there is nothing romantic or epic love story or supercouple-y about having someone give their life for someone (figuratively and literally) else only to be met with suspicion, jealousy and neglect over and over
Prompted by clarkeslight: "I’m zoning out working on this painting and you just stopped me from drinking out of my dirty water cup" + bellarke + 700 words max, go!
:P COURTNEY YOU ARE TERRIBLE, and I love you! *smooches*
Word Count (for the record): 690
Right now, Clarke’s the kind of tired that sticks eyelids open and locks muscles into position. For the past few hours, she’s been staring at the same section of canvas, and she’s still not satisfied with the color. It needs something, but that something has been eluding her since midnight and at this point she’s ready to tear her hair out. This commission is due next week, and she still has so much left to touch up before she can call it done.
There’s a little digital clock sitting on the shelves by the door, but Clarke hasn’t turned around to check the time since she heard Bellamy puttering around upstairs sometime around eleven, letting Apollo out one last time and starting the dishwasher before bed. That was hours ago, and the thought of sleep makes Clarke want to cry a little. But she has to finish these details, dammit, or she’ll be up half the night agonizing over it anyway.
So Clarke sighs, reaching over to the cart where she stores all the brushes and paints she keeps at home, and closes her hands around her coffee mug. If she’s going to be up until dawn, she might as well be semi-lucid.
A warm hand closes around her wrist, and before she can question him, Bellamy’s chuckling into her hair, “I wouldn’t drink that if I were you.”
“Bell.” She’s too tired to care how much it borders on a whine, but she clears her throat and adds dryly, “If you want to keep your hand, you will let go of my coffee cup.”
“That’s not coffee, princess.” He’s sounding much too fond, planting a kiss on the crown of her head. But Clarke focuses on the mug in her hands, on the “paint water” scrawled across the side. Inside, her paints have blended into a muddy, murky brown. It’s nowhere near the color of her cold black coffee in the “not paint water” mug still sitting on the cart.
The smile in Bellamy’s voice is too obvious when he says, “It’s time for bed.” His arms snake around her shoulders and he rests his cheek against the top of her head.
“But I have to finish this,” she protests, but it’s more reflex than anything. When his lips find the shell of her ear, she lets out a little sigh and sinks deeper into the embrace.
“If you do that,” he says, his voice low and warm in a way that drags at her eyelids, “you’ll come back in the morning and hate it, and then you’ll want to scrap the whole thing. But this isn’t a personal project you can set aside. You’ve been working too hard on this to start over now, so close to the deadline.” Then he tilts her chin just so, pressing a kiss to the apple of her cheek. “You’ll feel better with a fresh start in the morning.”
He’s right and she knows it, especially since it’s practically the same speech she gives him whenever he’s up late in bed working on his novel. They’ve always been too similar, that way.
“Okay,” she acquiesces. He helps her to her feet, whisking her coffee mug upstairs while she gathers up her brushes to rinse out. He returns to lean against the door of the basement bathroom while she washes up, scrubbing paint off her hands and out from under her nails. When she declares herself and her brushes clean enough, he takes her hand and leads her upstairs.
From his cushion at the foot of the bed, Apollo opens one lazy eye to watch Clarke shuffle around the room as she gets ready for bed, before she pats him on the head and he relaxes. Then, finally, Clarke climbs into bed and into her husband’s arms, and when they’re both comfortable, he presses a kiss against her forehead and asks, “Where were we?”
“That damn golden apple made a comeback,” she mumbles into his chest.
“Ahh, yes, that damn apple.”
Clarke falls asleep to Bellamy’s voice in her ear, his hands in her hair, and their hearts beating in steady synchronization.
“There’s one thing I need to know,” he says. “If you could go back to Camelot, back to where all of this started–” He swallows hard, and looks at her, brows drawn together and eyes soft. “Would you have let me go?”
She opens her mouth, and closes it again. She thinks of the blood pooling under her knees in the field of Middlemist flowers, and how the blood at his throat bubbled with each of his gasping breaths. How he’d begged her to let him go. She thinks of the fight in the middle of the same field, with the dagger held between them, and the air full of tension and betrayal and apologies. Thinks of the way the dagger sank into his chest as he collapsed into her arms, and she fell to the ground, and the ache in her chest because they’d had so little time.