Summary: After things get bad at home, Claire calls on John to rescue her from her tragic life.
Rating: PG-13 for language, shameless melodrama, and Claire's whining.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Breakfast Club.
A/N: Hey, everyone. I haven't written anything in forever, so I decided to try my hands at a fun one-shot to get back into the game. This hasn't been beta-ed, and it might be really horrible, but it's 2 A.M. and I really don't care. Also, fanfiction.net is having yet another malfunction with its document manager, so you guys get first dibs. Enjoy. :)
Claire’s life was no cakewalk.
Sure, there was the money. Lots and lots of money. So much money that they hardly knew what to do with it all, couldn’t spend it fast enough. Money for cars and boats and jewelry and antique vases and beaded purses and designer shoes and rare paintings and a big, sprawling mansion at the top of a hill. Complete with half a dozen maids and a gardener and a guy that shined her father’s cars every morning.
But everyone knows that the one thing money can’t buy is happiness. Or love.
Which is what was missing from Claire’s life. Her family life was in shambles, and it was all her parents’ fault. Mr. Standish would hole up in his office, working on business plans and reports, all in a selfish effort to keep gourmet food on the table. Mrs. Standish, the bitch that she was, did nothing but shop all day, mostly for herself, bringing home only the odd perfume set or diamond necklace for her daughter’s use. In fact, Claire’s parents hardly cared about her at all, evidenced by the fact that they did nothing but fight over her and buy her things and let her do whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted, without question.
Claire wondered if other teenagers had it that hard.
She got her answer in detention, of all places. As it turned out, other kids did have it kind of rough, and, like her, it was all because of their parents. Parents that expected too much or not enough. Parents who yelled at their kids or at each other about their kids. Parents who cared about nothing but themselves and were inexplicably determined to spend their entire lives dedicated to making their children as miserable as they possibly could, no matter what it took. Assholes.
There was one person especially that understood that concept, and he just so happened to be a really good kisser. In fact, John Bender was pretty much the hottest guy at Shermer, and even the popular girls knew it, as much as they pretended otherwise. Claire was lucky to have met him, and for more reasons than one. Because not only was he cute and rebellious and he had really nice hair, he was also from a bad home, which meant that he could relate to her in a lot of ways. And that he could save her from the mess she called her life.
Because there’s nothing more romantic than running away from home with a guy you met twelve hours ago, who thinks you’re a bitch and probably just spent his last twenty on a bag of low-grade marijuana.
“You want me to do what?”
Claire sighed dramatically. “I want you to sneak into my backyard, climb the tree right outside my window, and then take me away.”
There was a long pause. “Take you where?” he asked finally.
“Does it matter?” Claire reached for the nail file on the night stand next to her bed. “Anywhere.”
“Because it’s the best thing, for both of us,” she said firmly. “Now, can you get here in twenty minutes? I’ve been ready for hours, and I’m getting kind of bored.”
“Hours?” John echoed. “For what--”
“Fine, I’ll give you thirty,” Claire interrupted. “I guess you should pack a bag, too, though it might get in the way if you have to carry me in your arms for any reason.” He started to say something, but she cut him off before he got the chance. “Thirty minutes, alright?”
John scoffed. “I don’t even know where you live.”
Claire rolled her eyes. “Of course you do.”
“No, I don’t. I don’t live in your neighborhood, in case you haven’t noticed.”
That was a ridiculous thing to say, because of course she’d noticed. “It’s the one on the hill,” she told him, irritated that he didn’t have the ingenuity to figure out that information for himself. It wasn’t like she was just some girl he’d picked up at a skuzzy bar downtown. She was Claire Standish, and he’d picked her up in detention, and was it so much to ask that he learn where the other half of his heart lived?
“There are about a dozen hills in Shermer, Claire,” John replied, obviously exasperated. “Which one--”
He was interrupted by someone shrieking in the background. Immediately, Claire felt her stomach clench up with dread.
“Is it him?” she whispered.
“What?” John said, so loudly that she had to pull the phone away from her ear. “Is it who?”
“Your…your father,” Claire whispered.
John paused. “It was the television. My brother’s watching a horror movie.”
It was obviously a lie, told to protect her, and Claire’s heart ached for him. She could tell from the way he’d yelled at her in detention that he was probably the kind of guy that kept all of his feelings shoved down deep inside, so far down that only the power of love could unearth them. He was ashamed of his family life and had resorted to telling lies to protect her from ever knowing the horrors he faced on a day-to-day basis. But there was no reason to lie anymore. He’d finally found a woman who understood what he went through and could help him through the pain.
“It’s alright,” Claire said soothingly. “I know it’s him. I know he’s probably about to drag you down to the torture chamber he has set up in the basement. But, darling, you don’t have to hide anymore--”
“Torture chamber? What the fuck are you babbling about?” John interrupted, and rather rudely at that. “My brother is watching Halloween in the living room. Are you drunk?”
Now, that was really quite rude, considering she was only trying to help and it was still obvious that he was lying about his so-called “brother” and the so-called “horror movie”. As if she was going to believe something that stupid. And as much as the drunk comment hurt her feelings, she knew that he was only lashing out because he was in such tremendous emotional pain that he was hurting the only person in the world that actually loved him. She could forgive him for that…this time.
Claire flung the nail file across the room, where it landed with a soft thud on the plush carpet. “I’ll pretend that you did not just say that. Now come pick me up,” she told him, and hung up the phone.
It took him almost an hour to get there, and she’d gone through three different magazines to pass the time, including the copy of Vanity Fair that she’d already read the week before. But all of that was forgotten when she heard the unmistakable sound of branches rustling outside of her bedroom window. She pushed the curtains aside and pulled the windows open, pulse fluttering rapidly with excitement.
John was sitting on a branch just below the window, arm wrapped around the trunk to keep himself steady. “Hey,” he greeted her. “I don’t think this branch can hold my weight for much longer. I think I should--”
“You found me!” Claire exclaimed, leaning against the windowsill. “How did you do it? Did you listen to the sound of your broken heart crying out for the only thing that could make it whole again…” She released a deep breath. “…me?”
John blinked. “I looked you up in the phone book.”
Claire frowned. “Phonebook?”
John rummaged around in his shirt pocket and removed a piece of paper that he’d obviously torn out of the phone directory. “There’s only one Standish in here.”
That wasn’t nearly as romantic as telepathy, but Claire was a practical girl and she knew that under that rugged, romantic exterior that John was a bit of a blockhead. She would have to train him to listen to the song of his heart, which was, of course, her. In time he would learn to know instinctively when she was in danger or just really, really sad, and he would be able to find her wherever she was without her even having to pick up the phone.
Claire forced a smile onto her face. “Never mind that. Let’s just get out of here.”
John’s eyebrows went up. “Really?” He paused, and his mouth curled into a smirk. “Absolutely.”
That was more like it. “Now you’ll have to scoot closer to the window if you’re going to help me down.”
John’s eyes widened. “The branch isn’t going to hold both of us!”
Claire paused. “Are you calling me fat?” she whispered.
John rolled his eyes. “It’s barely holding me, Claire. If your cat jumped onto the branch, it would probably break.”
“I don’t have a cat.”
John glared at her. “Can’t you just climb out yourself?”
Claire sighed and grabbed her suitcase from the bed. “Here,” she said, hauling it up onto the windowsill. “I’ll go out the front door. You take my bags.”
“Bags?” John echoed. “What are those for?”
His ignorance was becoming less and less charming as time wore on. “Just take them around front, alright? But don’t get too close to the windows or my parents will see you. Where is your car parked?”
“Down the street,” John answered, watching her suitcase land with a thud on the ground below.
Claire grabbed the next suitcase from her bed and tossed out of the window. “Just wait for me there. I’ll only be a minute.”
John watched the second and third bags hit the ground. “How many more suitcases do you have?”
“That’s the last one,” she told him. “Now hurry up and get out of the backyard. If my dad realizes you’re back here, he’ll let Petunia loose.”
“Petunia? Who the fuck is Petunia?”
Claire ignored him and shut the window.
Claire’s mom was having dinner with a friend, and her dad was in his office doing some paperwork, which meant that Claire didn’t have any trouble getting out of the house unseen. She escaped out the front door and rounded the corner, where she found John standing on the sidewalk next to her suitcases, which were at a mess at his feet.
“What the fuck did you put in these things? Rocks? They weigh a hundred pounds each!” He started rubbing his shoulder. “And I think I pulled something trying to outrun that pit bull!”
Claire tugged at his sleeve. “Come on, we have to hurry. My dad could come out here any minute.”
John sighed and grabbed the heaviest suitcase. “Where are we taking them?”
“Where’s your car?”
John nodded at the red four-door parked along the curb a few yards away. “There.”
It wasn’t the ugliest car that Claire had ever seen in her life, but it wasn’t the prettiest either. The paint was chipping, and the bumper had more dents than she could possibly count. The back passenger side window was missing, and someone had taped a garbage bag over the space. The front floorboards were covered in cigarette butts and crushed potato chips, and there was a naked hula dancer taped to the dashboard.
But none of that mattered to Claire anymore, because she wasn’t the same girl that had shown up in her father’s BMW that morning for detention. Sure, the car was disgusting and was probably crawling with fleas and maggots and god knew what else (was it possible to catch an STD from a dirty seat cushion?), but it was also the car that was going to help her escape from her screwed-up life, and for that she was grateful…kind of.
John loaded her bags into the trunk and climbed into the driver’s side seat. “So, where do you want to go?”
Claire smiled up at him contentedly. “It doesn’t matter,” she answered. “Just as long as we’re together.”
John paused uncomfortably. “Okay…how about the parking lot by the baseball fields?”
Claire beamed up at him. “So that we can look up at the night sky and wish on shooting stars and plan our life together?”
John’s eyes widened. “Um, sure.”
Claire put her hand on his leg and squeezed gently, which John seemed to enjoy. He put the car in drive and pulled away from the curb.
The parking lot behind the baseball fields was empty except for one car, which was rocking back and forth in a steady rhythm. Its windows were fogged up, so Claire couldn’t tell who was inside or what they were doing.
“It’s so beautiful out here,” Claire whispered.
John nodded. “Yep…”
Claire turned to look at him. She could see the passion in his eyes, that fierce tenderness that made her stomach churn with desire. “Oh, John,” she murmured. “Kiss me!”
John didn’t waste any time complying. He leaned forward and pressed his mouth against hers, gently pushing his tongue into her mouth. She wrapped her arms around his waist, and he pushed his fingers through her hair, bringing their faces even closer together. He tasted like cigarette smoke and pickles, a decidedly romantic combination.
After a few seconds, Claire pulled away and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “So, where are we going to live?”
John blinked. “What?”
“I mean, we obviously can’t live with either of our parents. Maybe you could get a job as a mechanic since that’s probably all that you’re good at, and we can get ourselves an apartment.”
John was staring at her like she was speaking Japanese and he couldn’t understand a word she was saying. “I don’t get it,” he said finally.
Claire sighed. “Never mind. That can wait until later.”
John paused, then leaned in for another kiss. This time when he pushed his tongue into her mouth, she tasted mustard…and maybe onions. He’d obviously eaten hamburgers for dinner that night, which was kind of gross since Claire didn’t like red meat. She let him continue for a few minutes before she pushed him away and settled back in her seat.
“Should we look for shooting stars now?” she asked, gazing through the windshield. “We could make wishes for our futures.”
John didn’t answer, and when Claire looked over at him, she saw that he was staring at her in disbelief.
Claire nodded. “Do you think we’ll see any, or are we too close to the city?”
John shook his head. “Claire, are you familiar with the phrase ‘blue balls’?”
“Blue balls? No, I don’t think -- oh, look! There’s a shooting star! Make a wish!”
“Oh, Christ,” John muttered.
Claire reached over to grab his hand, which was kind of sweaty and callused. “What should we name our children?”
John sighed. “Well, there’s a mood killer if I ever heard one…”
“I’ve always loved the name Sophia. And of course we’d name it John if it was a boy. Imagine if we had twins! John and Sophia--”
“Look, Claire--” John held his hands up in front of her face to get her attention. “We’ve only known each other for, like, one day, alright? Don’t you think it’s a little too soon to start planning our futures together?”
Claire frowned. “But, baby, we’re in love. That’s the point of love at first sight; it happens right away and it never fades, ever. It’s the only real kind of love. I mean, you know those books and movies where it takes a long time for something to develop and they don’t profess their love until the very end?” She tilted her head to the side. “BOR-ing! Love at first sight is completely realistic and is in fact the only way to actually fall in love with someone for real.”
John’s eyes looked about as big as saucers. “Well, that’s great, but I’m not ready for kids, alright? I don’t want to be a dad.”
Claire paused thoughtfully, taking it all in. After a moment, she nodded. “Alright.”
John let out a breath of relief and raked his fingers through his thick, dark hair. “Good.”
Claire nodded again. “I mean, it’s really more romantic if we don’t even see it coming and it’s an accident.”
John paused, fingers still tangled in his hair. “What?”
“If it’s an accident,” Claire repeated. “You know, if we’re really careful and everything, but then I realize I haven’t gotten my period in a while and I’m hesitant to tell you because I think you’re going to be mad, but then when I do tell you, you’re really happy because you’ve always wanted a family that loved you instead of the family you grew up with. And then maybe you could start crying or something, because you’re just so happy, you know? And as the months go on, I gain a little bit of weight, but I’m still the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen in your entire life because I’m so happy with you and the baby that I’m just glowing with joy.”
There was a really long pause, and then John whispered, “Oh, fuck.”
“Language, darling. Not while we’re talking about the children.”
“Oh, fuck fuck fuck,” John muttered again, pressing his fingertips against his eyelids as if to ward off a bad dream. “Fuck fuck fuck fuck--”
“John!” Claire exclaimed.
John shook his head. “Claire, we are not going to have a kid together!”
“I know, sweetie. I just told you that it was going to be a surprise!”
John looked like he was going to scream. “No, it’s never going to happen. I’m only eighteen! I don’t want to get married and have kids, alright?”
Claire frowned. “John, we have to get married. If we don’t get married, then we can’t make love. And if we can’t make love, then how are you going to comfort me when I realize that all of my friends are superficial jerks and that my parents don’t love me and probably never will? And how will I ever get pregnant with the child that will unite us forever in the most romantic way possible?”
John shook his head firmly. “You are crazy!”
“Crazy?” Claire demanded. What a horrible thing to say to the love of his life! “If I’m crazy, then why did you pick me up in the first place?”
John shrugged helplessly. “I figured you’d have sex with me?”
Claire’s eyes widened. “But I’m a virgin!”
“I know, and that’s hot,” said John. “I mean, really hot. But the whole crazy thing is definitely not working for me.”
Claire huffed loudly. “Well, you know what, John Bender? I never wanted to run away with you either!”
John let out a sharp chuckle. “Well, good!”
Claire huffed once more for good measure and flung the passenger side door open. She slammed it behind her and pulled open the back door, the one with the garbage bag window, and grabbed her suitcases from the back seat. One of them landed on her big toe, and she cried out in pain.
“Told you those things were heavy,” John offered from the front seat. Claire answered by slamming the door shut again.
She stood there for a few seconds, wondering what she was supposed to do. If she turned to walk away, he would obviously get out and chase her down and apologize for being such an incredible jerk, and then he’d probably take her back to the car and turn the radio to a soft jazz station so that they could lie in one another’s arms all night, counting stars and making plans for the future and--
Before Claire could do anything, John pulled away from her, tires squealing, and zoomed out of the parking lot.
Claire watched him drive off, resisting the urge to run after him and throw herself onto the hood of his car and beg him not to leave her. She resisted because she was a strong, confident woman who deserved someone much more worthy of her attention than John Bender could ever hope to be. Honestly, it was probably a good thing that he left, because with him out of the picture she could pursue other romantic relationships, probably with other members of the Breakfast Club. Except Allison, of course, because she wasn’t a lesbian and that would just be weird. Or would it? She’d never considered the possibility before, but maybe--
Suddenly, the other car in the parking lot honked its horn, and then the windshield wipers turned on for a few seconds. She heard someone giggling loudly from the inside of the car, and then it started rocking back and forth again.
Claire shook her head to clear her thoughts. Alone for five minutes and she was already considering lesbianism! No, she needed to find help. There was a pay phone on the other side of the parking lot, and she could probably find some change in her purse. If not, maybe she could get the people in the other car to break a fifty for her.
It took her about fifteen minutes to get all of her bags across the parking lot. John, as much as she hated to admit it, was right about one thing; the bags weighed a ton, and she could only carry one at a time. By the time she had all of them stacked neatly in front of the phone booth, she’d almost forgotten what she was there for.
“I’m calling someone for help,” she reminded herself. “Someone who can come rescue me from being raped or kidnapped on the baseball field in the middle of the night.” She found some change in her coin purse and started thumbing through the phonebook.
As she flipped the pages, Claire considered her options. She was disappointed that things with John hadn’t gone quite the way she’d planned, but she knew that hope was not lost. John was a selfish prick, but there were other fish in the sea, even if they weren’t nearly as sexy and rebellious. There were other guys out there who would appreciate what she was worth, who were tuned in to the yearnings of a woman’s heart, who would be willing to sacrifice it all for the sake of love…and Claire had just the right person in mind. She picked up the phone, pushed her coins into the slot, dialed a number, and waited patiently until a woman answered the phone.