**Edit: Fixed the Trish/Tristan mistake.
Just saw the new promo...saw the zig and maya kiss...just barfed in my mouth and am now considering Degrassi writer homicide (totally not serious but if they ruin this pair I will be BEYOND PISSED)!
"He hopes that she never breaks her promise, because if she does…it will completely break him."
Campbell will do anything to make sure Maya never leaves him...After all, she's his anchor: the one thing keeping him tied to sanity….
Caya & Maybell! A bit of a darker take, depending on how you look at it! Rating subject to change based on chapter!
Note: story gets better as it goes along, so ignore the sheer awfulness of the first two paragraph section things.
I do not own anything, except for my plot twists. I do not own Campbell Saunders or Maya Matlin. Those are all property of Linda Schuyler and Kit Hood and Nickelodeon and the creators and executive producers and etc etc etc.
I just saw Rusty Cage and I must say, I absolutely love (LOVE) the Maya and Campbell pairing (Caya or Maybell or whatever you want to call them). They are so unbelievably adorable! Speaking of adorable, Dylan Everett is beyond cute! Campbell's like the little kicked puppy that you can't help but fall in love with!
I swear the producers had better not screw up this relationship! (Case and point: Eclare, which they are in the process of fixing but STILL).
I'll update with another chapter once there is some more Caya and Maybell action! After all, I need something to feed the plot bunnies jumping around in my head (:
This takes place pre-jump! And pre- three goal game! Although everything that's happened prior to Rusty Cage has happened! The one little edit I'm making is that the whole "I just want to be happy/my head isn't screwed on right scene" happens before the game where Campbell scores three goals!
Also, I'm trying out a new writing style, which incorporates some of James Joyce's stream of consciousness but hopefully not to the extent where I confuse you! Tell me in a review if you guys like/hate it! P.S. It gets better the further you read ;)
Chapter 1: Screams and Tears meet Dreams and Fears
His dad had been a hockey player.
A great one.
He was the lead scorer on his university team and he'd had dreams of playing in the NHL.
They were lofty dreams that had almost become reality when he was drafted...
Dreams that had come crashing down when he broke his femur in a car accident, just three weeks before the draft pick.
When Cam's mom had given birth to his older brother, Justin, Dad was ecstatic at having the opportunity to live out his broken dreams through his son.
And Justin was good…
But he wasn't great.
When Campbell Saunders was born, Dad saw him as a second chance: one last attempt at vicariously living out his NHL dreams.
So, Dad had pushed him.
And pushed him.
And pushed him.
And pushed him.
Soon Cam wasn't just great…he was the best.
He broke countless records in his small hometown, and by doing so had apparently caught the attention of some major junior team scouts.
When the Head Coach from the Toronto IceHounds had come to Kapuskasing High School (the only one in the small town which housed less than 9000 citizens), Dad had been ecstatic.
And Cam had been happy for his father.
Cam's first day at Degrassi had flown by in a blur, so much so that Cam had felt invisible...invisible because he was just another hockey player, not Cam.
He ruefully spent every day after that initial one wishing he actually was invisible.
He wished he was invisible to his coach: the one that kept putting him on the ice despite his innumerable mistakes.
He wished he was invisible to his teammates: the supposed family that kept teasing and hazing and pushing him to the point where he just couldn't take it anymore.
He wished he was invisible to the students at Degrassi: the ones who see him as Campbell Saunders, the future millionaire NHL player.
Then, he met Maya.
Cute, funny, and clueless about hockey Maya.
Granted, it had taken a second chance (and a third) but Cam was more than willing to give them to the one girl who anchored him. The one person who kept him from literally going insane from all of the pressure he had never wanted to carry in the first place.
He's so dependant on her it's scary.
'She's the one good thing out of all of this.'
"Hey Cheesy!" He feels her jump on his back and can't help but smile at the fact that he's getting use to her 'greetings'.
"Hey yourself" He smiles.
"So?" She's off his back now, in front of him and smiling wide. She's speaking in that voice she reserves for when she's talking about anything music related.
"What?" He asks with a bigger smile, while sneaking his hand into hers. His morose mood disappears the second she's near him. He can't help it, her happiness is contagious.
"Guess!" She exclaims, while pulling him towards the sill.
"And if I don't?" He teasingly replies.
She ponders for a moment before shrugging and replying in an equally teasing tone. "Then, I'll tell you anyways."
He laughs at her quirkiness.
She's strange like that. Sometimes she's reserved and shy, like him. Sometimes she doesn't want to be in the spotlight.
Then, music comes into the picture and she just shines. She gains this confidence and exuberance and he can only love her more for it.
"Hmmm, you've chosen a slightly less embarrassing nickname for me?" He ventures a guess, a hopeful one.
She shakes her head to the side while laughing, and he can't help but tell himself that he loves the sound.
He's used that word again.
He catches himself using it a lot when he's thinking about her. It doesn't seem wrong in his head. He cares about her, more than everything and everyone here. He wants to hold her, and never let go. He wants to find ways to make her smile at him.
He just wants her.
And, that's love, right? He then acknowledges that he's not exactly sure. He's never been in love before.
'How is someone supposed to tell? Are there some sort of signs?'
"Earth to Cam! Are you okay up there?" She taps his head in an endearing way, and he realizes that she's been saying something, but he missed it. He's apologetic that his preoccupation with his thoughts had made him seem like he's ignoring her.
"Cam to Earth: sorry, just a little distracted."
She smiles at his wit; but, then gives a small frown before speaking, a bit hesitantly.
"Is it about the game tonight? Don't worry, you'll do fine! After all, you said Dallas sorted out the whole left-arm-right-arm thing right?"
He raises a brow "You mean the right-wing thing?"
She waves a hand in dismissal and he chuckles.
She means well, she always does. He hopes she'll be watching him tonight. She'll be the one person, in a crowd of hundreds, who won't care about the score.
"Yah, he did. You're still coming right?" There is a desperation in his voice, but she either doesn't notice or politely chooses to not comment on it. She nods in agreement and smiles. He pauses for a second before remembering that she had been trying to say something (mentally smacking himself in the head for not hearing her earlier). "What were you saying earlier? Sorry, I didn't mean to miss it."
He smiles sheepishly and she just continues to look at him as if she absolutely adores him.
He hopes that she never stops looking at him like that.
"I said" she gives a mock sigh of exasperation before smiling proudly, "I just finished writing WhisperHug's newest hit single."
"That's great, Maya. I can't wait to hear it."
"That's actually what I wanted to talk to you about. So, I know that you guys have a practice on Friday, and that you'll probably be really tired, but I was wondering, if you wanted, and you totally don't have to, but we're going to be trying out our new song on Friday at Little Miss Steaks and—"
Cam cut's his girlfriend off smoothly. "I wouldn't miss it."
She gives him that look again, and he's pretty sure he's just fallen more in love with her.
The bell rings before she can respond, and he gives her a chaste kiss on the cheek before heading off to math class. Even with that small contact, he's blushing like crazy and wondering how such a small girl can bring out such strong feelings in him.
Maya is many things…
Stupid is not one of them.
Something's off with Cam and she's worried: really worried.
She knows it has something to do with hockey; that much she can tell. But, she can't figure out what it is.
'He's sad…but why?'
She wonders if maybe it's her, if she's doing something wrong. She's talked to Tori about it, but Tori thinks that she's being silly. The bubbly girl's words from earlier fly through Maya's head. "He's totally smitten with you Maya! I don't get why you're worried!"
'Because he outright admitted to me that he wasn't happy and that he thought his head wasn't screwed on right?'
Okay, so she hadn't actually said that to Tori, but it was still a major motivator for her concerns.
As she approaches the guy's locker room, she notices a large group of reporters talking to Mike and immediately rolled her eyes. Luckily for her though, he had lead them far enough away from the door so that she could slip in without anyone noticing.
The sight that greets her is unexpected.
And it confirms every single one of her fears.
He is crying…outright sobbing, actually.
And he is pressing the blade of his skate into his palm.
She hurriedly sits next to him, throws away the skate, and then pulls him towards her and gives him a hug.
A tight one that shows him that she's here and she always will be.
He grips onto her waist like a life raft, and he knows that he can't deal with this anymore.
He has to find a way to stop this. He hates it, he hates it so much.
She looks like she's caught between wanting to yell at him and cry with him, and he hates himself even more for dragging her into this mess.
"I…I used to love it…" He's speaking into her shoulder, hoping that she can still hear him. He knows she deserves some sort of explanation, but that's really the best one he can give her right now.
She doesn't know what to say, but tries to say something anyways.
'Because she's wonderful and kind and caring like that.'
'I love you'
She goes rigid in his arms.
And Cam realizes in horror that he's said his thoughts outloud.
He doesn't expect her to say it back. And even though he's a little hurt that she doesn't he knows that he's taking things way too fast. He had never meant to say it outloud, and now he's probably just lost her for good. Desperate for her to stay with him, he tries to backtrack.
He pulls back from their hug to give her some space, and stutters. "I-I'm sorry! I didn't mean it!"
He looks into her blue eyes again and see's that she's hurt, not relieved.
'I can't do anything right!'
"I-I mean I did, I just—don't hate me, just don't leave me please…"
She just hugs him again, and keeps whispering about how it'll be okay and that she'll be there for him and that she cares about him so much and then she promises that she will never leave him.
Her promise calms him down some, and he really hopes she doesn't break it…because if she does…
...it will completely break him.
He missed practice.
And the team is furious at him the next day in school.
He had been at Maya's house, but he will never tell them that.
They make him skate until he collapses again, but he doesn't mind. The pain helps him forget.
After all, Maya's making sure he doesn't hurt himself anymore by checking his hands and arms periodically. He's happy that she cares, that someone here cares. But as long as he is stuck playing this stupid game, he needs some form of pain to distract him from the unbearable pressure. And if the guys are good for one thing, it's giving out excruciating punishments for missing practices.
He's actually missing his third practice right now.
He's at Maya's house, and they're both working on their french project.
He told her that he had done poorly on the last test and had asked his coach for permission to miss practice and ace this project to make up for it.
Maya had believed him.
They finish their project around eight. The Clarkson's won't be around to pick him up for another hour or so.
They're both lying next to each other, with their backs on the bed, just talking about anything and everything.
She's in the middle of saying something about the infeasibility of LOST, when he interrupts her by kissing her.
This time, the kiss is different.
It's not soft and quick; it's deep and long.
Cam's pretty sure he's seeing stars by the time they break for air.
They're both breathing hard, and he has somehow ended up on top of her.
His heart is hammering so hard it hurts.
He looks into her eyes again, and then dives in for another kiss.
He absentmindedly thinks he's becoming addicted to her.
She sees him for him. She's caring and understanding. She's funny and quirky and lovable and he's trying so hard to find a way to make sure he never has to give her up.
Somewhere between their fourth kiss, Katie barges into Maya's room and roughly yanks him off of her sister.
Despite the older Matlin's screaming and threats, promptly followed by her (quite literally) throwing him out of the Matlin home; Cam is actually really glad that Katie stopped them.
He doesn't think he could have stopped on his own.
All he can think about is kissing her again. He doesn't even need to use his skate blades anymore, because thinking about Maya is just so all consuming and it makes him feel so…so happy.
He's really distracted now.
Unfortunately, the whole teams notices.
To double the misfortune, Mike and Luke designate themselves to be the first ones to confront him about it…
Cam is leaving the rink after practice, and sees Maya around the corner, where she's been patiently waiting for his practice to end. Upon seeing him, she waves enthusiastically. He waves back and he's pretty sure he has the stupidest grin ever on his face as he runs up to her, but he doesn't really care.
When he reaches her, he gives her a soft kiss.
He's still a breath away from her and staring into her gorgeous blue eyes when the spell is broken by raucous, loud cat-calls.
"Well, would you look at that?! Rookie's got himself a puck-bunny!"
Upon hearing Mike's voice, Cam immediately regrets asking her to wait for him out here.
'Stupid, stupid, stupid! I should have checked to make sure none of them were behind me!'
The thoughts repeatedly bang on the forefront of his mind and despite his attempts to walk away with Maya, the two older IceHounds catch up and cut them off.
"Aww, come on Ice-cube, you aren't gonna introduce us to your lovely friend? Hi, I'm Luke."
Luke leers at her as he says this, just because he knows it will annoy the younger player.
It works, because Cam is seething on the inside.
They ruin his time at school. They ruin his time on the rink. He will not let them ruin his time with her.
But he hated, so much and so badly and so deeply, that he turned into the meek little Cam every time they chose to pick on him. He speaks lowly as he responds, trying not to meet their eyes and find a way to get around them. "Her name is Maya, and we're late so we have to go."
He rushes by them after mumbling out his response, and Maya is only too happy to follow.
She hates them just as much as he does.
The next day, Maya finds herself at her locker getting her books for geography while laughing at the typical post-lunch Tori and Tristan banter. Regrettably, two other IceHounds find her there as well.
Neither is Campbell though.
It's Luke, who's followed closely by an amused Mike.
The brown haired hockey player easily pushes Tristan out of the way so that he's leaning on the locker right in front of her.
She clears her suddenly very dry throat and speaks with as much composure as she can muster, all while silently praying that Cam is nearby.
"Luke, Mike." She's trying to be as courteous as possible.
Mike steps up and takes over the conversation. "Don't get all hostile mini-Matlin, we just want to have a little discussion with you. A private one." At that, he looks pointedly at Tori and Tristan.
And to their credit, they don't run away until after Luke raises an intimidating eyebrow at them.
Once her friends leave, Maya just clutches her geography textbook a little closer to herself as she speaks. "Yes?"
Nevertheless, she still finds herself trying very hard not to run or hide.
Or throw up from the anxious feeling crawling and twisting around in her stomach.
"Well, I don't know if you've heard or not…but we've got a really important game coming up on Wednesday night." He talks to her casually, as if he and Luke didn't just ambush her in the hallway.
"Wonderful, I'm sure you guys will do great. Now, if you don't mind I really have to get going to cla—."
Luke rolls his eyes at her pathetic attempt to walk away before grabbing her arm and pulling her back in front of them.
Mike starts talking again, taking on a more serious tone.
"The entire team needs Cam completely focused on winning tomorrow. This is big game."
She gulps and nods, whilst silently praying (to any deity up there that will listen) that her boyfriend comes soon.
The warning bell rings, and she's saved from having to deal with them as teachers enter the hall and start yelling at everyone to get to class.
She tells Cam everything during French.
And when he goes home, all he can think about is the fact that if he doesn't perform…they're going to do something horrible to Maya.
He feels the pressure pressing down onto his shoulders again: the pressure to win, to be perfect, to not screw up…
They lose the game.
Cam had been distracted.
And now he's afraid…because the entire team knows why.
It's been a day since the team's loss and they haven't done anything to Maya yet.
'Maybe they've forgotten?'
He knows they haven't. So, he's extra paranoid. He makes sure to walk with her between classes, and to not leave her side at lunch.
She doesn't mind. She tells him she's kind of flattered by the attention.
He doesn't tell her why he's been such an attentive boyfriend as of late because he really doesn't want to worry her.
She thinks that the guys are just mad at her. She doesn't understand that, in reality, it's so much more than a little grudge.
Day two after Wednesday night's loss.
Nothing's happened yet.
Cam can only sigh in relief as he walks to Maya's house.
As per usual, Katie answers the door and he has to convince her to not slam it in his face.
The older Matlin hasn't exactly been that cordial to him ever since she caught him making out with her sister upstairs.
Fortunately, Maya saves him (like always), and they make their way to Little Miss Steaks.
He listens to her talk about how excited she is to play her new song for him and he can't help but love how passionate she is about her music.
'She's amazing…pure amazing.'
She's in shock…pure shock.
As soon as the red curtains of the stage had opened up to reveal WhisperHug, a mass amount of flyers had showered down on the numerous Degrassi students congregated in the favoured Friday night hang out spot.
The flyers had pictures of her.
Well, a part of her.
The multicoloured neon sheets were full of photoshopped images of her face on different playboy bunnies, in a variety of sexual positions.
They had various…creative…titles:
"Saunder's #1 Puck-Bunny"
"Maya Matlin-funnest niner all around, fell off the whore tree, and banged every guy on the way down!"
"Learn to spread something other than your legs Matlin!"
"May get married some day, just waiting for the right amount to come along!"
"The human gimme pig!"
"Mini-Matlin all grown-up!"
"Saunder's Slut up for Sale: Great deal with lots of mileage!"
The laughter breaks her out of whatever trance has frozen her, and she's bolting out the door before Cam can so much as digest what his team's done to her.
Angry as hell, he tells Tori, Tristan, and her band to get rid of the flyers while he goes to talk to Maya.
She's sobbing by the time he catches up to her. She's sitting on a bench on the side of the street and she refuses to look at him.
'That was probably the most humiliating thing she has ever gone through…and it's all because of me.'
His guilt only deepens as huge tears keep flowing down her face.
He sits down next to her and he isn't sure if he's too close, if he should hug her, or if she'll even let him touch her. The last thing he wants right now is to make things worse for her.
He apologizes, but he doesn't think she can hear over her sobs.
Eventually she tires out, and she's sleeping on his shoulders as he gives her piggy back home.
Katie opens the door, holds up a text sent to her by Marisol, and gives him a look that says she was right about him all along.
"Who did it!?" He yells as he barges into the locker room on Saturday morning.
At first, he's pretty sure they're surprised by his loud vocal reaction.
Then…they laugh as if the entire thing was just a small prank.
Luke even tries to pat him on the shoulder and say that it was "all in good fun".
Cam's not sure exactly when he starts to punch Luke.
But he's happy to say that he gets in a good four punches before Owen is pulling him off the older player and Mike is holding back Luke so that he doesn't retaliate.
Coach and the Head Trainer come in when they hear the racket made by the rest of the team (all of whom are either trying to encourage them by hooting or yelling to try and stop them), but Cam's so blinded by anger he doesn't see and doesn't care.
All he knows is that he can't deal with any of them anymore.
So, with a final harsh jerk to get out of Owen's grip, Cam's voice lowers to a deathly calm as he tells them all,
Cam leaves the locker room, furious.
So much so, that he completely ignores Coach, who is asking him what on earth he is talking about.
So much so, that he completely ignores the the trainer, who is demanding an explanation from their captain.
So much so, that he completely ignores Mike, who is stumbling for a way to explain why the team's number one scorer has decided to quit not even four games into the season.
After practice, he walks over to Maya's house.
Katie claims she isn't home.
Eleven texts and six missed calls later, he thinks it's safe to say that she hates him.
He comes back to his billet home, only to realize that his coach has called his dad; a man who is positively seething…well, if the red face in the Skype window on the Clarkson's computer is anything to go by.
His dad just yells.
"What do you think you're doing! You are risking everything that you have worked for!"
'You mean, everything you have worked for.'
Cam keeps his response to himself and just stays silent while looking off to the side.
"And for what?! Coach tells me you're being distracted by some girl and when the team tries to help and get you to focus on playing you just up and quit on them! Cam, I don't know what you've got going on in your mind but it's just a girl—one that is probably using you because of hockey in the first place!"
At the insult to Maya he glares at the screen.
'You're using me to relive your NHL dreams, Coach is using me to make sure he keeps his job, and the team is using me as their daily entertainment! She is the only one who isn't using me!'
At his dad's stunned expression, Cam belatedly realizes that he's said his thoughts outloud again.
He should really stop doing that.
His dad just gives him a serious look, before saying,
"You are on contract Cam. You can't quit."
And then all Cam sees on the screen is the vibrating red phone that tells him that his dad has hung up.
Apparently, his dad has talked to his billet parents.
They've agreed to drive him to every practice, to make sure he gets there.
Which is a major reason why he finds himself (despite all his protests) entering the IceHound locker room for Sunday practice.
After practice, he comes out of the locker room to see Maya.
He's shocked for a second, and looks back to note that the locker room is empty.
That means that every single player on the team that so callously humiliated her has just walked by her. That also means that she is braver than he could ever hope to be.
She smiles at him, and he just hugs her.
He was so afraid that he had lost her.
They are at her house again, despite Katie's protests.
The older Matlin gets her way somewhat when she forces them to leave Maya's bedroom door open the entire time he's there.
"I want to quit so badly, but I can't because of the stupid contract I signed."
She frowns and she's understandably confused. "What do you mean?"
"Long story short: if I quit, my parents have to pay a lot of money and I just can't do that to my mom."
He sighs in irritation at his reality and falls back onto her bed.
Her face pops up above him, and her head tilts to the side as gives him a curious look,
"What?" he asks.
"It's just that…" She pauses and bites her lips, which means she's probably finding the words to say what she wants to say. She then holds onto both his hands with hers and looks him directly in the eye before continuing, "If you quit hockey, I will support you. But, I just want to make sure that you're quitting because you don't like the game, not because you can't stand the people involved in it. I don't want to see you give up something you love, only to regret it later."
He's left to ponder her words for a few minutes. After a while, she breaks the silence by asking,
"I mean…to become as good as you are, that must have taken a lot of practice. I only practice playing my cello because I love it. So, there must have been a time when you loved hockey too, right?"
And so, he opens up to her about everything. He tells her about his older brother, who he still idolizes. He tells her all about how he and Justin used to play after school every day, and about how (in their small town) he and his friends would play for hours and hours every weekend.
"I used to love it." He parrots his earlier words from after the game all those days ago, but this time with his distinct lopsided smile. "Sometimes, I still do."
She nods, and looks contemplative as she speaks. "Well…maybe, instead of quitting something you love and regretting it later…you should try to ignore all the things that hold you back from loving it?"
Despite the open door and her meddling sister, he finds himself kissing her deeply again.
As he becomes immersed in everything that she is, he can't help but think that he's never loved anything as much as he loves spending time with her.
He goes to practice and games (he really doesn't have a choice).
But he follows Maya's advice…and things are better.
The guys are crueller than ever. They're supposedly annoyed that he is letting his "little puck-bunny" come between them and their precious championship.
Which, for the record, makes absolutely no sense at all since Cam knows he's been playing great.
Another thing that doesn't make sense to him is Maya's recent...discomfort.
She gets nervous around him now, and it isn't like the innocent nerves they both had on their first date.
She gets jittery and sometimes he thinks he sees her flinch right before he kisses her.
'I'm losing her…'
The morbid thought echoes in the paradigms of his mind, and he can't help but mentally start to panic.
He can't lose her. He can't lose her. He can't lose her.
He cannot lose her.
All thirty guys in their 10/11 health class are crammed in one of the science rooms, and it's all Cam can do to keep himself from falling asleep. He's heard the whole abstinence, safe sex, "mindblowing" statistics thing since the sixth grade.
He's actually on the verge of dosing off when Coach Tyson (one of the more irascible and blunt teachers) says something that catches his attention.
"…and trust me when I say, one night isn't worth the devastating impact having a kid at this age can do to you or your girlfriend. Once something like pregnancy happens, even if what was between you two was just a 'fling' or a 'rebound' or whatever you kids call it these days, you are tied to that girl for the rest of your life."
And then, Cam has a horrible idea.
A/N: Don't throw rotten vegetables at me!
But, do review (:
What did you guys think about Cam? I tried to portray him as the super dependant, angsty type since I honestly think that's where his character is going!
I'll only post another chapter if you guys liked this one! So, I don't know… how about if I get at least 10 or 15 reviews, I'll post another chapter! Will Cam go through with "the plan"? Review and find out ;)
P.S. In your review, if you have recommendations for better insults on the posters, PLEASE tell me! I actually could not think of any, and I'm pretty sure some of them don't make sense :$