Disclaimer: Degrassi isn't mine. D:

A/N: This is the longest one I've written so far. It took me awhile, lol. 'Cause I got about halfway through and got major writer's block. Sucked. I don't like this one very much, but I do hope that someone will like it. Eli pov, which I think is common for me. Though I like writing them both randomly. I just thought this would work better in his pov. Enjoy.


Her wrists. They're perfect. They fit so well in my hands, so small and birdlike. I love the feeling of her skin under my palm, beneath my fingertips, grasped in my cool hands. I like to keep her close to me. It's the first thing I think to grasp when she turns those beautiful eyes away from me, when she goes to walk away. I don't want her walking away from me. I want to hear her talk. She could talk about anything - her misplaced pen, her parents, writer's block, even something Sav's little sister said to piss her off - and I would listen for hours, all the while holding her close to me by my grip on her wrists.

She's gotten used to it by now, fortunately and unfortunately. I'm half glad she stopped trying to run away, but I'm also half disappointed that I can't see the cute look on her face when she tries to act tough and push me away, unsuccessfully of course. I'm much stronger than her, though I don't look strong at all. But when it comes to the object of my affections, well, I just can't afford to let go. It would be like losing myself.

But today she was particularily upset and wanted nothing to do with my sarcasm and "crude" humor. Thanks to that K.C. jerk, she thinks all guys are going to do that to her and that I have no other intention besides breaking her fragile heart. Now, call this corny, but I would soon rather rip my own heart out, cross it and hope to die in front of her if it means that she'll believe and accept my love for her. But I'd like to find a less fatal way of doing that, frankly because I'd like to live and spend the rest of that granted life with her.

"Clare," I approached her locker and leaned against its' neighbor. She didn't even spare me a glance, just slammed her locker shut with more malice I thought I'd ever see come out of her, and brushed past me. She didn't get far, though, as my fingers wrapped around her thin wrist and pulled her flush against my chest with a soft 'oof'. I made quick work to grasp her other wrist and keep her against me.

"Care to tell me your plague?" I asked when she finally stopped struggling. She couldn't even look at me, which honestly hurt more than anything I've felt in my whole life. It hurt more than when my parents divorced, hurt even more than when that ass Fitz kicked me. When I can't see the light in those bright baby blues of Clare's - doesn't even have to be directed at me, just as long as I can see it's there - it feels as if something has grabbed the heart in my chest after it's been crossed and hoped for death upon and has squeezed every last beat out of it.

She struggled anew, almost mumbling under her breath, "Class is about to start."

But that won't stop me. Nothing can stop me. "Class can't keep me from holding you prisoner until you talk, Ms. Edwards." I tried to be funny, but she wasn't the slightest bit amused. And honestly? Neither was I. "That's it, Clare. We're going." I released her right wrist and dragged her down the hallway towards the front doors.

She protested, "Eli! Where are we -" but with one look back from me, she stopped herself immediately. I probably looked terrifying right now, menacing even. I was getting pissed. And I was going to find out her problem whether she liked it or not. She will be on lockdown in my car until she speaks, and smiles, and looks at me again with that glowing happiness I know so well.

I unlocked the passenger side first and pushed her in none-too-gently, before hurrying to the driver's side and locking the doors as soon as I was seated. She was playing with the hem of her shirt absentmindedly, unable to look at me. I wish, in times like these, I had those powers that that Edward guy had - though I'm pretty sure that in such a case, Clare would be my Bella and I wouldn't be able to hear her thoughts anyway - so I could understand her better. I would honestly understand if she'd only talk to me. I would listen with minimal sarcasm and plenty of silence so she could talk from start to finish, no interruptions. These are the things that I would do for Clare Edwards.

"Clare," I said quietly. She flinched as my voice penetrated the calm atmosphere we'd developed. But she still didn't look at me. In fact, her eyes had changed from watching her fingers playing with her shirt, to glaring my dashboard to death. What the simple part to my car did to make her mad, I wish I knew. I'd honestly thought that Morty was just an innocent bystander up until now. "You can't ignore me forever, Blue Eyes."

"Watch me," I think I heard her mumble and watched her cross her arms in a huff. Now, what could I have done to piss off the most amazing and important person in my life? In just a short time she'e become my everything, I don't get what happened.

But this not looking at me thing was getting old. I boldly reached over and grasped her chin in my thumb and forefinger, forcing her to face me. Her eyes widened and, if possible, they became brighter, more blue. But she focused those pretty blues on anything but my face; there was nothing I could do about that. "Clare," my voice might have sounded desparate, "Look at me." She briefly flickered her gaze to me before staring intently at my necklace. "Talk to me, Clare."

She tried to shake my fingers off but my grip tightened. She wasn't getting away until she told me.

I think I heard, "You don't get it."

"Try me," I countered.

She leveled a glare at me, finally looking at me. "I'm pretty sure I tried, but you," she paused to nibble at her lip like she was scared to say it. "You and your stupid mixed signals, Eli."

I raised an eyebrow and leveled my gaze with hers. Mixed signals? What is she talking about?

"What -" I started, but she spoke immediately after.

"One moment you seem like you could possibly..." She looked like she was struggling to get it out. I think I understood. "And the next you want nothing to do with me. What'll it be later today, or after this conversation, Eli? For the rest of the year, nothing to do with me?" Her eyes were boring into my soul, pulling me into a tidal wave and drowning me in the ocean. I could feel myself suffocating, sucking water into my lungs as I tried to breathe. The things this girl does to me!

"What are you talking about, Clare?" I always want to be around you. I released her chin and she moved as far away from me in the hearse as possible, which hurt, to be honest. A lot.

"You know, Eli. You know what I'm talking about," she practically hissed, eyes almost burning a hole through the pavement, like the effect of the sun and a magnifying glass. It intrigued me, knowing she had it in her. I kind of enjoyed this version of Clare. Made me wonder what she'd do next. But I needed to stop this soon, because I don't want her mad at me forever. It might kill me.

Taking her wrist in my hand once again, I tugged her closer, lifting her over the center console and half on my lap. I seized her other wrist then. She gasped, too shocked to jerk back, away from me. "Eli -" she started, but shut down when she saw the look in my eyes. Hers reflected fear and I couldn't help but think that that was a beautiful emotion to paint her face.

I smirked, "What's wrong, Clare? Lost your fire?" I could pretty much feel the tremble running through her veins, heating her skin like a fever and making her shiver. My smirk grew and I pressed my forehead to hers, only to feel the blush creep up from her neck to where our skin touched. No matter how mad she was at me, she couldn't help the reactions she has to me. I can hear her heartbeat, thrumming in her chest like a drum. Her breathing is heavy against my face. I moved closer and -

"STOP IT!" her yell brought me back to reality and I almost jumped. She tried to wriggle her wrists from my tight grip, pressing as far as she could against my chest, but to no avail. But the atmosphere changed and I pulled our foreheads apart. Something was different. Something -

Soft sobs emitted from her throat and she tried to hold them in, keep herself quiet, but I knew better. She couldn't hide the tears streaking down her face.

Shocked, I released her completely and watched in disappointment as she slid back to her side. She wiped the tears from her eyes as best she could and pulled the lock on the door up. Without a single glance my way the door opened and she stepped out, shutting it behind her. She didn't slam the door, but the small vibration it caused felt like an earthquake as my world crashed down around me. Good job, Eli. You hurt the reason for your existance.

I sighed and leaned back in my seat, eyes closed. I couldn't go in there now. If Clare tells anyone, especially Alli, that I made her cry, I'm going to be eaten alive. Maybe I deserve it. I wish I knew what I did.

I hadn't intended on falling asleep, but apparently I did because a tap on my window startled me into conciousness. I blinked my eyes blearily and looked out my driver's side window. I was partially disapppointed to see Adam there. He stepped back so I could open the door and enter the world of the living.

"Dude," he started, raising an eyebrow at me quizzically. "Why are you here, instead of class? I mean, you made the effort to drive to school, what's the point in sitting in a car?"

Avoiding the question, I asked, "What time is it?" The parkinglot was still full so school couldn't be over. But before he could answer I looked at my phone. Shit. English was about to start. "I have to go. Thanks for waking me up." I locked Morty and turned to leave, but his voice stopped me.

"Hey," he sounded worried. "Do you know why Clare was crying when she walked into school? Late, might I add." My shoulders tensed and he must have noticed because I heard a small laugh. I refused to turn around. "I should have known. You were hiding from her? Is that why you stayed out here?"

Not able to trust my voice, I nodded. Without another word I walked to the entrance doors to the school and made my way to English. I was stopped again, though this time it was someone scary, unlike Adam.

"What did you do to Clare?" Alli asked from behind me. I could practically see her arms crossed and foot tapping in impatient annoyance. "She refused to tell me, but I'm pretty sure you were the one that did whatever it was to her." I didn't know what to say. Until the end Clare still tries to protect me... "I rarely ever get to see her cry, so when I do it's alarming," she said in a huff. I didn't move. But I had to get to English - to Clare. "Not going to say anything? I don't know what she sees in you sometimes, Eli Goldsworthy."

That conversation ended with her walking past me smoothly without a single look. I need to fix this.

I walked into English a few minutes late. All the heads except one looked up at me. Ms. Dawes crossed her arms and raised an eyebrow. "It's nice of you to join us, Mr. Goldsworthy," she said coldly, eyes flickering a moment to Clare, who still hadn't spared me a single glance. She was just dilligently taking notes, intent on ignoring my presense for the rest of the day, maybe even year, I presume. "Ms. Edwards."

Clare looked up, "Yes, Ms. Dawes?" I could tell she was dreading what our teacher would say next.

"Would you mind briefing Mr. Goldsworthy on what he missed?"

She visibly cringed and I couldn't help but consider that a low blow. "No, Ms. Dawes," she said as calmly as she could muster with her heart racing, I could tell from over here. "I wouldn't mind at all." Of course you would, Blue Eyes. I've been watching her for a while. I knew almost every facial expression she held. I knew when her heart raced because a red tint would paint her face and her chest would rise and fall more visibly when her breath sped up. I knew all the signs. She still reacted to me. I could almost smirk in triumph.

I dropped my knapsack onto the floor next to my desk and took a seat, turning towards her with my normal smirk on my face. "Hey, partner," I said jokingly, but she didn't look up from her notes. She finished writing, then pushed her notebook towards me. Partly I was hoping that it was a note, saying what was wrong, but it was only the notes she'd been taking all class. Typical Clare.

I pretended to look over the notes for a few moments while she tapped her pen softly against the desk to the beat of her heart. Everything about her was amazing.

Looking up, I watched her for a minute. She caught me, but I wasn't ashamed.

"Are you finished?" she asked, and I thought she meant staring at her so I wanted to say 'No', but before I could muster up a witty response she grabbed the notebook and began to take notes anew, dismissing our 'briefing'. I sighed and turned to face Ms. Dawes, resigning myself to paying attention in class for once.

The bell rang and she was up and out of her seat before I could even turn to her. She walked past me and was out that door in record time. How the hell was I supposed to get her to listen to me when she so clearly wanted nothing to do with me? This was going to be a long day.

I had to walk past her locker to go to my next class, and what I saw there shocked and pissed me off.

There she was, grabbing the books for her next few classes, and there was Fitz, the scum of Degrassi - maybe even the scum of Earth at this point - leaning against the locker next to hers, the one that I always lean against. He was talking, and I could tell she was ignoring him, trying to rush as quick as possible to get away from him. Couldn't blame her. If I was anybody else, I might have been afraid of Mark Fitzgerald. I inwardly snickered at the name. Fitzgerald. Hah.

I walked a little closer. I didn't much like eavesdropping, but when it came to Clare I just had to break a few rules.

"Come on," he said in his taunting voice. "Do you honestly think that your little pansy boyfriend cares what happens to you?" Her shoulders tensed, and I could tell she was finally going to say something unClare-like. "I saw you crying when you walked it." I could hear his smirk and my fists clenched. Her locker slammed and she turned to leave, but he caught hold of her wrist and my jaw trembled. Those were my wrists to grab.

"Fitz," she tried to sound tough - if I hadn't been pissed off, I might have found it endearing, "Let go of me." My ego almost blew through the roof. She never tells me to let go. I knew she liked it. I could almost smirk.

"Come to the Dot with me, and I'll consider it."

"No," she said sternly and tried to wrench it from his grip. He must had squeezed harder because she yelled, "OW!"

I stepped forward, ready to beat his head into a locker when he said, "Why. Not." His voice was basically seething. "Your stupid boyfriend doesn't give a shit about you."

"Like you do!" her voice rose dramatically. She's making me so proud. "Eli's not my boyfriend, either. So just leave me alone! He at least cares some about me." That last part was said so quietly I could barely hear it, but I managed. She didn't think that I cared that much about her? Is that what's wrong with her? Why she's so upset?

Fitz was about to respond, but I stepped forward. "What are you doing to her?" My voice was darker than usual, more menacing. They both froze where they were standing and turned to me. Clare with wide eyes, and Fitz with a sickening look on his face. He looked murderous. I wouldn't dare call him homicidal. I'd never compare us by calling him what I am. I smirked and stood face to face with Fitz until his grip on her wrist loosened and she pulled away.

"Trying to give this chick better options," a grin appeared on his face as he pointed to himself, "A real man like me, or," pointing to me, his eyes narrowed, "A girly pansy boy like you who probably burns in sunlight. Or sparkles. In fact, you probably sparkle."

A wicked smirk crossed my features. "Sparkles, huh?" I asked, stepping closer to him. "And you call me the pansy boy? When you seem to know Twilight so well. Since when can apes read actual books, instead of picture books?" My smirk never faltered even as he grabbed me by the collar of my blazer and lifted me to eye level. I never paid attention to how tall he was until I was pulled almost a foot off the ground. Jesus.

"Do you know how to shut up, fairy?"

I chuckled, "Name calling. Nice." He answered by snarling in my face. "Bad breath, too," I feigned choking. Clare was trembling beside us, I could see from the corner of my eye. I needed this to end, soon. I hate worrying her. I hate making her sad. "Why don't you put me down and call it a day, gorilla?"

He shook me once, twice, then slammed my back against the locker and dropped me, the smirk never once leaving my face as I slid to the ground.

Clare helped me up. "You idiot!" she screamed, smacking my shoulder. "He could have really hurt you!"

I cringed from her hit like it really hurt. She hits like a girl, to be honest. "Like you are now?" I joked, my smirk evaporating into a smile. She hit me again, which caused me to laugh, "You hit like a girl."

Completely ignoring my statement she sighed, "Eli." I turned to her, grabbing her wrist softly - the one that Fitz manhandled - and rubbed it gently, making a questioning noise. After a few moments she finally said, "Thank you."

I smiled, a real smile, and laced my fingers with hers, walking her to class. It felt nice, actually, to be able to hold her hand and walk side by side with her, instead of dragging her with me by her wrist. I'm not entirely sure I believe in God - never really have - but right now, I can't help but thank him for granting me this moment with Clare.

And suddenly I realized, her hand fit better entwined in mine than her wrist did.

Reviews are super-lovely.