Our breaths hitch at the exact same time.

"I couldn't sleep," Clarke blurts out before I can even find my voice.

I nod dumbly. She bites her lip, eyes darting around like she's afraid to see the expression on my face. But I can't look away. She's looks awful. In a beautiful way. Her hair is dry and brittle, still braided and matted. There are dark circles under her eyes and her skin is pale. Her cheeks slightly sunken. I know I'm not much better. The stress of living on the ground—the daily struggles just to survive—and the impending apocalypse have left us exhausted. Walking dead, the both of us.

I can't look away, though, because she's the most beautiful thing I've seen. My heart thuds painfully against my chest, threatening to tear free. I'm pretty sure Clarke can hear it. It takes effort to keep my breathing steady.

Her eyes finally meet mine, and her cheeks have lost that pallid look as pink tints her skin. It's adorable. "You wanna come in?"

She furrows her brow, looking from me to the door then back. Her indecision and confusion are familiar. I shoot her a small smile as I punch in my access code, flubbing it twice before getting it right. The lights come on automatically when I enter, but Clarke doesn't follow at first.

I can't remember ever seeing her this nervous. That's just not Clarke. Now I'm even more curious.

"You just got off duty; you probably want to rest. I should-" she finally says.

"Clarke, you obviously came by for a reason. Might as well come in now that I'm here."

She grimaces. "I wasn't really thinking about it. I just sort of ended up here."

I grin. "You don't say."

Confusion contorts her face, and all I can do is chuckle. I open the door wider, stepping to the side. "Come in already."

It takes her a second, but then she's moving. She ducks her head as she scuttles past. I take a second longer than necessary to shut a door while I get myself together. The stupid smile on my face is going to be a dead give-away. I lick my lips and watch her. She takes in my quarters. I don't think she's been in here before. Hell, I'm rarely in here.

"Um-" She looks up at me, the pink deepening. "I really didn't think about what time it was. I don't-"

"Sleep? Yeah, neither do I. So make yourself at home." She still doesn't move so I take her by the shoulders and force her to sit on the bed, and fuck, if that doesn't turn me on more than anything she's ever done. Clarke Griffin is in my room on my bed. I'm done.

She fiddles with a tear in her pants, not looking at me. I hate that things have been so awkward between us. I wish we could go back. I'd even settle for way back when we were constantly at each other's throats because at least we could look at each other without all of the regret and guilt. Now is not the time to be dwelling on that because I'm sure the smallest thing is going to make her bolt like a frightened rabbit.

I grab a bottle of water from a crate in the corner. "I'm gonna take a quick shower-" She starts to get up, but I gently press her back down. "I'll be like fifteen minutes." She takes the water but just turns the bottle around and around in her hands.

I watch her for a second until I’m sure she’s not just going to leave then I take the quickest shower in my life. My hair is still dripping into my eyes and my clothes are sticking to my wet skin when I leave the bathroom, terrified she'll be gone. But she's not. She's stretched across my bed, a book covering her chest.

I try not to smile, because Clarke sleeping has to be the cutest thing I've seen since Octavia was a baby. She snorts then absently rubs at her nose, face all scrunched. She must have been tired. I'm not really sure what to do now. Clarke's taking up most of the bed. The floor doesn't look very appealing, but there's a certain lack of furniture in my quarters.

The whole predicament strikes me as humorous. After everything we've been through—the near-death, the fighting, and starving—how many times were we camped out next to each other or crashed wherever there was space? We've been through so much. Standing here like an idiot is stupid. Clarke came here because she wanted to be here. With me.

I keep telling myself that as I gently lift the book from her limp fingers, setting it on the table. I pull the blanket from the foot of the bed then slide in next to her. After a second she scoots over. I'm not sure she's even awake until she grunts.

"You're a bed-hog," she mumbles.

"Me?" I can barely contain my laughter. "I've got like five inches over here."

She squirms away until I can fit almost half of my body next to her. "These beds were not designed for two." She giggles, sending a surge of warmth through my whole body.

The only way we'll fit is if I tuck my arm under her head, but that seems to work for her. She scrunches up next to me, arm across my chest, her head cushioned by my shoulder like it's the most natural thing in the world. And fuck, it feels natural. Like this is the way it should have always been. Like I can't imagine sleeping any other way.

Clarke lets out a little sigh. "Read to me."

"What?"

"The book. It looks interesting, but I'm too tired to read. I can't even see straight."

I pull the book over, flipping it to the last page I dogeared and start reading. Only a few minutes pass before my tongue feels like lead and my throat starts to close up. I nearly drop the book when a yawn hits me. Clarke is sound asleep, though, her soft snores tickling my skin. I'm still kind of in awe about the whole thing—she's really here. After everything that happened, I wasn't sure she'd ever be a permanent part of my life again, but here she is. In my bed. Whatever the fuck that means. All I know is that I want this every night for the rest of our short lives. I slide my hand down her head, over her hair. She hums at the touch which sends all sorts of tingles through my body.

Clarke squeezes closer to me, burying her face further into my neck. I think she's doing it on purpose because she's driving me nuts. I set the book on the table then dim the lights before sliding further under the covers. I pull her closer when she starts to move away.

"Bellamy," she says softly, voice groggy.

"Hm?"

"Is this okay? Me here?"

What does she want me to say? That I've been dreaming about this very thing for the last six months? Probably not. I work at keeping my breathing steady. "Yeah, it's fine. It's not like I needed a full bed to sleep on anyway."

She slaps my chest. I hold her hand over my heart that is thudding so loudly I think they could here it back up in space. "Yeah, this is okay." More than okay, I want to tell her, but maybe it's best to go slow. Rushing into things tends to get us both hurt. I've learned at least that much on the ground. "You wanted to talk to me about something?"

She yawns. "It can wait."

I smile. "You wanna know the truth, Clarke?" I feel her nod. "I was on my way back from your place when we ran into each other. I don't know how I got there. I was going home, but ended up there instead."

"How come?"

"I couldn't sleep."

"Me neither."

"You don't seem to be having any problems right now."

Clarke shrugs. "I guess not. How about you?"

I look down at her little upturned nose—the way her lashes flutter as her eyes move under the lids—and the soft roundness of her lips as she puffs out air. "If you stay here, I don't think I'll have any trouble sleeping.”

I hear her laugh, but she snuggles in closer. The tension falls from my shoulders. The world has been trying to kill us since we set foot on it, but if it's my time to go right now, I'm good as long as Clarke is by my side. I press a kiss to the top of her head as she returns to snoring. I listen to the sound of her breathing, feeling the rise and fall of her chest against my own until the darkness swells up and everything else fades away. It's just me and her and that's all I ever need.
 
 
Jen
25 January 2017 @ 08:01 pm
See the master post for more details about the Jumper series.

Title: First Time
POV: Ryder Reed
Rating: G
Wordcount: 879
WARNINGS: none

Summary: Ryder recalls his first experience with Jumping.


The first time I Jumped I was ten years old. In fact it was my tenth birthday. Dad threw a huge party for my entire school. Not just my class, but the entire school--all three hundred of us. He rented out the largest Jump Gym his company owned for the entire day. Of course the younger kids couldn't Jump, but they had fun in the Kiddie Korner while the big kids ran the world.

I don't know anything about that first Host except that he was a kid like me because kids are only allowed to Jump into other kids. Something about brain wave activity syncing up. I didn't understand it then and barely understand it now, but there was a huge lecture before we were allowed to use the Pods. I don't think anyone was really paying attention--we were all too excited.

[read more]

After what felt like an eternity, the safety monitor let us loose. Dad led me to a Pod in the center of the room. The egg shaped devise opened on the side, revealing a plush lounge. I had to use a booster so I was the right height to fit the wired Cap over my head. The metal contraption had to be tightened to its smallest size to make sure the electrodes connected at all the right spots. Dad talked me through the entire procedure even though I'd already read every book on Jumping I could get my hands on--not just the kid ones, but advanced reading I found at the library.

My best friend Zennor, who didn't turn ten for another month, bounced up and down next to the Pod, eyes glistening with jealousy.

"Ready?" Dad asked, typing in the destination Host code into the control pad.

I licked my lips, trying to look calmer than I felt. Satisfied I wasn't going to wet myself from excitement, I nodded. Just before Zennor disappeared behind the closing hatch, I stuck my tongue out at him, and he flipped me off in return.

Jumping into another person is a curious experience. Despite all of my research, I didn't know what to expect. There was a sudden burst of adrenaline that left me woozy and sick. I'd read that about ten percent of first-timers throw up. Luckily, I kept down whatever food my Host had eaten. After the rush, there was momentary confusion as my mind tried to sync with the Host's body. About twenty-three percent of newbies trip over their own feet within seconds. Which is what I did.

I landed flat on my face, scraping my chin. While Jumping, you feel whatever the Host body feels as if it were your own, but it didn't hurt as much as a real skinned chin which kind of surprised me. The entire class had Jumped into a group reserved for us at some Host House, so all of my friends witnessed my faceplant. But since no one could recognize me, their laughter felt freeing instead of humiliating. I could do anything without worrying about how I looked.

I spent thirty minutes inside that Host, learning how to control arms and legs that didn't belong to me. Just as I was going for an awesome layup, something beeped in my head letting me know my time in the Pod was ending. I watched my ball go wide as my vision faded. I blinked, and I was back in my own body feeling a little queasy and disoriented. Dad's beaming face appeared above me.

"So how was it?"

I had to think about it for a minute because my brain was a jumble of disconnected experiences and sensations--some of them my own, some belonging to the Host. Slowly they sorted themselves out, and I smiled wide. "It was amazing! When can I go again?"

Dad helped me up with a laugh. "You have to wait an hour before you can go back in."

"But I want to go now--my team was winning the game."

"Those are the rules, Ryder, you know that better than anyone."

I pouted. "You're the boss, though, you could bend the rules if you wanted. It's my birthday."

He shook his head. "It's for your own safety. Once you get more experience, you'll get to stay in longer, I promise."

I knew he was right, but I hated admitting it. I just huffed and climbed out, nearly falling on wobbly legs. Dad caught me with a knowing look. Luckily no one else saw. By the time I'd regained complete control of my motor functions, Zennor was running my way.

"Well?" he asked, eyes narrowed. He was hoping I'd hated it. About sixteen percent of the people that try Jumping can't sync their minds and never go back in. Zennor was always looking for a way to outdo me.

I smiled. "I am never not going to Jump!"

I could tell Zennor was disappointed that I'd had fun, but he was my best friend, so off we ran to celebrate with the other Newbies that were already out of the Pods. Two months later, I helped Zennor to his feet after he nearly gave himself a concussion on his first Jump.

We've been Jumping daily ever since. And not to brag, but I'm pretty damn good at.

 
 
Jen
25 January 2017 @ 07:41 pm
So, I've been writing a bunch of short stories based in a universe I've been developing. Nothing serious--just for fun and to focus my writing.

The setting is the distant future after drought, plagues and war have decimated the Earth. Giant tower cities dot the landscape with fringes of desolate land surrounding them were peasants and religious fanatics eek out a living. The lower classes struggle to survive in the lower levels of the cities while the upper classes live at the tops of the towers. The favorite past time for the wealthy is "jumping."

Jumping allows a person's mind to control a Host body for a limited amount of time. It's used for recreation and travel allowing the Jumper to experience new places and adventures without risk to their own body or leaving the safety of their ivory towers. It's also used to conduct business over long distances. Hosts are supposed to be volunteers and be paid for their services, but of course, rules are broken and a black market has sprung up.

The largest towers cities in the US are ready to go to war over limited natural resources, and the powers that be have decided to send Hosts in to do the fighting, recruiting the best Jumpers to control them during battle. They have little regard for the lives of the lower classes that tend to be Hosts--seeing them as a blight on their societies.

The stories follow five characters.

  • Ryder Reed is the son of the CEO of one of the companies that develops Jump technology and also a Jumping prodigy known in the xtreme sports world. He's recruited to the war effort.

  • November is a Host that has lived his entire life in an orphanage with no hope for a real future. He's sent off to war and has no control over anything he does.

  • Juliet is November's best friend at the orphanage. When he disappears during a battle, she makes it her mission to find him and get payback on his Jumper.

  • Faith St. James lives in one of the primitive villages in the ruins of the Fringe. She's not content with her life in the religious cult her parents belong to and dreams of exploring the "cursed" cities she can see gleaming on the horizon.

  • Zennor is Ryder's best friend. He excels at hacking and getting into trouble. Jealous of being left behind when Ryder is drafted, he breaks all of the rules.

I'm not writing the stories in any particular order--just as they come to mind, and since I'm still developing the characters, the universe and the larger story, I'm sure there will be some continuity problems that will change canon. Those will be noted and/or fixed as I go along.

I'm going to list the stories here in some kind of order that makes sense (hopefully).

  1. First Time - Ryder (added 1/25/17) | Ryder recalls his first experience with Jumping.

 
 
Jen
18 January 2017 @ 08:43 pm
from ami_ven

1. How old will you be in 5 years?
45

2. Who have you been together with for the last 2 hours?
My entire family because the kids haven't been to school since last Tuesday thanks to the weather. I'm losing my mind.

3. How tall are you?
5’5"

4. What movie did you last see?
I half watched Marley & Me with the kids earlier. Last one I saw in the theater was Force Awakens, I think.

5. Whom did you call last?
My husband a few weeks ago when I was trying to get hold of him after our son was injured at school and needed to be taken to the doctor.

6. Who called you last?
Some random number I don't recognize. Before that was my son on the day he hurt himself.

7. What was the content of your last SMS?
Just my husband seeing how I was while he was at work.

8. Do you prefer to call or SMS?
I hate talking on the phone so texting.

9. What is your favorite place?
I guess my room.

10. What is your least favorite place?
Anyplace with a lot of people <-- this

11. When did you last see your mother?
August 17, 2000. I said bye and told her I'd visit her in the hospital the next day once she was out of recovering and feeling better. She had a massive stroke on the table and fell into a coma that night. I never say her alive again. She was pronounced braindead on the 19th. She was 51.

12. What color are your eyes?
brown

13. What's your favorite Christmas song?
probably the Bing Crosby/Andrew Sisters version of Jingle Bells

14. Are your parents married or divorced?
They were married when my mom died a week before their 29th anniversary. It's  been 16 years, and my dad still hasn't recovered from losing her.

15. When did you wake up today?
I think it was 10am. I wanted to sleep later because I had a headache, but my stupid cat wouldn't leave me alone. He woke me at 4:30am wanting out, at 8am wanting in and then again at 10 wanting who knows what. I gave up after that. It's like having a toddler int he house again.
 
 
 
Jen
07 January 2017 @ 04:14 pm

With two new graves dug, Bellamy finally realizes he’s going to need help keeping everyone alive, but first he has to get everyone inside the walls. Bellamy & Clarke friendship. For fanfic50 prompt: grave.

1108 words | rating: PG

Bellamy finds Clarke sitting against a tree, staring at the freshly turned earth. The sun's gone down, and it's getting cold. Behind him, the kids are locking the camp down for the night. Threat of another Grounder attack blankets the camp with a layer of tension that weighs down everyone’s spirits. No one wants to be caught outside the hastily built wall, especially at night. Except one person.

Clarke hugs her legs tight to her chest, face buried in her knees. Her shoulders rise and fall with each muffled sob. He has no idea what to say to her, butt if there's onething he’s learned in the few days on the ground, though, it’s that you have to approach Clarke Griffin head-on.
[click here to read more]

Bellamy clears his throat. "You shouldn't be out here by yourself."

Clarke says nothing, but she tenses at the sound of his voice.

"Look, it's getting dark. You need to come back inside the wall where it's safe." His eyes dart to the grave in front of her—one of two new ones dug yesterday.

"What do you care?" she murmurs into her knees.

Why does he care? Clarke has got to be the most frustrating person Bellamy's ever met. She's bossy, brash, and overbearing. It doesn't matter what he does, she's arguing the opposite side, making him second guess every decision, sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. But then there are moments she takes him completely by surprise.

Two days go, he watched her plunge a knife into someone's neck. She didn't do it all cold and emotionless. No, not Clarke Griffin. She hummed, showing the compassion of a lover as she killed a boy to save him from a drawn-out, painful death.

Bellamy had threatened to kill Jasper in a moment of arrogant superiority. He really thought he could do it if it settled everyone down and put the kid out of his misery. It wasn't murder if the kid was going to die anyway, right? But then Atom. He sat there watching his friend die, and he couldn't do it. But Clarke could. In that moment, he'd seen someone entirely different from the pretentious, know-it-all princess he assumed her to be.

She lets out a sob then sucks it back in. Bellamy runs a hand over his face then squats down in front of her. "Hey," he says, tapping her knee. "Clarke." She refuses to look at him. He sighs, letting his hands dangle between his knees. "I know this is hard for you, but you need to come inside. It's not safe out here."

"Just leave me alone."

Bellamy shakes his head. "Not gonna happen, princess. I can't leave you out here alone."

"Why not?"

"For one, you’re not armed. And two, you're not exactly in the best state of mind for making rational decisions."

She snorts. "Because you're such a great judge on rational decision making."

He smiles—surprised that Clarke even has a sense of humor—then sinks down next to her. He rests his head against the tree, eyes fluttering closed. The air tingles his skin in an unfamiliar way. It feels good. It feels natural, unlike the recycled air on the Ark. A fight breaks out inside the wall, but he's too tired to care at the moment.

"Are you really going to sit out here all night?"

Bellamy glances down at her. "If you're staying out here then I'm staying out here."

She frowns. "Why?"

He's tired of dancing around the subject. "Because I don't want anything to happen to you."

"No, seriously."

"I am being serious, Clarke. These kids need you."

She looks away. "Right, the kids need me." She sniffles again.

"Clarke-"

"God, Bellamy, why can't you just leave me alone?"

Anger boils up. Why does she have to be so ungrateful all of the time? But then she starts crying again. Big, stupid tears spilling down her cheeks, soaking the knees of her pants. Something wrenches in his chest then drops to the pit of his stomach. He thinks it might be his heart.

He squeezes her arm gently. "Because you just lost your best friend, and you shouldn't be alone. Because you’re the closest thing to a doctor we have. Because-” He sucks up his pride and catches her eyes. “Because I can’t run this place on my own. I need your help.” The other night made him realize that, because there are things he’s not prepared to do—can’t do. But Clarke never hesitates.

As if to highlight his point, the yelling from inside the camp gets louder. There’s a crash and a scream. Bellamy rubs at his tired eyes, letting his head fall back.

“What happened to ‘whatever the hell we want?’” She sniffles then wipes her nose on the sleeve of her jacket.

He groans. He knew that would come back to bite him in the ass. “Things are different now. The Grounders-”

“I’ll go inside,” Clarke interrupts, “if you admit you were wrong.”

He frowns at her, trying to hide his relief. “Wrong about what? No one suspected there were people on the ground.”

Clarke’s eyes narrow, but the corner of her mouth twitches. “That’s not it.”

Bellamy stands, stretching his arms over his head. “Wrong about how useless princesses are?”

“Close, but no.”

He bites back a smile at her eye-roll then reaches a hand down to her. She stares at it for a few seconds before gripping it tightly. He easily lifts her to her feet but doesn’t let go. Her fingers are cold but soft—so different from his own covered in cuts and callouses. His thumb rubs over her knuckles as he steps closer.

“Fine. You were right,” Bellamy says softly. “We need rules or someone’s going to get hurt.” They both look at the mounds of dirt marked by simple wooden crosses. He sighs, letting her hand slip from his. “Maybe if we work together we won’t be digging graves every other day.”

Clarke sniffles then wipes her cheeks with the backs of her hands. When her entire body trembles, Bellamy puts a gently hand on her shoulder, turning her towards camp. She goes without protest, his hand sliding down her arm as they walk. He squeezes her hand once when they get to the gate. She gives him a weak smile then walks in ahead of him.

Bellamy takes one last look into the dark forest then glances at Miller standing guard. “Anyone else missing?”

“You’re the last.”

“Good. Lock ‘er up,” he says, twirling his finger in the air as he follows Clarke. At least they’re all safe for one more night.
 
 
Jen
20 October 2016 @ 08:56 pm
I follow this site: Lousy Book Covers. Sometimes out of boredom or because of some comment, I check out the actual book. This one made me go to Amazon where I started to read the preview, and oh my god.

The book is Royal Dragon by Mia Angela Maroh. As expected from self-published books with horrible covers, the writing is atrocious. The best I can say is that there weren't any spelling mistakes in what I read. But I only read the first three paragraphs then skimmed the next couple. An excerpt:
Ersa truly was a beautiful woman. She had white hair tied up into a pony-tail. She had blue eyes and a pail complexion. She wore ice blue dress, which was actually made of ice, and blue glass heals. She was loved by everyone yet she was socially awkward. She didn't care much for socializing except with her sister. You could say she wasn't the most intimate person in the world.

She's also one of the "Elemental Generation" with the ability to control ice. She has a sister with red hair that likes to sing. And their parents died on a trip.

Now, I've never seen Frozen, but from what I've heard this is starting to sound familiar.

The book is only 90 pages long, so the preview is a couple pages of description and some conversation Ersa has with her advisor. I have no idea what the rest of the book is about except that she's forced into a marriage with the queen of the dragons or something. I'm pretty sure that wasn't in Frozen, but the first few paragraphs read like thinly disguised Frozen fanfic.

I have no idea why I posted this. I just found it amusing which I needed after watching the Bears get spanked by the Packers. I'm also procrastinating working on my NaNo outline. Oh, and I just bet Meagan $100 that she can't beat Owen's GPA at the end of the year. He currently has a 3.8 (all As and one B). This should be interesting.
 
 
Jen
10 July 2016 @ 02:41 am
I've been listening to this playlist on youtube the last few days. I didn't create it, but it had songs I liked, so I keep playing it. And now I have a shit-ton of One Direction songs stuck in my head. Why? There are over 50 songs in this list. Why are the 1D songs stuck? Worse: I actually like most of them, and started watching the videos. Now I feel like I must offer a sacrifice to the music gods in penance. I also learned that you can judge the timeframe for each song by how long Harry's hair is.

It's not really that bad. Most of the music on the list would be considered crap by most people, but it's fun and reminds me of when the kids were younger and still into pop music instead of all the rap they listen to now.
 
 
Jen
09 July 2016 @ 02:12 am
The 100 (tv)
Clarke & Murphy
836 words
rating: R
WARNINGS: language; spoilers for season 3


Murphy and Clarke are locked in her room in Polis, but they need to escape before the next Heda is crowned and the kill order goes into affect. Or worse. Tag for s3e07.






Murphy slams his fists into the door. Then kicks it a few times for good measure. He hates being locked up. He's spent his entire life locked up—in that tin can of a space station. In a cell in the Skybox. In lighthouse bunkers. In Grounder prison camps. And dungeons. And now here. At least Clarke's bedroom has better accommodations than any of the other places.

He runs his hands through his greasy hair then clasps them behind his neck. Clarke sits on a chair, staring into space, tears still dripping from her chin onto the pillow she grips tightly in her lap. Murphy rolls his eyes. She's supposed to be our leader? Pathetic.

[WARNING: spoilers for season 3]"Clarke." He snaps his fingers in front of her. "Hey, Clarke, wake up. We have to get out of here." She continues to stare blankly. He considers slapping her silly, but he hates to admit he's kind of afraid of Clarke. He's seen her kill in cold blood. And she's quick with a knife. She's not the "princess" everyone thinks she is. Maybe the Grounders have it right—she is the Commander of Death.

Instead he squats in front of her. "Clarke," he says a little more softly, brushing his fingers across her blood-stained hand. She blinks. Her eyes have this dead, haunted look about them that scares him more than he wants to admit. "Come on, Clarke," he pleads, getting a little desperate. "We don’t have time for you to fall apart now. Save that shit for when our deaths aren’t eminent. Snap out of it already so we can go home."

He thinks about leaving her. Thinks hard about it. What does he care anyway? But he does care. Dammit. He hates them all for making him care. He remembers the concern in Clarke's voice when she recognized his bloodied body tied up in her room. Her immediate response was to help him. To save him. She always has to save everyone. Be the fucking hero. The only person she can't save is herself.

He rubs a hand along his face, wincing at the burn of each cut and throb of each bruise. Then he smacks her. Not as hard as he could, but enough to snap her head back. She jerks away, eyes finally focusing on him. There's a bit of fire in them again.

"Good," Murphy says with a smirk, "you're back. Now we can get the hell out-"

She punches him right in the mouth before he can finish. He tumbles back, cracking his head on the floor. "What the fuck, Clarke?" he mumbles through his hands. The room spins as little blobs of color pop up in front of his eyes.

"You hit me."

"Yeah, to wake you up. You went all comatose." He spits blood onto the floor. "Look, I'm sorry Lexa's dead. No, actually, I'm not because she was a bitch, but we can't stay here. Lexa was the only thing keeping them from stringing us up by our intestines. And even if they stick with her plan, the kill order goes into affect at dawn. We have to leave now or we won't make it back in time."

She starts pacing in front of the bed, fingers tangled in her hair. He approaches her cautiously, like an injured animal. When he touches her shoulder she crumbles. He barely has time to catch her. She clutches his shirt, bawling into his shoulder. He grimaces as her fingers dig into the still-fresh welts across his back. How can Bellamy stand her?

"Clarke, get a grip." He lets her cry for what feels like an hour, but is only a sixty-count in his head then he firmly pushes her away by the shoulders. "Don't make me smack you again."

Amazingly, this gets a small, tired smile. She licks her lips then wipes the tears with the backs of her hands. Her lip's quivering, but she doesn't look like she might implode anymore. The smile only stays a few seconds, but it gives Murphy hope that the old Clarke is still in there somewhere.

"We're locked in here. Any idea how we can get out?"

He can see the wheels turning in her head. She's calculating all strategies and risks, discarding bad ideas, reconsidering them a moment later. It's the Clarke he knows and trusts. He finally lets out a sigh of relief. As much as he hates Camp Jaha or whatever they're calling it these days, he sure as hell doesn't want to stay in this crappy Grounder hotel of pain.

It's kind of funny that even with all the space on the ground, he still feels trapped. Would there ever be a place that felt like home? For a second, he thinks that if he hadn't been such a dick to everyone, he might feel more welcomed. But he is who he is, and there’s no helping that now.

Clarke looks up. "I have an idea."

Murphy claps his hands. "About fucking time, princess."
 
 
Jen
08 July 2016 @ 10:48 pm





The 100 (tv)
Bellamy/Clarke
272 words
rating: PG

Since she came back, Clarke is always there whenever Bellamy turns around, even when he doesn’t know he needs her. Bellamy’s thoughts during his emotional conversation with Clarke in 3.13.

Title: Little River Band


I don't know how long I've stood out here, listening to the softly lapping waves. The sun's gone down so it’s been a while. When I hear the crunching of rocks, I know it can only be one person. Octavia isn't talking to me and Jasper would never come out here for a heart-to-heart so that leaves Clarke. I don't need her sympathy right now. Or the way she can crawl under my skin and get right into my soul. I hate it. I want to hate her. To hate the world right now. But the only thing I hate is myself.

I last about five seconds before I confess every sin in my heart. I don't know what it is about her. She doesn't even have to say anything and I'm bearing my soul to her. And I'm crying. Goddammit. I wipe away the tears and try to look anywhere but at her, but her face keeps drawing me back—the gentleness of her eyes, the sadness in her lips.

She wants to know if I'll ever forgive myself. I don't see how I can. I remember sitting under that tree with her a lifetime ago. I thought I was a monster then, but that was nothing compared to this. My mother wouldn't even recognize me. But Clarke always sees me. Even in the dark.

When she reaches for me, I can't think of anything that I deserve less, and nothing I want more than to feel her arms around me. I don't know how she forgives me, but maybe if she can do it, so can I. Maybe. Some day.
 
 
 
Jen
06 July 2016 @ 07:15 pm
I received THREE reviews on the last story I posted to AO3. That's nearly a record for me. Just one more review, and it'll be tied for most reviews, lol. It also has a record number of bookmarks (7) and is tied for most kudos (40). Of course all of those other stories have been up for years. I'm so used to getting no reviews, I was a little shocked to find something in my inbox.

I'll never understand how people get hundreds of reviews on their stories.
Tags:
 
 
Jen
04 July 2016 @ 06:10 pm
.
.
.
.
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The 100 (TV)
Bellamy/Clarke friendship
3013 words
rating: PG


Bellamy tries to be the friend that Clarke needs while she deals with what happened in The City of Light even if it tears apart his heart.


For fanfic50: confide. Title by Jeannie Kendall.

don't own... wish I did, but I don't. No infringement intended.


“So," Bellamy says, leaning on the wall next to Clarke. It's late; everyone not on watch is asleep. Of course Clarke is up. He's not sure she sleeps anymore. Day or night, whenever he’s on patrol, she's wandering around.

"So." She pushes her hands into the pockets of her jacket. He hadn't noticed her trading in her Grounder leathers for standard Ark attire. Hadn’t realized how much he missed the familiar look until now.

He mimics her pose—hands in his jacket pockets. She lets out a soft sigh; he's not sure if it's just relieving stress or from agitation. He sighs in return. She leans her head back against the cool metal; he leans his head back. Finally she looks up at him, eyes narrowed.

[spoilers for the end of season 3]"What?” He shrugs. They stare until Clarke relents with a roll of her eyes. Bellamy chuckles and bumps her shoulder. "You okay? You've been out here for a while."

"Have you been following me?"

"No, I just happen to notice you when I'm on patrol." That's half a truth. He doesn't tell her that he actively looks for her while on patrol even if he isn't actually following her.

She looks away. "I'm fine."

"’Cause you don't look fine."

"Well, I am." There's no fight in her words, though. She sounds as defeated as she looks. Like the weight of the world's become too much to bear. He wishes she'd let him bear some of it for her, but that's not Clarke.

They're quiet for a while, just staring up at the stars, their breath puffing from their mouths. Bellamy glances down at Clarke. Her hair is still braided and matted, but it looks like she made an effort to straighten it out. She's lost the hard edges she sculpted in Polis. Gone is Wanheda. He thinks that might actually be a problem. He's watched her transform from this seventeen-year-old bossy know-it-all to a confident, although bossy, leader of a bunch of delinquents to the larger-than-life, Grounder commander. Now the Grounder part of her is disappearing. What if that's the part that's been giving her all the strength?

She lets out a long breath, her eyes fluttering closed.

"You ready to talk about it yet?" he asks cautiously. "Because I think you need to talk about it. If not with me then with your mom or Raven. Someone."

"I'm fine," she murmurs.

"Clarke, you're not fine. I know you're not because any time anyone brings up the City of Light, you change the subject."

She tenses at the name, and for a second he thinks she might bolt, but then her shoulders slump. "I just don't want to talk about it."

"Maybe I can help. Sometimes just saying it out loud can make you feel better."

"Bellamy, I really don't want to talk about it. It's complicated and confusing and-"

"So Lexa was there."

She startles at his blunt statement, her eyes wide and glistening. He doesn't want her to cry. God, he hates it when she cries. She looks away, confirming his suspicion.

He shifts his weight, curling his toes inside his boots to relieve the urge to run. This conversation is already awkward as hell, and he knows continuing it will only make things worse, but he can't stop—it needs to be done. "Is that why you don't want to talk to me about it? Because of Lexa?"

She swallows hard. "I don't want to hurt you, Bellamy."

He chuckles. "I'm a big boy, Clarke. I can handle listening to you talk about your girlfriend." It's the closest either of them have come to acknowledging his pretty obvious feelings for her. It's the truth, though—he’s adult enough to just be her friend if that’s what she needs. Even if it hurts.

"You hated Lexa." Her voice is so small he can barely hear her.

He shakes his head. "I never hated Lexa. I didn't trust her, but I didn't hate her."

"She was just trying to protect her people."

"I get that. But-” He licks his lips. He doesn’t want to hurt her. That’s probably impossible in her current state.

“But?” she prods, turning to face him.

“She betrayed us. She left me in that mountain to die after I risked my life saving her people. So you can see why I'm a little bitter." Her brow furrows, so he pushes on. "We would have never done that. You would have never done that. You would have fought until every person was out safe. And maybe if she'd stuck by us things wouldn't have ended the way they did." He looks away. He didn't mean to unload on her, especially when she's grieving, but that's been building for awhile. He bites down on his lip to keep from saying anything else.

He tries to ignore the soft sniffles, but they tear at his heart like razor blades. He presses his fingers to the bridge of his nose. "I'm sorry," he says softly. "I shouldn't have said that. Not now."

"But that's how you feel."

He can't look at her. "But it's not about me right now. This is about you. And Lexa was important to you." He doesn't know what else to say. He's pretty sure she's not going to talk to him about it now.

"I never meant to hurt you, Bellamy."

"I know. You did what you needed to do."

They stare at each other for what seems like an eternity to Bellamy. Clarke finally looks away, her eyes shifting to the ground between them as one tear after another drips down her cheeks. His heart collapses in on itself. If it was any other time, he'd probably pull her into a hug, but he can tell the wounds are still too raw, and his words stung a little to deep. "I just wish I could understand what you saw in Lexa. I know my vision is clouded by Mount Weather. And I didn’t like the way she was manipulating you-"

"She wasn't."

"She was, Clarke. I get it, though. She wanted you in Polis, so she did what she had to do to keep you there."

"You have no idea what you're talking about."

He wants to tell he does know because part of him wanted to do the same thing. To convince her in any way possible to come home, but he hadn't. Lexa had. It was another strike against her in his book.

"I stayed because I wanted to stay. Because I could help more in Polis than here. Because-" She stops, her mouth snapping shut as more tears flood her eyes but don’t fall.

Bellamy lets out a long breath, leaning back against the wall with his eyes closed. This has to be the most painful, awkward conversation he's ever had. Especially with Clarke, and they've talked about some strange, painful things.

"Because you were in love with her," he finishes. The words taste like ash in his mouth.

"I never-" Her voice quivers, and she sucks in a rattling breath to fight back the tears. “I never told-”

"I'm sure she knew, Clarke. You think you're closed off and cold, but you wear your heart on your sleeve more than you know." It's one of the things he loves about her. But he's not going to tell her that now. Maybe not ever.

Clarke sniffles as she collects her emotions which twists his heart even more. "She was there," she whispers after awhile.

"In the City of Light?" Finally, she's talking about it. Maybe she'll get some closure.

"She saved me. I was so weak, and everyone was attacking me. I thought it was over."

Bellamy pictures Clarke slumping on the throne, her life slipping away. And Murphy's arms, elbow deep in Ontari's chest, keeping Clarke alive.

"And then she was there. I wouldn't have found the kill switch without her. I wouldn't have been strong enough."

Bellamy doubts that. "You think it was really her—an imprint on the chip?"

"I don't know. I believed it then. I needed to believe it was her, but when I made it to the kill switch, Becca was there. She told me I controlled the A.I. That I could affect the world."

"And now you're not sure if Lexa was real or not." No wonder she's so conflicted. She nods. Her hands come up to cover her face, hiding more tears he knows are there. He feels sick inside. Sick that she had to go through that. Alone. That she's still trying to do it on her own. Then there's his own heart, being shredded up as he tries to be a good friend. "Clarke," he says softly, moving a step closer. She trembles when he rests his hand on her shoulder.

Suddenly she pushes his arm away, taking several steps away. That hurts more than he thought it could.

"I can't," she says. "I just can't do this, Bellamy. Not now. Not so soon-"

He sighs. "I'm just trying to be your friend. Nothing more. I told you, if you don't want to talk to me then talk to your mom. Talk to Raven. Hell, talk to Monty—he'll listen. You need to work through this, and you shouldn't have to do it alone."

"I don't want to forget her." She sobs into her hands.

Bellamy's eyes shoot open, his mouth gaping. "When did I ever say that you should forget her? I don't want you to forget her. You loved her. Why-"

Maybe he's not ready to do this either. He runs his hand over his face and through his hair, pulling at the curls at the nape of his neck in frustration. He takes a step towards her, but then thinks better of it. Instead he paces a few steps away to calm his racing heart.

"Clarke, look at me." His voice is barely above a whisper. He closes the distance between them, stopping short of her personal space. He waits until her eyes meet his. It's too dark now to see anything but black coals. "I want you to listen very carefully to me. I'm not trying to make you forget Lexa. I don't want that, just like I wouldn't want someone pushing me to forget Gina. She was important to me. Lexa was important to you. Focus on the good memories. For a long time whenever I thought of Gina it was tainted by-" He swallows hard, forcing the words out. "By her death. I couldn't see past it to the good times we had together, and that just fueled the anger. And we both know how that turned out."

Amazingly, he gets a small laugh from her. He's glad she's looking away because he can’t hide his relieved grin. "Forget all of the bad things—the betrayal, the manipulation, her death. Think about-" He's not sure what to tell her since every one of his memories of Lexa is clouded by his mistrust and dislike for her. "Think about what made you want to stay in Polis. How she made you feel when you were together. Think about how she loved you. She loved you so much she tried to change her entire culture to impress you. That's some kind of love."

The truth of it hits him hard—Lexa attempted and almost succeeded in changing the way her society functions. She risked everything. And she did it all for Clarke. He rubs the back of his neck. The fact that he could never live up to that destroys him a little.

Clarke sniffles again, but her tears seem dried for now. "I almost stayed," she whispers. "In the City of Light. A.L.I.E. gave me the choice. I could have stayed and been with Lexa forever."

Bellamy looks away and tries to keep his breathing even so she won’t hear the pain in his voice. "Why didn't you?"

"Because people were counting on me."

Bellamy nods. What else is there to say? The weight of it crushes him every moment of the day, too. There is always someone counting on them to fix everything. He watches her hugging herself.

"And because Lexa wouldn't have wanted me to. She would have wanted me to keep fighting. To save our people—Skaikru and Grounders."

He thinks she might start crying again, but she just takes a long breath, letting it out slowly. "And because I promised you I'd come back. I wouldn’t abandon you." She looks anywhere but at him.

He's so caught off guard he just stares at her, mouth slack. He blinks away the prickle of tears. Finally she looks up at him. "I couldn't hurt you like that again."

Screw it, he thinks, and wraps his arms around her. She doesn't hesitate or flinch away this time. Her arms pull him in closer, fingers digging into his shoulders.

"I'm so sorry, Bellamy." Her voice catches. "I should have never left. That was selfish-"

"Stop it Clarke. Just stop, okay?" He pulls back so he can see her face, pushing her hair from her damp cheeks. "Remember that whole forgiveness thing we talked about?"

"You said it was hard."

"It is, but I think this is one you can give yourself. I told you, I'm over it. I'm tired of being hurt and angry. It happened; it's over, and now you're back. End of story."

She sniffs, her hands gripping onto his wrists. "And you've forgiven yourself."

He closes his eyes, takes a deep breath. "No, but I'm working on living with myself. It's the best I can do."

She frowns as she works through it all. He brushes her tears away with his thumbs. "Clarke-" He tries to put into words what he's feeling, but it's all jumbled in his head. He sighs. "What we've been through-" He pauses again. "We were tossed down here, completely unprepared for even basic survival. Then we're thrown into one war after another." She looks up at him, brow knit together in that cute way that kills him every time. He loses his train of thought for a second. "What I'm trying to say is our lives are completely screwed up, most of it through no fault of our own. We're doing the best we can. We're still alive, so I think we're doing okay."

He reluctantly pulls his hands away, shoving them in his pockets to keep from reaching for her again. She wipes her eyes, a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. They go back to looking at the stars twinkling miles and miles above them.

"Do you think," she asks, her voice soft, but void of the distress he heard earlier, "that if we were still up there on the Ark—if it didn't die—that we'd be friends?"

He glances at her out of the corner of his eye. He's thought a lot about it, and he doesn't like the conclusion he's come up with. She won't like it either, but he won't lie to her. "Clarke, if we were still on the Ark, we would have never met. We have nothing in common, and run with completely different crowds. You're- Were-" He hates bringing up the word slung around like a slur those first days. "-part of the privileged. I was a freaking janitor."

She frowns at him. "I don't care about that."

"Yeah, I know, but the chances we'd have ever met are slim to none. Besides you were in lockup the last year." He gives her a crooked smile that gets an eye-roll. He feels like he's making some progress. "And you're way out of my league anyway. I knew that the moment I met you."

"Bellamy-"

He throws his hands up. "Just thought I would put that out there." He can't help grinning ear to ear hearing her laugh, seeing her smile. The little pieces of his heart start to glue themselves back together. No matter how much he wishes things were different between them, what he really wants is for Clarke to be happy.

A gust of winter air kicks up. Clarke shivers from head to toe, and Bellamy has to admit he's cold, too. He bumps her shoulder. "Come on, let's go inside before we freeze to death."

She ducks her head, apparently trying to hide her smile. Then she hooks her arm in his as they walk back to the door. "You know," she says, "I don't think I'm out of your league."

"Really? I swept floors, Clarke. And not even in important parts of the Ark. Like on some sub-level of a section of a station no one cared about."

She laughs, shaking her head. "I think if we'd met on the Ark—by whatever circumstance," she adds the last part quickly to keep him from commenting, "I think we'd have eventually become friends."

"And what part of our first days on this planet makes you think that? The part where I was a total ass? Or the part where you were a bossy-"

She smacks his arm, but she's still smiling. He can breathe a little easier now. "We figured it out eventually."

"Yeah, because if we didn't work together we'd be dead."

She glares up at him. "Are you really that against the idea?"

"No, just being realistic."

"That's my job. You're supposed to be impulsive and arrogant. What happened to that Bellamy?"

"He's growing up." He stops as they get to the door. "For the record, if we'd managed to get past the wanting-to-kill-each-other stage of the first few days, we'd definitely be friends."

Clarke studies him for a few moments. "You don't believe that."

"I want to believe it because the idea of not having Clarke Griffin in my life is incomprehensible." He pulls the door open then moves out of the way so she can enter first. "Of course, it'd be a lot less chaotic and confusing, too."

"Shut up."

He smirks as he slams the door behind them. "Whatever you say, princess."
 
 
Jen
19 June 2016 @ 08:55 pm
sixsentences.png


His eyes slide closed, and he has to force himself to stay awake. They'd offered him some full time hours at the restaurant for the week. Sixteen hour days plus the commute there, between jobs, and back home were going to kill him. It left him six and a half hours to shower, sleep and eat. And spend time with Octavia. In his life, there literally weren't enough hours in the day.


--From "Unbreak My Heart," a modern au The 100 fic
 
 
Jen
12 June 2016 @ 08:46 pm
sixsentences.png



“What’s it like having a sister?”

“Like having the most obnoxious, spoiled kid you know live in the same quarters as you.”

Clarke thinks of this girl, Gracie, she knew in third grade. She was annoying and always chasing after Wells. “Sounds dreadful.”

“Only problem is, you love the kid so much, you not only put up with the behavior, but you find it endearing.”



--Dreadful indeed. From a The 100 fic I’m writing.
 
 
Jen
05 June 2016 @ 09:21 pm
Take any six sentences for one of your current works in progress and post them.



(almost forgot)



"Are you going to tell me you're pregnant?" He's teasing, but the thought sends a shot of panic through his system. He bites his cheek. "Please tell me you're not pregnant."

"It's triplets. Bubba says we can get married at the biker hall, but I gotta shank a bitch to get in first."


-From a modern au The 100 fic where Bellamy and Octavia are trying to sort out their lives after their mom dies.