I want to clarify; I am not referencing the movie with this chapter title.
Interstellar word definition: occurring or situated between stars.
Clarke wakes up the day of the funeral feeling like she's ten years younger, but not in a good way.
When Bellamy touches her shoulder, she rolls away, wrapping her blanket around herself tighter. Shutting her eyes tight so that the darkness feels almost like pressure, like the heels of her hands pressing deeper into her eye sockets, and never able to stop the light from getting through.
"Clarke," Bellamy begins, trailing off. He knows that him comforting her will do nothing for her. Instead, he takes a different route. "Madi's already outside. She needs you now, more than ever. Just get dressed."
Rolling onto her back, she stares up at him, eyes burning. "Bellamy-"
His fingers brush hair from her face. "We've talked about this before. This was not your fault. He did it to himself."
"It was my gun." she protests softly. "I pressured him. I chased him out of the house."
"No more running." Bellamy says softly, crouching down by her head. "No more running from the truth. This time, this time, we grieve for our enemies. You are not a bad guy."
She feels a single tear slide from the corner of her eye into her ear, cloggin the sound of Bellamy's voice and her own echoing through her mind.
"When will I get peace?"
He leans his forehead against the mattress. "That's up to you. I can't give you peace, no matter how much I want to. You have to let go of your guilt."
She wipes away the tear absently. "Maybe... maybe today will give me some semblance of being on the other side."
He nods softly, pressing a soft kiss to her palm. "Meet me outside in ten?"
"Okay." she says, "see you in ten."
She doesn't get up for three more minutes, unable to force her limbs to move. First, she wiggles her fingers, then her toes. And when she's got her feet on the cold floorboards, all she wants is to lay back down. But she doesn't, she gets up. Dresses in the clothes Bellamy had helped her lay out last night, a borrowed black dress and hand me down silver flats.
They'd waited awhile to have the funeral, putting Aiden in cryosleep almost two months before they decided to go through with the funeral. The people wanted a trial they couldn't have. He was dead. And for a brief week, Clarke thought she would be blamed for the death until Russell pulled her aside and explained that although he wishes that he could have done more for his son, he doesn't blame Clarke at all.
Part of her wishes she had been blamed.
And she's only confessed that to first, Bellamy. Who let her sit on the floor by his feet, and lean against his legs while she spoke. And then Madi, who kept Clarke's hands warm while she tried to explain why she was so sad all the time.
Why do they have to love her so much?
Her hair has grown a little longer in these past two months. Her cheeks had first thinned out from the lack of food she ate, and now, have filled back out to what they used to be during those six years on the ground. Not what they used to be when she was well fed but better than not eating at all. Having people around who threatened to stuff sustenance down your throat if you didn't eat it yourself motivates you a little bit to eat.
How can someone so changed from 131 years ago, look only slightly different? Superficial things, like hair and face and eyes and the slight change of the smattering of freckles on her face. On the inside, shards of glass slowly learning to smooth out at the edges.
When she steps out into the open air, she feels as if everyone should look at her, like she's an oddity, but no one does. She fits in here. A nightblood. A normal bombshell blonde. She looks like the rest of them.
She still feels like a grounder in the sky. Like the dirty, blood stained monster that has killed so many people.
She walks to the graveyard slowly, knowing Bellamy is already there, waiting for her. And he knows her well enough so that when she reaches the black clad crowd, he's standing in the back.
She stands next to him, slowly leaning her head against his shoulder. She feels his breath against her cheek as he leans down to whisper in her ear.
She nods. "Let's leave. When it's over, I'm not sure I want to be here for very long."
His hand rests ever so gently at her hip. "Okay."
Clarke intends to stay in the back throughout the whole thing, but changes her mind, the moment she spots Madi through the gaps between people.
She can't be alone right now.
Slipping out of Bellamy's arms, she pushes past people, her smaller form working against her but that doesn't mean people don't immediately notice Wanheda moving directionally through the crowd and part a plath for her. She hates that they do that for her, but she walks through it anyways, ignoring the looks from Laura and Russell Kelly who stare at the wooden casket in the ground.
Her fingers wrap around Madi's hand and the girl, now just turned thirteen years old (so old, it's hard for Clarke to admit it to herself, but Madi is almost a grown up, just not yet), leans against her. Pressing the side of her head against Clarke's chest, as they listen to a speech about Aiden's life. Not mentioning what he did, because somehow in death, the worst of people remain saints.
It's a fact Clarke has learned to accept. That people become martyrs.
Death turns girls into legends.
Transforms a teenager into a commander.
And somehow gives and takes away at the same time.
Her attention is drawn to the speaker one last time, as he begins the last part of his speech.
"As the sky people say: 'In peace, may you leave this shore. In love, may you find the next. Safe passage on your travels, until our final journey to the ground... may we meet again'."
Lifting her eyes to the sky, Clarke murmurs back, "may we meet again."
She hears it scattered throughout the crowd. Spoken by her own people, and then spreads to this planet's people.
"May we meet again."
"May we meet again."
"May we meet again."
"May we meet again."
In different tones, different voices, some in tears, some stoic. But all the same in one way, in one understanding. Death may have taken much from them, taken this boy. And this boy's sanity.
But Death didn't take away those words.
And maybe they're stuck between stars, a moon and a hard place. But once in a lifetime, the stars aline and planets brush up against each other. So in some different universe, a different world per se,
they will meet again.
A/N: this story has been a journey, and I'm just finishing it the day after season 6 Episode 1 comes out, so perfect timing. I've loved writing this story and it's been so much fun seeing your reactions. This chapter was especially emotional for me to write, it took a lot of time and effort to finish it.
Thank you so much for the support and the comments, they always make me smile and feel bubbly.
I might be posting less stuff over the summer, since I'm a busy women, but I've got to finish my other fanfictions and I've started a Hadetown fic. Once I have those completely finished and don't have the pressure to write every single day, I'll start posting again. I know I'll start posting consistently again once the summer is over. <3
Lots of love,
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