Do you think Clarke had already subconsciously fallen for Bellamy when she was with Finn and Lexa? It seems like both Finn and Lexa had questioned her about this in an indirect manner.
Short answer: Yes.
The attraction has been there since season 1. That’s for sure. I mean look at her face. They were openly flirting in this scene.
And Finn saw that too.
I think she started having feelings (in a romantic sense of the word) for Bellamy in season 2. She asked specifically if Finn and Bellamy made it. Twice.
She put Bellamy on the same level as her love interest. (Did she ask for Monroe? Sterling? Octavia? No.)
She ran through the camp just to get to him and the hug… even Bellamy himself was shocked. Octavia noticed (”There’s something I thought I’d never see.” + her facial expression is also very telling) Damn just rewatch it. Pay a special attention to Clarke’s facial expressions. Compare Bellarke hug to Clarke/Octavia hug - that’s a massive difference.
Clarke still felt guilty for closing the door on Bellamy and Finn. That’s very evident in that scene by the fire in 2x05. Bellamy offered her understanding. “It had to be done.” He made it very clear that he’s not holding it against her, that he understand why she did it. He reassured her she’d done the right thing. And that’s something Clarke needed at this moment. She was kinda on her own in the Mountain. She was suspicious and trying to get out while the other were trying to convince her they’re finally safe. Then she espaced with the knowledge she left them all behind in MW (which is not what happened but I’m pretty sure Clarke thought something like this). And then she reunited with Bellamy and suddenly she was not alone. She got her partner back.
And then in 2x05-2x08, they were back in their co-leaders mode. They were so in sync…. Since this episode (meaning 2x05) Bellamy is the person she trusts the most. The person who understands the burden of being a leader and carries it with her. She started falling for Bellamy in these episodes. She still had feelings for Finn but she was not exactly “with Finn”. She wasn’t Finn with since the moment Raven’d landed on the Earth.
The narrative backs me up in 2x09. Clarke just killed Finn and one of the first things she said to Bellamy in this episode is “I can’t lose you too.” Again, Bellamy is put at the same level as the person she’d said “I love you” just a few hours ago.Later in the episode L/xa (sorry guys but thi will show up in the tag anyway since the anon used the correct name) and Clarke had conversation about leading their people and L/xa confided a story of her lost love to Clarke. Clarke needed to stop the pain. She wanted to become a strong stoic leader and make sure she will never have to feel this way again so she built the walls around her heart and emotionally shut herself off. “Love is weakness.” And what is the first thing Clarke did? She sent Bellamy away with the words “I was being weak. It’s worth the risk.” This is Clarke trying to be like L/xa - strong leader devoid of emotions. And what is Clarke’s last line in this episode? “Love is weakness.” Hmmm interesting. So yeah I think she started realizing she has feelings for Bellamy in 2x09 but that’s one of the reasons she sent him away.
She realized her mistake pretty fast because basically all episode of 2b is Clarke being constantly worried about Bellamy (2x11 is a perfect example but it’s in every single episode). Yet she never stopped believing in Bellamy. She never doubted him. She always believed he’d succeed in this mission.
Even L/xa saw it and called Clarke out on her feelings for Bellamy. “You care about him.” “I care about all of them.” “Yet you worry about him more.” FUCK EVEN L/XA SAW IT.
“…besides, we lost contact with Bellamy.” she’s blinking the tears back again.
And their reunion in the tunnels in 2x16? Clarke is speechless, she’s just staring at Bellamy in wonder, blinking the tears back. She absolutely stunned and the relief is written all over her face.
Moving on…. she didn’t tell anyone else but Bellamy that she’s leaving (maybe expect for Monty). She didn’t even tell her mother. Anyways, did she kiss Monty goodbye? No, she didn’t.
Now for the second part of your question. I’d like to start by saying that Clarke probably spent plenty of time thinking about the delinquents and Bellamy in particular during those 3 months between s2 and s3. Now I’m talking about platonic Bellarke. She thought of him as her partner, friend, co-leader. Se thought of him as a person who pulled that lever with her.
And then she finally saw him again when he came to rescue her. He caressed her face and hair and she’s absolutely stunned. She just started at him with wide eyes. She begged for his life, her voice breaking and she’s do anything - even sacrificing her own life for him (don’t forget that she didn’t know Roan is taking her to Polis, she thought he’s taking her to Nia who wants to kill her). This scene kills me every damn time because it’s the least platonic shit I’ve ever seen. And Roan noticed (and as the season went on, he kept on noticing).
Then everything had changed because Roan brought her to Polis and Clarke was forced to play a role of Wanheda, She became a political figure. War was about to happen and Skaikru was in danger. She didn’t trust L/xa (for a good reason because obviously L/xa betrayed them before) so she had to stay to make sure L would keep her word AND SHE WASN’T READY TO COME BACK. NOT YET. That’s why she decided to stay in Polis in 3x03. If you watch the scene closely, you can see that the conversation with Bellamy wasn’t easy for Clarke. When he walked away, she had to take a moment to blink back the tears and take a deep breath before she was ready to turn around and play the role of wanheda again.
Since 3x04 she was falling for L/xa. But at the same time, she never stopped having feelings for Bellamy. It is possible to love two people at the same time. But I believe Clarke didn’t realize the true nature of her feelings for Bellamy.
One of my scene is definitely their argument in 3x05. I analyzed it in details so you can check that out. Clarke was stunned. She was absolutely crushed. But that scene also kinda woke her up. She was on her own for 3 months, she was isolated from her people in Polis (which is the main reason I’m always saying she was a terrible ambassador) and this argument finally showed her the reality and the consequences of what’s been going on in Arkadia in between 2x16 and 3x05. She realized she’s not the only one who’s hurting. She saw how broken Bellamy was. And she believed her they could fix it all. Together. But she said a few words that triggered Bellamy and he did what he did (again, I talked about it in detail a few months ago).
After the debacle in Arkadia, she focused on playing the role on wanheda again in order to keep her people safe. She was getting closer and closer with L/xa and eventually she fall for her…. and we all know how that played out. Clarke lost another person she loved. At that time, that was all she could think of. Everything happened so fast and then there was the flame, Titus, Murphy… she didn’t have time to think about her feelings. She was overwhelmed. Her feelings for Bellamy were still buried inside of her though without her realizing it.
The Bellarke reunion in 3x11 is interesting for many reasons. Clarke expression can be interpreted many ways but I think she’s also shocked she saw Bellamy, relieved he’s alive and relatively well (she had to blink to make sure he’s really standing there in front of her) and she was also scared. She didn’t know where they stood because the last time they saw each other he handcuffed her and she tazed him.
3b was about finding their way back to each other and Bellamy realizing his feelings for Clarke. Yes, I think that at this point Bellamy is aware of his feelings for Clarke. Clarke on the other hand is not but the feelings are definitely there and have been since season 2. Those feelings never disappeared and I hope we’ll get to see Clarke bringing these feeling back on the surface and becoming aware of her them.