I don't wanna get burned...


Chapter Seven

:The Note:

When she smacked him, it sounded like a dangerous clap of thunder.

Eli stared down at her in disbelief, perplexed by her sudden strength. His heart was caught in his throat, his olive eyes wide with a balanced blend of hurt and astonishment.

Clare's shoulders shook uncontrollably, the false suicide note rattling in a rhythmic pattern with the heavy rain. She'd stopped crying—but it was quite obvious that she was still upset.

They stared at each other for a long time after she smacked him. No sounds but the pelting of the rain. There were no words to be said. They both knew that they'd killed the relationship they once had through misunderstandings and problematic occurrences. And now they were faced with the breaking point.

"I only asked for some space." Her small voice cracked and she hung her head. "I… I never wanted… wanted to break up." She chocked on her words and he could tell she was crying again.

Eli opened his mouth to say something consoling, but no sound came. It killed him mentally to see her so torn up about something. And knowing he hurt her made this guilty pain sting even more.

"A-And this?" Clare lifted her downcast gaze, raising the suicide note. She brought it out before her, scanning each sloppy letter on the damp, bleak scrap of notebook paper. She swallowed, trying to prevent any more sobs from escaping her grasp. "None of it is real?"

"It's not real." Eli replied quickly in a low voice, suddenly realizing how crazed he was when he wrote the letter. Who in the right mind would do something like that?

Her shoulders sunk and she bit her lip. They stood like this for another short while.

"How could you do this to me?" she whispered, her eyes boring into him like gentle knives. "I thought you'd be dead when I found you. Was this really only a ploy for attention?"

Clare let go of the letter, letting it drift to the floorboards below. She wrapped her arms around herself for comfort.

Eli closed his eyes, unable to look the brunette in the eye any longer.

"Clare… I'm messed up. I messed up. The letter… I just felt like I'd…" he couldn't find the right words. He took a moment to compose his thoughts in his head before piping up again. "I felt like I'd die without you. Today just so happens to be the anniversary of Julia's death… My head, it's all messed up."

He paused for a moment. "I'm sorry, Clare."

She oddly felt sympathy for him the moment these words had come from her mouth. She felt it. She knew what it was like to at least think that a loved one was dead. After she read that note, she felt like she experienced it firsthand. And although she wasn't the biggest fan of Julia, she could almost understand why Eli might have done what he did. She'd been ignoring him until she read that false suicide note that he'd left for her. He needed a comforting embrace, company. And these were things that she could easily offer him.

Clare stumbled forward before pulling her arms around him. She buried her head in his black, slightly damp jacket. His scent was intoxicating.

"You're a jerk and you need help." Her words were garbled and muffled in his jacket. "But thinking that I lost you made me realize how much I love you."

Eli blinked twice in bewilderment and revelation before slowly wrapping his arms around her, a warm feeling replacing the sadness and tension that had engulfed the room before.

Clare was so forgiving, he knew that very well. Especially after she forgave Fitz for what he did on Vegas Night. But when she forgave him for this, it truly perplexed him. Knowing that she cared was all he needed.

She slowly pulled away, looking up at him carefully. "I'm sorry for the way I acted." She said this seriously. "But you need help. Help that I can't provide."

Eli looked away, inwardly knowing that she was right. But he didn't like being spoken to like a child.

Her blue eyes softened a little. "Eli." She gently placed her hand where she had smacked him before, turning his head to look at her. "I'll be here for you. But lately you've been scaring me, and I think it'd be best for both our relationship and you that you find some assistance."

"I haven't been myself, I admit it. I'll get some help… I promise." Eli had trouble saying this. He knew something about his personality was a little off, though he hadn't even realized it was really happening until now.

"Good." Clare's words were tender as she offered him a smile—something that he hadn't seen from her in a long while.

AN;/ Yeah... So I watched a movie about death, I watched a movie about suicide, and I saw the new summaries for the Drop The World episode. That's pretty much why I wrote this. I personally am not the biggest fan of Eli's sudden change, but then I also understand that he's going through a lot. And I'm not beating Clare up for wanting space, considering that his problems are a boulder too huge for her alone to carry. She's so young, she won't know how to properly help him. But I gave this a kind of fluffy/happy ending, considering I'm still an Eclare fan, even when they're going through hardships. And hey, we always have hope for the future. Although I have a feeling that their relationship will end, most Degrassi characters pick up second relationships over time. Well, that's all for my little rant on the subject.

Thanks for reading!