Author's Note: Warning – this is OOC for Clare. I have read other FFs when they portray this story kind of like this, and I love it. I think it's really cool, and allows for us to see another side of Eli. Also, I do not own Degrassi.

The One

Eli Goldsworthy gulped as he stared at the lit up text message on his cellphone. His pulse raced, and he could feel the sweat beads form on his forehead. Suddenly, a Wii controller hit him in the head, and Eli abandoned the phone and glared at who had just flung a Wii control at him.

"Ow! What the fuck?" Eli raised an eyebrow, rubbing his temple.

"What's the point of playing if you're just gonna stare at your phone like that," Adam rolled his eyes, exasperatedly, "What's the big deal, anyways? You look like you just saw a ghost."

"Clare uh…she texted me."

"I figured so much," Adam held out his palm, "So fork it over."

"It's private," Eli grew defensive, and Adam snapped his fingers, clearly not caring. Eli sighed, and eventually gave in, placing the cellphone in Adam's upturned palm.

"Eli," Adam cleared his throat and began to read the text message aloud, "My mom and Glen are gone for the night and Jake's at Katie's. Maybe you can come over and…well, we'll see when you get here. Winkie face. Dude…" Adam's eyes grew wide.

"Tell me about it," Eli snatched the phone back.

"So why are you still standing here?"

"Because," Eli sighed and tossed the phone to the bed, "I don't know what this means."

"Seriously? Do I need to draw a diagram for you?"

"God no," Eli sunk down on his mattress, "It's just…Clare's virginity has always been a big deal to her. It's something she treasures. She made that vow thing…that chastity vow or whatever. I just…I don't know how to take this."

"Then get over there, and find out!"

"Um…okay…yeah, okay," Eli stood from the bed, grabbed the cellphone, and tossed on his favorite Black Parade jacket, "You don't mind that I bail, do you?" He paused at the bedroom door.

"Dude, no," Adam looked at his best friend as if he was completely off his rocker, "Go have sex with your girlfriend."

Eli headed down the stairs and out the door. He still was not permitted anywhere near even a bicycle, much less a car. He would have to walk over to Clare's. Not that he minded. The chilly March air stung at his cheeks, but Eli barely seemed to notice. He felt his stomach muscles tighten, and his heart felt as though it would burst through his chest at any given moment. What was Clare up to? Why would she suddenly have a change of heart? Maybe the text message didn't mean what he and Adam had taken it to mean. Their minds seemed to always reside in the gutter, and they might have just jumped to conclusions. Clare might have just been inviting him over for a movie date. Movie dates were fun, but Eli was a seventeen year old boy. Sometimes movie dates just didn't cut it.

When Eli arrived at her house, he noticed the cars were gone. Where would her mother and Glen take off to for the whole night? Eli decided he probably didn't even want to know. He made his way up the ice-slick porch and rang the doorbell. After a few minutes, still no one answered; however his phone buzzed in his pocket. Eli glanced down and tried to keep the phone from shaking in his hands as he read: Can't answer the door right now. Come on up though.

Eli slipped the phone back into his pocket and slowly creaked the door open a crack. The lights were all off downstairs, and he felt a little lost and out of place. He turned and glanced up at the stairs. Come on up though, the text had said. Eli gulped, and headed up the stairs to Clare's room.

Her door was shut, but he could see the crack of light spilling out onto the hallway's carpet. She was in there. Eli's hand slowly shook its way towards the doorknob, and he tried to swallow his nerves down as he gripped the knob in his hands. Get your shit together, Goldsworthy. It's probably nothing. But it could be everything. Ah, fuck.

Eli swung the door open and his eyeballs nearly fell from their sockets. Clare was sitting on her bed, her phone in her hand, dressed in nothing but a black, lace negligée.

"Clare?" The name struggled for find its way around the lump in his windpipe.

"Hey, Eli," she tossed the phone to the side and stood from the bed. Twirling around slowly, she asked, "What do you think?"

"What do I…" Eli was nearly choking on his own saliva, "Wow…I think it's fucking stunning is what I think. But Clare…why?"

"What do you mean?" Clare blinked, innocently. Damn it, Eli found the way her eyelashes swept across the top of her cheekbone to be exceptionally irresistible.

"Eli…when I made that promise…that promise to stay a virgin until I was married…I never imagined I'd find my soul mate at sixteen. But I did, and it was beautiful. Then we both screwed up, Eli. And I thought we were broken for good. But now that we've been given this second chance…I just…I don't want to lose you."

"Clare, if you think you'd lose me simply on account of you being abstinent…"

"No," Clare blushed furiously, "I am so sorry…that's not what I meant. I know you're better than that, Eli. I just…I know you're the one, Eli. I have never been more sure of something before in my whole life. I don't want to wait around for my husband. I want to make love to you. Right here. Right now."

"And who's to say that I might not be your husband anyways," Eli shrugged, and Clare's eyes widened, "Don't go thinkin' that was a proposal, Edwards," Eli was quick to recover, "I'm just throwin' that out there – we don't really know. My plan is to never to lose you again. That's the plan."

"I like that plan," a small smile crept across her face, "Besides, the whole point of being abstinent is to wait for the right guy and not throw your virginity away. I'm not throwing anything away, Eli. My virginity was something I treasured, and today, I chose to give that treasure to you."

Eli's eyes widened, and he could feel his palms go sweaty. God, she looked so fucking good in that black lace thing. Eli opened his mouth to say something, but it took him a second to form a cohesive thought, "Are you absolutely positive about this Clare?" He couldn't keep himself from touching her a second longer, and reached out and the back of his hand across her collarbone, "I want you to be absolutely sure."

"I am," Clare nodded, grasping his eyes in hers, "I have never been surer. You look nervous."

"I am," Eli admitted, "With you…everything I know is different. With you…I want this to be so special. What if I don't live up to that?"

"Eli, sitting on your couch watching movies with you while Bullfrog threw dirty socks at us from the stairs was special to me. Sitting on a park bench and watching people pass by, holding your hand, is special to me. Everything we do together is so incredibly special to me."

Eli nodded, feeling his heart swell, "Clare…I love you."

"I love you too," she said, for the first time since they had gotten back together in January, "Come on," she nodded towards her made-up bed, "Lie down with me."

Eli followed her towards the bed, and laid down on top of her, "One more time," Eli said, not glancing away from her eyes, "All you have to do is say the word and we'll go…go watch a movie or something."

"Eli," Clare reached up and placed her hand on his cheek, "I want you," she sighed before answering in a firm, commanding tone that sent a chill down Eli's spine, "to make love to me."

"Your wish is my command," Eli said, before engulfing her in a kiss.

Eli was no virgin, but with Clare, everything was different. He had lost his virginity to Julia when they were both fourteen. The first time they had had sex, it had genuinely been about love. The times after that, not so much. Eli didn't want to risk that happening with Clare…his Clare. He didn't want to do anything to hurt her.

Thoughts pulsed through his mind as he tenderly stroked her cheek with his thumb as he kissed her. God, she looked so stunning. He tried to keep it slow; wanted to make sure that this moment was all about her. He didn't matter right now, Clare did.

They made love, and it was beautiful. Eli swore it must have been one of the most beautiful things he had ever done. After, he held her in his arms, playing with the mess of auburn curls that fell in tangles around her naked shoulders.

"I love you," Eli whispered in her ear.

"I love you so much, Eli," Clare snuggled closer to him, "Thank you for that."

"Shh," Eli kissed her temple, "It was my pleasure. You look stunning, by the way."

"I look like a mess," Clare laughed, running a hand through the matted curls, "But thank you for thinking so."

"I always think you're stunning," Eli assured her, wrapping his arms tighter around her, "Clare, I want you to know…I mean…with Julia…it wasn't anything like this."

"Eli, don't," Clare sat up a bit, propping herself up by the elbow, "Don't do that. What you and Julia had was special for you and Julia. What you and I have is special for you and me. We don't need to compare. Both were, and are, beautiful."

"Thank you for that," Eli kissed her again as his cellphone buzzed from the corner of the floor where he had discarded his jeans, "That'd be Adam," he winced.

"Adam?"

"We were playing with the Wii when you texted."

"Great," Clare closed her eyes, a tight smile crossing her lips, "So he knows?"

"And wants every single detail probably," Eli chuckled, rolling his eyes, "Well he can just leave it to that brilliant imagination of his."

"Oh no," Clare cringed, "If that's the case, then there's no telling what he might invent!"

"How about I tell him it was beautiful, and one of the best moments of my life?" Eli suggested, "It's the truth, without giving away all the mushy details. Like how you moaned my name at the top of your lungs…"

"Eli!" Clare smacked him in the chest.

"What?" Eli laughed, "It was very sexy," he added, enjoying the blush staining her cheeks, "Clare," Eli said, suddenly growing serious, "Thank you for this too. Thank you for trusting me enough to make love to me, to lose your virginity to me."

"I thought it over for a while," Clare admitted, "And there was no one else I could imagine making love to, now or ever. You were the one, Eli. You were always, and will always, be the one."