Disclaimer: I do not own the epicness that is Degrassi. I only have my stories.


Unbelievable.

I quickly dialed my mother's number for the third time and scowled when I got her voicemail. I snapped my phone shut and stared out the window as the rain began a steady, light pace outside. A flash of lightening made me jump and with a heavy sigh, I plopped down on the sofa with my laptop.

After scanning through some of my emails and checking my fanfiction site, I logged onto FaceRange, not expecting anyone to be on as it was past midnight.

I blinked as I immediately got an IM. My face lit up as I saw who it was from.

eli-gold49: Up this late, Edwards?

I quickly typed back, my bitter mood instantly disappearing.

clare-e23: I could ask you the same question.

eli-gold49: Perfect time and weather to help me get over my writer's block. :)

clare-e23: Nice.

eli-gold49: Who's parenting you this week that's letting you stay up this late? :P

I typed a quick response.

clare-e23: My mom's supposed to be here but she never showed up.

It took him a little longer to respond than usual but he sent me back a short response.

eli-gold49: I'll be there in 10.

Before I had time to protest, he had signed off. I stared at the screen in disbelief for a few seconds, then rolled my eyes. Typical Eli and his impulsiveness. Sighing, I grabbed the remote and flicked on the TV, the only other sounds being the rain starting to pound harder. A particularly loud rumble of thunder made me jump a little and I thought of Eli, driving in this weather.

I yawned slightly, starting to get a little tired and let my head hit the sofa cushion, getting comfortable when the lights flickered off and the TV went silent.

"Crap," I whispered into the darkness.

Right on cue, there was a rapid knock on the door. "Clare, it's me."

I jumped up and rushed to the door, yanking Eli into the house.

"Whoa, someone's eager to see me," he smirked, and shut the door behind him. "And it's dark in here."

"Thank you, Captain Obvious. The power just went out," I said, still holding onto his arm.

"That sucks. Now I can't see your pretty face."

I rolled my eyes and smiled, though he couldn't see me. "You're sweet."

His hand snaked its way around my waist and pulled me into his warm chest. "Missed you," he murmured as I leaned into his embrace, sighing.

"Mm. You too."

We stayed like that for a few moments, until another clap of thunder made me jump.

He chuckled and tightened his grip on me. "Don't worry. I'm here to protect you now."

"I'm not scared of thunderstorms," I defended.

"Sure you're not," he said. "Now, do you have any candles or a flashlight?"

"Flashlight's in the basement."

"How convenient," he said dryly.

I pulled back and grabbed his hand. "Just come with me to get it." I began pulling him forward in the direction of the basement, feeling along the walls. When we got there, I pulled open the door but he yanked me backwards into his arms.

"Uh Clare? We can't see a thing, let alone the basement steps."

"It's fine," I reassured, stepping my foot forward. "I can do it."

He pulled me back again. "Let me go first." We exchanged positions, and I stayed close behind him, holding onto the railing as he began to lead me down the stairs carefully.

"Doing okay?" he asked me.

"I'm fine, Eli," I said as we reached the last of the steps.

The sounds of the thunderstorm were muffled downstairs and I relaxed a bit, feeling my way to the cabinet and pulling out the flashlight. I turned it on and shined it in his face.

He made a face. "Ugh, Clare."

I giggled and shined it away from him. "Sorry. By the way, you look cute." It was clear he had rushed over here, still in his pajamas and Dead Hand t-shirt.

"Come on, let's sit down," Eli took the flashlight from me, and led me over to the couch in the basement, pulling me into his lap.

It was silent for a few moments as we listened to the muffled sounds of the furious thunderstorm outside.

He chuckled. "This is kind of romantic, isn't it?"

"Is it?"

"Just me, and you. In your basement. With only a flashlight. Raging storm outside." I could almost hear him wiggling his eyebrows suggestively.

I shoved lightly against his chest. "What makes you think you're getting lucky tonight, Goldsworthy?"

"Ouch. Something tells me I'm not now."

I smiled and tucked my head underneath his chin, getting comfortable in his arms. "Thanks for coming over," I said softly.

His fingers began tracing patterns lightly on the exposed skin of my arm. "Anytime."

It was silent for a few minutes again until he broke it. "So your mom?"

"She forgot about me," I said, and even though I hadn't meant it to come out that, my voice sounded sad.

He rested his chin atop my head. "I'm sorry, Clare. "

"It's fine. Not the first time it's happened."

"You have me though."

I smiled again. "That, I do."

"You know…you could've called me earlier. You're always welcome to stay the night at Hotel Eli if you need to."

I was taken aback for a moment, feeling slightly embarrassed. We had never spent the night together before and I immediately was overcome with a sudden wave of panic of Eli staying over tonight. Was I supposed to take him up to my room to sleep? What if Mom realized she was supposed to be here and showed up while Eli was here? What if she came early in the morning and found us together?

Eli's voice broke through my thoughts. "Clare?"

Oh. I must not have answered him. "Oh uh, thanks Eli. I know that."

I felt his hand reach up and tilt my chin up. He rested his forehead against mine, and we stayed like that for a moment, our breaths mingling together. A flash of lightening suddenly lit up the basement and I could see straight into his jade green eyes for a moment. The flash of light passed just as I caught his signature smirk in place and his mouth moving forward.

His lips caught mine and he kissed me softly for a minute before sliding his tongue across my bottom lip gently. My lips immediately parted and granted him entrance; his tongue slid in smoothly, twisted with mine, and began to explore my mouth.

Overcome with a wave of recklessness, I shifted in his lap so I was straddling him and leaned forward, pressing him back against the couch.

"Mmph, Clare."

He pulled me down so I was pressed against him as we continued to kiss, our tongues wrestling for dominance.

His hands continued to travel down my back until he met the smooth, exposed skin of my waist due to my shirt riding up. One of his hands made it way to my butt as the fingers of his other hand softly lingered at my waist, caressing the skin as he removed his lips from mine, leaving me gasping for breath.

His mouth didn't remove itself from my skin as he immediately began placing wet kisses across my cheek and down my jaw.

I let out a soft moan, and pulled at the hairs at the nape of his neck. The hand that was resting on my butt thrust me against him once. Hard. I felt his hardness against my leg and I let out a soft gasp, jumping slightly.

His hands released me and he removed his face from where he was sucking my neck. "Sorry."

"No…it's fine," I said, blushing, thankful he couldn't see me in the dark. I sat up awkwardly and after he joined me, I slid off his lap and draped my legs over his instead. I blushed and shifted my leg over as I accidentally brushed against his obvious arousal. He cleared his throat.

It wasn't like that was the farthest we had gone; Eli had managed to get me out of my shirt a few times in our last make-out sessions but there was something about being home alone past midnight in my dark basement that made me extra cautious.

"You okay?" he murmured, reaching out to touch my cheek.

I leaned into his hand. "I'm fine, Eli."

"Hey. Did the power come back on?" He tilted my head to the side so I could see up the basement stairs. From the door we had left open, I could see the lights flooding the living room.

"Huh, I didn't even notice. Wonder how long it's been on for," I said, getting to my feet.

"Well, we were a bit preoccupied," he replied, and I was certain he had winked at me.

I rolled my eyes, straightening my shirt out. "Come on." I led the way back up the stairs and into the living room.

"The storm's only barely settled down," Eli noted, peering out the window.

My phone began ringing all of a sudden and Eli picked it up from the side table, tossing it at me.

"It's my mom," I stared down at it. "What if she's coming over right now? Crap, your hearse is parked right outside!"

"Just answer it first," Eli responded.

I did. "Hello?"

"Clare," my mom sounded like she was in a panic. "Clare, are you okay? I'm so sorry. I came home after work and fell asleep and just woke up. I completely forgot it was my turn to be there. I'm coming over right - "

"Mom," I interrupted her. "Calm down, I'm fine. There's no point in coming over, it's one in the morning and it's pouring outside."

"But - "

"Seriously, Mom. I'll be okay."

There was a pause. "Are you sure?"

"Positive."

"Okay. And why aren't you sleeping?"

"Uh, you woke me up?"

"Hm. Go back to bed then."

"Right."

"Clare? I really am sorry," her voice was soft.

I sighed. "Don't worry about it, Mom."

"Okay, well. Go back to sleep. Love you honey."

"You too, Mom," I hung up.

"Did Clare Edwards just lie to her mother?" Eli walked over to me and wrapped his arms around me.

I smiled. "I deserve to lie here and then, don't I?"

He raised an eyebrow. "Of course."

"So are things okay with your mom?"

"Yeah. I guess."

Eli plopped down on the armchair and patted his lap. I smiled and sank into him.

Without even meaning to, the next words just came out of my mouth. "It's just amazing how even after the divorce, things still don't seem to change. They still don't pay attention to me, and before when Darcy was around, at least they had an excuse, right? I mean, she was always the golden child. The pretty, popular one. It made sense to pay more attention her. But even when she's gone, it's still never about me."

Eli didn't respond right away and I cringed slightly, embarrassed by my outburst. "I'm sorry Eli. I don't know where that came from."

He tilted my head up so I was looking right at him. "Don't apologize. You seemed like you've been wanting to say that for a while."

I looked away from the intensity of his stare. "Yeah. I mean, I guess I didn't even realize all that until I said it, you know?"

He nodded and leaned forward to press his lips to my forehead. "Your parents love you, Clare. Even if it's hard to tell at times."

I smiled. "I know. Thanks Eli."

"And you know I'm always here to talk. Whenever you need me. Even if there's a violent storm out or three the morning, I'll be there."

I giggled. "I know Eli. You're the best."

"I know."

I pushed at his chest. "You're also annoying."

"You wound me, Edwards," he smirked and pressed his cool lips to mine once more. It was a sweet, savoring kiss that only lasted a brief moment but when he pulled back, we rested our foreheads together.

After a few seconds, I pulled back, stifling a yawn.

"You seem tired," he noted, reaching up to trace around my eyes.

"I am," I confessed, yawning again.

He chuckled. "Go to sleep, Clare." He leaned back on the armchair, pulling me down with him and tucked me under his arms.

"Mm, sleep sounds good," I murmured, immediately becoming tired once more. I heard him laugh softly again.

I closed my eyes and fell into a peaceful state with the rain steadily pouring outside and the warmth of Eli's body keeping me safe.


A/N: That came out cheesier than I honestly meant it to. I was trying to give them somewhat of a balance. But hey, I just wrote this at three in the morning. Also, I thought we could all use some EClare fluff, what with all the angsty promos and the dreaded finale. Anyways, please review? Like it/completely hate it?. . . or if anyone has any suggestions for other one shots, I'd be happy to write them, I'm just out of ideas. I really need to practice writing again so I'm glad I'm getting back into it but I think it's clear I'm rusty. But if there is anything specific someone wants to see, just let me know. Thanks!