In the morning, bad things happened.
Wells agreed to leave with them; it was dangerous to stay in one place, especially without weapons and supplies. He led them through his house, into the garage to get to a town car. They siphoned the fuel into one car, and he climbed in. The garage door opened and the group followed Wells out onto the driveway.
“So we’re splitting up in cars?” Octavia asked, gnawing on her lower lip. Clarke nodded.
“There’s not enough space for all of us in one, so we’ll take two. Wells, make sure you follow close enough behind.” He nodded, in the driver’s seat.
“Where are we headed, anyway?” Raven asked, as she picked up a box of supplies from the Jeep’s boot, and moved it into the town car.
“Back to the Drop Ship,” Clarke replied.
“What?” She turned, catching Bellamy’s look. She shrugged.
“We’re not going to just leave you there, or anything. But it’s where my mother is – unless you had any particular plans.” Bellamy shrugged.
“I was hoping we could go through Walden,” he said.
“Why Walden?” Wells wrinkled up his nose. Walden was known for being a poor area with high crime rates. Clarke wouldn’t be surprised if the place was infested with walkers.
“It’s where we come from,” Bellamy replied.
“Mum’s dead, but our friends might still be alive,” Octavia added. Clarke nodded, reaching into the Jeep for the atlas. She ran her finger along the lines of the road, following it from Ark, to Walden, to Polis, before nodding.
“We can pass through, yeah,” she agreed. “We can make it there in a few days, no problem.” Clarke’s head jerked up at the sound of a gunshot. She span around, finding her friends ducked onto the floor.
“That wasn’t us,” Raven hissed. Clarke ducked, too, squatting on the ground. Another gunshot rang out and a window in the house smashed.
“Shit,” Wells said from inside the car. “We have to go.”
“Get in the cars,” Clarke ordered. She climbed in the passenger side of the car, crawling over the console and into the driver’s seat. Her hands fumbled with the keys and she heard four more gun shots in succession.
“There’s more than one of them,” Monty called out, slamming the car door as he got in. As Clarke finally got the key into the ignition, her eyes scoured the tree line – there was another gunshot, a flash, and she gritted her teeth.
“There’s one to the right!” She yelled to the group. Raven was still out in the open – Octavia had managed to get into the town car, and Bellamy was outside. Bullets started to ricochet off the ground, missing people by small margins.
“Get in the car!” Octavia screamed. Raven ducked for the door to the town car – it was closer, and let out a yelp. “Raven!”
“Shit,” Bellamy swore. “She’s been hit.”
“Get her and let’s go,” Clarke ordered, glaring.
“I need cover – she’s out in the open.” Clarke nodded, pushing down on the accelerator and swerving in front of the open space between the two cars. Bellamy ducked then as the side of the Jeep was pelted with bullets. Monty ducked down in the back, holding his head in his hands, and Clarke flinched as the far back window shattered.
“Anytime now!” Clarke yelled. She looked out the window, finding Bellamy lifting Raven into the backseat of the town car. She was heaving, her hand coated in blood, and dripping red onto the ground. Bellamy slammed the door shut, running back to the Jeep. He swore, getting clipped by something fast, invisible, but kept going.
The second he was in, Clarke revved the engine, pulling out onto the drive way and storming down the road. In the rear view mirror, she saw Wells speeding along behind her. Clarke glanced at Bellamy before looking back to the road – the gunshots were still coming out of the trees, but she didn’t care.
“Are you okay?” She asked. Bellamy nodded tersely. He held his arm in his hand, putting pressure on the pain.
“It’s small, it’ll be fine,” he replied. Clarke swallowed, and sped the car up. She caught sight of a few trucks, lining the streets – ones that she hadn’t seen before – but they were all empty. Clarke drove for miles without stopping, she sped through crowds of walkers without so much as blinking and kept going until the sun was high in the sky.
“I don’t think they’re following us,” Monty told her after an hour. Clarke kept going anyway – she wasn’t taking the risk.
“How bad was Raven?” She asked Bellamy after a while, breaking the silence.
“It wasn’t good,” he replied. Clarke nodded.
“One of your friends in Walden better be a doctor,” she said. “We’re going to need one.”
Without stopping every few hours for a rest, they made it to Walden in less than twenty four hours. Clarke followed Bellamy’s directions through the town, early morning light filtering through the clouds. Around them, walkers were everywhere. She was right when she thought they would be – they had to drive through hordes of walkers, Bellamy eyeing every one of them to see if it’s someone he knew.
“I don’t recognise many,” he admitted. “A couple of people I worked with, a few kids from school, I don’t know though.”
“We’ll try the hospital,” Clarke decided. “Marcus mentioned that camps are being built in hospitals all over the place.” Bellamy nodded, pointing her down a road on the left.
It wasn’t long until they made it to the hospital; the fences were make-shift barricades. Bins were pushed up in rows, wooden planks nailed to them. Some areas looked sturdier than others and Clarke stopped just outside the fence.
“We can carry her over,” she decided, opening the door and jumping out. The group followed her lead, moving Raven out of the car as she groaned. The bullet had gone through her hip and most of the seating was drenched in her blood, including Octavia. Bellamy’s bicep was bandaged with a ripped t-shirt, whilst the others were relatively unscathed.
They locked up the cars, Clarke jumping up onto the dumpster, Monty joining her. They passed Raven over the top, and then down to Bellamy and Wells, who’d moved onto the other side of the fence to catch her. Then it was a matter of running and carrying. Raven hissed in pain as Wells moved with her in his arms, and the others ran ahead.
The windows were all boarded up, and the doors were locked. Clarke shot down a walker that came at them from the left, and turned just in time to see Octavia slice through one on the right.
“There’s got to be an entrance,” Monty said, eyes scanning the building. “Bellamy – you’re the fastest, check that end, there might be an entrance by radiology.” Bellamy nodded, taking off in a sprint down the side of the building. Clarke shot another walker that came towards them; she missed one bullet and landed the second in the head.
“We don’t have time for this,” she hissed. The sounds of engines hit her ears and she span to face where they left the cars.
“They wouldn’t have followed us this far, right?” Wells asked, hefting Raven’s body in his arms. Octavia stared at them, eyes wide, before running in the direction of the fence. Clarke watched, breathing heavily as she vaulted onto the dumpster, and looked about. A moment later she jumped back down, crouching a little as she ran back.
“Find cover,” Octavia instructed.
“Bandits?” Monty asked. She nodded.
“And we left the rest of our weapons in the cars.”
Clarke swore, looking down to where Bellamy had gone.
“We’ll go that way,” she decided. “Come on.” They all took off running, heading in the direction they’d seen Bellamy go. Clarke’s legs pumped quickly, and she didn’t look back. She knew there were walkers milling about the grounds and took out her knife as she went. “Try not to use guns,” she called to the others. “They’ll hear them.”
As they rounded the corner, Clarke stabbed a walker in the eye, yanking out the knife and kept running. Monty picked up a loose pole, from near the fence, hitting a walker in the knee and then smashing its skull. Octavia sliced through another’s neck before moving on. The three of them covered Wells and Raven, the latter of the two bleeding out as they ran.
There was the sound of a door opening, up ahead, and Bellamy appeared, running.
“Guys!” He stopped, huffing and pulling the trigger of his gun – a walker falling to the ground. Clarke swore internally. “What’s going on?”
“Bandits,” Clarke replied, running in the direction Bellamy had just come from. Wells followed closely behind, and then the rest of the group. Inside, there were people – a young girl watching, eyes wide, and an old man behind her.
“What is happening?” The man asked.
“She’s been shot,” Clarke replied quickly, still rushing through the hallways. Everyone followed behind – the girl locked the door before running, too. “Bandits are outside.”
“Bandits?!” She didn’t hear much else – Clarke had grown up in hospitals; she knew the layouts well, how to follow the signs, where different equipment was likely to be. She was supposed to go to med school in the fall, but that wouldn’t be happening anymore. Clarke ducked into a room marked for surgery.
“Bring her in!” She yelled to Wells. He followed her instructions and she turned back to the man. “Do you have any doctors?” He nodded. “Get them.”
When Raven died, Clarke watched through the window as the doctors gave up. She entered the room, not caring about hygiene or protocol, and pulled her gun from the waistband of her jeans. Clarke didn’t even blink when she held the barrel of the gun to Raven’s head. She knew she would cry over it later, would feel the hole where her friend had once been, but in that moment, all she knew was the gunshot, was Raven not coming back to kill them, was her friend being at peace.
She got her friends to pack up supplies.
“Ours are all out in that Jeep,” she complained when Maya, the girl who’d let them in, asked. “We need more if we’re getting out of here.”
“You brought the bandits to us, and you’re just going to leave them here?” Clarke studied her for a second; clean skin, well-brushed hair, clothes without blood stains. Oh, how they contrasted.
“Yes,” she replied. “It’s all we can do now.” As Clarke turned away, Maya caught her arm.
“You can’t do this to us,” she hissed. Clarke sighed.
“Bellamy won’t let Octavia die,” she said. “I won’t let Bellamy die. Wells won’t let me die. If we stay here, we’re all gonners.” She and Maya locked eyes for a moment, before Maya spoke again.
“You killed your friend without flinching.” Clarke clenched her jaw and nodded, hefting the box of supplies in her arms.
“We brought a walker into the last camp we were in,” she replied. “I wasn’t going to bring a walker into this one, too.”
They left out the back doors of the hospital, and didn’t shake hands with the man – Dante Wallace – who was running the place. Clarke led them around the side of the fence, crouching to avoid being spotted. There were five of them once more, and they were carrying boxes of supplies in one of their arms and a gun in the other.
“We either take the Jeep, or one of their trucks,” Clarke decided. “I don’t care which right now – just one of them.” They all nodded, and moved forwards, making a large arc around the back of the walkers, taking slow, quiet steps to avoid being heard. The walkers made ungodly moans and howls, and the gunfire rained across the hospital.
They made it around to where the Jeep was parked, and crouched in the bushes across the road.
“The back is open,” Monty pointed out. “They’re all around the front.”
“We could enter through the back of the car and get in,” Wells agreed. Clarke nodded, passing her box to Wells.
“I’ll go first – get in, and park nearby. When I do, you guys have to get in right away.”
“The lurkers will be on us so fast,” Wells said.
“They’ll see you,” Octavia retorted. “They’ll get to you, Clarke.” She swallowed, checking the magazine in her gun. She only had a few rounds left.
“I’ll be fine,” she promised, no matter how much she thought she wouldn’t be.
“Come on,” Bellamy sighed. “I’ll cover you.”
“I said I’ll be fine-“
“I’m covering you, stop fighting it.” They glared at one another for a second before Clarke relented, standing and clicking the safety of the gun off. She pressed the button on the keys, unlocking it from the distance. The lights flashed and a sound rang out. Only one or two walkers looked at it, before going back to pushing down the fences to the hospital. Clarke pulled out her knife, readying it.
“I’ll be right behind you,” Bellamy told her, lifting his gun. She nodded, before stepping out into the road. She ran, crouched, across the concrete, slashing her knife through the throat of a walker, and watching it fall to the ground, a bullet from Bellamy’s gun in its brain. She moved forward, ducking under a walker’s arms, and dodging another, until she got to the boot of the car, and heard gunshots and falling bodies all the way. Clarke opened the door, climbing in and shutting it behind her. Then she moved over the back of the seats, crawling through the Jeep until she was in the driver’s seat once again.
From there, she was surrounded by walkers. They hadn’t noticed her; but were pushing forwards, trying to get into the grounds of the hospital. Clarke took a breath in that moment, watching the bandits over the fence, shooting at the people in the hospital – they were all so strong, so big and tattooed. Clarke swallowed, sticking the key into the ignition and starting it up. The bandits didn’t seem to notice, and she reversed quickly, feeling the bumps as she ran over the bodies of walkers that were in her way.
Almost immediately the three doors flung open – Bellamy climbed into the front, Wells, Monty and Octavia in the back. Clarke sped off down the road, then, her friends laden with boxes and Raven, left dead on an operating table.
They drove in silence, only stopping for more fuel and signs of life. They traded with survivors, warned them of the bandits, and continued on their way. They didn’t accept any offers of sticking around, joining groups, giving rides. The five of them just kept going.
At one gas station, a group of survivors raised their eyebrows at Octavia; so small and innocent. When the walkers arrived she threw her knife, landing it straight in the lurker’s forehead.
At other places, they warned them of the militant camps nearby; strict in their ruling, merciless in their killings. Apparently they’d been shooting survivors as well as the walkers, and Clarke made sure to get back into the car and drive away as quickly as possible.
Bellamy stuck by her side, no matter what. “I’m with you ‘til the end,” he promised her, when she found him a car that he and his sister could take. She could hear the tinge in his voice, the sincerity in his tone – Clarke couldn’t bring herself to look him in the eye when she smiled, because she didn’t deserve the warmth she knew would be there.
It was almost two weeks after Raven’s death and Clarke finally had a moment alone. They’d stopped by a river on their way to Polis. None of them planned on returning to the Drop Ship, anymore, but they’d hoped to find Abby in the area instead. Clarke had left the keys in the Jeep, kept the heater running, and she sat out on the rocks by the water. She was sure she would hear any dangers in the area, given what a silent night it was, and she was right, when Bellamy’s footsteps rang out, clear as day.
He joined her, leaving only a small gap between their bodies. Clarke looked away, rubbing her hand at her cheeks, hoping to rid them of the wetness. But he’d seen, and Bellamy’s arm wrapped around her shoulder, pulling her into an embrace.
“It’s okay,” he promised, because Bellamy always promised that it wasn’t as bad as anyone thought it would be.
“I shot her,” Clarke whispered. “I shot Raven.”
“She was dead,” came his voice, strangled but sincere. “She didn’t feel it – you did the right thing.” Clarke nodded, though she didn’t believe it, pushing her head into his chest and breathing him in as she let the remaining tears flow out of her. Eventually, she pulled away, shooting him a grateful smile before turning back to the river.
“Did you know your dad was a lurker?” Bellamy asked. Clarke glanced over, finding him staring resolutely at the sky, glittering with stars. Clarke nodded, looking upwards.
“He’d come home the night before, complaining about some homeless man biting him,” she scoffed a little at the thought – it felt so long ago, so stupid that they both just accepted it. “He came to my room the next morning as a walker, trying to eat me.”
“That sucks,” Bellamy replied. Clarke sighed.
“Yeah, it does. I left him in my room – shut the door behind me and got out of there. Apparently it was happening all over the place and the apocalypse began. What about you? Octavia said your mum was gone?” Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Bellamy nod.
“Yeah – she overdosed a few days before the recorded outbreak. The ambulance turned up, the police, too. Me and Octavia just sat in the living room until there was a scream, and the paramedics, who had been putting her into a body bag at the time, ran out. Our mum followed, full-on lurker, and bites an officer.” Clarke snorted, shaking her head.
“Did you leave her there?” She asked.
“Nah, the other officer shot at her until he hit her in the head. She went down and it was marked to go under investigation – she was going to be studied and everything; some form of natural phenomenon.”
“And then the outbreak happened,” Clarke continued.
“And no one really cared about one junkie coming back to life anymore,” Bellamy finished. They smiled ruefully at each other – it was by no means a good thing, but it was enough to bring them together. While Clarke would never really be thankful for the apocalypse, and the destruction of mankind, she was thankful for Bellamy all the same.
They sat in comfortable silence for a while, looking at the stars that stretched above them on a black canvas; like diamonds on velvet; and eventually Clarke’s head tilted onto Bellamy’s shoulder. His hand slowly made its way to her chin, tilting her face upwards until it met his, lips on lips, breathing in all that she was, while she happily gave it to him. Clarke had kissed before but never like that; never in a way that made her feel so special, so important, like he had been waiting just to kiss her right there by a river in the moonlight.
The people of the world were coming back from the dead, and in that moment, Clarke had never felt more alive.