New here, and I figured I'd start off by posting the prologue to my Degrassi fanfiction, "Wishworld." Lemme know if y'all want me to continue posting. Story is AU in every way. Just forget all your knowledge of Degrassi folklore and you'll be set. Pairing is Craig/Ellie.
18 April 2010
New York City, New York
She loves him. More than she loves herself, at any rate. She realized it that time when he showed up at her apartment with a cup of her favorite coffee and sat with her all night while she called people to let them know that her father had been killed. Her love for him was like a tangible thing, it transcended anything she’d ever felt before. She’d always prided herself on having the upper hand in her relationships, always a step ahead of the latest guy, but this--this controls her. It catches her off her guard, how powerful it is, how her knees will wobble and her palms will sweat and her whole being will tremble when he just looks at her that way. How the feel of his hand on her back will send shivers down her spine and the low rumble of his voice will make her feel lightheaded, and it’s so thrilling and powerful, and she’s scared out of her mind because she’s not sure that she’d survive if he ever left her.
L.A. lights never shine quite as bright as in the movies
Still wanna go
There's something here
In the way that we're constantly moving
Reminds you of home
She thinks back to all the other men she’s ever loved, the first of many being Marco del Rossi. Her time with him has been cast in a kind of rosy white glow, days filled with chaste kisses and holding hands in-between classes. Her mind conveniently omits the nights of laying awake in bed with knots twisting in her stomach, wondering why he didn’t--couldn’t want her. She doesn’t want to remember what it’s like to be pulled along for months by her heartstrings, what it’s like to kiss someone for appearance’s sake, all the while knowing that it’s all just a game. She couldn’t even enjoy it. Instead she remembers the Bollywood movies, the smiles and easy teasing, the friendly arm around her shoulders and gentle cajoling to get out there and just have fun. It was innocent because they were young, and so instead of the heart wrenching agony she expects from the real thing, she remembers it like eating ice cream too fast--so sweet that it makes your teeth ache.
So you've taken these pills
For to fill up your soul
And you’re drinking them down with cheap alcohol
I might be inclined to be yours for the taking
And be part of this terrible mess that you're making
Next was Sean Cameron, her first taste of the good side, the side that makes your toes curl and your breath shorten, the side that makes your knees weak and your throat clench with tears when he does something sweetly simple as letting her keep a ferret against his better judgment. The side that raised her up so high and then let her go with a simple, “I’m staying here.” The guy who made her both smile in class for no reason and sob into her pillow. She holds a kind of bittersweet fondness for Sean, who showed her both sides of the spectrum, how bad and how good it can be. Thinking back on it, it doesn’t matter how much it hurt or how many pints of ice cream she devoured, or even how angry she was with him, the person who promised he wouldn’t leave her and did it anyway. It happened, and she learned from it, and she was glad.
When you say love is a simple chemical reaction
Can't say I agree
Cuz my chemical, yeah, left me a beautiful disaster
Still love's all I see
Jimmy Brooks, the only relationship she’s ever had, probably ever will have that ended well, or well enough. It was a comfort thing, mostly, neither of their hearts were in it as much as they were with other people. Her main goal with Jimmy was keeping that goddamn hopeless look off his face, the one that told her that he was thinking about his now futile basketball career hopes, about the feel of having a gun in your face, about the hospital, about Princess Ashley and her newest flavor of the week. He told her once that she was the bravest person he’d ever met, and she supposes that that’s true. She was the first one brave enough to make jokes about the chair, the first one brave enough to sit on his lap and kiss him in public, the first one to get mad at him after the shooting. She knows that the thought is the same likewise, she knows that he kept that look off her face too, and she’s grateful to him for that, she’ll be grateful forever. In her mind, Jimmy will always equal safe, and that’s a beautiful thing to have. Didn’t hurt that the breakup was mutual, either, for once.
You'll be the thing
You'll be the pain
You'll be the star
You'll be the road, rolling below
The wheels of a car
Scott Baker, the college fling. NYU, July, too bored, too hot, too itchy and misplaced in her own skin. She barely remembers what he looked like, not that she was concentrating on his face much anyway. Her first a lot of things, her first time in a shower, her first broken headboard, her first time in her mother’s bed, her first time in an airplane bathroom, her first time feeling desirable. It was a liberty that she hadn’t really felt before, something that she didn’t know she had in her. She feels like Scott freed her from all her leftover Marco hang-ups, and she was thankful for that. It was a mistake, no doubt, but she was grateful for it anyway. Still, she only remembers Scott when she’s drunk, for a reason.
Felix Steele came after Scott transferred, and started her descent into the darkest place she’s ever been in, the place she has nightmares about on winter nights. Maybe it’s something about college that breeds bad relationships, or maybe it’s just her, but Felix was a definite low point, of course. He was an intense, powerful man, passionate in life, angry when drunk. She’s always hated alcohol, mostly because her mother loved it, but Felix brought it to a whole other level. Memories of Felix come hand in hand with a choked throat and a subconscious flinching gesture that got a lot of practice with him. Bruises are bad enough, worse when they’re inflicted by a significant other. One thing she knows is that if she never hears the words, “it’ll never happen again,” she’ll be happy the rest of her life.
And all of the thoughts, oh god
Don't know if I'm strong enough now
You'll be the thing
You'll be the pain
You'll be the catalyst
Craig Manning came back into her life like it was fucking meant to be, transferring into Columbia’s music program in her junior year. She was still raw and torn from Felix, and she feels as if he could see that, recognize it in her in some way. Either way, after a surprise run-in with him at a Starbucks he was just in her life, just there. He fit in like he’d always belonged, and she shrugged and thought, oh well, if she had to reunite with a fellow Degrassi alumni, at least it’s him and not Spinner Mason. She didn’t mind the memories that he brought with him, they weren’t all bad, none of them overtly painful, at any rate, and so he was integrated into the cycle that was Ellie Nash.
She was attracted to Craig, no doubt about it, she’d always kinda been attracted to him, even when they both belonged to their respective someone elses. He always had that kind of mysterious/dangerous edge to him, even after the rumor mill had caught a hold of his secrets. Plus, she’d always had a weakness for musicians--Scott played drums. Not well, but still. If things had been different, if Felix had never happened, if Craig had happened before Felix, maybe it would’ve been easier. Maybe he would have looked at her and seen that she was beautiful and confident, sure of herself and sexy, if she did say so herself. Maybe he would have seen that instead of seeing how different she was now, that she was more mature, more aged, more weathered. Maybe he would have made a move right off the bat, and she’d be out with him somewhere right now, out at a club or at his apartment, instead of sitting on her couch, numbing out on a pint of mint chocolate chip. Maybe if it was different…
These L.A. lights, no no,
They don't shine quite as bright as back in Frisco
Do you wanna go?
“You’re gonna drive yourself crazy doing this, baby.” Ellie looked up from her notebook at her best friend of three years, Blaire Thomas, and frowned.
“This is healthy, according to my shrink, Blaire,” she said, chewing on the end of her pen. Blaire snorted and grabbed the notebook out of Ellie’s hands.
“Your shrink is a nutcase, Ella. Look at this. ‘Marco, Sean, Jimmy…’ who are all these men in your life, honey?” Blaire asked, frowning at the paper. Ellie scowled and grabbed the notebook back from her.
“Exactly what you said, they’re the men in my life. All of the men who’ve ever been in my life,” Ellie said.
Blaire gave her a weird look. “So what, you’re making a list of all your ex-boyfriends and trying to figure out what you did wrong?” Ellie nodded. “Okay, this has gone on long enough.” Blaire stole the notebook back and threw it across the room.
“Hey!” Ellie smacked her on the arm. “I was using that,” she said.
“And now you’re not,” Blaire said simply. “It isn’t healthy to do this. I’m worried about you, you haven’t been yourself for weeks, and now I come home to find you pigging out on ice cream--which is going to make you sick, you idiot--and making lists--which you hate doing. What is the matter with you?”
Ellie looked over at Blaire, a miniscule stress line appearing between her eyebrows. God knows she loved Blaire with all her heart, where the hell she’d be without her best friend-slash-roommate-slash-sponsor, she really didn’t want to know, but right now she really felt like gouging her eyes out with her fingernails. Hey, what’s a little violence between friends? “Nothing’s the matter with me. And I don’t care if I’m sick later. Ice cream is always worth it. Can I have my notebook back now?”
“No,” Blaire said stubbornly. “Ella, c’mon. Don’t shut me outta this. Maybe I can help with whatever problem you’ve got in that fucked up head of yours.”
“Thanks,” Ellie said dryly. “But I think I got it.”
“Well, obviously you don’t, otherwise you’d be out wherever solving it rather than here wallowing on your lack of relationship skills,” Blaire sniped back, flopping down on the couch next to Ellie.
“I’m not wallowing,” Ellie said weakly.
“Please, you so are. Look, you’ve got your hair back in pigtails, you’re wearing sweats, and the real deal breaker, you’re eating ice cream, despite the lactose intolerant factor…” Blaire tweaked her braid and frowned at her. “Did something happen?”
Ellie wanted to blurt it all out, just say everything all at once. She wanted to tell her about how scared she was, about how utterly terrifying it is to jump into a relationship when so many of the others had gone south, about how she woke up last night from a nightmare that Craig had left her just like her parents did. She wanted to ask for help, she wanted to tell Blaire that she loved her like a sister, that she complained that she called her ‘Ella’ instead of ‘Ellie’ but that she secretly loved it, that she never wanted her to leave, that she was panicking at the thought of being alone. She was gonna say all that, she really was. Instead she nodded, pathetically she thought, and burst into tears.
“Oh, Ella, shh,” Blaire said, immediately wrapping her arms around the sobbing redhead. A little stunned, Blaire rubbed soothing circles into her back. “What happened?” Ellie just shook her head, crying harder.
“Okay, okay, honey. Shh,” Blaire murmured, just hugging her friend tightly, a feeling of cold dread seeping into her stomach. What if…no, don’t go there, she thought.
“I just--I don’t know what to do, Blaire,” Ellie sniffled into Blaire’s shoulder.
“Ella,” Blaire said softly. “What happened? Did--is it about Craig?”
Ellie jerked up, startling Blaire. She looked at her accusingly, mascara smudged eyes narrowed. “Why? Did he talk to you?”
“No,” Blaire said. “A hunch. Did you guys have a--a fight, or something?” Ellie shrugged, sinking back into the leather couch.
“You could say that.”
Blaire smiled, leaning back next to her roommate. “Well, tell Aunty Blaire all about it, and we’ll figure out a way to fix it.”
Ellie shook her head tearfully, laying it on Blaire’s shoulder again. “Blaire…”
“I know, sweetie,” Blaire said, cutting the distraught girl off. “Men suck, every last one of ‘em.”
Song credit to Catalyst, by Anna Nalick