Note: This is set in the summer of 2004. I hadn’t been watching the show that closely during Rebecca Herbst’s maternity leave from April to June, so apologies if I get anyhthing wrong. I’ve thought of turning this into a series at some points, but for the moment, it’s complete. I used to like Sam.
Everytime I try to fly, I fall without my wings
Elm St. Pier
Elizabeth Webber Lansing sat on the bench and lifted her two month old son out of his stroller. Cameron Webber gurgled and smiled at her. He had big brown eyes—Zander’s eyes and it broke her heart he would never know his father.
Ric had wanted to be his father—but for all the wrong reasons and though he had been a good husband and would have been an exemplary father, she’d never forgive herself for exposing her child to the hatred that lurked in Ric’s heart.
She had sold some paintings in California and would have enough money to live comfortably on until Cameron was a little older. Audrey was planning on retiring from the hospital at the end of the year and at that point, she would take care of Cameron while she helped to fund Elizabeth’s dream of opening an art gallery.
Her life was firmly back on track. She was a mother, she was a granddaughter, a best friend. And soon she would be a divorced woman again. She just had to work up the courage to file.
Emily had been encouraging her call Alexis almost since Elizabeth had left town and now that she was home—well maybe she would.
She heard rapid footsteps on the dock steps behind her and the brisk no nonsense voice of Nikolas’s aunt. “You just stay away from me, do you hear me?” Alexis Davis snapped. She stopped at the bottom of the stairs—Elizabeth hidden from her view by a large bush. “I don’t want you near me or my daughter. You just—just stop coming around.”
“Now now, Counselor, there’s no reason get so upset.” The smooth and charming voice of her estranged husband startled Elizabeth and she recognized the tone—one he’d used to soothe her on many occasions.
Elizabeth clutched her son to her chest and blinked. She had thought Ric and Alexis hated each other. Should she step in? Save Alexis from whatever Ric was undoubtedly planning?
“Whatever happened in the elevator—it just stays there,” Alexis continued, her voice fast and slightly thready. She was nervous and showing signs of some panic. “Don’t touch me!”
Elizabeth frowned and was about to stand when Ric’s next words stopped her cold. “Alexis, don’t act like my touch repulses you. If that elevator hadn’t started to move, we’d probably be on round two.”
Elizabeth closed her eyes and shook her head. No. He hadn’t—two months after she was gone. He wouldn’t. He had told her that he loved her. How did that go away in two months? She hadn’t heard correctly.
“You kissed me,” Alexis hissed. “And I was about to push you away when the elevator—” her words were cut off so abruptly that Elizabeth knew Ric had kissed her quiet.
He’d used the tactic on her numerous times to keep her from asking questions or pursing his strange behavior.
Elizabeth was silent while they talked in soft whispers before going back the way they’d came.
When she was sure they were gone, Elizabeth exhaled slowly and met her son’s quiet gaze. “What is it about me that is so forgettable?” she murmured. She set him back in the stroller and stared at him for a while. “Lucky replaced me with Sarah. Jason with Courtney. Ric with Alexis and I was never really with Zander. Why am I so easily forgotten? So replaceable and disposable?”
Cameron seemed to sense his mother’s solemn mood and reached out his chubby hand to grasp at her fingers. She let him wrap his tiny fist around her index finger and sighed. “Just don’t ever find a new mother, okay, Cam?”
A throat cleared behind her and she looked up to find a slightly pregnant Samantha McCall looking at her oddly. “Elizabeth, right?”
“Right. Sam?” Elizabeth asked. She withdrew her hand from Cameron’s fist. “Congratulations,” she gestured towards Sam’s abdomen.
“Yeah, it’s Sam and thanks.” Sam touched the small mound. “Just when I think I’m used to this, I come across a mother and their kid and I remember just…how bad I’m gonna screw this up.”
“Yeah, I know that feeling.” Elizabeth patted the spot next to her. Sam sat down. “I was pregnant for about six weeks last spring,” she told the other woman, “and I only found out about it a few days before I had a miscarriage.”
“Oh my God,” Sam murmured. “I’m so sorry.”
“I had about five seconds to decide that I absolutely loved the idea of having a baby and being a mother. I’m only twenty-two but part of me just…woke up when I realized I was carrying another life.” Elizabeth smiled at Cameron. “And when I was pregnant again, I was just—so grateful to have a second chance. He’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
“I thought about getting an abortion,” Sam admitted. “I had a crappy childhood and I figured—what do I know about kids, you know? How am I gonna know how to teach my kid right from wrong with the life I’ve lead and the life her father leads?”
“Sonny’s—he’s a good man though,” Elizabeth said helpfully. “Up until this past year, I’d say he’s been a great father.”
The lie was on the tip of Sam’s tongue. The baby is Jason’s not Sonny but instead she asked, “Why do you say until this past year?”
“Carly and Sonny’s custody battles.” Elizabeth shrugged. “I have my issues with Carly but I felt for her when he kept from Michael and Morgan and then—they tried to use those children to destroy each other and I just—I can’t respect that.”
Sam shrugged and looked away. “Sonny’s not going to be raising my daughter,” she murmured. “It’s too—for some reason, it’s too complicated so he’s not claiming her.” She couldn’t meet Elizabeth’s eyes. “So Jason is.”
Elizabeth shook her head and laughed softly. “Super Jason to the rescue again,” she said with cynical amusement. “He’s just stepping in and letting Sonny take over his life. He’s so far from the man I knew.”
Sam raised her eyebrows. “He’s saving my ass,” she said a little annoyed. “I can’t do this on my own—”
“I’m not criticizing you and you couldn’t find someone who will love your daughter more,” Elizabeth assured her. “It’s just—Jason used to live his life for himself. Make his own decisions. He used to be honest. He wouldn’t lie—even if it was easier than telling the truth. He did what was right for him and now—he does what’s right for everyone else. He was so busy saving everyone else that when he turned around to have his own life, his wife left him.” Elizabeth shrugged. “I just—I hope he’s happy.”
“He’s not,” Sam nodded. “Because every time he turns around, there’s Carly and Courtney like some kind of warped Doublemint twins on crack. He’s making a mistake, he’s ruining life. They’re always flapping their jaws and trying to run his life. And if it’s not them too, it’s Sonny. He made the decision not to be this baby’s father but he can’t seem to remember that and all he’s doing is reminding Jason that at any time he could change his mind and I know it’s killing him.” Sam sighed heavily. “But sometimes, I look at him, and I can feel how much he wants this. He wants to be a father again. I just wish—I wish I could give him some kind of guarantee.”
“He loves Michael,” Elizabeth remarked. “It tore him up inside for so long after he lost him and I don’t care what he says, he’s never gotten over that.”
“I know that, too,” Sam told her. “Because he gets this look sometimes with Michael and I just—I don’t love him,” she told Elizabeth quickly. “But when he’s like that, I almost wish I could. But he’s just—he’s not for me. And he’s definitely not for that Barbie Doll he married. She’s such a hypocrite. She’s all fine about moving on with that Australian candy ass but she’s giving him the third degree about me every time he turns around and all I want to do is just crack her across the face but I’m terrified she’d body slam me or something.”
Elizabeth started to laugh and couldn’t stop even tears were rolling down her face. Pleased by his mother’s joy, Cameron gurgled and kicked his legs. “That’s incredible—so you despise her as much I as do, huh?”
Sam broke into a wide smile. “Oh, you’re kidding right? How can anyone stand her? She’s almost as martyrish as Emily Quartermaine.”
Elizabeth sobered and frowned. “Emily’s a friend of mine.”
“Oh.” Sam hesitated. “Well—you were out of town for a while so you really haven’t…” She pursed her lips. “Emily’s a really—she’s…I don’t like her,” Sam said bluntly. “She thinks she knows what’s best for everyone—including me and her brother. She’s rude and thinks only about herself. I’m sorry—but she’s also breaking poor Lucky Spencer’s heart. He’s been falling in love with her and she’s just using him to get over Nikolas.”
“Well—I haven’t been here, like you said. But I’ve known Emily since we were teenagers. We’ve been best friends forever—”
“So you probably don’t see what I see. That’s fine. You’re blind to a lot of things,” Sam shrugged.
Elizabeth quirked an eyebrow. “Yeah?”
“Yeah. You were married to Ric Lansing, weren’t you?”
Elizabeth exhaled slowly. “That’s a good point. I do have a habit of seeing what I want in people.” She stared out over the docks. “Have you ever felt disposable?”
“Constantly,” Sam remarked, pleased that her remarks hadn’t alienated Elizabeth.
“Every major relationship I’ve been in….I’ve been replaced mere months after it’s ended,” Elizabeth told her. “Sometimes it’s less than a month and then others it’s six months but it—it never changes. I’m good enough to be around until problems start and things get tough but then they run and find someone who makes their life easier or gives them something I can’t.”
“Sonny used me to get back at Carly and I think I knew that all along so it doesn’t surprise me he picked her over me. It hurts but it doesn’t surprise me,” Sam told her.
“Lucky was my first boyfriend and we were together—wow, forever. From the time we were fifteen to about two years ago. On and off, really. But we had some problems—he was brainwashed and didn’t love me anymore. I can forgive him for what he did because he’d been tricked into not loving me anymore. But he slept with my sister just a few months after we were over.”
Elizabeth sighed. “And then Jason and I had been dancing around each other for three years—a lot of my problems with Lucky stemmed from my feelings for Jason and I just didn’t have the courage to face them. When we finally got together, he lied to me—let me believe Sonny was dead and let be me terrified that he himself was out every night finding Sonny’s killer. So I left him and two months later, he screwed the Barbie Doll.”
Sam gaped. “You and Jason? Sonny was dead? He did what?” She blinked. “I never would have pictured it.”
“And then I met and married Ric,” Elizabeth continued. “But not until after he pretended to sleep with Carly, get engaged to Courtney and try to kill Sonny and Jason. He also tried to kill me but I stayed with him anyway because I thought he could change.”
Sam raised her eyes. “I feel like I should be eating popcorn. And he replaced you, too?”
“I left him in April and he’s already moved on with Alexis Davis.” Elizabeth snorted. “I thought she had better taste. And it hurts. Because he told me that he loved me. That I was the only person for him. That I was the love of his life. And it took him ten weeks to find someone else.” Her eyes filled with tears. “I’m just glad—you know, I’m just glad it’s not another dumb blonde. I really don’t think I could have taken it if I’d come home and he was with a blonde.”
“Your sister was a blonde huh?” Sam said with some sympathy. “Yeah—that would have sucked if Ric had made it three blondes in a row.”
“I was just thinking about going to Alexis to file for divorce and now—” Elizabeth exhaled slowly. “I feel like I keep getting knocked down. I am so tired of picking myself off the ground, Sam. You just—you have to start asking—when it’s your turn?”
“When do you get to be happy?” Sam nodded in understanding. “When is it finally time for you to get what you want? You’re preaching to the choir, babe. But I think if I could get Sonny out of my life, I could get somewhere.”
“Yeah, well…good luck with that.” Elizabeth stood and smiled at her. “I like talking to you, Sam. For a second—it almost felt like I had Jason back. Though—your comments are more colorful than his.”
Sam grinned. “Yeah, he just doesn’t have the same way with the English language that I do. I liked talking to you. You’re the only person who knows about Sonny and—everything. I don’t know why but I just didn’t want to lie to you.”
Elizabeth gripped the sides of the stroller. “You’d be the first person in my life to have that feeling,” she said with a sad smile. “I’d better get Cam home and to bed. See ya around, Sam.”
She wheeled the stroller away and few moments later, Sam examined her nails. “You can come out any time, you know.”
Jason stepped out from behind the shrubbery. “How’d you know I was there?” he demanded.
“Please. I could hear those motorcycle boots anywhere,” she snorted. She stood and punched him in the arm. “You’re a jackass you know that? Sleeping with the Barbie On Steroid just weeks after that girl walked out on you. What’s with you, Jason? You have something wrong in your head?” She rapped his temple.
“And I’m not referring to your accident,” Sam remarked scathingly. “That poor girl thinks she’s been replaced in everyone’s lives and all I could sit there and do was restrain the urge to yank you from the bushes and give her free shots.”
“She was better off without me,” he muttered, sliding his hands in his pockets and staring at the ground.
“Yeah, okay. Because giving her up for the Doublemint Twins and that Marlon Brando phoney and her ending up with the half-brother from hell…she was so much better off than with you.” Sam snorted and turned around to head towards the steps. “What is it about men who think they know better? If we think we can do better, trust me—we’ll go and find someone better,” she muttered, stalking up the stairs. “My daughter is gonna know how to kick anyone’s ass who tries to tell her what to do.”
She whirled on the landing and poked Jason—who’d followed her up the stairs—in the chest. “And let me tell you something, mister, you just try to do it to me because I will wipe the floor with you and that crazy brood you call a family and if you had any sense in that head of yours—” again she rapped his temple and he scowled, “—you wouldn’t have let Elizabeth Webber get five feet out your door. Maybe you’d have an actual biological child rather than more of Sonny’s hand-me-downs.”
Jason narrowed his eyes. “Wait a second—”
“Because I’ll tell you—she seems more sensible than to run off to South America and jump into freezing water when she’s pregnant,” Sam told her. “And she seems like the sort who doesn’t judge you. You know that I talked trash about her best friend and she just sat there and let me have my opinion? I can’t remember the last time I had my own opinion.”
“You seem to be having a hell of one right now,” Jason said dryly.
“And stop acting like Sonny’s going to take this kid out from under you. To do that he’d have to claim her and he’s not going to do that. I told you—this is your daughter and you’d better damn well remember that.” Sam rolled her eyes and turned around to stomp up the rest of the stairs. “Men,” she snorted. “Just large children wrapped in hot packages.”
“Is this hormones?” Jason asked. “Because—”
“Hormones?” Sam narrowed her eyes. “Listen here—” she broke off and smiled sweetly and then he knew he was in trouble. “I’ve decided I should be friends with more mothers,” she said firmly. “Carly’s a bony brat who wouldn’t know how to be a good mother if she were handed a picture book and Elizabeth seems to actually spend time with her kid so maybe I should have her over to the penthouse.” She nodded. “Yeah, that sounds like a really good way to piss off the bony bitch and her gorilla friend.”
“Bony—gorilla…” Jason trailed off and shook his head. “Sam—”
She poked him in the chest. “You’d better learn to just deal with it because from now on, it’s you and me. No more of Sonny’s drop in visits. He made his bed and now he’s gotta lie in it, you got me?”
“I’m beginning to.”
“And we’re going to find Elizabeth a divorce lawyer who won’t screw her ex-husband,” Sam decided as they came out onto the street.
“Wait, Alexis and Ric?” Jason said, trying to keep up.
“And maybe I’ll even make her godmother of my kid,” Sam continued, on a roll now and loving it. She was in control again and she’d be damned if anyone would take it from her.
“And Elizabeth can teach me how to not to screw up my kid and maybe I can convince her she’s not disposable and that she’s just got really rotten taste in men.”
Insulted, Jason scowled. “Wait—”
“I don’t mean you,” Sam said impatiently, “You’re an idiot but if you had any balls, it would have been okay. I mean that stupid idiot Ric. I mean, he has a wife and a kid. She loves him—well I think she does and even if she’s too good for him, he should have at least waited more than ten weeks before screwing her lawyer.”
“I’m still insulted.”
“It’s okay.” She patted his arm. “I’m going to work on you and in like a month—you’ll learn how to say no again. Well–I know you know how to say it, now we just have to work on meaning it.”
“Back off, Morgan, I’m told pregnant women are not to be messed with.” Sam started walking briskly down the block towards Harborview Towers.
She turned. “Yeah?”
“I think you’re good for her,” Jason said after a moment. “She seemed—better after she’d talked to you. And that’s—that’s good.”
Sam nodded. “Okay.”
“She’s tried to prove herself to everyone in her life for years and I just think—I don’t think you would make her feel like that.” He shook her head. “I just think it’s time someone made her feel like it was okay to be herself again.”
Sam stared at him for a moment. “Well, son of a bitch,” she murmured. “I am so glad to know it’s not the gorilla you’re pining for.”