Summary: Clare deals with the aftermath of her assault.
Disclaimer: Don't own Degrassi. 'Nuff said.
Author's Note: So… this popped into my head a few days ago.
By: Lady Azura
Something is wrong.
He's not sure what, but he knows that something is wrong.
Clare doesn't smile anymore, and on the rare occasion that she does, it's forced. The light from her eyes has vanished and it's like she's become trapped in her own head. She's become disturbingly pale over the past few weeks, but she assures him that it's just a cold. He doesn't believe her, but he's too afraid to ask. What if she thinks he's smothering her? He doesn't want to risk losing her — not again — but with each passing day, as she grows thinner and thinner, he becomes more and more worried.
Something is wrong with his girlfriend, and he doesn't know what.
His hands are all over her — rough and calloused, groping and caressing her. She struggles to get away, but he's stronger than her. He pins her against the seat so she can't escape, and she lets out a choked sob as his breath fans over her ear. "No one has to know." He tells her. "It'll be our little secret."
Clare jolts awake with a gasp, drenched in cold sweat. Her head is throbbing and her heart is beating so fast that she feels like it's going to burst out of her chest. Sick to her stomach, she leans over the edge of her bed and takes deep breaths, trying desperately to calm her nerves. Once she regains her composure, she peers over at her clock.
She falls back against her pillows and closes her eyes, trying to go back to sleep but she can't.
She spends the rest of the night staring into the darkness.
They're in his room. His parents have gone out and Clare is looking over his Hamlet essay. Her brow is furrowed and she bites her lip in concentration. Eli smiles as he watches her, reaching over to tuck a loose curl behind her ear. Clare stiffens with a gasp and recoils from his touch, her eyes wide. She relaxes after about a minute, mumbling an apology.
Eli's had enough.
"What's wrong?" He finally asks her.
"Nothing." She answers, refusing to meet his gaze.
"Clare, I'm not an idiot. Just… tell me. Maybe there's something I can do to help -"
"Nothing's wrong, Eli!" Clare snaps angrily, cutting him off. "So just… stop… stop suffocating me!"
She pales as soon as the words leave her lips, clamping a hand over her mouth. Eli feels his heart plummet as memories of the previous year flash in his mind. His chest tightens and he can see tears gathering in Clare's eyes and knows she regrets it, but it doesn't make it hurt any less. What happens next throws him completely off guard. He expects her to grab her stuff and leave, but instead she grabs him by the back of the neck and kisses him hard.
"I'm sorry," she whispers against his lips between kisses, "I'm so sorry. Please don't hate me."
Breaking the kiss, Eli places his hands on her hips.
He's too good for her.
Eli has worked so hard and gotten so much better.
Not like her.
She's still the same naïve, stupid little girl she's always been.
Who is she but a dumb girl who tempts older men?
Perhaps she did lead Asher on.
Maybe she deserved it…
But just thinking about it makes her want to throw up. It makes her want to scream and cry. It makes her feel dirty and disgusting, and she's taken many showers since, but no matter how many times she scrubs her skin until it's raw, she can still feel his touch.
She wants it to go away.
She'll do anything for it to go away.
Her hands and mouth are perfection.
As they move across his skin, Eli throws his head back in pleasure, gasping and panting.
"Clare… oh, Clare…" He chants, lacing his fingers through her soft curls.
When it's all over, Clare crawls up his body and lays beside him, staring up at the ceiling.
He wants desperately to make her feel the same way, but when he places a hand on her shoulder, she flinches away, and then begins to sob.
"It didn't work…" she cries quietly.
"What didn't work?" Eli asks softly.
"I thought it would make me forget… but it didn't…" Clare whispers, shifting so that she was facing him.
His heart breaks when he sees the tears in her eyes.
"Clare… please… tell me what's going on." He begs her.
She can't keep it inside anymore.
She needs to tell someone.
She needs to tell him.
When the truth finally comes out, it's like his worst fears have been realized.
Clare was taken advantage of. She was taken advantage of by an older man; a man that she admired and trusted; a man that he had met personally. He hadn't even suspected. How hadn't he? He should've known. He should've. He should have been able to sense that Asher Shostack was bad news. He was her boyfriend and it was his job to protect her, but he hadn't known.
And now, the damage was done.
His beautiful angel was broken.
She was broken and it was his fault.
After everything is said and done, they lay there in silence. Eli holds her close, a protective arm wrapped around her waist.
"We're going to get through this." He assures her.
"How?" She whispers.
"I don't know… but we will."
This sounded better in my head. But I'm functioning on like… 4 hours of sleep, so that might have something to do with it too. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed. It's kind of short, and not exactly happy, but… hopefully you liked it.
Note: The "flashback" with Asher is just a nightmare.
Please REVIEW and let me know what you think.