Yes well...Declan is just pure awesome!!! (And so is Peter) So I present to you my after-Degrassi story. In which Peter attends Toronto University while struggling to take care of his abandoned baby sister Angel. Luckily enough, the Coyne's are back in town, and Fiona is up for babysitting his cherubic adorable little sister. Declan, however, seems more interested in Peter.

defiant of orchids and orchids alike

Her hands were small and lithe, and hit the keys softly and suddenly. Sunbeams diffused the room in panels of speckled yellow, the dark lines of the piano sharp relief in its dark tones. She was small, much too small—was she eating enough? Is that normal?—and she had her feet beneath her knees lost in ruffles of fresco pink, dress fluffy and wide and filled with silky material. The bow on her back must be at least three times bigger then her head.

The chord struck wrong, and Claire de Lune sustained wordlessly in the air.

Angel's mouth pursed in frustration, and her cheeks flushed pink—she couldn't mess up in front of her older brother.

Her fingers were shaking already, but she couldn't stop now. The hardest part was yet to be played, Peter's favorite part, and she wouldn't stop until she succeeded.


A minor chord. Oops. She blinked twice, and tried not to cry. She got a little farther before she had to look up and squint to see the notes. Her finger pressed down to what she hoped to be a correct chord.

However, before she could, Peter scooped her up in his arms, and beamed at her brightly.

"It's beautiful." He whispered quietly to her, and brushed honey-wick curls out of her face as she giggled.

Her eyes were bright, as if the sky was tucked beneath her irises. She pouted, then. "But I—" Her lashes lowered as she looked down, casting long shadows over the spray of freckles dotting her cheeks. They had the same eyes. "I messed up." She finished, lamely.

Peter smiled down, and kissed his little sister on the nose. She burst into a smile.

It lit up her face faster then birds took flight out in the garden in the courtyard outside. Shadows from their wings fluttered over her face from the window.

So young, only four.

Inwardly, he seethed at his father. He doubted the man even knew where his daughter was, much less cared.

But when had he ever cared?

Angel dazzled at him again, and Peter thought she looked beautiful and fit so well in the marble music room, open floor to ceiling windows casting light from the courtyard outside. Feathers were floating to the ground from behind her, and her eyes were glowing and she looked so happy—

He smoothed her baby soft hair back, the same lemon color as his own, and smiled softly. How could such a perfect angel be born from such an undeserving father?

She gave him another beaming smile filled with unconditional love, and her tiny hands pinched his cheeks. "I love my older brother." She said, with a correctness to her grammar and articulation of her words that doubtless, came from her new babysitter.

He glowed at the words, and rubbed her nose with his until she started to squeal in laughter. "I love you too, little sister."

"Am I..."

Speaking of said babysitter.

Fiona leaned in from behind a corner nervously, curls falling from her shoulder and hands clasped behind her back. "Interrupting something?" She ended, worriedly.

Peter shook his head with a smile. "No, it's fine."

He picked up his backpack from its fallen spot in the corner as he placed Angel back two feet on the ground. Her smile was fading already. Why was he even going to college, anyway?

"Thanks for watching her." He added, as he walked up to her.

She smiled, it was small, but entirely visible. "I enjoy it." She answered sincerely, and then, with a dreamy look upon her face, "She looks so adorable in my dresses..."

Peter flashed another smile, before smoothing a hand in his hair.

The Coyne's loft—not really much of a loft, it was a downright mansion—was perfect with its open rooms and floor to ceiling windows, taupe colored curtains long and billowing against the white washed walls. The perfection came from more then just the house, but also the siblings dwelling inside it. Fiona with her perfect dark locks and dainty fingers, and Declan with his dark eyes and equally dark intentions. While he certainly wasn't complaining, there was something to be said with Declan's easy smile and dramatically beneficent agreement when Fiona asked (begged) to let Angel stay with them when Peter couldn't watch her.

The two were only here for a couple months, much like when he had met them in Degrassi, Fiona working with a fashion agency in Toronto and Declan well, he wasn't even sure.

He was absolutely distrustful of the older Coyne—certain that the man's intentions were anything but good, the man seemed to take a liking to Angel. At least, as much as a dark and cunning man could like something so innocent as her.

And seeing as though school and work were eating away at his life there wasn't much he could say about it.

He turned a corner abruptly, and near crashed into the charming male Coyne.

"Sorry," He muttered, avoiding the boy's smoldering eyes, and focusing on his button down that was suspiciously unbuttoned, and also the suspiciously unbuttoned shirt on the buxom blond behind him.

Declan smiled, but he passed him quickly and didn't miss the brunette's trailing gaze.

School had a way of making him yawn ridiculous amounts and want to rest his head in the crook of his elbow, always had, actually. Now, there was no Mia, no Darcy, no Manny to take racy photos. Only an array of fellow sophmores in college. Toronto University was notorious for its large classes and the inability to hear the teacher some feet bellow the higher desks. Riley, two desks to his left, must have noticed his dreary mood, because he leaned over the studious two between them to give him a worried look.

He gave a noncommittal shrug in response.

Here he was, emancipated (however the fact didn't matter much now that he was past eighteen) and in college, and he hadn't the slightest idea where he was going in life. Not to mention his dad was out there with his latest and greatest lover of this month and Angel was currently being babysat by Declan, man of hell.

"Could be worse." Riley began as they sat at the school's coffee shop. "I mean... what if Fiona and the asshole weren't there? Where would Angel go?"

Although college, and the campus for that matter, was a sprawling mass of buildings containing thousands, he wasn't the only Degrassi graduate. Obviously Riley was here, with his concerned eyes just opposite of the small round table, but Holly J was currently bickering with another girl across the room in a manner that sorely reminded him of their high school days. Blue was here as well, taking advantage of the school's liberal arts no doubt.

Peter sighed helplessly, and watched his wavering reflection in his coffee. "I don't know, a daycare?" He answered half-heartedly, running a hand through his hair. He didn't look much different then he had in high school, cheekbones a bit more defined and the chin more pronounced. Riley, however, seemed to have lost all the baby-roundness of his high school days. Fiona could have booted Mia from her modeling career easily. And Declan...

"With what money?" Riley returned without missing a beat.

Peter blinked suddenly. "Shit. Speaking of work." He downed the rest of his coffee, and made a vague wave to Riley, who only rolled his eyes. "I gotta go."

Degrassi high hadn't all. There was something to be said about the large wall of double doors ominously overbearing atop a mountain of stairs. Snake had set him up with a substitute teaching job whenever someone was absent. So far, the pay didn't seem too bad, but the more he thought about teaching kids, the more he cringed. The halls were crowded with faces he didn't remember, and the ones that looked distantly familiar he couldn't seem to remember their faces.

He spotted Darcy's younger sister—what was her name, Clare?—darting into the classroom next to the one that he was assigned to babysit for the next block. She looked a bit different then the last glimpse he'd had of her, more like Darcy without the style. A lanky looking dirty-blonde with a mop top languidly followed after her. He supposed they were still going out, then.

Sav's younger sister, the strange loud one who went out with that scoundrel DiMarco, was chatting loudly going the opposite direction. When they levelled in the hallway, her friend ribbed her quickly and she started giggling, fluffed her hair and turned to face him. He didn't pay her much attention, but he noted the crestfallen face and the dramatic sigh of, "Oh, that's my brother's friend Peter." in an entirely bragging way. The other girl was enraptured. "Yeah they had a band it was so cool."

"Alright children." Peter tossed his bag onto the desk, knocking off one of Snake's plastic bobbleheads in the process. "Snake's not here. You're stuck with me for the next hour or so. Don't do anything stupid."

With that, he plodded to the desk sullenly and pulled up the computer.

The students looked at him forlornly and he was suddenly struck by their tiny little faces beaming at him with something akin to heroic worship. Was he really that small as a Freshmen? Or were they increasingly diminishing in size? He thought about Angel, and what she would look like as a Freshmen. And then, with more growing horror, what if he never got to see the day?

The realization touched him with sickening dread, and he quickly swiveled the computer to his face and typed in the latest videos from the Capitals/Sharks hockey game.

It was a bit outdated already, two weeks, at the most, before the screen lit up with a fifteen second advertisement. "NHLfanbase would like to honor our most beloved benefactor, Mr. Declane Coyne for his generous donation to the site, helping hockey fans all over Canada get their daily dose of rink—and more importantly—Ovechkin—!!!!!"

Peter wanted to throw his head into the desk. Could he ever get away from the guy?

A familiar head poked in from the door, and Peter was struck by her nose and her eyes, and its likeness to Darcy.

"Peter?" She smiled tentatively, eyes shining above her glasses.

"Clare." He greeted warmly, swiveling the chair to face her.

She flashed him a large, glittering smile. "It's great to see you!" Strange, they'd never been very close. Ah, there it was, a small fidget, toes pivoting into the carpet. "Darcy...she was asking about you the other day—

Peter shook his head, interrupting her. "I don't want to know." For a moment, Clare almost seemed hurt by his sudden impassivity. "I mean," He elaborated quickly. "I liked her, no, loved her. I don't think I'm ever going to want to open that again."'

"I—I see." Clare rubbed the back of her head sheepishly, and Peter was surprised with her confidence. He could clearly remember Darcy's meek little sister walking along the shadows of the lockers. He supposed growing up did that to someone.

Obviously not to him.

"Well it was nice seeing you again." She finished lamely.

She darted quickly into the next room, a wisp of her ponytail swished the other direction before there was no trace of her left. Degrassi held many memories; most of them entirely too unpleasant to count.

His last class of the day, World History, sapped energy out of him faster then plants greedily sucked sunlight in. In the last ten minutes, he didn't even bother to listen to the lecture on the differences of religion and their geographical impacts, rather on the ticking clock and the smile that he'd find on Angel's face when he returned. He understood Mia more then he ever had before now, the unconditional love one could have for something that caused him so much grief and trouble. Blue was sketching next to him, and occasionally would stab the pointed edge of his pencil into his shoulder to jar him awake.

By the time Peter had pulled into the exclusive apartment complex, he was considerably drooping and rubbing his eyes. It was only four o'clock. He leaned onto the cool metal of the elevator and studied his reflection in the mirrored surface as he pressed the penthouse button..

He was actually sliding down when the doors opened again.

The lion-like knockers of the Coyne suite were ominous and vicious looking, and he tried not to look at them as he pulled his key out and twisted the door open. The house still stood in its everlasting splendor, the stone flooring and marble statues and rock water fountains probably looked like a dreamland to Angel. Compared to his small rented flat in downtown, at least.

Angel and Fiona were playing the piano still, and Peter was sure that he'd have to get Angel lessons pretty soon. She was starting to get pretty good. He walked down the hallway a little faster, hoping to get out of here quickly, when Declan stepped out from one of the rooms. His hair stuck up in odd directions, like he'd just towel dried it and hadn't bothered to do much else, with a wet white shirt and low jeans.

It was almost like the man purposefully exited the rooms when Peter was here. He hedged slightly when he Declan trailed his eyes down, and then back to his face.

"Back from school?" And his voice, tinged with so many accents its musical quality was beguiling and chimerical in its unforgettable tones.

"Yeah," He answered vaguely, eyes focused on the point across the hall.

His eyes were lidded, as if he actually wasn't paying much attention whatsoever. "Oh..."

Color blossoms beneath his cheeks, incarnadine in its shading.

This hadn't happened since Riley.

Not something he wanted to relive.

"U—Uh...." He sidestepped Declan quickly, who was watching him with an amused look schooling his handsome features—but there was a deeper emotion behind the smoke of his eyes, one he didn't want to decipher—and rubbed his hair awkwardly. "I better get Angel."

He hastily crossed the space to the other room, where Fiona was teaching Angel Fur Elise.

Peter huffed from his safe distance away from his friends, leaning against the wall of the shop and looking out the store's windows.

He looked around the Campus store until he spotted Riley, who leafed through a couple magazines and had the foresight to carefully hide himself behind a multitude of Britney Spears' scandals. "We should have went to the sports store," Riley sighed, as he flipped the page. "This would have never happened if we had just done what I said." He must have been talking about the currently snapping Holly J, voice masked with studied disinterest to hide the latent bitterness no doubt simmering beneath the surface.

Peter agreed.

But it was a perennially lost cause anyway, Holly J always dragged them wherever she wanted to go, a movement that made him feel heaps of sympathy for Blue, said harpy's on and off boyfriend of several years. Or perhaps Blue just hadn't the sense to stem Holly J's female empowerment arc when it first reared its stubborn hormonal head, and probably had no one to blame but himself.

His eyes continuously trailed out of the store, down the campus and into the city beyond, where Angel was being babysat by Fiona for the day again. Speaking of female hormones. The two were probably enjoying one of the cities playgrounds while the summer air still frequented Canada. Fiona had an unnatural attachment to his adorable younger sister (not that he could blame her. Hence, adorable) that perhaps stemmed from the lack of involvement from both of their parents. He didn't doubt the lifestyle of a diplomat, moving, moving, and more moving. He doubted Fiona or Declan liked it much, and it was probably the reason they were so close.

He checked his watch again, seven o'clock. Time to pick up Angel.

"Gotta go." Riley looked up with a glower.

"Lucky you." His eyes watched another snipe from Holly J to Blue, and the way the boy's face lit up in anger. "I get to watch the toddlers bicker. Is Angel this bad?"

Peter chuckled. "Not a chance!"

Toronto looked beautiful in the retrogade light of the sun, setting and dying the sky into claret reds and oranges, eventually turning into a pale yellow that made the navy blue sky have twisting purple hands that reached for the moon on the other side of the horizon. Fiona said it was the park next to the H and M department store, the one with the array of fountains.

He jogged over and paid the cab for the ride, scanning the crowd of whining children and bemoaning parents for the beautiful dark-haired Fiona who generally wore the cutest fashion statements of the day.

Peter saw Angel first, twirling in one of the sparkling fountains that jumped from the ground in a spray of water sprites, giggling and dancing as they shot into the air, before gravity pulled them down into glittering droplets. He smiled broadly, as he took in her pleased and content appearance. There was something to be said of having friends in high places, like Fiona, who could give you small favors like this. He'd heard the saying before; money can't buy happiness. The look on Angel's face said otherwise.

"She's really enjoying herself."

Peter jumped at the deep voice that was not Fiona, and clutched his bag's shoulder strap stiffly.

Declan was smiling at him with that two-toned smirk, charming and pleasing to the eye, but inwardly...Peter shook his head. The boy looked immaculate, as usual. Button-down ironed and pressed, jacket folded over one arm. Unlike himself, with his green hoodie that he'd found on the floor that morning with the word fox printed over it, ripped jeans that weren't ripped for style, but simply because they had been worn so much, and his dirtied kicks that he'd had forever and then some.

He gave a fleeting return smile, before turning to the sound of splattering water against pavement.

Angel dashed towards him, with windy hair and cloudy eyes. "Peter! Lookie! The water shoots up into the sky!"

Peter chuckled with mirth, and bent down until his face was level with her big china blue eyes. "Did you have fun!"

"Lots!" She smiled widely. "Auntie Fiona and me went to the ice cream parlor and Declan came and took me to the water park!"

He blinked in surprise, and looked up to where Declan stood, just in front of the setting sun, hair crisping bronze at the edge where the light hit it.

"It's Auntie Fiona and I." Declan corrected, surprisingly without tart. His sea green eyes softening when looking at his younger sister.

Angel nodded, and rolled on her heels. "Auntie Fiona and I." She parroted, tilting her head to watch Declan give her a soft smile that Peter didn't catch.

"Well, we better get going," And, while smothering his clenching feeling in his gut, he turned to Declan. "Thanks for watching her." He said, sincerely.

Declan only waved with that half sincere smile, the rest, well, it looked like a mixture of lust and bemusement. Peter quickly turned his head so he didn't have to see.

No Declan Peter pairings? Bah. I'm going to make them myself then if I have to.