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Jen
30 December 2018 @ 01:00 am

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The 100 | PG-13

Canon divergent. With the Apocalypse banging at their door, the Arkadians and what's left of Trikru take refuge in the remains of Alpha Station and hope for the best.

Over 500 souls crammed into a tin can, but there's only one that has Bellamy wrapped around her little fingers.


Table of Contents
[More Chapters]
 
 
 
Jen
04 December 2018 @ 10:59 pm



607 words | [PG-13]

Carolina and Tex get left behind after a mission gone wrong.



They never come back from their last mission.

North and South. Maine and Wash. Connie and York.

Just gone.

Now the last search team is missing. Florida and Wyoming went out two days ago. They should have been back by now.

Carolina paces the length of the landing bay, biting her nails—a nervous habit she thought she kicked in high school. The rest of the crew is on edge and give her a wide berth, but she hears them murmuring about it. Them. Her. All of it. She wants to scream at them but bites her tongue.

The door to the landing bay flies open, startling her just as the klaxons start blaring, red lights flashing. Tex looks around, spotting her. “They’re coming in hot,” she shouts.

The crew scramble out of the way as a Pelican careens wildly towards the ship. Carolina is frozen in shock until Tex knocks her to the side. The transport hits the deck hard, screeching to a stop, feet from the wall where Carolina had been standing moments earlier.

Read more...Collapse ) This entry was originally posted at https://jennickels.dreamwidth.org/393421.html.
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Jen
24 September 2018 @ 04:21 pm


Three years after settling on New Earth, Bellamy and Octavia finally find themselves at ease with life and looking forward to the future.
1079 words | [G]


The little cabin sat on a hill surrounded by fields of wild grass and towering trees. It was small—only three rooms with a wide front porch and a vegetable garden out back. It wasn’t much, but it was enough for Bellamy. It was more than he’d ever had in his entire life.

He reclined on the porch swing—his newest addition to the house—swaying lazily while he watched the sun set over the town below. A lot had changed in the last three years, mostly for the good, and they’d finally started to settle down. Started to accept New Earth as home.

The door creaked open. “I made lemonade,” Clarke said. “Or what passes for lemonade. Are those things even lemons if they’re purple?”

Bellamy laughed and accepted the cup of violet sugar water. Clarke eased down next to him, her belly pulling at her ill-fitting clothes. Any day now, they’d be adding a new addition. He kissed the side of her head. “If you want to call them lemons then they’re called lemons.”

“I don’t think that’s how it works.”

“You’re the princess so you get to name everything.”

[read more]

Clarke leaned away to see his face better. “So we’re going with Hope if it’s a girl then?” she said with a smirk.

Bellamy winced. “I walked right into that one, didn’t I?” Clarke laughed, snuggling back against his side. Bellamy kissed her again. “I’m telling you Aurora Hope sounds better”

“Mmm,” Clarke hummed, taking a sip of her drink. “I like Hope Abigail.”

Bellamy tossed his head back with a dramatic sigh. “You’re impossible.”

“I’m the princess,” she murmured into her cup.

They sat in silence as the sun disappeared below the horizon. It rarely got truly dark on New Earth. There was almost always one sun shining, but Bellamy liked the perpetual twilight feeling after the closer sun set.

“What if it’s a boy?” Clarke asked after a while. “We haven’t discussed boy names at all.”

“That’s because it’s going to be a girl.”

Clarke snorted. “You cannot will this baby to be a girl.”

“More like I’d never be lucky enough to get a boy. I’m destined to be surrounded by women that drive me crazy.”

“Oh, you love us, and you know it.”

“Debatable,” he grumbled, but he couldn’t stop the grin on his face. “You know, if it is a boy, I’m going to have to add another room to the cabin. And you remember what that was like.”

Clarke sighed into his shoulder which sounded more like smothered laughter. Bellamy closed his eyes and kicked off with his foot, setting the swing in motion again. The cool breeze fluttered his hair while Clarke’s soft breaths warmed his skin.

He had a million things to do, but right now none of it mattered. The only important thing on his mind was Clarke, a baby, and the green grass stretching all the way to town. It was perfect.

The breeze fluttered the tall grass, tickling Octavia’s palms as she skimmed her hand over the tops. Next to her, Jordan and Madi chattered enthusiastically about the deer-like creature they’d seen in the woods while hunting. Jordan tended to talk more with his hands, forcing Octavia to duck when he got overexcited. She decided to consider it training.

“It was so majestic,” Jordan said for the tenth time.

“It’s food,” Octavia interrupted before he got carried away again.

“We can’t kill it!” Jordan’s voice raised about two octaves. “It’s peaceful and-”

“Food is food,” she stated. He needed to learn that lesson. A sick feeling settled in her stomach. It was different here, she reminded herself. They had an entire planet to themselves—one overflowing with animals and vegetation. The edible kind. She swallowed the bile surging up her throat. “But as long as the little critters keep us full, we won’t need to hunt the deer.”

“But the critters are cute, too,” Madi mumbled.

“I like the rabbit-ferret things,” added Jordan.

Madi laughed. “Fabbits!”

Octavia rolled her eyes. A lecture sat on the tip of her tongue. Madi, of all people, should understand hunting was a necessity no matter how adorable the fabbits were. They would keep them fed through winter.

In the distance, she could see the cabin—the sky beyond a brilliant orange as the sun set. A small smile twisted her lips. She helped build that. It felt good to put down her weapons for tools. Exceptionally good. Powerful. Lincoln would have loved it, she thought. Would have loved this entire place. Surprisingly, thinking of Lincoln didn’t quite hurt so much anymore. As long as she focused on the good times.

“What do you think?” Jordan asked, tapping Octavia’s arm.

“Huh?” She shook out of her memories, having no idea what the two of them were talking about.

“Piggyback rides.”

“What?”

“I’m almost sixteen,” Madi said. “I am too old for piggyback rides. Right, Octavia?”

Octavia looked between the grumpy Madi and glowing Jordan then smiled. “You are never too old for piggyback rides, Madi.” With that, she tossed the string of fabbits at Madi and hopped onto Jordan’s back, nearly knocking him over.

His laugh rumbled in his chest and through her body. “Race you,” he shouted at Madi then took off.

Octavia held on for her life, laughing like a maniac. She hadn’t felt this free in... ever. She’d never been free. Madi quickly passed them on the downhill, the fabbits smacking her back with each step. She waited at the well for Jordan to catch up. Octavia hopped down, still laughing. “Come on, let’s go make dinner,” she said, taking their hunting spoils from Madi.

As they rounded the house, still panting and giggling, they came to a stop. Jordan blushed bright red. Madi giggled. Octavia just smiled as Bellamy and Clarke shared a less-than-kid-friendly kiss on the front porch. She gave them a good fifteen seconds before she cleared her throat. “Ugh. If you guys are going to do that out in the open, I’m going to move in with Jordan in town.”

She stomped up the stairs but shot Bellamy a grin that he returned, warming Octavia inside and out. Things were so different now—they were no longer living to survive, starving, scared of being discovered. Yet some things were the same, and it felt good. It felt perfect.

 
 
 
Jen
21 September 2018 @ 01:17 am
PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
A year after waking up light years from Earth, Bellamy and Clarke have a quiet moment and make some decisions. For fanfic50: mind.
545 words | [G]

“Penny for your thoughts, princess?”

Clarke started, nearly falling from her perch on the irrationally large boulder. Bellamy easily hauled himself up to sit next to her. They stared out into the valley below that the four hundred ten survivors were slowly converting to a real community. A lot had changed in the year since they arrived at New Earth. Clarke glanced at Bellamy, her heart fluttering. And some things hadn’t changed at all.

“I just have a lot on my mind, I guess,” she finally answered.

“When don’t you?”

Clarke ignored his dig. “Raven says she should have the generators repaired by tonight so lights. Diyoza and her gang are clearing the north pasture tomorrow. That Kennedy guy loves his explosions so it shouldn’t take long. My mom said-”

“I didn’t come up here to talk business, Clarke,” Bellamy said softly. “I get enough of that headache down there. I came up here to-” He trailed off.

[read more]

“Think?” she said with a knowing smirk.

He rolled his eyes. “Yeah. To think about other stuff. Not work stuff. Unlike you who can’t stop thinking about work stuff. You need to relax once in a while, Clarke. You know that, right?”

They both stared quietly for a long time before Clarke let out a soft sigh. “I’m not sure I even know how to do that anymore. The last few years have been… I mean going all the way back to my dad and the Skybox. War after war and years of-” This time her sigh sounded exhausted. “I can’t relax—I have to keep everyone alive. Always.”

Bellamy slid his arm across her shoulders, encouraging her closer. It’d been a long time since he touched her freely and without hesitation. She melted against him, her head on his shoulder. “You aren’t alone anymore. If you’d just let us take some of the weight.”

Tears sprung into Clarke’s eyes. “I don’t think I know how to do that either.”

“We’ll figure it out.” Bellamy squeezed her tighter and rested his chin on her head. “Together.”

Clarke sucked in a sharp breath. “Really?” she whispered. She’d give anything to get back to that time when they worked together—when they had each other’s backs.

He didn’t say anything, just hugged her. They watched the second sun rise over the mountains in the distance setting the sky on fire. “What are you thinking about?” Clarke asked.

“I’m thinking about how I’m gonna spend the day at the lake.” He lifted her chin with two fingers and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “With you. We’re going to relax and not think about work for an entire day.”

“But I can’t. I have to-”

“Let someone else worry about it, Clarke. The lake is calling our name; can’t you hear it?” He leaned close to her ear, voice husky. “Clarke, we’re waiting for you. The water is so nice. Wouldn’t you like to come swimming? Come on—you know you want to. We’re waiting.”

Clarke shoved Bellamy playfully. “All right, all right.”

Bellamy grinned and hopped up, pulling Clarke to her feet.

“But only because the lake asked so nicely.”

Bellamy laughed—the sound rumbling from deep in his chest. “Whatever gets you moving, princess.”

 
 
 
Jen
19 September 2018 @ 08:26 pm
Hope is a Four-Letter Word
Clarke had Bellamy once upon a time and took it for granted. Now she's paying the price. Or she could listen to Madi (and Echo) and take a chance.
300 words | [PG]

Clarke watched Bellamy with Echo from across the room. There was an ease and familiarity to their touch. One she’d never had with him. One she never would. She looked away, vision blurring with unshed tears. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go. Never in the six years she talked endlessly to a silent radio did she consider he’d find someone else. Why Echo?

“You okay?” Madi asked, sitting down beside her.

Clarke wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. “Yeah, sure. I’m fine.”

Madi glanced over at the happy couple. “I don’t believe you.”

“You never believe me.”

“That’s because you’re never fine.” She glanced back again. “You should tell him. About the radio.”

“No.” Clarke jumped up and slipped out the back door of the church, Madi on her heels.

“Clarke, he should know.”

“Why? What’s the point? It’ll just make things more awkward between us.” The words rushed out as panic crushed her chest.

“But you’re in love with him”

“It doesn’t matter.”

Madi shook her head. “It might to him. You won’t know unless you try.”

“No. You don’t get it. You’re too young. It’s over. I had my chance and took it for granted and now-” She sucked in a shuddering breath. “It’s over.”

The door opened and shut. “You should talk to him.”

Clarke’s heart nearly stopped as Echo came down the stairs. “But-”

“Really, Clarke.” Echo ducked her head then walked away. What did that mean?

“Now’s your chance,” Madi said. “Don’t blow it again.”

Clarke stared hard at the door, willing her feet forward, but she couldn’t do it. She couldn’t face him yet—her heart hurt too much. But maybe… She glanced over her shoulder as Echo disappeared into the trees. Maybe there was hope. Just a little.

 
 
 
Jen
16 September 2018 @ 10:19 pm

Beginning of Again
Eight-year-old Gil Holzfäller has made a few mistakes in his short, miserable life but none as far-reaching as getting his best friend expelled from his life.
1021 words | [G]


“Where are we going?” Gil asked the Baron. His little legs struggled to keep pace with the giant of a man next to him. His father. The thought baffled and terrified him in equal parts.

The Baron remained silent for several long seconds before finally answering. He sounded tired. “Your new quarters.”

Gil clutched his bag—filled with his few worldly possessions—tighter to his chest and tried to look around without looking like he was looking around. He had no idea where they were, and that said a lot considering how much of Castle Wulfenbach he’d explored over the years. There were few doors in the empty corridor and those weren’t marked in any way. How did the Baron even know where they were going?

They took several more turns leaving Gil to wonder if he was purposefully being led in circles so he’d be lost. He wasn’t sure if that’s something the Baron would do. It was something the other boys in the school would do. It’s how Gil got to be so good at getting around the ship. Necessity is the mother of invention, von Pinn had told him. Or in this case, a good sense of direction.

[read more]“Gilgamesh,” the Baron said sternly, “do keep up.”

Gil jumped at the sound of his voice and hurried to catch up. “Am I being punished?” he asked after a moment.

“No. Why would you say that?”

“Um, because-” Because I have no idea where we are and you might be taking me somewhere to be murdered or kept prisoner. “-we’re really far from the school. We’re not supposed to be over here.”

The Baron actually smiled at him. “That has never stopped you before.”

Gil swallowed hard. How did he know about that? Did Tarvek tell him after Gil was dismissed last night? The thought of Tarvek sent a sharp pain through his chest that settled in his belly like a lead weight. He’s using you, son, don’t you understand that? the Baron had told him. Gil didn’t want to believe it, but it did make some sense. Why would a prince want to be friends with an orphan anyway?

Not an orphan, though.

But Tarvek didn’t know that. Did he?

They slowed to a stop in front of one of the many unmarked doors. “Here. These will be your new quarters,” said the Baron. He opened the door and gestured for Gil to enter. “I believe they will be more than adequate for your needs.”

Gil peeked inside. No cages or torture devices to be seen. Just a large bedroom with the biggest bed Gil had ever seen, a sitting area, private bath, and what looked like a laboratory through another doorway. Gil took a tentative step into the room to see one wall lined with bookshelves and an actual window with a cushioned seat below it. They were on the outer edge of the ship. Those rooms were reserved for officers and guests. Important people.

Gil was so confused he didn’t even know which questions to ask first. The Baron simply watched him from the door like he was some kind of experiment to observe. Maybe he was.

“Is this to your satisfaction, son.”

Gil winced but covered quickly. “It’s very nice, sir. But what about school. I don’t even know how to get back-”

“From now on, you’ll be tutored here by myself and Madame von Pinn.”

“Alone?”

The Baron finally came into the room, hands clasped behind his back, to inspect the contents. “You did say the other children were bullying you, did you not?”

Yeah, but that’s been going on for years, Gil thought. Now you care? Anger bubbled up, but he pushed it back down. What did he care if he went back to the school? There was nothing there for him now. And just like that, another weight crashed into his stomach.

“What’s going to happen to Tarvek?” he blurted before he could think better of it.

The Baron turned, one eyebrow raised. Sweat popped up down the back of Gil’s neck, but he resisted the urge to take a step back. This was his father, right? The Baron wouldn’t hurt him, would he? But he didn’t know what a father was and what he would or wouldn’t do. Still, he stood his ground, chin up.

“Prince Sturmvoraous is no longer a student at this school,” he said simply, turning back to the bookshelf he’d been inspecting.

“You threw him out!” Panic swelled in Gil’s chest, forcing out all the air. “But-”

“But what? He was caught in a restricted area, gathering confidential information on the other students.”

“Yeah, but-”

“He was spying.”

“So are all the other kids! And I was caught in a restricted area, too. You’re not kicking me out.”

The Baron sighed, finally giving his undivided attention to Gil. “I know this must be difficult for you to understand being so young.”

Gil glared. “I understand. Everyone spies but only Tarvek is punished.” He glanced around his room. There were no bars, but it was a prison nonetheless. “And I get locked up.” He turned away to hide the rush of tears.

“Son-”

Gil folded in on himself at the word. The Baron wasn’t his father. Couldn’t be. He refused to believe it. His parents were farmers, and they died when he was a baby. It was sad but that’s life. This... this was a dream. A bad dream that he couldn’t wake from. And it was all his own fault. It had been his idea to go looking for the records. He was the one that got them into the vault. He was the one that snitched on Tarvek, getting him expelled.

The Baron said something else, but Gil couldn’t hear it through the buzzing in his head. He squeezed his eyes shut and wished him away. It never worked with the bullies but maybe... The door clicked softly shut followed by the clank of a lock engaging. Gil let out a sob and hugged his bag to his chest.

He was alone.

Again.
 
 
Jen
12 September 2018 @ 10:36 pm
updated: 9/16/18

This is a list of all my Girl Genius fic


(in order of being posted, newest to oldest)
{NEW} Beginning of Again
(Gil & Klaus) Eight-year-old Gil Holzfäller has made a few mistakes in his short, miserable life but none as far-reaching as getting his best friend expelled from his life.
1021 words | [G]
 
 
 
Jen
01 September 2018 @ 10:14 pm

Hope for the Future
Four years after they lost everything, Bellamy and Murphy have a quiet moment to remember and find hope for a future that may never happen. Canon-divergent from the end of season 4. A little glimpse of what life might have been like on the ring.
470 words | PG


Bellamy pressed his forehead against the thick glass—the cold of space still leeching through, chilling his skin. He watched his breath fog the window, obscuring his view every few seconds. Not that there was much to see anymore. The Earth didn’t even look like the Earth. It was supposed to be green and blue, but all he could see was white—clouds of ash and nuclear fallout coating the planet. Occasionally, a bright spot of red flared where a fire ravaged the surface. Or a hurricane swirled the gray mess. But there was no green or blue. There hadn’t been for the last four years. Nothing could survive that.

“Why do you do this to yourself?”

Bellamy glanced over his shoulder at Murphy leaning nearby then went back to staring out the window. “Go away.”

“Every year on the anniversary, you stand here and stare like you think the view might change.” Murphy joined him at the window. “News flash: it won’t.”

[read more]Bellamy tried to ignore him, but Murphy was hard to ignore. He was honestly surprised they hadn’t all killed each other yet. He thought living with three thousand people on the Ark had been hard. Seven was worse. They only had each other to bother, and everyone was bored out of their minds. Murphy most of all. “What part of ‘go away,’ didn’t you understand?”

Murphy snorted. “The part where I go, of course.” He watched Bellamy for a moment, arms crossed over his chest. After a while, he sighed. “This is stupid, Bellamy. And not healthy. Let’s go.” He scrubbed a hand over his tired face and spoke softly. “She’s gone. She’s not down there. Quit doing this to yourself. It’s hopeless.”

“I know that. Would you just go away?”

Murphy didn’t leave. He never left. Four years of this.

“What do you want?” Bellamy finally asked when it was obvious Murphy wouldn’t leave.

Murphy didn’t answer for a long time as they watched the swirling white mass below them. “Emori’s pregnant again,” he finally said.

Bellamy glanced at him out of the corner of his eye, trying to judge his mood. Murphy just stared, face blank. Bellamy wasn’t sure what Murphy wanted him to say. “Congrats, I guess. Boy or girl?”

A smile spread across Murphy’s face. “We’re hoping for a girl this time.”

It was obvious Murphy was excited even if he was trying to play it cool. It forced Bellamy into motion because, if he was honest with himself, he just wanted Murphy to be happy. He clapped him on the shoulder. “This calls for a drink.”

They both gave the planet one last look then headed off to find Monty’s still. Maybe there was no hope for Earth or Clarke. Or even himself. But there was hope for a future for somebody.
 
 
Jen
31 August 2018 @ 10:08 pm

Unfair Advantage
Watching Carolina spar on any day could leave a man breathless, speechless, and probably a little brain dead from the blood rushing out of his head to other parts of his body. But watching Carolina spar against Wyoming sans armor. That’s something else entirely.
798 words | R


York stood to the side of the training room with North and Wash watching Carolina finish her match with Wyoming. And by finish, I mean wipe the floor with him. She hit him with a one-two punch then flipped back, taking out his chin with her foot as she went. Wyoming staggered but didn’t go down.

“She’s got really good-” said Wash, voice trailing off as Carolina performed a perfect roundhouse kick, sending Wyoming spinning.

“Form?” North supplied for him. Wash nodded.

“Yeah,” York agreed. “She’s got really good-” His mind wandered as Carolina did some fancy spin move, catching Wyoming around the neck with her legs and flipping him over, landing on top of him.

“Form,” North repeated.

“Right, form.”

[read more]Wyoming looked as dazed as York felt. Carolina tended to have that effect on people. He managed to stumble to his feet while Carolina bounced from foot to foot, waiting. She seemed to be enjoying herself. York was having a pretty good time himself. So were the guys. Probably everyone was having a great time except Wyoming who got thrown to the mat with a resounding thud that hurt York’s back from across the room.

“Match point to Agent Carolina,” the computer said. “End match. Should I set up another round?”

Carolina shook out her shoulders and eyed them. God, she looked fucking hot in her workout clothes—tight shorts and sports bra that left nothing to the imagination. Not that it stopped York from imagining her without them, but still.

“Whatya say, boys? Anyone want a go?”

Her eyes momentarily locked with York’s and coherent thought fled his brain. Jesus Christ, she’s going to kill me, he thought as she tightened her ponytail.

“Wash?” Her eyes scooted over to his friend.

Wash squeaked. “Oh, um. Well, I-”

North patted his shoulder. “Don’t have an aneurysm, kid.”

“I think you need blood in your brain for that,” York muttered, surprised he could even find his voice.

Wash flushed scarlet and started sputtering, holding his gym bag in front of him. Carolina chuckled then turned her attention to North?

He held up his hands. “I’d rather keep my dignity in front of the guys.”

She laughed harder. York didn’t get to hear it enough and that was a shame.

“How about you, York?” She cocked her head to the side, watching him intently.

He opened his mouth to say something—probably as equally articulate as Wash—when the PA popped. “Agent Carolina to the briefing room. Agent Carolina to the briefing room.”

Wash nearly fainted when Carolina bent down for her towel. York didn’t blame him—his knees were going a little weak himself. He cursed North for staying so goddamn calm all the time. It made the rest of them look like drooling, brain dead morons. Some more than others.

Carolina stood, stretching her arms over her head with a devious smile. Wash dropped his bag then scrambled to pick it up. York was pretty sure she was doing it all on purpose just to see how Wash would react. It was funny and sexy, and god, it made him love her even more because picking on Wash was a fucking national pastime around here.

Wash managed to pick up his bag but dropped his towel, and when he tried to grab that, his water bottle fell out, rolling across the floor. Carolina stopped it with her foot, slid it over her toes then tossed it in the air, giving it a little spin kick right back into Wash’s face. He dropped everything to catch it before it broke his nose.

“Holy Fuck,” he muttered making North chuckle.

Carolina smirked—definitely doing it on purpose. She walked over and hung her towel on York’s shoulder then gave his cheek a pat. “Saved by the bell, huh?”

York sucked in a sharp breath. She was evil. Women were evil. Carolina was the evilest of them all.

“Guess I’ll be seeing you boys later.” Her hips swung as she walked in those tight shorts. All three men cocked their heads to the side as they watched her walk away.

“Fucking hot,” York mumbled, getting a nod from the other two.

Carolina paused at the door to smile at them before leaving. Wash let out a low whistle then swallowed hard just as Carolina poked her head back in. “Oh, and stop looking at my ass, Wash.”

Wash covered his burning face with a groan. North couldn’t contain his amusement any longer. “You are so screwed, kid.”

York bit back a smile at his idiot friends, but his mind was already replaying every second of the last few minutes—saving it for later. He was pretty sure he was even more screwed than Wash. Not that he was complaining.
 
 
 
Jen
31 August 2018 @ 09:19 pm

No Place Else I'd Rather Be
When Bellamy and Clarke get stuck in the mud, it's finally time to have a conversation that's been brewing far too long.
2585 words | PG-13


Bellamy’s grip on the steering wheel tightened. He leaned forward, scowling at the pounding rain. The windshield wipers couldn’t keep up, making it almost impossible to see. Next to him, Clarke stared out her window like she didn’t have a care in the world. This was her fault. He told her coming out here was a mistake. They should have waited until the clouds passed. But she insisted they needed to go now. So here he was, driving through a freaking monsoon. Because Clarke always got what Clarke wanted.

“We need to stop,” he said, not looking at her.

“What? No, we’re almost there.”

“Yeah, well, we’re not going to make it in one piece in this storm. I can’t see where I’m going.”

She craned her neck to see out the front window. “Just stay on the road.”

“What road?” His voice raised an octave. “There’s no road, Clarke. Just mud.”

“We can’t go back. We’re so close.”

[read more]Bellamy ground his teeth. “I didn’t say go back. I said we need to stop and wait out the storm.”

She glared out her window, arms crossed defensively over her chest. If he didn’t know better, he’d think she was pouting. She was obviously pissed.

Well, so was he. He was sick of her never listening to him. They used to be partners. At least that’s what he thought, but with every decision, she dismissed his opinion more and more. Like she knew better than him. Better than everyone. Wanheda—savior of them all.

Bellamy swerved to avoid a branch hanging low and almost ran off the road. He jerked the wheel back just in time to miss another tree. This was ridiculous. What the hell am I doing? He was the one driving, so why was he still going? He hit the breaks, sliding to a stop.

Clarke sat up, alarmed. “What happened?”

“Nothing. I’m done.”

“What?”

“I’m done driving until the storm passes. This is stupid. We’re going to crash, and then we’ll never get there.”

Her brow furrowed. “We can’t stop now. We don’t have time. “

“Yes, we do. And we are stopping.”

“Bellamy-”

“I’m tired of arguing, Clarke. Everyone said it was a bad idea to go tonight, but you insisted. Now here we are, waiting out the storm which we could have avoided if you had just listened to me.” He hated fighting with her. It made him sick in the pit of his stomach. But he was more tired with being walked all over. “You never listen.”

She turned to face him. “I do listen.”

Bellamy scoffed. “Then you must ignore everything I say because I’m not seeing much evidence to prove otherwise.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means why are you pushing this thing? Can you even admit that you were wrong?”

Her eyes blazed with anger. “Do you think I like being in charge? Like having to make all the decisions? Everyone always looking at me for answers?”

“Yeah, sometimes I do.”

She looked away. “Then you don’t know me at all,” she whispered.

That did it—all of the fight left him, and he slumped against the seat. He opened his mouth to say something, but he had no idea what to say. Instead, he stared out his window, pretending her quiet sniffles didn’t shatter his heart. This conversation needed to happen eventually, but trapped in the rover probably wasn’t the best time. Bellamy just wished he could get through to her—to make her understand it was okay to let someone else make the decisions once in a while.

They sat there in silence until the rain petered out a few hours later. “Finally,” Bellamy muttered.

Clarke jumped at the sudden sound and blinked red-rimmed eyes at him. “What time is it?

Bellamy had no idea. He just wanted out of this rover. He turned the key—the engine roaring to life. He glanced at Clarke out of the corner of his eye. She was staring out the window, her chin resting on her hand. He still had no idea what to say to her. He wasn’t sorry. Not for his opinion. Maybe he’d been a little harsh, but sometimes blunt was all Clarke understood.

He shook his head with a sigh then shifted into gear. The engine wound up, but they didn’t move. Bellamy frowned then threw the rover into reverse. The wheels spun, the whine of the engine growing. Clarke looked over at him as he shifted back into first gear. He kicked up mud but nothing else.

“What’s wrong?”

Bellamy banged his head on the steering wheel. “We’re stuck.”

“Can we get unstuck?”

He glared at her. “Are you serious right now?”

“We can use the winch to pull us free.”

Of course she was right. She was always right. “Just try the radio. See if Arkadia can send help if we can’t get out.”

He took a deep breath then hopped out of the rover. His feet sank to his ankles in thick, brown mud. He slogged his way to the front. The tires were buried nearly half way. There was no way they were getting traction like this. The mud stretched a couple yards in every direction. He just needed something solid to anchor the winch.

The rain was light, but the air had taken a turn, coming down from the mountains. He shivered against it. This wasn’t exactly the best place to get stuck. He shoved his damp bangs from his eyes then spotted a large tree about twenty feet down the road.

Clarke joined him as he unwound some of the cable. “I couldn’t get anyone on the radio. I think the storm is still interfering.”

Bellamy nodded. “You should wait in the rover where it’s warm.”

“I want to help.

He started walking backward, pulling the cable with him. “You can help by watching the radio.” He glanced up at her. “Where it’s warm.”

Of course, Clarke didn’t listen. She leaned against the bumper, watching him. He’d nearly made it out of the mud when the cable snagged, jerking him forward. He slipped but managed to stay on his feet. Even from this distance, he could tell the winch was jammed.

“Dammit.” Why couldn’t just one thing go right? He pinched the bridge of his nose, trying to keep his temper under control. “It’s stuck.”

“What do we do now?” Clarke asked, still leaning against the rover.

“I’ll have to fix it,” he said with a sigh, feeling defeated. He went around to the rear, slipping and sliding the whole way. Clarke followed him but thankfully stayed quiet. He rummaged in the storage under the benches, looking for the toolkit.

“Do you even know how to fix the winch?”

“Yeah, of course.” He paused. “Sort of.”

Clarke snorted.

Bellamy bit back a smile. “Maybe. I don’t know. Raven showed me. I think I remember. I just need to find the toolkit.”

“Is that it?” She pointed to a battered red box sitting on the floor behind the driver’s seat—a huge smirk on her face.

Bellamy rolled his eyes. “That would be it.” He wouldn’t let her smugness get to him. He climbed in far enough to slide the box out the door then carried it back to the winch—Clarke on his heels. “Why don’t you go try the radio again?”

She sighed. “I want to help.”

“Clarke-”

“Bellamy.”

They stared at each other for tense moments before Bellamy cracked. He rubbed his forehead. “Fixing the winch is a one-person job. You can help with the radio. Inside.” He added the last bit under his breath.

Clarke shook her head. “You’re always trying to protect me.”

“Well, yeah.” His hands fell to his sides. “I thought we agreed that was kind of my job.”

“I don’t always need protecting, Bellamy. And you don’t always have to do everything on your own.”

He frowned, staring at the useless winch. “So, you know how to fix this?”

“You know I’m not talking about the winch. You told me I never listen. Well, you never let anyone help. You do everything on your own.”

“Only one of us needs to be miserable out here,” he said with little conviction. “I don’t need your help. Not with this, Clarke.”

She watched him a moment then sighed like she was disappointed in him. She probably was. “Fine, I’ll wait in the rover.”

It took him a good thirty minutes to figure out what was wrong with the winch and get it working again. Clarke stayed in the rover, alternating between playing with the radio and not looking at him. Finally, he dragged the cable to the tree and hooked it up. He nearly wiped out walking back. He started up the winch, and slowly, the rover started moving. He stood to the side, watching the winch strain.

They were a lot closer to solid ground now. He headed for the back, tossing the took box in the back.

“What are you doing?” Clarke asked.

“When I say, put it in gear and hit the gas.”

Clarke climbed behind the wheel and started the rover. Bellamy braced himself on the bumper. It’d be a miracle if this worked considering their luck today. He took a deep breath. “Okay, hit it.”

The wheels spun, kicking up mud a good six feet in the air. “Come on,” he muttered, shoving with all his strength. His feet sunk in farther, but slowly, the rover moved. “Come on.”

The rover moved an inch. Then another. “Keep going,” he shouted at Clarke.

She gave it a little more gas. Suddenly, it lurched forward about a foot. Bellamy lost his balance and landed face first in the mud.

“Oh, my god!” Clarke cut the engine and scampered through the inside. “Are you okay?”

Bellamy sat up on his knees and flung mud from his arms. “Terrific. Did we make it?”

She smiled. “I think so.”

Bellamy let out a breath he hadn’t noticed he was holding, relief flooding him. Finally, something went right. He tried to stand up too quickly, but the mud clung to him, sucking him back down. He fell back, landing with a splat.

Clarke covered her mouth with her hand. Shoulders hitching in silent laughter.

Bellamy glared up at her. “You think this is funny?” He tried to sound serious, but couldn’t contain the laugh building inside of him. It started as a chuckle but grew quickly until he his side hurt.

Clarke’s eyes crinkled at the sides. He loved when she smiled. He managed to get to his feet but slipped half way to the rover. Clarke started giggling, again.

“Just give me something to wipe off with,” he grumbled as he got to the bumper.

When Clarke offered him a slightly greasy rag, Bellamy gave her an evil grin. She realized a second too late what he had planned. Bellamy grabbed her wrist and yanked her forward, catching her around the waist.

“Bellamy!”

“You think it’s funny that I’m covered in mud, huh?” She squealed as he spun her then dropped her on her butt. “Not so funny now, is it?”

They stared at each other for a long moment before Bellamy couldn’t hold his scowl. “You look ridiculous.”

“Jerkface,” she said, trying to get up and falling back.

Bellamy smiled as he slipped and slid over to her. He offered her his hand. For a second, he thought she might ignore it, but then she reached up. Only instead of him pulling her up, she caught him off guard, jerking him forward. He fell next to her, mud flying everywhere.

Clarke had a huge grin on her face when he looked up, but it disappeared when he nailed her with a glob of mud in the chest.

She gasped then surprised him by lunging forward. Bellamy didn’t try to dodge. Clarke landed on top of him as they both fell back, laughing.

Things sort of slowed down after that. Bellamy became very aware of Clarke’s body pressed against his. When her eyes darted down to his lips, he stopped breathing. Slowly, they moved back to his eyes. A lump lodged in his throat, forcing him to swallow hard. She looked so damn beautiful even covered in mud. He pushed a strand of hair away from her face. She let out a little gasp that set every nerve on fire. He wondered what she was thinking because he was pretty sure his brain shut off a couple minutes ago.

This was way too intense. Clarke must have realized the same thing. She rolled to the side, lying next to him—her head on his shoulder. He leaned his cheek against her hair and tried to keep his breathing steady. She could do crazy things to him.

“If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?” Clarke asked suddenly.

Right here. He didn’t want to be anywhere else but here with Clarke in his arms. But he didn’t think he could tell her that. He licked his lips. “Someplace tropical. White-sand beaches and crystal clear water. Palm trees. I’d like to see that.” The breath Clarke released sounded almost disappointed. He looked down at her. “Where would you be?” he asked softly.

She met his gaze, eyes a little glazed. “Right here,” she whispered. “With you.”

His breath caught in his chest. Clarke wiped flakes of mud from his cheek then leaned over and brushed her lips against his. He was frozen in shock. She hesitated, and damn if that didn’t turn him on even more. He couldn’t let her think she made a mistake. He wrapped his other arm around her, deepening the kiss.

She sighed into his mouth as his hand slid up her back, pulling her even closer. Her fingers curled into the hair at the nape of his neck, setting him on fire. He flipped her onto her back then hovered over her. She stared back, lip caught between her teeth. Bellamy took a deep breath. He didn’t want to rush this.

“Clarke-” His voice cracked, and he cleared his throat.

She wiped more mud from his face. “What?”

Bellamy swallowed hard. “There’s no place else I’d rather be than right here with you.”

“Even though I don’t listen to you?”

He wiped a tear away that slid from the corner of her eye. “Even though you don’t listen to me and I try to do everything on my own.” He gave her a crooked grin. “Of course, I’d rather be with you on a tropical beach somewhere instead of stuck in the freezing rain.”

Clarke laughed. “Agreed.”

There was one other thing Bellamy wanted to tell her. It was on the tip of his tongue, but he couldn’t force the words out. Instead, he kissed her forehead. And her nose. Each eye and her cheeks before his lips found hers again. She wrapped her arms around his neck again and kissed him back. He didn’t want to think about what would happen when help came. He wanted to live in this moment forever.

He opened his eyes to find Clarke staring at him. And he knew in that moment that if the world set fire tonight and burned, he would die a happy man. And if it didn’t, he’d follow Clarke to the end of the world and back if she asked. Maybe one day he’d finally tell her why. And she’d listen.
 
 
 
Jen
After their last Eleventh Hour Hail Mary mission, Grif had plopped down right among the dying enemy soldiers and said he wasn’t moving until he got some leave. He wouldn’t even budge for Sarge’s shotgun.
“We’ve saved the galaxy enough times. I think we deserve a vacation.”

No one could come up with a logical rebuttal for that so they headed to the nearest resort planet.

OR

Epsilon and the gang take a vacation, and it goes about as well as you'd expect.

rating: R for language




attention (n): consideration, notice, or observation | detail (n): a part considered or requiring to be considered separately from the whole

Chapter 1


“Blackwater is a neutral planet,” Simmons read from an advertisement as they skimmed over a midnight ocean, heading to the biggest space dock on the southern continent—a tourist hot-spot apparently. He continued to read off a long list of rules and regulations for visiting Blackwater while Church and Caboose watched their clunky approach out a side window.

“Why do you think they call it Blackwater?” Caboose asked, thoughtfully. “Do you think it’s because the water is black? Or do you think the water is black because the planet is called Blackwater?”

“That doesn’t even make sense, dumbass,” Tucker said from Caboose’s other side. “Why would the water change color to black just because the name of the planet has ‘black’ in it?”

Church reached around behind Caboose and smacked Tucker upside the head.

“According to the brochure,” said Wash, strolling over to join them (or maybe just trying to be closer to the emergency exit as they neared the dock), “the water on this planet appears black on the surface because of a mineral in the soil.”

Caboose mulled this over for a moment. “Neat.”

They bumped and bobbled along as Grif struggled to maintain altitude and pitch on his first landing approach. It usually took two or three tries if they didn’t want to crash and burn on impact, but they glided in, only slamming slightly into the docking bay before easily coming to a stop on the first attempt.

“Ha!” Grif shouted from the cockpit. “Nailed it.”

“Let’s wait and see the paint job before you start celebrating,” Carolina said with a chuckle.

“Whatever. You’re just jealous that I fly better than you.”

Read more...Collapse )

Chapter 2 >>

This entry was originally posted at https://jennickels.dreamwidth.org/393729.html.
 
 
 
Jen
05 July 2018 @ 12:54 pm

An accident takes something from Bellamy that he can never get back, but he has Clarke to get him through. Written for fanfic50: pain.
1597 words | [PG]


It hurts. Everywhere. Bellamy’s vision blurs. Sound is muffled by the fog in his head. He tries to roll, but it sends a stab of pain across his chest.

Ribs broken then.

He moans, getting the attention of whoever is with him.

“Don’t try to move.”

“Clarke?” he croaks. “What-”

Her hands press his shoulders down gently, but he’s too weak to fight her anyway. “Just stay calm and don’t move.”

She’s using her stern doctor voice. It’s a step away from her I’m-going-to-shoot-you-in-the-head-if-you-don’t-listen voice. He rests his head back as everything spins.

“You’re doing great,” she says—softly this time. “Real good.”

He’s so confused. “Is that a surprise?”

She blinks at him. “Do you remember what happened?”

[Read more...]He searches his memory for something. Anything. It’s all blank. He shakes his head slightly, sending waves of pain down his neck. “What happened?”

“There was an explosion.” She leans over him so he can see her face without moving. “You were hurt by the flying debris.”

“I don’t remember-”

“That’s probably a good thing.”

Now she’s scaring him. “Clarke-”

“Just stay still.”

“Why?”

Her skin is deathly pale. Blood trickles from a cut at her hairline, coating one side of her face, and there’s a huge bruise on the other side. She’s hurt, too. He tries to reach out and brush away the hair that’s sticking to the blood, but something holds his arm down. He frowns, trying to see. Clarke grabs his face to keep him looking up.

“I said don’t move. You could have broken your neck. You need to stay still.”

He sighs. “Just tell me how bad it is.”

“You’ll live.”

“That’s a ringing endorsement if I ever heard one.”

Clarke blinks for several seconds before a smile cracks across her face. But he can’t ignore the tears pooling in her eyes.

“It’s bad isn’t it?”

She shakes her head. “You’re going to be okay.”

He’s not sure if she’s trying to convince him or herself. Probably both. Again, he tries to reach for her, but he can’t seem to get his arms to cooperate. His head spins again, and it hurts to breathe. “Clarke-” He swallows hard. “I can’t feel my arm.”

She doesn’t say anything for a long time then she slides her fingers through his hair, pushing it away from his sweaty face. “You’ll be okay. Just hang on.”

“Clarke-”

Suddenly, Jackson is at his other side. “Damn.” Bellamy’s never seen one of their doctors lose their composure, but Jackson just stares for several beats before shaking his head. “Status?”

“He’s lost a lot of blood. Pulse is thready. Breathing slow.”

Bellamy closes his eyes. “That’s ‘cause my ribs are broken.”

Jackson snorts. “Why don’t you let me make the diagnosis?”

The laugh catches in Bellamy’s throat forcing him to cough. The pain is agonizing, leaving him gasping which just hurts even more. Clarke cups his face, leaning over him as Jackson works beside her. “Slow breaths, Bellamy. Just stay calm.”

He finally catches his breath. “I’d be a lot calmer,” he grits out, “if you’d tell me what was going on.”

Clarke’s eyes tear up again. Great, he made her cry. It must be really bad. He’s going to die. “I’m going to die.”

“No, you aren’t.”

“You’re not dying, Bellamy,” Jackson confirms. “You just might not be all in one piece.”

What does that mean? Before he can ask, he feels a prick in his neck. A warmth radiates through his body; his vision goes fuzzy.

“Count back from ten,” Jackson commands.

Bellamy tries to comply, but his tongue feels thick and sluggish. The last thing he remembers before he passes out is Clarke’s smile as she leaned down to press a soft kiss to his forehead.



He wakes slowly—sound coming back first. Hushed voices draw him from the darkness. He tries to open his eyes but the light is harsh and painful. Squeezing them shut again, he tries to focus on the conversation. He recognizes Kane and Abby’s voices, but his brain won’t make sense of their words. He lets out a frustrated breath, getting their attention.

Abby’s at his side in seconds. “Hey, there. How are you feeling?” She starts fiddling with the various tubes and wires connecting him to monitors.

He thinks about it for way too long before he can get his mouth to make the words. “Okay. Thirsty.” Even that wears him out.

Abby just smiles. “I’ll get you something.”

It feels like moments later that Bellamy drags himself back to consciousness, but he knows it must have been longer. The lights in Medbay are set low for the evening shift. Clarke’s sitting in a chair next to his bed, head cradled in her arms. There are sutures running down one side of her face and dark circles under her eyes. He wonders how long it’s been since the accident.

Without thinking, he reaches out to brush the hair from her face except his arm won’t move. Panic stirs in his chest when he can’t even feel his arm. He forces himself to stay calm and takes inventory. His chest hurts from the broken ribs, and his head is killing him. He wiggles his toes so he’s not paralyzed. But his right arm. He’s relieved when his left arm easily lifts from the bed. He pulls back the blanket from his shoulder. Nothing.

He groans, fighting back sudden tears. Clarke’s head pops up.

“Bellamy.” She looks him up and down with a critical eye before settling on his face. “How are you feeling?”

His brow furrows. “Like I’m missing a freaking arm.”

Clarke’s face falls, tears springing to her eyes. “I’m so sorry,” she murmurs.

Jesus, he didn’t mean to make her cry. Bellamy rubs his face with his left hand then rolls to the right. His shoulder aches—his arm ending several inches above where his elbow should be. He tries not to look at it. “Clarke, stop. Don’t cry.”

“I’m sorry. We couldn’t-”

“Yeah.” He finally brushes the hair from her face. “You knew then, didn’t you?”

She looks away, wiping at her nose. “It was already gone—we were just trying to control the bleeding.”

He sighs. “You could have told me.”

“I didn’t want you to panic,” she whispers.

“This is much better.”

“Bellamy-”

“Sorry, sorry. It’s the painkillers talking. Hey-” He gently turns her face back to him. “I’m alive, right? That’s what counts.”

Clarke nods. “It is.” She bites down on her lip, and now he can’t stop staring at her mouth. Must be the painkillers. Then she yawns. Big.

Slowly, painfully, Bellamy scoots over in the bed, rolling more onto his injured side. He pulls the blanket back, heart in his throat. “Come on, princess, you look like you could use some sleep.” He can tell she’s about to protest even though she’s looking longingly at the bed. “Hey, there’s plenty of room now—I take up like twenty-five percent less space.”

Her jaw drops, making him laugh which sets off a coughing fit. Pain shoots from his injured ribs. Clarke offers him the water Abby must have brought the first time he woke up then runs her fingers through his hair until it passes. After a few sips, he’s in control of his breathing again and hoping he didn’t push his luck with Clarke. She glances over her shoulder before disappearing.

Bellamy sighs. So much for that, but before his heart can fall apart, she’s back with a syringe. He eyes it suspiciously.

“I’ll stay, if you take another dose of pain medicine. That’s my only offer, no argu-”

“Deal.” He smiles wide.

Clarke blushes then quickly injects the medicine into one of his IV lines. It takes them a minute to get situated without all of the wires getting tangled, both of them giggling like idiots. God, he loves it when she laughs.

“Shh, or my mom will hear.”

“You’re the one that wanted me to get high first,” he mumbles, getting a snort from her. “What’s your excuse?”

Eventually, they’re both as comfortable as they can get. Clarke presses her forehead against Bellamy’s with a sigh, relaxing into the pillow. Bellamy watches her eyes flutter shut—her lashes caked together with dried tears. He fights back the urge to kiss her. Has to be the painkillers.

Clarke twists her fingers into his shirt and takes a long breath, letting it out slowly. “I was so scared,” she whispers.

Bellamy pushes her hair behind her ear. “I’m still here—quit thinking about it. It’s over. I’m alive. End of story.” She shakes her head, tears sliding from the corners of her eyes again. Goddamn it. He tilts her head up until she looks at him. “You are not getting rid of me that easily. Someone has to keep your head from getting too big.”

She sniffs. “Just quit scaring me like this.”

“No guarantees.”

She rolls her eyes. The pain meds are fully kicking in now, and Bellamy feels himself drifting off. He yawns. “I’ll be fine, Clarke. You’ll just have to teach me how to do everything left-handed. It can’t be that hard.”

The last thing he remembers is her smile lighting up her eyes and the feel of her chapped lips on his. If he knew it would only take losing a limb to steal a kiss, he might have done this a long time ago. Who needs two arms anyway?
 
 
Jen
02 July 2018 @ 09:11 pm
607 words | [PG-13]
Carolina and Tex get left behind after a mission gone wrong.


They never come back from their last mission.

North and South. Maine and Wash. Connie and York.

Just gone.

Now the last search team is missing. Florida and Wyoming went out two days ago. They should have been back by now.

Carolina paces the length of the landing bay, biting her nails—a nervous habit she thought she kicked in high school. The rest of the crew is on edge and give her a wide berth, but she hears them murmuring about it. Them. Her. All of it. She wants to scream at them but bites her tongue.

The door to the landing bay flies open, startling her just as the klaxons start blaring, red lights flashing. Tex looks around, spotting her. “They’re coming in hot,” she shouts.

The crew scramble out of the way as a Pelican careens wildly towards the ship. Carolina is frozen in shock until Tex knocks her to the side. The transport hits the deck hard, screeching to a stop, feet from the wall where Carolina had been standing moments earlier.

[read more]She untangles herself from Tex and rushes over to the door. The pilot—one Carolina doesn’t know—staggers out, holding his arm at an odd angle. Behind him, Florida helps Wyoming limp down the ramp. Wyoming glances at Carolina then quickly looks away. She feels sick.

“What happened?” Tex demands.

Florida pulls off his helmet—his face is a little red, hair sticking up at odd angles. “We ran into a teensy bit of trouble on the way back.”

“Teensy?” says Tex, hands on her hips. “Define ‘teensy.’”

“They nearly fucking shot us out of the sky,” Wyoming grumbles. “Maybe if we had a pilot that knew how to bloody fly.”

The pilot darts out of the room as he pulls off his helmet. A moment later he’s retching in the hallway. This isn’t happening, Carolina thinks while Tex continues to interrogate the other two.

Her head is buzzing with static, drowning out everything but the thumping of her own heart.

“Carolina!”

Tex slaps her hard across the face, knocking her head back. Carolina blinks at her. “What the-”

“You were out of it.”

“So you hit me?”

Tex shrugs. Carolina wants to hit her. Rage against her, but she pulls it all back in. That isn’t going to help their friends. Tex seems to get it, though. She cocks her head to the side. “One free hit, kid. Get it out of-”

Carolina hits her hard but not just once. Tex doesn’t fight back which just confuses Carolina until she stops, falling onto her back, breathing hard. Her hand hurts. But not as much as her heart. Tex looks over at her.

“Better?”

“No.”

“Didn’t think so.”

Carolina looks away, fighting back the tears.

“We’ll find them,” Tex says, softer than Carolina thought possible.

“They’ve been gone five days.”

“You’re giving up already?”

Carolina sits up a little too quickly, her head spinning. “I never quit.”

“Good. Because I’m going to need your help to find them.”

“The Director is never going to approve another mission.”

“I know. Which is why we aren’t asking.” Tex stands then reaches a hand to Carolina. “You in?”

Carolina eyes Tex for a moment. Months of rivalry and resentment stand between them. Carolina isn’t sure she trusts Tex, but right now Tex is offering her the only hope she has. She grabs the other agent’s hand. “I’m in.”

“Good.” Tex walks away. “Be ready.”

“For what?” Carolina calls after her.

“You’ll know it when it happens.”

Carolina imagines a sly smile on Tex’s face, and for once she’s glad Tex is on her side.
 
 
 
Jen
12 June 2018 @ 11:18 pm
561 words | [G]
There are still a lot Wash has to learn about the inner workings of Blue base now that Epsilon is gone. Like Caboose’s sleeping habits.


The knock on the door is light. For a moment, Wash isn’t sure he heard anything, but there it is again. A soft tap, tap, tap. He rolls over, checking the time on his computer terminal. 0124.

“This better be important,” he grumbles, hauling himself out of bed. “I was sleeping good. Sort of.”

He’s ready to dress-down the idiot waking him up, but it’s Caboose standing there, shifting from foot to foot and fiddling with the edge of his t-shirt.

“Caboose?”

“Oh, hey, Agent Washington. Did I wake you up?”

“Yes, you did. It’s one-thirty in the morning, Caboose. What’s wrong?”

“Oh.” He pulls on the hem so hard it tears. His shoulders slump. “I was just kind of having a problem.”

Read more...Collapse ) This entry was originally posted at https://jennickels.dreamwidth.org/393148.html.
 
 
Jen
1780 words | [PG]
Things would run a lot smoother in camp if people would just get their heads out of their asses and listen to Clarke. And by “people” she means Bellamy.
Takes place in the first weeks on the ground but without them ever contacting the Ark.



The sun breaks through the canopy of leaves, dappling the ground in pools of light and shadow, and a warm breeze flutters Clarke’s hair as she strolls down the ramp of the dropship. She’s been making rounds all morning—checking on the other kids to see if anyone needs anything—and there’s just one name left on her list.

Clarke finds Bellamy a few minutes later, following the sound of thwacking she hears in the distance. She watches him from the cover of the trees as he uses his hatchet to carve a little wedge out of one side of a tree. He pauses long enough to pull off his shirt, dabbing at his sweaty face, before he goes to work on the other side of the trunk.

She tries not to stare, but she’s suddenly overly fascinated with the way his muscles move under his skin. Her heart rate kicks up a notch. Not something she wants. This is Bellamy after all.

He spins the hatchet in his hand, glaring at the tree. “Take a picture. It’ll last longer,” he says suddenly.

Clarke jumps—embarrassed at being caught. He shoots her a satisfied smirk then slams the hatchet into the tree once more. A good kick sends it toppling. When he doesn’t say anything else, Clarke clears her throat, coming a few steps closer.

Bellamy picks up his bottle of water and sucks it dry. “What do you want? Besides to ogle me?”

[read more]“Don’t flatter yourself,” she mutters, but she’s sure her flaming face gives her away. She didn’t come to get into a fight, though. “I was just checking on you.”

His eyebrows shoot up. “Checking on me? Why?”

“I’ve been checking on everyone.” She pulls a couple bottles of water from her bag, handing one to Bellamy.

“Wow, Princess, I didn’t know you cared.”

Clarke sighs. He’s impossible. “You should keep your shirt on.”

Bellamy nearly chokes on his sip of water. “Excuse me?”

She rolls her eyes. “Your shirt—you should keep on.”

“Are you so unable to control yourself around me I have to cover up now?”

“Don’t be an ass. It doesn’t feel that hot, but our skin isn’t used to direct sunlight. I’ve already had a couple dozen kids complain about sunburns.”

“I’m naturally tan.”

“Still-”

Bellamy stares at her for a second then gulps down the water. “Is there anything else you want to pester me about or can I get back to doing something actually productive.”

Clarke’s mouth opens and closes without a sound. She wants to wipe that stupid smirk off his face. With her foot. “Fine, just don’t come crying to me when you’re burnt.” She turns on her heel and marches away.

“Toodles,” Bellamy calls after her.

That night, Clarke jerks awake at the sound of something crashing inside the dropship. She stills, straining to hear in the darkness. Maybe she imagined it—she hasn’t exactly been sleeping well. Jasper seems out of the woods, but she worries about him. About everyone. She’s almost back asleep when she hears more clattering. Someone’s going through her supplies. She slowly gets up from her pallet in the corner and tiptoes closer to the noise.

There’s another loud clank then someone curses under their breath. Bellamy.

Serves him right. She crosses her arms and watches as he tries to pry open the locked crate. “Can I help you?” she asks—her voice loud in the empty space.

Bellamy nearly jumps out of his skin, dropping the metal rod he was using. “Jesus Christ, Clarke.”

The only light comes from a flashlight sitting on the crate. She can’t really see his face, but even in the darkness, Clarke doesn’t miss the grimace when he reaches for the rod. “What’s wrong?” she asks, stepping closer to get a better look at him.

“Nothing.” They stare at each other for way too long. Bellamy cracks first, looking away with a sigh. “I hurt myself and just needed something for the pain. But some psycho locked up the first aid kits.”

“What happened? Did you cut yourself when you were chopping trees?”

“No.”

He doesn’t elaborate. With them both in the circle of illumination, she can clearly see the pain on his face—brows knit together, lips drawn in a tight, pale line against his dark skin.

“Well?” he says—his eyes darting from her to the crate.

Clarke undoes the lock and flips the lid open. Bellamy looks like he’s about to push her out of the way to get to the contents. She sets herself between him and the supplies. “I’m going to need to know how you hurt yourself if I’m going to treat it.”

He looks down at her, eyes narrowed. “I can do it myself if you just get out of my way.”

Clarke arches one eyebrow. Then places her hands on his chest, giving him a gentle nudge back. Bellamy jerks away like she shocked him. Her eyes go wide, true concern replacing her annoyance. “What’s wrong?”

“Would you just get out of the way?”

“Not until you tell me what’s wrong.”

“God, Clarke, do you have to argue with me about everything. Can’t you just let it go this time?”

“Can’t you just let me help you for once?”

Telling her looks like the last thing Bellamy wants to do, but eventually, he gives up. He gingerly slides out of his jacket, and groans when he peels off his t-shirt. Clarke doesn’t even need to see his skin to know it’s burnt.

He grits his teeth. “I swear to god, if you say, ‘I told you so-’”

“I wouldn’t. Let me see.”

He hands her the flashlight, turning so she can get a better view of his back. There are spots on his shoulders and upper arms that have already blistered, and the back of his neck is peeling. The burn extends all the way to his waist. She said she wouldn’t say it, but she did tell him so.

“I made up a paste that should help with the burn,” Clarke tells him, finding the container easily. “At least it seems to be helping the others.”

Bellamy wrinkles his nose when she unscrews the cap. “Do I even want to know what’s in that?”

“Probably not,” she says with a grin. “Now turn around.”

He sits on the edge of the crate without a fight this time. Clarke takes a glob of the goo and squishes it between her hands. It feels disgusting and smells even worse, but it seemed to do the trick for the other victims of the sun. “This might sting a little at first,” she says. Bellamy nods, but even with the warning, he hisses, arching away from her hands.

“Quit being a baby.”

He twists to look at her. “What did you say?”

She arches an eyebrow at him until he turns back around. Slowly and gently, she spreads the paste over his skin, working it into his shoulders and neck where the worst burns are. She swears she hears him sigh.

Clarke has to admit the entire thing is extremely intimate—her fingers sliding across his skin, the darkness encircling them like they’re the only two people on the planet. She’s pretty sure the heat between them isn’t entirely coming from the sunburn, and it takes her a moment to catch her breath.

“You done?” Did she just imagine his voice cracking?

“Yeah.”

Bellamy takes the tin from her to apply the paste to his chest. There’s a little zap of current between them when their fingers brush. Clarke busies herself with repacking the crate to keep from ogling him again. He would never let her live that down.

“Thanks,” he says softly. “For this, and you know, not saying you told me so.”

She finally forces her eyes to meet his—there’s something there she can’t describe that sends a tickle down her spine. “You really should have listened.”

He smirks. “Couldn’t resist could you?”

“I waited until you were feeling better.”

He chuckles as he eases back into his shirt. “Prognosis, doc?”

Clarke stuffs the container into the crate, trying to ignore the unwelcome butterflies taking up residence in her belly. “You’ll live. But you’re going to be sore for a while. Some of those burns look like second degree. They could get infected.”

He frowns. “So keep my shirt on. Check.”

“Here,” she says, handing him another tin. “Kind of like sunblock. Use it.”

“Anything else?” He gives her a look that says her condescension isn’t appreciated.

She shakes her head. “Just-” She licks her lips. “Just be more careful. This place would fall apart without you.”

She obviously catches him off guard. Bellamy blinks at her then glances away, fumbling with the tin. “I’ll try, but I can’t make any promises. Ask Octavia—I’m prone to being an idiot.”

Clarke tries not to laugh. “I think you’re doing okay so far.”

“Yeah?”

She’s surprised at the insecurity in his voice. She nods. “You’re doing good, Bellamy. You’ve kept us alive so far. We can’t do this without you. I can’t do this.”

Bellamy clears his throat—obviously uncomfortable with the conversation. “Thanks for this,” he says, holding up the tin.

“Next time just ask for help, okay? I’m not going to tease you or anything.”

He snorts.

“I’m serious, Bellamy. We should be working together not against each other.”

He taps his finger against the tin. “Okay, I’ll make more of an effort on one condition.”

Clarke cocks her head. “What’s that?”

“You stop acting like an insufferable know-it-all.” He doesn’t give her a chance to respond. “Maybe you do know more than most of us, but shoving it in our faces just makes us feel stupid.”

Any comeback catches in her throat. She couldn’t have been more shocked if he slapped her.

“We got a deal?”

It takes her a second to find her voice. “Yes.”

Clarke follows him down the ramp, stopping him at the bottom. “Bellamy, you’re not stupid. Not once have I ever thought that.”

He looks awkward standing there, shifting from foot to foot as he takes in what she said. “My sore shoulders disagree.” The smirk that breaks across his face lights a little flame in her chest. He shakes the tin. “Here’s hoping it’s cloudy tomorrow.”

He thankfully turns before he can see the stupid grin on her face—he’s going to need someone to help him with that tomorrow. And she doubts Miller’s going to do it. Oh, God, she is in so much trouble.
 
 
 
Jen


1440 words | [PG-13]
It's late, and Wash can't sleep. But he's not the only one. Maybe what him and Carolina really need is someone to talk them through the dark night. Cuddling also works.


Wash isn’t sleeping anyway when he hears Carolina call out from the room across the hall. He stares blankly at the gray ceiling trying to ignore the sobs—she would hate to know he was listening. But the sound is a knife through his heart in more than one way. Still, he doesn’t move because she’d probably kick him in the balls if he tried to play the half-assed hero with her. Carolina is no damsel in distress.

But when the noise from her room fades, he silently slips from his bed. Wash is the only one that knows the code to her lock, and the soft click of it disengaging sounds abnormally loud in the late night. He waits for Carolina to throw open the door, gun in hand. Or something equally dramatic, but it’s quiet. He’s not sure if that’s a good thing or bad.

He finds her sitting in bed, knees to her chest, staring into the dark. “Hey,” she says without looking at him like she knew he’d come. He has no idea why she would think that. He’s never done this before. Well, not the breaking and entering part—he can’t count the number of times he’s listened to her cry from outside her door, though. He needs to know she’s okay.

[read more]

Carolina scoots over so he can join her on the bed but says nothing else. Wash sits, legs stretched out, feet dangling off the side. Her blankets are a twisted mess and the sheets soaked with sweat. The only light in the room comes from the digital display of her old-fashioned alarm clock. He watches her out of the corner of his eye, not sure what to say or do except be there for her.

Eventually, she leans her head on his shoulder. “I couldn’t beat her,” she whispers.

“Tex?” Wash frowns. “That’s who you were dreaming about?”

Carolina scoffs. “I know, right? How pathetic is that? Even after all these years, she still gives me nightmares.”

He snorts. “Well, she was pretty scary.” He says it almost fondly because there are so many versions of Tex in his head—all hated and loved by the many other people stuck in there as well. Sometimes it’s hard to sort out which ones are his real feelings. He’s pretty sure he had no problem with Tex personally. At least not until he tried to kill her. Then she was all up in his business. And that was fucking terrifying.

“It’s stupid,” she says after a moment, wiping at her eyes. “God.”

Wash takes a chance, sliding his arm around her and pulling her close. She doesn’t resist. In fact, she buries her face in the crook of his neck, making herself comfortable. He’s not sure what to do with that. He suddenly feels sixteen and completely unready for Angie Beckett climbing through his window that one night. He blushes at the thought. Thankfully, it’s too dark for Carolina to see. He takes a deep breath, pushing away the awkward memories and lays his cheek against the top of her head.

Carolina plays with the chain of his dog tags. “Why was I never good enough?”

Is she drunk? Wash shakes his head. “I don’t-”

“I couldn’t beat her.”

He wonders how much she actually knows. And that leads to what the fuck do I tell her? He takes a deep breath deciding to just go with the truth because he’s too tired to keep dancing around shit. “You know she was an AI, right? The fact that you stayed number two is impressive.”

Carolina jerks away and Wash sighs.

“I’m just saying—it’s not exactly easy for a human brain to compete with an AI-”

She punches him in the arm. Hard. “Whose side are you on?”

He puts his hands up. “I’m not on anyone’s side.” Her growl is unmistakable. “Your side. I’m on your side,” he says, trying not to laugh. “Always your side.”

He doesn’t know why he adds the last part, but she melts against him again, and he decides he likes that. A lot. And there are those awkward feelings again. He closes his eyes, breathing slow. His brain is working overtime to sort out the memories and feelings.

“You think I could beat her now?”

Why is she torturing herself? Why is she torturing me? “No,” he tells her honestly, risking life and limb, “but that doesn’t mean she wins. Just because Tex was on the top of the leaderboard doesn’t mean anything. She had an unfair advantage-”

“She was his favorite,” she mumbles.

Wash has had enough. He grabs her by the shoulders. “I’m not doing this with you, Carolina, and I’m only saying this once so listen.”

She blinks up at him--a little confused and a lot of hurt in her eyes.

He’s pretty sure this conversation is a mistake, but he takes a deep breath anyway. It needs to be said. “The Director—he was a rat bastard, but-” He swallows hard, finishing softly. “But your father loved you.” She tries to pull away, but he doesn’t let go. “He loved you, Carolina, even if he didn’t show it. Didn’t know how to. He was as fucked up as the rest of us.”

“I can’t believe you’re defending him. You of all people.”

Wash glares at her. “I think I’m the only one in any position to defend him. And that’s not what I’m doing. I’m just stating a fact. Leonard Church was an asshole in any incarnation, but he loved exactly two people in his life-”

“And he loved her more.”

Wash drops his arms and gets up. “Maybe you’re right. And I’m pretty sure nothing I can say will ever change your mind anyway. Good night, Carolina.” Sometimes he wonders why he even tries.

He’s barely back in his room when her door bangs open. She stomps after him, and in the dim light from his desk lamp, he can see the dark circles under her red-rimmed eyes. “I miss him,” she shouts, slamming his door behind her.

“The director?”

Tears slide down her cheeks as she looks away. “Epsilon.”

Oh. That makes more sense. He doesn’t know what to say so he just waits.

“He was-” She sniffles. She can’t seem to elaborate, wrapping her arms around herself.

Wash pulls her close. “He loved you too.”

She huffs. “You have that floating around in your head, too?”

He laughs. “No. His actions said everything.”

“Whatever. He was a jerk.”

“Yeah.” He hugs her tighter. “But he was our jerk.”

She glances up at him. He forces himself to keep eye contact because it’s the most intimate he’s been with anyone in a long time, and it’s the closest he’s come to actually talking about what happened, and it’s the first time he’s admitted that he actually misses Epsilon. Carolina smiles. Then laughs, leaning her head on his shoulder. “He was a jerk, and I miss him. He was-”

She still can’t seem to say the words so Wash fills them in. “He was like your father. The one you remember.”

“Yeah.”

“Your childhood must have been-” He bites back a grin. “Interesting.”

Carolina pinches his side. “Shut up.”

Wash pins her hands to her back then leans his forehead against hers. “You gonna be okay?”

She lets out a long breath. “You gonna get some sleep?”

“Probably not.”

She doesn’t answer his question—not that he expected her to—but the way she looks at him with a mixture of weary sadness and tender affection takes his breath away. Without really thinking, he walks them over to the bed, falling onto it when his knees bump the edge. He looks up hesitantly and with not a little bit of that terror he felt with Angie then slides over to the wall—an invitation. He’s not sure how crushed he’ll be if she walks out the door, but she surprises him with a soft smile, climbing in. He tucks her against his chest and tugs the blanket over them.

“I’ll sleep if you sleep,” he mumbles into her neck.

She tangles her fingers with his. “If you promise to tell me how you’re really doing with all this.”

Wash sucks in a long breath then exhales slowly. “Tomorrow, promise.” He means it completely.

“Deal,” Carolina murmurs with a yawn, snuggling closer.

Wash decides having her pressed against him—listening to her breaths even out—isn’t as scary as he thought, and as he drifts off, he thinks that maybe, just maybe, they can find some peace tonight. Together.

 
 
 
Jen
28 May 2018 @ 12:51 am


1297 words | [PG]

After everything they'd been through, in the end, Jack would do anything for Sam, just to see her smile. Even if it meant giving her pre-wedding advice. AU after Affinity.
[I originally wrote this in 2014 and have no idea why I never finished editing it back then (It only took like twenty minutes). Apparently, I was in the mood for angst overload.]

Lyrics by Tim McGraw.


And yesterday I knew just what you wanted
When you came walkin’ up to me with him.
So I told you that I was happy for you,
And given the chance I’d lie again.

Just to see you smile.

Jack sat on the roof of his house, a beer dangling from one hand, watching the stars twinkle far above. Like so many other times, he wondered how many of those specks of light he’d visited. How many of them had planets orbiting them that they hadn’t yet discovered? Not that he’d be going to any of them. Being a general generally sucked most of the time.

He took a sip of his beer. The cool breeze tickled his skin, causing goosebumps to pop up all along his arms. It was getting colder—summer was over.

Slowly, his eyes slid shut, but he forced them open. He didn’t like what he saw whenever they closed. There was that little black box and that nervous expression on Carter’s face. It had taken every ounce of military training to keep his face neutral. How could she have asked him about that? He swallowed hard because he knew why. She was giving him one last chance to stop the whole thing. To make a move. And he didn’t take it because of honor and the regulations and he was a big fat chicken.

[read more]

Now she was marrying that cop. Jack still couldn’t bring himself to think of the guy by his name. Marrying him. Tomorrow. Jack’s insides twisted into a knot. A dull ache had settled in his chest the moment he’d seen that ring. Almost a year later and it hadn’t gone away. He chugged the rest of his beer then tossed it into the pile with the rest. There better be some kind of emergency on base tomorrow so he had a good excuse for not showing up.

With a defeated sigh, he rubbed his hands over his face then just held them there, trying to rein in his emotions made loose from the alcohol. He was so confused and sad and angry. And just hurting. Deep down in his soul hurting. He groaned, pushing his palms into his eyes.

“Sir?”

Jack froze. Now he was hearing things.

“Are you okay, sir?”

He swallowed hard then pulled his hands away. Colors popped in his blurred vision, but he was sure he saw Carter standing at the edge of his roof deck. He shook his head clear then sat up straighter.

“Carter, what are you doing here?”

She looked around sheepishly. “I, uh-”

“Very articulate.” Damn, that was harsh. He cleared his throat and forced a smile. “So, what can I do for you, Colonel?”

She looked around, taking in the cooler and pile of empty bottles in the corner. “I could really use a beer.”

Jack smiled for real at that. He pulled out two beers, being careful not to let their fingers brush as he handed one to her. She took a long sip before setting it on the railing. She leaned there staring at her shoes for a long while. He was damn curious why she was at his house in the middle of the night. He checked his watch: 0120.

“Pre-wedding jitters?” he asked when he couldn’t take the silence any longer.

“Huh?” Carter’s head jerked up like she hadn’t quite heard him. She frowned. Jack loved the way her face scrunched up when she was confused.

“I asked if you were getting cold feet?”

She grimaced. Damn, hit that one on the head. Jack leaned forward in his chair. “Carter, what’s going on?”

After finishing her beer, she sighed. “I don’t know.”

Jack popped the top on another and handed it to her. She chugged at least half of it. Whoa. Jack sipped at his, waiting.

She wiped her mouth on the back of her hand. “I just-” She took a deep breath. “Can I ask you a personal question?”

Taken aback, Jack blinked. “Of course, Carter, you don’t have to ask permission.”

“When you got married did you- I don’t know, was it weird right before. It’s just I keep getting these, I don’t know, anxiety attacks when I think about tomorrow. What if the flowers don’t arrive on time? What if I trip over my dress? What if I forget my vows? Or drop my bouquet, or-”

“Carter,” Jack said over her, getting her attention, “it’ll be fine. Like I said—pre-wedding jitters, everyone gets them.”

“Really?”

The pleading look on her face crushed his heart. “Yeah, sure.”

“So you got them?”

Jack thought back to the night before his wedding to Sara. He’d been so anxious he couldn’t sleep. Kawalsky had been there, laughing his ass off at how nervous Jack was. They ended up in some half-drunken wrestling match—the laughter finally calming Jack’s nerves.

“Yeah,” he said to his feet with a slight grin. “Yeah, I got them.”

“So, what did you do?”

Jack frowned. “No offense, Carter, but why are you asking me? It’s not like I have a great track-record with marriage.”

Even in the moonlight, he could see her face flush. “I- I don’t really know many people that are married. None that I’m close enough with to ask personal questions.”

“Oh.” Jack couldn’t help but feel a little pang of disappointment. She was here because he had experience. Nothing more. When he looked up, she was staring at him with that far-off look in her eyes again. He swallowed hard. “I guess I just found something to distract myself so I wouldn’t think about it. By the morning, we were too busy rushing around to worry about little things. And then it was over.”

She nodded but didn’t look convinced.

“Hey,” Jack said, tapping her foot with his so she’d look up. “In the end, you don’t remember all the stuff that goes wrong. You just remember standing at the altar and saying, ‘I do,’ and that’s all that really matters.”

“You’re going to be there, right?” Her voice was impossibly small for someone as strong as Carter.

He should have known this was coming. The ache in his chest turned to a crushing vice grip of terror. How the hell could he sit there and watch her marry another man? How could she ask him to do that? When he didn’t answer she took a deep breath and started to apologize.

Jack cut her off. “Sure, I’ll be there, if that’s what you want.”

She let out a relieved breath. Her smile, though, didn’t quite reach her eyes, but it was something. “That would really make me happy.”

“Then I’ll definitely be there. With bells on.”

That got a bigger smile from her. “I think we could do without the bells, sir.”

“Are you sure? They’re festive. I picked them up at Christmas—jingle bells, you know?”

Carter rolled her eyes, an exasperated look on her face. But she was still smiling, and in that moment, that was all that mattered.

“Thank you,” she said softly. “I really appreciate your advice, sir.”

The lump in Jack’s throat was so big he wasn’t sure he could push it down, but finally, he found his voice. “Any time, Carter. You know I’ll always be here for you.”

She nodded but didn’t look at him. Damn, this sucked. “Tomorrow, er, today, at eleven?” he asked, checking his watch.

He thought he saw a quirk to her lips. “Without the bells, sir.”

“Whatever you say, Carter. It’s your special day.”

He watched her climb down the ladder with a longing that he knew would never go away. Tomorrow was going to be hell, but he’d be there.

If just to see her smile.

 
 
 
Jen

I found this in my WIP folder from 2014--apparently written for ami_ven (according to my notes). It's pretty random, but I thought I'd post it anyway.

Take This Job and Shove It

181 words | [PG]
Jack & Sam at work.


“Carter,” O’Neill barks from the door to her lab.

“Sir?” Sam looks up from the report she’s working on from her last mission.

“I need you to get those reports to me faster.”

“Faster? But I turn them in as quickly as I always have. Way before Daniel-”

“Well, I need them faster.” He taps his fingers against his leg in an uneven pattern.

What’s his problem? Sam’s had a long day on P4X-whatever-it-was and just not in the mood to deal with a cranky colonel so she pierces her commanding officer with a steely glare. “They will be done in the timely manner in which they always have been.”

“But, I-”

“I will have them done when they are done.” She doesn’t break eye contact.

O’Neill swallows, finally looking away as his face heats up. “Right, of course you will,” he mumbles. “I’ll be waiting.” He practically runs out of her lab.

Sam smirks at her computer and hits send. She was done with the report anyway—she just wanted to watch the colonel squirm for once.

 
 
Jen
638 words | [PG]
The morning before Bellamy and Lincoln make their daring attempt to infiltrate Mt. Weather, Bellamy has a quiet moment with Clarke. He doesn't know what to say to her anymore, but he's tired of pretending he doesn't care.

Bellamy pulls the worn shirt over his head. The fabric stretches across his chest. He’s not sure where they found these clothes, but half are too small, and the other half are too big. He looks ridiculous, but it’s the best plan they have. As much as he pushed to go on this mission, he has to admit he’s terrified. He’s not sure what scares him more—the Reapers or the Mountain Men. Either way, he’s sure this is going to get messy.

The flap to the tent opens behind him. Clarke. He cocks his head to let her know it’s okay to come in while he tugs on the Grounder boots. Too big. He feels like a clown. Clarke’s gaze burns into his neck, but he continues to tie his shoes as slowly as possible. He’s not sure what to say to her. Things have been so crazy the last few days, and his emotions are all over the place with this mission coming up. He wishes he could read her mind so they could skip the inevitable awkward conversation.

Finally, he can’t stall any longer. He looks up at her, and damn, if she doesn’t look small. Like a kid. He doesn’t like thinking of her that way. She’s too strong, but right now she looks tiny and frightened.

[read more]“Clarke?”

She bites her lip. Bellamy can tell she’s trying to say something so he waits for her to gather her thoughts while his own bounce around in his head so fast he can’t collect them. Finally, she takes a deep breath. “Have you got everything you need? Lexa is looking around for gear that might fit better. We’ve got a little bit of time-”

“Clarke,” he says, standing in front of her, “stop, okay?”

Her mouth snaps shut, eyes wide.

Bellamy sighs then pushes a hand through his hair. God, he doesn’t know what to say. Why does it have to be so hard? A few days ago things were fine—now he doesn’t know how to talk to her.

“I just want you to be safe,” she whispers.

He closes his eyes because they both know he won’t be safe. Not even close. If he makes it into Mt. Weather it will be a miracle, and he doesn’t want to think about how this might be the last conversation they have.

There are things he wishes he could tell her. They’re on the tip of his tongue, but he bites them all back because that’s easier than admitting his feelings.

Instead, he steps closer, resting his hands on her shoulders until she looks up at him. “We’re going to do this, Clarke. You know how I know?” She shakes her head. “Because we can do anything together.”

“Bellamy, I-” She swallows hard. “I don’t want to lose you.”

Before he can change his mind, he pulls her into a hug. Her arms slip around his waist, holding tight. “I’m going to be fine. You let me worry about Mt. Weather, and you keep everyone out here safe.”

Clarke nods into his chest. He rests his chin on the top of her head, trying not to think of the lies he keeps telling. “Everything is going to be okay,” he mumbles into her hair. Her breath is warm against his neck and leaves his skin tingling.

He catches himself before he presses a kiss to her forehead then thinks, what the hell? They’re running out of time, and he’s tired of pretending she doesn’t mean anything to him. Clarke leans into the kiss with a sigh, her fingers twisting into his shirt. Outside, someone calls his name.

“Be safe,” she murmurs.

“May we meet again.”

Clarke steps back, wiping her eyes. “May we meet again.”

He doesn’t look back or he might just change his mind.