I’m just overwhelmed with Bellarke feels and I hope you’ll excuse me because it’s 4am.
I was just thinking about this and I’m like 100% sure that Bellamy started crushing on Clarke from day 1, but he really fell in love with her when she challenged his way of thinking. He made her think that maybe everyone on the Ark was human and that maybe people go through shit too. And then she was with Finn, and he knew and he respected her feelings and decided not to do anything. But nothing was official so he just kept his distance but also maintained his flirty-ness just a little bit. He rarely smiles, and when he does it’s always at Clarke (and occasionally Octavia but not quite his smirky asshole smile). And he’s always looking at her with his intense brown eyes. He just is in a state of constant awe of this marvellous woman, but he also acknowledges all of her flaws and sees her as a human being who makes a lot of mistakes. He recognises a bit of himself in her.
And Clarke sees Bellamy as a boy growing into a man. She looks at him with growing respect as he learns and grows. She becomes more and more relaxed as she trusts Bellamy with the rest of the 100. He’s a complete dick to start, but he kept them alive and she loves him for that, if in a platonic way. I mean, there’s definitely chemistry and she kind of flirts with him, but she doesn’t really have time for that nor is she ready to move on from what she had with Finn.
And you know what? I wouldn’t have wanted them to get together season 1 because neither of them are ready. They’re almost dangerous together because they make all of these difficult decisions and they’re so damn /similar/ that Clarke begins to adopt Bellamy’s mindset when she really needs Finn’s. She can’t lose that moral compass or else she breaks.
But come season 2, when Finn himself starts to break and in /her/ name, Clarke turns to Bellamy for solace. Finn had always been a constant moral rock in her life, and he’s been broken by this world. He’s destructive in a different way than Bellamy. Finn’s love for her broke him whereas Bellamy’s love helps him to heal from all the hurt he’s been dealt all his life. And when Clarke finally lets go of Finn, it’s in such a way that she cannot forget who he was and what he stood for.
And the only other person she can turn to for help, the only other person who could possibly begin to understand the burden she bears is Bellamy. She recognised that she loves him and has loved him for some time. (“I can’t lose you too”). And they begin to complement each other in ways different from before. They remind each other of what they should be and their hopes for this world. And when she makes the decision to let Bellamy infiltrate Mount Weather, she steels herself from yet another loss. But her sheer relief when she hears his voice coming from the radio betrays her heart. It’s not stone but so very fragile. Clarke meant to keep Bellamy alive from the moment she saw him for the first time since her capture at Mount Weather. She hugged him so fiercely. He became her constant then.
And Bellamy’s faith in Clarke is good for them both. He starts to pull himself out of his self-loathing, thinking that maybe if this girl could find something redeemable in him he could too. And Clarke feels the same way. She finds herself confronted with moral problems and Bellamy shows that he will support her. He’s not afraid to call her out on her shit, but he also knows just when to put his hand on the lever with hers.
And the farewell scene. Bellamy’s sheer desperation as he searches her eyes for why she’s leaving! He echoes her words back at him “if you need forgiveness I can give it to you”. Clarke said that to him without a second thought like “of course you’re forgiven, how could you even question that” but he says it so deliberately. Those words meant the world to him, as evident by the fact that he remembered them after all this time. I think that’s when he really fell in love with Clarke and her great big heart. Saying those words is telling her so many things at once: reminding her that her heart is so big, telling her that he needs her so much, and finally giving her the forgiveness she can’t give herself. And he looks so desperate because he really really needs her and was without her for so long and he just wants to help her heal from all this. He just wants to take all of her hurt away. But she decides it’s something that she has to do on her own. And Bellamy is Bellamy and respects her for that, so he lets her go.
And he probably is hurting so much. He wants her to take that drink like old times, like Unity Day. And he wants her to remember all the good she’s done. But he’ll survive on his own because she taught him to. And he has no doubt that she’ll survive but will worry every day. Worry about the girl he fell in love with and hope for the best for the woman she was forced to become.