Written in 29 minutes.
Friday, December 5, 1997
Port Charles Police Department: Squad Room
As Jason Morgan stood in the middle of the squad room, his hands handcuffed behind his back, the dress shirt that once been snowy white now covered in splotches of blood, he remembered now why he usually tried to stay in at night.
When Jason went out to public events, something bad always happened, and he supposed he really couldn’t blame Anthony Moreno for thinking this might be a good time to take a shot at Jason. He was only in the first few months of his tenure as the head of the organization (and truth be told, Jason would happily just shove it all right back at Sonny Corinthos if he returned), and probably the weakest.
Jason stayed in to avoid making himself—or others—a target for anyone trying to prove himself.
But Luke Spencer was one of Sonny’s closest friends, and the Christmas Party at the club had been one of Sonny’s few favorite events, so when the invitation had come, Jason had felt obligated to the man who had given him his first job parking cars.
Now Luke’s stepson, Nikolas Cassadine, was fighting for his life while Jason was stuck in the police station with—he glanced to his side at the shell shocked brunette at his side—he thought it was one of Emily’s friends, but he didn’t really know her that well.
She wore a pale blue dress with silver swirls—it was now covered in blood which also stained her hands. He knew that because she kept staring down at them. She was wearing his suit jacket because she’d managed to keep her head about her during their…surgery, but once it was over—her pale bare shoulders had started to shake.
And then the crazy blonde woman had slapped her, and Taggert had dragged her into the department just to annoy Jason.
This was why he stayed in at night.
“Don’t say anything,” Jason murmured under his breath. “I’ll call my lawyer and we’ll be out of here in no time.”
She glanced up at him, her dark blue eyes still a bit wide with shock, tendrils of brown hair falling down around her face. Her skin was pale, save for the angry red mark on the side of her cheek. “I—I didn’t do anything,” she said faintly. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath. “But if he can help me go home sooner—I won’t say a word.”
“Good.” He grimaced as she rolled her shoulders and winced, remembering too late that she was handcuffed as well. Damn Taggert and his vendetta.
“Well, Anger Boy,” the man in question said, as he sauntered towards them. “You ready to make a statement?”
Jason stared at him. Said nothing. A muscle near Taggert’s mouth jumped and his jaw clenched. “Fine,” the detective snapped. He turned his attention to the brunette. “Miss…”
She licked her lips. “Um. Elizabeth Webber.”
“Webber?” Taggert raised his brows. “Aren’t you hospital royalty or something? Didn’t your grandparents basically found medicine in Port Charles?” He smirked. “And you’re hanging with scum like Anger Boy here. They must be real proud.”
Elizabeth narrowed her eyes. Pressed her lips together, then stared straight ahead, though Jason could see it was costing her to remain silent.
“Yeah, you’re definitely with him. Both of you think the silent treatment will get you somewhere,” Taggert snarled.
Justus Ward, Jason’s cousin and lawyer, swept through the doors, dressed in a tuxedo which told Jason that he must have been at Luke’s and had followed them down there. He hadn’t even been able to call him yet.
“I know you don’t have my client in handcuffs,” Justus said with a good-natured smirk. He eyed Elizabeth Webber for a long a moment. “Your lawyer coming, darling?”
Elizabeth pursed her lips, slid a glance at him, and Jason realized she was really going to follow his advice to say nothing.
“You’re representing her,” Jason said, shortly.
“Oh, that’s bullshit,” Taggert declared with a stab of his finger at Elizabeth. “Conflict of interest. What if I want to her to testify again—”
“That’s a problem for the DA’s office to deal with,” Justus said, flashing him another smile. “Why don’t we use the interrogation room? I’ll take a moment with both my clients.” Justus glanced down at the metal bracelets circling Elizabeth’s wrists. “Take them off. Now.”
“I will not—”
“If they’re not uncuffed in five seconds, I will file a civil rights lawsuit against this department—”
“Fine, fine.” Taggert reached in his pocket for the cuffs.
Beside him, Jason felt the brunette take the first easy breath since they’d locked eyes over Nikolas Cassadine’s bloody body.
With in a few minutes, Justus had both of them released from their handcuffs and in the interrogation room. Elizabeth sat down in one of the chairs and examined her knees—which Jason saw now were bleeding and scraped from the gravel.
“All right. I got the gist from the scene, but no one was exactly sure what they saw, so—” Justus raised his brows. “What happened?”
“I heard the gunshots from inside the club,” Elizabeth said, flatly. She stared down at her hands again, rubbing at her blood-streaked palms, the dried blood stuck under nails. “When it was over, I went outside with Luke—”
“Why didn’t you stay inside?” Jason demanded.
She twisted in her chair to scowl at him, those eyes now crackling with irritation. “I don’t know. I’m a student nurse at General Hospital. And I just finished a rotation in the ER, so I guess I thought—let me run to the people who need help. Why didn’t you stay inside?”
Jason arched a brow at her. “I was already outside. Who do you think they were aiming at?”
“Children, if we could please.” Justus snapped his fingers. “And I didn’t hear that, Jason.”
Jason cleared his throat. “I had just started walking up to the club. I heard the shots and ducked. When it was over—I saw Nikolas in parking lot—you were already there,” he told Elizabeth. Their eyes met and she didn’t look away for a moment.
“He’d been shot in the throat.” Elizabeth turned her attention back to Justus. “It’s not that complicated. He needed an airway. Jason and I made an airway. He cut into Nikolas’s throat, I put the pen in—and then the paramedics—”
“Wait, wait—” Justus held up a hand. “Let me get this straight. The two of you risked your life to save someone else’s life and now you’ve been arrested? Oh, yeah.” Justus turned back to the door. “You’ll be out of here in about five minutes or I’m going to own this place.”
He strode out the door, slamming it behind him. Elizabeth wrinkled her nose. “I think he’s enjoying himself.”
“It’s not the first time Taggert has arrested me without cause. It won’t be the last,” Jason said simply. “I’m sorry you got dragged into it.”
“Yeah, well, story of my life.” She reached up to rub her forehead, then stopped, staring at her hands again. “It’s different,” she murmured. “Outside of the hospital. I didn’t even blink. I ran right towards the danger to help.” She rubbed her fingers together, then looked at him again. “How did—how did you know how to do that? The tracheotomy, I mean?”
“I—” Jason hesitated. “You’re friends with my sister, aren’t you? You know about my accident.”
“She’s mentioned it,” Elizabeth said. “Only to explain why people say—anyway. You were in medical school before it happened.”
“I know things. I don’t have any memories—” He shrugged a shoulder. “But I know how to do a few things.”
“Well, I guess it’s a good thing you did. I knew what had to be done, I’m just not sure I could have—” Elizabeth sighed. “I hope he’ll be okay.”
“I can arrange to have someone take you home,” Jason said after a moment. “Justus will have us both out of here in a minute—”
“Yeah, Emily was my ride, but I’m sure she’s at the hospital, and I—” She looked at her hands and at her dress. “I really need to wash my hands. I’m at Harborview Towers. Do you know—”
“You live in the Towers?” Jason cut in, eyebrows raised. “So do I. Top floor penthouse.”
“Oh, well, lucky you. I’m on the second floor in a studio.” Elizabeth wiggled her shoulders, then examined her wrists which were red and scraped from the cuffs. “Man, Taggert really is a piece of a work.”
“I’m sorry you got dragged into this,” Jason said again. “This is my fault—”
“I don’t know. Maybe it wouldn’t have happened if you’d stayed home—but the part where I got arrested for saving a life?” Elizabeth shrugged and got to her feet. “I doubt that’s on you.”
Before he could answer, Justus opened the door, with a wide smile. Behind him, Taggert’s sullen face could be seen. “Free to go. As usual.”