It had been a long time coming, her and Bellamy. In the years that they had led side by side, they had borne so much responsibility it was a wonder they were not stooped over under the weight. But they had done it together.
And now, once again with lives in their hands – a list this time, not a lever; ninety-nine names in Clark's handwriting, and one in Bellamy's. His voice was gentle, his hand firm upon her shoulder, and when she looked up at him, she wondered why they had never crossed this line with each other before.
So when they did cross it, seconds later, lips soft and open like a promise kept, bodies meeting like hands clasped in prayer, begging an uncaring god that maybe for once, something good could happen to them.
They allowed themselves a moment of happiness, of pleasure, of arching backs and tangled limbs and a low murmur of, "princess." They hardly had a chance to speak of it afterwards, in the flurry of hope and subsequent disappointment under the looming threat of nuclear apocalypse.
Before they had the chance to express any of the feelings that had burrowed their way so firmly into their hearts that it was like they had always been there, they were separated once again. Bellamy stared at the destruction as they took off, having not only lost his best friend, but also a chance at a maybe that had been on his lips since their first days on the ground.
And Clarke smiled through her tears as she watched her friends escaped the radiated Earth. "May we meet again."
Clarke did not realize she was pregnant until she had found the valley. She had first thought it the morning sickness was merely an effect of the radiation in the air, but in a few weeks, it was impossible to deny the bump.
Practically speaking, an abortion would have been best under the circumstances. However, she had neither the experience nor the equipment to do it safely and she had seen the efforts of botched procedures during her training on the Ark.
She had omitted it from her daily calls to Bellamy, although she was not quite sure why. She supposed that if the calls were actually making it through to him, she did not want to cause him to worry.
But she was terrified. While she knew all the practical and theoretical information, her situation was less than ideal. There was no telling whether her Nightblood would be passed on to the child – without which, it could not survive – and she had no way to check anything. What she really wanted was to be able to talk to her mom, but there was no way to.
One day, finally, she broke and grabbed the radio. "Hey, Bellamy," she said. "If you can hear me, maybe listen to this in private, it's kinda personal." She took a breath. "We slept together, like two months ago, which you know… cause you were there." She sighed, shaking her head. "And now I'm pregnant. And I didn't want to tell you because you would worry and you can't really do much from up there, but I can't contact my mom in the bunker and I really need to talk to someone about it."
She poured out her heart to the radio, with all the fears she had not dared to say out loud. "I don't know if I'm cut out to be a mom," she said finally. "I've messed up so many things, Bellamy. I can't mess this up, because it's a person. God, this would be so much easier if you were here. I work better with you around: the head and the heart." She stared at the blue sky. "And you're great with kids too." She sighed. "But don't worry too much about me. I have enough medical training and experience to do this."
The wind whispered through the trees and Clarke closed her eyes for a moment, trying to picture Bellamy beside her, and imagine what he would say. And while no specific words came to mind, she saw his encouraging look, the silent expression she understood in a heartbeat. "I miss you."
Months passed. As she neared what she guessed was the ninth month, Clarke gathered extra food, smoking fish and drying berries to store.
"I guess I should start thinking about names." Clarke laid on the ground next to the rover. "I knew you're into Roman history, but I don't know about having a kid named Julius, or Caligula." She laughed. "Hadrian's okay, I suppose. You know what: if it's a boy, he can be August, like Augustus. If it's a girl, I pick…" she mused. "Madi." She smiled. "And then when she's in trouble, she'll be Madi Augusta Griffin-Blake. And yes, the child will be hyphenating."
She stared at the sky, squinting even though she knew she couldn't see the Ark. "You know, I'm so big now that I can't even climb on top of the rover anymore."
Madi Augusta Griffin-Blake was born on a foggy morning two weeks later, after hours of labour. And when Clarke held her, tears of relief and joy mingling with the sweat on her face, she could not take her eyes off her. Madi blinked in the light of early morning and opened her mouth to cry.
Clarke held her close – gently, because she was so small – and whispered, "Your dad is going to love you and you'll be so lucky to have him." A few more tears slipped down her cheeks. "And we're gonna do everything we can for you. You're gonna be the thing that I, that we do right."
Madi was a wide-eyed baby who became an inquisitive toddler – stubborn too, but Clarke managed to handle it. She wanted Madi to know everything she could need to survive on her own. She never said so explicitly, but she remembered being a kid sent down to Earth to die. And no matter what happened to her, Madi had to make it.
So by the time she was five, Madi could bandage a wound, set a bone, and pear fish and start a fire. She also knew the surviving members of the 100 by name, and Raven and Emori. And of course, Bellamy. With her drawings, Clarke ensured that Madi could recognize them – again, with the unspoken intention that if something happened to her, Madi would know who to trust.
She grew up to stories about them, and while she loved to hear them all, her request before bed was always the same.
"Tell me about Bellamy."
Clarke smiled, sitting on the edge of Madi's bed. The night was cool, and she snuggled under the blankets. "Bellamy Blake grew up on the Ark, like me. He has a sister named Octavia, who he cares very much about. He is strong and brave and has a really big heart."
"Clarke," Madi said sleepily. "When will they come back?"
"I don't know," Clarke said. "But they will… eventually."
Eventually came about two years later, when Madi was seven years old.
She had grown up in the valley, so even in the dark, she could run through the trees no problem. Ahead of her, figures with guns – three of them. She took out one with her spear and shot the other two. The gun – too big for her, really – gave some kickback, but she was able to handle it.
The three with guns had been ambushing a group of people in the clearing, cast in shadows, but they stood back defensively.
"She's just a kid," said one.
Madi stepped out of the shadows and stared – standing in front of her were Clarke's drawings come to life: Monty, Harper, Emori, Echo, and, "Bellamy?"
They stared back.
"Clarke knew you'd come," she said. Bellamy looked older than he had in Clarke's drawings – they all did.
Bellamy spoke first, a slight tremor in his voice. "Clarke's alive?"
Madi was quickly brought back to reality. "And she's in trouble, we have to go."
Bellamy was not quite sure what to make of this kid. He was making the same calculations in his head that he knew they all were – was he the father? The rover bounced as he drove through the woods, following her directions.
"So what's your name?" he asked.
"Madi," she said. "Take a left here."
"And Clarke is your…?" Harper asked.
"Mom. Clarke is my mom."
Bellamy nodded. "Does anyone else live here?"
"Not till today," she said. "Clarke thought it was you guys on that ship – we don't know who they are."
"We do," Monty said quickly. "They're bad news."
"We're getting close," Madi said, reaching for her gun.
Bellamy stopped the rover in front of Diyoza and her people. "Madi, no," he said. "Monty, get in the driver's seat when I get out. When I signal, drive away, keep the kid safe."
Madi looked like she wanted to protest.
"I promise I won't let anything happen to Clarke."
Clarke blinked in the bright headlights of the rover. "Madi, no," she whispered, but the figure that stepped out was not Madi – much too tall, but familiar.
"I'm unarmed, I just want to talk."
The voice was as familiar as her own name and for a moment Clarke thought she was dreaming.
"Give me one good reason not to kill you where you stand," Diyoza said.
"How about I give you two-hundred and eighty-three." Clarke still could hardly see him, just his silhouette, but there was no doubt in her mind about who it was. "That's how many of your people are gonna die if you and I can't make a deal."
Diyoza shifted and Bellamy raised his arm, signalling the rover to back away. He knew he should be focusing on Diyoza and the various men with guns, but Clarke was right there. All the feelings that he had been trying to get over for the past seven years came rushing back – perhaps they had never left.
"Two-hundred and eighty-three lives for one. She must be pretty important to you."
Bellamy looked at her, trying to keep his emotions at bay. "She is."
Clarke was not dreaming, but a part of this still felt not real. Bellamy's arms around her, Murphy and Raven's voices on the radio, it all felt too good to be true.
The bunker was to be opened in the morning, so they had nothing to do for the night. Out of earshot of Diyoza's people, Bellamy sat down beside her.
In the heaviness that settled in the air between them, Clarke knew what was coming next.
"I met Madi," he said.
"Is she alright?"
"She's fine, she's with the others." He stared at the wall in front of them and then glanced back at her. "Clarke, is she –?"
Clarke nodded. "Her full name is Madi Augusta Griffin-Blake."
He smiled. "That's a lot of name for a little kid."
"Say's the guy who named his baby sister Octavia," Clarke said with a smile.
"Does she know?"
She nodded. "Mm-hm. I'm surprised she didn't tell you."
Bellamy was quiet for a moment and then turned to Clarke, a hand on her knee. "You're amazing, you know that? Raising her all on your own."
"Well, she's only seven, she isn't fully raised yet," Clarke said, putting her hand over his. "You're not off the hook yet."
"Good," he said. "I don't want to be."
Clarke smiled and leaned into him. "I'm so glad to have you back."
It was a quiet afternoon – everyone was out and about, exploring the valley, but Bellamy found himself in Clarke and Madi's house. It was cosy and very lived-in. On the table laid several sketchbooks. Bellamy smiled as he looked through Clarke's drawings – of all their friends and family, of distinct scenes in their past. That was how Madi knew everything about them.
Not all the drawings were Clarke's thought, many were Madi's as well. He was looking at one – an imagined version of the Ark – when he heard the door open.
He turned to see Madi in the doorway. He smiled and held up the drawing. "So you're an artist too, huh, just like your mom?"
She nodded, coming to stand beside him. "Drawing pictures of her stories made them more real."
"They're really good."
Madi looked at him. "You're just saying that cause you're my dad."
Bellamy shifted awkwardly. "We should probably talk about that." He crouched so they could see eye to eye. "I know you don't know me very well, but –"
"But I do," she interrupted, grabbing one of Clarke's sketchbooks, flipping through it. "I know about how you and Clarke didn't like each other at first, and about you and Octavia, and 'whatever the heck we want.'"
"And I know about the heart and the head." She looked over at him. "And you're my dad and it's really nice to see you in real life." She threw her arms around his neck and Bellamy was frozen for a moment before holding her tight.
From the doorway, Clarke smiled at the two of them. Bellamy saw her over Madi's shoulder, and they shared a look; even after so many years apart, they understood each other. Clarke's heart was close to bursting with happiness. Her only wish in the past few years had been to see them all together – and here it was right before her eyes.
"Lunch is ready," she said finally.
Madi turned and smiled. She grabbed Bellamy's hand, dragging him to the door.
"I've got an idea." Bellamy crouched again. "Piggy-back ride?"
Madi's face exploded into a beaming grin as she clambered onto his back. Bellamy rose carefully and Clarke rolled her eyes at him, smiling. He ducked under the door and took Clarke's hand. The three of them walked out together.