A/N: I do not own Degrassi.
Chapter One: Bullfrog's Suggestion
"Bullfrog…don't," Eli slid into the front seat next to his dad, "Please."
Eli shot his father a look, "What did I tell you?"
Bullfrog held up his hands in surrender, "Alright, alright. I can take a hint."
He turned the key in the ignition, and the car backed out of the parking spot. As they drove away, Eli couldn't help but stare at the girl watching them go. She looked so cute standing there all bundled up in her coat. Eli shook his head, regretting not kissing her back – regretting not just telling her, "No, we're talking about this now, not after break."
Now he would have to wait out the whole two-week-long holiday until he could speak to her at school and confront her about the kiss. Or, he could just call her…but calling would be weird. What if there was an awkward silence on the phone or something? Eli rested his head against the headrest and watched the snowflakes dance past the window. Since when did things get to be so complicated?
Since his ex-girlfriend kissed him two seconds before he had to leave and not see her again for two whole weeks. Yup, that sounded about right.
"Your mother fixed peppermint hot chocolate tonight," Bullfrog attempted to make light conversation with his son, "Your favorite kind of hot chocolate. She even put in some of that peppermint bark you love…"
"How likely is it that you happened to have a bout of momentary blindness during my…uh…moment back there?" Eli asked, suddenly.
"Not very likely," Bullfrog admitted, "That was Clare, wasn't it?"
"Yeah," Eli winced, dreading what his dad would say next.
However, Bullfrog surprised him, "Good."
"Good?" Eli stared at his father as if he had just sprouted a second head, "What do you mean good?"
"She's a nice girl, Eli. Just watch yourself, alright? You are pretty crazy about the girl," Bullfrog smirked, "No pun intended."
Eli rolled his eyes, "I think I can handle it this time. Besides, losing her the first time was a wakeup call to me. I don't want to do anything to lose her again. I won't jeopardize this. I won't ruin this."
"You should invite her to come with us tomorrow."
"Are you sure you're not the one that's mental?" Eli raised a concerned eyebrow, "I can recommend a therapist…"
"Ha-ha," Bullfrog rolled his eyes, "Very funny. I'm serious, kid. You should invite her with us to Grandma's."
"Clare wouldn't be interested in that," Eli shook his head, "Not to mention that'd be, like, so totally weird. Like, major creeper-status. Oh, hi there ex-girlfriend who I just now started talking to again a few hours ago! Would you like to join my family and me to visit my grandmother for the Christmas holidays? Oh goodie!" Eli shot his father a death-glare, "Yeah…not happening."
"I don't see what the problem is," Bullfrog shrugged, "It's Clare. You two are close."
His father rolled his eyes, "Whatever. Look, I'm just sayin'…I got your mom to take me back after I invited her to a family barbeque."
Eli raised a curious eyebrow.
"That, and the fact that we totally did it on the picnic table the night before when my parents were asleep," Bullfrog held out a fist for Eli to bump.
"No," his son shook his head, "Just…no."
"Aw, come on. This could be the big moment. You could be telling your children about this."
"Dad," Eli shook his head. Bullfrog knew this must be important – Eli hardly ever called him 'Dad', "I really don't think Clare wants to take me back."
"She kissed you, didn't she?" Bullfrog asked, "Come on, just give her a call when you get home. Unless…you're too chicken."
"I am not!" Eli objected, "I just know her and I know she'd be totally creeped out if I randomly invited her to join us for Christmas. Besides, it's short notice to get a plane ticket for tomorrow."
"You think I hadn't thought of this earlier?" Bullfrog asked, "Please, Eli, give your ol' man some credit here. I ordered an extra ticket just in case you had someone extra special you wanted to invite along."
"Seriously?" Eli couldn't believe what he had just heard, "Wow…Dad…"
"This isn't going to be one of those mushy father/son moments, is it?" Bullfrog shot his son a look.
"Of course not," Eli made a disgusted face, "What'd you take us for? A normal family?"
When they pulled into the driveway, Eli hopped out of the car and hurried upstairs to give Clare a call. He was nervous as all get out, but he knew it would mean a lot to his father. He just hoped the suggestion wouldn't freak her out too much.
"Clare? Hi! It's…"
"Eli. What are you up to? It's getting late…"
"I know," Eli ran a nervous hand through his disheveled hair, "but I have a question."
"Oh, Eli…I thought we were going to wait until after the…"
"Just listen to me," Eli wasn't the best when it came to having patience, "My dumb father thought he'd try and be cute and bought an extra ticket for our flight tomorrow…just in case I wanted to 'bring along someone special.' His words, not mine. Anyway…"
"…I was wondering…I know it's crazy-short notice…but would you…it'd mean so much to my dad – for some weird reason…"
Eli sighed before quickly asking, "Would you please come with my family and me to visit my grandmother's for Christmas?"