'What's Left After Love?'

By Ennon

Disclaimer: 'Degrassi:TNG' and all its characters and its characters and situations are the properties of Epitome Pictures and I'm making no monies whatsoever from this fic.

Mrs. Eloise Cooney was in her nightgown in bed alone, putting her book down and taking her reading glasses off as she was ready to turn off her nightstand night while she momentarily smiled at the picture of a small boy with curly brown hair and jade green eyes when she heard the doorbell ring.

"Ma! When did you change the locks?" a woman's voice is heard.

"Linda?" Mrs. Cooney gulped to herself as she jumped out of bed as quickly as her 65 years allow and put on her robe and slippers then made a beeline to the front door.

"Linda! Where have been? I've been. …" Mrs. Cooney exclaimed as she hugged her 44-year-old daughter.

"Oh, Ma! It's so terrible!" Linda Cooney Yorke sighed as she hugged back.

" I know!" Mrs. Cooney sniffed.

" Marvin's found this great option for an online casino and it looks like it could make us all millions but. .." Linda breathlessly proclaimed.

"Linda, let's sit down!" Mrs. Cooney gulped as the two sat on the living room sofa.

"Ma, no need to get dramatic!" Linda half-laughed.

" In case you didn't get any of my letters, e-mails or voice messages , JT's dead! How can you. .. ?" Mrs. Cooney gasped.

"I know, Ma. It's sad it happened ," Linda sighed.

Mrs. Cooney sniffed while swallowing some tears which prompted Linda to clutch her mother's hand.

" But life goes on which is why you need to get on the groundfloor of. .." Linda proclaimed.

"Linda. He was your only child, my only grandchild!" Mrs. Cooney gulped.

" I know but now that Marvin's found us that online. .." Linda eagerly proclaimed.

" I don't give a rat's ass about your latest loser and fly-by-night scheme! Why didn't you come to JT's funeral? Why didn't you at least send a card or call?" Mrs. Cooney exploded.

"Don't dump all your judgmental righteous crap on me! I had to lay low. Very important things were going on!" Linda fumed- as she stood up

" I used to think that when you hooked up with Ed at the Trekkie convention that it was a terrible mismatch and that you were better than he but you wasted no time showing how much you loved JT either," Mrs. Cooney boiled-as she stood up next to Linda.

"I left with a small toddler. I couldn't take the pressure of raising him and providing him on my own," Linda scoffed.

" At least Ed was still living. Your Dad died when I was 25 and I had no family whatsoever to fall back on," Mrs. Cooney recalled- as she pointed to herself.

"Here we go again about how much of a martyr you were. How much you suffered having to raise me solo. How I should endlessly thank you. .." Linda fumed-as she gripped one finger after another.

"Once would be nice!" Mrs. Cooney snapped.

"Ma, I'm not you. If you hadn't talked me into having JT and marrying Ed, my life would be. .. ." Linda scoffed.

"You'd have found plenty of other ways to screw up and blame me for all your problems and choices!" Mrs. Cooney seethed.

" So you're not going to help me this time?" Linda boiled.

"No. You can no longer threaten to take JT away," Mrs. Cooney deeply sighed.

"Don't worry about me! I'll find someone else to help out with the casino. Don't bother begging. Just remember, Ma, that I'm all you have left and, without me, you're nothing and you have nothing to live for! " Linda exclaimed as she stomped out the front door and slammed it behind her.

"I'm not going to pretend I didn't contribute to what kind of person you've become but, you're wrong, I DO have something very important to live for," Mrs. Cooney sighed to herself as she walked back to her bedroom.

It wasn't until she heard Marvin's car pull away a half hour later that she allowed herself to walk to her writing desk.

My Dearest Justin,

Yesterday Liberty came over for tea as she has every Sunday for these past six months. We talked about virtually every subject under the sun but didn't touch upon the mutual void in our lives (as usual). Still, she has a tremendous heart that she tries to hide under her intimidating brain and I'd like to think you've inherited both as well as JT's ability to want to make other folks happy even when he was miserable. These traits can serve you well down the years!

Getting to meet you a week after JT's funeral was one of the happiest and bittersweet days of my life. Since JT had become a celebrity through his kids' show, the media hyped his passage enough to get your parents' attention and they were moved enough by how alone I now was to actually let me meet you. I had to do under the condition that I not tell Liberty or the Van Zandts of their visit but since they didn't have to allow me any information about you, I couldn't very well challenge those conditions. How much like JT when he was your age you were with your giggles and mischievous face! It wasn't because he didn't love you that he didn't raise you but because he loved you so much that he wanted to give you the best chance possible with parents who'd give you what you deserve and loved you from the start that he agreed to have them raise you. Seeing you with them that day, I have no doubt that they do love you even more than some parents whose children were born to them and the fact that you three love each other so much gives me such tremendous joy. Maybe I won't be around when you get to read these letters but I want you to know that my love for you will follow you no matter where either of us are or what path you decide to take!

And whether you seek me out or not, I'll see to it that if you ever have any questions about what kind of person JT Yorke was, every picture, card, video, and joke he ever wrote will be yours. I promise you that!

Meantime, I'll look forward to seeing your picture next year and every year after that until you're old enough to decide.


Great-Grandma Eloise

And with that she walked over and kissed the picture of the tanned baby boy she'd smiled at and got a good night's sleep.