Disclaimer: I don't own anything. I don't own the the characters, the plot, or Degrassi. If I had a mind as creative as that then I wouldn't be wasting my time writing fanfiction. :)

Author's Notes: This is a companion story to "Safe Ride" which I will be finishing up shortly. I apologize for the first chapter being kind of rushed, because it's more of a prologue than an actual chapter. I have the next few chapters already written so it shouldn't take me forever to update this time, promise. This will be about a six or seven shot. I hope you read, enjoy and review. :)

Twitter = xomurxo


BURY THE HATCHET

PART I

"You blame me but some of this is still your fault..."

"Go to hell!" Clare spat, fury emanating from every pore. It was the second time she had ever used that phrase, coincidentally, the second time she directed it at the same person.

"Clare -"

"Just go, Eli," she paused, her hands placed on each hip. She angled her body away from him, anxious to hide the tears that were slowly starting to form. He couldn't see her weakness, her vulnerability, not again. Clare had made that mistake once and what had it gotten her? It had gotten her here, to a state of pure humiliation. It had gotten her to a courtroom where the judge had chosen to believe a well-known, idolized author, over two silly career-hungry girls. It had gotten her nowhere.

"I'm not... I'm not going to leave you. Not right now," he spoke softly, but sternly, his hands nervously worming their way into the pocket of his tight jeans.

"I don't want you here," she stubbornly countered, her voice strong despite the tears streaming down her face. The courtroom was emptied now, the jury, the spectators, the reporters, everyone had vanished as if the whole ordeal was merely an elaborate illusion. All that was left inside the hollowed building were Clare and Eli, and even though the person she was closest to was right by her side, Clare couldn't help but feel as if she had never been more alone.

"Then pretend I'm not," his soft voice suggested, and she could hear him take a seat as one of the wooden benches creaked under his weight. "But I'm not going anywhere."

Clare took an unsteady breath. One of her hands moved to hastily wipe at her tears, rubbing at her cheeks so intensely that red blotches began to form under the irritation. She took a few steps away from Eli, closer to the door, but made no motion to leave. Clare didn't want to be the one to leave. She needed to stay here, to soak everything in, to let the abrupt reality slap her in the face. Asher was a free man. She was a laughing stock. Asher was the victim. She was the pathetic, attention-craving school girl with a crush. Maybe they were right. Maybe she had sent him mixed signals and maybe this was exactly what she deserved. Even she knew that thoughts like that could be devastatingly dangerous, but she couldn't stop them from polluting her mind.

"Please, Eli," Clare whispered, her voice wavering as she tried to remain strong. "You need to go."

Eli didn't form a reply, but he moved from his spot and walked over to her, stopping when he was only a few inches away from her body, her back still facing him. "I said I..."

"Don't you get it?" Clare seethed, spinning around to meet his gaze. Her fists were clenched so tightly, her fingernails digging into her palms.

Eli's eyebrows knit together in worry, and he tried to reach out, to embrace her, to offer her comfort in her obvious state of distress.

"Don't," Clare flinched, backing away from him, leaving a look of hurt written all over Eli's face before he could mask it. "Don't touch me."

"I'm sorry, Clare, I..."

"This is all your fault, Eli." She accused, a finger pointed directly at his chest, her tone unforgiving.

"You don't... You don't mean that," He began softly, his head shaking as if he was trying to reason with himself, trying to excuse his girlfriend's behavior.

A sob escaped Clare, the tears storming down her face blurring her vision. Her chest heaved wildly as she tried to regain control, tried to focus her anger on the person who made her come to this courtroom to begin with. All of this had really started when Eli had told Ms. Oh about the sexual harassment. Clare had never asked him, never wanted him, to do that. It was all Eli's fault that this had blown up so much, that Clare had to relive every gory detail of the encounters with Asher, only to get laughed at. She didn't deserve this. After everything she had been through, Clare had needed Eli to be strong, to be confident and comforting. Eli had failed and Clare couldn't forgive that.

"You made me come here today. For what?" Clare threw her hands in the air in exasperation. "They thought I was a joke."

"That's not true."

"Asher was found not guilty." Speaking the words out loud caused a shudder to run down Clare's spine.

"That doesn't mean..."

"And his boss told the courtroom that I was obsessed, conniving and manipulative."

"Clare, I didn't think..."

"Exactly, Eli," Clare cut off the rest of Eli's sentence. "You never seem to think, do you?" She paused for a moment, swallowing hard to keep her tears at bay. "Now get out and leave me the hell alone."

"Clare..."

"Go!"

The ferocity in Clare's tone made Eli back away, made him stop fighting for her. He cast his eyes downward and grabbed his jacket, before marching out of the double doors and into the heart of Toronto city, bright with sunshine. The difference between the stark cold courtroom, and the warm sunny outdoors was remarkable. Eli wished Clare would come with him. Maybe he could pull her out of the dark and into the light too. But she hated him now and their relationship was in undefined territory. So he just left, without a word, because that's what Clare had wanted.

"Eli! Where's Clare? We have a Chemistry test next period and she's nowhere to be found."

"What do I look like, her timekeeper?" Eli spat, causing Adam to stop his search for the girl and turn to face his best friend.

"Whoa, what's with you?"

"Nothing. I can't help you, I don't know where she is. Sorry," he gruffly responded, slamming his locker door shut with more than enough force to make the metal frame shake on its hinges.

"Everything... good? With you and Clare?" Adam asked awkwardly, knowing all too well how Eli had fallen apart the first time Clare had broken his heart. He was not willing to witness a repeat of last year.

"Never better."

Eli's sarcasm was not lost on Adam, but he let it go. "I'll just text her then," he said, reaching for the cell phone in his pocket.

"No!" Adam stopped his motions at the outburst and looked at Eli, his eyes wide. "I... I'll do it."

"Okay..." Adam placed the phone back in his pants, shooting his friend a quizzical look. "She's probably just sick or something," Adam continued, trying to offer reassurance he knew Eli desperately needed.

"Yeah... sick." Eli took his own phone out and began to type a message to the all-too familiar number.

'Clare, where are you? Are you okay?' Eli hit the send button and paused for a moment, before typing, 'Adam's really worried. Said something about an exam.' He sent the second message, hoping that with the mention of Adam, he would sound less desperate, less... suffocating.

Eli stared at his phone, willing a response, but after five minutes, when the bell finally rang, none had come.

"I gotta go man, let me know if you hear anything from her," Adam said as he took off down the hallway in an obvious hurry.

Eli sighed and began to put his phone in his backpack, all hope lost. A soft voice stopped him short.

"Eli!"

He turned at the sound and came face to face with the next best thing to Clare, her best friend.

"Alli?"

"We need to talk."

"I'm going to be late for Math."

"It's... It's about Clare," Alli looked at Eli, her eyes shining with concern.

"I'm listening," Eli said, his full attention on the girl in front of him, the girl who had all the access in the world to the most important person in his life.

"She needs you," she whispered, trying to do the right thing for her best friend.

"Alli, she hates me."

"She doesn't. We both know she doesn't. She's angry, but she could never hate you."

Eli crossed his arms over his chest and shook his head. "I can't help her anymore."

"She's not... She's not Clare anymore. Please." Alli pleaded and Eli narrowed his eyes at her, staring hard.

"She doesn't need me."

"Eli, you're all she has left. You can't abandon her now."

A twinge of guilt pulled at Eli's conscience and he swallowed the lump that had been forming in his throat. "Where is she?"

"Home in bed. Where she's been for the past three days."

"I'll go talk to her."

Alli nodded her head, relief relaxing her facial features. "Today?"

"Today," Eli confirmed with a nod, before turning to walk down the hallway.

He said he was all in, Eli reminded himself. Clare needed him now more than ever and he was messing it up. They had been through a lot, but nothing compared to this. Eli knew what he had to do and he vowed he would get her through this. Clare needed to feel okay again and Eli was the one who had to help her, no matter what.


So, there it is, please don't hate me! I know it's not my best work, (I'm a little rusty) but I promise it gets better if you hang in there!

Reviews from wonderful readers like you would be greatly appreciated! Love you guys and thanks for reading! :)