Time after Time
Spoilers : Degrassi, season 9 Premiere "Just Can't Get Enough".
Summary: What if Peter made a different long distance call when he was high on meth? Darcy returns to help Peter kick the habit. But will she be enough to save him?
Pairings: Basically, it's a Peter/Darcy. (PARCY)
Disclaimer: I own nothing here. Not lyrics, not characters, nothing. Don't sue.
Feedback: Please and thank you!
Part 1 - Blurry
Everything's so blurry
and everyone's so fake
and everybody's empty
and everything is so messed up
pre-occupied without you
I cannot live at all
My whole world surrounds you
I stumble then I crawl
You could be my someone
you could be my scene
you know that I'll protect you
from all of the obscene
I wonder what you're doing
imagine where you are
there's oceans in between us
but that's not very far
Can you take it all away
can you take it all away
well ya shoved it in my face
this pain you gave to me
Can you take it all away
can you take it all away
well ya shoved it in my face
this pain you gave to me
- Puddle of Mud, "Blurry"
They say that meth is a head-trip.
One thing hits me with cold-hard reality as I hear the buzzing of cars whizzing by both sides of me.
They were right.
Because I have no fucking idea how the hell I even got here.
The world is off-balance. Everything's a haze and a blur. My skin's on fire, like there's a thousand ants crawling under the soft tissues. The roar of the traffic and horns might as well be a thousand warheads exploding in my ears.
I feel like I'm losing my mind. Is any of this real? Am I real?
Through the cloudy mist of my rapidly deteriorating vision, and the angry bellowing of cars, my mind pieces together fragments of the events of the last few days…clues to how I got here…
Mia's modeling contract…déjà vu …Kenya…that stupid party where I felt like a fish out of water…that lame chick, Vicki…the bag of meth…my first hit…party…I'm such an idiot…crash…asshole French director kicking me off the set…another hit…Mia finding the meth…more fighting…a slammed door…another broken heart…another hit…Sav at school…another hit…the loft…crash…another hit…I'm so alone…another hit…dealer at the corner…another hit…school…the band without me…me shouting…everyone staring…Get that camera out of my face!...running…Darcy…another hit…Mia…another hit…Mom…another hit…throat's dry…cars all around me…Darcy…horns blasting everywhere…Darcy…can't think…Darcy…noise everywhere…Darcy…Where the hell am I?
A scream rips from my throat, everything hitting me all at once. It's like I'm being turned inside out. Like a liter of acid's being poured into my brain.
I vaguely registered the phone call I made. I'm freezing cold. Where are those guys? They said they'd be here.
Nothing's connecting right. Can't think. Can't focus… can't…I can't…I need…
"…help…," a faint whisper crosses my lips.
The rush of the cars, the blaring horns, angry faces and shouts from drivers and passersby flood my senses.
I slide to my knees, gripping the metal street lamp like a lifeline, as I let out a cry that shakes me down to my soul.
"Somebody HELP MEEE!"
I awaken with a startled gasp. For several seconds, it's a fight to catch my breath, as I take in the sunlight just barely peeking through my room in the volunteer camp. I exhale with relief as I find myself lying in my bed, clutching the sheets close to my chest.
That was one freaky dream I had.
But that's all it was, I tell myself. It was just a dream. A stupid, non-real, make-believe dream…
…so why did it feel so real? And why was I dreaming about Peter?
I shake my head, falling back to let my head hit the pillowcase. Fifteen minutes before I have to get ready for work, helping volunteers with the building of the new medical clinic at the Tumaini School for Children, and here I am, having nightmares about my boyfrien…ex-boyfriend.
I haven't dreamt about him in two months, since I got here. Haven't spoken with him since I found out he was with Mia. Not that it's ever stopped me from thinking about him, every now and then.
But thinking about him, I think about him and Mia. And that hurts. I can't pretend I'll ever know what he saw in her, or why he chose her instead of waiting for me.
Then again, I chose Kenya over him, didn't I? Not that I totally regret my choice. We've been able to do so much for these poor children in such a short amount of time. And seeing their smiling faces when they are learning how to read and do math, learn history and science…it's nothing short of magical.
But it's never stopped me from thinking about him. His smile, his eyes, the way those gorgeous baby-blues twinkled whenever he made a joke, or was trying to impress me. The way those blonde locks casually fell about his face. How safe I felt in his arms when my world was collapsing around me. How he never realizes how much talent he really has, or just how much he could offer the world.
I smile briefly at the thought of him, before I force it down. I shouldn't be thinking about him at all. He's moved on. Can't say I'm wild about his decision…or his choice in girls lately…but more than anything, I want him to be happy. And even though it hurts like crazy, Peter deserves to be happy. After all he did for me, I could never stay mad at him. I…I love him. Probably always will.
And like the song goes, sometimes, if you love somebody, you have to set them free.
I take a sharp breath to fight back the urge to cry at the thought, before I close my eyes and try to sleep for a few more minutes, hopefully with no more scary nightmares about Peter overdosing on drugs.
I shake my head, with a slight snort at the thought. It was silly to think of.
As if Peter was really stupid enough to take drugs…
I never should have taken drugs, the thought rings in my head like a bell toll.
I'm shivering like crazy. Thank God I'm back at the loft now. The guys managed to find me near…wherever the hell I was. Though not before my face nearly kissed the side of an 18-wheeler.
The loft doesn't offer much comfort, but at least my friends do. Deep down, I'm a little surprised they came. I mean, I know they're great friends. But to come after what I did tonight? I'm not even sure I would've come for me after tonight.
But it's hard to feel lucky when I feel like I've been stuffed in a dryer with the spin cycle on high. My head's still spinning, I feel like I want to puke…freezing…so cold…
"Call if you need anything," Sav says, placing a reassuring hand on my shoulder. I barely manage a nod as I see him and Danny head out the door.
I pull the blanket tighter around me, as I feel myself shiver violently. Why is this damn loft so cold?
"I hate this stupid loft. I'm alone all the time," I mutter to myself, loathingly. That last statement refers to more than just the loft…it's more like my whole damn life.
Spinner shakes his head, holding out a glass of water. "Not tonight, dude. Drink this, you're probably dehydrated."
Not tonight, he says. Yeah, but what happens tomorrow? And the day after that? And the week after that?
Mom's gone. Dad's gone, not that he'd give a shit, anyway. Mia's gone, now. And Darcy…I really am alone all the time.
Weakly, I take a glance back to Spinner and Riley. "I'm, like…messed up, guys."
I pass the meth bag to Riley. If I ever see another bag again, it'll be way too soon.
I can't take the way they're looking at me right now. I can feel their pitying stares at my back. They're good friends, but they're not what I need. They can't give me what I need right now. I need…like, a hug, or something. I need Mom…or Mia…or…
I barely have time to finish the thought before I snap open my cell phone, my fingers rapidly scrolling through the contacts list. It's almost like instinct, because my body's reacting faster than my brain.
Spinner raises his eyebrows at my actions. "Need to make a call, dude?"
I weakly nod. "Long distance."
"Uh, dude," Spinner says as he gives me a strange look. "You know it's, like, 4 a.m. in Paris, right?"
I don't give a shit what time it is in Paris. That's not where I'm calling.
"I'm…I'm not calling Mia."
I catch Spinner's confused look, before I hear the phone ringing on the other end.
Please pick up, please pick up…if there's ever a time I needed you to pick up that Goddamn phone it's now…You've been the only real thing I could ever count on in this stupid life of mine…please, don't let me down now…
Breakfast is nice, if not a little simple.
I take one last look in the mirror, fixing a few stray locks of hair in my face. Not to brag, but I'm looking pretty good. Or as Peter would say, "Awes!"
I smile and roll my eyes. Even thousands of miles away, he can make me smile.
I pause for a moment. What's with all the Peter-centric thoughts today? I haven't thought about him this much since the first weeks of our relationship.
Whatever. I'm probably just homesick or something. That reminds me – I have to call home later tonight. I'm supposed to be going out with some of the girls from the volunteer camp on a little "night-on-the-town" thing. But after that, I'm going to give Mom and Dad a call. And maybe talk to Clare. I'm anxious to know how she and this K.C. I've heard so much about are doing. I can't believe my little sister is finally dating. I've missed out on so much.
I can't think about home right now. I've got to get to the school site, meet Mr. N'Baku and the volunteers, read to the village kids at 10 a.m., eat lunch at 12, more school building at 1… it's going to be one heck of a day.
Without warning, my cell phone rings. God, I hope it's not Naomi from volunteer camp. That girl's such a Nazi about time. She always calls at least 15 minutes before I get to work just to make sure I get to work. It's so annoying.
I flick the out from my purse to take a look at the caller id, and, needless to say, I'm blown away by what I read.
"PETER," the text reads on my caller ID.
No. Freaking. Way.
I let it ring once, then twice. It has to be almost 1 a.m. in Toronto. And I haven't spoken with him in months. So why, of all times, is he calling me now?
Realizing I haven't picked up the phone yet, I hit the 'Send' button to answer.
I pause for a moment, unsure of what to say. "…Hello?"
It's him. It's been four months since I've heard his voice. It might as well have been a lifetime. I would have waited either one just to hear him again.
"Peter?" I answer back, trying to keep the excitement from my voice. We're not together anymore, I remind myself. I shouldn't be this happy to talk to him.
"Yeah…yeah it's me."
I frown at the tone in his voice. He doesn't sound like he usually does. Peter's always somewhere between laid-back and sweet whenever we talk. Right now, he sounds…like something's wrong.
"Hey…um, you sound weird. Are you okay?"
I can hear him panting on the other line. "No…not really. Not even a little bit."
Okay, and now I'm worried. I know it's the middle of the night back in Toronto. So, for my ex to be giving me a call when I'm halfway around the world means that he's in some kind of trouble.
"What? Peter, what is it? What's wrong?" I respond, not even trying to mask the worry in my voice.
I hear a short laugh on the other line. "Hey…um….remember that time after Brat Camp last year, when we…um, when we made that promise…thing?"
I swallow hard. The pinky swear promise. How could I forget?
It was our secret thing. Our private pact. It was after the rape, after my breakdown, and the camp. When Peter actually volunteered himself to spend a weekend with troubled, delinquent teens like that creep Johnny DeMarco to make sure I didn't have to go through it alone. A few days after the camp, where we made love for the first time, we found time alone in the park for the first time since the camp.
There were tears, there were hugs, a lot of kisses…and there was the promise…
"Darce…can you promise me something?" he asked, his arms around me as we sat under the large tree.
I looked up at him, eyebrows scrunched in curiosity. "What kind of promise?"
His blue eyes meet mine as he gently plays with a stray lock of my auburn hair. "That no matter what happens down the road, no matter the reason, or how far apart we might be…if either one of us needs help, no questions asked, we'll come for each other. To help. No questions asked."
I shifted my body, snuggling up to him. "Like you did?"
He nods. "Yeah. So…if I need you…really need you…you'll be there?"
I can't help but to smile as I look into his eyes. "Always."
"Swear?" he asks, holding out his right pinky.
My heart melts before I interlock my own pinky with his, laying a gentle kiss on our fingers.
"Pinky swear," I give him another smile, which he returns before our lips meet in a kiss that never felt so right…
"Yeah," I respond, my mind jerking me back down to the present situation. I swallowed again, nervously. "Yeah, I remember."
I hear short laughter on the other end that uses Peter's tone of voice, but sounds nothing like him. "I…um…heh-heh…I think this is…one of those times."
My heart starts beating a little faster, a sense of dread coming over me, and I don't even know the reason yet. "Peter, you're not making any sense. What's wrong?"
"Darce…I'm…I messed up," he says. "I'm in…trouble right now."
And I'm officially scared. My voice lowers to almost a hush. "What kind of trouble? Are you alright? Are you hurt?"
"Darcy, I…I took drugs."
I almost drop the phone, as my dream rushes back to me in an instant.
Peter aimlessly walking through the streets, his mind a mess, cars barely missing him, the cruel stares of people around him as he screamed for help…
"You…you did what?" I hurriedly breath the question into the phone.
"I…I'm in…trouble, Darcy. I don't know what to do." The hushed, anguished tones in his voice rip my insides to shreds.
Taking a deep breath, I try to channel the feelings of panic, squelch the horrifying visions of Peter helplessly, hopelessly wandering the streets of Toronto. He needs my help.
"Peter, I need you to listen to me, okay? Peter, where are you?"
The brief pause on the line raises my heartbeat before he finally answers. "Um…apartment. Loft."
At least he's not in the streets, I think to myself as I breathe a small sigh of relief. "Are you alone?"
There's a pause on the other end of the line before he answers. "I'm always alone."
My heart aches at his tone. "You're not. Peter…I'm here. Do you want me to call your Mom? I can — "
"No!" his voice says sharply. "Not mom…can't…let her see me like…this."
This is not the time for him to be stubborn. "Peter, she has to know. You need help right now, she can — "
"Darcy, NO!" he shouts into the phone, causing me to jump back in shock. "Please, don't tell Mom. She can't…know about this. She'll take me…out of school…maybe send me to… boarding school...or rehab… I can't be there…don't want to…be alone!"
I run a shaky hand through my hair, as I start pacing the wooden floors of my room. He needs Mrs. H to know, but I don't want to go against his wishes. "Peter, then how can I help? What do you —"
"C-can you just…come home for a little while? Please?"
Shock hits me first, then…well, more shock. It's not like I live down the block from his apartment. I'm in freakin' Nairobi, Kenya. I'm two whole oceans from Toronto. "What? Peter, I'm on the other side of the world right now! I can't just take off!"
"Darcy…please," he says, his voice pleading softly. "I need you…you promised me you'd…be there…if I needed you. Ever. Darce, I…I'm scared…feel like I'm…dying."
The word 'dying' makes my throat wells up with emotion, as my eyes become watery for a moment. Peter…my sweet Peter. He sounds so alone. And he's scared. All I want to do is to reach through that phone line and hold him, and I can't.
But there is one way I can, I realize. I run to my dresser, hurriedly rummaging through the clothes, my stuff, until I finally get my hands on the small envelope containing my plane ticket back to Toronto.
I take a sharp intake of breath before my next words. "Peter, listen to me. I need you to stay in your apartment, and stay away from whatever it was you were taking, okay? And don't leave until I get there." I swallow. "I'll be there in the morning."
"Really?" The wavering note of hope in his voice is impossible to miss.
How could I refuse him now? "Yes. But I need you to promise me that you'll stay away from the drugs until I get there. And call me if anything happens. I'll be home in a few hours."
I hear him sigh in relief. "Thank you."
God…I mean, gosh, Peter, what the hell have you gotten yourself into this time?
"Don't thank me, yet. Just stay safe and stay alive until I get there. We'll figure out what to do. I promise."
11 a.m., the next day
The plane ride was hell. And the jet lag is even worse. I'm just thankful Mr. N'Baku understood. I said it was a family emergency…which wasn't too far off from the truth. He even told me to take all the time that I needed.
That's good. Because I have the feeling I'm going to need all the time I can get.
I haven't even called home and told my parents or Clare that I was coming back. I didn't think they'd understand the fact that I was taking off from a prestigious program to come help my ex-boyfriend off a drug binge. And to be frank, I was through defending my feelings for Peter to my family. They either got it, or they didn't. Either way, it didn't matter. I know how I feel. And that's what counts the most.
Well, it took me a 9 and a half hour plane ride, and a one hour cab ride through downtown Toronto traffic, but I finally make it back to Peter's loft. I've only been here once, when I was helping him move in before last semester. There was less moving of furniture and more really hot make-out sessions than anything, of course.
I sigh as I push that memory far below the surface. I'm here because he needs me, I tell myself. That's it. He's moved on, and we're just…friends.
Sure. Just friends. Maybe if I tell myself that a few hundred times more, I'll actually believe it.
I'm only a few steps from the door of his loft when I see the door slightly open.
The voices in there are loud enough for me to pick up from outside.
"He's totally messed up, man," I hear Spinner's worried voice say.
"I know. I still can't believe it. I mean…it's Pete." I'm pretty sure that's Danny.
"Guys, I think we might need to get him to a hospital. I mean, we all saw him, he's a wreck." That's Sav.
"No, he's just coming down. It takes a while to kick after the crash." I'm not sure who that is.
"Has anyone called his mom?" Sav says.
"Not a good idea, dude," Spinner says. "He was pretty adamant last night. Besides, I don't think she'd be too happy knowing her kid nearly OD'ed."
"What about Mia?" Sav asks. A wave of jealousy washes over me at that name, but I do my best to ignore it.
"No dice, man," says Danny, with a hint of distaste in his voice. "Little Miss Project Runway hasn't returned any of my messages. Guess she's too busy doing photo shoots and munching on Crepe Suzettes to care her boyfriend's tweaked out of his mind."
That comment startles me. Mia's not here? Doesn't she know what's going on? She has to know something's wrong, Danny said he called her.
"We should just wait until he starts to kick," says that unfamiliar voice.
"No, Riley. I say we should take him to a hospital," Sav says.
"And do what? You know they're going to start asking questions," Spinner says. "It's bad enough that mess last night ended up on the Net. What if they arrest him?"
I hear Sav scoffing. "For what? For nearly dying?"
"Of drug use, genius! It's not like he got hit by a car."
"He almost did!"
Now I'm freaked out. Internet? Getting hit by a car? Arrest? There's too many scary questions that need answers and I'm not going to get them outside this door.
I push the door open, rapping my knuckles loudly on the door. Off the sound, all four boys in the room – one of whom I've never met – turn in surprise at the sound.
Spinner's eyes look like they're going to pop out of his skull. "Darcy?"
I swallow, nervously. "Hey, guys."
Spinner quickly crosses the threshold, pulling me into a big hug. His closeness is comforting, given the situation.
Off his reaction, Danny and Sav quickly approach.
Danny offers me a smile, although the shock is still plain on his face. "Darcy, what are you doing here? Shouldn't you be off saving babies in Africa or something?"
I roll my eyes as I pull Danny into a hug. "Peter called me last night. I needed to be here."
Sav lays a friendly hand on the shoulder. "It's good to see you again, Darcy."
I reward him with a faint smile, before I turn back to Spinner. "How is he?"
Spinner shakes his head, sadly. "He's out of it. It's bad."
My hand flies to my head, trying to process what I am hearing. "What happened? Peter doesn't do drugs."
"That's what we thought," Danny sighs. "And then we found out about the meth."
My eyes turn to him, as I feel shock jolt through my body. Oh, my God. Peter…
"Meth?" I gasp, still hoping I heard wrong. "As in crystal meth? Methamphetamine?"
The guys exchange looks with each other.
"Yeah," says Sav. "We found him last night wandering 10 blocks south of Degrassi. He nearly got crushed by an 18-wheeler. He's pretty messed up."
This can't be happening. Not to Peter. I've read about meth. I know what that stuff can do to a person's body. It destroys a person from the inside out. It takes a perfectly healthy person and takes them apart piece by piece, right down to their teeth.
What's worse is that its effects are powerfully addictive, making recovery extremely hard, if not altogether impossible.
Why, Peter? Why of all the stupid things you could've done did you have to take meth?
I fight to keep the tears from my eyes as I turn to face Spinner again. "Can I…can I see him? Please?"
Spinner nods. "Yeah. But Darce, I gotta warn ya…he looks real bad."
I take a deep breath. "I don't care. I have to see him."
Spinner stares at me for a moment, before he places an arm around my back, leading me towards Peter's bedroom.
I steel myself with another deep breath, praying to God that I can handle this.
To Be Continued…