A/N: Hey all reviewers to Run To Me- I'm sorry I wrote this before chapter 6, I just couldn't get this out of my head. I promise to have Ch. 6 up in a few days

Disclaimer: I don't own Degrassi.

Title: One Step Closer

Summary: Through all the storm, there was still hope of a rainbow at the end. One-shot.

-x-

It all started with Sean's selfishness. Or maybe it was her lack of dedication to the relationship; Emma hadn't decided yet. But however it started, it kept growing, until looking each other in the eye was such a burden that they completely avoided each other. She didn't like this much, but if it was the best way to keep them from getting worse than they already were, she would take that any day.

She loved him, no doubt about that. How could she not? Sure, they had faught, and sure, he had practically torn her heart in half, but her emotions remained steady. It wasn't the rebel tough guy outer core of him she was attracted to, but more of the sensitive and gentle Sean she had seen while being alone with him what seemed so long ago. Even through the pain, the hurt, and the tears, she still saw a small glisten of light at the end, the light showing he really was a good person, and thats what kept her holding on.

Crushes had come and gone for her, first online Jordan, then Craig, after that followed Sean, and then Chris. But none of them knew her how Sean did. None of them had held her so close before that the smell of her hair lingered on their bodies. None of the others had seen her cry; really cry. And then none of the others had kissed her like Sean did.

He was special to Emma; special in a way hard to explain. It wasn't the kind of casual high school sweetheart relationship, oh no. They had their roadblocks that kept them from moving on. And those were, Emma decided, the reasons they had been torn so far apart.

She saw him sometimes, in the halls, walking with Jay or Ellie, pretending he didn't notice her. He did, though. She saw it in his nervous steps as she passed. And now that school had ended, she saw him every afternoon, except for the weekends, outside working on Snake's car. She knew he watched her then, from the time she set foot on the driveway until the time she closed the door behind her, coming home from the movies or from a friend's house.A few times she made eye contact with him, but when they did, it didn't last long. He was the one who broke it every time.

One particular day when Emma was walking home in the heat from the store, gone to pick up some strawberries for her mom, Sean had taken a break and was wiping sweat off of his forehead with his shirt. He was leaning against the side of the car, sweat beads visible through his t-shirt. Emma wanted so badly to offer him to come inside, and to come have a drink with her and talk things over, but she knew she couldn't. Their past forbid her to utter more than a simple "Hello" to him.

Emma turned her eyes away from him and to the open garage. Her mom's car was gone. She looked around for any signs of her family outside, making her way to the door that entered into the house.

"Your mom left for Caitlin and Joey's house with Jack. Mr. Simpson went with them. She told me to tell you they'll be back in an hour or so."

Emma turned at the sound of his voice. She hadn't heard it in so long, only replayed prevoius conversations in her mind, that it startled her.

"Oh... thanks." Their eyes held for a second and Sean dropped his gaze.

"Sure."

A cloud moved to the east slightly, and more sunlight poured down onto the already scorched pavement. Emma couldn't help it anymore; Sean or no Sean, it would be all but evil if she didn't invite him to come into the house and get some water.

"Come inside," Emma offered, "Get a coke or something, you look really hot. And I know you've been working hard."

Sean eyed her for a moment, trying to see if there was any facetiousness on her face, but it showed none. "Alright, thanks."

He followed her into the cool kitchen. Emma pulled out a coke for herself, and asked, "Water or soda?"

"Coke is fine, thanks."

Emma tossed him a can and sat down at the table. He looked around awkwardly. "Sit down," she offered, gesturing to the chair across the table.

He nodded a thankyou and sat. A few moments of silence except for the popping of the can tops followed. Emma took a sip of her coke as Sean downed almost half of his. She slowly circled her finger around the rim of the red can.

"Are you going to say something about it?" Sean ended up saying, looking at her and taking a break from his drink.

"About what?"

She decided to play dumb for as long as possible, it would stall any chance of a fight.

"Us. What happened. How awkward we are now around each other."

"Oh."

They were silent then, Emma slowly taking another sip of her drink. "I don't know. I didn't want to bring it up, because the last time I tried to talk it out, we fought." Emma refrained from saying 'You got mad'.

"Oh. Yeah."

Silence had never seemed so loud to Emma before. It seemed like the absense of noise was actually greater in volume. She quickly glanced at him and saw him looking at her, studying her, watching her.

"I am sorry, you know."

"Yeah. Thanks. I mean, for apoligizing."

"Yeah."

Sean chugged down more of his drink.

"You know, it wasn't easy for me ether."

Sean looked up at her and set his drink down, wiping the back of his hand across his mouth. This time their eyes connected for almost 5 seconds. Then he turned his eyes back down to his drink.

"I know."

Emma returned her eyes to the inevitable coke can sitting in her hand. "I still care about you."

Emma's eyes shot up and met Sean's. She opened her mouth a few times, but no sound came out. "Really?"

Sean nodded and stared at the floor. "I mean, yeah, awful stuff has happened between us, and I know you must think I'm a complete asshole, but I care. Even if it doesn't show on the outside, I do."

"Oh."

"Yeah...."

"Thanks. And I do have feelings for you, Sean, but I mean... I dont know..."

"Then we can be friends," Sean said, a little reluctantly. "And see how it goes. If we get along pretty well, we could consider taking it a little further. If not, we won't. I just want to know you're there, Emma, and know that you're my friend. That was probably the hardest part for me when we didn't talk anymore. Your friendship. And how you listen to me, and really hear what I have to say. Sure you may give your opinion on most things, but that's what I enjoyed about you. When you left, a part of me left. A good part."

Emma knew that the "speech" did sound a little corny, but all the same it made the ends of her mouth rise slightly. "All right, sounds good to me. Thanks."

She offered another smile at him. Yes, maybe it wasn't quite what she wanted, to only be friends, but it was good enough for now. And it was, after all, one step closer than where she was before.

-x-

A/N: AHHHH! -deletes story- I was so bored today, and just randomly wrote this. Ahh!!!! It's so bad! Honestly!!!! arrgh . Oh well, review. Flame, I dare you.