A/N: I do not own Degrassi.
"Wait, hold up – Clare did what?"
"She just…kissed me," Eli shrugged.
"And what did you do?"
"What do you mean what did I do?" Eli recoiled, "She kissed me! I-I didn't know what to do so I just…"
"I just stood there."
Fiona placed a palm to her forehead, "Why didn't you kiss her back? God, could you be any more dense?"
"Hey, give me some credit, okay. It's not every day you get kissed by your ex-girlfriend."
Fiona shook her head, "Eli, I know you wanted to kiss her back."
"And how do you know that?" Eli folded his arms over his chest, "I mean, I very well could have thought the kiss was vile and…"
"Don't," Fiona held up a hand, "Your pitiful attempts at back-peddling are making me want to vomit."
"You are. I know you're still crazy about her, Eli. And don't even try to deny it."
"Don't. You should have just kissed her back."
"I might not have wanted to. Maybe I just wanted to try my hand at being…oh, I dunno – her friend!"
Fiona sat down on his bed, "Don't make me smack you, because I will. You are such an awful liar. I love you, but really?"
Eli blushed and ran a hand through his hair, "Fiona, I don't know what I was doing. All day I was…trying to get her attention. I wanted her to pay attention to me. I wanted to make her laugh and see her smile. And I did."
"You mean you flirted with her."
Eli winced, "Yeah."
"Well, you are Eli and she is Clare and what you two had was…wow. It was definitely intense. You can't just erase that kind of love. It never truly goes away."
Eli scoffed, "Excuse me? But I do not love Clare…"
Fiona raised a tweezed eyebrow, "Like I said, I will smack you."
Eli caved, "Alright, so maybe those feelings never did go away. That doesn't mean I can just flirt with her, and that sure as hell doesn't mean she can just kiss me!"
"You called me for advice, so I'm going to give it to you. You need to work this out with her. Sit down and have a heart to heart. She means a lot to you, and you mean a lot to her. You can't let whatever drama you're holding onto stand in the way."
"I guess you're right…"
"Of course I am," Fiona grinned, "I think you need to just go enjoy your family vacation tomorrow, and when you get back in town, schedule some time to just sit down and really talk to her."
Eli winced again, "Would you call me a wuss if I told you I'm scared?"
"No," Fiona shook her head, "Of course not."
"Wuss," Fiona smirked.
"Sorry," she held up her hands in surrender, "Alright, I gave you advice, now it's your turn to return the favor."
"Imogen and I…"
"No!" A wide grin spread across his face.
"You and Imogen?" Eli raised an eyebrow, "Seriously? Spill."
Fiona sighed and shook her head, "We were on the ferris wheel and…"
"We were talking and I might have maybe…"
"You kissed Imogen?"
"Shh," Fiona blushed, "Yes. I told her about the crush I had on her…"
"So I was right!"
"Yes," Fiona winced, "As much as it pains me to say so."
Eli smirked, "So…was there tongue?"
"What?" He chuckled, "Just wondering."
"I will keep you posted on a need-to-know basis and a need-to-know basis alone."
"Alright, fair enough," Eli shrugged, "Wait a second…"
"Does this mean…did I make Imogen…lesbian?"
Fiona threw her head back and laughed, "I don't think so. I think she's just feeling a lot of stuff right now that she's not quite used to and we're just going to try and figure this whole thing out together."
"Two of my best friends are a lesbian couple," Eli shook his head, "I have got to get a girlfriend."
"Then get her," Fiona insisted, "You already know who she is."
Eli sat down next to her, "Fi, I am really scared of this."
"I was scared of telling Imogen my feelings for her," she reminded him, "But I just did and now I am so grateful that I did. She means so much to me. Not telling her would mean the possibility of losing her. The benefit outweighed the risk."
Eli nodded, "I know but still…I don't even know where to begin."
"She kissed you," Fiona shrugged, "Why don't you return the favor?"
"You want me to just randomly kiss her?" Eli's cheeks were turning crimson, "I couldn't…"
"She did it. Don't you think she was scared? Grow a pair and just do it."
"Well, I gave you my advice," Fiona stood from the bed, "All you have to do is fret over it while on vacation."
"Ugh, don't even remind me," Eli groaned, "I could just kill her for kissing me like that."
"Have a good Christmas, Eli."
"You too, Fi."
Fiona gave him a hug and quick kiss on the cheek before heading out the door, leaving him with his thoughts.
His flight was in a few hours. Pretty soon, he and his parents would be on their way to start their vacation. But Eli couldn't shake Fiona's words from his mind. He had to do something. He couldn't just go on vacation without talking to Clare.
He picked up his phone and dialed the number he still had memorized.
On the third ring, she answered, "Hello?"
"Eli? I thought you were going out of town."
"I am, but I have a few minutes. Meet me at the park?"
"Um…" he could practically hear the wheels turning in her head before she said, "Alright."
"See you about ten minutes?"
Eli grabbed his favorite pea coat and headed out the door.
"Where do you think you're going?"
Eli winced. Why was his dad still up?
"I am just going to say goodbye to someone…before we leave."
His dad sighed, "Eli, this is about the girl that kissed you tonight?"
"I guess there was no hope of you having momentary blindness during that?"
"Not a chance," his dad stood from the couch, "Look kid, I don't want you getting in over your head here. This is Clare. The Clare you almost killed yourself…"
"I know," Eli shoved his hands in his pockets, "I know you're scared…because I'm scared too. But Clare…she means the world to me. She's everything to me. I can't lose her again."
"Alright, you can go meet up with her. Just be back in fifteen minutes, got it? Fifteen minutes!"
"Got it!" Eli called as he headed out the front door.
When he arrived at the park, Clare was already there sitting on one of the wooden benches. She had snow in her hair, and Eli felt his heart skip a beat as he approached her.
"Hey," she glanced up.
He sat down next to her and reached up, "You're a mess – you've got snow all over your hair!"
Clare batted his hand away, "So do you!"
"But I can pull it off. It takes someone super talented to pull of the dandruff look, Clare. I could make a career of it."
"Don't quit your day job," she smiled a shy smile as she picked at a thread on her gloves.
Eli stuck his tongue out at her, and she rolled her eyes, "Look, Eli…I just want to say I am so sorry…"
"Don't," Eli shook his head, "You kissed me, Clare. You put the ball in my court. You put yourself out there and you did the one thing I had been wanting to do all day but was too chicken to."
"Don't be a butthead," Eli rolled his eyes, "You can't honestly not have known that I wanted to kiss you all day long."
"I didn't know…"
"You really are dumb, huh?"
"If you're trying to win my heart," Clare smirked, "you're kind of failing."
"I don't need to try to win your heart, Clare. I've always had it."
Clare titled her head to the side. She had to admit, he was right. He had always had her heart.
"I have to go soon, but I just wanted to tell you Merry Christmas, Clare."
"Merry Christmas, Eli."
"And Clare," Eli bit his lower lip before saying, "When I get back in town, I'd love to take my girlfriend out for hot chocolate."
Clare's jaw hung lax, "Eli…"
"Clare, I…I have never stopped thinking of you or caring about you or even…even loving you. I want you to be a part of my life again, Blue Eyes. Please."
Clare chewed on her lower lip.
"I don't have much time here, Blue Eyes," he pleaded.
"Alright, Captain Curfew," Clare grinned, "If you insist!"
"Really?" Eli looked as though his eyes were going to burst through their sockets, but he recovered by running a suave hand through his hair, "I mean…alright."
"Oh hush," Clare shoved him.
"You know, there's only one thing left to do," Eli said matter-of-factly, "in order to make this official."
"Is that so?"
"Yup. It's written in the relationship manual."
"Yup. The one thing left to do is…"
Clare leaned in for a kiss as Eli wiped up a handful of snow from the back of the bench and smashed the handful of slush over her head.
"Eli!" She gasped, "You did not just do that!"
"Oh but I did."
"This means far, Goldsworthy!"
"Aw, but look at the time. I have to go or else I'll be late for my flight."
"Fine," Clare sighed, "But…would it be too much to ask you for a kiss before you leave?"
"I could be obliged," Eli bent down and caught her lips in his. Right as he was kissing her, a handful of snow collided against the side of his face, "Clare!"
She bit her lower lip as Eli grinned and took a threatening step towards her, and said as angelically as she could, "It slipped."
"I'm going to get you for that!"
"Oh but look at the time…"
"Oh believe me, I've got time to pummel you in a snowball fight."
"As if you stand a chance, Goldsworthy."
Eli smirked and tackled her to the ground. He was about to throw a handful of snow in her face, but he stopped and bent down to kiss her.
"I missed kissing you," he said.
"I've missed you kissing me," Clare admitted.
"I really should go," Eli said, still straddling her.
"Yeah," Clare nodded, the light fading from her eyes, "I don't want you to miss your flight."
"I'll call you every day."
"And I'm holding you to that offer of hot chocolate when you come back."
"I've gone months without talking to you," Eli shook his head, "And now I have to go two weeks without seeing you and I can still call you every day, and I have no idea how I am going to stand it."
"Me either," Clare sighed. Eli rolled off of her and helped her up.
"Bye, Eli. Merry Christmas!"
"Merry Christmas, Blue Eyes. Merry Christmas."