Did you think we’d be fine?
Still got scars on my back from your knife
So, don’t think it’s in the past
These kinda wounds they last and they last
Now did you think it all through?
All these things will catch up to you
And time can heal but this won’t
So if you’re coming my way, just don’t
– Bad Blood, Taylor Swift
Thursday, October 10, 2002
General Hospital: Sonny Corinthos’ Room
Courtney stopped at the threshold of her brother’s room and lightly knocked against the open door. Sonny, wincing as he pulled on his suit jacket, turned to look at her. Surprise lit in his dark brown eyes which made sense. Courtney could not remember the last time she had sought him out or vice versa.
“Hey. You’re going home already?”
“I can’t stand hospitals,” Sonny managed as he leaned against the bed. “And it’s just my leg.” He grimaced. “And some bruising where the bullet hit the vest I was wearing. I’ll be fine.” He raised a brow. “I didn’t know you cared.”
“I’m not sure I do,” she admitted. She leaned against the door frame. “Feels like I should, though. Dad said he came by earlier today.”
“Yeah, to yell at me.” Sonny winced again, and Courtney sighed.
“Maybe you should stay another day—you don’t look so good—”
“I got things to do,” Sonny said. He stood straight, keeping a hand braced on the table next to the bed. “You doing okay?”
“Better than my best friends at the moment.” Courtney lifted an eyebrow. “Gia’s brother isn’t speaking to her, and Elizabeth looks like death.” She smirked. “Though I guess that’s accurate, since you destroyed her life along with Jason’s.”
Sonny scowled. “I—I know she was hurt, but—”
“I mean, you made her lie, Sonny. She told Gia about Jason being alive, but not me. And I get why she did it. She didn’t want me to have to choose between her and my husband.” Courtney pressed her lips together, then took a deep breath. “But she had to lie to me. And lie to the Quartermaines. To Bobbie. To people who care about her and Jason. And when she came over—”
“If you think you need to tell me what an awful person I am—”
“The thing is that I don’t know what kind of person you are,” Courtney cut in. “I wanted to know once. But you made it clear that you only wanted me in your life on your terms, and that doesn’t work for me. I don’t know if you’re a really a cruel person, but the man Elizabeth talks about doesn’t seem like he would be. I mean, God, Sonny, don’t you see that it’s so much worse because she thought you cared about her? She doesn’t have a lot of people in her life, and you’re just someone else who threw her away. The Spencers, Nikolas, even Emily—they all made Lucky the priority. She thought you were different.”
Sonny looked away, took a deep breath. “I know.”
“And I don’t know Jason all that well, to be honest, but it definitely seems like you were supposed to be his best friend. I mean, maybe you had your reasons, but Sonny—” Courtney stepped towards him. “Elizabeth isn’t speaking to him. Not because she doesn’t love him, but this broke her in ways I don’t think you saw coming.”
“I never wanted him to be in a position to lie to her,” Sonny murmured, shaking his head. “I planned it so that none of this was his fault—”
“Every day he knew that he faked his death and that Elizabeth had grieved for him and didn’t stop it—that made him part of this. You made them both liars, Sonny.”
She hesitated. “I’m glad you’re not going to die because Dad cares about you, but all of this just makes me really glad you and I never got close. I don’t think that’s going to change.”
Quartermaine Mansion: Terrace
The early afternoon was slightly chilly, but nothing forced Lila Quartermaine inside for her afternoon tea until the first snow fell.
Jason found his grandmother, sister, and mother sharing that tea on the terrace and stopped just at the doorway. His grandmother’s eyes lit up when she saw him, but Monica and Emily’s expressions remained cooler. Even icy.
“Jason, my darling—” Lila held out her thin hand and Jason crossed to her, Emily sliding down the wicker sofa to make room. “It’s so good to see you.”
“I’m so sorry, Grandmother. For what happened,” Jason said immediately. “I didn’t—”
“Emily told us,” Monica said, bluntly. “She told us that you were shot, in hiding, and that Sonny lied to everyone before faking your death.” She lifted her chin. “I’ve already called Elizabeth to make my apologies.”
“I talked to her yesterday,” Emily said. She glanced at her brother, her fingers trembling slightly as she lifted the delicate white tea cup to her lips. “As usual, she’s just grateful we believe she didn’t know. Imagine that. Elizabeth didn’t even have the energy to be angry at us for not trusting her.”
Jason closed his eyes, took a deep breath. “I know. I never meant for any of this—”
“I always said that Sonny Corinthos would be the death of you,” Monica said, sharply. “How can you still see the good in a man like that? Selfish, calculating—” She stopped abruptly, looked away.
“I know that he’s all of those things,” Jason said after a long moment. It was always a struggle to open himself up to the Quartermaines, but Monica, Emily, and Lila were not the men of the family, and he knew he owed them more than that. He knew how the entire family had grieved for him.
It hadn’t been his fault—not directly—but it didn’t change how he felt about it.
“There are no words, nothing I can I do to make this better.” Jason exhaled slowly. “All I can do is say I’m sorry, and that it wasn’t my idea—”
“But at some point, you knew. You knew that not only had Sonny not told anyone where you were for weeks, but that he had left us in terror,” Monica said, her teeth clenched. “You knew that he had faked your death—that we buried a body—who the hell did we bury?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t know until after the funeral when Sonny finally told Elizabeth the truth and brought her—”
“I know that Mr. Corinthos has his good qualities,” Lila said, slowly, “but I cannot countenance what he put us through. What he put Elizabeth through.”
“She was devastated,” Emily said. Her dark eyes flashed at him. “Imagine burying someone you love twice and finding out it was a lie. Jesus Christ, Jason. When are you going to stop letting Sonny control your life? When are you going to get rid of him—and Carly?”
“It’s not—it’s not that simple.” Jason clenched his fists, looked down at them.
“Yeah, well, I thought maybe losing Robin and Michael had been a wake-up call.” Emily set her tea cup in its saucer with a clatter. “But I guess you really are brain damaged if you keep letting Sonny and Carly destroy your life—”
“Emily!” Lila said sharply, as Monica grimaced, and Jason flinched.
Emily bit her lip. “I’m sorry,” she said softly. “I don’t mean that.” Her eyes were full of misery when they met his. “I love you. And I’m tired of seeing you lose everything because you’re too loyal to say enough is enough. You’re going to lose Elizabeth if you don’t learn how to put yourself first.”
Jason reached for his sister’s hand. “I know that. And I’m working on it.”
Elizabeth & Gia’s Apartment: Living Room
“I’m glad we splurged on the good stuff,” Gia said as she surveyed the three empty bottles of wine and the demolished boxes of pizza. Her stomach lurched. “But maybe a pizza each was not the best idea.”
“I know it wasn’t.” Courtney groaned, laying on her back on the floor, an arm resting over her eyes. “Jesus. That hurts.”
Elizabeth sipped her wine and managed a weak smile from her corner of the sofa. “You actually ate three pizzas between you. I only had two slices.”
Gia gasped, stabbed a finger at her. “I knew it! You tricked us into eating your part! Don’t think this means you’re not splitting the bill—”
In the background, the television news at ten o’clock flickered on the television, ending whatever drama they’d been half-watching as they’d drunk themselves silly on Merlot and Cabernet. As it had been for the past three days, the leading story was the miraculous revival of Jason Morgan, and tonight, the news team had assembled a panel debating his story about the car accident.
“You know, maybe the world was a better place before mass media,” Gia said as she followed Elizabeth’s gaze. B-roll footage of the funeral ran, followed by what the reporters had filmed at the hospital during Jason’s arrest from a distance. She hadn’t seen that particular shot before—of she and Jason exchanging words before Gia drove her away.
“Cameras are everywhere,” Gia said, wrinkling her nose. “I bet the dinky camera phones we have now are going to just keep getting better and we’ll even be filming our own videos. Just wait until any Tom, Dick, or Beetlejuice can film you.”
“I think that saying is Harry, not Beetlejuice,” Courtney said, propping herself up on her elbows.
“My way is more fun.” Gia pursed her lips. “At least everyone believes you didn’t know.”
“Yeah, now.” Elizabeth sighed, curling her legs up underneath her. “Is your brother talking to you yet?”
“No. I know he apologized to you for what happened at the hospital, but he’s still pretty sure we both knew something we didn’t tell him.” Gia shrugged. “Not the first secret I’m kept from Marcus. Won’t be the last.”
“Did you see Jason today?” Courtney sat up, folding her legs and pouring herself another glass of wine. “Georgie Jones said things were super awkward yesterday, but I was hoping—”
“I don’t—I can’t even look at him.” Elizabeth sighed. “Because every time I turn around, there’s another news article in my face, or a reporter sticking a microphone at me—I am constantly being reminded of how awful all of that was, and I’m just—it’s stupid to blame him all the way for it. He didn’t start it, and I know he was just finishing it the best way he knew how.”
“Just because he’s not the villain, it doesn’t make it any less shitty.” Gia tapped her fingernails against her glass. “Still. I feel like you’re edging away from time needed to complete separation.”
“I don’t know,” Elizabeth repeated. “It’s unfair to hold it against him, but that doesn’t mean I don’t.” She bit her lip. “Part of me wants to run screaming for the hills. I’ll graduate in December, and I’ll just leave. Maybe go down to Memphis with my grandmother and Steven. I know Gram would take me in while I got a job.”
“That sounds like something you’ve been thinking through.” Courtney tilted her head. “Is that what you’re going to do?”
“Maybe.” Elizabeth stared down at the dark red liquid swirling in her glass. “It might be nice to start over. To run away. I probably should have run away from Port Charles ages ago.”
“So why aren’t you packing your bags?” Gia asked.
“Because I love Jason,” Elizabeth said with a sigh. “And I didn’t have to wait a year for him to come back to me. He wasn’t brainwashed, he’s not telling me to be with someone else. There’s nothing about what’s happening that’s news to me. Sonny has always been a control freak, Jason has always been loyal to him and an idiot where Carly is concerned. The scale is—that’s what’s different. I never thought Sonny would destroy Jason. That he would purposefully set out to hurt me like he did—that his distrust of women was so deep that he dragged me along with it.”
She chewed on her bottom lip. “I just—I don’t know if running away is the right idea. I don’t know if staying is. I just—I don’t know. And until I do know, I feel like I owe it to Jason not give him any mixed signals. Because yesterday, after I saw him, I had to physically stop myself from calling Gram and asking her to pick me up at the airport. He deserves for me to know what I’m doing.”
“So, what, you’re just waiting for some kind of magical epiphany?” Courtney asked with some skepticism. “I don’t know if that actually happens.”
“All I know is that right now I don’t know what I want to do. Before, I used to pick the path of least resistance. Whatever asked the least of me, you know. I stayed with Lucky instead of leaving with Jason. I nearly married Lucky because it was easier than starting over.” Elizabeth took a long swallow of her wine. “Is that I’d be doing if I stayed with Jason now? Nothing would change. We’d be happy for a while. But it would just all happen again. But if I leave, that means walking away from someone I genuinely love. It’s not like it was with Lucky. I am in love with Jason. And I want a future with him. I’m just—”
“Scared that future has way too much Sonny and Carly.” Gia nodded. She raised her glass in a mock toast. “So, here’s to that magical epiphany. Let’s hope it shows up fast.”
Elm Street Pier
When Jason saw Carly standing on the docks, he nearly turned back—nearly walked away completely. After putting in a full afternoon at the warehouse, he just wanted to go back to Jake’s and have a couple of beers, putting the entire day behind him. But Carly was at the bottom of the stairs, blocking his way forward.
He hadn’t seen her since everything had happened. Since that day at the warehouse when he’d learned the truth behind her disappearance, her involvement with Mickey Roscoe—
She brightened at the sound of his motorcycle boots and her eyes filled with tears. “I’ve been trying to get a hold of you for two days!” Carly rushed towards him, but Jason held up his arms to stop her.
“You think anything has changed?” Jason asked, relieved at the anger he felt. Not worry. Not pity. No desire to set this right. Just…incredibly pissed that Carly had the nerve to think everything would go back to the way it had been. “Yeah, I’m not dead, Carly. So, what?”
Tears slid down her cheeks as Carly sucked in a sharp breath. “I-I told you the truth—I did—I told you what happened. That’s what you wanted—”
“You told me you helped set up an ambush—” Jason stared at her and finally asked her the question that had plagued him for weeks. “How did you know who Mickey Roscoe’s wife was?”
“What?” Carly’s eyes widened. “What are you talking about?”
“You said he never introduced himself, Carly.” Jason swallowed hard. “You knew Faith Roscoe before any of this started. You met his wife at the club. That’s what you said.”
“It never made sense to me,” he said slowly. “Why anyone would go after you when you weren’t part of Sonny’s life. We thought you might be involved, but—”
“No, Jase, I wouldn’t—”
“You wouldn’t fake a car accident if you thought it would get me back in Port Charles?” Jason said. “How’d you know who Faith Roscoe was, Carly? How did you know Mickey Roscoe from the papers?”
Carly narrowed her eyes. “You think I set you up for that ambush? Go to hell—”
“I think that I don’t know,” Jason said slowly. He shook his head. “And that fact—and everything else that’s happened since you came back—”
“You faked your death, too!” Carly shot back. And then she slapped her hands over her mouth, her dark brown eyes wide with shock. “That’s not what I meant—”
Jason closed his eyes. All the pieces had come together. “It got out of hand, didn’t it? You were just supposed to be gone for a few days.”
“Jason—” She shook her head. “You just—you weren’t coming home, and I was fine. I was good. I was strong. I was ready to be the woman you needed me to be, and I had custody of Michael. I was going to give him to you—”
His stomach twisted, and Jason looked out over the harbor. “You made a deal with Roscoe and his wife.” He dipped his head. He didn’t even know where to go with this. What to do with this information. How could he ever— “Well, the joke’s on you, Carly.”
“What does that mean?” she demanded.
“It means that I had already booked a flight home,” Jason told her. “I was in Mumbai when I found out, and I was already coming back to Port Charles within a week or two. Because I knew Elizabeth had broken up with Lucky, and I wanted to see if there was a chance.”
“No.” Carly shook her head. “No. You would have come back for me, Jase. You did come home for me—”
“We’re done, Carly.” Jason sliced a hand through the air. “It’s over. It’s been over for years. This—this is just another one of your goddamn plans that didn’t work out the way you wanted it to, too. I’d feel sorry for you, but you created this mess. You got into bed with animals.”
He pushed past her, but she grabbed the sleeve of his shirt, trying to stop him. “No, no, c’mon. Don’t do this, Jason. You know me. You know I do insane things, that I don’t think things through—damn it, I got kidnapped—”
“And you think it makes up for the fact that you put it all into motion?” Jason jerked his arm out of her grasp. “You just better hope you never go to court for custody, Carly. Because this time, I’m not going to protect you.”
He climbed up the stairs, even as she called after him, her voice panicked at first and then shrieking that she wasn’t going to let him do this to her.