A/N: Hi there! Long time, no write. You know how life goes. Anyway, I really want to see some conversations about the frostival kiss. What do teenage girls do when they kiss a boy? Talk about it endlessly with their friends, of course. What does Eli do when Clare kisses him? I don't know, but I'm guessing he over-analyzes everything with fervor. Since each episode of Degrassi is roughly 22 minutes, I doubt we will get to see/hear these talks. Each chapter will be a different conversation. Maybe, just MAYBE, I'll be able to write a full-length fic again after this is finished. So read, review if you like, and try to enjoy!
Oh, please keep in mind that I rarely write in first person, so cut me a wee bit of slack!
Disclaimer: If I owned Degrassi, Adam would have a damn girlfriend and Imogen would get a storyline that doesn't revolve her being a love interest.
Did that really just happen? Did Clare Edwards really just kiss me? As I slide into Bullfrog's car, I can tell by the look on his face that the very same questions are reeling through his head.
"Uh, Kid…was that…"
"Yeah," I cut him off and send him a warning look, not wanting to have this conversation. I need time to sort this out in my very messed up head. I need to run. I might need a pill. What I DON'T need is to talk about it.
"…Clare Edwards?" he finishes, not taking the hint. The car is still in park. I look out the window and can faintly see Clare's form disappearing into the crowd. Her hair is longer. How did I not notice that before?
Because you're done obsessing over women, Eli, I tell myself. Particularly that one.
"Just drive, will you?" I plead.
"Okay, okay…" Bullfrog throws up his hands in surrender and shifts gears.
For a few blissful moments, no sounds fill the car but those of NOFX on the radio. There are no uncomfortable exchanges or questions asked. The thing about moments, though, is they're just that; they don't last forever.
"Kid, you do realize we're going to talk about this. It's not optional."
I sigh, knowing my dad will make good on his words. Things have really changed in my household since my bipolar diagnosis. Where there was once space, there is now Bullfrog and Cece. I minded at first, but to be honest, I truly think their newfound involvement in my life has helped me deal with my illness. I'm incredibly grateful for them, and I know how lucky I am to have such good parents. There are times, however, when I need the space back. Times like tonight.
"What EXACTLY do you want to talk about?" I ask with a slight edge to my voice. Bullfrog turns right at a stoplight.
"Clare. Lips. Yours. Hers. How in the hell that happened." He turns the radio down. "Last I heard you two were civil but not exactly joined at the hip." He chuckles a bit. "Or mouth." I groan.
"Well, that's pretty much how it was, but we've been hanging out a bit lately…" I stop, not knowing what else to say.
"I thought you were just helping Clare at the newspaper."
"That makes two of us." I take a deep breath, then add: "I was hoping Clare and I could become FRIENDS again." My lips contort into a soft smile. "She was my BEST friend, Bullfrog. I know I messed up with her, I messed up TERRIBLY, but I thought that maybe, just maybe…"
"You two could pick up where you left off?" He suggests, and I just stare at him. It's not often my father hits the nail on the proverbial coffin.
"Kid, you know that's not possible. There's too much history. Too many feelings." He grunts and ruffles a hand through his hair. "Apparently feelings that still exist."
"See, that's the thing, Dad." He looks surprised; I rarely pull out the 'Dad' card. "Just hours ago, she said all of our feelings for each other were in the past. After that, it was just like old times. The old relationship we had when we first became English partners seemed to have resurfaced. We talked, we laughed, we bantered, and we worked with words."
"It's been a long time," Bullfrog admits. "And you've been doing so well. I guess I don't see why you two can't be FRIENDS." He pulls into our driveway. "But why the kissing? That's what I don't get." He parks the car, but neither of us shows any signs of leaving it.
"Me neither," I whisper. "I never thought…after everything I did…" I can't find the words I'm searching for before my voice starts to crack with emotion.
Dammit, Eli. Keep it together.
"I have no idea why she kissed me, Dad. One minute we were walking around the carnival and laughing, and then she's admitting that she was worried about us hanging out, but not worried for me. I asked her if that meant what I thought it did, which was probably stupid, but the next thing I knew her lips were on mine." Not wanting to look my dad in they eye, I stare out the window at nothing specific.
"Look, Eli, what you two had was intense-"
"I know, Dad." My throat constricts with the words.
"Let me finish. Look at me," he demands. I do. "What you two had was intense, especially for your age, but there is a very good chance it could have been the real thing. It could still BE the real thing. I know everyone's probably told you that it was just young love, and young love doesn't last. But sometimes it does. Look at your mom and me. Together since we were seventeen."
"Yeah, yeah yeah." I have heard this story a million times before. "And twenty years later, you're still in love and, often to my horror, incredibly hot for one another."
Bullfrog laughs. "Yeah, Kid. But do you think those twenty years haven't come with rough patches? That's the thing about the real thing: you have to work for it. Just because you made some mistakes doesn't mean it's over."
She made it clear it was last year. "Dad, on opening night of Love Roulette Clare told me that we were, and I quote, 'never getting back together'."
"Eli, you were manic! You wrote a play that turned Clare into a villain. She was about to watch said play. Not to mention you didn't have the right medication, or even a diagnosis for what was making you feel so messed up inside." He puts his hand on my shoulder. "People say things. It's understandable that she said you were never getting back together at that particular place and time, but that doesn't mean she meant it. Well hell, I'm sure she did at the time, but she might not mean it anymore." He smiles. "You're better, kid. We lost you there for a while, but you're YOU again."
I close my eyes and try to process the fact that Clare might still care for me, attempt to convince myself that the kiss really happened and my mind wasn't just playing tricks on me again. Bullfrog's right; I might finally be the guy she fell in love with. Funny how that happened when I wasn't even trying to be that guy. Not for her, anyway. For me.
"Do you still love her?" Bullfrog's question snaps me out of my trance.
"Of course I do," I say without hesitation. "It's Clare."
"I know it is, Kid. That's why this whole thing scares me."
A/N: I hope you found this interesting. Dialogue is probably my strong point as a writer; the only formal writing classes I've taken are playwriting courses. Up next, Clare and Jake!