Two Strikes

Set, obviously, circa 2006. Mostly self-explanatory. Written when we knew Jason was gonna knock Elizabeth up, but not that it was the Enduro condoms that took down Port Charles. Ha.


September 10, 2006

Metro Court Hotel: Patrick Drake’s Room

Usually, Patrick was happy to see a beautiful woman at his door. In fact, it was only a year ago that he might have thought about charming said beautiful woman into coming in, staying a while–spending some quality time together.

But things were different now and even if he had a shot with this woman (he liked to think he had a shot with all women but this one might be an exception, she usually was) he was pretty sure the concept of a committed relationship meant that charming and seducing her was against the rules.

So instead he ushered Elizabeth Spencer into his hotel room and wondered why the upstanding married woman would be visiting him long after dark.

“I’m sorry to come over like this–” she hesitated, her big blue eyes scanning the room nervously. “I didn’t interrupt anything did I? I mean, I didn’t think–”

Rambling was usually the first and most obvious sign that she was troubled about something. So he took her by the shoulders and directed to her the sofa. “Sit.”

Elizabeth did as instructed, another sign that something was wrong since Elizabeth Spencer never did what she was told the first time. Or the first five times. Somewhat troubled himself now, he started to cross to the mini bar. “You want a drink?”

“I can’t,” Elizabeth said miserably. “I’m pregnant.”

Patrick bobbled the bottle of brandy and nearly dropped it. He set it down with a clink and turned to face her. “Well.” He scrubbed a hand over his face. He was just glad it was not another brunette sitting in front of him, telling him this and looking at him like he was supposed to fix it. He was just adjusting to the idea of monogamy, after all. “Well, I suppose I’ll have that drink after all.” He poured the liquor into a small glass and tossed back the whole thing. “I guess it’s a rocky time to be having a kid, with Lucky going through withdrawl but maybe it’ll help him focus, you know.” There, that sounded mature. Robin would be proud.

“Yes, that would be true,” Elizabeth sank her teeth into her bottom lip. “Except it’s probably not his.”

Another drink was clearly in order. Patrick poured another brandy. “I’m not going to ask,” he muttered to himself. “I’m not going to ask.”

“And I never would have said anything to you except you’re the only person that’s not connected to anyone,” Elizabeth continued. “Emily and Nikolas–they’re too close. My grandmother would never understand. And Jason–” she closed her eyes. “Well. I’m not ready to tell him yet.”

“Oh, good God…” The glass clinked heavily against the bar and he turned to look at her. “You’re not–he’s not–” This is why he didn’t have friends, Patrick reminded himself. Because inevitably they told you things that you really didn’t want to hear. He swallowed hard. “How do you know it’s not Lucky’s?”

“Because Lucky and I were together only once about six weeks ago,” Elizabeth admitted. “And we used condoms. And Jason and I–” she flushed and pulled at her lip some more. “We spent the night together, but, ah, it was more than–I mean to say–”

Patrick held up a hand and closed his eyes. “Please, if you ever cared about me, you’ll stop there.” He hesitated. “What are you going to do?”

Elizabeth huffed and stood, crossing to the large windows that looked over the harbor. “I wish I knew. That’s why I came to you–” She wrapped her arms around her shoulders. “What do you think I should do?”

“Well, that depends–am I the junkie or the criminal?” Patrick replied. He winced. “Not that I’m insulting your taste in men, so to speak. I’m only saying that–” He paused. “Well I don’t know what the hell I’m saying, Elizabeth. I’m the most self-absorbed person in the world, why would you ask me for advice?”

“Please,” Elizabeth snorted. “I’ve seen you with Robin. You’re only self-absorbed when you don’t care about the person you’re talking about.” She eyed him. “Unless I was wrong and we’re not friends–”

“No,” Patrick sighed, resigned to the fact that he was now part of this. “Look, who are you afraid to tell? Is it Lucky or Jason? Because if you’re afraid to tell Jason, then don’t–”

“No, no–” Elizabeth shook her head. “I’m not afraid to tell him. It’s just…I guess it looked like he was finally getting things together with Sam. And I think that this would–it would ruin things.” She pursed her lips. “It’s just–this last month, getting Lucky through the first stages of withdrawl and then–” she blinked. “I’ve been with him every step of the way, for the meetings, for the cold sweats and the more time I try to spend getting him through that…the more I–” She glanced back at him. “Do you think love can be killed?”

Patrick scrubbed his hand through his dark hair and wished like hell he’d sprang for that third drink. “I don’t think it can be killed, no. But I think it can be changed. I don’t think you stop loving someone, but maybe it gets changed into hate or pity or something, and I think it can happen in an instant or in a lifetime.”

“For someone who’s so self-absorbed, that was pretty deep.” Elizabeth smiled faintly. “I think that the moment I walked in on Lucky with Maxie Jones that my love for him either disappeared or it changed into hate, or maybe a mixture of pity and hate. I’m not sure. All I know is there used to be this warmth, this piece of me–” she pressed a fist to her chest, “–and that no matter what happened, no matter how we fought or the things he said to me, it was always there. But I opened that door and that part of me…it just froze.” She met his eyes. “And I realized that I’m not in love with my husband. Not for he is today, or even who he was a year ago when we got married. But I’m still in love with that sweet boy I knew a lifetime ago. The one that died in a fire and never came back.”

“So why did you stay with him after that?” Patrick asked after a long moment of silence.

“Because I promised for better or worse and for a while I thought it was just the worst part.” She shook her head. “But now I have to face facts. I’m pregnant with another man’s child, a man I care for and respect. And I have to find a way to tell my husband that our marriage is over without sending him back to drugs.” She glanced at the mini bar somewhat longingly. “I could go for a drink right now.”

“I wish that I could tell you what to do,” Patrick told her. “But I really don’t think there’s any way out of this situation that doesn’t suck. So I mean, if I were Jason–and I thank God I’m not–I’d want to be told immediately. I think that he’ll be able to suggest something better. I mean, he’s known you and Lucky longer, right?”

“Right.” Elizabeth reached for her purse which she’d dropped on the sofa. “I’m not even sure Jason is the father. I’m going to have to get a paternity test.” She wrinkled her nose. “I should just put in my application for Jerry Springer now.”

“I think Sonny Corinthos with the impregnation of a mother and a daughter is first in line,” Patrick said dryly. “Look, I can get the test done for you so that no one ever has to know it was performed, okay?”

“Thanks, I appreciate that.” She hesitated. “Thanks for listening–you’re a good friend, Patrick.”

“Don’t let that get out,” he told her, pulling open the door. “The other nurses will beat a path to my door and then Robin will kick my ass.”

“Only if you let those nurses in,” Elizabeth warned him. “Don’t be an idiot. Though you’re a man, you’ve already got two strikes against you.”

“Perverse creature,” Patrick muttered as the brunette headed towards the elevators.

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