Hey guys! This is a one-shot; only a one-shot. This is dedicated to "Simply Anon's" review from You Give Love a Bad Name. I also collaborated it with the idea to write more stories based off the hiatus. So, you know who you are :) Please enjoy this one-shot I'd like to call "Cover Girl"...

Twitter: TheCliffyG

No Beta Reader, so ignore mistakes if any :)

Summary: Ever since the storm had passed, the two have been seeing nothing but sunny skies and butterflies. Until one day, Clare realizes something.../Eclare/Jake & Eli friendship/Fluff/Slight AU/

Takes place two months AFTER Romeo & Jules play!


Cover Girl

ELI

Good morning Clare :) Do you want to go out for some pancakes at The Dot?

-Eli

Over an hour ago I had sent Clare this message, and she has been unresponsive ever since. Usually she doesn't sleep in on Saturdays because we always go for our breakfast date. We've been doing this ever since she discovered how fond she was of them and how easily it took her mind off of everything going on in both of our-at sometimes-hectic lives.

With the Asher case still in progress, she's been under a countless amount of stress and goes through slight breakdowns from time to time if she thinks too intently about it.

"Hey butter head, where ya' going?" I glared at Bullfrog teasingly, rolling my eyes to make sure he sees them so he's fully agitated.

"I asked you where you're going kid." I sighed, playing with my dad's keys between my fingertips. When he uses his "dad" voice he's serious nowadays, so with little fear, I explained, "Clare hasn't answered my text for our breakfast date. I'm afraid she's going through something and I want to be there for her."

"Has it occurred to you that maybe she's sleeping in and she's tired? You can't just jump to conclusions when-." I cut him off, "This isn't an episode, okay? I'm just worried for my girlfriend. She's not exactly on edge Dad, you know that."

Bullfrog bit back his lip, debating whether to let me out or not.

"Call Jake first." He ordered, pointing to my phone.

"Fine." I compromised, sliding my phone to open to contacts and the ring tone immediately sounded, signaling I was calling Jake.

"Eli! My man, what's up?" His tone sounded very relaxed and laid back, which made me a bit nervous because no one was probably paying attention to Clare.

"Hey J-Jake, yeah it's me. Listen, I was wondering if Clare is awake yet?" My throat was dry as I heard a crunch on the other line.

Of course, he was eating.

"I heard the shower running in her room a few hours ago, why? Did she not jump your bones through the phone yet?" I scoffed, shaking my head even though he couldn't see it.

"We were supposed to go out for-." Jake cut me off, speaking with a full mouth, "Wait! Don't tell me she forgot that it's Eclare pancake Saturday?"

"Regardless if she forgot, I just want to make sure she's okay. Do you mind if I come over for a little?" I asked, eyeing Bullfrog anxiously as Jake responded, "No man, that's great! Katie actually bought me Call of Duty for my birthday and I wanted to pop the cherry on that game so if Clare's okay with it, we can chill after you guys go out for your little date?"

"Sure Jake, sounds like fun."

Before I hung up, I asked, "What are you eating that sounds crunchy at ten in the morning?"

"...Fried chicken."


"Damn! No offense dude but it took you about a half an hour to get here when you live ten minutes away, max. How slow do you drive turtle man?" I ignored Jake's statement, pointing to the steps, "Is she upstairs?"

"Hi Jake, how are you? I'm fine, just got finished eating a bucket of my favorite, greasy-."

I smirked, patting Jake on the shoulder, "Thanks man, I'll be down soon."

Without any hesitancy, I ran up the steps, skipping two at a time. When I reached the top step my heart was racing against my shirt, feeling as though it might jump out of my chest.

"No no no." I heard low mutters coming from Clare's voice as I approached her door, peeking through the slight crack.

My heart sunk into my stomach at the sight of Clare standing in front of her full length mirror with only a bra and panties on, pinching her skin. Her face contorted with pain at her own actions. My hand shook violently against the doorknob, the noise causing Clare to shriek and turn around, grabbing an oversized pajama shirt on to cover herself.

"What are you doing here Eli?" Her voice was frantic, tears springing from her torn blue eyes.

"C-Can I come in?" I asked shakily, closing my eyes to try to convince her that I didn't see anything...although I saw everything.

The door flung open, taking me aback, nearly knocking the wind out of my body.

"What were you doing, spying on me?" She hissed, her small frame shaking before me.

I swallowed the lump in my throat, a drop of sweat sliding down my back. Thoughts invaded my head, making me wonder how long she has been doing this to herself and why. It could be because of the Asher experience, but I didn't want to push that issue because I thought it was a bridge we had already crossed.

Instead of answering her, I questioned, "Why were you doing that to yourself? Don't lie to me."

"A-All we've been doing is going out to eat for dates, seeing movies, a-and I'm gaining weight and getting fat. Pinching helped, it gets my mind off of the weight. I-I know you probably hate fat girls and I couldn't risk losing you so-." I stroked my hand through her hair, immediately bringing her into a soft embrace.

"Where is all of this coming from?" I whispered close to her ear, as she sniffled against my chest, her tears absorbing in my shirt.

"Feel this." She ordered through a sob, grabbing my hand forcefully and placing it over her right hip.

"What's wrong with it? I don't follow." Her warm skin against my cold hand comforted me a bit, calming the racing, unexplainable feelings in my body.

"I-It's fat, Eli. It's fat." She repeated the two words again, sounding like a black hole was sucking her in.

"It's skin Clare; nothing more, nothing less. You're perfect." I state matter-of-factly, rubbing her swollen cheeks with the pads of my two thumbs. She forces a smile, whispering near my lips, "You're only saying that because you don't want me to feel bad. I can take criticism Eli, I'm a...I'm a big girl now."

"You're not a big girl, Clare. You're beautiful here," I lightly kiss her neck, to her jaw. I could feel her frame becoming weak against my kisses, as I lead her to the bed that lies in the corner.

"You're gorgeous here," I kiss her the tip of her right ear, and slowly slither my way down to her arms.

With much ease, she watches in tears as I kiss her hand softly, "I love your arms. I love your fingertips, to your wrists, to your shoulders."

A butterfly kiss lingers on her shoulder blade, while my hand rests on her beautifully shaped waist. Her chest rises a bit, and I could see she's still crying.

"Why won't you believe me?" I whisper beggingly into her ear, my cold breath making her shiver beneath me.

My fingers twitch a bit as I slide her shirt up above her belly, stopping beneath her breasts while I examine the damage. The tiny fingernail marks are deep; some bleeding, and some looking similarly to infected scabs.

"P-Promise me you'll stop this." I gesture to her scarred stomach, glancing between her frantic eyes and dry lips.

"Promise Clare."

I slowly reach down, placing small pecks around the areas that were poked intensly and prodded on her body. My hands rub her sides softly, trying not to make her cry harder from the pain she has caused herself.

"Promise me you won't leave me." For the first time in a few minutes I hear her voice; the desperate and needy tone drawing me in.

I lace my fingers through hers, resting her hands above her head and placing a gentle kiss to her lips. I look her in the eyes, reassuringly speaking, "I won't leave you until my heart stops beating...and even then, I'll be right here."

I point to her heart, and kiss her chest daringly.

Clare grips my shoulders, forcing me to rest on my back as she curls herself into my chest. I open my right arm wider, allowing her more access to snuggle. She hums lowly, apologizing repeatedly for her actions.

"I love you so much. Please, don't hurt yourself ever again. I couldn't take it." I say honestly, still not being able to process what had just happened.

"I'm sorry, I just thought-." I cut her off, rubbing my index finger lightly over her forehead. She closes her heavy eyelids, sighing into the crook of my neck, "Stop thinking so much. That's what can drive you insane. Trust me, the mind plays dirty tricks on you and I wouldn't want you to fall to victim of it...again."

"What would I be without you?" She asks rhetorically, her curly hair tickling my neck.

"...You'd be sad and lonely, maybe have a few cats or so." I tease, kissing her temple.

I hear her small laugh, and quickly realize that I caused that...happiness.

Without warning, the door to Clare's bedroom swings open, revealing a worried looking Jake. He's holding a bucket of chicken, clutching it to his chest tightly. His mouth forms into a shape of an "O" when he realizes Clare wasn't wearing any pants. Jake's heard jerks to the side, as I cover my girlfriend with her blankets.

"Oh sorry, didn't want to bother you guys but uh...do these pants make my ass look big?" Jake turns to his backside, and I don't look, but Clare giggles pathetically at him.

I look at Clare, kissing her ear softly as she responds confidently, "You're handsome just the way you are Jake. And if anyone has a problem with you, then they need to change themselves."

My heart warms, as Jake laughs, "You know, you should be a counselor or something. I feel twenty times more confident right now, thank you kind woman."

"Oh Eli!" Jake chucks a video game on my lap, and he bites back his bottom lip, "I popped that cherry like it was no tomorrow. Blood and guts everywhere man, you should try it."

With that, Jake slams the door and Clare glances awkwardly up at me.

"...It's a long story."

END OF COVER GIRL


Reviews please? :)

Moral of the story: Don't let anybody tell you you're wrong, or should be some specific way. You guys are perfect the way you are, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Love you guys,

Cliffhanger Girl

3