I Have Friends In Holy Spaces

I don't own Degrassi, or the Panic! At the Disco song the title is derived from.

Bianca x Clare. Friendship, not femme slash.

Summary: Both Clare and Bianca are lacking in the friend department.

Clare sighed for what seemed to be like the millionth time that day and slammed her locker shut. She leaned back against it and let her head fall back, a little too hard.

"Ouch," she said out loud, rubbing the back of her head.

"Are you okay?" another voice asked. Clare opened her eyes and saw the most beautiful shade of green eyes staring back at her. It was as if Eli had appeared from thin air because not a minute ago was he even in the hallway.

"Why do you care?" Clare shot back angrily. She turned on the heel of her shoe and tried walking away from him but he grabbed her elbow and pulled her back.

"Clare can we talk?" Eli asked sincerely.

"No, but we can continue pretending the other doesn't exist. Oh wait. That was only you," Clare pulled her arm back and walked away with her head held high, trying to seem indifferent and cold but if you looked at Clare from in front you could already see the tears streaming down her face.

When she rounded the corner away from Eli's line of sight, Clare started speeding away faster. She began getting that feeling of suffocation that she always got when she was confronted with Eli face to face. She needed to get air and get as far away from Eli as possible.

Clare was lost in her head, only trying to get away. Otherwise, she would have seen Bianca and would have stopped. But no, Clare ran straight into Bianca, sending them both toppling to the ground.

"What the fu-," Bianca started to shout but she stopped once she noticed the tears on Clare's face.

"I'm sorry Bianca," Clare apologized, already on her feet; she offered her hand to Bianca to help her get up. Bianca took Clare's hand and pulled herself off of the ground.

"It's okay Clare," Bianca replied coolly, "What's wrong?"

Clare shrugged and sat on a bench nearby. Bianca sat awkwardly next to her.

Bianca wasn't sure why, but she felt this pull towards the crying girl. She felt like she had to comfort Clare. Bianca was trying to change, not be a complete bitch, and stop getting in so much trouble. This didn't mean that Bianca wasn't still doing stupid things; it just meant that Bianca was doing them less, and she was smarter about doing them.

"Is everything okay?" Bianca asked after a few minutes of terribly awkward silence.

Clare shook her head and buried her face in her hands, the tears beginning to flow again.

"Well, can you tell me what's eating you?" Bianca pushed. She put her hand on Clare's shoulder and rubbed it in small circles.

"Why do you care?" Clare asked for the second time that day.

"I'm not sure," Bianca replied honestly.

Clare wiped the tears from her face and cleared her throat, "It's just everything that's been going on with Eli. I miss him so much. Sometimes I regret leaving him, but it was for the best. He needed help, and he needed to get help for himself and not for me. But now he parades around with his new girlfriend acting like we never existed. Then he'll come up to me when no one's around and act like he doesn't purposely hurt me. Then he goes back to ignoring me." Clare wasn't sure why she was spilling her heart out to Bianca, but it felt good to tell someone how she was really feeling. Clare had been putting a façade of being happy when she was really breaking down inside.

By the end of her monologue Clare was sobbing again. Bianca felt her cheeks flare up in anger. Bianca put up with a lot of shit, but one thing the curly haired brunette would not stand for was girls crying over boys. Boys were idiots and would never truly come to value everything that a woman could and would give them. Therefore, in Bianca's mind, the last thing that a girl should give a boy was her tears.

"Clare, stop crying," Bianca said callously.

Clare looked up confusedly and Bianca took the opportunity to snatch one of Clare's hands in her own. Bianca stood up and tugged on Clare's tiny wrist.

"C'mon get up Edwards," Bianca said a little bit more sympathetically.

Clare stood up from her seat and instantly felt herself being dragged back in the direction of her locker. Once she realized that Eli would still be there and that he was probably with Imogen by now, Clare started trying to pull her hand out of Bianca's grasp. But Bianca had quite the strong grip.

"Someone's determined to not be seen with me," Bianca said rudely, and if Clare was paying close attention, a trace of hurt in her voice.

"No, no, Bianca, it's not that. Eli's probably over there with Imogen and I don't want them to see me like this," Clare tried to explain whilst still trying to pry her hand out of Bianca's.

"Relax Edwards. I'm not taking you to the lions; even I'm not that much of a bitch. Don't worry I won't let anyone see you crying over the king and queen of the underworld," Bianca said bluntly.

Clare could feel the tears welling up in her eyes again. Bianca could hear Clare start choking up behind her and she whipped her head around.

"No Edwards, not again," Bianca said wiping the tears from Clare's eyes and pulled her forward again.

Bianca stopped abruptly which caused Clare to smash into her again.

"Clare, you seriously need to stop doing that," Bianca snapped.

"Sorry," Clare said meekly.

Bianca opened the door and yanked Clare inside by her arm. Bianca stuck her head out and made sure that no one had seen them before slamming the door shut and jamming a broom stick under the door handle.

"Bianca, why are we in the bathroom?" Clare asked curiously.

Bianca took a moment to look Clare over. Edwards was pretty, Bianca would admit. She had beautiful big blue eyes and a pretty face although at the moment it was splotchy from crying so much. They were about the same height, and Clare was nice and curvy. Bianca wasn't gay or bisexual but she could appreciate pretty girls for what they were.

Bianca knew that people called her a slut, a whore, amongst other things and she honestly could care less. Bianca knew that she was beautiful. But up against Saint Clare, Bianca couldn't help but feel a little bit ugly, and she wasn't sure why.

"Why are we locked in the bathroom?" Clare asked again, shifting her weight from leg to leg. She was twiddling her thumbs and Bianca could tell that she was nervous.

"Scared of me Edwards?" Bianca said smirking.

"No," Clare replied honestly.

"Then why are squirming like you're a little fawn and I'm a big bad fox that's going to hunt you down?" Bianca asked quietly.

She was tired of people being afraid of her. Sure Bianca was rough around the edges but she was genuinely trying to be nice to Clare. She just had an unconventional way of communicating herself; almost always did she just come off as a bitch. No one could appreciate honesty and that irked Bianca to no end.

"Oh, sorry, I always twitch like this when I'm done crying. I'm strange," Clare said lifting her arms in surrender, showing Bianca that she could stop.

"Yeah, you are Edwards," Bianca rolled her eyes and pointed to the large empty space on the counter by the sinks, "Sit."

Clare looked like she was going to question Bianca again but she quietly pulled herself up on the counter until her legs hung over the edge.

Bianca ripped off some paper towels from the dispenser and put them under warm water from the sink. Bianca squeezed the excess water off of them and handed them to Clare.

"Clean off your face," Bianca said gently.

Clare did as she was told, wiping off the trails of dried tears that were on her face. As well as wiping off the little bit of smudged make-up she had been wearing.

Bianca started pulling random items from a black bag that Clare hadn't noticed she had been carrying until then. She handed Clare a small hand towel.

"Dry, but pat don't rub, it wrinkles your face," Bianca instructed. Next she handed Clare a bottle of lotion which she applied to her face.

There was a comfortable silence in between the two girls. Bianca pulled out a small make-up case and opened it to reveal a small plate of eyes shadows, a tube of mascara, and two sticks of black and white eyeliner. Bianca grabbed the plate of eye shadows and turned to Clare.

"Lean forward," Bianca ordered. Clare leaned her face toward Bianca's, who began applying a light coat of shimmery peach eye shadow. Bianca grabbed the stick of white eyeliner and was about to apply it to Clare's eyes when Clare grabbed her wrist.

"White eyeliner? Won't that make me look weird?" Clare asked staring at the stick of eyeliner inches away from her face.

"Just let me work," Bianca responded and shook her wrist from Clare's grip. She pulled gently on Clare's face until her eyes reached her own eye level and began applying the white eyeliner.

"If you apply it on the inside of your bottom eyelids, it makes your eyes look enormous," Bianca explained, "not that you really need help with that though Blue Eyes."

Clare froze up at the nickname Eli had given her come out of Bianca's mouth.

"Did he call you that?" Bianca asked softly putting emphasis on the "he".

Clare nodded.

"I'm sorry," Bianca said sincerely and Clare shrugged.

Bianca leaned back to admire her work, "Damn, Edwards your eyes look enormous."

Clare laughed and let Bianca apply the black eyeliner to, as Bianca had put it, "bring out the sapphires she had for eyes."

After she applied mascara to Clare's eyelashes, Bianca put everything back in her bag and leaned back against the counter. An awkward silence fell over them again and neither girl knew what to say.

Clare cleared her throat and spoke first, "Can I ask you something?"

"You just did," Bianca remarked, "but continue."

"Why are you being so nice to me?" Clare asked with genuine curiosity.

Bianca took a moment to collect her thoughts. She was tired of people thinking she was heartless. Sure she was cold and mean to most people, but that was just her putting her guard up. Bianca was not the type of person who let just anyone in. People suck and you have to watch out for yourself. But if you opened up Bianca, under the tough exterior there actually existed a decently nice person who wanted to care. It's why Bianca didn't have many friends, she didn't want to open up to people, and why most of her friends were guys, because were too stupid to notice that Bianca was only tough on the outside.

After a moment Bianca shrugged, "I don't know. I felt like being nice. I guessed you could use a friend to cheer you up."

"And what makes you think that I'd want to be your friend?" Clare asked. "You were horrible to Adam, you made Drew cheat on Alli then you fought her, and you always make fun of Eli."

Clare, on the other hand, always gave everyone a chance, and that was her demise. She was the type of person who always wanted to see the good in everyone and tried to ignore the bad. Clare had had plenty of friends. But at one point or another they either took advantage of her or just left her. Alli had stopped talking to Clare when she went to the all girls' school and even when she came back to Degrassi; things were too weird between them. After she and Eli had broken up he ignored her most of the time. Even Adam barely acknowledged her; he had followed through on guy code and raced to Eli's side after the break up. And she still wanted to punch Jenna and KC in the face most of the time.

Bianca snapped back to reality from the world where she thought she could be friends with Saint Clare.

"I know I was a bitch to Adam, but I don't get why you're still defending him, he doesn't even acknowledge you anymore. And when was the last time you talked to Baby Bhandari anyway? Last I saw her she was buddy-buddy with Jenna and the rest of the stupid Power Pigs. And as for Eli, you're in here with me because of him. Some friends you have. I just thought we could both use a friend," Bianca said, accidently letting the last sentence slip out.

Clare looked taken aback, and after a minute or two exhaled the breath she'd been holding and let her shoulders fall.

"You're right," Clare whispered.

Now it was Bianca turn to be taken aback, "I am?"

"I keep living in this fantasy world in my head where everything will come back together. Eli will be okay and come back to me. Adam will talk to me again, and Alli and I will be as close as sisters again," Clare sighed sadly.

"I'm sorry," Bianca apologized to Clare for the second time that day.

"Don't be," Clare waved her hand dismissively, "You were just telling me what I've been refusing to acknowledge. Everyone is moving on with their lives. So what's stopping me?"

"You're a really good person," Bianca replied, "and you still care about those people even though they've hurt you."

Clare jumped off of the counter and landed gracefully on her feet.

"Thanks for this by the way," Clare said pointing to her face and changing the subject, "and I'm sorry for saying those mean things to you just now."

"Don't worry about it," Bianca shrugged, "I'm more concerned with you not seeing yourself now and all of my beauty work."

Clare lifted an eyebrow questioningly when suddenly she felt herself being turned in the direction of the mirror. She lost her breath when she saw herself in the mirror. Clare's eyes looked ten times bigger than usual and you could not tell that Clare had been weeping her eyes out about half an hour ago.

"Whoa," Clare said in a surprised tone.

"I know," Bianca said standing behind her, "Well, you're welcome. I should get going."

Bianca was halfway to the door when she felt Clare's hand stop her.

"Wait Bianca," Clare said softly, "You're right."

"About what?" Bianca said turning around.

"We're both lacking in the friend department right now. Maybe we could be…," Clare said letting her voice drop out by the end.

"I think that could work," Bianca half smiled.

Bianca unhinged the broom stick from the door handle and poked her head outside to make sure no one was around to get them in trouble for skipping last period.

"Coast is clear," Bianca mumbled after a moment and she walked out, Clare following at her side.

Clare let out a breath she didn't know she'd been holding when she saw that Eli and Imogen were nowhere to be seen. Clare stopped at her locker and seconds later the bell rang throughout the halls, sending hoards of Degrassi students into the hallway.

Bianca leaned against the locker next to Clare's and watched her rummage around for the book for her next class.

Clare took a moment to look at herself in her small locker mirror. All the traces of sadness that were there only minutes ago were gone from her face. Clare smiled at her reflection when a small, annoying, yet loud, chime of a laugh came from the other side of the hallway.

In walked Eli and Imogen. She was laughing quite loudly at something Eli was whispering in her ear. Clare felt her heart stop and her breath leave her body. She often wondered if they were so obnoxiously loud about their relationship on purpose, just to push Clare.

A scowl over took the smile that was on her face seconds ago when she felt a hand on her shoulder. Clare turned around to see Bianca standing there with a sympathetic smile on her face.

"Don't let them get to you Clare," Bianca muttered, "she's not even that pretty. Eli totally downgraded from you to her if you ask me."

Clare felt bad for laughing but she couldn't help it. Bianca joined in and a few people in the hallway turned to blatantly stare at the two people they probably thought they'd never see together. They could feel the whispers and pointing start, but the two girls ignored it.

"Clare," Bianca abruptly ended their laughter.

"Yes," Clare said waiting for Bianca to continue.

"I want to be your friend, but I need you to promise me something," Bianca said slowly.

"What is it?" Clare asked, a little afraid of what could come out from her mouth.

"Promise me you won't cry over him anymore. He doesn't deserve your tears if he couldn't recognize that you were being a truly great girlfriend that was only trying to get him the help he obviously needs," Bianca spoke with a careful tone, hoping she wasn't stepping too much on Clare's toes.

Clare took a moment to absorb her words and looked over Bianca's shoulder to the other side of the hallway where Eli and Imogen were wrapped up in each other. Imogen had Eli up against the lockers and Clare kind of wanted to gag at the scene but she felt herself freeze up again when she caught Eli staring at her closely. His eyes were locked with hers but he had his arms wrapped around Imogen. Clare tore her gaze away from his after a minute and looked back at Bianca, who was standing there waiting for Clare's reply.

"I think I can promise that," Clare said faintly.

Bianca smiled genuinely now and Clare couldn't help but smile back.

Clare turned back to her locker and tossed her books back in, not really caring where they fell. She slammed the door a little too harshly, causing everyone in the hallway to turn in her direction again.

Clare blushed and turned to Bianca, who looked very confused.

"Can we get out of here?" Clare asked.

"You want to ditch?" Bianca asked, surprised.

"You say that like I've never done it before," Clare defended, crossing her arms.

"I didn't mean it like that," Bianca defended herself. "I was going to take off anyway," she pulled a set of car keys from her black bag and waved them in the air, "The Dot?"

"Yes," Clare said excitedly, "Let's get out of here."

Clare offered her arm to Bianca, who linked her arm through it gently. The hallways were nearly empty now so they had to make their escape fast. There were no teachers or security around, fortunately enough, but there were plenty of students still shuffling through their lockers, or just standing around.

With linked arms, Clare and Bianca walked straight to the front door, ignoring the whispers and outright pointing. Clare could feel two separate pairs of eyes on her back, Eli's obviously, but she knew Alli was staring after her too. She and Bianca had passed right by her on their walk to the door.

After what seemed like a never ending hallway they pushed through the front doors of Degrassi and quickly descended down the stairs. Bianca pulled Clare in the direction of her car.

"Are you sure about this Clare?" Bianca asked when they were in the car.

"About what?" Clare asked.

"About us being friends," Bianca said quietly, showing off two traits Clare had never seen in her, fear and insecurity.

"I'm sure," Clare said smiling brightly, "Bianca, I know that this is the start of a very odd, but good friendship."

"Me too Clare, me too," Bianca smiled back, turning the car on and pulling out of the parking lot in the direction of The Dot.

Bianca turned the radio on and a Britney Spears song blasted through the speakers. The girls turned to look at each other and burst out singing the words to the song, laughing loudly, comfortably, and for the first time in a long time for both girls, genuinely.