I held your hand but you let it go
I knew your heart had found a home
Now I know it's over
I flew it out into the sky
Tryna run from this mountain I couldn't climb
'cause I knew I'd fall over
Chemicals – Dean Lewis
They locked Vala up, tying her hands together with some kind of strange cord, and then they just left her there.
So she sat, for hours and hours, on a hard metal floor, shoulder aching and brow slick with sweat from the fever caused by the infection in her arm. There was a guard outside the room, but other than that nobody came by the bring her so much as a sip of water.
She was so confused. These were the Sky People? Why were they being so hostile? Why hadn't Clarke come to set her free yet? Where the hell was Bellamy?
When someone finally appeared, it wasn't to bestow her with water or answers like she'd hoped. Instead a taller woman with bright blonde hair and dark clothes stormed into the room, glowering at her before she'd even had the chance to speak.
"I'm going to ask you a series of questions," said the woman without preamble, her voice and eyes hard, like Vala had done something wrong, "and if you know what's good for you, you'll answer them honestly."
Vala blinked up her her, frustrated and struggling to understand. Her head was foggy from her wounds. Clarke was right, they needed to be cleaned out and tended to. Letting them sit there beneath her muddy clothes was only doing more harm than good.
"Were you holding Clarke Griffin hostage?" the woman barked, standing over Vala in an effort to intimidate her, hand on some kind of cylinder at her side, clutching it like a silent threat.
"Hos-tay-ge," Vala repeated the word in confusion. She didn't know what it meant.
"Don't play that," hissed the woman, pulling that cylinder free and snapping it out to the side. It grew, becoming long and narrow, and then it sparked with electricity – like the clouds during a storm. "We know you speak English," she said lowly. "Just answer my questions, and this will go a lot easier for you. Were you holding Clarke Griffin hostage?"
Vala still didn't understand the question. Swallowing thickly, she took a stab in the dark and nodded her head. The woman's lips curled up like she'd just come out of a fight victorious.
"How many of you are there?" she pressed on eagerly.
"Just be Vala," she replied, sitting up straight despite the pain in her side. "Am banished."
"So you admit you're a criminal among your own people?" the woman said quickly, and Vala didn't like the triumphant gleam to her eyes. She didn't know how to answer, so she stayed silent. "What are their weapons like? Their movement patterns? How do we get past their defences? What are their weak spots?"
It was a barrage of questions, the words too fast for Vala to comprehend. When she didn't answer, the women took a threatening step closer, her lightning weapon held out in front of her in warning. But Vala didn't shrink away. She sat up straighter, tugging fruitlessly against the cords that she was bound in.
"Where Clarke?" she asked the woman in her strongest possible voice, but even that shook slightly. "Where Bellamy?"
"Safe from you," sneered the woman, a maniacal gleam to her eyes. "Now answer my questions. What do your people want? What are their weaknesses?"
"Want Clarke," Vala replied defiantly. She wasn't going to answer any of her questions – she literally couldn't. She didn't know the answers, didn't even know the words to tell her what she wanted to hear. "Want Clarke," she said again, lips pulled back in a snarl.
"What you want doesn't matter," the woman told her in a similar snarl. "Where is your people's camp?" she asked, taking a step even closer, that weapon of hers held in a white-knuckle grip. "What are they planning? Will they move against us?"
Vala didn't want to admit it, but she was growing frightened. Her heart raced and her skin grew damp with sweat. The woman was only moving closer, encroaching on her space. What Vala did next was from instinct rather than intelligence.
She kicked out her feet, which had been overlooked when they'd restrained her. Catching the awful woman's shin, she thrust with all her might, and the woman's legs were swept out from under her. She let out a yelp at the unexpected attack, hitting the floor with a grunt.
For one moment Vala felt victorious, but then the woman pushed herself up onto her knees, a ferocious glare in place on her pointed face. "You savage," she snarled, and in a flash the weapon was pressed to Vala's exposed midriff.
White-hot pain radiated through her skeleton. Vala cried out in agony, pulling against her restraints so hard that she felt the skin at her wrists begin to tear. The pain lasted a few terrible moments before the woman pulled the weapon away, a pleased sneer on her face, as though she were enjoying this.
"Vala friend," Vala panted, lip wobbling. "Vala friend."
"No, you're not," said the woman darkly. "You're the enemy."
The weapon was unlike any Vala had ever seen or felt. The woman used it on her, over and over and over again, shouting questions that Vala just didn't know the answers to. She tried to tell her she was a friend, tried to convince her to go get Clarke, but all the woman would say was that she was the enemy, and that if she ever wanted the pain to stop, she'd answer her questions.
It went on for at least an hour. An hour of being attacked and shouted at like she were nothing, like she were scum. Like she were dangerous.
She didn't know what it would take to make the woman stop, but in the end it was nothing she did at all. The interrogation only ceased when there was a series of loud, furious shouts from the hall outside her prison.
Vala's eyes were blurry from her tears, and her ears were ringing from the aftershocks of pain. The horrible woman turned away, facing the oncoming shouts in surprise. Vala shook her head, trying to clear her ears, and soon enough the ringing gave way to words bellowed in a wonderfully familiar voice.
"Let me through!" Bellamy was shouting at the top of his lungs. "Let me see her! She's not the enemy! She's one of us! Let me through!"
"Bellamy!" she cried out, tugging at her binding again, blood once more spilling from her open wounds.
"Vala! Vala!" Bellamy yelled from around the corner. She couldn't see him, and she could hear the sounds of a struggle. Someone was stopping him from getting through.
"Bellamy!" she cried again, heart racing, another wave of tears spilling down her face.
Someone new spoke up, this voice firm with authority. "Let him through," said a faceless woman. "Let him see her, now."
The woman with the weapon took two steps forwards, rushing to meet them before they could properly enter the room being used as her cell. "Chancellor, I don't think––" she tried to argue.
"What you think doesn't matter," replied the woman coldly. "Leave. Now."
But Vala wasn't paying attention anymore, she only had eyes for Bellamy. He appeared in the doorway, cuts and bruises littering his face, but to Vala he'd never looked more beautiful.
"Bellamy!" she cried for a third time, lip wobbling with emotion at seeing him there, alive and well and looking at her with such ardent passion. He crossed the space between them in three giant steps, falling to his knees with enough force to make them crack upon contact with the floor. He barely batted an eyelid, reaching for the cord binding her wrists together.
"Get these off," he snapped at someone behind him. "Get them off right now," he roared when nobody moved to comply.
"Do as he says," said another voice, and then a man in dark clothes appeared beside her, cutting the cord at her wrists and then darting away like he were afraid she might attack.
Vala collapsed into Bellamy, and his arms wrapped tightly around her, drawing her into his chest. "You're okay," he whispered into her hair. She didn't cry, just pressed against him and breathed in his perfectly woodsy smell. "You're alright. You're okay. You're fine," he was muttering almost to himself, gripping her tightly and rocking her back and forth without thought, the movement instinctual.
Her fingers raked against his chest, gripping handfuls of his shirt in her fists and listening to his heart race from beneath his sternum.
He pushed her away slightly, just enough so that he could see her face, hands coming up to cup her cheeks in his large, capable hands. "Hey," he whispered, thumbs brushing along the sharp lines of her cheekbones. "Long time, no see," he said quietly, staring into her eyes, drinking her in like she were a river and he were a man dying of thirst.
"Bellamy," she said yet again, staring back into his eyes, deep brown and endless and warm and everything she ever needed. "Was scared," she told him, biting down on her bottom lip to stop it from wobbling traitorously.
"I know," he whispered, leaning forwards to press his forehead gently against hers. The action was tender beyond words, and the other people filling the room all politely averted their eyes, feeling like they were intruding on something private. "Me too," he admitted softly, the words for her ears only.
"Bellamy," said a voice after a few long, patient moments. Reluctantly, Bellamy pulled his head away from Vala's, though arms were still held around her like it might be enough to protect her from ever being hurt again.
Vala looked over at the woman who'd spoken. She was tall and beautiful, and beside her stood the familiar form of Clarke, who was frowning in dismay but smiled unconvincingly when she caught Vala's eyes.
"May I speak with her?" the woman beside Clarke asked quietly. Bellamy hesitated, but then nodded his head, standing to his feet and gently bringing Vala up with him. The Grounder Girl sagged against him, struggling to hold herself up. She hadn't slept in what felt like days, nor had she eaten anything substantial in even longer. "Vala, my name's Abby," the woman said gently. "I'm sorry we didn't realise who you were sooner. We never would have let this happen to you, had we known."
Vala barely understood and so didn't bother pretending she did, tucking her face back into Bellamy's chest and inhaling him once more. His arm was wrapped firmly around her waist, a sure, reliable weight, securing her to the ground.
"Clarke tells me you have an infected wound," Abby continued slowly. "I'm a doctor – can I take a look?"
"Doc-tor?" Vala repeated in confusion.
"Healer," supplied Clarke helpfully. "She's my mom, Vala. She taught me everything I know about healing. She can help you."
Vala hesitated. She didn't want this woman looking at her, let alone touching her. She tilted her head upwards to look at Bellamy. "Trust?" she whispered, the word almost silent.
"Yeah," he nodded, still holding onto her tightly. "You can trust her."
"Okay," she said reluctantly.
"Okay," Abby repeated with a small, friendly smile. "Bellamy, why don't you step outside while I––?"
"No!" Vala barked, clutching Bellamy's shirt in her fist again. The only way he was leaving her side was if they killed her and prised him from her cold, dead hands. "Bellamy no go," she insisted firmly.
Abby hesitated, eyes narrowed and calculating, before she gave another smile that was more placating than anything else. "Okay," she agreed, nodding at Clarke, who began dragging over a chair from where it lay turned over in the corner.
Abby instructed her to sit on it, and Vala reluctantly did as she was told, still gripping Bellamy's shirt. He gave a low chuckle as he reached up, uncurling her frigid fingers and instead holding her hand in his own.
First Abby gently took off the jacket she had wrapped haphazardly around her, leaving her in nothing but the scraps of bandages the Mountain Men had strapped around her chest. The wound in her shoulder was red and angry, and Abby's eyes were grave as she assessed it.
"It's definitely infected," the woman muttered, the words unmistakeably concerned. "We don't have any antibiotics, but even if we did, we have no way of knowing how her body would react to them," she said to Clarke and Bellamy. Vala dropped her head against Bellamy's clavicle, letting the woman prod at the wound even though it hurt. She was too tired to fight it.
"So what do we do?" asked Bellamy in his wonderfully gravelly voice.
"Clean it out thoroughly. Disinfect it and pray it heals itself," she replied quietly. "Clarke? My kit?"
Clarke appeared at her side, handing over a small box of some kind which Abby promptly dug into, pulling out a myriad of foreign equipment, the likes of which Vala had never seen before.
"So, what happened, Vala?" asked Abby as she got to work, pulling out some kind of wet cloth and beginning to run it over the dirt and grime covering the skin of her shoulder. "How did you get hurt?"
"Trikru. Have sword. Be quick," she muttered, closing her eyes as whatever Abby was cleaning her skin with began to burn her wound. It was like fire, and she buried her head in Bellamy's neck, seeking his comfort.
"And you saved Clarke's life," Abby continued conversationally, but Vala struggled to pay attention. "More than once, as I hear it."
"I'd never have made it out of Mount Weather without her," Clarke supplied, voice layered with gratitude. But Vala was too distracted to acknowledge it, eyes stinging from the pain in her injury. "In fact, we never would have made it on the ground at all without her, mom."
But Abby was frowning. "Clarke tells me you were banished by your own people?" she asked instead, pulling out a sort of knife and beginning to gently scrape at Vala's wound. Vala grit her teeth and tried to focus on the warmth of Bellamy's skin and the soothing feeling of his fingers running tenderly up and down the exposed skin of her side. "How long have you been on your own?"
But Vala didn't answer, all her focus just on keeping herself together. "Twelve years," Bellamy supplied, voice just as low and gravelly as always. "She's been alone for over twelve years."
"And you don't speak English?"
Exhausted, Vala weakly lifted her hand and pressed two fingers close together. "Just be little," she told Abby stiltedly.
"She's getting better every day," Bellamy supplied, a note of pride in his voice. "She's a fast learner."
"Does anyone else know you're here?" Abby pressed, tone still light and conversational, but there was an edge to it that none of them could deny.
"What is this, mom? An interrogation?" snapped Clarke sharply, and Vala glanced up to see her glaring at her mother in irritation.
"Like it or not, Clarke, she knows things that could be of great use to us," said Abby curtly, and Vala winced as she scraped just a little too hard at her scabbed, infected injury. Abby grimaced in vague apology, but Vala didn't bother to acknowledge it. "You're going to be an invaluable resource," Abby added, then paused. "If you're willing to help?"
"Help?" Vala echoed in confusion. Help them with what?
"Help us to learn everything we need to, so that we can make a life down here for ourselves. Help us to survive."
Vala processed the words slowly. Abby was asking her to align herself with them, asking her to join them. This would make her a traitor in the eyes of the clan, even more so than she already was. But at least someone wanted to keep her; at least someone needed her.
Despite all of this, there was nothing she could possibly do, as exhausted as she was.
"Want sleep," she admitted quietly, and Abby gave a smile that was edged with pity.
"We'll bring something in for you to sleep on," she told Vala, and Bellamy bristled from beside her. Abby's eyes darted to him, the look in them apologetic. "I'm afraid I can't let her leave the room. Not yet," she said in the careful voice of a politician.
"She's not going to hurt anyone," Bellamy said, the words sharp and combative.
"It's as much for her own safety as it is for the camp's," Abby replied, the words firm, eyes like steel. Bellamy gripped her tighter, and Vala felt the frustration rolling off him in waves. "Those people out there are scared of her. No matter what you or anyone else say she's done for you in the past – she's stilla Grounder," Abby reminded him quietly.
"So, you're saying she's a prisoner," Bellamy said tersely.
Abby's eyes narrowed at his borderline insubordination. "She's a guest," she corrected him, just as terse. "But until it's safe for her to leave, I'm afraid she has to stay put. Besides, she still needs time to heal," she added in a less sharp tone, finally turning her eyes back to Vala, who had been looking between them with a confused frown.
"Is she going to have guards?" Bellamy asked, voice like ice.
Abby's eyes flashed, a warning. "I'm afraid it's necessary," she said, and from beside her Clarke shifted warily. "O'Connor?!" Abby called to the guard standing post outside the room. "Can you get someone to bring one of the fold-out beds in here, along with some blankets and pillows? And a bucket of warm water and some soap, too?"
O'Connor nodded his head, disappearing around the corner.
Abby sent her a small smile that Vala couldn't help but feel was insincere. She didn't smile back, her expression stony and cautious. "I'll come back and check on you in a few hours. Until then, get clean and rest up," Abby told her, turning to leave. She paused by the door, realising that Clarke hadn't made a move to follow her. "You coming?" she asked her daughter confusedly.
"We need to fill Bellamy in on where we've been," Clarke said. "I know you have that meeting to go to. I'll come find you once I'm done here."
Abby looked reluctant, and Vala couldn't help but think it was because of her. She didn't want Clarke alone in a room with her. It was just about as ridiculous as it was offensive. "Okay," she said, but Vala could see her biting something else back. She sent a final, tight smile before leaving the room, which was little more than a glorified cage.
Vala was relieved to see her go, and she turned into Bellamy once more, throwing her arms around his neck and ignoring the pain it sent rattling through her body. It was worth it to hold him again.
"Bellamy," she said his name like a prayer, pressing her face to the warm skin on his neck and squeezing tightly, breathing him in like she were an addict and he were her fix.
"I'll go check on that bed," said Clarke, but her voice was faint and faraway to the couple's distracted ears. She ducked out into the hall, giving the pair a much needed few minutes alone.
"I was so worried about you," Bellamy said into her hair, his arms tight but careful against her injuries. He held her tenderly, one hand sliding up the length of her spine and tangling in her hair. "As soon as Clarke told me where you were – I got here as soon as I could, Vala," he promised her, sounding guilty, like everything bad that had happened to her since they'd been apart was his fault.
Vala pulled back just enough to push herself up onto her toes and press their lips together, effectively silencing his unnecessary explanations. Bellamy sighed into her mouth like he'd been unable to breathe before that moment, hand in her hair holding tighter, cocking her head so that her lips slanted against his in the most delightful of ways.
Vala was still in pain, but she didn't care about that. She would have burned on a stake for an eternity if it meant she got to be with Bellamy like this just for a few more minutes. She nipped at his plump bottom lip, the action thoughtless and driven by a hunger for him, and Bellamy pulled away with a husky chuckle.
"If you keep that up, you'll never get clean," he said playfully, and Vala gave an impish little grin. "Besides," he said mildly, eyes darting down to the gruesome wound on her shoulder, "you need to heal."
She grumbled a complaint in Trigedasleng under her breath, and Bellamy's smile only widened.
The guard – O'Connor – reappeared, with Clarke at his side. He held a bucket of water and a large strip of cloth in his hands. Behind him came a man and a woman dragging some kind of a bed, folded in half and pushed on a set of wheels.
"I'm sorry," Clarke murmured to Bellamy as the strangers put the bed in the corner and the bucket down by the wall. "But maybe it's for the best she's kept away from the others."
"Clarke, you know she wouldn't hurt a fly," Bellamy replied quietly, frustration in his voice.
"People are afraid of what they don't understand," she countered. "When they look at her, they don't see what we see."
"Well, they're going to have to learn," he growled.
Uninterested in their conversation, Vala began to undress, taking off the clothes gifted to her by the Sky People. Clarke averted her eyes politely, but Vala couldn't have cared less, getting right down to her undergarments and then beginning to scrub at her skin with the soapy, lukewarm water. She couldn't hold back a wince as the motions strained her sore arm.
"Here," said Bellamy, shifting closer and gently pushing her down until she was sitting on the cot. "Let me." He knelt in front of her, then slowly began to wash away the dirt and blood that coated her body like a second skin. Maybe if she'd been more alert, if the circumstances were different, there might have been something erotic about it. But they were both too exhausted, too drawn to see it as anything other than what it was: Bellamy simply taking care of her, in the way only he ever had. "Tell me everything," he continued, glancing across the room at Clarke, who was staring down at her hands tiredly. "From the beginning."
And so Clarke did. She told him how she woke up in Mount Weather, and everything that happened after. His eyes tightened when she got to the part of finding Vala locked in a cage like some kind of animal, but he said nothing, listening to Clarke talk as he methodically cleaned Vala down.
Vala listened, really just enjoying the cadence of Clarke's voice and the gentle, tender caress of the cloth in Bellamy's hand, pressed up against her skin. It very nearly threatened to lull her to sleep.
"What about you?" Clarke asked suddenly. "What happened after we shut those doors? How did all of this happen?"
And so Bellamy told his side of things, and this time Vala had to fight very hard to stay awake. The sound of his voice was more comforting than anything else she'd ever known. He finished cleaning her skin as he got to the part about saving a girl from a cliff, and he kept going while she tiredly stood to her feet to pull on the new clothes given to her by the Sky People.
They were a pair of pants, looser than she was used to, which could be a problem. They would get caught on the underbrush in the forest, and it allowed bugs and other things to crawl up her legs. She'd have to ask Clarke to get her something tighter.
The shirt was unlike any she'd seen before, made of a soft cotton with strings to make the neckline either higher or lower. She pulled it on, liking the feel of it against her clean skin. Finally there was an overcoat, a jacket made of puffy blue material that, though warm, was just as impractical as the pants.
"And what about Finn and Murphy? You said they went after me?" Clarke was asking as Vala turned back around, drifting to Bellamy's side like she were caught in his current and if he'd let her, she'd have willingly drowned.
"Finn's been a mess without you," Bellamy said, arm curling around Vala, warm and gentle, but the glint in his eyes was hard as the rocks that lined the western river. "But now that you're here, they're just on a wild goose chase. Your mom will let us go out and get them, right?"
"I'm sure she will," Clarke nodded her head. "She has to."
Her eyes drifted over to Vala, whose head was leant against Bellamy's shoulder, basking in his beautiful warmth.
"You need to rest, Vala," Clarke told her softly. "It's the only way you're gonna heal."
Vala nodded her head, glancing up at Bellamy from under her sleepy lashes. "Bellamy stay," she said, and it certainly wasn't a question. Both Sky People couldn't help but smile.
"Yeah," Bellamy promised her quietly. "Of course I'll stay, Vala."
She sat down on her cot, running her fingers through her wild, untameable hair before brushing it behind her ears and laying down on the makeshift bed.
"I'll come back when I hear news," Clarke assured Bellamy, who nodded gratefully. Clarke smiled at Vala, who returned it sleepily, before turning and heading for the door, slipping out into the hall with a nod at the guard stationed outside.
Once they were alone, Bellamy kicked off his shoes and climbed onto the cot next to Vala. She didn't hesitate to instantly pull him to her, wrapping her arms and legs around him and pressing her head against his chest where she could hear the steady thumping of his strong heart.
"I miss Bellamy," she murmured tiredly.
"I know," he replied soothingly, tracing his fingertips down the shell of her exposed ear, brushing over the little rings and studs threaded through her cartilage. He shuddered to think how they'd gotten there, or of how much it must have hurt. "Sleep now, Vala," he told her gently.
"You be when wake?" she muttered, already drifting off.
"Where else would I go?" he replied, utterly sincere.
And so Vala drifted off to sleep with peace in her heart, no idea of the horrors that lay just over the horizon, approaching too quickly to be stopped.
When Vala awoke she knew immediately that she'd hadn't been asleep very long at all. But that wasn't the worst part – the worst part was that Bellamy wasn't there.
"Bellamy?!" she called, voice still scratchy with sleep.
She was tense and panicked, scared that maybe it had all been some elaborate dream, and that he was still lost to her, too far to reach.
But then he reappeared in the doorway and her entire body sagged with relief. "Bellamy," she said, mouth worshipping the sounds of his lovely name. She was kept from saying more when she saw the tense look in his eyes, the hard edge that told her something was very wrong. "Bellamy?" she said again, but this time it was a question. "What?" she asked as he came and took a seat beside her.
"How'd you sleep?" he asked her, placing a hand on her knee and rubbing his thumb against her skin. The motion might have been soothing if she couldn't see the stress in his eyes.
"What?" she pressed stubbornly, not in the mood to make smalltalk.
Bellamy sighed deeply. "Finn and Murphy are still out looking for Clarke," he began slowly, keeping his voice low – probably so nobody would overhear. But why? Weren't the Sky People trustworthy? "Abby won't send men out to get them... So, that means it's up to us."
Vala processed his words slowly, then once she was certain she understood she nodded and began to climb to her feet. They had to go out and bring Finn and Murphy back – which meant she had to start by finding her shoes.
"No, Vala," said Bellamy, gripping her hand and tugging her gently back down onto the cot. He took a deep breath, as if preparing himself for his next words. "You can't with us."
This Vala didn't understand at all. Why wouldn't she come? She always went with them, because, let's face it, more often than not they needed her expertise. "Bellamy?" she asked, brow furrowed in confusion.
"You have to stay here, Vala," he said slowly.
Vala scowled. "I be fine," she assured him, lifting her injured arm high above her head as if to prove her point. It hurt like hell, but she'd be damned if she let him know that.
"No, you're not," he smiled wryly, gripping her arm and pulling it back down to her side, then holding her hand in his. "You're still healing. But that's not why you can't come," he gave a deep sigh. "Vala, Abby has you under constant guard. There's no way we'd be able to sneak you out."
Vala didn't agree. "I come," she said, the words stubborn and unyielding.
"Vala..." Bellamy sighed again.
"Bellamy need Vala. Bellamy be stay Vala," she insisted sternly, refusing to compromise.
"I know I said I'd stay," he said, patient and just a little sad. "But I have to do this. I'll come back, you know I will––"
"No," Vala snapped, sensing that he was just disagreeing more. "Where Clarke?" she demanded, climbing hastily to her feet.
"Here," Clarke's voice came, and both Bellamy and Vala looked up in surprise at her sudden appearance. "Everything okay?" she asked, walking further into the room, a hesitant look on her face.
"I go Bellamy and Clarke, find Finn and Frog Face," she insisted stubbornly, a stormy look on her face.
Clarke looked surprised by her words. "Yeah, of course you're coming," said Clarke, making sure to keep her voice low. She turned to Bellamy. "You said she wasn't coming?" she asked in confusion.
"What? Clarke, you said it yourself, her wounds need to heal," Bellamy hissed, shooting to his feet so he wasn't the only one still sitting down.
"We need her, Bellamy," Clarke argued. "You know we do."
"How much good will she be if she passes out halfway in?" he asked sharply.
"She's lived off the land for over a decade, Bellamy," Clarke rolled her eyes. "She's not as breakable as you make it sound."
"What about getting her past the guard?" he asked in another hiss, jerking his head toward the door where he knew a guard to be stationed. "If someone notices her missing..."
"We'll be long gone," Clarke assured him. "Look, Bellamy, she's our best shot. She's Finn and Murphy's best shot. We need to get to them quickly. Nobody knows the terrain like her."
Bellamy knew she was making good points, but his instincts still told him it was a bad idea.
"Besides, as much as I hate to admit it, with us gone I can't guarantee her safety in here," Clarke said, low and serious. "Mom's control only goes so far. All it'll take is one person to get scared enough to try something..." she trailed off pointedly.
Bellamy was silent, jaw clicking in protest.
"I'll monitor her shoulder while we move, but it's healing nicely. She'll be okay," Clarke insisted. Bellamy still said nothing. "Bellamy, I'm not asking for permission," she finished steadily.
Bellamy reached up to rub at his tired eyes. "Okay," he said in a huff. "But how do you propose sneaking her past the guard, exactly? Or even out to the fence, for that matter?"
Clarke held up what was in her hand, and Vala recognised it as a cloak. It was dark brown, long and thick, with a hood to large enough hide one's head. "This will get her to the fence," Clarke said, handing it over. Vala pulled it on, and because of her small stature it hid nearly her entire body.
"And the guard?" asked Bellamy.
Clarke looked at Vala expectantly. "Can you incapacitate the guard for us, Vala?" she asked her quietly.
Vala shot her a puzzled frown. "In-cap-a..." she trailed off cluelessly. Clarke grimaced, suddenly remembering the language barrier. Sometimes it was easy to forget, other times it was painfully obvious. She turned to Bellamy expectantly.
He sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose for a moment before reluctantly giving in. He knew he was outvoted, and he did have to admit, there was something attractive about the idea of not letting Vala out of his sight. Although she wouldn't be resting, at least he'd be able to make sure she was safe.
"Vala, can you put the guard to sleep?" he asked Vala slowly, miming it out. It made him feel like an idiot, but it seemed to help.
"Guard, sleep," she parroted with a sure nod.
"Okay," he nodded back, gesturing for her to do it. Confident and more alert than before, Vala turned in the direction of the door.
"Think she understood?" Clarke muttered hesitantly, watching Vala move.
"I guess we're about to find out."
Vala crept up behind the guard. He was a tall man, standing outside her holding cell and staring into thin air, mind clearly on other things. Vala thought for a moment on the best method of attack, but she knew she didn't have long to decide.
Cracking her neck, she took a beat then silently leapt onto the man's back.
He let out a cry, but she quickly smothered the sound with her hand. He struggled wildly, but she had a good grip on him, one hand pressed to his mouth, the other arm hooked around his throat, applying just the right amount of pressure.
He was rather easy to subdue – clearly he'd never been on the receiving end of this kind of attack, so he didn't know what to do. He was helpless as he began to collapse to the floor, utterly unconscious from the lack of airflow and blood to the brain.
Once he was out, Vala climbed to her feet and turned to face Bellamy and Clarke, both of whom seemed to be somewhat stumped for words.
"She can be kind of terrifying sometimes, can't she?" Clarke wondered aloud.
"Yeah," replied Bellamy, but in great contrast to Clarke's concern there was nothing but wonderment to his voice, "she absolutely can."
"Go now?" Vala asked them hopefully.
Bellamy nodded, moving forwards and arranging the hood of her new cloak so that it properly hid her identity. "We're going to the fence outside," he whispered to her. "Keep your head down, and act natural."
She only caught half of it, but she got the basic gist.
Outside there was a cover of clouds, but the warmth of the sun still filtered through, and Vala had to fight the urge to turn her face up towards the light. She kept her eyes down on her feet, but thankfully nobody seemed to look at her twice.
"Hey, Raven," said Bellamy as they met up with the woman at the very edge of the yard, hidden behind a large hunk of twisted metal from the crash.
"Bellamy, hey. Grounder Girl," said Raven's voice. Assuming it was safe to do so, Vala looked up through the lining of her hood. "Long time, no see," Raven added jovially, smiling at her widely.
"Raven," Vala greeted her with a smile. "Good see," she said stiltedly, but Raven seemed to appreciate the effort.
"Clarke told me you helped bust her outta Mount Weather," Raven continued blithely.
"Bust Clarke out Mountain Men," Vala struggled to piece together the words, but judging by Raven's grin, she did a good job.
"You get what we need?" asked Bellamy in his usual gruff voice.
Raven rolled her eyes at Vala like they were sharing a joke, and Vala smiled back at the motion. "Yeah, I got you," Raven said with a huff, picking up a bag and dropping it down beside Bellamy's leg. "Guns are in there, as well as a few days rations – just in case. Scored you an extra couple clips, too."
Clarke reappeared, the cuts and bruises on her face looking even worst in the light of day. "Hey, my mom's in surgery and the team going after Kane just left. We should, too," she told them in a hurry.
"Did you find Octavia?" Bellamy asked quickly.
"No, I found you," Octavia said as she appeared, a stubborn look on her familiar face. Vala greeted her with a smile and a wave that were not returned. "I'm not letting you leave here without me. Finn and Murphy are headed for Lincoln's village. I've been there, and I speak much better English than the only other one of us who has," she added with a pointed glance at Vala that the Grounder Girl didn't quite understand.
"You done?" asked Bellamy dryly. Raven handed him a loaded pack, and he passed it off to Octavia.
"What's this?" she asked in confusion.
"Your pack," he said simply, and his sister gave a wide smile.
"Lead the way."
A/N: Hey guys, I know it's been awhile since my last update. You know how life gets sometimes, I'm sure.
If any of you guys are into Doctor Who, you should definitely go check out my new story, Heart of the Storm. If you like this story, I think you'll really enjoy that one, too!
Anyway, hope you guys liked this chapter. Be sure to leave a review telling me what you thought, and what you're wanting to see in the coming chapters! Your feedback fuels me! I'm also going to try and start replying to reviews from now on, as well. So if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to let me know in a review. Let's talk about it!