Chapter Thirty-Four

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series The Best Thing: Salvation

They say it’s what you make
I say it’s up to fate
It’s woven in my soul
I need to let you go
Your eyes, they shine so bright
I wanna save that light
I can’t escape this now
Unless you show me how

Demons, Imagine Dragons


Thursday, September 8, 2005

Warehouse

Sonny stared at the gun in his hand, not entirely sure how it had come to this. How he could be standing in a room, pointing a gun at his best friend? At a man he’d considered his brother?

Didn’t it make sense? If Jason were gone, wouldn’t it be over?

“Sonny,” Jason said, his voice even. Calm. The same tone he always used. “You don’t want to do this.”

He didn’t, but he couldn’t quite make himself lower the gun. He’d changed his mind already, hadn’t he? “I came here,” Sonny said slowly, shaking his head slightly, trying to remember why he was standing here. Why the gun was pointed at Jason.

Jason had a gun, too. He had it in his hands, but the barrel faced the ground. Not at Sonny. Why couldn’t he think straight? “I came here,” he repeated. “Because this can’t keep happening.”

“I know that,” Jason said. “But we can stop it.”

“I can.” He remembered now. He remembered how this was supposed to happen. “I came here to get rid of you. Without you, I get my business back. I get my daughter. But—” Where had that gone? Why didn’t he feel like that anymore? “You weren’t in your office. Or any of the others.”

He’d gone into his own office, flipped on a light. Looked at the room where he’d made so many decisions, where he’d held the power.

And he had remembered.

“Elizabeth.”

Jason’s eyes sharpened slightly and the hands holding his gun raised just a little, maybe two inches. “What?” he demanded. “What about her?”

“I remembered her.” And that day she’d tried to save him. When she had convinced him he wasn’t okay. When she had convinced him he could be himself again. “I tried to be the man she thinks I was. I tried, Jason. I took pills.”

“I know you did.” Jason swallowed. “Sonny—”

“If I hurt you, if I killed you—” Sonny squinted. It had made so much sense before. He’d had an epiphany standing in his empty office, remembering that day in July when she’d come to him. Remembering all the other days she’d been there for him.

“I remembered how she was with Lucky,” Sonny continued. “She was like my mother; did I ever tell you that? Wrapped her life up in a man, couldn’t live without him. Turned herself inside out to keep him.”

“Sonny—”

That’s what I thought that day in my office. That she looked like my mother. I wished my mother could have had her courage, her backbone.” He swallowed, remembering the woman who had raised him. “I’m like him.”

“Like—” Jason frowned, shook his head. “Who?”

“Deke.” The son of a bitch who broke his mother, who had killed her. Ruined everything. “I tried to be someone else. I tried to be better. I’m not. Carly.”

And now he remembered his wife, her tears. The look on her face as he’d thrown her across the room. The shatter of the mirror as her body had hit it. Then she’d slid to the floor, a cut on her face from the glass. He knew that look. That glazed primal fear.

“I hurt Carly. I broke her. If I—” His fingers flexed on the trigger as he struggled to ignore the small voice whispering in his ear. Pull it. Pull it. It all goes away. “If I do this, I break Elizabeth. Like I did Carly. Like Deke did to my mother. I can’t—” He swallowed. “I can’t do that. I can’t live with myself.”

“Then put down the gun,” Jason said, his voice quiet but firm. “And we’ll talk about this. I know you think it would make it easier—”

“I couldn’t save my mother,” Sonny interrupted. He wasn’t listening to Jason—those words weren’t important. Just the conviction creeping past the insidious voice trying to convince him that it was better to pull the trigger. “I couldn’t save Carly.”

“She’s okay, Sonny. She’s at the hospital—”

“I couldn’t help them,” Sonny whispered. “But I can help Elizabeth. The way she did for me. I can do that. I can be that man.”

“Sonny—”

“It has to be one of us.” Sonny looked at Jason, meeting his eyes. “We can’t keep doing this. It’s me or you, Jason. And it can’t be you.”

“Sonny—” Jason stepped forward, but Sonny had already changed the angle of the gun.

With the cool metal touching his temple, Sonny closed his eyes. It had to be him. It was the only way to make it all stop.

The gunshot was deafening, echoing into the room as the sound bounced against the walls before disappearing through the open roof.

A searing pain speared through Sonny’s hand as he sprawled to the ground, his gun flying across the room. He laid on his side, clutching his hand, watching almost with disinterest as one of his fingers seemed to just be…gone.

Voices—shouting—he could hear it from far away, but the only thing he could really bring into focus was Jason as he knelt next to Sonny.

“It should have been over,” Sonny managed, the pain traveling up his arm, spreading into his chest. He closed his eyes again. “It should have been over.”

“It will be,” he thought he heard Jason say, but he was already surrendering to the sweet darkness beckoning him.

Estate: Nursery

“Really, Miss Webber,” Nora said with a smile, her eyes a bit tired. “I’m feeling so much better, you know? I wasn’t hurt that much—”

“You had a concussion,” Elizabeth cut in. “Nora—”

“You don’t have to tip toe around me.” Nora lifted Evie into her arms and accepted a fierce hug and kiss from the toddler who’d recently discovered people liked it when she did that. “I took a job with Jason Morgan. I take Denny and Lyle with me every time I leave the house with the kids—”

Knowing and actually going through what happened are two different things,” Elizabeth said, folding her arms. She waited for Nora to set Evie back on her unsteady feet. Evie dropped into a crawl and scampered to the tower of blocks Cameron was building.

“Yeah.” Nora exhaled slowly. “It was scary. We were just—we were packing and Lyle was upstairs with us. The kids were playing just like they are now. I knew things were tense—I heard fighting downstairs and I—” She blinked. “I was terrified, to be honest. I was going to take the kids and take them into the closet with me—I was going to keep them quiet, to try and protect them—and then Lyle was shot and—”

Elizabeth put a hand on the younger woman’s shoulder. “I know you protected them, and God, it means the world to me.”

“They always tell you not to get attached, you know?” Nora bit her lip. “As a nanny. I mean, they’re not my kids, and when they go off to school, you won’t need a full-time nanny, which is fine, but—” She dipped her head. “I’ve been with Evie since the beginning almost, and I love her. And Cam is so much fun—we’re in a routine and they’re almost really like brother and sister, like they’ve always been…” She looked away, toward the kids, and smiled. “It was scary, but we’re okay. And I know Mr. Morgan will protect us. To be honest, if I’m with the kids, with the guards, I’m probably safer than I would be crossing the street.”

“Yeah, you’re not wrong there.”  The mob didn’t have a monopoly on danger and violence. “All right,” Elizabeth said. “I’m going to check on Nadine—” Her phone rang then and her heart skipped a beat when she saw the name on the caller screen. “I’ll be back.”

She hurried down the hall, answering the phone as she did. “Jason? Oh my God, are you okay?”

“Yeah.” His voice was quiet. “Yeah, I’m okay.”

She went into the master bedroom, closing the door behind her. “What happened?”

“Uh.” There was a long pause. “We…we got Sonny. He’s…he’s in the psych ward here at the hospital.”

She sat down hard on the bed, unsure what to say next. She really hadn’t expected to hear those words. Sonny was at the hospital. Which meant he was alive. “What does that mean? Jason—”

“I can’t…” He paused again, and she could hear the fatigue in his voice, the weariness. “He tried to—he tried to kill himself. It was—he had a fight with Carly, and he—he hit her. We just got to the hospital—they’re still waiting to talk to me about—” He stopped talking to her, and she could hear faint voices in the background. After another moment, he returned to her. “He’s under lock and key, Elizabeth. For now. They’re holding him for seventy-two hours. I’m not sure what’s going to happen after that.”

She closed her eyes. “But he’s talking to doctors—”

“Yeah, and he’s being held because he’s a danger to himself and others. I think—” He stopped again, and she could again hear faint conversation on his side of the line. Finally, he said, “I’d like you and the kids to stay out there until the seventy-two hours pass. Until I know what happens next—”

“And I guess you won’t be coming out here,” she murmured.

“I—”

“It’s fine, Jason. You’re right. It’s safer to stay where we’re out of the way.” She leaned against the bedroom door. “The kids miss you. Cam asked for you last night.”

“I miss them, too. I wish—” But he stopped and she could almost see him shaking his head, standing in a hallway at the hospital. “This is going to be over. One way or another. If they release him, Elizabeth, I promise—”

“I know.” She sighed, closing her eyes. “I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

She slid the phone back in her pocket, bit her lip, and then went downstairs.

Bernie was by himself in the office, murmuring to himself as he made a notation before going back to the computer and squinting. He looked up at her entrance and offered her a warm smile. “Miss Webber—”

“Have you heard from Jason or anyone in Port Charles?” she asked. She sat in a chair in front of the desk, twisting her fingers in her lap.

“I have. Jason called a bit ago, and I think he was going to call you next.” Bernie set his pen aside. “It’s good news, don’t you think?”

“I guess.” She looked down at her fingers, at the ring Jason had given her all those weeks ago. “Is it wrong that—” She sank her teeth into her bottom lip so hard she tasted blood. “God, Bernie, this sounds so horrible—”

“You’re not exactly relieved to learn that Sonny is in the hospital and alive,” the older man said gently. “After what happened to you, to your children, knowing everything you do about the situation—I’m not sure anyone could blame you.”

“I mean, it’s the better outcome,” Elizabeth said. She raised her eyes and looked past Bernie to the trees in the yard, focusing on the brilliants reds and orange of the coming autumn. “Jason doesn’t have to live with himself, and I wouldn’t wish it on him.”

Bernie looked at her lap, watched her twist her ring again and again. “Miss Webber—”

“Please, please—” She closed her eyes. “Call me Elizabeth. We’ve been shot at together, I know Jason left you and Tommy here for added protection.”

“Elizabeth,” Bernie said again. “We all respect you. We know how you’ve stood by Jason, and to be frank, many of the men who work with Jason were relieved by your presence. Your relationship with him, the children—they forced him to take control when in the past—”

“He’s patched Sonny up for the next time.” She nodded. “This isn’t me having doubts, Bernie. Not about Jason. It’s just—” She sighed and tilted her head up to look at the ceiling. “I think I really expected something final. A resolution that felt like the answer to our problem, and God, that’s so selfish of me. To wish that the man I love more than anything killed a man I know to be ill, to have a mental illness. But I’ve talked to Nora, and I saw the bullet wound Lyle’s recovering from. I can’t ignore what he did. I should. Because I know it wasn’t him—”

“It was the worst part of him,” Bernie corrected gently. “My brother and I have worked for Sonny for many years, and before him, Frank Smith. I watched him come up in this business and I’ve found a lot to respect about him. But he’s always had the capability to be cruel and violent. He’s no different than the other men who work with us. Not in that respect. But Sonny had honor. And he had a code.  Whatever is in his head—the man who sent armed thugs to take Evangeline by force—that man is inside of Sonny. He always has been.”

“I’m scared,” Elizabeth murmured, “that Sonny might find another treatment that works for a little while, and Jason’s loyalty will make him forget that—”

“—and put him back in charge. The way he always has.” Bernie nodded. “I can’t tell you that won’t happen or that Jason won’t consider it. I just—I don’t know. You know Jason—”

“He’s not one for opening up.” Elizabeth sighed and nodded. “Yeah. Thanks, Bernie. I think I just—I needed to let myself…admit how scared I am that this isn’t the end. Because it’s something Jason and I need to discuss.”

Bernie looked as though he wanted to add something, but Tommy strode in then, followed by another guard leaving Elizabeth to excuse herself quietly.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

General Hospital: Carly’s Room

She couldn’t quite focus on the woman standing in her hospital room explaining Sonny’s course of treatment. Lainey Winters had been speaking for several minutes, she could hear her sister-in-law responding, even asking questions

But Carly couldn’t quite lift her head to look at the doctor. Couldn’t quite make herself focus. Hadn’t been able to in days. She would be released from the hospital this afternoon, but she didn’t think she’d leave.

This room, this bed—this was safe. Jason had a man on the door. No one could come in.

“Carly?” Courtney’s soft voice drifted into the haze. “Do you have any questions for Dr. Winters?”

Carly turned her head, blinking at Courtney before looking at the pretty young woman with the sober eyes standing at the foot of her bed. “Could I have stopped it?”

“Mrs. Corinthos…” Lainey Winters bit her lip. “I don’t think that’s a productive—”

“I knew he had dark moods,” Carly continued forcing the words through her raspy voice. “I knew it was getting worse. Could I have stopped it?”

“It’s hard to say…” She paused. “Maybe you could have reached out to health care professionals, but to be honest, Mrs. Corinthos? Based on my meetings with your husband so far, I don’t think he would have agreed to see us. To take any of this seriously unless he’d had a break. Until he had no choice.”

Carly closed her eyes. “I couldn’t have stopped it, then. But maybe…” A tear slid down her cheek, chilling the skin as it slid down to her jaw. “Maybe I still should have left.”

“Carly,” Courtney murmured. “You did the best you could.”

“Yeah…” She turned her head back. “And maybe if we both say that enough, we’ll believe it.”

“Mrs. Corinthos,” Lainey said, her voice closer and…kind? Carly opened her eyes to find the doctor perched at her bedside, her eyes open, warm. “Family members are often in the line of fire. You cannot force someone to get help. Not unless they present a clear and present danger. And walking away, leaving—is often just as difficult. When your sister-in-law says you likely did the best you could, I don’t think she’s being facetious.”

“Maybe.” Carly could feel her jaw tremble. “But she wasn’t there every day. I did things. And I made choices that were calculated. Maybe I couldn’t have stopped it, I’m willing to concede that. But I made it worse. I thought about myself.”

“Carly—”

“No!” Carly fisted her hand against the white blanket. “I told myself it was about making Sonny better. If he had Evie, if Jason would fix it, if he would just save the day—then Sonny would be okay. But that was a lie and I knew it then. I wanted my life to be okay. I tried to give him another child to preserve my life, not his.”

Lainey drew a card from her clipboard. “I know you might now agree, but I think you should consider talking to someone. Sonny didn’t go through this alone. You and your boys did as well.”

When Carly didn’t reach for the card, Courtney did. “I think that sounds like a good idea. Thanks, Dr. Winters.” The woman nodded and left the room.

“You heard Dr. Winters, didn’t you?” Courtney asked. “Sonny will be in Shadybrooke for a while. You should come with me to New York. With the boys. A fresh start—”

“You don’t even like me,” Carly said sullenly. She closed eyes, trying to drift away, trying to return the haze, but Courtney wasn’t having it.

“You think you made it worse?” Sonny’s sister demanded. “I knew what was going on. I knew Sonny was in a difficult place, I knew Jason was lying about Evie. I knew you and Sonny were torturing each other. But I left. I ran away and left it to you and Jason. I abandoned my brother when I should have stuck. You’re not the only one who feels guilty, Carly. I should have stuck by you, by my family.”

“So, now you want to make yourself feel better?” Carly retorted. She took a deep breath. This wasn’t helping. “I’m sorry.”

“Look, maybe we don’t like each other all that much,” Courtney admitted. “But this last year—these last two years have been stressful. Difficult. I think we both deserve a chance to do better. To be better. I love my nephews. I think they need a fresh start. If it doesn’t work out, then fine.” She squeezed Carly’s hand. “Like it or not, we’re family. I didn’t do right by my brother. Please.”

“Okay.” Carly nodded. “I can’t—I don’t want to be in Port Charles anymore, so maybe…you’re right. The boys and I could be okay in New York. Thank you.”

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Hardy House: Living Room

Elizabeth stepped inside her home with Evie in her arms. She moved to one side as Cameron came barreling in, a laughing Nora following and Denny, Lyle, Milo, and Cody holding up the rear.

She hadn’t seen the wreckage—hadn’t seen the remnants of the fight, of the violence that had nearly seen the little girl in her arms lost to her. Despite Cody’s assurances, she’d been bracing herself to see her grandmother’s home in disarray.

“It looks the same,” she murmured as she sat Evie down—the squirming baby immediately crawling after her brother. She barely saw as Denny and Lyle started to help Nora up the stairs with their meager luggage, as Milo moved to take up position outside. “I thought—”

“With you coming back today, Jason wanted to make sure you…” Cody hesitated. “Well, that everything was okay. He wanted to be here—”

“I talked to him before I left the estate,” she murmured, stepping down into the living room. She drew off her light coat and set it on the sofa. “They’re moving Sonny to Shadybrooke today and he wanted to be there to make sure the paperwork was signed.” Sonny had agreed to commit himself after the seventy-two-hour hold, but there was always a chance it would fall through.

Jason hadn’t even given her the go ahead to come home until two hours earlier—he’d been worried it would fall apart at the end. She’d been horribly jealous when Johnny Zacchara had shown up at the estate the day before and Nadine had been allowed to leave. To return the world.

But she was home now. All of that was behind her.

“I’ll be outside with Milo if you need anything,” Cody began, but Milo opened the door, revealing Nikolas Cassadine on her front porch.

“Nikolas!” Elizabeth smiled, genuinely pleased at the first normal face she’d seen in days. When he embraced her tightly, she let herself relax for a moment, knowing that with him, she didn’t have to put on a facade, didn’t have to pretend.

“We’ll be outside, Ms. Webber,” Cody said.

“I know Emily said you were okay,” Nikolas said, drawing back and kissing her forehead, “but you’ll forgive me if I couldn’t let myself believe it until I could see you.”

“I know, I’m so glad to be home.” They sat on the sofa and Elizabeth kicked off her shoes. “Emily is trying to get tomorrow off so she can come over, and my brother is hoping to come by after his shift.”

“But you and the kids are okay?” Nikolas asked, squeezing her hand. “I don’t have to tell you how worried we were—”

“We’re okay.” Elizabeth took a deep breath. “And I think it’s going to be okay moving forward. Sonny’s…he’s going to be in Shadybrooke until the doctors let him out.”

“And after?” Nikolas prompted, his eyes dark with concern.

“We haven’t ironed everything out yet—”

“Elizabeth—” The exasperation in his tone wasn’t particularly surprising, but she tensed anyway. “They might release Sonny in a week. A month. As soon as his medication is working. And then what? Do you know how often mentally ill people stop taking—”

“Nikolas…” She took his hands in hers. “There’s nothing you’re saying that I’m not thinking. That I haven’t considered.  I don’t have the answers. I just know my children and I can’t stay locked away forever.  What happens when Sonny is released—Jason and I will cross that bridge when we come it.” She bit her lip. “When I first heard that Sonny was in the psych ward—that Jason had stopped him from killing himself, I wanted to scream. Because it could have been over. Definitely. Without reservation.”

“Exactly—”

“And I know that Jason wouldn’t blame me for feeling that way initially.” Elizabeth took a deep breath. “But having Sonny dead, having it be either Jason do it or stand by while Sonny killed himself—the man I love would have had to live with that for the rest of his life—our lives. You know the burden of having someone in your family that others wish dead—” She offered a wry smile. “And yet, your grandmother keeps breathing.”

“You’re not playing fair when you involve the Cassadine crazy.” Nikolas waited a moment. “I just—I worry, Elizabeth. It’s who I am.” He took a deep breath. “Okay. I’ll try not to harass you—”

“Hey, I need someone who will call me out.” She squeezed his hands. “We used to be that for each other. Before it all got messed up. I will never resent you for worrying about me, about my family. I only get annoyed when you don’t accept my decisions. I love Jason, and yes—what happened this week was terrifying and I had to reexamine my choices again. Do you think Jason hasn’t tried to give me an out? That he didn’t try to pull away?”

She hesitated. “But I know what I’m getting myself into. Even better now. There are dangers, yes. I rationalize it by saying that life isn’t really all that safe. Maybe I’m increasing the odds, I don’t know. I can’t know that.”

“Elizabeth—”

“But I’ve tried it the other way. I’ve left him. I’ve built lives with other men, and you know what? Here I am again. I have a responsibility to myself and to my son to give him a good family. To be the best mother I know how to be. And I think Jason and I are better together than we are apart.”

“You sound very sure.” Nikolas tilted his head. “I can remember when you would tell me you loved Lucky. That you were committed to that life, to that dream and I don’t think I realized until now that you were trying to convince yourself, too. Because I can hear the difference now.” He laughed. “When you came home last year, that day you found Jason on the docks—Emily came to me. She was sure that this was the future—that it should be.”

“Yeah, she wasn’t that subtle.” Elizabeth snorted. “Opportunity creator, she called herself.”

“But she was.” Nikolas rose to his feet and Elizabeth followed suit. “She just made sure you and Jason were in the same room together, because she saw what I ignored for so long. What you and Jason tried to forget. Some things…the best things…they’re just meant to be.”

Hardy House: Elizabeth’s Bedroom

It wasn’t that late when Jason finally managed to return to the house—but it was past dinner and the time Evie and Cam would be fast asleep in their cribs, so he went straight upstairs.

It was the first time he’d been back in the house since Wednesday, and it was hard for him to walk down the hall, to look at the door to the kids’ bedroom, remembering the last time he’d stood in this position.

A man had been rushing towards him, a screaming Evie in his arms. There had been shouting—he’d arrived to the sound of gunshots from the upstairs.

If he had been even a minute later—

“Jason?”

He looked to the right, to the doorway where Elizabeth stood, swathed in blue silk that looked flimsy to his tired eyes, and held up by thin, nearly invisible straps. She reached out a hand to him, and he took it, drawing her into a tight embrace. He hadn’t seen her since that day—since he’d left to meet with Anthony Zacchara, and part of him hadn’t expected to ever look at her again. To hold her, to feel her skin warm beneath his.

“Hey,” he murmured into her hair. “I’m sorry I wasn’t home earlier—”

“It’s okay, you called.” She drew away, framing his face with her hands, her skin warm against his cheeks. “I wish you’d tell me what happened that day—”

Jason shook his head. He didn’t want to think about any of that anymore. He wouldn’t. There was still some clean up to be dealt with, some issues to be resolved, but for all intents and purposes—the crisis had passed.

And she was still here, their children asleep down the hall.

“I don’t want to talk about any of that,” he told her softly, backing her slowly into her bedroom and closing the door behind them. “Or anything at all.”

He took her hands in his, lacing his fingers with hers before pinning them behind her own back. He kissed her, her lips soft and open at his touch. He wanted to be in this moment, to drink it in, to immerse himself into her taste, her scent, her soft skin.

When she tugged slightly at his grip on her wrists, he released her hands. She reached for the hem of his shirt, her breathing shallow and coming faster. “I’ve missed you,” Elizabeth murmured as she dragged the fabric up and over his head, tossing it behind her.

He hooked his fingers under those flimsy straps and slid them down her warm shoulders. “Elizabeth—”

She shook her head, offering him a wicked smile. “Don’t tell me,” she murmured, pressing her lips under his jaw. “Show me.”


 

“Did you go to Shadybrooke with Sonny?” she asked, her voice drawing him back from a light doze. The moonlight drifted through the window, touching her bare shoulders as she propped her head up on an elbow, her eyes still in shadows.

“Yeah.” He slid a hand under his head, looking up at the ceiling. “I wanted to make sure the room—that it was big. And I wanted them to use some of the furniture from the penthouse so he’d feel more comfortable.” What pieces that hadn’t been destroyed. “The doctor thought it might help.” He looked at her. “I met with him. He was…he was better.”

“Yeah?” Her finger lightly traced a pattern on his chest. “The new medication is helping?”

“So far. He was lucid. Like when he came home from New York that first time.” He hesitated. “But I’m not…I don’t trust it. I can’t trust it.”

“Jason—”

“I’m glad he’s going to get better. For his sake. For Michael and Morgan. And maybe one day, he can have a relationship with Evie.”

“Okay—”

“But I can’t ever put him in charge again. I can’t risk it.” He exhaled slowly. “This—this is going to be permanent, Elizabeth. I’m going to stay in charge. I know it might have started as a temporary—”

She brushed her lips against his. “I never thought that, Jason. And I know you didn’t either. Even if Sonny were cured, he wouldn’t get back the loyalty. The respect. He’d have to use terror and fear to make people follow him. Like Anthony Zacchara. He wouldn’t want that. And you don’t.” Elizabeth tucked her head in crook of his shoulder. “So what happens after he’s released from Shadybrooke?”

“He’s thinking of going to the island for a while. Of running the casino there. With a doctor.” He closed his eyes, turning his head slightly so his lips rested against her hair. “I don’t know. Whatever he does, it won’t be here.”

“Okay.”

“I—I wish I had done something,” he admitted. He opened his eyes, looking out into the darkness of the room. “Years ago. When it started. If we had…”

“You know better, Jason.” She raised her head slightly. “You can’t think about what ifs. We all could have done a thousand things differently. We didn’t.”

“I know. I know that. I—” He hesitated. “He was angry at first. When he woke in the hospital. Because I stopped him from killing himself. He wanted to die. To make it stop.”

“Jason…” Elizabeth looked down, looking at her hand on his chest. “At first, part of me wished that you had. Because, God, it would be easier. And I’m sorry for that. And I’m sorry you were ever in that position.”

“I couldn’t—”

“If you had,” she cut in, her voice hushed but forceful. “We both would have had to live with it. If you had, we both know it wouldn’t have been for him, it would have been for us. To make our lives easier. And I think it might have destroyed us in the end. I’m glad you’ve given him this second chance.  Letting him pull that trigger? Letting him end it—” She shook her head. “That’s not who you are, and it’s not the man I love.”

He said nothing, because he didn’t know what to say to her. Her unconditional support, her belief in him—there were no words to tell her what it meant to him to know that she accepted him, had understood his choice—

“We’re going to help Sonny rebuild his life because that’s who we are,” Elizabeth continued. “We’re going to raise Evie to know Sonny, to know about Sam. And we’re going to do it together. You did the right thing, Jason. The best thing. I don’t know that anyone else would have. Or could have. I am so proud to be a part of your life, to raise my son with you.”

“Elizabeth—”

“It’s over,” she told him gently. “The worst of it. That’s the first time I’ve said it and truly believed it. We made it to the other side.”

He rolled over, tucking her beneath him so he could look in her eyes. “I love you,” Jason told her, hoping she would hear everything in those words that he could never quite manage to say. Everything that those words could never possibly encompass.

“I love you, too,” she murmured. Elizabeth laced her fingers in his hair and drew him down to her.

THE END


So here we are at the end. Nearly twelve years since I thought about what would happen if Sam died and Jason ended up with her daughter. Two years since I started actually writing it.

It’s been an amazing journey, and I’ve really tested myself by telling this story from Jason and Sonny’s POV more than Elizabeth. I tried to make Sonny sympathetic, tried to make Courtney and Carly interesting characters you could sympathize with. I had initially planned to have Jason kill Sonny, but for me, this ending works better.

Thank you for your patience as I wrote this. I couldn’t have done this without your support, without Cora’s great feedback.

I’m not sure where I go from here. I’ve started graduate school this semester and haven’t quite worked out the balance of work yet, so I’ll keep you posted. Sign up at my site (linked in my profile if you’re reading this at Fanfiction.net) for updates on what’s to come.

If you’ve read this story at any point, if you’ve followed for the last two years, please drop me a line to let me know what you think after all of this.

<3 Melissa

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Comments

  • Holy cow! You finished this with a punch that will be felt for years! Wow! I took some time to just absorb all this update dealt with and finally accepted the awe I couldn’t deny at your finesse and supreme skill in concluding with Sonny getting help, albeit reluctantly. Liz was right; Sonny dying at JM’s hand, or anyone’s hand, would have made everyone’s life easier, except Sonny’s. There was so many ways this could have ended. You did a brave thing in ending it this way. I salute you! Bravo! Bravo!

    According to Carla on February 16, 2016
  • You NAILED it! Any other ending would have fallen short. Even with Elizabeth’s blessing as she tried to make him promise to return, Jason couldn’t have killed Sonny and walked away unscathed. The same if he had knowingly allowed it. The only other possible ending would have been if Sonny had already killed himself before Jason caught up with him – but that would have been suggesting that suicide is the only outcome for bipolar disorder and still wouldn’t have done service to the complicated web you wove. Good luck with graduate school! Thank you for finishing this before you got too swallowed up with that schedule. Excellent work!

    According to Living Liason on February 16, 2016
  • This is one of your very best stories, Melissa. I was nervous that you were going to end it with them having to live in that same old Corinthos hell where they were for so long, but you managed to get all of the Cs out of the picture. Bless you for that.

    Thanks for another great one!

    According to Jane on February 16, 2016
  • Wow, this has been by far one of the best Liason stories I have have read in awhile. And what an ending, it was perfect. I love how through out this whole fic you had Liz second guessing but also realizing that there was no other choice then the ones she was making. Love how Jason stayed true to his self and made the only choices he knew he could. What an amazing fic! One I will come back to to read over and over again! Thank you!

    Good luck in Grad School. Hope to see more from you soon!

    peach

    According to Jenn on February 16, 2016
  • Yet again your work never ceases to amaze me! I’m relieved you didn’t have Sonny killed by Jason at the end. It might have changed the way we see Jason, the way Jason views himself & quite possibly Elizabeth’s view as well. You touched the mental illness aspect of the story with poise. Thank you so much for thinking of this story, starting it, fighting thru the times I’m sure you wanted to never see it again and yet you still gave it a respectful, exciting heart warming ending. Thanks and I know I’m looking forward to whatever comes next!

    According to KrisMarie on February 16, 2016
  • Thank you for a wonderful story.

    According to bns6 on February 16, 2016
  • Thanks for a great story and good luck with school

    According to Anonymous on February 17, 2016
  • Thank you for sharing your talents with us! It was a great story

    According to Anonymous on March 13, 2016
  • I am so glad I got to finish this story. You are such a wonderful writer. Thank you for a great read!

    According to Emie on March 16, 2016