Author's Note: Written pre-finale episode. May, or may not, be OOC. Hope you enjoy!

Behaving

Eli Goldsworthy knew he deserved his punishment. Calling Becky Baker a "neo-maxi brainwashed, cotton-candy arsenic sent to destroy and bring her hateful bigoted beliefs to poison and decay Degrassi's openness" wasn't that bad. But telling her she needed to get laid to calm her down, but in order for her to get laid, she'd need to let go of her bible for two seconds; and continuing the insult by saying unless she was some sort of kinky Christian that believed Christ should be the center of every sexual romance, was.

He had thought it was pretty clever...at the time. He knew there were some Christians out there that believed Christ should be the center of the marriage bed. They had provided him with the fuel, he just lit the match. However, Simpson was not quite so pleased when Becky reported Eli for religious intolerance. Now, he had to serve detention for the next three weeks.

Eli knew that the last part was pretty messed up. He had taken that line a little too far, and even though she had pissed him off, he shouldn't have said that. Dave had reminded him earlier about how Jesus would stick up for the little guy. Eli still didn't know what he believed, but he figured Dave had a point. Jesus wouldn't be one to put down others. And Eli had done just that. He detested Becky for her backwards, hypocritical bastardization of Christianity, and now he had done just that. Yup, he deserved this detention.

Eli headed down the hallway to the history classroom where detention would be held. As he opened the door, he saw Mr. Heinzien – who was on detention duty for the week – and Mike Dallas. Just his luck. Eli groaned as he slammed the door shut behind him. Mr. Heinzien glanced up from the papers he was grading and raised an eyebrow.

"Mr. Goldsworthy. Wonderful of you to join us. What anti-establishment stance got you thrown in here this time?"

"I said some inappropriate things to Becky Baker," Eli slid into a desk all the way across the classroom, as far as possible, from Dallas, "And might have implied something sexually demeaning about her faith."

"Wow," Mr. Heinzien's eyes nearly popped from his head, and across the room, Eli could hear a not-very-well concealed snicker, "Well, please take a seat. It looks like it's just you and Mike today. You guys can get a head-start on some homework, or whatever. I got some papers to grade, so I don't really give a crap how you pass your time."

Eli pulled out his laptop and turned on the power button. He had some last minute things to take care of in regards to the play, and was glad that serving a detention would not interfere with that.

"Guys, I'm going to get a soda. Behave."

"Uh…sir," Eli glanced up from his laptop, "Are you sure it's a good idea to leave us in detention? We could…uh run amuck or something."

Mr. Heinzien looked at Eli as if her was completely mental, "You two are good kids. I'm not worried."

"Scared, Eli?" Dallas sneered over in Eli's direction.

"You wish," Eli turned back to his laptop, and Mr. Heinzien shook his head and headed out the door to the vending machines. Once he was gone, Eli decided to take into consideration that Jesus stuff that Dave had mentioned, "How's the nose?" Eli asked plainly, not taking his eyes off of his laptop.

"Fine. How's the shoulder."

"Shoulder's fine. My hand is the problem," Eli clenched and unclenched his fist, "Is your jaw made of concrete or something?"

"Chiseled marble, actually," Mike snorted, "So your play still gets to go through?"

"Yeah, I guess Simpson and the board really liked my changes."

Dallas nodded, "Yeah. Well, I guess I can't do anything to stop it now. Tomorrow's the big night, huh?"

"Yup," Eli typed away at the laptop, "Pretty nerve-wracking. I get like this before opening night. I just hope it goes better than the last time."

"What happened the last time?"

"I had a manic episode and screamed at the audience and lit a script on fire," Eli winced good-naturedly. Sometimes it was easier to make light of his situation, something he had just recently learned to do.

"Wow. So are you like…crazy?" Dallas asked.

Eli shrugged, "You tell me – is running your car into a wall because you're pissed at your girlfriend crazy? Is calling her and having her listen to the wreck and wonder if you're still alive or not crazy?"

"Uh…yeah. Just a bit," Dallas shook his head, "Eli, man…I had no idea."

"It's fine," Eli shrugged again, "I'm on meds, and I'm happy. Last year was just a bad year for me. Don't worry, I'm not going to go psycho and kill you or something for what happened at Clare's party," Eli paused before adding mysteriously, "That'd be too easy."

Dallas' eyes turned into saucers and Eli laughed upon seeing his face, "Dude, I am just kidding – you know that, right?" Eli shook his head, "I'm fine. I'm stabilized. I'm pissed at you, but I'm not going to do anything manic. You can relax."

"Oh," Dallas nodded, trying to calm his heart down again and hoping Eli hadn't seen how nervous he had made him, "So coach wants us all to go to your dumb play tomorrow."

"Alright."

"Yeah, so with all this trouble this play is causing, it better be pretty freakin' awesome, Goldsworthy." A small smile crossed Dallas' face.

"It will be," Eli said, assuredly, "Don't worry."

"Good, because I don't want to waste my time seeing a bad play."

"It'll be great, Dallas. I know what I'm doing."

"You better," Dallas turned back to the text book he had flipped open on his desk, "If not – if you've wasted everyone's time bitching about your ridiculous little play, and if I have to be forced into seeing it, and it's not absolutely the best damn play you can put on – I will kick your ass again."

A smirk teased Eli's lips, "What do you mean, 'again,' Dallas?"

"Says the theater freak with the broken hand."

"It's not broken," Eli raised an eyebrow, "At least I don't have to wear a band-aid on my nose."

"It looks badass," Dallas crossed his arms over his chest, adamantly.

"Oh sure," Eli nodded, "Very badass."

"It does."

"Sure, Dallas."

The door opened up again, and Mr. Heinzien walked in and placed a can of Coke on each of the boys' desks, "For behaving," he said, before turning back to his papers.


"Come with me to the casting party," Eli said, kissing Clare on top of the head. The play had been a success, and everything had gone perfectly. He doubted there was a dry eye in the audience, and on top of all of that, he had finally worked up enough courage to tell Clare what he had been wanting to for weeks: that he loved her.

"Okay," she squeezed his hand, "Katie gave me a ride here; let me go tell her that you'll bring me home."

Eli nodded and watched Clare turn to find Katie. He couldn't help but smile; everything felt so perfect. Nothing had gone so well in his life for a long, long time. Now, everything was truly perfect.

"Eli!" Eli turned to see Mike Dallas marching over to him, his hands shoved deep inside his letter jacket.

"Dallas," Eli decided not to let Mike Dallas ruin his night, "Good to see you."

Dallas shrugged, and Eli asked, "So…what'd you think?"

Again, Dallas shrugged, "Eh, it wasn't the worst play I have ever seen."

"Really?" Eli's brow furrowed.

Dallas could tell Eli was just ever-so-slightly fishing, "Look, if you're looking for me to tell you that the play was terrific, you're a great director, and you're gonna kill it in New York…you're gonna be waiting until hell freezes over, Eli."

A small smirk tugged at Eli's lips, "Alright. I'll take 'it wasn't the worst play I have ever seen.'"

Dallas turned to leave, but turned back around and said, "Hey, just remember me when you're the next Andrew Lloyd Webber or something. You can brag that you blusted Mike Dallas' – star NHL player – nose and lived."

"So you're not going to murder me?"

"Not today at least," Dallas chuckled, before turning and leaving to meet up with the hockey team.