Author's Note: I heard this song on the radio today for the first time in years. It inspired me to write a fanfiction. As you know, I don't own Degrassi. If I did, Eli and Clare would be guaranteed not to break up again, and Adam would have a freakin' girlfriend already! Enjoy!
Cinnamon and Sugary and Softly Spoken Lies
"Just so you know," she said, raising her glass filled with sloshing caramel liquid, "I am completely over you."
"Is that so?" Eli asked, an eyebrow raised in bemusement.
"Yes," she brought the glass to her lips and took a sip. Closing her eyes and enjoying the sensation of the drink rivering down her throat, she added, "I am."
"So then why are you here, at my apartment, drinking my scotch?" Eli asked her.
Clare sat the glass down on the coffee table, and cocked her head to the side – resembling a parrot who was being watched, by someone just waiting for the bird to say something, "Where else was I supposed to go?" She asked, "It's not every day that your boyfriend of two years kicks you out of your place."
Eli took the glass from her, and poured some more scotch, "Why don't we start from the beginning," he suggested, "What exactly happened between the two of you?"
Clare sighed, as if trying to find the right words, "Well, I suppose it all started when he refused to go with me to Ali's wedding last month. He was busy with work or something and said he couldn't get away. That really…that bothered me," Clare's words were starting to bump into each other, "So I went by myself and ran into you," she smiled, and nodded towards Eli, "Lucky me."
Eli knew he probably shouldn't have poured her that other drink, but she seemed so desperate for it, "Lucky you," he smirked, "Hadn't seen you in ten years and what do we do?"
"Sneak off to the coat closet," Clare giggled, "I never imagined we'd…well…you know," she said as if it was some top secret that she couldn't share with anyone. If she mentioned it out loud, it would make it true, "And to think after all those years."
"Especially since we didn't end it on the best of terms," Eli reminded her, "I seem to recall you slapping me pretty hard on the day of graduation."
Clare winced, "I did, didn't I? I'm sorry."
"I deserved it," Eli admitted, "I was scared we weren't going to last the separation of me being away in New York for school, so I just decided it'd be best to get it over with. Like a Band-Aid."
Clare rolled her eyes, "You didn't even try."
"Hey," Eli took a sip of his own drink, "We're talking now."
"That we are," Clare nodded, "When I got home from Ali's wedding…I guess he suspected something had happened. Your name was brought up in an argument a few days later. About two weeks ago…we just stopped talking," Clare shrugged, "And then today I walked in to find my bags by the door, and a note telling me to leave before he got home."
"So you came here," Eli said, "Why?"
"Where else would I go?" Clare laughed a humorless laugh.
"You had options," Eli reminded her, "But you specifically came here. Want to recant that statement about being completely over me?"
Clare shrugged off his question, "You know, we shouldn't have done that."
"Come back here after the wedding. We shouldn't have…and you know we shouldn't have. It screwed everything up!"
"Hey," Eli held up his hands, "I didn't exactly force you. I merely suggested if you wanted to…"
"Shut up," Clare's voice grew slick and icy like frozen asphalt, "If I hadn't come here that night…maybe I would be back home at my place with my wonderful boyfriend watching movies and eating pizza."
"Didn't seem to learn your lesson, did you?" Eli raised an eyebrow, "I think something deep down inside you convinced you to come that night, and convinced you to come tonight. Face it, you want to be here, Clare."
"I want to be home," she shoved her glass towards him, "More please."
Eli glanced at her, knowing better than to pour another drink, but doing so anyways, "So where are you going to crash?" He asked, "Since you so obviously don't want to be here."
Clare chewed on her bottom lip, "I don't know," she whispered, "I didn't think that through."
"No, you didn't. What you did do was show up at my apartment with a shit-ton of baggage – figuratively and literally – and wait outside my apartment for me to come home and let you. And my landlord told me not to take in anymore strays," Eli let out a dry laugh.
Clare's eyes fell, and she picked at the red polish on her nails, not really knowing what to say. She longed to say something, but no words would come.
"Clare, what are you doing here?" Eli asked her.
"Wanting someone to tell me where to go," she answered honestly.
Eli shook his head, "Why do you always need someone to tell you what to do and where to go, Edwards? Why can't you just do what you want for a change?"
Clare cradled her forehead in the palm of her hand, "I don't know why it's so hard for me to just do what I want to do," Clare admitted, "I just am so used to everyone else telling me what to do. Maybe…maybe I don't really know what I want to do."
"You're a writer, that's something you want to do, right?"
"Yes, but other than that…I don't know. I don't know where I want to go or where I want to be."
"But here you are," Eli took a sip from his glass, "In my apartment. Drunk."
"I am not drunk."
"Edwards," Eli raised an eye.
"Fine," Clare rolled her eyes, "So I might be a tad intoxicated…"
Eli chuckled, "It's not often I have drunk girls alone in my apartment. This could be a highly dangerous situation for you, Edwards."
"Please," Clare rolled her eyes again, "I guess I should ask you if I could crash here…just for tonight. I can sleep on the couch."
"I guess I should say yes…just so you aren't sleeping on the streets," Eli sighed, "Why do we always do this Edwards? We get together, we breakup, we get back together, we breakup and you slap me. I don't see you for years. Then we get drunk at Ali's wedding and do it in a coat closet and bring it back to my place to do some more. Then you yell at me for taking advantage of you and go running off back to your knight in shining armor who then kicks you out two weeks later. I don't know what to expect with you," he shook his head, "It's one fucking adventure with you after another."
Clare didn't really know how to respond to that, "Maybe I am just a masochist," Clare suggested, "I know we're not going to work out, yet you're the one I find myself coming back to. I know we're going to hurt each other. We always do."
"It's our thing," Eli smiled a sad smile, "It's what we do, Edwards."
"We hurt each other."
"Yup. And yet here you are."
"Here I am," Clare's eyes met Eli's, and for a moment, they just sat there in silence, staring.
"I'm going to get the couch ready for you," Eli pointed a stern finger at her, "Don't drink all the scotch while I'm gone."
"I'll try not to," Clare smile a shy smile and Eli couldn't help himself. He reached out and touched one of the cinnamon sugar curls that fell down her shoulders.
"Be good," he told her, before heading off to find an extra set of blankets.
Clare leaned back on the couch and tucked her feet underneath her. She abandoned her glass, and took to losing herself to her own thoughts instead of the alcohol. What the hell was she doing here? This was Eli's apartment. She couldn't just show up and disrupt everything for him. But like he said, they hurt each other. It's what they did.
"Here you go," Eli appeared with blankets and an extra pillow, "Sure you'll be alright on the couch, or do you want to take my bed?"
"Couch is fine," Clare smiled up at him, "Eli…thank you for this."
"I may be cruel, but I'm not so cruel that I'd force you to sleep out on the streets," Eli smirked down at her, "Do you need anything else, or is this fine?"
"It's fine," Clare suddenly let out a small laugh, "Eli, what in the world are we doing?"
"I'm trying to get you to go to bed so you can start working on sleeping off that hangover you're going to have come morning," he shook his head, "For a girl who doesn't drink, you sure drank a lot tonight."
"I needed it," Clare twisted a strand of hair around her finger, "And I was right about what I said earlier."
"What's that?" Eli asked, gently pushing her down on the couch so she was lying down, and pulled the blanket up over her.
"I am completely over you."
"Whatever you say, Edwards," Eli shook his head, "Just try and get some rest."
He picked up the bottle of scotch and the glasses as Clare began to doze off. He washed out the glasses in the sink, and shook his head. What the hell were they doing? Why the fuck was she in his living room? Why the hell didn't she have anywhere else to go but here? Eli knew he was going to regret this. Why couldn't he just say no to her? Why couldn't she just say no to him?
He headed to his room and picked up his cellphone. On the fifth ring, someone answered, "Eli?"
"Clare's drunk and passed out asleep in my apartment."
"What? Eli…what did you do?"
"Nothing," Eli said honestly, "Really. I came home and she was sitting outside my door on top of a suitcase. Her boyfriend apparently threw her out of their apartment. I shouldn't have let her stay here but…she didn't have anywhere else to go."
"Eli…this isn't good."
"You think I don't fucking know that, Adam?" Eli hissed, "She's here and she's just as wonderful as ever and I know I'm just going to get fucking hurt again when she wakes up and realizes where she is and bails."
Adam didn't say anything for a moment, and then, "If you two keep coming back to this – coming back to each other and random nights together – maybe it's where you're supposed to be."
"Adam, don't be fucking stupid."
"Eli, just hear me out…maybe she came to you because something deep down inside her told here with you is where she needed to be. And maybe you said yes, and let her crash at your place because…well, deep down…you know she needs to be with you too."
"If I could strangle you over the phone…"
"Just think about it," Adam asked, "Please? Just think about it. After ten years, you're both still coming back to each other. That's got to mean something."
"It means we're both fucking morons," Eli ran a hand through his hair, "She can't do this, Adam. She can't just come over like this and talk with me and make me…"
"Make you what?"
"She makes me fall for her, alright?" Eli asked, frustrated, "Happy? At the wedding, and now again tonight – she's making me fall for her. She comes in randomly, stirs things up, makes me fall for her again, and then leaves."
"Then convince her not to."
"Convince her not to leave."
"Adam, maybe you're the one that needs to be on crazy meds," Eli rolled his eyes, "Clare and I could never work out. We never do."
"Because you never give it a chance. You push her away before you get a chance, and she leaves before you get a chance. Stop ruining it before it even starts."
"And what do you suggest?"
"That you hang up and let me get back to making love to my wife and sort it out yourself?"
"Sorry," Adam chuckled, "Just…do what you think you should. Listen to your heart for once instead of shutting up because you're scared."
"Why are you such a hopeless romantic?" Eli shook his head, "Damn it, Adam."
Adam laughed, "Hey, I found my one and only. Now maybe it's time you get your head out of your ass long enough to realize yours is on your couch, drunk."
"Alright," Eli gave in, "I'll think about what you said."
"That's all I'm asking you do," Adam said.
"I'll call you tomorrow at some point. Give Fi a kiss for me."
"Excuse me? Screw you! I'm not kissing my wife for you."
Eli chuckled, "Hey, Fi."
"Hey, Eli," she said, and he could practically see her smiling into the phone.
"I'll let you two get back to whatever it is you were doing…"
"You don't have to say so twice," Adam grinned and hung up. Eli rolled his eyes and tossed his phone to the bed.
What if Adam was right? What if the reason Clare was here was because she belonged here? Eli knew it was dangerous, the feelings he felt for her. But what if he was supposed to be having these feelings? Maybe they both just needed to wake up and face what they already knew.
Eli swung his bedroom door open and headed out to the living room, "Edwards? You awake?"
"No," Clare said, sleepily, "What do you want, Eli?"
"I just wanted to say," Eli sucked up all the strength he could, and said, "Liar."
"Here's how this is going to work, Edwards. I am going to kiss you. You're going to kiss me back. We are going to fall asleep together in my bed – no fucking couch for you – and we're not going to have sex. We are just going to sleep together. Then, in the morning, I am going to make you breakfast and you are going to stay here…with me. And you aren't going to walk out on me again, because this is where you fucking belong. And if you don't see that by now, then you're blind."
Clare stared at him, dumbly as he continued, "What do you have to say to that?"
"That's what I thought," Eli jumped on top of her and captured her lips in his. Once they pulled apart from their kiss, he said, "Completely over me, my ass."
Author's Note: So it's a bit rushed and it's a bit OOC but I love it. It was loads of fun to write! And I don't know why, but I just like the idea of Adam and Fiona together. Hope y'all don't mind. Reviews are the peanut butter to my celery, so please, leave some :)