Disclaimer: Degrassi. Nope. I wish.
I have an obsession with CeCe and Bullfrog...And I'm not sure why.
And I just wanted to show the fatherly side of Bullfrog.
THIS IS BEFORE ELI AND CLARE START DATING!
THIS IS BEFORE ELI AND CLARE START DATING!
As a father, Mr. Goldsworthy only wanted what was best for his son. He wanted to give his son everything that he could to make him happy, because if Eli was happy, so was he.
It was instinct to want to protect Eli from the horrors of the world, it was natural. He protected Eli from the splinters and the needles and the bruised knees. And that worked for the younger years of Eli's life, but Mr. Goldsworthy soon realized that he couldn't protect Eli forever. He couldn't protect Eli from a lot of things and it was hard to understand that, hard to comprehend it.
But it was when his son had lost his girlfriend that he came to truly understand the complex reality of being a father. Not only was he feeling his pain but he was also feeling Eli's pain too. He began to understand the saying, "Wearing your heart on your sleeve", because as a father, that's what he did.
And although Bullfrog would never admit it, he often felt like he failed as a parent. Sometimes, he would look at Eli and he'd want to say sorry. Sorry for being a bad father. He was sorry that he couldn't take away his son's pain. He was sorry that his son went through everyday, barely making it.
In the end, he was like his son.
They both blamed themselves.
It was a crisp and cool fall day, the leaves were slowly falling down and the temperature was decreasing and all the gardeners put their plants inside their houses, knowing that they'd probably die from the change in climate.
The sun was shining and birds chirped lightly and everything was in its place.
Except the hearse parked about eight yards away from the Catholic church.
Passing people looked at the hearse oddly, some were saddened, thinking that an actual person had died, and some just thought it to be weird to see a hearse in the middle of daylight. Maybe it was because some people associated death with night, even though that wasn't always the case.
Inside the hearse, sat Mr. Goldsworthy and his son. They both stared directly out the window, the son was staring intently at the church door and the father looked confused. Bullfrog glanced at Eli repeatedly, not sure what to make of the situation. Eli's eyes barely blinked as each minute passed, his teeth drove into his bottom lip and his hands clenched slighty against the steering wheel. To any onlooker, he must have looked like a maniac, but his father knew better. Bullfrog knew the content of what Eli was hiding deep in himself. Bullfrog knew that there were places in Eli's body where the sunlight didn't reach. And those places and crevices often stood out, leaving Eli a frazzled mess.
Because he knew his son like the back of his hand, he knew that Eli would always tap his finger against something when he was stressed.
This habit had started a couple of months ago when Julia had passed away and to be honest, it scared Bullfrog. When he heard the brisk sound of nail on a solid, a shiver would go down Bullfrog's spine and he'd flashback to when she had first passed away and Eli wouldn't even get out of bed. Those were the times when Bullfrog would quietly walk into his room and cry, hoping that no one would hear the animal-like sobs that ripped out of his weak chest. Those were the times when he had feared for his son's life.
The tapping stopped.
Now, they sat in Morty and sat in silence. The kind of silence that can easily break you. Bullfrog hated these sliences. Especially when they involved Eli. So many things could be running through his son's head and he had no idea what actually was. He couldn't say which was better, knowing what was going on in Eli's head or not knowing.
Both were painful.
Both could be deadly.
Bullfrog shook the thought of death out of his mind and turned his body so he was facing Eli.
"Is this what you do every Sunday?" Bullfrog asked in complete surprise, finally interupting the silence, hoping that his son would talk and open up.
Eli nodded and stared straight ahead, obviously waiting for something.
"And here I thought you were doing drugs..." Bullfrog muttered, a bit disapointed that his son wasn't offering anything else, but he would take what he could get.
He had been wondering where his son went on early Sunday mornings. He was scared that his son was getting into drugs or something bad. And even though waiting in front of a Catholic church was odd, especially when Eli was an athiest, Bullfrog was happy that Eli wasn't out doing anything that was harmful.
"Do you just watch people?" He gestured to the passing people. Passing people squinted into the shaded windows of the hearse, wondering if anyone was in there. Bullfrog stuck his tongue out or made silly faces at everyone that did that.
Eli didn't answer and continued to stare at the old church. Bullfrog waited for an answer or a statement or anything that would explain the situation.
"Dammit, Elijah! I told you not to stalk people! It's not healthy." Bullfrog winked at his son and turned back to look out the window.
"Do you ever stop joking?" Eli said, slowly and monotone, barely moving his lips.
When things got tough or uneasy, Bullfrog went to jokes for comfort. Humor was his way of getting through. It was his drug. It was easier to make everything a joke, rather than take the problem head-on.
"Sorry." Bullfrog sighed, not sounding sincere. "But seriously, what do you do here?"
Bullfrog 'hmphed' and turned on the radio. A classic rock song blared out of the speakers and right as the chorus was coming on, Eli turned it off. Bullfrog stared at his son in disbelief.
"You just turned off Led Zeppelin." He said in astonishment. The idea of turning Led Zeppelin off was alien to him. In his mind, that should be illegal.
"Mh-hm." Eli muttered, not even paying attention to his father.
"Okay, Mr. killjoy, why are we here?" Bullfrog's patience was wavering. The game of sticking-your-tongue-out-at-random-passing-people had lost it's shine and Bullfrog was getting bored.
Eli looked at his watch. "One more minute..." He muttered.
And then, the doors of the church opened up and the people started walking down the church stairs. The elder ladies pointed up the sky, to exclaim that there was sun. The children ran in circles around their parents and the teenagers looked at each other dully, trying to make it seem like they were too cool for church.
Bullfrog turned to Eli and was about to ask what was going on but he then saw Eli's face.
Over the past few months, Bullfrog was used to "The Smirk" on Eli's face. He was used to the saracastic comebacks and cynical words. Bullfrog was used to the wall of bitterness on his son's face. He was sad that he was used to it, but when you see something long enough, it becomes normal.
And now, when he looked at Eli's face, it made his heart lighter.
It was like when you clean a window and you look at it and the window is sparkling. Or when you dust your wooden bookshelf and an inch of dust comes off. Eli's face lost that grime and dirt and bitterness. It was like the sun peaking out of the clouds. His lips were pulled back into a small and tender smile and his eyes held adoration. Eli's hands were unclenched and rested peacefully on his lap. His once tense shoulders were now relaxed and slumped slightly.
This sight made Bullfrog want to cry. It was so long since he had seen his son smile or look happy. Bullfrog wanted to take a picture of his son at that moment, so in the future when Eli had his walls back up, Bullfrog could look at the picture and know that there was a time when his son was smiling.
That's what stumped him. Why was Eli so happy to see people walk out of church? So, Bullfrog followed Eli's gaze and his eyes landed on a girl.
Bullfrog was mad at himself for not figuring this out sooner. The girl sat at the bottom church stair and was reading a book intently. The rest of the teenagers were feet away from her and kept glancing at her but she continued to read her book.
"Ah. A girl!" Bullfrog exclaimed, sounding somewhat proud and happy.
"Please don't say it like that." Eli groaned. "But yeah...a girl."
"You watch her?"
"...Yeah, I guess." Eli replied uncomfortably, shifting in his seat.
"Do you know her?"
"Yeah. She's in my English class."
"And you obviously like her..." Bullfrog thought for a moment. "She doesn't seem like your type, though."
Eli's body stiffened and his tone was sharp. "Why? Because she looks too good for me?"
"No!" Bullfrog exlaimed. "She just...seems plain, I guess."
And in that moment, Bullfrog could honestly say that he had never seen so much fury in one person. Eli's nostrils flared and his cheeks sucked in and his eyes flashed dangerously, like a thunderstorm. His hands clenched and his body was rigid.
"Plain?" Eli asked dangerously, his voice low."Plain doesn't even come close to Clare!" His mouth opened and closed repeatedly, unable to get the words out. His hands were waving around, trying to make a point. "She's beautiful and witty and intelligent. She knows every Robert Frost poem! She can recite shakespeare and she always cries when she reads Hamlet. She'd do anything for you. Her laugh makes my whole body go numb with excitement, hearing it is like waking up to a sunny day. She's snarky and she isn't afraid to say what she doesn't like! And god, when she smiles, I swear..." His voice trailed off passionately and he licked his lips.
"The word 'Plain' describes you and I. But she's completely her own person. There's no word to describe her." Eli looked at her with longing, his eyes, for the first time in ages, were shining.
Bullfrog's lips turned up into a smile.
His Eli was back.
"Alright, go talk to her! You can't stalk her forever!"
He glared at his father. "I don't stalk her, I simply watch her."
"Oh, right, because there's a difference." Bullfrog muttered, rolling his eyes. "But seriously, talk to her."
"I can't." Eli muttered softly, his once happy expression was replaced with a sudden sorrow that made Bullfrog's heart break.
"Why?" His tone was soft and gentle and he put his hand on his son's shoulder.
Bullfrog could almost see Eli's heart clench from the pain of saying her name. Eli's face crumpled slightly, making him look vulnerable and naive. And Bullfrog's fatherly instincts kicked in and he wanted to shield Eli from the world, once again. But this pain was more than a bruised knee, it went deeper into the heart and soul. This pain kept people up at night and made people do stupid things. And his son had to deal with it.
What he would do to take away his son's pain...
"You know, I'm not trying to be cliche, but Julia would want you to be happy." Those words came out softly and Bullfrog quickly tried to wipe his eyes clean. Julia's death had affected all of them greatly.
"Yeah, okay. " Eli muttered saracastically, finding the idea of Julia wanting him to be happy was rather ridiculous. "But it doesn't even matter, Clare doesn't even know that I exist."
Bullfrog knew this feeling. In fact, he had even felt this with his wife before they even met. He and CeCe went to high school together and she was the beautiful punkrock chick that all the guys were in love with. Meanwhile, Bullfrog was the nerd that always spilled the school's fountain water on the front of his pants. They were in two different cliques but he was in love with her. But Bullfrog knew that she had no idea who he was. And for the longest time, Bullfrog just watched her from a distance(like father, like son), wanting CeCe to be his. So finally, one day in their junior year, Bullfrog walked up to CeCe and asked her if she wanted to go on a date. She said yes. And they've been together ever since.
And when Clare Edwards started walking slowly to the hearse, Bullfrog thought up a plan.
He wasn't going to let the reason for his son's happiness slip away. He couldn't. That would be more heartbreak for the both of them. Bullfrog didn't know Clare personally, he had never spoken to her before, but if she gave his son joy, then so be it. He wouldn't let Eli make his life a living hell.
Clare came closer to the hearse as she put her bible in her bag. She didn't notice the big hearse right in front of her. She didn't notice that the dark haired boy was staring at her with idolizing eyes. Clare didn't notice that he watched her every move, committing it to memory.
And she certainly didn't notice the middle-aged man lunging over to the steering wheel.
But she did notice the loud 'honk' coming out of the car.
She screamed and dropped her bag and books to the floor, her hand on her heart. Clare stood there gasping for air for a couple of moments and then turned to stare at the hearse. Her eyes narrowed in on Eli and she completely disregarded the smug man in the passenger seat.
Eli turned bright red and groaned slightly, while Bullfrog smiled triumphantly.
"Well, she knows who you are now!"
A father's got to do, what a father's got to do...
Yeah...I love Bullfrog but I don't think that I did him justice...
This is a one-shot, so please don't say "Update soon"
OH! I'm working on My two two-shots right now. Bittersweet Symphony and City Of Blinding Lights