DISCLAIMER: I don't own Degrassi or anything else.
Eli and I were in my room, hanging out for the first time since Vegas Night. I had spent the two weeks of break at my Grandmother's house and we were stuck talking online and on the phone. By the time I got back to Toronto, his parents had found out about his week's suspension and grounded him. I had gotten his assignments from his teachers and he was trying to get everything done before he came back to Degrassi for the first time tomorrow.
Things were still a little awkward between us but it was more because we were at the start of a relationship than as a result of what had happened. We had talked everything out and I felt comfortable that he was going to avoid getting into any more fights.
"Ugh, precalc is impossible," Eli groaned, as he threw his book across the bed. "I'm never going to catch up."
"You missed a week of classes. I'm sure Mr. Armstrong will help you if you go see him after school."
"But I'd rather see you after school," he whined, as he tried to pull me towards him.
I pulled away and looked toward the open door. "You know my mom's going to walk in any second."
Right on cue, she did walk in, holding a bunch of my school uniforms on hangers. "Here you go, Clare," she said, as she hung them in my closet. "Now you're ready for school."
This was the third time she had interrupted us since Eli got here an hour ago. Her eyes roamed over us, and I could tell she wasn't thrilled that we were sitting on the same bed, but we did have books all around us, and I had resisted all but his very first kiss when he came in the room – which was pretty impressive since it had been three weeks since our first real kiss.
"Thanks, Mom." She left, and I shot Eli a warning look. He held up his hands in surrender. He walked over to my closet and pulled my khaki uniform skirt off the bar and held it up to himself.
"Could this be any larger?"
"Wow, are you calling me fat?" I teased.
"No!" Eli said quickly, and I smirked at him, as he put the skirt back in the closet. "It's just I didn't realize that our school thinks girls' knees are what causes guys to bring knives to school."
"I think Holly J's striptease is what caused the uniforms. Our fight with Fitz is responsible for the metal detectors and random police searches."
"Does everyone know?" He sat down on the bed and I put my hand on his back.
"Yeah, but from what I can tell they blame Fitz and the school board, not you."
"Well I guess that's good." He groaned. "I can't believe we have to wear uniforms. I'm going to have to wear a red shirt and khaki pants for the rest of the year. What is all that color going to do for my image?"
I laughed. "Yeah, people are going to think you're all puppy dogs and rainbows instead of death and destruction."
"I wish there was a way we could protest this. It makes me want to show up to school in my underwear or something, just to show them how pointless the dress code is."
I heard a car pull into our driveway and cringed. My Dad was home which means that most likely the fighting was about to start up any minute. Hopefully with Eli here they would just ignore each other, and we could enjoy a peaceful night together.
The front door slammed shut and I realized that just wasn't going to happen. My bedroom was on the second floor but I could hear every word of their conversation downstairs.
"I thought you were coming home for dinner tonight."
"I had to work."
"And you couldn't have called?"
"I was in a meeting and I couldn't take time away to argue with you."
Eli grabbed onto my hand as my parents continued to argue. I tried to keep myself from crying but a tear or two escaped. He pulled me into a hug and I buried my face in his shoulder.
I could feel him reaching over to my nightstand and he held out my ipod and his headphones. "You shouldn't have to hear this," he whispered, pressing a kiss to my forehead.
I didn't want to block out the noise if it meant he would still have to hear it, and I didn't want him to leave. I got up and closed the door to my bedroom. We could still here the yelling but the words were harder to make out.
He eyed me warily. "Your mom said we had to leave the door open."
"Once they start fighting, it's like I don't even exist. She'll never notice."
He pulled me back into his arms, and it felt so nice to be like that with him. Even though we had been pretty flirty with each other when we were still friends, this was the first time I really got to hold him. I thought about the kiss he gave me in the library and wanted nothing more than to feel like that again. I reached my hand behind his neck and pulled his lips toward mine.
He immediately parted his lips and his tongue met mine and I couldn't believe I had wasted six months last year kissing K.C. when it wasn't anything like this. His hands ran up and down my back and I wished that I had a lot fewer clothes on because I knew that would make this intense feeling even better.
I ran my left hand along his cheek and caught a flash of my gold ring through my lashes. I had never questioned the idea of purity and of waiting until I was married until my lips touched Eli's. But now I realized that this was going to be a lot harder than I had thought.
I knew I didn't have to worry about sex, at least not for a while, since Eli had told me he was fine waiting, but I wanted to feel a little bit closer to Eli than I had before. I entwined my fingers in his and moved his hand until it covered my left breast through my shirt. I moved my hand away and his remained, stroking me gently. It felt incredible and I let out a small but embarrassing moan. He pulled back and gave me a look so intense I felt like I could melt.
His lips were back on mine, but the sound of the front door banging shut caused us to break apart. I could hear my mother's footsteps pounding up the stairs and we both jumped off the bed in opposite directions but she passed my doorway and slammed the door to her bedroom.
I sat back down on the bed and motioned for Eli to join me. He sat down, but he resisted my attempt to bring his lips back onto mine.
"We need to stop," he said. "And I should probably get going."
"Don't leave," I pulled him back to me and he hugged me again. He ran his hands down my back in a comforting way but I wanted to feel the sexiness he had made me feel just a minute before. I moved my lips to his neck and he placed his hand on my shoulder and pushed me away very gently.
"Clare…" I cut him off by pulling my shirt over my head. I could see him looking straight at me. I was wearing a plain white bra with a bow in the middle and I realized that my attempt to look sexy just made me look like a little girl. I reached for his hand, intending to put it on my breast again, but he pulled away, grabbed my shirt, and handed it back to me.
"We can't do this tonight. Not like this." He waited until I pulled my shirt back over my head and tried to kiss me and I'm sure he was trying to make me feel better, but I just felt really awkward and alone. I thought Eli wanted me, but clearly I was wrong.
"I'm sorry," I sniffled a little as I felt some tears in my eyes.
His kissed my temple. "I'd be happy to do that with you any other night, Clare. You're beautiful. But you're upset and it's late, and I don't want to give your parents anything more to be angry about, so I'm going to go home. I'll call you when I get there and we can talk until you fall asleep."
I walked him downstairs, and he gave me a chaste kiss goodnight. I watched him get into Morty and saw that my Dad had taken his car with him wherever he went. I went back upstairs and my mom's door was still closed. I could hear her sobbing lightly but I didn't really know how to comfort her so I went back to my room.
I didn't know what was the worst part. My parents' constant fighting. Eli not thinking I was sexy. The hideous uniforms the school was forcing on us. I thought of Eli's plan to show to the school how absurd the uniforms were. There was no way I could show up to school in my underwear, but maybe…
I went to my dresser and pulled out a few items of clothing. My old skirt from my private school uniform that I knew was a lot shorter than it was a year ago since I had grown a few inches. A black corset that Alli had talked me into buying at a thrift store last week, saying that I could wear it for Eli when we were alone.
I'd change during lunch tomorrow into these clothes to protest the dress code. I'd probably get detention but maybe my parents would be forced to notice me. I knew Eli wouldn't be able to ignore me in this outfit. I put the clothes in my bag along with some lipstick and an eyeliner that I had stolen from Eli one day in school.
I had spent 15 years as Saint Clare. Maybe it was time for people to notice I wasn't a little girl anymore.