Regretting Doesn't Change

Summary: Rick comes back to Degrassi after a year of hiding. Has he changed at all? Has anyone else?

Rating: PG

Spoilers: Very beginning of "Mercy Street"

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters or the beginning of this story, Epitome Pictures does. I just own the plot.

Author's notes: I didn't like Mercy Street, mainly because I like Rick and I don't want him to shoot up Degrassi in "Time Stands Still 1/2". Whoops! Did I just give that away? My bad!

Chapter 1 Pinch Me

Marco, Alex, and Spinner were standing on the front steps of Degrassi when Paige walked up.

"Someone tell me I'm hallucinating," Paige looked with her friends at the scene below.

Rick and his mother were talking with Mr. Raditch. Every now and then, Rick would shift his eyes over to them, only to dart them back nervously.

"Who is he?" Emma joined the four of them.

Spinner jumped at the chance to spread Rick's bad name around. "Remember our friend Terri McGregor? The girl who was in a coma last year?"

Paige joined in. "He's the psycho who put her there. His name's Rick, her ex. He used to beat her."

"Yeah, and he's your new classmate Emma," Spinner remarked happily, the sarcasm dripping. "He starts tenth grade tomorrow."

"Where has he been?"

Paige looked at her, shaking her head. "What's it matter?"

"I don't know."

"Don't tell me cause girl is going to start something," Alex joked.

"No!" Emma hated being called "cause girl". "I was just thinking." She shrugged. "Maybe he's going to counseling. He could have changed."

Paige looked at her in disbelief. "He put Ter in the hospital!" She got in Emma's face. "Scum like that just doesn't change!"

Mr. Raditch turned around and looked at the group. He excused himself and hustled up the stairs. "Miss Michaelchuk?" He tapped his foot impatiently. "Is there a problem?"

"No Mr. Raditch," Spinner answered for his girlfriend. "Come on Paige." He grabbed her arm and literally yanked her away from Emma. Mr. Raditch went back down to the Murrays.

Emma stayed where she was and looked at Rick. To be totally honest, he didn't look like the abuser everyone accused him of being. Emma shook her head and went into the building.

That was short. Anyway, couple of things before Ch. 2:

-If you've seen Mercy Street and/or know anything about Emma, you're probably thinking that she would never give someone like Rick a chance. As the name of this site suggests though, it's only fiction. I just wanted someone to give Rick a chance.

-In this, Rick isn't a bad guy.

-Even if you totally hate Rick, please give my story a chance!