Summary – Because Darcy's miles away, Mia's nothing more than a friend and Manny has always been the one. AU.

Disclaimer – I don't own anything even remotely related to Degrassi: The Next Generation or whatever the hell I reference in this fanfiction.

Author's Note – I was rewatching season 7 and have realized that Panny will always be my OTP of Degrassi even if CrAsh did (by did, I mean "did in a mini") get married. Please ignore any misspellings & all that bad junk.

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The Death of Me

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"What are you doing here?"

"Just thought I'd visit."

"Emma's got a boyfriend! And I thought you were over her anyways."

"Come on Manny. You know I'm not here to see Emma."

"Darcy's not here either."

"She moved to Kenya. Something about saving poor kids. Whatever."

She rolled her eyes and stared harder at him, like he was a figment of her imagination. A piece of her past who always seemed to be around when she least expected it. She mentioned for him to come inside the cramped dorm room. He followed closely behind, so close that she almost felt his hot breath on her cool neck. She turned her head slightly to look at him.

"Nice," he commented, looking at the mess of clothes, day old takeout and piles of textbooks. She smiled embarrassedly at the mess she and her roommates lived in each day.

The silence itched and she hated them both sometimes. Him for never getting rid of his schoolboy crush and her for always liking the possibility of being with someone who wanted all of her. The actress, the bitch, the Manny.

"What are you doing here, Peter?"

"Just visiting."

"Yeah. You already told me that."

"I hooked up with Mia Jones."

She felt the bottom of her stomach drop and flashbacked to the days of watching Peter and Emma, Peter and Darcy. Every single one of her fucking friends. Everyone except her. That's what she always hated about him, that and fact he could never keep on his pants except for Darcy, she bitterly thought.

"Oh."

"And a boy kissed me."

So what? Now he was the new Marco.

"Oh. Are you? I mean are you-"

"Fuck no. Totally completely straight."

"Oh."

"Oh. Is that all you can say now? I thought you were smart, Manny. Guess I was wrong."

She sneered rudely at him as he chuckled with disbelief. They stared at their feet for a couple of minutes before he asked a question that made her wonder if he wanted her even after the "love of his life" Darcy had vanished and he had already made out with two people.

"No. I'm not seeing anyone."

He nodded. His insides jumped with guilty delight.

"She'll be back, won't she? Darcy I mean. Back from Kenya."

"Yay. She'll be back."

The guilt seeped through both of them because this is something they've both wanted before Darcy Edwards was even a factor, before flashing and love and graduation. But it's different now. They're both different. She no longer needed the attention of a man and he was no longer an egotistical pig (but inside they're still the same.)

"Great."

"Great."

"Do you wanna grab a coffee, Manny?"

"Peter…," her voice trailed off silently and his eyes plead with her. Orbs of blue shined with hope and hints of lust and neediness that is all Peter Stone. She hated him sometimes.

"Sure."

She knows this cute little coffee house just near campus. She's been asked a couple of times for coffee but always declined, never quite ready to let her heart break again after Jay did such a bang up job.

He took a sip of his black coffee as she twirled a stick in her caramel espresso while looking out the window. He wanted to tell her everything. How Darcy broke his fucking heart to help poor, innocent children. How Mia was sweet and different but didn't leave his heart beating fast enough (not the way she could.) How Riley was a friend and become a kiss and then a secret. How he might, just be in love with her.

"How's Degrassi?"

"Boring as always. How's Smithdale?"

"Boring except for our hot roommate, of course."

"Didn't think you swung that way, Manny."

"No," she laughed. "He's a boy."

He felt his pulse quicken at the thought of hot roommate and Manny together. College was supposed to be this wild time in people's lives. What if? What if hot roommate ever hooked up with Manny. What if?

"He's dating Emma," she said as if she could hear his thoughts.

"Oh."

"Manny?"

"Yeah?"

Her nose is little red and her smile is bright and Peter Stone has never loved someone as much as he does now. Mia and Riley were nothing but tiny split second moments. Darcy was a bossy bitch who was always trying to change him but Manny. Manny was everything he wanted. Someone he could never reach or touch.

Manny. The first real thing he liked about Degrassi. He had wanted Manny for three years of his life and he probably would always want her. He would always want the possible what if's they could have. He would always want every inch of her.

"Would you like to go on a date?"

Manny looked at him in a puzzling stare.

Peter looked back at her, hope in his eyes.

She smiled then.

"I'd love too."

He smiled too.

FIN