Here's a new AU Degrassi oneshot I cooked up. This time it focuses on Rick's thoughts as he reads the article about the murder of Lori Hacking (December 31, 1976 – July 19, 2004) on Wikipedia (which I've read about myself).

I've always wondered how Rick would feel if he read about cases like these, so I decided to think this up. I call it "No Such Thing" because there is no such thing as a harmless lie. Plus, no matter how you hope or believe, you can't make the truth out of a lie. Hope you like it!

Disclaimer: The geniuses at The N and CTV own Degrassi. The lyrics to Never Gone by the Backstreet Boys belong with their respective owners. I own the oneshots, songfics and poems.

"No Such Thing"

It was a new day at the Degrassi Library. But on this day, Rick Murray found a murder case online that he somehow knew he would never forget – even if he wanted to. There was something about all those cases that just grabbed Rick's attention and held it.

Maybe it was how they were conducted.

Maybe it was because he knew that murder did happen in the world.

Or maybe it was because, as he was studying to be a psychiatrist one day, he liked to look for deeper meanings in traumatic situations and things like that.

He didn't know.

But one thing he did know was most murder cases captured the hearts and imaginations, and their whole lives were changed.

Rick's POV

As I looked up the article about the murder of Lori Hacking, I could feel some kind of sensation burning in my blood like crimson fire. Except it was all different.

Lori Hacking.

She was, in my view, a great girl who did not deserve to die. And that idiot who called himself her husband should not have killed her. And yet, I mourn for her and her family. They don't deserve all this pain of losing Lori. From what I've read about her, she was a great family member, a great sister and a great mother.

As I read about the case, the sensation in the crimson life force running through my veins burned even brighter, like a light at the end of the tunnel.

"Serves him right," I thought. "He shouldn'tve done what he did to her. In my view, she deserved better even though there were worse marriages out there in the world."

Then I came to the statement from her husband. My blood then ran cold as my eyes galloped horselike over the words, absorbing their hidden meanings that had been lost for thousands of years until I came along and found them.

At least, that was what it felt like to me. Of course my friend Toby Isaacs agreed with me. He once said that I could make a great psychiatrist someday, what with all my findings about deeper meanings and things like that. I have to say, I cannot agree more with him. He listens to me, and we are almost like brothers in every way except blood.

"I know prison is where I need to be. I will spend my time there doing all I can to right the many wrongs I have done, though I realize complete atonement is impossible in this life. I have a lot of healing and changing to do, but I hope that some day I can become the man Lori always thought I was.

"To the many people I have hurt, I am more sorry than you could ever know. Every day my soul burns in torment when I think of what you must be going through. I wish I could take away your pain. I wish I could take back all the lies I have told and replace them with the truth. I wish I could put Lori back into your arms. My pain is deserved; yours is not. From the bottom of my heart, I beg for your forgiveness.

"There is no such thing as a harmless lie no matter how small it is. You may think a lie only hurts the liar, but this is far from the truth. If you are traveling a path of lies, please stop now and face the consequences. Whatever those consequences, they will be better than the pain you are causing yourself and others."

"Truer words were never spoken," I whispered to myself as I then clicked out of the article and left for home. Then I got ready for bed.

After all, when a person tells a lie, it not only hurts the liar, but also all the people that the liar passes the lie on to. They all get hurt in the end.

And I will not forget Lori Hacking, what happened to her, and the pain that her family has to go through daily. Pain that would be lessened if she were still alive.

But instead, she is in a better place – Heaven, where the angels are with her.

Well, Lori, I will miss you.

And hopefully you are watching over your family until you are reunited again with them.

"The things we did, the things we said
Keep coming back to me and make me smile again
You showed me how to face the truth
Everything that's good in me I owe to you

Though the distance that's between us
Now may seem to be too far
It will never separate us
Deep inside I know you are

Never gone, never far
In my heart is where you are
Always close, everyday
Every step along the way
Even though for now we've got to say goodbye
I know you will be forever in my life (yeah)
Never gone

No no no
I walk along these empty streets
There is not a second you're not here with me
The love you gave, the grace you've shown
Will always give me strength and be my cornerstone

(Somehow)
Somehow you found a way
To see the best I have in me
As long as time goes on
I swear to you that you will be

Never gone, never far
In my heart is where you are
Always close (always close)
Everyday (everyday)
Every step along the way
Even though for now we've got to say goodbye
I know you will be forever in my life (in my life yeah)

Never gone from me
If there's one thing I believe (I believe)
I will see you somewhere down the road again

Never gone, never far
In my heart is where you are
Always close (always close)
Every day (every day)
Every step along the way
Even though for now we've gotta say goodbye (yeah yeah)
I know you will be forever in my life (in my life)

Never gone, never far
In my heart (in my heart is where) is where you are (you are)
Always close, everyday
Every step along the way

Never gone, never far
In my heart is where you are"

--Backstreet Boys, Never Gone

Well, I hope you liked reading this as much as I did writing it. After all, Lori Hacking was a great person in her 27 years. She will be missed by her family and all who knew her.

RIP

Lori Kay Soares Hacking

(December 31, 1976 – July 19, 2004).

She will be missed terribly. I hope her memory will live on.

~Nightcrawlerlover