Word Count: ~3600
Summary: After Finn's death, Clarke is hiding in the bunker. It's Murphy who finds her and things unravel from there. (Post-Ep 2x08.)
A/N: Well, would you look at that. This was supposed to have minimal plot and more smut. Now it's more like plot, smut, plot, fluff-ish. And it's Murphy/Clarke. That couple is one of those crack-ships that just hit you out of nowhere... xD
Disclaimer: I own neither the show nor the characters. I don’t earn any money with this piece. I just do it for fun.
It doesn't matter whether she closes her eyes or not, there's nowhere for her to run, Finn's always there, in the darkness behind her eyelids or in the shadows of the bunker, watching her with dead eyes, blood pouring from his wound, the one she inflicted, and Clarke wishes he would scream at her, accuse her of sacrificing him, blaming her for his death, anything, but he stays silent, and all she's left with is the haunting echo of his last words to her.
Thank you, princess.
Clarke brings her knees up to her chest, rests her elbows on them as she folds her arms in front of her and lays her cheek on them, staring at the knife still clutched in her hand. The light of the candles reflects in its blade but there's nothing warm about it. She knows there had been no other choice but the tight pain pulling in the hollow of her chest insists she hasn't done enough, could have, should have tried harder to find another way to safe him, and tears burn behind her eyes again.
The hatch of the bunker is suddenly pulled open, daylight flooding through the opening, harsh and unforgiving, and Clarke flinches involuntarily.
“You in there, princess?”
Of all the people she's expected to come looking for her, he is the very last one, and she closes her eyes for a second, trying to remember to breathe, as she pushes herself closer to the wall, trying to hide in the shadows.
“Clarke?” There's a beat, then a heavy sigh and finally the sound of shuffling as he appears at the top of the ladder and shuts the hatch before slowly making his way down. The moment his feet touch the ground, he looks around, trying to see beyond the shadows, and when she hears him exhale slowly, she knows he's noticed her. “Wha—”
“Go away, Murphy,” she says flatly, keeping her gaze fixed on the floor, but he ignores her and takes of his jacket before sitting down on the table. She doesn't miss the way he's watching her or the way he chooses his next words with care — as close as Murphy ever cares enough to come to it.
“Everybody's looking for you. You mom freaked out when you suddenly disappeared into the night and didn't come back to camp.”
“What is it to you?” Her words are clipped, tight and tense, and Clarke knows she's being unreasonable but she stopped caring when she let the darkness of the woods swallow her and didn't look back.
Her tone doesn't put Murphy off as she's hoped, instead he leans forward and tilts his head, an unreadable look in his eyes. “You know, you're not acting like a princess at all. More like a drama queen.”
It feels as if he's just slapped her, how dare he mock her in a situation like this, and her fingers flex around the knife as Clarke finally starts to feel something else than numbness, something close to anger, bubbling just beneath the surface.
“Stay away from me,” she snaps, looking straight at him for the first time since he came down here, her eyes narrowed in a glare, and some dark part of her relishes the way the corner of his mouth tightens, his hands gripping his knees so tightly that his knuckles turn white.
“What the hell is you problem, Clarke?” He asks, his voice hot and hard, and her carefully constructed wall crumbles to dust, every emotion that she has been suppressing for the past few hours flooding through her like a tidal wave.
She's on her feet before she even knows it, the hand holding the knife pointing it at Murphy, the other forming a fist at her side, nails digging into the soft skin of her palm, but the pain barely registers.
“I killed Finn. I. Killed. Him!” She cries, her voice caught in the force of her emotions.
“Yes, and you showed him mercy when the Grounders would have executed him in the cruelest way possible,” Murphy says quietly, and his words feels like ice shards piercing her heart.
“Don't you think I know that? But I shouldn't have had to do it! There should have been another way! You—”
“Would you stop it?” He rolls his eyes, not even trying to hide his annoyance. “I told you I tried to stop him. What was I supposed to do? Knock him out?” He leans backwards and holds out his arms. “And then what, Clarke? Tell me, princess, what was I supposed to do with an unconscious Finn surrounded by Grounders?”
There is this particular edge in his voice again, this mocking undertone she hates with every fiber of her being, especially in this moment, when he's stating nothing but the truth, and maybe that's why she's not thinking about her next words.
“You could've—” She breaks off the second her mind catches up with her mouth but the damage is already done. His eyes meet hers, and the next thing she knows, he rises to his feet, his face twisted into a mask of rage and disbelief.
“I could have what, Clarke?” His voice cuts like a knife and she fights the urge to step back. “Take Finn's place? Isn't that what you were going to say?” She stays silent, presses her lips into a flat line and raises her chin defiantly as he steps closer. “Isn't it?”
“Yes! No! I don't know, Murphy!” She yells back. “Okay? I don't know—” wrong from right anymore, it's all turned upside down, she's adrift in the dark and slowly losing herself.
The fight leaves her in a rush and she turns away from him, the hand holding the knife falling listlessly to her side, but in the last moment Murphy reaches out and catches her wrist, his fingers wrapping around it like an Ark wristband. Startled, Clarke looks back at him and his burning gaze raking over her sets off a prickle in the base of her spine.
“Tell me, princess,” Murphy says calmly, even though his eyes remain dark and intense. “Would you have tried to rescue me too?”
“What?” She's still too surprised to be able to take his question in.
He takes another step, and Clarke watches with wide eyes as the knife brushes against his jacket. “Would you have bargained for my life if it had been me down there?”
“What is wrong with you?” she whispers harshly, trying to pull her wrist free but his grip doesn't loosen. “Let go, Murphy.”
“Would you have shown me mercy?” His lips curl in an unnaturally empty smirk as he tugs at her wrist hard, catching her off-guard, and a slow shiver winds its way down her neck and into a dark place as the tip of the blade pushes through his shirt against his stomach.
“Stop it,” Clarke hisses, her other hand coming up to shove him in the chest but all it earns her is a low chuckle from Murphy. He doesn't give an inch.
“Tell me, Clarke,” he says in a low voice, and her breath catches in her throat as he raises his free hand and strokes her cheek with the tips of his fingers, rough and calloused but gentle too, before sliding his hand to the nape of her neck. “Would you have sweeten the pain of death with a kiss too?”
His smirk cracks, all broken edges for a moment, and something hot and bright blooms inside her, like one of those bioluminescent flowers in the night, lightening up every nerve in her body. There's no more darkness, no more shadows, there's only fire, consuming her, burning her alive, and Clarke finally gives in, her fingers twisting into his shirt.
“Yes,” she breathes. “Yes, I would have.” Would have tried, would have bargained, would have shown mercy — would have kissed him. The knife slips from her fingers and clatters to the floor and his heated gaze doesn't stray from her for one second as he releases her wrist to entwine his fingers with hers, the pressure of them almost too tight.
For a heartbeat, they stay absolutely still, his warm breath ghosting over her skin, her other hand still pressed against his chest, and then Murphy leans in and the thought to stop him never crosses her mind. He presses his mouth against hers, kissing her hard and fast, there's nothing gentle or careful about it, it's full of hunger and desperation, and her body melts into his as Clarke uncurls her hand from his shirt and sinks her fingers into his hair, kissing him back with equal fervor, pouring her own conflicted feelings into the kiss.
When her teeth scrape across his bottom lip, his voice strangles in the drag of a groan, and he slides both his hands to the small of her back, his touch unexpectedly sure and possessively. She feels the hard pressure of him against her stomach as Murphy pulls her tight against him and a shudder crawls up her spine, leaving her gasping into his mouth and grabbing his shoulders to steady herself.
His eyes hold hers as he slowly walks backwards towards the couch, drawing her with him, a hint of hesitation in his steps but she doesn't even think about putting an end to it. Clarke knows that this is it, that by following him she has burned the bridge and there won't be any going back, no pretending this hasn't happened.
This time, she's the one to kiss him.
For a fraction of a second Murphy freezes, maybe out of surprise, maybe out of shock, but then he goes with it and tangles his fingers in her hair as he deepens the kiss. They stumble the last few steps to the couch and it's only when the back of his legs hit it that he breaks the kiss, his eyes wide as he looks down at her and she can feel his heart racing under her palm.
“Jesus, Clarke,” he murmurs, and his hands slide up her sides and under her shirt, pushing it up as his fingers glide over her skin. She takes a step back, his hands slipping from her and there's a flash of disappointment and something else in his eyes but before he can say anything, she tugs her shirt off over her head and lets it drop to the floor. Half-naked she stands in front of the boy who once held a knife to her throat, threatened to kill her, and yet the last thing Clarke feels is embarrassed or vulnerable.
Heat rushes through her as his eyes darken, something fierce and predatory behind them, but it's not just hunger, there's something else too, something warmer, something she's seen in Finn's and sometimes in Bellamy's gaze. Murphy doesn't give her a chance to think further about it, yanks his own shirt up and drags it over his head, and then he's back, pulling her with him down onto the couch and she ends up in his lap, straddling him.
He buries one hand in her hair again, pulling her down into another kiss, this one slow and unhurried, and she shifts forward, flattening her palms on his chest. His other hand starts to move over her body, tracing jerky lines up her back and to her front until he finally slides a thumb over one still clothed nipple. Every inch of her comes alive and she moans, pressing closer, and he guides her head back, dragging his lips along her jawline.
“Impatient, princess?” His voice is low in her ear, sending another shiver down her spine, and Clarke can hear the self-satisfied smile in his voice. He's not wrong, she wants this, wants him, but she's not going to give in that easily. She drags his face up again with one hand before pressing her mouth against his, grinding down hard, and he groans into her mouth, his hands gripping her hips, trying to still the motion.
“Fuck,” he chokes out and she runs her hand down his chest and stomach to the edge of his pants, and then lower, wants to hear that sound again, that half-pained groan, and Murphy squeezes his eyes shut as he falls back against the couch, his fingers digging into her skin. When he opens them again, it's not the need that has her heart skipping a beat but that strange warmth in his expression again.
She covers it by sliding off his lap and getting to her feet, slipping off her boots before unfastening her pants, not missing the flash of desire that crosses his face or his clenched fists as she takes them off, and it's the only warning she gets before Murphy is reaching for her and pulling her back onto his lap.
He kisses her, again and again, until her lips are bruised and flushed with a dull pain and her breath comes in short bursts against his mouth. Restless hands skate over her body, leaving a path of tingling fire in their wake, and when he finally slides his fingers under her bra and unclasps it, she's trembling from head to toe.
The sensation of skin against skin sends a thrill through her, her breasts pressed against his bare chest, and she closes her eyes, arching into his touch when he trails his mouth down to her breasts. Clarke can feel him through his pants and her panties, and her heart is thundering in her ears as she reaches for his belt with shaking hands, the soft clank of metal against metal sounding almost too loud in the otherwise silent bunker.
His forehead drops to her collarbone the moment she brushes against him and another wave of heat surges through her as he pushes against her palm almost subconsciously, his breath harsh against her skin. A beat, two, then he's shifting, sliding his hips up and out, and when he hooks a thumb under the band of her panties and pulls them to one side, everything slips away like water through her fingers until only Murphy remains and his name falls from her lips in a half-broken moan as she sinks down on him.
He doesn't look away from her, doesn't close his eyes as he slides into her, his hands finding her hips, and she braces herself against his chest as she begins to move, slow but sure. Cradling the back of her head in his palm, he draws her into another kiss, and she clutches at his shoulders, her body straining against his as she digs her nails into his shoulder blades. Her pulse is rushing hotly in her ears as they part, her mouth hovering over his, their lips just barely touching, and for the first time since Finn's death and the fallout, she lets herself fall and be caught by someone else.
It builds slowly, rises from the depths and winds its way around her as they find a rhythm, he thrusts up each time she rocks down, his arms around her back, holding her tight, and it all crashes through her like waves. When his lips find the place between her shoulder and her neck, his teeth gracing her skin, the world disappears in a web of slow lightning across the back of her eyes, and his hands curl around her hips, hard enough to bruise, his body shuddering as he follows her over the edge.
Clarke bites her lip as Murphy chokes on her name, his voice coming out strangled and hoarse, his breaths hot against her neck as he slumps against her, his cheek pressed against the bottom of her chin, and her fingers slide over the nape of his neck as she wraps her arms around his shoulders.
He tenses, so subtly she barely feels his shoulders stiffen under her hands, ready to fight or flight, and his reaction stings more than words ever could. “I would have never asked you to take his place,” she whispers, the words sticking in her throat even though she knows they're true.
For a long moment he stays silent but then he sighs and raises his head. “You don't get it, do you?” His fingers drift upwards, brushing the hair away from the side of her face and tucking it behind her ear. “If you'd asked me, I'd have done it. Would have switched places with him.”
Her lips part, but she can't find anything to say, her mind spinning, and Murphy shakes his head, giving her a wry smile. “The princess is speechless. That's a first.”
He pulls away from her, gently lifts her up and to the side before standing up and fastening his pants, and she's still too stunned by his admission to stop him. The loss of contact and warmth leaves her strangely chilled, and Clarke feels self-conscious all of the sudden. She draws her legs together and folds her arms over her chest, avoiding Murphy's gaze, but before she can put up her walls again, he hands her his shirt.
Surprised, she hesitates for a moment before taking it, still not quite looking at him, and then quickly slips it on. “Thank you,” she says quietly as she smooths his shirt down, his scent still clinging to it, but she freezes as she hears Murphy suck in an unsteady breath.
Slowly, she meets his eyes, and even though his expression is guarded, the usual blank mask, something flickers behind his eyes again, that same heated and yet soft look from before, and it suddenly hits her and she remembers where she's seen it before.
The day he'd returned to camp and she'd taken care of his injuries, then again when he'd offered his help and she'd blamed him instead, and just a day ago when Raven had him at gunpoint and she'd told her that Murphy was one of them — it's always been the same look, and a fluttery feeling rises in her chest as she realizes what it means.
“Don't,” he cuts her off, dragging his fingers through his hair. “Clarke, just...” There's something close to defeat in the lines of his shoulders as he turns away and picks up his jacket, and she can tell he's putting up his own walls again. “I'll radio the others and tell them you're okay but still need some time.”
She can't let him leave like this, not when he's just turned her world upside down again. “Murphy.”
He stops, one hand on the ladder, and she watches his profile as he closes his eyes. “Clarke, please—”
“I didn't use you to forget what happened.” She unfolds her legs and swings them off the side of the couch, ignoring the cold floor under her feet as she stands up, the hem of his shirt falling to mid-thigh. He glances back over his shoulder, his expression weary, but at least he's not leaving, so she presses on. “You weren't just...a body to lose myself into and I didn't pretend you were Finn. I know who I was with.”
She takes a step forward, and then another when he still doesn't make any attempts to go up the ladder. “I won't make you any promises, I can't, because I have no idea what this—” Clarke gestures back and forth between herself and Murphy. “—is.”
He finally turns around, the look in his eyes no longer distant, and she dares to lay her hand on his chest, his skin warm underneath her fingers. “But...I think it's worth to give it a chance.”
And she does, as crazy as it sounds, there's some part of her that wants to see where it could lead, because she's seen behind his mask and found something she never expected. His muscles tense under her touch and there it is again, that flash of desire in his gaze, hopeful and broken at the same time, and it tugs at her heart.
“Stay,” is all she says, and Murphy studies her face for a moment before reaching up, his fingers brushing her cheek in a gentle caress.
“That's your order for me?” He asks, and the weight of his gaze settles heavy across her collarbone as she remembers how she'd reacted the last time he asked her that. She can't fault him for bringing it up, words have always been her greatest weapon, and now it's the same although this time her answer is different.
“Yes.” Clarke hopes he can see in her eyes that she means it and something loosens in her chest when he settles both hands on her waist, pulling her closer.
“As you wish, princess,” he says, his voice low, and the way he says her nickname is the only warning she has before he's lifting her up. She's too startled to do anything else but wrap her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist, and this display of his strength leaves her shivering in anticipation.
Murphy watches her intently as he carries her the few steps to the couch, and when they fall down onto it in a tangle of arms and legs, and he kisses her again, Clarke sinks into it, arching up into him. The world around her fades away until it's just them, the warmth of him and the solid pressure of his hand against the small of her back, his fingers possessively pressed against her skin.
Afterwards he curls his arm around her and she rests her head on his chest, listening to the sound of his heart beating, and when her eyes drift shut this time, there are no more nightmares.
- END -