Disclaimer: Okay, I don't own anything, not Degrassi, not the song, nothing. And this is my first Degrassi fic ever, so it probably sucks majorly. But I was inspired, I guess.

Modern Day Romeo and Juliet

We were both young

when I first saw you

I closed my eyes

and the flashback starts

I watched as the hearse came to a stop after crushing my glasses. The door opened, loud screaming music blasting from it. A boy in all black stepped out of the car and picked up the crushed glasses, looking at them.

"I think they're dead," he said, handing them to me, looking at me. His green eyes were stunningly beautiful.

"It's okay," I managed. "I uh, got laser eye surgery." He looked at me, right into my eyes. I fought the urge to laugh nervously.

"You have pretty eyes," he said. I smiled and looked at the ground. I didn't even know this boy and he noticed my eyes before anyone else really had. I bit my lip and glanced at him.

"So, I'll, uh, see you around," I said, trying, and failing, to not make it sound like a question. The boy smirked at me, making him even more attractive.

"I guess you will," he said, turning back to get in his hearse, driving off. I looked at Alli, who raised an eyebrow.

"You totally want him," she said. I rolled my eyes and looked at the broken glasses in my hand. As we walked towards the school, I tossed them in a trash can. I wasn't about to hide behind stupid glasses anymore. That Clare was gone.

Eli Goldsworthy. My new english partner. The boy who totally destroyed my glasses with his hearse. He seemed to enjoy making me blush, making me embarrassed. I had to admit, even though it was, you know, embarrassing, I kinda enjoyed it too. I looked at him.

"It's your turn," I said, crossing my arms. Eli stood, smirking at me.

"Yeah, it's not really my style," he said, backing away. My jaw dropped. I couldn't believe him.

"You have to!" I exclaimed. He backed up and leaned against a tree, still smirking at me. I went after him, hitting him lightly. "You have to!" I was laughing as I tried to hit him. Eli easily caught my wrist, stopping me from doing so. I realized how close we were. My thoughts immediately jumped back to KC. Back to when we fought jokingly. When we stood close to each other, just smiling at each other. I jumped back, sitting on the bench quickly. Eli held his hands up.

"Sorry," he muttered, sitting down on the bench also. I looked at him. He was different. Most of the boys I had ever been attracted to were so much different than Eli. They wore little black, if they ever did. They listened to whatever music was considered popular at the time. They had normal cars, if they had a car at all. "So, are you freaked out by me?" Eli turned to look at me. I looked quickly at the ground.

"No. Why would I be?" I asked, glancing at him through my bangs. Eli smirked and shrugged.

"Because most people are," he replied, turning to look at me.

I'm standing there

on a balcony in summer air

See the lights,

see the party, the ball gowns

I met his gaze this time. I didn't understand why people would be so quick to judge, though I knew most were. I had even been that way. I was trying my best to change that.

"I'm not scared of you," I muttered, looking away. "And most people are stupid." Eli laughed at this, looking at the ground. I sighed and stood up, picking up my things, throwing my bag over my shoulder. "We should probably get back to school."

See you make your way

through the crowd

and say hello

I sighed as I watch Alli dance with one of the new boys from school. I knew he was a football player, but that was about it. I didn't even know his name. I placed my head in my hands and sighed again. Something caught my eye. I looked in the direction of the movement to see Eli weaving through people, coming towards me. He sat down across from me.

"Hey," he said, a smirk on his lips. I smiled at him.

"Hi," I said. "Since when do you come to Above the Dot?"

"Since I was bored," Eli replied, folding his hands in front of him on the table. "And since a little birdie told me that you had been sitting here alone for a while now."

"A little birdie?" I asked, trying not to laugh. "So Adam texted you, then?" Eli smirked and shrugged, having no intentions of telling me.

"So where's your ever-present friend?" he asked, looking around for Alli. I sighed and gestured towards the dance floor.

"Off dancing with some guy she's taken a liking to," I replied. I saw Jenna and KC talking and laughing, glancing at me every now and then. I gritted my teeth. They irritated me. Eli followed my gaze.

"I don't suppose they're friends?"

"No, they're not," I said, looking away from the pair. "She used to be my friend. And he was my boyfriend. But then she stole him from me. They're so annoying." Eli smirked at me once more. "What are you thinking?" I asked, seeing the twinkle in his eyes.

"Well, if they want to stare, why not give them a show?" he asked. I grinned and leaned forward a little.

"What do you have in mind?" I asked. Eli leaned even closer, so his lips were next to my ear.

"Why not make them jealous?" he whispered. I turned my head to look at him. "It'll be pretty easy. Dance a little, make it seem as if you are having the time of your life tonight. Maybe a little subtle touching. It'll driving them both insane with jealousy." I grinned and stood, pulling Eli out onto the dance floor with me.

For once in my life, I was happy that both Darcy and Alli had taught me to dance. I moved to the music, actually enjoying myself. Eli's hands were gently placed on my hips as he moved with me. Every now and then, he'd pull me a little closer, causing both Jenna and KC to glare at us. Eli leaned down to my ear.

"I think we have begun to piss them off," he said. I smiled up at him and nodded. I turned so my back was to him, moving my hips to the music. I saw Alli, and her boy, coming over to us. She was grinning at me.

"I've never seen you dance when we come here," she said loud enough for me to hear. Eli's hands were on my waist again, pulling me closer to him, so my back was against his chest. Alli raised an eyebrow. I shrugged and gestured towards Jenna and KC.

"They were talking about me," I said. "So we decided to give them something to look at. And it seems to be making them angry." Alli laughed and turned to the boy.

"Oh, I almost forgot," she said. "Clare, this is Drew. Drew, this is Clare and... Eli, right?"

"Yeah," Eli said from behind me, resting his chin on my shoulder. "I think we've kind of met once. Adam's your stepbrother, right?" Drew nodded.

"Yeah," he said. "He's always talking about some of the things you two do. I'm pretty glad he's found a few friends here." I smiled at Alli. She looked at me, then up at Drew.

"I have to go to the bathroom," she said. Then she looked at me. "Join me?" I smiled and nodded.

"Sure," I said. I turned to look up at Eli. "I'll be right back." He leaned down to my ear again.

"Don't be gone too long," he said quietly. "I might get bored and find someone else to make people jealous with." I smiled at him and walked to the bathroom with Alli. Once the door closed, she turned to me.

"You two are so into each other!" she exclaimed. I smiled and bit my lip.

"Eli doesn't like me like that," I said. "KC and Jenna just irritate him. That's all. He doesn't like that they upset me."

"Which means he likes you!" I looked at my best friend, trying to decide if she was right about this.

Little did I know

That you were Romeo

And you were throwing pebbles

The door opened before I could say anything else and Jenna walked in. She stood in front of a mirror and began to reapply her lip gloss. She looked at me through the mirror.

"So are you and Satan having fun?" she asked. I crossed my arms and looked at her.

"Are you and KC having fun mocking me?" I asked. "Because really, it just makes you both look that much more pathetic." Jenna turned to face me.

"You think we're pathetic?" she snapped. "You're practically humping a freak that drives a hearse!"

"You don't know anything about Eli," I retorted. "And at least he has is own personality, rather than being a clone like you!" Jenna just looked at me for a long moment before crossing her arms.

"You're just jealous that KC left you for me. And we're in a strong, steady relationship, while you have the grim reaper and his hearse." I snorted and laughed at this.

"In case you haven't noticed, I'm over KC," I said. "I don't care what you think, and I don't care what you two do. I'm happy now that he's gone. And Eli has more personality than both of you put together." I made for the door, Alli right behind me.

"You're not fooling anyone, Clarebear," Jenna said nastily. "You're still upset over KC, and it's really sad, honestly." I turned to face her, smirking.

"I'm not that one that has to apply lip gloss every ten minutes like a hooker," I retorted, opening the door. "Now, that's sad." Alli and I left the bathroom laughing. Drew and Eli were sitting in the booth that Eli and I had earlier occupied. We sat down with them. Eli looked from me, to Alli, and back.

"What did you two do?" he asked. Drew smiled curiously and raised an eyebrow. Alli and I smiled at each other. I turned to look at Eli.

"We just happened to have a little chat with Jenna," I replied innocently. Alli nodded and laughed.

"Was this chat friendly?" Drew asked, looking at both of us. I just shrugged, as did Alli.

"I suppose it could have been a little nicer," Alli said slowly.

"But it could have been a lot worse," I said. Eli laughed and draped his arm over my shoulders. I smiled at him. Alli kicked my leg. I gave her a look, telling her to stay out of it.

"Wanna go dance some more?" Eli asked. I nodded and stood with a smile. He took my hand and began to lead me to the dance floor. We didn't get more than two steps away from the table when KC blocked our way. He glared at me.

"What did you do to Jenna?" he asked angrily. I just looked up at him.

"I didn't do anything to her," I said. "She engaged in conversation. If she can't take it, she shouldn't dish it out." KC stepped forward. Eli stepped protectively in front of me. "Just go away, KC. Neither of you have any business talking to me anymore."

"I do when you make my girlfriend cry," he snapped. I glared at him.

"Maybe she should reconsider being a bitch next time," I snapped back. KC made to move towards me again, but Eli shoved him back a few steps. KC just looked at him, shocked. Alli and Drew were standing now.

"Just walk away, KC," Drew said. "You and Jenna started the whole thing by mocking Clare. And I'm sure Jenna wasn't as innocent in the conversation as she told you she was."

"Why are you siding with them?" KC asked.

"Because you're being an idiot. Go back over to Jenna. This is done." KC glared at me and Eli again before walking away. Alli pulled Drew back into the booth, while Eli and I continued to the dance floor. A slow song came on as soon as we stepped out. Eli drew me closer, wrapping his arms around my waist. I placed my arms around his neck, resting my head on his chest. He sighed softly in my ear.

"This is my fault," he said. I picked my head up to look at him.

"No it isn't," I said. "How could it possibly be your fault?"

"Because I talked you into trying to make them jealous." I rolled my eyes and smiled at him.

"It's not like you really had to twist my arm," I said. "Jenna needs to be put in her place. And if she's can't take what she gets, then she shouldn't get into it at all. I am not going to let her ruin this year for me." Eli smiled at me. Not a smirk, an actual smile.

"You're amazing, Clare," he said. I looked down, embarrassed. I rested my head against his chest again. He rested his chin gently on my head, rubbing my back as we danced. Butterflies were knotting up my stomach, making me feeling sick and lightheaded, but happy at the same time. The song ended and we danced for a while longer. I eventually got hot, wanting to get out of the crowded room. Eli smirked at me.

"Want to go for a walk?" he asked. I nodded and pulled him, by the hand, towards Alli and Drew. Alli smiled at me knowingly when we walked over.

"We're going to go for a walk," I said. "It's too hot in here." Alli nodded and gestured towards the door.

"Go," she urged. "Enjoy your youth. Get some air." I smiled at her and said goodbye before Eli and I left the club. We walked aimlessly for a while, talking about nothing in particular. I hadn't realized how cold it actually was when Alli and I had left her house that night. I hadn't brought a jacket, and it was starting to get cold. I wrapped my arms around myself and shivered as we neared the park. Eli looked at me.

"Getting cold?" he asked. I looked at him and nodded.

"I'll be fine," I lied, trying not to shiver. I looked forward and kept walking. Next thing I knew, there was a jacket draped over mt shoulders. I looked at Eli. His black tee shirt was clinging to his taunt body, making him look amazing. "Now you're going to get cold."

"I'll be fine," he said. "I generate more body heat than you do." I made to give the jacket back to him. "You try it, and I'll be forced to take extreme measures." I laughed and pushed my arms through the sleeves. Eli's delicious smell surrounded me as I did so, intoxicating me instantly. I sat down on a swing and sighed, looking up at the stars. Eli began to push me gently. I smiled and sighed. "You sigh a lot."

"You smirk a lot," I replied. I looked at him over my shoulder at him. He shrugged and continued to push me softly.

"But sighing is a sign of unhappiness," Eli said quietly. I thought about this with a frown. Was I unhappy? Granted, I wasn't a ray of sunshine, but was I really unhappy? Of course I was. I finally trusted a boy only to have him break my heart for someone I had once thought of as a friend. My parents were in the middle of a nasty split up. Of course I was unhappy.

"Of course I am," I muttered without realizing it.

"Of course you are what?"

"Unhappy," I stated. I didn't like the verdict. I enjoyed a lot of things, so how could I be so unhappy?

"And why are you unhappy?" Eli asked. I looked up at him, before looking at the stars again.

"I was betrayed by two people I trusted. The first boy I ever allowed in broke my heart. My parents are getting a divorce. I feel alone." The swing stopped moving, as Eli had caught it and was holding it. I turned to look at him. He met my eyes instantly.

"Those two weren't worth your time," he said fiercely. "And as far as your parents' divorce goes, that has nothing to do with you. I'm pretty sure that you're the model child, Clare. And you aren't alone. Alli cares about you. And I care about you. We're here for you. I'm here for you. Whenever you need me." I smiled softly at him. Eli leaned towards me. I closed my eyes and waited. Then my cell phone rang. I sighed and answered it.


"Clare, where are you?" my father snapped. I looked at Eli. Time, I mouthed.

"Almost nine thirty," he said quietly.

"I'm at the park with a friend," I said. "My curfew isn't until ten. I still have half an hour...?"

"You're supposed to be at that club with Alli." I was shocked. They preferred me to possibly be all over a bunch of guys than alone with someone I tursted completely.

"I'm with Eli," I said. "My english partner. The club got too hot and crowded. We walked to the park-"

"You walked?"

"Alli and I would have been walking home, just the two of us," I argued. "At least I'm with someone who could protect me if so needed." I knew I shouldn't have talked back. My dad was angry before I even answered the phone. Eli looked at me, concerned.

"I want you home. Now."

"Fine," I said, hanging up. I stood. "I have to go home. I think they were fighting."

"At least you weren't there," Eli said, wrapping an arm around my shoulders as we walked towards my house. I would never be happy, or so it seemed. "I'm sorry, Clare. This is my fault."

"No it's not," I said. "I wanted to-"

"I asked you if you wanted to leave," Eli said, cutting me off. "I doubt you would have gotten the idea without me doing that."

"I didn't want to be there, Eli," I said softly. "I wanted to get away from all the people. It was too crowded and hot. This is not your fault." We reached my house.

"I'll see you later," he said, leaning towards me. The door opened with a thump. I turned to see my dad glaring at us.

"Clare, get to your room," he demanded. I looked at Eli, who nodded.

"Go," he said. I made my way up the stairs into the house. My dad walked down them, towards Eli. I stood on the staircase, watching.

And my daddy said stay away from Juliet

And I was crying on the staircase

begging you please don't go

and I said

"Who do you think you are, taking my daughter somewhere in the middle of the night?" Eli didn't say anything. I felt the tears welling in my eyes.

"Dad!" I cried. "Eli didn't force me to do anything! I wanted to leave!"

"Clare," Eli said, looking at me. "It's fine."

"I don't want you anywhere near my daughter," dad snapped. Eli looked at me. I shook my head, tears falling from my eyes. Eli looked back at my dad, with a small nod.

"Fine," he said. "But none of this was her fault. I suggested leaving. She shouldn't be punished for it."

"Go," my dad said. "Leave." Eli looked at me once more before turning to leave. I cried even harder.

"Eli!" I cried. "Don't go!" He gave me a soft smile before continuing on his way. My dad came back into the house, slamming the door. "What did I do?"

"Go to your room." It was the only reply I got. I stomped my foot.

"Eli is a perfect gentleman compared to half the boys at that school!" I shouted. "I won't stop seeing him! You can't stop me." My father turned to me, anger in his eyes.

"You will," he said, vemon dripping from his every word. "You're grounded for the foreseeable future." With that said, he walked away, out of the house. I knew after that that my mom wasn't home. I ran up to my room, crying harder than before. I dialed Alli's number, hoping she would pick up.

"Clare, I'm a little busy right now," she said, kind of out of breath.

"Alli," I said, still crying. This got her attention. "Eli left. My dad... He... I need someone... I c-can't..."

"Clare, calm down," she said. "I'll be there soon." Alli hung up and I collapsed on my bed. Soon I heard a car pulling up to the house, and two doors closing. Then I heard Alli coming in the front door, running right up the stairs. The door then closed, signaling that either Drew or Sav had brought her. My guess was Drew. Alli came into my room, coming right over to my bed, hugging me.

"Alli, I c-can't... I d-don't kn-know what to d-do," I stammered, crying on her shoulder. She rubbed my back.

"Shh, it's okay," she said. "Just tell me what happened." I tried to calm down enough to talk. When I did, I pulled back and looked at her. I noticed Drew leaning against the doorframe, but I didn't care.

"Eli and I went to the park. And we were sitting there talking, and he was pushing me on the swing. And apparently, I was sighing a lot. And he said it was a sign of unhappiness. And I realized that I am unhappy. I'm unhappy all the time. Unless I'm with you or Eli. And I said I feel alone. And he said that you both care about me, and you're here for me. But then he leaned in to kiss me, and my dad called and started yelling at me. He said I had to be home. And when we got here, he started yelling at Eli, telling him to stay away from me. And Eli said he would. I don't know what to think or do, Alli. I'm so confused and mad and hurt."

"Eli was prob'ly thinking that your dad will go easier on you if he agreed to stay away from you," Alli said. "Just give it a bit of time. You'll prob'ly see him tomorrow when we go to the Dot or something."

"I'm grounded until told otherwise," I said. Alli raised an eyebrow. "I yelled at him. I mean, he had no right to judge Eli like that." Alli gave me a small smile. Drew cleared his throat from my doorway. We both looked at him.

"If it'll help, I'll do what I can to help you see him to talk this out," he said. Alli turned to me with a nod and a smile.

"You know I'm in," she said.

Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone

I'll be waiting, all that's left to do is run

You'll be the prince and I'll be the princess

It's a love story baby, just say yes

"Thank you both," I said, smiling at them sadly. "But I don't think I'm up to doing anything else tonight." Alli and Drew both nodded. Drew walked downstairs without a word, waiting to take Alli home. Alli hugged me again.

"It'll be okay," she said. "Everything will turn out. Eli isn't like KC." I nodded and sighed.

"I know," I muttered. "He's great. But I don't know if he'll even talk to me now or want to see me." Alli stood up.

"We'll figure everything out tomorrow," she said. "For now, just get some sleep. I'll be over in the morning." Alli left on that note. I laid down on my bed. That's when I realized that I still had Eli's jacket. I pulled it closer around me, taking in his scent. I fell asleep, dreaming of Eli.

"Clare? Honey, wake up," my mom said, sitting on the edge of my bed. I rolled over and looked at her.

"Morning," I mumbled sleepily. I noticed the frown on her face. "What's wrong?"

"What happened last night?" she asked. "I thought you were staying at Alli's after you went to Above the Dot?" I sat up and shrugged.

"Dad called and told me that I had to come home," I explained quietly. "So, I did."

"You slept here alone last night?" she asked, worry coloring her tone. I nodded.

"I would have went to Alli's after she came over to check on me, but dad said that I'm grounded until further notice." Mom sighed deeply. I knew this upset her. But she didn't even know the half of it. "We got into an arguement when I got here. He grounded me and left."

"What were you fighting about?" she asked. I sighed and looked down. "Clare?"

"I left the club because it was hot and crowded," I explained, trying to calm her fears before they rose. "I was with a friend from school. We just walked to the park. We were talking while he pushed me on the swings. But he's always been a perfect gentleman with me, mom. He would never hurt me in any way. I trust him." My mom nodded slowly. She looked at my face, studying me.

"I'd like to meet him if you're going to be spending time with him alone," she said. I nodded and bite my lip. "What?"

"He's... a little different," I said, smiling at her. She smiled and nodded, standing up.

"I suppose that's a good thing," she said, walking to my door. She turned back to me once she reached it. "Is it the boy you were paired with for english?" I smiled and nodded.

"His name's Eli," I said. My mom nodded, stepping out of my room.

"I'd still like to meet him." I got up and got a quick shower. When I entered my room, wrapped in a towel, I found Alli, Drew, and Adam sitting on my bed. I jumped and screamed in surprise. Alli looked up and gave me an apologetic look. Drew and Adam stood, leaving my room. Alli closed the door.

"Sorry," she said. "I forgot that you get dressed in here rather than in the bathroom." I laughed and shrugged.

"It's fine," I said. "Just help me pick out an outfit." Alli smiled and ran to my closet. I got a bra and panty set out and sat them on my bed. Alli threw a pair of light blue jeans to me before turning back to my closet to find a top. I waited patiently.

"Have you talked to Eli today?" she asked, looking through my clothes.

"No, but I talked to my mom about what happened last night," I said, I pulled the clothes on while Alli was looking in my closet. "I told her about him. And she said she wants to meet him." Alli threw a dark green undershirt to me. I pulled it over my head and walked over to the closet. I pulled out a tight-fitting grey, longsleeved shirt. "How about this?" Alli nodded with a look of approval.

"You're getting better at this," she said. I pulled the shirt on as Alli went back out to get Drew and Adam. They came in and Adam looked at me.

"Eli is at the Dot right now," he said. "He has no clue that I'm with you right now, but he said he can't stop thinking about you." I smiled and looked at the floor.

"So we should totally go to the Dot," Alli said. I looked at her with a frown.

"I'm grounded, remember?" I said sadly. Drew and Adam smiled at each other before Drew looked at me.

"So we help you sneak out," he said. "I'm sure we can come up with a plan." I smiled and thought about it. I wasn't sure if my dad was even home yet. I also wasn't sure if my mom agreed to me being grounded. And she did want to meet Eli... I grinned at the three.

"Let's do it," I said. I heard the door slam closed. This meant that either one of my parents left angrily, or my dad was home, and still angry. I paniced and began pulling out books and papers. Alli caught on and sat down on my bed, pretending to be doing homework. Drew and Adam took to the floor and did the same as we heard footsteps coming up the stairs. I sat at my desk, pretending to be doing science questions. My door opened and my dad stepped into the room.

"I thought I said that you are grounded," he said. Alli looked up.

"We were all studying, Mr. Edwards," she said sweetly. "We normally all get together at the Dot to study, but since Clare is grounded, we came to her instead." Drew nodded.

"We didn't want to get her in trouble," he said. Adam sat there and pretended to read whatever book he had grabbed off my shelf. My dad said nothing as he left the room, closing the door. I sighed with relief.

"Maybe you guys should go," I said quietly. Alli frowned, knowing that I was probably right. Adam and Drew both looked at me.

"But we haven't come up with a plan yet," Adam said. "You and Eli are both my friends, and you're both upset."

"Shh!" I hushed him. "If my dad hears us talking about this, I'll be locked in my room for life." Adam nodded and moved closer to my desk.

"We need to fix this," he whispered. "And I'm not giving up until we do." Drew nodded in agreement. Alli smiled at me.

"I'm still in if you are," she said softly. I smiled and nodded, looking at Adam.

"Fine," I said quietly. "But we have to be quiet about this, and quick. He isn't going to let the studying go on for very long."

So I sneak out to the garden to see you

we keep quiet cause we're dead if the knew

So close your eyes

Escape this town for a little while

Sure enough, just as we had finished our plan, someone could be heard coming up the stairs. We all grabbed for books and pencils. My mom opened the door, stepping into my room, closing the door behind her.

"What's up, mom?" I asked innocently enough. She frowned, obviously upset about something.

"Your father wants these three out of the house," she said. "I agrued that they're your friends and you did nothing that needed to be punished. But he disagrees with that."

"So you don't think Clare should be grounded either?" Alli asked hopefully. My mom shook her head.

"I think she should be allowed to go with you to the Dot under the pretense of studying," she said with a knowing smile. "But he won't allow her to leave with you."

"What if she left with you?" Adam asked. My eyes widened slightly. My mom looked slightly confused, but before she could ask, Adam turned to me. "It's the perfect missing piece to our plan. He can't stop your own mother from taking you out of the house!" I looked at my mom, hoping she wouldn't be mad. She smiled and sat on my bed with Alli.

"Just what plan would this be?" she asked. Alli leaned forward with a smile.

"The plan we just came up with to fix things between Clare and Eli," she said. Once we explained the entire plan to my mom, she agreed to help. She said that she needed to go shopping anyhow. And this would give her a chance to meet Eli. Alli, Drew, and Adam left to get to the Dot before Eli left. I walked downstairs with my mom. My dad stopped us at the door.

"Where do you think you're going?" he asked. My mom crossed her arms.

"I'm taking Clare out with me," she said. "She can't be kept in the house all the time." My parents agrued about whether or not I was allowed to go with my mom, while I checked my phone, since it had vibrated. It was a text from Alli.

Eli's here. Adam got him to stay. Hurry before he catches on. My dad stormed into the kitchen, while my mom turned to smile at me.

"Let's go before he thinks of something to say," she whispered. We left the house quickly. She drove into town, parking close to the Dot. "Okay, we will go over so I can meet this boy. Then I will leave to do my shopping." I smiled at her.

"Thanks mom," I said. "This is really cool of you."

"He had no reason to ground you," she said, climbing out of the car. I followed, walking with her towards the Dot. "Nor did he have a reason to farbade you from seeing Eli." We entered the cafe and I looked around for Eli. He was sitting in a booth with Adam, Drew, and Alli. I had his jacket in my hand, planning to return it, just in case he actually planned to follow my father's orders. I led my mom over to the booth. Eli looked up when I reached them.

"Clare," he said softly. "Uh, hey..." I smiled and looked at my mom.

"Mom, this is Eli. Eli, this is my mom," I said. I gave Alli an anxious look while my mom questioned Eli. He must have passed the test because she smiled at me.

"I'll call you when it's time for you to head home," she said, kissing my forehead before leaving. Eli made room for me to slide into the booth next to him. Adam soon left under the pretense of chores to do. Alli and Drew left saying they had plans. I looked at the table.

"I'm sorry about last night," I said quietly. "My dad is... I can't even explain it." Eli nodded, seeming to understand.

"It's fine, Clare," he said. "I'm just sorry that this is so hard for you. I'm sorry it's going to be hard." I looked at him.

"What d'you mean?" I asked. Eli looked at the table with a sigh.

"I just mean that if it will make things easier, then we should listen to him for the time being," he said. I shook my head, tears welling in my eyes. "I don't want him to be hard on you because of me. There's no point in it if it can be avoided."

Cause you were Romeo, I was a scarlet letter

and my daddy said stay away from Juliet

But you were everything to me

I was begging you please don't go, and I said

"Eli, he can't do anything," I said. "My mom, she's on my side about all of this. We can make this work." Eli shook his head as tears began to well in my eyes. I felt like my world was collapsing.

"I can't take the chance of him doing something outragous," he said, standing up, looking at me sadly. "I'm sorry, Clare, but I'm not going to be the reason he does something to either you or your mom. I promise, things will be back to normal once this is all over. I just want you to be safe for now." He kissed my forehead, walking out of the Dot. His jacket was still in the booth beside me. I placed my head on the table and cried.

I'm not really sure how long I sat there and cried. Holly J and Fiona had come in. They sat close to me, looking at me every now and then. Finally, they moved to sit in the booth with me. Holly J looked at me, concern clear on her face.

"Little Edwards?" she asked. "Are you okay?" I shook my head to the best of my abilities. "Do you want to talk about it?" I picked my head up and looked at the pair.

"Why are you being nice to me?" I asked. "I mean, you were never nice to me before..." Holly J looked at the table and smiled softly.

"I guess, I've just changed," she said. "And since you started writing, I've come to admire you, Clare. But it worries me to see you this upset." Fiona nodded, looking concerned also. I shook my head.

"My parents are getting a divorce," I said. "And my dad is being horrible. He told me that I couldn't see Eli at all."

"The new guy, that drives a hearse?" Holly J asked, seeming confused. I laughed a little and nodded. "Okay, so you're upset about that?" I shrugged and nodded.

"There's something else, isn't there?" Fiona asked. I nodded and looked at the table.

"Eli won't really talk to me now. He said he doesn't want my dad to get angry with me because of him," I said. "And I'm happy he cares that much, but I'd rather have to sneak out to see him than not see him at all." Holly J nodded.

"Everything will get better," she said. "I've seen you two together. The way he looks at you... He won't be able to stay away for long. Okay?" I smiled and nodded, wiping my face. Sav sat down with us. He smiled at the other two before looking at me.

"Whoa, you okay?" he asked. I shrugged and nodded. "C'mon. I'll give you a ride home." Holly J smiled at him before she grabbed my hand. I looked at her for a moment, confused. She smiled and wrote her's and Fiona's numbers on it.

"If you ever want to talk," Fiona said. "We're here." I smiled and nodded.

"Thanks," I said quietly, following Sav out to his car. The ride to my house was silent. I didn't feel like talking, and Sav didn't know what to say. I nodded my thanks as I got out of the car to go into the house.

Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone

I'll be waiting, all that's left to do is run

you'll be the prince and I'll be the princess

it's a love story, baby just say yes

I walked up the stairs, waving to Sav so he would drive away. I opened the door, expecting my dad to start yelling. The house was quiet. I wandered through, looking for either of my parents. A lot of my dad's stuff was missing. He had finally moved out. I sat down on the couch in our living room. I was alone in the house. I sighed and texted my mom, saying I was home already and that dad had left. She replied by saying that she had run into some friends and was going out with them that night, so she wouldn't be back home.

I climbed the stairs and went into my room. I laid on my bed and looked at the ceiling. I wished that Darcy were here. She would have known what to do in this situation. I sighed and realized that I didn't really have anyone to talk to at the moment. So I texted Alli, asking if she was going to Above the Dot tonight. She said yeah, and I was welcomed to join her. I smiled and texted Fiona and Holly J, asking them if they were up a little shopping. Holly J answered for both of them.

Still at the Dot. Meet us here. I smiled and texted my mom, telling her I would be out with Alli and some friends. I grabbed my purse and the money I had been saving and ran out the door. I called Alli.

"What's up, Clare?" she asked.

"I am on my way to meet Holly J and Fiona so they can help me pick out some new clothes," I said. Alli and Holly J weren't really friends, but they didn't hate each other anymore. "They found me crying at the Dot and tried to make things better."

"Oh my God, what happened?" Alli asked quickly. "You two seemed happy when we left!"

"Whoa, what happened after we left?" I heard Drew ask in the background.

"Eli said he didn't want to make my home life worse, so he's pretty much going to be avoiding me until the divorce is finalized."

"Wait, you're walking to the Dot from your house, to go shopping? And you're coming to Above the Dot with us tonight? What about your dad?"

"He wasn't there when I got home," I said. "By the way, thank Sav for me. He drove me home from the Dot earlier. But anyhow, a lot of his stuff was gone, so I'm guessing he finally moved out. And my mom isn't coming home tonight, so I'm free to do as I please, I guess."

"Okay, we are so getting ready together at your house," Alli said. I could hear the smile in her voice.

"Okay, so I will call you once I'm done shopping," I laughed. "Have fun with Drew." I hung up and made my way into the Dot. Fiona and Holly J were talking to Adam. I knew that Adam was actually a girl, but it wasn't my place to say anything on the matter. I smiled as I sat down with them.

"So you want to go shopping?" Holly J asked with a smile. I nodded and shrugged.

"I want to get some new clothes, but I'm not the best with matching and fashion and all of that," I admitted. Adam smiled at me.

"Then you have come to the right people," Fiona said. "We should get going. I'm sure you have plans tonight, since you want to go shopping so quickly." I grinned and nodded, standing up. We all walked out together and began to shop. Fiona insisted on paying at a few stores. I argued, but Holly J and Adam told me it was futile. I got an entirely new wardrobe and two new friends. I texted Alli so she knew I was on my way home.

Romeo save me, they try to tell me how to feel

This love it difficult but it's real

Don't be afraid, we'll make it out of this mess

It's a love story, baby just say yes

It was still pretty early when I got home. I took my things up to my room and got on my computer. Eli was online. I sighed and thought about IMing him, but decided not to. My cell phone went off. Adam was texting me.

Wear something hot tonight. I'll try to get Eli to Above the Dot. If you want? I smiled and texted back that I would do my best, and thanking him for doing it. I got off the computer and began putting my clothes away.

Alli would be proud. I had picked out a lot of what we had gotten this time. Holly J had even commented that I had good taste. She said I just needed to be more confident about myself, because I was pretty and smart. It made me happy to think that even if I did lose Eli that I would have more that just Alli.

I hoped that I wouldn't lose Eli. He was great. I honestly felt... like I was in love with him. And I didn't even really know what love was. But I realized that I was in love with him. I just hoped it wasn't only one way.

Even if it was for the time being, I wasn't giving up. I would have rather been in love and only have Eli as a friend than not have him in my life at all. It would be difficult, but I would get through it. Even just a friendship was better than nothing. I heard knocking on the door. I ran downstairs and opened the door. Alli, Adam, and Drew stood there.

"Hope you are ready," Alli said. Adam looked kinda scared. I raised an eyebrow.

"What are you planning?" I asked. Alli just smirked at me. "Tell me now or I'm not leaving my room for a month." She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms.

"I got you new makeup to help with the whole new look," she said. "I'm going to show you how to apply it properly." Adam gave me a weak smile. Drew looked a bit uncomfortable.

"If you want to, Drew, you can watch TV," I said. I directed him to the living room where the television was. He gave me a grateful smile, moving into the living room while Alli, Adam, and I went upstairs.

By the time we were done, I was in a denim skirt that stopped about halfway to my knees, leggings, a black tank top, and a red longsleeved see-through shirt over top of it. Adam looked me over for a moment before finding a studded belt and putting it loosely around my waist. Alli nodded, looking at me.

"That is a nice touch," she said. Adam nodded and smiled shyly. I turned to the mirror and looked at myself. Alli began to show me the proper way to apply my makeup. Once she and Adam got ready, we went back downstairs. Drew was still watching TV. He looked up at us.

"It took three hours for you guys to get ready?" he asked. Alli nodded with a smile.

"One hour for each of us," she said sweetly. "Now let's go."

I got tired of waiting

Wondering if you were ever coming around

My faith in you was fading

When I met you on the outskirts of town and I said

I sat in the booth with Adam. Eli said he might drop by. That had been over an hour ago. We were both beginning to wonder if he was going to show up. I sighed and stood up, stretching. I looked at Adam.

"Let's go dance or something," I said. Adam stood and walked with me.

"What if he shows up, though?" he asked me quietly. I shrugged and turned to him.

"I don't think he's going to show," I said. We were dancing for a while before I decided that Eli wasn't coming. I kept dancing with Adam until Fiona and Holly J walked in. They joined us on the dance floor. Alli joined us when Drew went to spend time with his boys. I began fanning myself. "I need water. Anyone else want?" The other four nodded.

"I'll come with you," Holly J said over the music. We made it over to the little island with snacks and drinks. "A lot of guys are checking you out, you know." I shrugged, looking around.

"Doesn't really matter," I said. Holly J nodded.

"Because none of them are the right guy," she said. "I know the feeling. I can't really get the guy I like to really look at me. And I'm with him a lot." I looked at Holly J.

"You like Sav, don't you?" I asked with a smile.

"You tell anyone-"

"And you'll ruin me socially or whatever," I finished. She nodded and looked at Sav, who was talking to Peter at the register. "But at least he doesn't avoid you. Granted, he prob'ly doesn't know you like him. But he still doesn't avoid you." She looked at me.

"You're right," she said. "But Eli won't avoid you forever. I'm telling you, that boy has it bad. He'll be back around soon enough."

"I hope you're right," I said quietly. She smiled and wrapped an arm around my shoulders.

"Of course I am," she said. "I'm Holly freaking J Sinclair. I'm always right."

Holly J wasn't right that time. Eli avoided my at school, even in english class. We had begun working together via email because he was avoiding me. I was upset to say the least. Alli tried to cheer me up. She kept pointing out that I looked great and was getting attention from many guys. None of it mattered to me.

Adam and Alli were always with me. If one wasn't, the other was. My mom had taken to being away from the house a lot, so I was often alone there. Adam was usually there with me on school nights.

"You're going to Above the Dot with us tonight," Fiona said. "End of discussion." It was a friday, so I had no reason not to. I shrugged and sighed.

"I'll be there," I said. Adam smiled at me. He leaned closer to me.

"Eli has been watching you since he walked in," he whispered. I subtly glanced around the room, seeing Eli looking at me. I turned back to Adam with a sigh.

"I don't really think that means anything," I said sadly. Holly J shook her head at me.

"It definitely seems something," she said. "Because when you looked at him, his eyes lit up. But when you looked away, he frowned and sighed. And he happens to be walking over here right now." I felt nervous all of a sudden. Eli stood at the end of the table. He kept glancing at me as he tried to focus on Adam.

"You going to Above the Dot tonight?" he asked. Adam nodded with a small smile.

"Clare and I go every weekend together," he said. "It's pretty fun." Eli sighed and looked down. Holly J gently kicked me and gestured towards Eli. I looked up at him, with a smile.

"You're welcome to join us," I said. He looked at me. God, I had missed looking into his gorgeous green eyes.

"I wouldn't want to interrupt," he said, shaking his head. He made to walk away, but I stood and caught his hand. Eli turned to look at me, a small, curious smirk playing on his lips.

"It's no big deal, really," I said. "Alli and Drew interrupt all the time. Every now and then, KC and Jenna try to start trouble. But you are more than welcome to interrupt. I-if you want to." Eli gave me a small smile and gently squeezed my hand before dropping it.

"I'll think about it," he said, turning and walking away. I sat back down and bit my lip.

"I'm so lame," I sighed, laying my head on the table. Holly J laughed and shook her head.

"That was good," she said. "You totally caught him off guard there. That's a major plus."

Adam and I got ready at my house while we waited for Alli and Drew to pick us up to go to Above the Dot. We had gotten Adam some new clothes when we had went shopping. We looked like polar opposites. He was in a pair of baggy jeans, a baggy longsleeve shirt, and a beanie. I was in a black demin mini skirt, a red and black striped tank top, and lots of red and black rubber bracelets.

"Do you think he'll actually show up tonight?" I asked. Adam nodded and looked out the window.

"He seemed like he's interested in coming," he said. "And that was at lunch. But when I saw him after school, when I was waiting for you, he stopped to talk to me for a moment. I brought it up and he acted like he was planning on coming. I think he'll show up tonight." A car pulled up out front. "There's Drew and Alli."

"Yeah," I muttered. "We should go."

"Clare, he'll show. You'll dance and kiss and make up. If not, we'll beat him up until he gets some sense back in his head." I smiled and laughed.

"Thanks, Adam," I said as we walked down the stairs. He smiled and nodded. We made it to Above the Dot soon enough. Drew and Alli ran off to dance immediately. Adam and I grabbed a booth for us all and waited for either Holly J and Fiona or Eli to show up.

"Why do you think most of the football players are such jerks?" I looked at the group of football players he was looking at.

"I dunno," I said. "You should have seen the principal that used to be the football coach. He was a jerk. If you weren't a football player or a cheerleader, you had better be all for school spirit, or he hated you."

"Why do you seem to know so much about this?"

"Because I'm the reason he's no longer the principal," I said, wincing a bit at the memory. "He called me a bitch, and we showed the video to the entire school and the school board. It was intense."

"Sounds it." I smiled and stood, pulling Adam to the dance floor.

"Holly J and Fiona will find us when they get here," I said over the music. He nodded and began dancing with me. The other two girls showed up soon after. I got hot and decided to go outside for a bit of air.

Romeo save me, I've been feeling so alone

I keep waiting for you but you never come

Is this in my head? I don't know what to think

He kneals to the ground and pulled out a ring and said

I stood in the alley next to the Dot, trying to cool down. I didn't like having so many people looking at me, talking about me. I wrapped my arms around myself and shivered. Only seconds later, there was a warm jacket around my shoulders. I recognized the smell of it immediately.

"If you keep this up, I'm going to run out of jackets," Eli said in my ear. I turned to face him, pulling the jacket from my shoulders, holding it out to him.

"So take it back," I said bluntly. Eli looked shocked. "I'm not going to steal your jackets in hopes of you running out so you have to talk to me in order to get them back. If you don't want to be around me, that's fine. I'll get over it." I waited for him to take the jacket. He sighed and took it, throwing it back over my shoulders.

"It's not that I don't want to be around you, Clare," Eli said. "I don't want your dad taking his anger out on you because of me." I rolled my eyes.

"My dad left the day you started avoiding me." Eli looked at the ground for a long moment before looking up into my eyes.

"Check the left pocket," he said. I raised an eyebrow. "Just humor me, Clare." I sighed and reached into the left pocket. I felt a box. A velvet box. I gave him a questioning look before pulling the box out of the pocket.

"What's going on?" I asked. Eli smiled and stepped closer to me.

"Open it and I'll explain," he said softly. I looked at the box in my hands. I opened it and gasped at what lay inside. A beautiful heart-shaped locket with a small skull etched into, surrounded by swirling designs, on a simple silver chain sparkled up at me. My jaw dropped as I looked at the necklace. It was gorgeous, and perfect, and wonderful. I looked up at Eli.

"What is this?" I asked, tears welling in my eyes.

"This is an apology, and a question," he said. "First, I'm sorry for being such an idiot for so long. And second, will you be my girlfriend?" I nodded and laughed. Eli cupped my face in his hands and kissed me deeply. When he pulled back, he gently took the locket from me. He placed it around my neck. I kissed him again.

"I've felt so alone," I said, wrapping my arms around his neck. "All I had was Alli. And Adam. Then Fiona and Holly J. My mom's never really home. And I saw you so much, but it hurt to not be able to talk to you." Eli pulled back to look at me.

"I'm so sorry, Clare," he whispered. "I didn't mean to hurt you. I was trying to keep you from being hurt. And then I saw your mom today, after school. She said that you've seemed so lost lately, so tired and hurt. I knew it was my fault. And I asked her if she had any objections to us dating. She actually helped with the idea for the necklace. She said you always wanted a locket when you were younger.

"I'm never going to leave you again, Clare," Eli promised. "I'm yours. For as long as I live. I promise you that. I am absolutely, head over heels, insanely in love with you, Clare. I really am. I was just too stupid to realize it sooner. I understand if you can't say it yet-"

Marry me Juliet, you'll never have to be alone

I love you and that's all I really know

I talked to your dad, go pick out a white dress

It's a love story, baby just say yes

"Eli," I said, smiling. "You're rambling. And just so you know, I've known that I loved you since the night you walked away. I went shopping with Adam, Fiona, and Holly J, and when I got home, I was planning on going to Above the Dot. I was hoping you would show up, and I realized that I loved you. I knew from that night that if you didn't want anything but friendship, I would take that. Because I would rather be just a friend than not have you in my life." Eli kissed me again. I pulled back and took his hand, pulling him into the club.

Adam, Fiona, Holly J, and Alli were all sitting at the booth when we walked in. Jenna and KC were standing close to the door. I ignored them as I let go of Eli's hand long enough to pull his jacket off. It was still hot, what with all the people. Jenna smirked at me as Eli wrapped his arms around me from behind.

"Look KC, the Grim Reaper turned Clarebear into a satan worshipper," Jenna said mockingly. I looked over my shoulder at Eli, who raised an eyebrow. I looked back at Jenna. She was in a white shirt and light colored jeans. I saw the red slushy sitting on the table in front of her.

"Say what you want to, Jenna. At least I know who I am," I said. "And honestly, you always mock me when I'm happy. Are you really that jealous of me? You have KC. You have the power squad. What else do you want?"

"Other than you to stop acting like you're actually happy?" she asked. I laughed at this.

"Unlike you, I am happy. I have friends that actually like me. I have a boyfriend who loves me. And I trust him completely. What's not to be happy about?" I asked. Then I smirked. "Oh, and just so you know, white is meant to show innocence." I grabbed the slushy and threw it on her. "Red suits you much better." I walked away, Eli right behind me. Alli, Adam, Holly J, and Fiona all stood up, clapping and cheering me on. I grinning at Eli.

"Remind me not to make you mad ever again," he said, laughing. I smiled and laughed. When we got to the table, I grinned at Holly J.

"Was that confident enough for you?" I asked. She nodded and laughed. Alli looked at Eli and I, smiling brightly at me. Adam was looking at my locket. He leaned close to it, examining it. Then he looked at Eli.

"Only you would get a girl a locket with a skull on it," he said. Eli shrugged.

"She's wearing it, isn't she?" he asked. Holly J looked at me.

"That is pretty ironic, little Edwards," she said jokingly. We stood there talking for a while. A slow song came on and Eli pulled me towards the dance floor.

"Dance with me?" he asked. I wrapped my arms around his neck, resting my head against his chest. He placed one hand on my hip, and the other was rubbing my back gently. "So does this mean you'll accept the black roses on Valentine's day?" I smiled up at him.

"I think I can handle that," I said, resting my head against him again.

"I love you, Clare," Eli whispered in my ear. "And that's all I really know anymore. That's all I'm sure about."

Oh oh oh, oh oh oh

Cause we were both young when I first saw you