Set in April 2006. This starts after the virus storyline. A couple of things to remember about this time period: Elizabeth and Lucky are married. He was injured in the train crash in November 2005. In my version, Lucky remained off active duty. He’s not addicted to painkillers, but definitely relying on them. In February, during the virus, he was kidnapped and injected with the virus. He was later rescued by Jason and Carly, but it all held up his recovery and in early April, Lucky is still not on active duty yet.
Elizabeth is working at the hospital; Emily is a four-year medical student who was just discovered to be dating Sonny. Jason and Sam are engaged, but Sam just lost her brother to the virus and found out Alexis is her mother. I think that’s all the background needed for this opening scene.
Early April 2006
General Hospital: Nurse’s Station
Elizabeth Spencer all but jumped out of her skin as her best friend dropped a pile of hard, plastic charts on the surface of the nurse’s station next to her. She sighed, put her pen down, and rubbed her eyes.
Another day. Another round.
“He’s gone too far this time, Elizabeth. It’s like he doesn’t even listen to me.”
Emily Quartermaine scowled as she jerked the first chart open and almost stabbed a hole in the paper with her pen nib. “He’s out of control. I want to know where the hell my brother went and what kind of bastard stole his life—”
“Hey.” Elizabeth slapped a hand over Emily’s chart. “Stop it.”
Emily blinked, looked at her. “Elizabeth—”
“I’m sorry, I just can’t listen to this again today, Emily. I just can’t.” Elizabeth sighed. “It’s the same argument every day. I don’t know—I can’t possibly imagine what your brother could have done this time, but I’m tired.”
“I’m sorry to bring my problems to you,” Emily snapped. “Since I thought you were my best friend—”
“I am—” Elizabeth closed her eyes. Took a deep breath. Dial it back, girl. “Look. I’m having a bad day. I didn’t sleep all that much, Cameron is sick, and Lucky—We had a fight before I left for work. So I’m sorry if Jason is having a tough time dealing with your relationship with Sonny. I really am. I know how much you love each other. But you know what—maybe it’d be nice if you asked how my day was going before you just started in again, okay? Because there’s nothing that’s going to change right now. You already know where I stand.”
Emily pressed her lips in a thin line and nodded. “You agree with my brother.”
“Not with the same amount of energy, but yeah, if I think if Jason is warning you off—something that is incredibly out of character for him—then maybe you should listen.” Elizabeth turned back to her chart. “He’s not going to change his mind, Em.”
“He could,” Emily said, but her tone had dulled. “What’s wrong with Cam? Is he okay?”
“Yeah.” Elizabeth shrugged one shoulder. “It’s a stomach virus, and Lucky—he stayed at home with him because he couldn’t go to daycare.”
“And probably had to reschedule a rehab session for his back.” Emily picked her pen back up and the two returned to the charts. “I’m sorry. I really—I haven’t been thinking about you or Lucky. Or God, even Nikolas. I know he’s struggling.”
“I don’t blame you for that, Em.”
“You should. I’ve been selfish—”
“Your life turned upside down last weekend, I get that. You and Sonny were keeping this all secret, and then some stupid tabloid just blows everything up.” Elizabeth looked at her friend. “It must be hell having that out there like this. I know it’s been rough with your family.”
“I just—” Emily sighed. “I thought my brother would get it. That he’d be the one person I could count on. I knew you’d probably be against it—you’re not really Sonny’s fan—”
“I just—” Elizabeth bit her lip. “When Jason and I talked about it, I could just—I could see how he felt about it. And he convinced me. Have you listened to him?”
“He just talks about things that are ancient history and have nothing to do with me. Yeah, Sonny made mistakes. He wasn’t good to Brenda or Carly. I’ve got my own problems, too. You know what I did to Zander.” Emily’s eyes pleaded with her. “Jason is the only one who doesn’t see it my way. I mean, even Sam thinks he needs to lay off. Let us live our life.”
Elizabeth just wanted to be done with this conversation—there was nothing Jason could say to Emily to change her mind, nothing that Elizabeth could say.
And she knew Jason was standing alone in this. He’d hinted as much when they’d run into each other at Elm Street Pier a few days earlier. They’d sat on the bench and talked like they once had, and she’d been the one to bring it up.
Because she had been concerned that Jason was stepping in, trying to control Emily’s life. It was so the opposite of the man she’d once been friends with that she just—she wanted to understand it.
“I know you don’t really support me, Elizabeth, but you get that it’s my decision to make—”
“I get that you’re Jason’s sister, and it’s hard for him to look away from that. You know he’d cut off his hand to make you happy—”
“He doesn’t need to do anything that drastic,” Emily said with a roll of her eyes. “He just needs to accept I am old enough to live my life and let me do it. You know he’s always listened to you. If you run into him again—”
And be someone else who didn’t support him? Elizabeth silently rejected that notion. Jason had said something about Sam thinking he was overreacting, that even Carly thought they should just let it burn out—that Sonny always moved on eventually.
There was no one on Jason’s side, and she couldn’t stand that. They were no longer the close friends they’d been only a few years earlier, but something in her wouldn’t let him be alone in this, to be the only one against it.
Maybe it was her heart trying to remind her of all the times she hadn’t stood by him, hadn’t believed in him.
“I can’t make any promises,” Elizabeth murmured.
Emily opened her mouth but then closed it immediately. Her lower lip quivered, her cheeks drained of color. “What the hell—”
Elizabeth turned to face the elevators and froze.
Pushing a yellow bucket across the linoleum as water sloshed inside, Manny Ruiz ambled towards them with a mop in his hand.
“Miss Webber. Miss Quartermaine.”
The psycho murderer returned to his chore as if nothing was out of the ordinary.
“W-What—” Emily breathed, but Elizabeth couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t move.
Everything was cold. Her skin prickled. The man who had kidnapped her—who had forced her to escape from him—who had threatened to kill Patrick Drake and Jason Morgan in an operating theater—
Who had orchestrated the train crash that had devastated Elizabeth’s husband and killed several people—
Was mopping the floors of General Hospital as if nothing had happened.
“Who would hire him?” Emily said, the words leaving her mouth barely audible. “Who would hire him here? Where he—” She swallowed, her hands shaking.
“I knew that Alexis and Ric got him off on the charges, but why—” Elizabeth shook her head. “Why didn’t he leave? Why is he still here?”
“That’s a damn good question,” Epiphany Johnson, the charge nurse for the surgical ICU, snapped as she stepped up into the hub at the nurse’s station. “Hasn’t he terrorized us enough? Has anyone talked to Drake Junior about this hire?”
“He’s going to wish he’d stayed in New York.” Emily rubbed her hands up and down her arms, shivering. The three women watched as Manny worked his way down the hallway, methodically sweeping the mop back and forth.
“I thought he’d go back to Miami,” Elizabeth said. “But I guess with his father and brother gone—” She swallowed. Looked at her watch and swore. “I have to go. I promised Lucky I’d be home on time so he could go in for a shift.”
“He still on desk duty?” Epiphany asked as Elizabeth hurriedly organized her paperwork.
“Yeah, and he hates being late—he already had to switch his rehab and second shift so he could stay with Cameron so I have to be home by two so he can make the third—”
Elizabeth didn’t even bother to complete her sentence as she rushed out of the nurse’s station.
“I worry about that girl,” Epiphany murmured, her dark eyes following the nurse.
“It’ll be okay once Lucky gets back into the field,” Emily said with a confidence she didn’t quite feel. She might have spent the last few weeks sort of oblivious to the people in her life, but she knew Lucky and Elizabeth had been struggling.
Lucky had been on desk duty since his back injury during the train crash, and he’d been short-tempered and cranky since. He hated his rehab, hated being out of the action—and being kidnapped during the virus insanity and nearly dying had only set his recovery back.
But Lucky would be okay soon. And Elizabeth wouldn’t have to work so hard. The shadows would clear. And both her best friends would be happy again.
“And maybe Jason will jump for joy about me dating Sonny,” Emily muttered. So long as she was hoping for things that would never happen.