[identity profile] mollivanders.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] prefer_my_life
Title: your pieces stitch themselves back together
Fandom: The 100
Rating: G
Characters: Bellamy, Clarke/Bellamy
Author's Note:I just had the idea of Bellamy getting a dog as a way to heal after the anguish of Season 2, and then Clarke showed up. As she does. Written shortly after the Season 2 finale aired, and posted at AO3. Word Count – 1,919.
Disclaimer: Not mine.

Three months after the fall of Mount Weather, Bellamy finds a dog.

He’s hunting for food, the winter months stretching Camp Jaha’s supplies thin, when he hears a frightened whine from behind a tree. A pup, separate from its mother, peeks out from behind a gnarled tree, and he lowers his gun.

There were no dogs on the Ark – no pets at all. Focused on its own survival, the human race couldn’t afford to try to save any others. He’d seen pets in movies though, and some ancient instinct – not yet bred out during 97 years on the Ark – pushed him to the animal.

“Here boy,” he says softly, crouching low to the ground. The pup leans back on his heels, fear and hunger in his eyes.

Once, before Octavia was born, he saw an old movie about farm animals and a pig. There was a dog in that movie, and he struggles to remember how to call the dog. He clicks his tongue against his teeth and the dog perks up, ears flopping, and takes a cautious step towards Bellamy.

“Here boy,” Bellamy whispers again, his voice a low command. Shuffling, still wary, the pup crawls closer and closer until he reaches Bellamy’s cautiously outstretched hand. Sniffing at Bellamy for a moment, finally the pup licks his hand and sits up, looking at him expectantly.

Great. Now he has a dog to feed as well.

+

He carries the pup back to Camp Jaha in one arm, cradled against his chest, afraid it’s too weak to keep up with night closing in. He’ll have to go out again in the morning but for now, he heads to his and Octavia’s bunk and knocks on the door cautiously before pushing it open.

(He’s never sure whether Lincoln will be there or not, and yet again begrudges the loss of his own tent at the dropship.)

“Hey, big brother,” Octavia says mindlessly, cleaning her knives at the dinner table, before the dog barks in greeting and startles her from her work.

“Bellamy, what the hell?!” she exclaims, but she’s smiling (for the first time in months, he thinks) and creeps closer. “Where’d you find it?”

“Hunting,” he says, setting the dog down, who then proceeds to sniff everything. He and Octavia watch as it makes its rounds and then leaps up on Bellamy’s bed.

“So no food then?” she asks, eyes still on the dog.

“Nope,” he shrugs. “Going out again tomorrow though.” He pauses, seizing the moment. “You want to name him?”

She laughs and turns to him, grinning. “We’re keeping him?”

He shrugs. “Whatever the hell we want.”

+

Octavia names him Rex, after the dog in the movie he’d seen as a kid. He remembers telling her the story in detail when she was older, trying to bring the movies into their tiny dorm. She hadn’t seem impressed, at the time.

“And you’re sure he was alone?” she asks for the hundredth time, wrestling with Rex on the floor. According to Monty, Rex is a pit bull, with a giant smile and a slobbery mouth. He also follows Bellamy everywhere in Camp Jaha, and according to Octavia, sits at the door waiting for Bellamy to return from his hunting trips.

“I’ve been back where I found him,” Bellamy says, shrugging. “If his mom was anywhere near there, she’s long gone.”

As winter finally gives way to spring, and Rex gets bigger, he starts following Bellamy out on his hunting trips, tramping with him through the fresh grass and barking at butterflies. Watching him play, Bellamy feels the loss of his youth a little less; the first two months on the ground seem less damaging to his soul the further he gets from them.

Chancellor Griffin isn’t exactly thrilled with the idea of Bellamy having a pet, but then, she’s never really been thrilled with anything he does. It does have the added advantage of encouraging other people to settle down, stretching beyond the borders of Camp Jaha, and building cabins out of forests.
“We need to stay here, in the Camp,” Griffin insists during a camp meeting, and Bellamy, at the back of the group with Rex, can see through her logic in a heartbeat.

We need to stay here for Clarke.

We need to make all the bloodshed mean something.


But by now, Bellamy isn’t expecting to see Clarke again in this lifetime.

+

As summer dawns on the Ark survivors, Bellamy tells Octavia he’s moving out; setting up camp outside of camp.

“You’re not leaving, are you?” she asks, and he’s surprised she can still be worried about that.
“Are you kidding?” he asks, joking. “With your scrawny ass to look after?”

He and Rex set out one bright morning, the sun at their backs.

Despite his promise to Octavia, he claims his plot at the far end of the new settlements. By the time autumn’s cool breezes are nipping at his heels, he’s put together his own house.

His and Rex’s.

By day, they hunt; by night, they mingle with the other settlers over a log fire. It feels very Old West to him, and he tells his fellow adventurers stories about gunfighters, gold diggers and pioneers.

(All of this has happened before; all of this will happen again.)

+

A year after the dropship crashed to the Earth in the wrong place, Bellamy goes hunting, like any other day. He and the other settlers are preparing for winter, better equipped and informed than the year before. There is a crispness to the wind that suggests snowfall will not be far behind, and Rex keeps pace with him, quiet as they track deer.

All of a sudden, Rex halts in his tracks, a low whine in his throat alerting Bellamy but not the game. He’s scented Grounders before Bellamy can see them, and they both crouch to the Earth as Bellamy scans the horizon. They’re nowhere near the Tondc settlement, or any other that he’s learned of, but a moment later he hears the soft crunch of leaves under boots.

He whirls into position, rifle at his shoulder, and comes face to face with Clarke.

+

He doesn’t ask where she’s been, and she doesn’t say. She does follow him back to his cabin, and when he lights a fire inside, she shucks off her coat.

“I heard about the settlement,” she says, the first words she’s said since his name broke from her throat. “The Grounders aren’t happy.”

Is that why you’re here? he wants to ask; wants to know if duty is all she returns for; if duty is all that moves her.

He doesn’t ask.

“They never are,” he says instead, stepping outside to pull a salted hare for dinner. She watches him work quietly, as Rex watches her, and when he sets the meat over the fire, she finally speaks.

“I meant to come back earlier.”

“So why didn’t you?” he asks, setting a slice of uncooked meat in front of Rex. The dog doesn’t move though, his gaze flickering between the two people before him.

“I got lost,” she says, and curls up next to the fire.

(In some ways, he cannot believe her. She’s been gone for nearly a year, and he never asked why, but to speak in riddles is really something else.)

“Octavia’s good,” he says instead. “Monty’s...okay. Jasper still hasn’t forgiven him.”

“Jasper’s a tool,” Clarke says, looking at him as he sits across from her.

“He’s been through a lot,” Bellamy says defensively, even though it’s true. But she hasn’t been here. She wouldn’t know.

“How’s my mom?” she asks and Bellamy laughs softly. “Same as ever.” He almost doesn’t want to ask, but he can’t – he can’t bring himself not to.

“Are you staying?” he asks, not looking at her, and feels her looking at him carefully.

He hates when she does that.

“I don’t know,” she says, finally, and he stands abruptly, startling her as he pulls the meat from the fire.

“Well, you should make up your mind soon,” he says. “Winter’s less forgiving than Jasper.”

+

She ends up staying. It’s not like it was – how could it be? – but she settles into the new pioneer town, playing the role of doctor when the Chancellor can’t be called for and preparing for winter the rest of the time.

“Wells was better at this stuff,” she tells Bellamy as he visits the winter garden site. “But I’m doing the best I can.”

+

It’s the Winter Solstice, and a blizzard is howling just outside the cabin they now share. She’s taken up residence in what was supposed to be Octavia’s bed, and they’re drinking the liquor from the local still like it’s all that’ll keep them warm.

“Do you regret it?” he asks, the alcohol playing fast and loose with his tongue. “What we did to everyone on Mount Weather?” Clarke swirls her cup around, taking a dainty sip.

(Such a damn princess.)

“No,” she says, soft but firm and his stomach tightens into a knot. “You?”

He stares at her across the cabin, a distance all of three feet, and shakes his head. “No.” He stumbles out from under the covers to refill his cup, so he doesn’t see her expression change. “I do regret some things though,” she says and he leans against the table, watching her. “Like?”

(This is a terrible idea. He definitely shouldn’t ask this.)

She swallows. “Killing Finn,” she says, and he shouldn’t be surprised. “Letting Mount Weather bomb Tondc.” A heavy pause fills the air and she shrugs, like fuck it all, and drains her cup. “Sending you into Mount Weather alone.”

(It’s an old wound – one he’s always denied having.

And yet, it’s lingered, scabbed over and toxic.)

“Yeah?” he asks, his breath catching in his throat.

“Yeah,” she answers, looking at him hard now. “Yes.”

(They share a bed after that.)

+

Nobody ever said it would be easy. Hell, nobody said they would live, and despite that, they did. Didn’t mean it would be easy though.

The years stretch out, and the settlement with them, and Bellamy and Clarke insist on being at the edge of the settlement every time. Somehow they never become the status quo; never become part of the system.

(Perhaps because they were always so good at destroying the system.)

Over time, the settlements become distinct towns, separate from Camp Jaha, and the Ark people are no longer from the Ark, but from places called Little Stream and Greensville.

(The more things change, the more they stay the same.)

And yet, they keep moving outward. The cabin they once shared is miles and miles away, and when Bellamy thinks of going back to visit his sister and her village, it’s a trip that takes planning.

Clarke never goes back to see her mother.

He holds a picture of the three of them in his mind, walking off into the distance. Clarke, his dog, and himself, always forward.

+

“Is this why you came back?” he asks her one day, as they pack up camp yet again, and Clarke smiles ( a rare thing, even these days). “So you’d always be on the move? No family, no home?”

“No,” she says, a simple answer as ever. “That’s not what it is to me.” She pauses, considering him, as she sometimes does. “But it’s why I stayed.”

As they set out once again, Rex stays close by his side.

Finis
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