A/N: Sorry for the crappiness of this fic. And I apologize for not updating as much as I hoped to be doing. I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year and I'm working on a novel for creative writing and it's a bit of a hassle. So I managed to wrap this up in a good four days I've been working on it. So sorry if some of it is.. Eh shitty. I'm a bit rusty with my Degrassi fanfic skills.
Disclaimer: I do not own Degrassi.
"Hey, Torres! Goldsworthy!" Bianca shouted as the two best friends looked over at Bianca who was strolling through the library with Drew following behind her.
"Hey Bee." Adam said with a smile, over the summer Adam had grown fond of Bianca, she of course had helped him nurse back to health after a shot to the arm and he was repaying her by being one of her close friends, so close that he could call her what only Drew and Imogen are allowed to call her.
"Sup Adam. Have you seen your little birthday girl friend around? I'm sick of carrying this fruity gift for her around." Bianca asked as she held up a pink bag in her hands. Adam shrugged at Bianca's words.
"Nope, I haven't seen her around all day. She wasn't in English. I was hoping to find her after school to give her, her birthday gift I have in my bag." Adam said as he patted his black backpack which was filled with snacks and Clare's gift was somewhere in there.. At least Adam hoped it was.
'Ugh. Have you seen her, Goldsworthy?" Bianca asked as she looked down at Eli. To be honest, Eli wasn't all that close with Clare to know where she was. They were friends.. But not as close as they use to be or Eli had hoped they'd be during the summer. But of course, Clare had taken Jake back and Eli decided to step out of it, step out of Clare's life for a bit and spend some time with his best friends. The summer wasn't half bad when he was playing Call Of Duty with Adam, Drew, Wesley, Dave and Connor. Or when he was having movie nights with Fiona and Imogen. Maybe even ding dong ditching with Bianca late at night which had almost earned the both of them a ticket for being out past underage curfew. He even found himself hanging out with Jake during the summer also, he had gone fishing with him once and found it to not be his calling as he had fallen into the lake, much to the fisher's amusement.
Though, none the less, Eli had a good summer, a good summer to spend with newfound friends and to give Clare all the space she desired with Jake. Which she had gotten after all, Eli had heard from Jake or Bianca that Clare had been having a great time, sure she had to sneak around with Jake and maybe she didn't have all too much time with friends considering her situation with Alli, but Clare was happy from what Eli was told. So Eli allowed himself happiness if his girl was happy.
"No. I have no clue where she is." Eli said and he felt the same feeling of concern seeping its way into his veins like it had that summer night when Bianca and Alli had told him Clare was missing in the woods and he had never rushed into the forest as quickly as he did that night and luckily had found her. Sure she was bleeding and shaking, but Eli had taken care of all of that, he always did.
It was his job.
"Damn. Well, where's Martin. I need to ask him then." Bianca seethed, she loathed carrying around the flowery bag, even if it was for her friend, she hated carrying such a girly bag.
As if on cue, Jake rushed into the library, carrying a multitude of bags and a huge streamer of balloons, he looked out of breath as he quickly made his way over to the kitchen."Thank God I found you, Eli. I need you to take this." Jake said as he holds up the obvious birthday gifts for Clare in his meaty hands. Eli eyes him carefully and then the gifts as he fixates his attention on Jake.
".. Why do I need to carry Clare's birthday gifts around?" Eli asked, a bit of sharpness on his tongue he meant to hide and not show.
"Yeah, where is she?" Adam asked as he rummaged around his backpack and pulled out what people had presumed to be Clare's gift, wrapped in newspaper wrapper.
"I've been carrying her fruity ass bag everywhere with me today, Martin. I need to know where she's at." Bianca sneered and Drew just merely nodded, anyone could tell the poor guy wanted Bianca to stop complaining.
"Well, Clare's sick so I've been collecting all her gifts from around the school. I'd give these to her after school, but I have football practice so the only guy I can trust to get these delivered on time would be you, Eli." Jake said as he placed the gifts on the table, then Adam placed his gift on the pile and Bianca complied as well, all of them staring at Eli who was looking at Jake a bit wide eyed.
"You trust me to give these to Clare? You don't want Adam or Drew to do it? Fiona?" Eli asked, he wasn't sure if Clare even wanted to see him, especially if he was showing up in her room with her gifts on her birthday.
"Of course. You don't even have to stay with her, or wake her up. Just set them by her bedside and slip out of the house before our parents come home from work which should be at seven. I won't be home until eight so you have that much time." Jake said, awaiting for Eli's answer.
Sighing, Eli nodded and stood up, placing his belongings in his backpack and slinging it over his shoulder before grabbing Clare's gifts and balloons as he looked Jake square in the eye.
"You promise your parents won't be home?" Eli asked, he knew how Helen never approved of him and Glen barely knew him, he didn't want to cause anymore trouble.
"Yes." Jake said and Eli nodded once more before passing by the group and out of the library door, but he could still hear their new conversation.
"Ten bucks says that Eli stays with her." Jake said with a sigh and a bit of a smile.
"Fifteen says that they have a meaningful conversation." Adam said with a smirk.
"Twenty says that you all are idiotic and I want to have some food." Bianca growled as she glared at Jake and Adam and then glanced at Drew, who held his wallet up, some bills sticking out.
Soon the rest of the group - minus Jake who had practice, all went out to La Costa on Bianca's favors and pondered through their lunch about how Eli was doing.
Especially with Clare.
Eli retreated the pathway to Clare's home. Jake had texted him while he was driving, saying that the key was under the mat - but Eli had already known that from previous moments with being with Clare when they were.. Them.
Would this be awkward? Eli had wondered the whole time driving there, he knew Clare would be asleep, but if she were to awaken she'd surely be in shock that Eli of all people was the one dropping off her gifts and balloons for her birthday. She would probably be expecting Jake or Fiona, hell maybe even Bianca, but not Eli.
Eli recalled the last time he had spoken to Clare, it was last month, he had brushed past her in the halls and mumbled a sorry to her before whisking away. Not even giving her a chance to speak with him, ask why he had been avoiding her all summer and the first month of school, but she never got the chance, she never gets the chance.
Eli walked up the hollow steps to Clare's home and set her gifts, balloons and a drug store bag on the ground, he had figured that it'd be rude of him to waltz into her room and not even bring anything to make her feel better. So he had a quick run down to the local drugstore to pick up whatever medicine he thought she would need. Jake hadn't been specific on what Clare had . So Eli picked up the general medication, something for the nose, something for the head, something for the cough, anything he could label as general he had thrown in the basket before throwing some tea bags and a box of tissues in the cart as well.
Maybe he had gone overboard on buying her goods, but in the end Helen or Jake would probably take credit for his purchases. As long as they helped Clare get better - it didn't bother Eli one bit.
Eli snatched the key from under the spotless Welcome mat and wiped its residue on his slacks before placing the key in its lock, as he heard it click, he gently pushed the door open and slipped the key under the mat once more as he gathered Clare's goods and entered the home.
The air had a warm feel to it, the smell of the morning's breakfast had entered his nostrils faintly as he shut the front door softly, hearing its click as he proceeded upstairs, where Clare's room would be awaiting him.
Eli retreated down the narrow hallway, glancing at pictures on the walls. He remembered long ago when Clare had told him where each picture was taken and who the person in the picture was. Explaining how her and Darcy took up a majority of the family's photo glasses - not her parents.
But Eli didn't miss the newest edition to the photo's - It was a family portrait of Clare's mother, Jake's father and both Clare and Jake. Helen and Glen looked as happy as can be, Jake and Clare had this pained expression on their faces that Eli could read easily.
They were together during this photo, they were pained by the thought of being siblings, they hated this moment.
Eli shook his head and continued down the hall. When he finally reached Clare's bedroom door, he saw the door was open ajar and there was no sound coming from the room. Cautiously, Eli pushed the wooden door open and stuck his head inside the door, looking around the room with wary.
The room resembled the same patterns and objects that it had last time Eli was here. A beige room with flower and cloud patterns on the walls, dancing across her walls. Her floors were dark hardwood floors with some pink fluffy rugs on the ground. A desk where Clare's Macbook was on sleep mode, her iPod touch was on its base - charging, her bookcase filled from the top to the bottom of books had gotten fuller with thicker books with romance titles seeing as Clare was a sucker for romance novels. Eli certainly didn't miss her trophy wall or her picture wall either, where pictures of Helen and Darcy stood - no sign of her father nor Glen nor Jake. Not even the picture of Clare and Alli had stood there no more, Eli had figured the two girls would work through their tuff, but obviously they still haven't resolved it.
Then there was the blank photo glass, that very photo glass had held Eli and Clare's picture, but now it held no picture - nothing whatsoever. Bare and dusty, probably hasn't been touched since April.
For some reason, despite the time apart they have had, the talks and insults, the bare frame left him with a dull ache in his ribs, pounding against his chest with a painful rhythm.
Eli further let himself inside and softly made his way to Clare's bed, he could see her figure from underneath the sheets and blankets and her mess of auburn curls sprawled across her floral pillowcase.
Gently, Eli placed her bouquet of balloons by her end table, as well as her gifts. He then opened up the drug store bag and pulled the goods from inside, placing all the contents on her bedside table, the tea bags, the box of tissues, the different kinds of medicine. He placed the bag on the ground and looked over at Clare, stepping closer to her sleeping figure.
She had a bright red nose and quivering lips, her face was the shade of a permanent blush and Eli wanted nothing more than to reach out and place his hand on her forehead and feel for a fever. She looked sickly and awful to Eli's green orbs. If it had been seven months ago and Clare was in the state she was in now, Eli would waste no time making sure she was alright, making sure her fever was down and she was well looked after. He'd even cut school and a family dinner to make sure she'd be taken care of by his mending fingers.
But it wasn't seven months ago. It wasn't the early spring days anymore, it was late fall, early winter. A dormant time for many - nothing near to his and Clare's time. He couldn't touch her, he couldn't speak to her and he was wasting time and air by standing here observing her body like the freak he truly was. Maybe taking up Jake's offer had been a bad idea seeing as he couldn't be around here while she was so vulnerable looking and so.. Not looked after.
Swallowing the deep lump in his throat, Eli spun on his shoe and heading for her bedroom door, making sure not to look back or he'd be sure he wouldn't be able to leave her bedroom. But as Eli was about to brush through her wooden door, he heard a drowsy croak from behind him.
Eli stopped in his tracks and sighed heavily, she had awoken, the one thing he didn't want happening, happened and now she KNEW he was here.
"Is that you?" Clare asked once more from behind Eli.
Eli swallowed deeply before turning around to see Clare looking at him with dazed blue orbs, shining with curiosity and surprise as she got a good look at his blank face.
"Yeah its me." Eli answered with a small forced smile. Couldn't she just fall asleep and take this encounter as a strange dream like most people did when sick. He didn't want to be sucked inside here, because his feelings would come out and it wouldn't be a pretty sight.
Clare stirred under her blanket and sheets and slowly sat up in her bed, she immediately took notice of the bouquet of balloons and gifts on the floor by her bed - she also saw the collection of medication for colds. She cocked an eyebrow at it all and then suddenly understood why her ex boyfriend of all people were in her bedroom, on her birthday while she was sick.
"You brought me my gifts and balloons? And bought medicine?" Clare asked, almost as if she was in awe and shock by his simple gestures. Had he collected her gifts on whim and decided to stop by the local drugstore to get her medicine for her cold? It seemed like such a Eli like thing to do, but it'd be a gesture Clare would expect from the Eli she first met or the Eli she dated. Not the Eli who had succeeded avoiding her all summer - despite the camping trip - and hasn't uttered a word to her this school year. His last school year. Another vital piece of information that had hit Clare hard at that moment.
"Yeah, but it was on Jake's orders. He had football practice and couldn't deliver the gifts, balloons and.. Medicine." Eli said, smoothly lying on the last part.
"Oh. That was.. Thoughtful of him." Clare said oddly as she looked over at her array of medicine, but she couldn't help, but look at the brand of tea that was on her bedside table. She scrunched her eyebrows together and looked at Eli. "Jake knows that Capital tea is my favorite brand? Only my mom and Darcy know about that brand and I believe I told you about it once - but I don't remember telling Jake." Clare admitted and Eli soon felt a sweat break out across the back of his neck. Clare had told him months ago that Capital tea was her favorite brand of tea when she had the sniffles and even then they had been best friends, nothing close to the relationship they began in January.
But Eli had remembered it after all those months and he knew he'd have to buy her that brand.. Because he knew she'd long for it.
"Oh.. Jake told me to buy you that brand. You must have told him this summer or something." Eli said with a slight shrug of his shoulders. Clare slowly nodded as she leaned against her headboard and looked at Eli with a weak smile on her flushed face.
"Thanks.. You didn't have to bring me my stuff. It means a lot." Clare thanked him in her raspy voice that Eli wished would clear up so he could hear her soft and gentle voice.
"No problem. My pleasure." Eli replied as he stuffed his nervous hands in his leather jacket pockets as he looked down at his shoes.
A harsh silence was surrounding them and it itched on Eli's skin. He hated being this way with her, so awkward and non talkative, but it was how things were now. If Jake hadn't approached him with Clare's goods this afternoon, Eli would have gone on avoiding Clare like the plague all the school year, he didn't want to cause her anymore discomfort than he already had this year. He wanted Clare to have a nice memorable high school memories, he knew he already tainted her grade ten year, but she still had her grade nine, eleven and twelve years. Eli never touched her grade nine year, and he was sure he'd never touch her grade eleven year more than he was doing right now and.. He wouldn't be around to touch her grade twelve year. Eli would be at U of T most likely so he could be close by with his parents and Adam - and all the other friends he developed this year. But he was still sure he wouldn't taint Clare's life more than he already did.
"Well.. I might as well head off. Cece will get suspicious and worried if I don't' come home soon." Eli said nervously as he looked up to see Clare's face, but she wasn't looking at him like he had thought she'd be doing. She was looking down at her pink bed sheets and had a arm wrapped around her stomach, not paying any attention to him.
Eli took this as his cue to leave Clare seeing as she wasn't responding to him, but just as he was about to turn around and slip through her bedroom door, he faintly heard her croak.
"Eli. Can you hand me my trashcan?"
Eli quickly spun around to face her and noticed how green and pale her face had become. Plus the way she had her arm wrapped around her stomach had his thoughts racing as he snatched her trashcan which was resting by the door and immediately brought it into her lap. Under her chin, all in time to catch her contents from her heaving stomach.
Eli sat down next to her on the bed and pulled her sweaty auburn locks from off her neck - completely forgetting his plan to avoid her at all costs, but he seemed to forget that the moment she got sicker with him leaving.
As Clare continued to heave, Eli held her locks in place, but never did place a hand or arm around or on her back. He wanted to give her more space and not make her even worse by showing comfort to her.
Moments passed and soon Clare pulled her head from the trashcan and Eli let loose of her curls seeing as she was done heaving. Clare grimaced as she looked down at the now dirty trashcan and sighed as she looked back at Eli who was sitting next to her with concern shining in his green eyes as he looked at her pale demeanor. "Are you feeling okay now?" Eli asked gently and Clare nodded, red heat applying to her cheeks as she realized Eli had seen her upchuck all the dinner she had last night and.. He hadn't scampered off like she expected him too. He had stayed put next to her and held her hair back as a simple gesture.
"I'm sorry you had to see that.:" Clare apologized as she set the trashcan down on the ground and wrapped her arms around her shivering form. Eli chuckled lightly at her embarrassment which caught Clare by surprise. She hadn't heard him chuckle in months. It was a sound she missed deeply she now realized.
"Its alright, Clare. I don't have a problem with puke. I'm quite capable of myself around disgusting matters." Eli said with a slight smirk as Clare allowed the corners of her mouth to turn up into a smile, she had missed Eli's jokes and teases. She'd been away from them for too long and was realizing just how much she had been attached to Eli and his personality.
So then she asked of something she didn't expect to ask.
"Do you think.. You could stay until my mom and Glen get home? So I won't be alone in case I get sick again." Clare asked timidly as she looked up at Eli under her lashes. Eli looked down at her with a bit of thought on his face. Clare was sure he'd say no, it'd be logical of him to say no after all that had happened. He'd have a right to say no to her face.
Eli nodded as he pulled out his phone and quickly started typing out a text message. "I need to text Cece and tell her I'll be spending time with Adam.. Or Drew. Well one of them and then tell them to cover for me. If I tell my parents I'm with you.. It'd be a topic they would want to discuss in therapy and well. I've talked about you plenty enough in therapy. No offense." Eli said lowly as he sent a quick text to Cece and the Torres boys. Clare swallowed a lump down her dry and aching throat.
I've talked about you plenty enough in therapy.
Clare shouldn't be as surprised by it. Of course Eli would have to bring Clare up in his sessions, Cece and Bullfrog would make him - he'd need too if he needed to get closure from it all. But Clare couldn't help, but wonder what Eli had said about her.. Did he say good things or bad things? Did he mention how she broke up with him whilst he was laying on a hospital bed? Did he mention how she accused him of suffocation and ditched him for spring break? Did he mention how she threw her relationship with Jake in his face at the end of the school year and ultimately sent him into a breakdown on stage?
He probably did. He probably told his therapist everything that Clare did to him and made sure to make her seem like the bad guy in it all.. Because Clare felt like she was the bad guy despite that it was all the right thing to do. Eli was sick and he needed help and she couldn't help him.
But here was Clare, she was sick and what was Eli doing? Helping her. Doing something she couldn't do for him. For many reasons, that very realizations brought tears to Clare's eyes as she pathetically tried to wipe them away with her shaking hands.
"Hey, hey. What's wrong?" Eli asked alarmed as he saw Clare crying after he stuffed his phone in his pocket and focused his attention on the crying girl who was trying to wipe the tears cascading down her face.
"I..I.." Clare tried to say, but she couldn't find her tongue under all the words she wanted to say. She was so upset over the fact that Eli was here and Eli was taking care of her and Eli was worrying over her. It was almost as if he still cared so immensely about her - almost as if he still loved her. That mere thought made her sob even more which caused a painful sight for Eli.
"You don't feel that good right? Maybe you should just lay down - I'll be right here, but try to take a nap. Just don't cry, it'll make your headache worst, trust me." Eli said almost expertly as he looked at Clare who looked up at him with teary eyes. Clare also didn't miss when he raised his hand to wipe her tears off her face, a gesture he use to do whenever her parents would fight and Eli would be there to comfort her, but he stops himself and then directs his hand to her shoulder. Clare could feel the nervousness of the touch, but when she didn't respond badly to the touch, he slowly became comfortable with it and softly pushed her down on the bed. Which she complied to with no resists. She allowed him to cover her with a blanket and gently tuck in the side as he kept his eyes on hers the whole time. Her crying had subsided as did her headache, but she still felt god awful, especially after she puked up her dinner ten minutes ago too.
Clare didn't rest easily as she saw Eli start rummaging around with the medicine by her bedside table, trying to decide which would be better for Clare when he didn't even really know her symptoms besides a upset stomach.
Weakly, Clare reached over - surprising Eli since he thought she had already fallen asleep and touched the box that was marked to help subside flu like symptoms. Eli gave her a small reassuring smile as he opened the box and read the directions inside as Clare sunk into her mattress and pillows comfortably. She felt a wave of warmth radiate over her with Eli here - almost like a protective bubble that she hadn't felt since they had broken it off months ago.
'Let me go get you some orange juice so you can take them with these tablets. You're suppose to take two tablets every four hours, nothing more. So let me get the glass of orange juice so you can take these before you go to sleep." Eli said almost to himself as he left two tablets on the bedside table and scurried from the room. Clare could faintly hear him downstairs, rummaging through cabinets and the fridge to get the glass of orange juice. Soon he reappeared in the bedroom with the glass of orange juice in his hand and he grabbed the two tablets into his palm as he held them up for Clare to take. Clare groaned as she sat up, feeling her head feel heavier with the elevation. She quickly took the two tablets and a swift drink of the juice before thrusting it back into Eli's hand as she fell back against the pillows, her headache residing from the elevation pain.
Eli sighed and placed the glass on the bedside table as he flicked the light off and drew the curtains a close as he saw some light shining through the cracks. He looked back at Clare who's eyes were slowly closing, Eli approached her and drew the blankets higher on her body - up to her neck as he tucked in the sides.
Clare was finally looking peaceful, but Eli had vaguely remembered something that helped Clare fall asleep faster. He could remember her words one night when she was lying against Morty's seat and had asked if she could plug her iPod into the radio and listen to her Taylor Swift play list so she could fall asleep faster.
Eli didn't resist her then and he wouldn't resist her now. He grabbed her iPod off the dock and scrolled through her play lists until he found the Taylor Swift play list. He pressed play and placed it on the dock and soon the room was filled with Taylor's harmonic melodies about a first day of high school.
Clare stirred as she heard Fifteen fill throughout her room, had her iPod set on its own? Oh man. Clare thought. Eli's gonna hate this, he hates Taylor's music. But when Clare opened her eyes she saw Eli over by the dock system, he turned around and faced her with a small smile on his face.
"I hope you don't mind me playing Taylor Swift music.. I know you said before that her music helps you-" Eli began to say and soon Clare repeated her words she said many months ago.
"Fall asleep." Eli nodded and Clare gave off a weak smile as the song came to its chorus and if her throat didn't hurt so much she'd sing along to the words she knew by heart. Clare slowly closed her eyes as she heard shuffling around her room and could hear the sound of Eli settling into the chair in her room. Then soon Clare's eyes drifted to a close for the day - she hoped when she'd awaken that Eli would still be here.
The next time Clare awoken, the room was dark as it had been before and it was silent . No Taylor Swift music was filling her hallow room. She opened her puffy eyes farther and heard the sound of someone shuffling around the room. She glanced over at the chair that rests by her bookcase, it was empty. Eli wasn't sitting there anymore.
Clare swallowed deeply and could notice her throat felt a bit better than it had earlier. The burning had resided and it didn't feel as achy as before. So the medication Eli had bought for her was working its magic and was residing her awful feelings from her sickness.
But then the footsteps that she heard shuffling around her room came closer and she breathed a sigh of relief when she saw it was Eli who was approaching her. His leather jacket was zipped up halfway on his body, showing off his gray tee shirt he had on underneath. His phone was sticking out of his front pocket and she could barely see his black backpack riding on his backside. He almost looked as if he was about ready to.. Leave.
"Wha.. Are you leaving already?" Clare asked drowsily as she rubbed her blue orbs with her hands and looked at him with her head cocked. Eli gave off a small smile as he looked down at her, he nodded and sat down on the edge of her bed. His eyes still locked with hers.
"Yeah.. Cece texted me saying she knew I wasn't at Adam's the whole time. I'm pretty sure her and Bullfrog are gonna sit me down and talk about me visiting you." Eli said with a shrug to his shoulders and Clare bit the inside of her cheek. She hoped she wasn't causing Eli anymore trouble than she already has. She was perfectly aware of how she was part of the reason Eli's parents aren't as easy going with him anymore, but.. Clare sees it as something good. Eli needs strong and disciplined parents who are gonna take care of him and set him straight before he leaves home for college.
Leaves home for college.
The words seemed to surreal to Clare. The last time she had ever spoken to Eli pertaining to college, he had shrugged his red polo'd shoulders saying he wasn't sure what college to attend or if Cece would keep him in her nest forever as he had joked seeing as Cece really loved Eli, she loved him just like any mother would love their son, but their love was a tad different seeing as it was Eli of all people they were dealing with.
"Then you better be getting home. I just hope I'm not going to cause any trouble with you and your parents." Clare said nervously and Eli chuckled at her nervousness. The way her nose would twitch and her hands would tangle together and she would shift her blue orbs to scan the room. Her nervousness was something Eli liked to observe and see, it was something he adored.
"Oh you won't. Once they see the reason for why I'm here, they'll be happy I was here making sure you were okay and didn't just leave you. Plus, I'm sure Cece would slap me upside the head if I didn't get you medication and tea either. You know how she is." Eli said with a amused smirk on his pale face and Clare felt her face grow warm as she heard his words pertaining to the tea and medicine.
"You chose to buy me them?" Clare asked in a croaky voice and she saw as Eli's face flashed red before he regained composure and quickly changed the subject.
"Anyway. Just lay back down and go back to sleep. When you wake up, Helen, Glen and Jake will be here to take care of you and I'm sure they'll do a damn good job at it." Eli said as he lightly pushed Clare against her pillows once more, drawing her sheets up to her neck once more and smoothing the pink fleece blanket over her tiny body on the bed. Clare was feeling herself drift back to sleep as Eli finished smoothing out her blanket and had shifted himself off her bed, but before he could take any steps away from her bed, Clare murmured.
"But they wouldn't have known what tea to have gotten me like you did."
Eli felt a wide smile cross his face as he walked back over to Clare's bedside and hesitatingly pressed a soft and gentle kiss on her now cool forehead. He saw as a pleased smile crossed her face before sleep completely overtook her and Eli gently brushed the curls off her face and whispered before exiting her room.
"Happy sixteenth birthday, Clare."
A/N: I had more to add to this one shot, like a scene with Jake/Clare as siblings at the beginning, but my mom's desktop crashed and I lost all that writing. I was also going to add another ending scene with Eli and Clare at school, but figured this last scene was good enough. Please review!