The Ice King's Queen (part 3)
“Bellamy,” Avie called out as she entered the tent and rolled her eyes at the girl who’d just exited the tent. Bellamy was pulling a tee shirt over his head and she had stopped for a moment, feeling like she’d invaded his privacy.
“Don’t look so deer in headlights, you’ve seen me shirtless before,” he smirked at her and she fake gagged.
“Don’t remind me,” she joked and he almost felt as if it were old times. “I came to talk to you about some food supplies. I’ve been studying some of the plant life and I’m pretty sure I’ve found some beneficial plants that can broaden our food supply here in camp but I can’t care it all. I was wondering if one of your guys could come with me?”
“Avie,” Bellamy tried but the girl interrupted him, adjusting her cap.
“It’s not too far away, maybe a mile or two and we’d be back way before sundown,” she explained quickly. She was going whether he approved or not but she needed help caring the vegetation.
“Avie,” Bellamy tried again and stepped forward to grasp her hands that she hadn’t realized she squeezed tightly together. “You can take Miller with you, relax,” he insisted and she sighed in relief.
“Thanks, I appreciate it,” she nodded and moved out of his grasp.
“Wait, can we talk for a moment?” he asked quietly, searching her eyes for any sign that she was the girl he’d known from the Ark and not this new vocal and loud leader that she’d become in camp. She was reasonable and unbiased. She took the right side but always listened equally to all parties before giving her advice. She’d become someone who everyone looked to, whether Bellamy’s goons or those who stood behind Clarke.
She paused for a moment before pulling off her cap to run a hand through her sweaty, unwashed hair. “Alright.” He sat on his makeshift bed and patted the seat next to him but she shook her head, the image of the girl that had walked out of his tent coming back to her; and then the other girls she’d seen lurking by his tent. “I’ll stand.”
“I just-,” he tries to begin but the words get stuck in his throat. He’d thought of what he’d say to her when the time came- if the time came. He wasn’t sure he’d ever see her again until he’d gotten the offer to get on the dropship and go after his sister, and her if she weren’t already dead. “No one would tell me what happened. One second you and I are getting hauled off for questioning and the next, I’m simply being demoted to Janitor Duty,” he expressed, his hands frantic as he spoke.
“I took care of it,” Avie whispered without meeting his eyes.
“You-,” he stares at her in confusion, “What?”
“I took care of it,” she repeated a little stronger this time. “Simple as that.” She turned to leave him, the uncontrollable emotion ready to pour out of her and she wasn’t ready to give it. Wasn’t ready to be vulnerable around him again. Avie had been locked up for too long accepting that she had given her life for him to have a chance and here he was, a completely different person.
“What did you do?” he asked as he stood up and she stared right back at him, unafraid of his tone of anger toward her.
“What did you do Bellamy? How did you come down here? I know for a fact you weren’t arrested,” she shot back and before he could reply, Clarke burst through the tent flaps, holding a cloth wrapped up. She began to talk, explaining that Wells was missing, that Jasper and Octavia had found his fingers next to a knife. Strictly interrupting the conversation but Avie was grateful.
“This knife was made of metal from the dropship,” Avie observed as she picked up the knife from off the table and examined it.
“What does that mean?” Octavia asked as she audibly gulped, grasping Jasper’s arm.
“It means the Grounders didn’t kill Wells. It was one of us,” Clarke explained with her eyes glazing over. Bellamy stepped forward to grab the knife from Avie, their fingers grazed.
“We need to keep it quiet,” he said, immediately stepping infront of Clarke as she rushed toward the outside of the tent.
“Get out of my way, Bellamy.”
“Clarke, be smart about this. Look at what we’ve achieved… the wall, the patrols. Like it or not, thinking the Grounders killed Wells is good for us.” He couldn’t be serious, Avie thought to herself and shook her head, pushing him away from Clarke lightly.
“Oh, good for you, you mean. What… keep people afraid and they’ll work for you? Is that it?” Avie asked condescendingly as she looked up at him. His face held a calm and tight look, his lips pressed toward as his nostrils flared. “Clarke’s right, the people deserve to know what’s happening among them, you can’t keep this private for your own personal gain.”
“Yeah. That’s it. But it’s good for all of us. Fear of the Grounders is building that wall. And besides, what are you gonna do… just walk out there and ask the killer to step forward? You don’t even know whose knife that is.”
“Oh, really? J.M. John Murphy,” Clarke read before you pushed Bellamy back and both of you exited the tent. Clarke reached Murphy first, accusing him of killing Wells. Things spiraled out of control quickly and the two young women both turned to glance at everyone as they all chanted to float Murphy.
“That’s not the answer, justice is the answer but it is not an eye for an eye,” Avie yelled out and stepped infront of Murphy to defend him but a few people yanked her away from him and pushed her into the mud.
“Stay out of this,” one yelled and kicked her square in the jaw. Her face fell in the mud, pulsating in pain. She lifted her head groggily as she felt arms wrap around her. Jasper and Monty helped her up as the group threw Murphy down a hill. Avie spit out a mixture of mud and blood before the three took off toward where everyone had gone. She gasped as Murphy was held up by a rope, shielding her face in Monty’s chest when they chanted Bellamy’s name to kick the stool out from under the boy.
“Bellamy, don’t do this,” she yelled over the chants and he looked at her, conflicted.
“I saw you with Atom, you are not a killer,” Clarke pleaded with him, her hands pressed to his chest.
“You both wanted this, give the people what they want, right?” he stated and with a hurt expression stepped forward and against Murphy’s pleading and begging, kicked the stool out from under him. Muddy tears streamed down Avie’s face as she cried out, watching his body swing helplessly back and forth from the rope. “Stop this, Murphy didn’t kill Wells,” a young girl screamed out and all attention turned to her. “I did.”
“Oh my god,” Avie gasped and reached for an axe that had been tossed to the ground, hoisting it in the air to cut the rope. Murphy collapsed and she rushed forward to pull the harnesses from his neck, skin raw and red underneath. “I’m so sorry,” she mumbled as he gasped out for air. They shared a glance for a moment and he allowed her to help him stand. By the time she’d turned around, Clarke, Finn and Bellamy along with the girl were gone.
Monty came forward and wrapped an arm around her, Jasper coming to her other side. “Come on Av,” Monty mumbled. “Let’s get your face cleaned up.
Later that night, when Bellamy and the rest of them had made it back to camp, Avie was asleep by the fire, head resting on Monty’s shoulders as Jasper attempted to braid her hair. She awoke to the noisy footsteps and turned to glance at the sullen looks on their faces: the young girl and Murphy nowhere to be found.
Bellamy caught sight of Avie’s face in the glow of the campfire light and nodded to his tent before disappearing inside it. Avie pushed off her two guy friends and thanked them for their help. Unfortunately, her jawline held a giant purple bruise and her lip had been split open. She had been so shaken up from the scene that unfolded that she’d yet to change from her muddied clothes and as she entered Bellamy’s tent, she became hyperaware of her appearance.
“Where’s Murphy? And the girl?”
“Charlotte,” he grumbled, “her name was Charlotte.” Was. The verb hung in the air like a pinpoint making it clear that a timeline had ended. She nodded her head repeatedly, trying to grasp the concept. Was.
“How are you feeling?” he asked suddenly and she again became aware of how her appearance looked.
“I feel I should be asking you that question,” she replied, hands draped tightly at her sides as she looked down to her dusty boots then back to his brown and tired eyes. His curls were matted to his forehead from the sweat of the long day’s events.
“Can you just,” he took a step back, “I know there is so much between us that’s been left unsaid and it feels like we’re eons away from one another but-,” he fell back on his makeshift bed. “Can you just stay for tonight? I’ll have a tent ready for you to move into tomorrow but for tonight-,” his voice cracked and suddenly, she was 16 again. Watching him break down about his mother and his sister who lived under the floor. Break down about how helpless he felt.
“Just like old times?”
“Like old times,” his shoulders were slumped and he looked defeated. But the look he gave her reminded her of home again, of simple times in a not so simple situation. She thought she saw a glimpse of her Bellamy again.