Summary: Mark Fitzgerald is many things, but a monster isn't one of them. (One-sided Flare.)

Disclaimer: Don't own Degrassi. Although some of the dialogue used is from the actual episode. 'Nuff said.

Author's Note: My second Degrassi fic. Don't even ask.

X

Monster
By: Lady Azura

X

((11:21 A.M))

"If I go with you… you'll leave Eli and Adam alone?"

"As long as they stay out of my face. Take it or leave it."

"… okay."

((4:56 P.M))

Okay. She'd said okay, after weighing her limited options (to either throw her freak boyfriend to the wolves, which she would never do, or to be his date to Vegas Night) she had agreed, but not without regret. If Mark Fitzgerald was a better person, he probably wouldn't have blackmailed Clare Edwards into being his date, or in the event that he still did that, he might've picked another time to take her out and try to get on her good side… but he just wasn't that kind of guy. Besides, blackmail took less effort, and could be quite fun - in fact, it usually was, and he would've normally been celebrating this victory if it weren't for the fact that he could still see her pained expression when she whispered, "… okay."

It was almost enough to make him feel sorry for her, and agree to leave her friends alone just so he wouldn't have to see it again. Almost. But he couldn't do that, especially not when he was anticipating seeing the look on Goldsworthy's face when he walked through the gymnasium doors with Clare on his arm. It was going to be priceless, and he wasn't going to waste such a perfect opportunity to one-up the little punk, especially not after getting him arrested and blaming him for the stink bomb incident. Besides, if he had gone easy on Clare, people might start to think he'd gone soft… and he couldn't have any of that. He had a reputation to protect, after all.

He took one last puff of his cigarette before tossing the butt onto the ground and emerging from behind the variety store that he often used his five-finger discount at. A smirk tugged at his lips. Almost six years, and he still hadn't been caught. Not once. Stuffing his hands into his pockets, he made the ten minute journey to the apartment complex just around the corner, fumbled with his keys when he entered the lobby and dragged his feet up six flights of stairs because the elevators were broken again. When he finally reached his destination, Fitz found his mom sitting at the kitchen table mulling over bills, as usual. Her boyfriend was nowhere to be seen, which probably meant that he was at the bar.

"Hey," he greeted, dropping his backpack to the floor.

His mom's head perked up, and he furrowed his brow a little. She looked worn out, like she hadn't slept in days. It wouldn't surprise him if that was the case.

"Mark, you're home early…" she sounded almost suspicious, "You haven't been suspended again, have you?"

Fitz rolled his eyes. "No, mom."

"Oh… that's good. Because I got a call from your Principal earlier, and -"

"There's nothing to worry about," Fitz assured her.

He decided to keep her in the dark about the whole stink bomb thing. She didn't have to know, and it would be a pain in the ass trying to explain everything.

"Okay, then. I believe you." She cocked her head to the side and gave him an expectant look. "So, what are you doing home so early? What's the special occasion? If it's money, you're outta luck for the next month or two. These bills aren't paying themselves, you know."

Fitz frowned. "What about Phil? What's he doing to help?"

His mother sighed and combed her fingers through her hair, purposely avoiding his accusing stare. "Not today, Mark."

"But -"

"Mark."

"MOM!"

"Just tell me what you want." She sighed again, exasperated.

Fitz clenched his fists but held his tongue. He wanted nothing more than to yell and punch something, but he wouldn't do that. Not now, anyway.

"I have a date tonight." He said after he'd calmed down.

There was a pause. For a few seconds, all his mother could do was stare in shock, before a wide grin spread across her face and she stood up to embrace him.

"A date? Oh, how exciting! Where to?"

"School dance." He mumbled.

"Oh, I'm so happy for you, Mark!" His mother gushed, "She must be really special if you're taking her to a school dance. What's her name? Will I be meeting her tonight?"

His head spun from the twenty questions. He was starting to regret telling her… he'd had a feeling she would react like this, all emotional and stuff. It was embarrassing; he didn't even want to think about what would've happened if his friends had been there to witness this display. He'd be a laughing stock, and they'd never let him live it down.

"So?" His mother prodded, finally letting go and taking a step back.

"Clare, and no. I'm meeting her at the dance." He said quickly.

Her face fell a bit, but then she smiled again.

"Well, okay then. Maybe next time. But I'm going to go out for a bit… I'll be back in twenty minutes, so you get ready and… oh, I'm just so happy for you! Your first date…" she trailed off and began humming happily.

Fitz rolled his eyes as he made his way into the bathroom. It wasn't really his first date. He'd hooked up with girls before, at the ravine and at parties, but those girls were sluts who spread their legs for anyone. Not the kind he'd tell his mom about. To her, he was still her "baby" - yeah, he got into some trouble, but "boys will be boys" and "he's just shy" and blah-blah-blah. If she knew half the stuff he'd done, it would break her heart and, as embarrassing as she could be, he didn't want to do that. He had an image to maintain, and Clare Edwards was definitely a girl he could bring home to meet his mom… if she wasn't already taken. She wasn't anything like the girls he usually hung out with - she was cute, and nice, and loyal to a fault. He knew she was smart, too… though why she chose to hang out with those freaks was beyond him, but he could overlook that.

For now.

((6:45 P.M))

Some odd hours later, Fitz was stepping out of his room wearing the only nice jacket he owned; one that took him forever to find, since it was practically buried in the back of his closet, collecting cobwebs. It still fit, though. At least he wasn't going to come off as a total slob. His hair was clean, his breath was fresh, and he'd managed to wash off the smell of smoke and booze and pot that usually lingered on his clothes. Tonight, he was presentable, and his mom couldn't be any happier when she saw him, and probably would've insisted on taking many pictures if she had a working camera. She didn't, but that still didn't stop her from getting all emotional.

"Oh, Mark… you look so handsome! I barely recognize you!"

Fitz rolled his eyes before sparing a quick glance at clock above the stove. "The dance starts in twenty minutes… I should go. I'll see you later, mom."

"Alright, honey. Have fun - oh! Before you go, I got something for you. Well, actually, it's for…" his mom trailed off as she began rummaging through the fridge. When she emerged, Fitz groaned.

"Mom!" He whined, "Don't you think you're going a little overboard? This isn't prom… and what about saving money?"

"Oh, hush." His mother admonished, handing him the corsage. "This is a special occasion. You want to make a good impression, don't you? Girls love flowers."

Yes. He was sure Clare was going to love getting a corsage from the guy who wasn't her boyfriend, who'd blackmailed her into being his date just so that he'd leave her friends alone. But of course, his mother didn't need to know what he had done.

"Thanks, mom." He forced out.

"Have fun, Mark." She replied, kissing his cheek.

He gave a curt nod before making his way out the door.

.

((7:13 P.M))

"Is that corsage for me?"

"My mom made be bring it…"

.

"Wouldn't it just be easier if you two just got along?"

"One would think. But the last time I tried to end this feud, your little boyfriend got me arrested."

"Would an apology still work to end this feud?"

"Sure. But good luck getting it."

.

((7:28 P.M))

"Stop! Trade cups. It's... an ancient Roman custom."

((7:36 P.M))

His body shook with rage as he stormed down the halls of Degrassi, leaving a trail of crumpled flyers and shredded posters behind him. After kicking over a trashcan, he came to a stop at his locker, drew his arm back, and promptly slammed his fist into it, leaving a sizable dent in its wake. Anger and humiliation pumped through his veins; he was beyond furious, and no amount of destruction he caused to school property seemed to calm him.

Emo Boy was going to pay for the little stunt he pulled. When Fitz was through with him, he was going to wish that he never messed with Mark fucking Fitzgerald.

Pulling open his locker, he tugged off his soiled jacket which now reeked of vomit, and hung it up. It was then that he heard the sound of heels clicking, and glanced to his right just as his date appeared beside him.

"There you are," she said, as if relieved to find him. "Are you okay?"

Fitz stared at her, keeping his face impassive. She seemed worried. Why? She was clearly in on the whole thing - she was the one who told them to switch cups. "Ancient Roman custom" his ass. She was a lying bitch and he'd walked right into her trap, deceived by her pretty eyes and innocent smile.

"I am so sorry about what happened…" she went on, "I should've known Eli would do something like this. He's always trying to come off as this badass… and what's worse, I fell for him." She smiled sheepishly, and Fitz turned away.

He didn't want to see her, didn't want to hear her, didn't want to talk to her. With that in mind, Fitz reached into his locker and found what he was looking for. He made sure Clare could see it, and when he heard her gasp, he glanced at her expectantly, watching her reaction closely. Her eyes widened fearfully and she stared at him in disbelief.

"W-what are you going to do with that?" She asked, taking a cautious step back.

She was afraid of him.

At last, he spoke.

"I'm going to do what I should've done weeks ago… teach your little boyfriend a lesson."

"You're going to kill him?" She all but cried.

He said nothing, letting her come to her own conclusion. Whatever worse case scenario she thought up was ten times more satisfying than what he was really going to do. But she didn't need to know that.

"Please don't…" She whispered, shaking her head as tears welled up in her eyes. "Don't hurt him… there has to be something I can -"

"You," Fitz snarled, slamming his locker shut with a resounding bang and causing her to nearly jump out of her skin, "have done enough. I'm sure Emo Boy's real proud of you, Clare."

She brought a hand to her mouth and closed her eyes, murmuring, "Oh God…" over and over again. When she regained her composure, she looked up at him. "You probably won't believe me, but… I really thought I was helping… I didn't know he… I'm so sorry! Just please don't… I-I'll do whatever you want, just don't hurt Eli. Please!" She cried desperately, grabbing his wrist.

Fitz rolled his eyes, and was about to pull away from her when a faint glimmer caught his attention. Glancing down, it was then that he noticed the ring on her finger, and raised a curious brow.

"Anything?" He echoed, and waited for, "As long as it doesn't involve breaking a commandment…"

Only it never came. Instead, Clare simply nodded.

Fitz grasped her hand, letting his thumb toy with the silver band. "Are you sure about that? You might not like what I ask, Clare." He warned.

"It doesn't matter." She told him, trying to keep her voice from quivering. "As long as you promise not to hurt Eli or Adam."

Damn. There went his fun.

"Please…" She begged.

Fitz deliberated for a few minutes, before coming to a decision and holding up her hand, glaring at her. "Fine." He spat, "I'll forget that your little boyfriend got me arrested and made me look like an idiot. I'll forget that the she-male freaked out over nothing and attacked me first - not the other way around. And I'll even forget that I spent an hour in Simpson's office for something you did. I'm willing to put all of that behind me, in exchange for one little thing…"

Clare blinked, confusion etched across her face. "And… what would that be?" She asked cautiously.

Fitz smirked and stole a glance at her ring once more. She followed his gaze, then drew in a sharp breath.

"W-what?"

He scoffed.

"Don't act all stupid," he sneered, "I might not be a bible thumper, but I know what this is." His grip on her hand tightened some, and he met her fearful gaze. "One night with you. That's all I want. Then I'll leave your boyfriend and the Tranny alone."

"But…" Clare protested, biting her lip, "I haven't… I'm a…"

"I know." Fitz cut her off. "But no one ever has to find out. It'll just be between you and me. And the man upstairs, of course."

An unspoken "take it or leave it" seemed to hang thick in the air. Fitz watched the redhead's silent struggle with herself, and the conflicting emotions playing across her face. It was both entertaining and painful to witness. He didn't even know why he'd suggested it. It was just the first thing that came to mind, and the cruellest. But he never claimed to be a good guy.

He waited impatiently for her answer.

"… okay." She whispered softly, conceding defeat. "I'll do it. But only if you promise you won't hurt Adam or Eli."

Clare was impossibly naïve.

"I promise." He said, tightening his hold on her wrist. "Now… let's get started, shall we?"

Her head jerked up, and once again Saint Clare was staring at him with disbelieving eyes. Fitz ignored her, though, pulling her along as he ventured further down the hallway - to a darker, more secluded area, where they wouldn't be seen or heard or interrupted. When he was satisfied with the location, he spun around to face her and she stumbled back into a locker (he didn't know whose; he didn't care) with a small gasp. He moved closer, planting his arms on either side of her, caging her between the locker and his body.

Clare squeezed her eyes shut and tried to shrink away from him, but with little success.

"Aww, don't be like that." He taunted, stroking the side of her face. "You have such pretty eyes… I want to see them when I..." He trailed off, searching for the right term. 'Fuck' was too crude, and she probably wouldn't appreciate it. "... when I make love to you."

She hesitated for a moment, but eventually complied. He smirked.

Triumph.

Not wanting to waste more time, Fitz closed the distance between them, stealing a kiss while pressing his body intimately against her own. This was his only chance to be with her, and he wanted her to remember every inch of him just as he'd remember every part of hers. She let him kiss her, but didn't respond, not until his tongue began to poke and prod until she opened her mouth to him. Even then, it was half-assed and they both knew it, but he couldn't really make her enjoy it. That would be asking too much.

He broke away only for air, and then buried his face in the crook of her neck. He nipped and he licked, and he slid his hands up her sides, trying to get a reaction out of her, but all he got was a pained whimper. Lifting his head, his eyes lingered on her swollen lips for a moment before meeting her own.

"Relax," he urged, "I'll be gentle. As long as you cooperate, it won't hurt much and hey, you might even enjoy it."

Fitz hoped she enjoyed it. He wanted her to come crawling back to him when she finally got sick of Emo Boy.

Clare fixed a glare on him, but said nothing. Fitz resumed where he'd left off, tugging off her white sweater and sliding a knee between her legs. He heard a small gasp, and smirked against her neck before letting his curious hands roam over her bare arms and soft curves still hidden. He gave her bottom a light squeeze, eliciting an unexpected squeak, before dipping his hands under her dress and venturing upward, over her thighs and up to her stomach. Then he hooked his fingers in the hem of her leggings and -

Froze.

Just like that.

What was he doing?

He was about to get some, yes… but at what cost?

What did it matter? Why did he care?

Rape.

Fitz shook his head, ignoring the voice in the back of his mind.

It wasn't rape, not really. He had Clare's consent.

Sort of.

No, she'd agreed. It was consensual, he tried to reason.

Through blackmail.

It was STILL consensual.

But she probably wouldn't be the same again. She'd be a broken, empty shell of Clare Edwards, and she probably wouldn't want anything to do with him afterwards. To her, he'd be a…

Monster.

A wave of nausea washed over Fitz, and he tore his hands away like they were on fire, backing as far away from Clare as humanly possible, until his back hit the row of lockers across from her.

Monster. The voice echoed.

No, he shook his head. He wasn't like that. He wasn't. He was a bully, and an asshole, and a thief, and a no-good delinquent who would probably end up in jail and never do anything with his life once he was out of high school - if he even graduated at all - but he didn't hit girls and he certainly didn't rape them. He wasn't a monster.

"Fitz?"

The sound of his name shook him out of his reverie, and he peered across the hall at Clare, who was staring at him with a mixture of worry and fear, her eyes still brimming with unshed tears.

He didn't understand her. What was she worried about? Was she worried about him? His sanity? Herself?

"Go." The words left his lips before he could stop them.

"W-what?" She stammered, taking a step towards him. "Fitz… what's wrong?"

"Leave!" He shouted, "Get out of here before I change my mind!"

"Change your mind about what?" She cried.

"The deal is off. Tell your boyfriend to watch his back. Now go!" He snarled.

Clare didn't think twice before gathering her sweater and taking off down the hall to do just that. Fitz waited until she was out of his sight before making his way over to the nearest trashcan and retching. When he was finished, he wiped his mouth on the sleeve of his shirt and reached into his pocket to retrieve his switch knife.

By the end of the hour, he was going to be in deep shit. He knew this. And he could deal with it.

With that in mind, he wandered down the hallway in search for Eli Goldsworthy.

X

FIN

X

… and we all know what happens from there.

So this is a sort of "what COULD HAVE happened" scenario.

Yeah, don't ask. This idea sounded WAY better in my head. I was trying to humanize Fitz. So many fanfics have him going around raping all the characters, but I'm fairly certain that if he had the opportunity… he wouldn't go through with it. Yes, he's a complete jerkass, but he's not a monster. Owen, on the other hand… well, I wouldn't put it past him. But Fitz? Nah. The guy is definitely a softie, deep down. Give him a few seasons and some character development, and he'll be a fan favorite. Just you wait. He already has a following.

Anyway, I really hope this made sense. I loved the beginning, but towards the end… not so much. Ah, well… give me some feedback! Constructive Criticism is always welcome.

Edit: I went back and fixed a few things.