Mark had been working at The Dot since he was let out of the detention centre where he had done his time. They didn’t keep him there very long, at least, not long enough to make any real difference. It was easy to fake progress, and convince the various social and case workers that he was fine. He claimed to be completely rehabilitated, and on his way to a bright, violence-free future.
Until today, he had been doing a fairly good job of staying out of trouble, and keeping away from those who angered him. Working at Degrassi’s most popular hangout had its downsides, especially when Fitz needed to avoid Eli Goldsworthy, the boy who had provoked him into becoming a criminal. He was always a bully, and you could have never called him a good student, but not until he met Eli did he know what it was like to truly want to hurt someone.
When Eli walked in the cafe, Fitz sighed, looking down at the glass he was drying. As he figured, Eli approached the counter and immediately started to poke fun at him. It was the same simple things that started their rivalry, blows to his intelligence, mostly. Fitz knew he wasn’t smart, but he didn’t like the overconfident way Eli pointed out his flaws.
Fitz put down the glass on the counter and tucked his cloth in his apron. “Life’s fine,” he said, restraining himself from hopping over the counter and throwing his customer out the door. “How are you liking the uniforms, Eli? They’re a long way from the girl pants you’re used to,” He added, knowing it wasn’t the best comeback. Fitz hadn’t seen Eli in a while, and didn’t have much to work with.
“Girl pants, Fitzy? Really?” Eli taunted, not in the least bit frightened of him anymore, as his signature half-smirk curved his lips to the side. There was something about someone in an apron being less terrifying than they would normally seem. Fitz, though, had lost his ‘terrifying’ quality when he faked that Jesus freak bullshit to lure Clare into his sick mind games. It had lost its effect and Eli felt superior once again. Well-educated and superior.
Those blue eyes that he hated seemed to stare right through him, as if Fitz was trying his damnedest to refrain from punching Eli’s face in. The apron, again, seemed to quell that urge because the boy did nothing, acting calmer than ever. Now, where was the fun in that? A Fitz that won’t fight back was a Fitz that was no fun taunting. He had to be on probation or something, right? Community service? Otherwise he wouldn’t be acting so calm now, serious about his job, and not making minimal snide comments about Eli’s lack of ‘guyliner’. It was boring and Eli didn’t like it. He didn’t want boring. Boring was writing a simple story about two lovers with perfect lives getting their happy endings. Boring was all smiles and curt nods across the room; politeness and beauty. And Fitz used to be anything but boring.
Eli’s life had become so monotonous; so plain and… usual. The medication he was pretending to take was dictating his life. He had to act like someone he wasn’t at all so his parents and his teachers and his therapist thought the pills were working, that he was getting better and wouldn’t be as crazy, as sad, as depressed as he was before, when Clare left him on that hospital bed, broken and hurt. He was still broken and he was still hurt, ever though he had apologized for all the shit he’d done to them, he was still in the dark. He still had no one, just like it was after he’d lost Julia for good.
It took awhile to realize, but maybe those he’d apologized to for hurting hadn’t been all he had to apologize to. The boy standing before him now, thrown out of school and arrested too many times because of all the times Eli corrupted him, all the times Eli fucked his life up, deserved an apology. Even though Fitz said and did horrible things, too, Eli had to admit not all of it was Fitz’s fault. He wanted to apologize, now, hoping that his conscience would be clear, that he could grow past this and leave this dark, dank tunnel into the light. He wanted to say ‘I’m sorry’ as easily as he’d said it to the Clare, Jake and Imogen… how easily he’d confided in Fiona about his problems and how she’d confided in him about hers.
But instead, finally taking a seat at the counter, he said, “I think making my coffee correctly would make up for any inadequacy you have in brilliant comebacks. Black. Eight sugars, no more, no less. In fact, I think I’ll have it to go this time. The scenery has put a damper on my day.”
reblogged from badassmarkfitzgerald
originally posted by corruptiveli
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