"Time Wounds All Heels"

by Ennon

Disclaimer: 'Degrassi:The Next Generation' and all its characters are trademarks of Epitome Pictures and I'm making no monies off this fanfic.

A/N- We know how Craig's entanglements turned out by the time of 'Holiday' but did his late parents have there own previous to that? Read on and find out for yourselves.

"Birds of a Feather" (Chapter One)

Toronto, April 1995

32-year-old Dr. Albert Manning was in his office at the large hospital working on a chart in the late afternoon.

"Dr. Manning, S.A. Brewster is outside and wants to see you about. . ." Sylvia Baintree (a 20ish attractive redhead) insisted on the pager phone.

"Tell this Brewster that I've got a consultation and can't be bothered! Get Dr. Watley on the line, Sylvia!" Albert insisted.

"Yes, Doctor!" Sylvia replied.

"Steve! You free? Good! Meet me in the club for a squash game in thirty minutes!" Albert insisted- as he ducked out the back door of his office.

In shorts, t-shirt, tennis shoes, white socks and protective goggles, Albert and his friend from prpe school, college, medical school and now the hospital were entering the squash court.

"Anything wrong, Albert?" Stephen asked.

"Just those pharmaceutical companies are getting more aggressive with these sales pitches. You'd think Canada's red tape would. .."Albert started to say but couldn't help but notice a tall, woman shoulder-length black hair in a white tennis skirt that accentuated her prominent upper story and long legs, tennis shoes, socks and protective goggles standing outside the plastic enclosure watching.

"Earth to Albert," Stephen exclaimed.

"Right, Steve! Let's get started!"Albert insisted.

Albert served but was somewhat distracted and Steve kept scoring while Albert kept missing the ball to the brunette's amusement. Finally, Albert hit it and served it so hard that he hit Steve in the shin.

"Man! I'm so sorry! It'll. … " Albert started to say.

"I know. I know. I'll get some blue ice from first aid. It's a good thing you never hit my arms or hands when you lose," Stephen groaned.

"Well, wouldn't want to have to add your casework to mine!" Albert laughed as Stephen opened the enclosure door and limped away clutching his right shin.

"Hey! Don't you have something better to do than distract. ..?" Albert snapped at the brunette.

"Trés magnifíque!"she exclaimed.

"Look, I wasn't trying to hurt Stephen and. ..why am I explaining myself. You're not a club member!" Albert exclaimed.

"I was hoping to master squash and you look like you could teach me!" the brunette exclaimed while batting her eyes.

"Why don't you go back to. .? Sorry, I didn't meant to be rude!" Albert groaned.

"Not many squash courts in my home village outside Chicoutimi, Quebec ," the ld brunette laughed.

"And you are. ..?" Albert asked.

"Call me Adéle! I think you'd be a worthy teacher," Adéle exclaimed.

"Are you always this forward?" Albert laughed.

"Only when I want to get what I want but enough about me! How about teaching me the finer points of squash?" Adéle asked.

"And what would I get?" Albert leered.

"We can negotiate that after the game!" Adéle exclaimed.

About half an hour later.

"Gotta tell ya! You put up more of a challenge than most opponents! You've played this game before!"Albert insisted as they finished the match and started walking away from the court.

"Among others," Adéle cooed.

"Not that many women like squash. Julia has no co-ordination so. .." Albert started.

"Your wife, eh?" Adéle asked.

"How did you . ..?" Albert asked.

"In my business, one learns everything they can about their clients!" Adéle laughed.

"You mean you're. ..?" Albert leered.

"A pharmaceutical sales representative!" Adéle gloated.

"S.A. Brewster?!" Albert burst out laughing.

"The initials and my ex's surname have served me well! " Adéle insisted.

"Care to make any further negotiations?" Albert asked.

A few hours later at the Manning Residence. ..

"Mom, how much longer do I have to practice the finger scales?"7-year-old Craig asked.

"Another 45 minutes, hijito!" the 27-year-old brunette named Julia Ibañez Manning replied.

Julia had wavy waist-length brown hair, brown eyes, slim and was of average height but stunning beauty who wore a purple sweater, black slacks and boots.

"But why can't I rock like Clapton and Van Halen?"Craig asked as his mother sat down beside him on the sofa and strummed on the fine inlaid-wood guitar a few chords.

"Your grandfather would have prefered you follow Andre Segovia's footsteps but you're making the guitar come alive!" Julia beamed as the phone rang.

"I'll get it!" Craig insisted.

"No, I'll get it! You keep practicing the scales!" Julia exclaimed as she put down the guitar.

"Dad! Yes, she's here! I'll put her on!" Craig insisted.

"Hello, Albert! Oh, you won't be home until late tonight? Late casework?No, I understand. I'll see you then," Julia sighed as she put down the phone.

"Dad's going to be late, right?" Craig asked.

"He has his reasons! Now, I need to practice something of my own on this guitar," Julia sighed as she proceeded to strum a machine-gun paced and very angry flamenco song on the guitar.

"I'm glad you calmed down! Now can I rock?" Craig asked his mother a few hours later.

"Sure! " Julia beamed as Craig proceeded to strum and sing the words to 'Yellow Submarine'.

" Dad!" Craig beamed as he put down the guitar.

"Craig, you know how that stuff gives me a headache," Albert snapped as he stormed into the house.

"Craig, you need to go up and check on your homework! Your father and I have some things to talk about!" Julia pleaded with an edge to her voice that spurred Craig to run upstairs.

"You're still teaching him that crap, Julia, at this hour?" Albert asked.

"You hadn't called and. .. "Julia explained.

"When I tell you I only want you two to play that crap before 5PM, I mean it! Albert sneered.

"Albert, how about some dinner? I've saved a plate for you" Julia offered

"I already ate," Albert snapped.

"But you didn't tell me you'd be eating out . ..," Julia insisted.

"Don't you be changing the subject on me! And I told you I didn't want to have to hear that crap playing when I came home," Albert growled as he grabbed her wrist.

"Albert, it's a useful skill and. ." Julia pleaded.

"That crap's spoiled my evening for the last time!" Albert boiled as he let go her wrist and made a beeline for the inlaid-wood, Spanish guitar.

"No, it's Papa's! He'd have wanted his only grandson to have it!" Julia pleaded as she grabbed it protectively.

" I'm sick of hearing about that dead old man and Spain! You're my wife and Craig's my son!That's it!" Albert snarled as he hit her in the back of her hand- causing her fingers to fingers to let go of that guitar which he then grabbed from her and smashed it over the mantle.

Craig ran from his post at the top of the stairwell and ran into his room when he saw and heard that.

"Papa! " Julia burst into tears as she saw the 150-year-old mahogany and ebony inlaid-wood classical guitar smashed into splinters.

"Shut up- and clean that mess up!" Albert boiled as he hit her in the right temple with the ruined guitar neck then stormed into his office.

Craig waited until he was sure Albert was gone then tiptoed downstairs.

"Mom, are you alright?" Craig whispered as he touched her sore right temple.

"I'll be fine as long as you are!Oh, I'm sorry I wasn't able to pass along your grandfather's guitar!" Julia sighed as they hugged.

A few days later at the private club. ..

"I think I'll pass on that salad. I need to freshen up," Julia exclaimed as she left Albert at the table.

In the ladies room, Julia scrubbed off her opaque makeup from her face and then started to reapply it to her temple bruise.

"Oh, I'm out of foundation!" Julia sighed as she opened her compact and looked at her bruise in disgust.

"I have some foundation in your shade. Perhaps, I could help," someone said before Julia had the chance to see her.

"And you are. .?" Julia asked.

"Adéle Duvallier Brewster!" Adéle exclaimed as she handed her the makeup.

"Julia Ibañez Manning- and thanks!" Julia exclaimed as she took Adéle on her offer and took the makeup.

" You only have an accent when you say your name," Adéle pondered.

" Oh, I was born in Spain but Papa was a diplomat so I've lived in Canada since I was six- and you only sound Quebequois when you say your name!" Julia considered as she started applying the makeup.

"No need to tip the Anglos off too soon!" Adéle laughed.

"I suppose," Julia pondered.

"May I ask what happened? " Adéle asked.

"Well. ..:Julia sighed.

"Don't try to tell me you fell," Adéle sighed.

"No, actually it was the result of being part of a very tiresome game!" Julia groaned.

"I've played a few of those myself but I always win!" Adéle insisted.

"Julia let's go!" Albert was heard to exclaim outside the ladies room door.

"Here's your makeup back!" Julia sighed.

"Keep it and I think we can serve each other quite well!" Adéle insisted- as she looked Julia in the eye as Julia was leaving the ladies room.