A super weird ficlet I had an idea for this morning. This is sort of an episode tag to October 9, 2017’s episode in which Elizabeth found out Franco was lying about the photograph and then Franco asked her not to tell anyone about Jason’s dead twin brother. I didn’t actually watch the episode yet so I don’t know how it ended or really any content of it whatsoever.
Sometimes she could tell when she was dreaming.
As she walked down the stairs of her home and wandered through the living room, Elizabeth Webber knew it was a dream.
Even before she saw her fourteen-year-old self lounging on the sofa, eating popcorn and drinking soda.
She stood behind the sofa watching Lizzie Webber throw kernels of popcorn at the screen in protest of whatever music video MTV was playing next.
At that, Elizabeth managed a smile. MTV playing music videos. Definitely a dream.
Lizzie tilted her head up, her short chocolate brown curls shifting against the sofa. “Oh. Good. You’re here. Took you long enough.”
Lizzie set aside the popcorn and rolled to her feet, an oversized ‘N Sync t-shirt drowning her, a pair of jean cutoffs peeking out, strings of white cotton thread against the paleness of her thighs.
“This is not what I expected for us,” Lizzie mused as she eyed the furniture. The photos on the shelf. “I thought we’d be in jail maybe by now.”
“No, you didn’t.”
Lizzie shrugged. “Or maybe I thought we’d be doing something cooler. Like painting crazy murals in New York. That hipster scene in Brooklyn should have had our name written all over it.”
Elizabeth shook her head. Brooklyn hadn’t really appealed to her. Had it?
“Anyway.” Lizzie shrugged. “I guess I was just wondering what the fuck is wrong with you.”
“Excuse me?” Elizabeth demanded, her hands on her hips. “You can’t talk to me like this—”
“Boy, you sure don’t remember anything,” Lizzie drawled with a dramatic roll of her eyes. “I do whatever I want and fuck the rest of the world.”
“You can’t live like that. It’s not possible—”
“We used to lie for the fun of it.” Lizzie sighed wistfully. “Just to see if people would believe us. Remember that lady who thought we were actually shooting a movie? She bought us pizza.”
“We’re lucky we got to adulthood,” Elizabeth muttered, but the memory—could a memory be in a dream?
“You still lie,” Lizzie continued. “But you’re doing it wrong.”
“Now you lie because someone else wants it. When you lied about Jason—I stand up and cheered. Finally, I thought. My girl is taking what she needs and not asking any fucking questions.” Lizzie clasped her hands against her chest with a sparkling smile. “And we finally had him. He was ours.”
“For five minutes.”
“Better than never. We used to let him walk away a lot. Now you can’t say you didn’t try.”
“Do you have a point?” Elizabeth asked coolly.
“You’re lying again and you’re not even doing it for you. I’m sick of living in your head, screaming at you. You don’t listen.”
“You always get me in trouble—”
“Oh yeah?” Lizzie smirked. “I got great ideas. I always had the best ideas. It was my idea to come to Port Charles. To go to Jake’s. To go to the penthouse the night you got knocked up with Jake. You make the decisions for us and I’m tired of you ignoring me.”
“I really don’t know what your problem is—”
“You’re lying again,” Lizzie repeated. “And I don’t like it. Sure, Franco’s dangerous if you like the serial killer variety—”
“He was sick—”
“So was Manny Ruiz,” Lizzie said flatly. “Brain tumors. Nothing new. Maybe he doesn’t hurt people anymore but he’s hurting you.”
“He’s asking you to lie. Again. About Jason. I mean, bitch, haven’t we learned how this ends for us? Yeah, it’s fun for a minute but there’s no point for this lie. Jason’s gonna find out. He always does, and it’s not going to be anyone else’s fault.” Lizzie snorted. “It never is. Everyone else gets to make mistakes, but you’re the one who pays.”
“It’s not like that—”
“I only like when we lie for us. This is not for us.” Lizzie mirrored Elizabeth’s stance with her hands on her hips. “And why did you say yes? What’s the point?”
“He won’t stay.”
The thin third voice came from the kitchen and Elizabeth turned. Another version of herself walked out of the shadows.
The hair was short and choppy—from those days after Lucky had returned from the dead. This Elizabeth’s eyes were dark, sad.
“He won’t stay,” Elizabeth Three murmured. “They never stay. We have to make them.”
“Oh, here we go with this bitch.” Lizzie rolled her eyes. “Don’t you ever get tired?”
“Yes,” Elizabeth Three replied without blinking. “But I don’t like being alone. Bad things happen when we’re alone.”
“Okay, this was funny at first, but now I’m ready to wake up—”
“You have to stop ruining everything!” Lizzie said with a stamp of her foot. “I wanted to sex up the priest. You chose the serial killer!”
“We weren’t going to win the priest,” Elizabeth Three replied with a shake of her head. “He wasn’t going to stay.”
“It’s not about staying. It’s about having fun. You keep us from having fun!”
“I like being in love,” Elizabeth Three said with a sigh. She sat on the sofa. “Remember Lucky?”
“Which time?” Lizzie said with a snarl. “When he ignored us for Sarah? Lied to us? Died? Made us chase away Jason? Or how about that time he got addicted to drugs and had an affair? Or, wait, when we had his kid and he abandoned us? Does he even pay child support? For fuck’s sake, you idiot.”
“I’’m going upstairs,” Elizabeth said with a nod. “Because this is insane. And it’s a dream. I’m done.”
“Hey. She’s been in charge of your decisions all these years,” Lizzie snapped. “She’s the reason we’re lying again. Because she’s so scared of being alone. How come you listen to her, huh? I’m the one who has the good ideas. I’m the one who deserves it.”
“Can’t listen to you,” Elizabeth shook her head. “You get me in trouble.”
“Yeah, but at least it’s on your own behalf. I got you laid by Jason Morgan, repeatedly I might add. This bitch got you Ric Lansing and Lucky Spencer. I definitely win.”
“No one wins here,” Elizabeth snapped. “You’re both idiots and I’m tired of listening to you both.”
“Well, what bright idea do you have?” Lizzie shot back.
“I’ve tried my best,” Elizabeth Three said as she jumped to her feet. “It’s hard being scared all of the time. If you were just nicer to me,” she complained to Lizzie.
“You’re the kind of girl we made fun of in high school.”
“Oh, God, I think I’ve lost my mind.” Elizabeth pressed her hands to her forehead. “Just go away.”
“I would if you’d stop lying all the damn time for stupid reasons.” Lizzie rolled her eyes. “You want me to stop screaming in your ear? Stop ignoring me when you damn well know I’m right. You want to stop being scared all the time? Tell her we stopped being the girl who got raped years ago.”
They both stared at Elizabeth Three, who had changed now. Whose hair had grown longer and her outfit had shifted into a red dress. Her eyes were wild, her face dirty and streaked with tears.
“I’m tired of being scared all the time,” Valentine’s Day Elizabeth said with a soft sigh. “I want to stop being cold.”
“If he leaves because you tell the truth, then why the hell do you want him anyway?” Lizzie demanded. “You raised three boys with no goddamn help from their idiot fathers—”
“You picked one of those fathers,” Elizabeth muttered.
“You have a career you’re good at. You’re a good mom. What the fuck do you have to be worried about about all the time?”
“I don’t want to be scared,” Valentine’s Day Elizabeth said. She held out her hand, looked at the glittering bracelet her grandmother had given her that night. “Let’s not do it anymore.”
“Easy for you to say.” Elizabeth sighed, looked at Lizzie. “It’s easy to be fearless when you don’t know the worst out there.”
“Hey, I’m not saying the world doesn’t suck.” Lizzie shrugged. “I’m just saying we can stop making it suck on purpose.”
The sunlight streaming through her curtains woke her abruptly and she blinked up at the ceiling. Beside her, she felt Franco shifting as he yawned and slid out of bed.
She looked at him for a long moment, maybe with the eyes of someone seeing him for the first time.
He had lied to her. Had asked her to lie in return.
And why the hell are we lying for him? Fuck that.
This time, when she heard Lizzie Webber in her ear, she didn’t grimace. She smiled and sat up.
“I changed my mind,” she said. “About everything.”