Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, I am only
responsible for my sick and twisted imagination.
Summary: The regularly scheduled drama happens differently. A different take on what could have been.
Spoilers: Canon up to Rock This Town. After there you hit my AU twist.
A/N: I've had this muse buzzing in my head for weeks. I finally caved and put finger to keyboard and this is the first chapter of what in my imagination is a massive Degassi fic in the works. I have at least the next five chapters planned out in my head. I hope someone out there gets enjoyment out of this. Oh and titles are all going to be 80s songs.
He should have been sleeping but he couldn’t help but lay there and water her – completely fixated on books about heart surgery recovering, the actual procedure and every other thing. She’d watched him a while before beginning to turn the pages. He’d faked sleep until she knew she was wrapped up in the books. He’d done this before when they were dating. Back then it had always been fiction or homework and it hadn’t been sleep, he’d faked. It was doing him own work. Sometimes he’d asked her for help when he could have actually did it himself just to be around her. That had become a fairly good excuse during the months post breakup. Even Mia hadn’t really been too concerned about why he still spent time around her on occasion.
There he was now, trapped in bed post heart surgery and he should have been sleeping and he was still caught up in old tricks. He wasn’t that tired though. That was what he told himself anyways. He’d been allowed to stay up to until nine when Toby called. He’d kept telling her that Toby was going to come back. His step mother had not permitted him to come back out though. She was apparently in overprotective mother mode post stabbing and did not want Toby to end up in JT’s shoes. JT only wished his own mother cared. He knew that his grandmother would have called and told her. Her absence reflected the fact she didn’t really care whether or not he was alive.
One of the moments that had flashed in his head when he was struggling post stabbing for his life was when he was younger when his mother and sister left him to stay with his grandmother. He was ‘too much like his father’. He was a burden. And the fact he had people that he cared about in Toronto that he didn’t want to leave only made her more upset. She was the one leaving but she had made it out like he was the one abandoning her.
No one really knew about how terrible his relationship with his parents was minus perhaps Toby. He’d always avoided opening up about it to Liberty. He didn’t even really know his father other than his name and the legacy of abandoning people. It was genetic and he’d been struggling with it when Liberty was carrying his child. His fears had made him make mistakes but he was better for it. He’d matured despite himself; Despite his parents. His grandmother was the only person worth looking up to in a parental sense anyways.
JT was jealous of the fact Toby’s parents cared enough to not let him come back. He selfishly wanted him to come back to the hospital room and deliver the goods. He accepted the facts though. That didn’t mean when Liberty told him that he did have to go to sleep since Toby wasn’t coming back that he did. Besides, Toby had promised he’d come over first thing in the morning.
In the waiting for the call from Toby, JT had started a notepad with other things he’d want. His plan was going from mildly crazy to delirium induced scheme. It wasn’t just an engagement he was planning anymore. He knew Liberty wasn’t a big wedding girl. She was a romantic. It wasn’t how big the church was or how many people were there but the quality of the ceremony. Weddings were one day in a person’s life. He didn’t care about weddings. He wanted a marriage with her. A lasting one.
He’d be damned if he didn’t get this right though. He’d made so many mistakes that this was important. He never really let her see what he was scribbling. He only scribbled on the paper when she wasn’t paying attention or she was away. He had a few phone calls to make and he had every intention of making them once she was asleep. He hid it under his pillow. He managed to pass on a few of the calls to a nurse. There were some things that he didn’t need to handle himself. There were some that were a man’s job though and he was the man who would have to do them.
He just watched her behind bleary eyes, careful to not get called out.
He didn’t want to get called out.
Liberty knew he wasn’t sleeping. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out. She always knew when his eyes were on her. They were a distraction. They always had been. Her grades hadn’t been as stellar once they started ‘studying’ with each other. She was the one who dictated that they were actually going to work. When she caught on to the fact his eyes were watching her though, she usually ended up putting the books aside and calling for them to do other things. It was really shouldn’t have surprised anyone that she’d ended up carrying his child. That chemistry was just undeniable.
When they’d broken up though, she’d started assuming that maybe it had been in her head all along. Maybe she had imagined his eyes watching her, when he still came around for her help. The long study sessions usually ended in quarrels. The saddest thing was that the more they had argued the more she’d wanted to kiss him. She’d come close quite a number of times. If it hadn’t been for the sudden ringing of his cell phone and Mia wondering when he was coming over or Toby calling to ask about spending for the student body government they probably would have. Maybe not though. Liberty always imagined one of them would have simply dodged it.
The fact of the matter is that she was fairly sure that she doing just that now. The little comments and that glance when the nurse had come in to medicate him were plaguing her head. She was overanalyzing it. He was just trying to be friendly. They were still close. He just felt sorry for the way things had gone at the party. Maybe he was sorry for getting stabbed at her party. She thought all of those things were ludicrous though. He felt how he felt and there words had been … honest. She couldn’t be upset that he’d chosen Mia. He’d chosen her and she’d chosen to remain beside him as a friend as long as he’d allow her, no matter how much it killed her.
The medication in his system had to be kicking in though. JT might have been made of steel but he wasn’t immune to pain medication. The fake sleeping couldn’t go on for that long. He’d eventually have to fall into real sleep. She was right about that though. His breathing did even out and she noticed a small trail of drool moving down from his mouth to his pillow. She couldn’t help but laugh quietly at that before using a Kleenex to white it away. The close proximity clued her in to the notebook under his pillow though. The spiral glimmer was a giveaway. She wondered how long it had been stashed under there and how he could possibly have been comfortable with it under his pillow.
Maybe this was something that wasn’t any of her business. Liberty could never leave things be though. She was gentle as she tugged it out from it’s hiding place and even more quiet as she began to snoop though the pages.
Written in JT’s familiar sprawl was a laundry list of things: ‘ Ring (Toby), Cake & other refreshments (Emma, Sean & The Simpsons), Dress (Manny), father’s permission, Grandma (Flowers)’
At first it didn’t make any sense. She tried piecing what all of this could be. What could this even mean? Her heart began to tug in her chest when she realized precisely what this meant. He was going to marry Mia . Despite herself she felt the heady, overwhelming jealousy surge through her that she couldn’t help. She’d dreamed of marrying him for years and now despite everything he was going to marry her. He hadn’t been able to commit to her and their unborn child but now he was going to marry a teenage mother. He was going to end up adopting someone else’s child.
All fleeting hope fled and in her heart, she began to wonder why he’d chosen to have her there though. Maybe he had been searching for a way to tell her. Maybe what little bit he did still care for her had told him that this was a good idea.
She wasn’t the person who should have been there. She wasn’t the person who belonged here. Maybe this was God collecting on her promises to keep him there. She would keep her word. She used the pen he’d been using to write a sprawling: ‘I know.’
She didn’t have a car there. She didn’t have anything other than her purse and her bank card where she’d been saving for ages. Maybe it was time to put them to good use.
Toby was there bright and early like promised. Six AM actually. He was never up this early and he hated it. The fact of the matter was on most weekend, he went to bed at this hour when he was done doing computer stuff. He was confused at best to not see Liberty there. JT was still asleep. Fresh drool on his pillow and all. Unlike Liberty, Toby wouldn’t be caught dead helping to remove it. He prodded his friend gently to get his to stir but that was it.
“I brought the goods,” Toby said trying to get him awake when JT tried to pull the five more minutes trick. Those words made his eyes pop over and he looked around as if looking for Liberty to make sure she hadn’t overheard that before taking it from Toby.
“Where is she?” he asked putting the ring box in his pajama pocket. He had changed to those instead of the hospital robes at one point with the help of the nurses.
“I was going to ask you the same. I didn’t imagine the transfer would be so easy,” Toby said with a bit of a laugh moving to take a seat in Liberty’s abandoned chair. His eyes caught the sight of spiral just under the edge of the bed on the floor. JT had probably hit it when he was asleep. He reached to grab it and gave it an odd glance and then frowned. Dammit. Why did he always end up having to clean up JT’s messes? “Why did you leave out a play-by-play of your plans? Did you maybe forget Liberty has yet to be told your still in love with her not Mia?” he asked. His voice was calm and a hint amused but inside he was already trying to figure out how he was supposed to fix this. He always ended up having to fix things.
“What do you mean? I hid it under my pillow.” JT was confused and he reached for the notebook. Toby helped him reach it though. JT’s eyes looked over the text he’d written and then saw her little addition. “She doesn’t know!” he managed out with a headshake. “You don’t think that she thinks that I’m going… with Mia. ”
“You really haven’t formally broken it off with Mia,” Toby said with a shrug. “It’s probably something you should do before you openly plan your surprise engagement wedding coocoo bananas extravaganza. ”
“I’m was going to do that,” JT said fibbing a bit. He was just sort of hoping Toby telling her about his feelings for Liberty had been enough. He hated hurting people.
“What in a postcard from your honeymoon at the Dot?” Toby said with a laugh. That was all he really could do at the moment.
JT didn’t seem to find the humor in that.
“Listen, I’ll handle Mia. But first, we’ve got to find Liberty.”
“She probably just went home,” Toby said picking up the phone and dialing. It wasn’t that hard. Danny ended up picking up. She’d not been home and he was under the impression that she was still at the hospital. That wasn’t a good sign. Where else could she have gone though?
“This isn’t good Toby,” JT said no sooner than the receiver was back.
“Well if you were Liberty where would you go. I mean, if she were just stabbed about to marry Mia…” Toby started question.
The look on JT’s face changed from concern to something else. Something Toby wished he didn’t know what that meant. “I’d probably be on my way to borrow a camera from the studio to record the post-wedding …”
Toby winced. As hot as that might have sounded he did not want to think of either of those girls in that way. Ever.
“—Probably Seattle though. That’s where James lives,” he said. That was what the foster parents had named their son. He was named after one of their fathers but JT liked to think his son was named after him.
“Let me get this straight. You want me to go to Seattle and get Liberty?”
Toby didn’t even bother to complain about the fact he didn’t really have that sort of money lying around. The fact of the matter was that he’d end up doing it anyways. JT was his blood brother and he always got caught picking up the slack. He’d have to break into the emergency fund.
“I’ll owe you. I’ll name my second born son after you or daughter. Anything you want,” JT said.
“If I get her and she takes you back. You two are never allowed to separate again. No more stupid breakups or any of that.”
“And … handle the Mia situation while I’m handling this. I was harsh and I feel sort of guilty about it. I don’t like being the bad guy. ”
That one wasn’t as eagerly “Done” but it was still done.