March 31, 2018

Notes: I was really disappointed in the GH anniversary episode. The flashbacks were nice, but they didn’t feel all that connected to what was happening on the screen. It felt like random people put in the room. Also, Elizabeth didn’t get nearly the kind of prominence a character like her deserves. So I rewrote the episode, and yeah, it’s heavy on Elizabeth and Jason. That’s who I am as a writer, and it’s also where I think they should be. They’re two hugely popular legacy characters with a deep history and connections to basically everyone on the show. They’ve also barely shared any screen time in the six months Steve has been back.

So this doesn’t use all the vets the show did, but I still tried to do the same stories. Writing Mike’s scenes was hard. My grandmother is dealing with dementia, so I wrote his conversations to mirror the way my grandmother slips in and out. And the regret and worry I feel for me and family. I hope you like this.

(Also. I’ve killed off Audrey. Rachel Ames retired; they ought to let Grams go in peace.)

Song Credit


Saturday, March 31, 2018

Metro Court Hotel: Restaurant

In our times of trouble

Sonny Corinthos stepped off the elevator and smiled. He had asked Carly to arrange something that would remind them all of Luke’s, the jazz club he’d owned with Luke Spencer a lifetime ago, where his father had tended the bar, and as always, Carly had gone the extra mile.

She’d closed the restaurant for a week, redecorated with dark paneling, a stage that looked very similar to the one B.B. King had rocked on the opening night, and a long dark bar had replaced the restaurant’s smaller, modern modern feel.

“What do you think?” Carly whispered in his ear. She wound her arm through his, the sparkling silver of her dress catching in the dim lighting. “Do you think it’s too much? I never spent a lot of time at the club, but Mama helped. She said it brought back a lot of good memories.”

“It’s—” Sonny took a deep breath. “It’s perfect. I just…for a minute, I thought I was back there. I didn’t even know how much I missed the old place until—” He shook his head. “Until Mike broke into the gallery, I hadn’t even thought about the club in a decade. Not since…”

We only had ourselves
Nobody else

“I didn’t know you when you and Luke were close, but—”

“It cut something in me when he blamed me for Lucky’s death,” Sonny murmured. “He was one of my best friends. Like a brother. I loved that kid. I’ll never forgive myself—”

“But you didn’t—”

“Better security would have kept Helena Cassadine’s goons from stealing that boy’s life. From devastating his family.” Sonny looked over, caught sight of a brunette smiling, laughing with his mother-in-law. “You invited Elizabeth.”

“Yeah.” Carly sighed. “Yeah, I did. I wasn’t going to, but then Mama reminded me all of the years she worked at Kelly’s—and well…” She winced. “This night is about family, right? She’s Jake’s mother. Like it or not, we’re stuck with her.”

“That’s sweet,” Sonny said dryly. “It’s been twenty years. You ever gonna forgive her?”

“For what?” Carly rolled her eyes. “She’s the twit, not me.” And with that, his mercurial wife moved over to the bar to check on last minute additions. Sonny looked at his watch, then pulled out his phone to call his sons to make sure Mike was on his way.

No one there to save us
We had to save ourselves

“I can still remember the first time I was at Luke’s,” Elizabeth Webber said with a smile as Bobbie Spencer passed her a glass of wine. “Amy Vining won a dance contest. There was so much music, so much laughter.” Then her smile dimmed. “And then Nikolas—”

“That was a terrible night,” Bobbie said with a soft sigh. “But Jason was there. And he saved his life.” The redhead turned to find the enforcer deep in conversation with Anna Devane. The two of them looked as though they were arguing, so Bobbie turned her attention back to her former niece-in-law. “I imagine things have been…awkward since he came home.”

“Awkward.” Elizabeth’s lips pressed together as she stared into the wine. “That isn’t…even half of it. I’ve barely spoken to him.”

And when the storms came through

“Really?” Bobbie lifted her eyebrows. “I would have thought with Jake—”

“It’s not like I haven’t wanted to,” Elizabeth cut back in sharply. “I just—Franco—” She closed her eyes. “You know how everyone always gets when Jason and I breathe the same air. Lucky. Ric. Sam. Courtney. Even Carly. They always seem to think we’re just…waiting to go back to each other.” She sipped her wine. “We made our choices.”

“Mmm…” Bobbie nodded. “I know how people are. I know how my daughter is. I just didn’t know you and Jason gave a damn about any of that.” She eyed Elizabeth’s hand with its missing engagement ring. “None of those people are here tonight.”

They found me and you
Back to back together

“I’ve finally managed to convince Robert to give us a hand,” Anna Devane was saying when Jason tuned back into their conversation. “He’s been the devil to track down on this last assignment—”

“I don’t know what help you think he could give me,” Jason muttered. He was tired of everyone treating him like he couldn’t solve his own goddamn problems. Even if part of him thought maybe they were right.

“Well it’s not about help,” Anna said, with some impatience. “But it is clear that neither of us are able to see the big picture. I’ve been looking back of what we have so far—what we managed to glean from Faison—and it strikes me that we’re missing a rather big part of the puzzle.”

“And what’s what?” Jason demanded.

“The Cassadines,” Anna said simply. “And few people know the Cassadines better than Robert. He helped save the world from them. Luke’s out of commission. But Robert—”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. The Ice Princess. What about the Cassadines?”

“Well, I’ve just thought it odd we haven’t given them enough thought. Helena had a chip in Drew’s head when he first came back to Port Charles. And she held your son hostage for several years.” Anna gestured across the room where Elizabeth was standing with Bobbie, now joined by Mac Scorpio and his wife Felicia. “And Valentin sent Ava to that clinic where you were being kept. They are the common factor in all of this.”

“They’ve always been interested in playing with people’s heads,” Jason said, almost absently as he remembered the flashing angry eyes of Lucky Spencer and the switchblade he’d held in his hand.

“Precisely. I thought Robert could give us a perspective—”

“Great. Let me know when he gets here,” Jason said, and then abruptly walking away to find Carly.

He didn’t want to think about any of this any more tonight.

And when the sun would shine

The elevator doors opened, and Mike Corbin stepped out, clad in a tuxedo that matched his grandsons behind him. Sonny grinned and stepped forward. “Hey, Mike. Welcome back to Luke’s.”

He took in Mike’s astonishment, felt his smile slip slightly. What if Kevin Collins had been wrong? What if bringing back all of this would just upset his father?

He always felt like he couldn’t do anything right. He never knew what he would say, what would he do to trigger Mike’s irritation, his anger. Kevin could tell Sonny all he wanted that it wasn’t his fault, but damn it, didn’t it have to be somebody’s?

Maybe if he’d been a more forgiving son, a better brother to Courtney—maybe he and Mike could have been closer. What if Mike hadn’t left Port Charles? Sonny would have seen the signs earlier. Medication—something—

It was yours and mine
Yours and mine forever

“We thought it might be nice to bring back some old memories,” Michael said easily as he clapped a hand on his grandfather’s shoulder. “Dad says you were one of the best bartenders in the city.”

“The state, he told me,” Dante offered. “Maybe you want to make us some drinks and settle it.”

Mike swallowed, his eyes looking around. “You…you changed the whole restaurant for this—”

“I’ve been thinking of decorating,” Carly said as she stepped up to her husband, sliding her arm through his. A comfort at his side—thought if twenty years ago, anyone would have told him that Carly would be his solid rock of Gibraltar, he would have though they were insane.  “We don’t have a good old fashioned blues club anymore. Maybe we should invest in one.”

“Maybe.” Mike clapped his hands together with a smile. “Where’s the bar? Let’s get this party started.”

Oh how the years go by

“I can’t think of Luke’s without thinking of Georgie,” Felicia Scorpio murmured to her husband as she took a glass of champagne from a passing waiter. “Do you remember that night?”

“I do,” Bobbie said dryly.

“Oh, I think Lucky told me about this,” Elizabeth said. “You had her in the club, didn’t you?”

“I did. I went into labor right at Luke’s.” Felicia pressed her fingers to her lips. “It doesn’t seem right she’s been gone now for so long.”

“Ten years.” Mac stared down into his beer. “It feels like yesterday. And now, with Maxie—” He shook his head. “I’m sorry. This isn’t—”

“We tried to get her to come tonight. To just get out of the house, but I don’t know. Maybe we shouldn’t push.” Felicia chewed on her bottom lip. “What do you think?”

Bobbie glanced at Elizabeth, tilted her head. “What do you think?”

“What?” Elizabeth blinked. “Oh. Well…I know it’s not the same, but when I thought Lucky was gone—I tried to go back to my old life. Go out with friends. I went to Luke’s, too. But I always felt…pressured to be okay. I didn’t want anyone to worry about me, you know? So I pretended.” Her fingers tightened around the stem of her glass. “Until I almost drowned in the lie.”

Oh how the love brings tears to my eyes

“Oh.” Felicia’s eyes misted over. “Oh, sweetheart. But yes, yes that’s exactly what I think it is happening. We keep trying to bring her out of this, and God knows, Lulu is annoying her with trying to make Maxie forgive her—I just—”

“I don’t want her spin out like she did after Jesse,” Mac said roughly. “I know it’s not a good memory for you, either, Elizabeth—”

“She was so much younger then,” Elizabeth offered. “I always understood it. Lucky was her port in the storm. Her way of feeling normal. She was desperate to find anything that made her feel like she was still part of the world. I felt that way, too. I just…” She lifted a shoulder. “I found someone who would just listen, you know? That’s what she needs. Someone who doesn’t want to fix her. Who makes it okay to live with her memories. Some days are going to be bad. She’s going to want to drown in her grief. And some days are going to be better.”

“We’ll do better.” Felicia touched her arm. “Thank you. I appreciate your advice. And if you and Maxie were on a better footing, I’d say you could be that person—”

“It’s very easy to latch on to the first person you see, to the first person who makes you feel normal.” Elizabeth sighed. “And it’s easier to lose yourself in that lie. But Maxie is stronger than that, Felicia. I promise you that. She’s your daughter. And Mac didn’t raise any fools.”

“On a happier note,” Bobbie said. “Do you remember your first wedding?” she asked Felicia. “The double one with Kevin and Lucy that wasn’t?”

“Oh, of course. One of my favorites.” Felicia took Mac’s hand in hers. “Even if I messed it up later. Elizabeth!” The memory slipped back into her head like lightning. “You caught the bouquet!”

Elizabeth’s startled laughter rang out over the room. “Oh, my God. I completely—I did, didn’t I?” Her cheeks flushed. “I caught it more with my hair, but yeah. Oh, my God. I can’t believe I forgot that.” She shook her head. “It feels like a lifetime ago.”

“It does.” Felicia smiled up at Mac brightly. “We’ve been through hell, you and me, huh? But here we are.”

“Exactly where we’re supposed to be.” He pressed his lips to his wife’s. “You can’t fight destiny.”

All through the changes the soul never dies

“He’s going to be a father,” Carly said, taking a seat next to Jason and setting another Rolling Rock down in front of him. “Can you believe it?”

“No.” Jason exhaled slowly, following Carly’s gaze where Michael was laughing with his grandfather and brother. “I can remember the first time I held him. Bobbie had to show me how—” He stared down at his hands. “He was so small. I was so afraid I would screw it up.”

“I used to feel guilty about abandoning him that first month, that I missed most of his first year,” Carly said. “I still do, but God, looking back, it kills me, Jason, that Michael is the only child you got to raise.”

“I’m—” Jason’s throat tightened. “That’s not true. I’m spending time with Danny now, and—”

“But you’re still not seeing Jake—”

“That’s not—it’s complicated.” Jason shifted. “And you act like I never saw Jake before the accident. I was there when he was born. I held him—”

“Only for Elizabeth to give—”

“Stop.” Jason shook his head. “Just don’t do this, Carly. Jake is my son, and it’s complicated right now. But it’s getting better. He’s alive. I got a miracle. You think I care that he doesn’t love me? I don’t need him to love me. He’s alive, and he’s breathing.”

“Right.” Carly closed her eyes. “Right. Of course. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I guess I still— I blame myself for that, too. If I hadn’t been in such a hurry to keep her out of your life, I don’t know, maybe she wouldn’t have lied—”

We fight, we laugh, we cry

“It wasn’t just you,” Jason muttered. He stared down at the table. “And it’s not your fault. Not entirely. You and Sonny didn’t help, but I didn’t let her tell me anything. I told her it was better Lucky was the baby’s father. And she…”

“Thought it meant you didn’t want him,” Carly said. She tilted her head. “You never told me that before.”

“Yeah, well….” Jason tipped his beer back, took a long swig. “Sometimes it’s easier to forget that the reason Jake isn’t in my life, that he had Lucky at all is as much my fault as it is Elizabeth’s. More.”

“Oh, I doubt—”

“I asked her to marry me ten minutes before I found out Michael was shot, Carly. I stepped away from her. From the boys.” He shook his head. “I have to live with that, not Elizabeth. The first year, maybe that’s on her more than me. But the next three? It’s my fault. So stop blaming Elizabeth for everything that’s wrong in my life.”

“I don’t blame her for everything,” Carly muttered. “I don’t think global warming is her fault.” She looked across the room to find Elizabeth with her mother. “Mike said he talked to her in the church. The day she was supposed to get married. I had forgotten he knew her.”

“Well, she worked at Kelly’s with him and Tammy for years.”

Carly tilted her head. “Do you remember everything about Elizabeth? Good God. I bet you even remember the first time you saw her. No, don’t tell me.” She wiggled her shoulders. “I don’t want to know.” She waited. “No, I do. Tell me.”

Jason sat back, in a mood to rile her up. “Actually, it was at Luke’s. The first time I remember seeing her. The night Nikolas Cassadine was shot. She was with her sister in the parking lot.”

Carly glared at him. “In the middle of the parking lot, while you were performing an emergency tracheotomy, you noticed Elizabeth Webber.”

As the years go by

He shrugged. “I always know who’s around me when shots have been fired. But that’s not what you meant is it? You mean do I remember when we first became friends?” He leaned forward. “What exactly are you asking?”

Carly hesitated. “I’ve been shoving Sam at you pretty…strongly since you came home. I did the same thing when Drew was supposed to be you. I tell myself it’s because I want you to be happy, and you and Sam were married when you….left. But part of me…part of me knows that’s a bunch of bull. Because Drew was going to marry Elizabeth. And I wanted you back in my life. I don’t get to have you when she’s around.”

“Carly—” Jason closed his eyes. Shook his head. “That’s not true.”

“It’s not, no, but I guess…” Carly chewed on her bottom lip. “I guess part of me always remembered when you were hurt. When you were shot. You pushed me away—yes, you had your reasons and they were good ones, but all I felt was rejection. And I knew I was losing you. You told me you loved me, but it didn’t feel real. It didn’t feel true when you said it.”

“I thought it was,” Jason admitted. “I was wrong. I’m sorry—”

“I don’t want to go back to that,” Carly told him. “I don’t—that part of our life is over. I can honestly say I haven’t thought about you that way in decades. But I will always associate losing you with Elizabeth Webber coming into your life, so yeah, I’ve gone out of my way to demolish her in your eyes.” She smiled sourly. “I don’t think I’ve been good at it, huh?”

“You’re my friend, Carly, and I love you. But no. You need to worry about your own family. I can handle my own life.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Carly sighed. “I’m going to go check on the caterer. You should go talk to Monica. She’s been eyeing you up since she came in, and she’s still hesitant to come near you without some sort of engraved invitation.”

There were times we stumbled

“Luke’s seems like it was a pretty cool place,” Dante said, taking a seat next to his brother. “Whatever happened to it?”

“I’m not sure,” Michael said with a shrug. “Dad owned it until that fire with Jason’s garage, and he sold his interest to Luke. I think Luke closed it after Laura got sick.” He looked at the bar. “He seems like it’s a good night tonight.”

“Yeah, it seems that way. I just—” Dante exhaled slowly. “I don’t know how many of those nights we have left. It’s crazy, you know. We can be having a conversation, and he knows me, but halfway through his own sentence, it’s like he forgets me. We were talking about Rocco’s baseball team, and he was telling stories about Sonny playing stickball—and he asked about my ma. Like she wasn’t my mother. He didn’t know who I was.” His voice faltered. “He and I were never close, you know, but he’s always been good to me. And Christ, Michael, it scares the crap out of me.”

They thought they had us down

“Because it could be genetic,” Michael said. He exhaled slowly. “Yeah. Yeah, Dad was saying something about that. I guess I got lucky. I only got addiction in my genes—”

“Yeah, we Corinthos men got the winning hand. Bipolar disorder, dementia…can’t wait to see what else is in store.” Dante shook his head. “I don’t mean that. I’m sorry—”

“Hey, don’t apologize, man. We can’t say this stuff to Dad. He’s already got enough guilt over Morgan.” Michael rubbed the back of his neck. “Grandfather—Edward, I mean—he was sharp until the last few weeks. Even bedridden, he was always there. I mean, he drove me insane, and I wish like hell I had gotten to know him better.” He stared into space. “I’m glad he died before he found out about Jason going off that pier. That he didn’t live to see the last six years.”

“Losing ELQ would have killed him.”

But we came around

“It was never the company,” Michael said with a shake of his head. “I know everyone always thinks Grandfather was obsessed with business, and he was, don’t get me wrong. But it was what ELQ was supposed to represent. It was supposed to be family. He used it to keep the family tied to each other. That’s why he gave out the stock in his will. To make us sit in a room together. We just…never got the hang of it.”

“Do you think about AJ?” Dante said after a long moment.

“Yeah. A lot. Especially now that I’m about to be a father. I think a lot about what it must have felt like for him to always have to prove himself to everyone in his life,” Michael replied. “To constantly have to prove his worthiness to be my father. I wish I had known him better. And I feel guilty I let Dad back in, you know? He shot AJ. He killed him. And he lied to me for months.”

“Sonny raised you, Michael. No one blames you for not being able to forget that—”

“I blame me. He’s father, and I love him. But I can’t pretend it’s not different now. I know Mom wants me to figure out how to get Nelle out of my life, and I get it. Part of me even agrees, but then—”

“You think about who you thought she was.”

“Who she might still be,” Michael corrected. “I don’t know what kind of mother she’ll be. I just—she deserves the chance to do right by our child. I owe my father that. He spent his life drowning in the bottle, lying, stealing, cheating. Trying to live up to an image. And trying to be my father. Nelle…reminds me of him. She lies like someone people breathe, and I know it’s about protecting herself. Mostly.”

“She also loves to stick it to your mother.”

“Yeah, well, Mom doesn’t really endear herself to many people. And she’s got good reasons not to like Nelle either.” Michael shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess…I’m interested to see what happens when the baby is born. How Nelle handles it. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt. Does that make me an idiot?”

“It does,” Dante told him. “But you know, if part of you sees this as atoning for letting Sonny back in your life, then well, who I am to argue? The bastard shot me, and here I am in his life. I let my kid call him Grandpa. We’re all stupid sometimes.”

How we rolled and rambled

Elizabeth flashed a hesitant smile as she stepped up to the bar where Mike was carefully measuring out a drink. “Hey. Word has it you’re making a mean pomegranate martini tonight.”

Mike’s face, so familiar to her, creased in a wide smile. “Elizabeth! The prettiest girl in the room! I was wondering if you’d come over to see me. You want a pomtini? Coming right up.”

Elizabeth slid onto the stool. “You look like you’re having a good time tonight.”

“Oh, yeah, it’s a good day.” Mike nodded. He measured vodka into a shaker, followed by the pomegranate mix. “I still remember you, though.” He tapped his temple. “Hard to forget you with Tammy and Ruby always yelling at you for breaking something or forgetting an order.”

Elizabeth laughed, covered her face with her hands. “Oh, man. You remember how bad I was in the beginning? I was hopeless.”

“Nah. You were young.” Mike shook out the glass. “And you were never meant for that life. Waiting on others. You were supposed to be an artist. Tammy always thought you would set the world on fire.”

Elizabeth sighed and accepted the drink he handed her. “Well, life gets in the way. That’s…that’s not my life anymore.”

“Can’t let that happen. Can’t let excuses get in the way.” Mike hesitated, looked across the room at his son. Elizabeth twisted to follow his gaze where Sonny was talking to Carly. “I have a lot of regrets, Elizabeth. I made so many choices out of fear. I didn’t think I could be a good father, so I ran. Twice. And even when I showed back up, I wasn’t the kind of father my kids deserved. And now…I’m starting to forget my little girl.” Some of the mirth fell from his face. “So few of us remember her. And once I don’t—”

“I remember her,” Elizabeth said. She reached out and squeezed Mike’s hand. “I remember when Spencer was born. How hard she fought for him. Nikolas and Jax aren’t here to tell him that. Laura doesn’t know. I do. Sonny does. We’ll keep her alive for him.”

“You’re a good girl, Elizabeth. Always was. Don’t let Ruby get you down. You’ll be a great waitress yet.” He handed her a bottle of Rolling Rock. “Jason looks low on his drink. Why don’t you take him his order?”

Elizabeth’s throat clenched. Just that quickly, Mike had slipped away from her. Away from the evening. Didn’t remember that that she’d never worked at Luke’s. That she’d given up waitressing more than a decade ago—but she flashed him a smile, picked up her drink and the bottle. “Sure thing, Mike. I hope he still gives good tips. I’ve got my eye on some new shoes.”

“Flash him that pretty smile. You can’t go wrong.”

We got lost and we got found
Now we’re back on solid ground, yeah

Jason sat down at his mother’s table, wishing he had stopped at the bar to get another beer so he’d have something to do with his hands.

Nothing made him feel more awkward than a conversation with the woman who was the only mother he’d ever known. “I’m surprised to see you here tonight.”

“Oh.” Monica lifted a shoulder. “I wanted to be here for Mike. I’ve never changed the way I feel about Sonny and Carly, but they’re apart of your life. And Mike has always been good to me.” She cleared her throat. “How are you doing? We haven’t spoken much since—”

“I haven’t really talked to anyone,” Jason admitted. “I’ve tried to focus on finding out who did this more than…”

“How to pick up your life again.” Monica tilted her head. “It must have been a shock to come home, to find out that you had two sons. Especially Jake.” Monica looked at the bar where Elizabeth was sitting with Mike. “I wasn’t kind to Elizabeth through all of that. And after learning she’d lied about Drew—this whole town turned its back on her. I haven’t been as close to Jake as I would have liked.”

Jason furrowed his brow. Elizabeth had suggested things had been difficult after she’d kept the secret of Drew’s identity, but they hadn’t gotten into it.

They hadn’t spoken about much at all.

“Finding out Jake was alive was a miracle I didn’t—I don’t deserve.” Jason paused. “And Danny—yeah. We’re—it’s a lot.”

“Jake has been close to Drew. It—” Monica waited. “I don’t want to draw any comparisons because I don’t know how fair they are, but I wonder if it was anything like I felt after your accident. You were my son. The little boy I had raised into a man, but you didn’t know me. And you didn’t trust me. You turned to other people for support. To Sonny, even to Bobbie. They became your family.”

Jason clenched his fists at his side. “We all made decisions back then—”

“I don’t blame you. And that’s not why I brought it up. I just…I guess I wanted you to remember how you felt. Being told these people were your family when you didn’t know them.” Monica lifted her hands. “I just wanted to give you some advice that I wish I had listened to back then. I wish anything that Alan and I could have those months back. To do it again.”

“What could you have done differently?” Jason asked. “I’m not as angry as I used to be. I used to—Every thing used to be black and white to me. Right and wrong. I didn’t understand all the things in the middle. I didn’t understand how the Quartermaines could treat one another the way they do and still claim to love each other.”

“Oh, Jason—”

“I’m not entirely sure I get it now,” Jason admitted. “But I know hard it is to be a father. To make choices that you want to take back. You and Alan—even Edward. You all did the best you could.”

“I appreciate that.” Monica reached across, squeezed his hands. “But we could have all been more patient. That’s what I’m suggesting to you now. Jake doesn’t know you. And maybe there a lot of reasons for that that I don’t know about. He doesn’t know you. But he will. And if you’re lucky, if you’re patient, and you just keep chipping away, he’ll change his mind.”

“I know. I can believe that.” Jason squeezed her hands back. “Because I couldn’t have imagined being part of the Quartermaines twenty years ago. And today, I know you’re my mother. And I wish I had been able to let Alan—to let my father back into my life. To get to know Grandfather again. I wish we all could have given each other another chance.”

“Hey, I’m sorry to interrupt,” Elizabeth said with a hesitant smile. “But Mike…forgot who I was while he was talking to me, and he wanted me to bring you order.” She held out a bottle of beer to him. “And I just—I went with it to make sure he didn’t get upset.”

We took everything
All our times would bring

“Oh.” Monica sighed, looked at the bar. “I should go say hello to him. Elizabeth, it’s good to see you. How are the boys? Cameron is what, thirteen now?”

“Fourteen in a few weeks..” Elizabeth flashed a more natural smile as Jason accepted the beer from her and set it in front of him. “I really don’t understand how he’s going to be in high school next year. Aiden’s obsessed with Captain America, and Jake is going through art supplies almost faster than I can—” She broke off. “I mean, they’re fine.”

“I haven’t seen them in a few weeks. We should do something for Jake and Cam’s birthday next month.” Monica got to her feet. “I’ve been meaning to ask you if I could spend more time with Cam and Aiden. I know they’re not mine biologically, but—”

“Oh.” Elizabeth blinked. “Oh. That would be, um, great. It’s been hard—my grandmother—” She swallowed hard. “Since she passed away last summer.”

“I still expect to see Steve or Audrey around the corners at the hospital,” Monica said with a sigh. She turned to Jason. “You don’t remember Steve, but he was there from the beginning.”

“When the hospital opened,” Elizabeth said with a sad smile. “General Hospital was his dream. He’d be so happy with how you and Alan kept it moving forward.”

“And he’d be excited his Lizzie is carrying on the family tradition.” Monica touched her shoulder. “I remember you in the summers. You’d come to the hospital, trailing behind Steven and Sarah, completely bored by everything. You were always dragging markers and notepaper around.”

“General Hospital was always a safe place for me. And being a nurse has let me take care of my boys.” Elizabeth laced her fingers together. “But I should let you and Jason get back to your conversation—”

“No, no, I’m going to go talk to Mike. You stay here. I’m sure you two can think of something to talk about.” Monica flashed a smile down at Jason who just raised his brows at his mother. “After all, you’ve known each other your entire lives. Even if you don’t remember it, Jason.”

In this world of dangers

And at that, Monica left. Elizabeth flashed him an embarassed smile and started to slide away. “I see Bobbie over there, I’ll just—”

“No, no, not until you tell me what my mother meant.” He shoved the chair out with his leg. “We knew each other before my accident?”

“Oh. God. No. I mean, yes.” Elizabeth sat down, setting her martini glass down. “You’re older than me, Jason. You were at the hospital with your parents sometimes. And Steven used to hang out with you sometimes. And I followed him around because he was the only one who didn’t think I was insane. So I was someone’s bratty sister.”

“Okay.” Jason squinted. “Did your brother move? I haven’t seen him.”

Elizabeth winced. “No. He ended up—Heather framed him for something not long after you…He’s in Memphis. Serving a jail sentence for—” She sat back. “So he’s gone.”

He decided not to push her on Steven. “And so is Audrey. I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”

“It’s…it is what it is. It’s been a bad couple of years.” Elizabeth exhaled slowly. “Jake. He’s the bright spot. His coming home was like a miracle I really didn’t deserve, you know? But I got it anyway. All of my boys. They’re the reason I get up in the morning.” She bit her lip. “We should do more about Jake. I feel bad that I haven’t—I did try to push him a little bit a few months ago. But I let other things get in the way.”

‘Cause when your heart is strong

“Yeah.” He eyed the empty ring finger. “I can see that.”

“Oh. Yeah.” She stared down at her finger. “He stood me up at the altar—but you knew that. And then he lied. About a thousand more times. I guess I deserve it.”

“Why?” he demanded, leaning forward.

You know you’re not alone

Elizabeth squinted at him. “You—I told you why. I mean, you know better than anyone—I lied. I lied a lot.” She huffed. “The last time I saw you, I was—”

“Telling me the truth.” Jason waved that away. “Why does that mean you deserve…” He couldn’t even say the name.

“I lied about Jake—” She stopped. “Drew. But I called him Jake back then. We all did. I told you. Nikolas told me who he was, but I didn’t say anything. Even after we knew little Jake was alive, I kept lying.”

Jason tilted his head. “Why? Because he was supposed to be me?”

“Oh.” Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “Great. You, too. I would have—” She shook her head. “You weren’t here, so I guess I can’t—no. Jake—Drew and I were already—at least I thought we were. He always seems to forget that I was the only one who gave a damn about him when no one else did. Sonny and Sam hated him back then, did you know that? But I didn’t. I was in love with him. So yeah, I didn’t tell him who Nikolas said he was. Because I know how that story ends and I don’t get the happy ending.” She tossed back the rest of her martini.

In this world of strangers

Carly scowled as she stepped back out from the office and saw Jason sitting at a table with Elizabeth. Alone.

Not on her watch.

But before she could take more than a step, Sonny grabbed her elbow, swung her around, and twirled her into a dance. “Nope.”

“But—”

“Uh uh.”

“She’s going to—”

“No.”

Carly scowled. “Sam—”

“They’re adults, Carly. And if nothing else, looking at my father…” Sonny sighed, looked at the bar with Monica and Bobbie were laughing with Mike. “It reminds me we have to grab every scrap of happiness we have while we got it. I don’t know how long I’m going to know your face.”

“Sonny—” Carly looked at him, her dark eyes stricken. “You don’t know—”

“No, I don’t. But anything could happen. I could have another break down. Or I could end up like Mike. And I want to make sure that my family knows how much I love them. And how much I trust them to make their own decisions.”

“Fine.” Carly sighed and leaned into the dance, pressing her cheek against his. “But if she hurts him, I’m going to gut her like a fish.”

“Wouldn’t expect any less from you.”

Oh how the years go by

On the stage, Ned Ashton checked the strings of his guitar, getting ready for his last set of the night. It had been a lot of fun to resurrect Eddie Maine for the night, even though his advisors had told him playing for a reputed mobster’s private party wouldn’t bring him much good press.

“Hey, Eddie, can I have your autograph?”

He grinned and turned to find to former rival, almost wife, and partner in crime leaning against the stage. “Hey. You look like a pinup I once had.”

With a smirk, Alexis Davis tossed back her hair. “You wish. Hell, I wish. I used to be younger.”

Oh how the love brings tears to my eyes

“I wish Lulu had come,” Olivia Falconieri-Ashton said with a sad smile. “Since Maxie ended up staying home.”

“She wanted some time with Rocco and Charlotte.” Dante folded his arms and studied his grandfather at the bar. “You know, mostly I think you made the right choice keeping me away from Sonny.”

“And yet?” Olivia prompted.

“I wish I had known so I’d have more time with Mike. With my grandfather. I had an aunt I never knew. A lot of people in Sonny’s life that he talks about like family, and I guess—” Dante shrugged. “You just wonder about the road not taken. Who would I have been if you’d brought me to Sonny when I was Rocco’s age? If I had known Stone Cates. Courtney. Michael talks about his aunt, sometimes. So did Morgan.”

“Oh, sweetie—”

“Like I said—I get why you made that choice. I just…I wonder.” Dante hooked an arm around his mother’s shoulder. “But you and me did okay, didn’t we?”

“We did. But I learned a lesson. As much as I hate Julian Jerome, I never want to explain those choices again.” Olivia sighed. “So Leo gets to know his dad. And Charlotte gets to know Valentin. All you can do is learn from your past, kid. And hope you took away the right lessons.”

All through the changes the soul never dies

Michael twirled his mother away from Sonny as Ned took the stage again and began his final set. “I’m under strict instructions to keep you occupied.”

“What, did Sonny send up a smoke signal?” Carly muttered. “I’m not going to bother them. He doesn’t look irritated.” She squinted, trying to peak around Michael’s shoulder to get closer. If she could just hear their conversation—

“Mom. Why do you care?”

“What?” Carly snapped her attention back to her son. “What?”

“All my life, you’ve gone out your way to irritate Elizabeth. More than anyone else I’ve ever known. Hell, I remember when Sam had an affair with Dad, you forgave her faster.”

Carly scowled. “I didn’t forgive. I moved on.” She had also possibly repressed that memory.

“Jason was gone for five years. He came home to find out that he has two sons. That someone stole those years from him. He gets to figure this out for himself.” Michael twirled his mother so she faced away from the table where his uncle sat. “And Elizabeth has always been good to me. To Jason. So whatever wrong you think she did—”

“She didn’t—” Carly huffed, rolled her eyes. “She didn’t really do anything. It’s just—I broke him once. I broke him into a million little pieces, Robin ground those pieces into dust, and then Sonny shoved that dust off a cliff. I guess…I’m a little obsessed with making sure he’s all put back together.”

“He looks good to me, Mom. I think you can get off guard duty.”

“For now. But I’m keeping my eyes open.”

Falconieri House: Living Room

We fight, we laugh, we cry
As the years go by

Lulu Falconieri sighed as she switched off the television and picked up her phone to look at the background wallpaper. Dante had told her to change it to something happier, something that didn’t depress her.

But she didn’t want to forget.

It was a photograph from the Christmas Party, and it was the four of them. Bright. Shining. Happy. Planning a wonderful future with their amazing husbands, incredible children, and budding careers.

And they were best friends. Against all odds, they had become each other’s families. And with one decision, with one story Lulu couldn’t take back—

She had shattered that image.

And she needed to remember that. Decisions had consequences.

Maxie & Nathan’s Apartment: Living Room

And if we lose our way

Maxie Jones-West sighed and stared at her missed calls. Her mother had called her twice. Bobbie and her father once. And now her mother had called a third let, which Maxie had let go unanswered.

But this time, Felicia had left her a voicemail, and reluctantly, Maxie pressed play.

“Hey, my darling girl. I just wanted to let you know that your dad and I are going to lay off tonight. And tomorrow. I love you. And I want to do what’s right for you. So if you want to sit in your apartment and cry, do that. If you want me to come over and listen while you scream about how unfair this all is, I’ll do that, too. I love you. And you need to do this in your own time. So you send a smoke signal when you’re ready for us. Make sure you get some sleep, though. Because I’m your mother, and I’m allowed to do that. Nathan loved you, Maxie. And you don’t get over that in six weeks. I love you, baby.”

Maxie pressed her phone to her chest and tilted her head back, letting the tears fall. Oh, God. He was dead. Why did it always have to feel so goddamn fresh and new when she thought about it?

Would she ever get past it?

Any night or day

Elizabeth shoved her chair back, feeling irritated that she’d talked to Jason about any of this. “I’m sorry. You don’t—You didn’t come back from the dead to listen to me whine—”

Before she could get to her feet, he reached out to touch her elbow. “Hey. That’s not what you’re doing. I haven’t seen you in five years, Elizabeth. I mean to me, I guess it was more like six months and I guess sort of it was two years or something since he was here—”

“No, five years—” Elizabeth exhaled slowly. “No, I mean Drew was supposed to be you. But I think part of us all knew—he wasn’t. I kept telling myself he’d been through a lot. That I had put him through a lot, and you know, I always figured I’d finally do something to make you stop giving a damn—”

Well we’ll always be

“Hey—”

“I mean, God, Jason, how much did I hurt you, you know? All that crap with Lucky back when he came home. I accused you of attacking him—and then I—” She shook her head. “And we really don’t have to talk about what a disaster Ric was. I mean, I almost married him again four years ago, so what the hell do I know about learning my lesson, right? And then lying to you about Jake—”

“I don’t blame you for that.”

“Why not?” Elizabeth demanded. “Of course you do. And then when you wanted to Jake save Joss, I slapped you. Like you weren’t losing your son. And that’s just—Anyway. That’s all ancient history. I just wanted to say that I lied to you again that day in the jail. I knew you who you were. I just couldn’t admit that I had blown up my entire life for something that turned out not to be even real.”

“Okay.” Jason tilted his head. “I mean, I knew you were lying, Elizabeth. I can always tell. Except—” He exhaled slowly. “Except with Jake. I mean, I knew something was wrong. But I thought I was just—I was disappointed. I wanted him to be mine, so I guess I thought whatever I was getting from you—”

“We made a lot of mistakes, Jason.” Elizabeth played with the stem of her empty martini glass. “I just wish I knew how to stop making them. I keep trusting people to be honest with me, but I should know better. What right do I have to expect that? I’m a liar, too. Why am I always surprised when people lie to me?”

Where we should be

“Because you usually lie to protect other people,” Jason said gently. “Or to protect yourself from a worst truth.  You said he lied a thousand times. Why didn’t you go before?”

“Because—” Elizabeth closed her eyes. Felt a tear slide down her cheek.  “He stayed.”

Jason furrowed his brow. “Elizabeth—”

“People have a hard time staying,” she confessed in a voice so soft he had to lean forward to catch it. “There’s something wrong with me.  You know that. It’s hard to love me. I expect too much, maybe. And people leave. So…he stayed.”

“There’s nothing—” Jason shook his head, fiercely. “There’s nothing wrong with you. Why would you—”

“Don’t make me do this, Jason. Don’t ask questions you already know the answer to.”

I’m there for you

“What does that mean—”

“You didn’t stay.” Elizabeth took a deep breath. “You told me that being with me and the boys—that was all you wanted, but you couldn’t have it. And I believed you. I did. I thought it wasn’t me. It wasn’t Jake or Cam. It was how scary everything after Jake got kidnapped again. It hurt like hell, but I think part of me thought we’d get past it. I’d always found a way to convince you to give us a chance again. But you didn’t mean it.”

“I did—”

“Then why were Spinelli and Sam allowed to be in and out of your life? Kristina. Michael and Morgan. Carly. Brenda. You let all those people be part of your life, Jason. You went back to Sam. You married her. You made sure you and Sam could have children. But me? You left me. So don’t tell me there’s nothing wrong with me.”

She shoved herself to her feet and stalked away towards the terrace. After a beat, he followed.

And I know you’re there for me

Felicia jumped as she felt her cell phone vibrate, shaking her black clutch bag in her hand. With an apologetic smile to Mac, Bobbie, and Kevin, she pulled the phone out and gasped. “Maxie…she just—sent me a text.” Her eyes flooded with tears.

“She says that she loves us. That she knows we want to help. And that if it’s okay, maybe I could come over tomorrow and just watch television so she’s not alone.” She pressed the phone to her chest. “She’s reaching out. To me. Not to Nina. Or that idiot boss of hers. Me. Mac.”

Mac put his arm around her shoulders. Pressed his lips to his wife’s blonde hair. “She’ll be all right.”

“I want to find Elizabeth. To thank her for giving me that advice.” Felicia turned just in time to see Elizabeth rush out the terrace doors and Jason Morgan on her heels.

“This should be my cue to say something about how she could do better,” Mac said, “but considering her track record, he might be not be so bad.”

Bobbie snorted. “If only Robin were here for that. Did you get on tape, Kevin? I need witnesses.”

Oh how the years go by

“Thank you for coming tonight, Grandma,” Michael said he turned Monica around on the dance floor. “I know how hard this all is for you. With—”

“I do feel as though a part of me is betraying AJ by being here,” she murmured. “But he would want me to stand by you. And I want to be here for you. I know how hard it’s been for you these last few months. To bring a baby into the world with a woman you don’t trust. I can only hope good things for you.”

“My child will be loved from the moment it comes into this world,” Michael said. “Just like I was. I had a village to raise me. There are kids out there who don’t get one parent who gives a damn, I can’t get rid of the people who see me as theirs. That’s what I choose to think about. How lucky I was to have AJ. Jason. My mother. Sonny. And you and Grandfather. Aunt Tracy. Ned, even when he’s driving me insane. Dillon. Morgan. Dante. Kristina—I have an army behind me ready to love my child. We can make up for anything.”

“You will be the best of us all,” Monica said, hugging her grandson tightly. “I love you.”

Oh how the love brings tears to my eyes

“Thanks for this,” Mike told Sonny as his son sat at the bar. They watched as Ned broke down the stage, talking to his bandmates. “I don’t—I had some moments I think. I forgot—I forgot sometimes where I was.”

“It’s okay.”

Mike nodded. “Yeah. Yeah, I know you mean that.” He looked around the room. “It’s okay because I can’t control it. You’d think it’d be simple. I’d mess something up, someone would correct me, and I would know it. I would know the truth. But that’s—that’s the part that’s going away. I’m going to keep messing up, and I’ll stop believing the truth.”

“Mike—”

“And one day, I won’t even be messing up. I’ll just be gone.” Mike laid his hands out on the bar. “Part of me is already gone, you know. I don’t know what to do. How to stop it. I can’t stop it. You can’t stop it, either. And I know that’s driving you insane. You hate not being able to control things.”

“Yeah.” Sonny cleared his throat. “I can’t stop it, Mike. Neither can you. And neither of us can take back the years or time we missed. But we got now. And we got as many moments as this world will give us, so we have to hold on to them.”

“Yeah.” Mike’s voice was rough. “I want to create as many memories for my grandkids as I can. I won’t be able to remember them but they need them. They need to know me before I was gone. I don’t want them to look back and wish they’d done more. I don’t want them to have my regrets, Sonny.”

“They won’t.” Sonny leaned across the bar, clasped his father’s hand in his. “They won’t. They already know you, they already love you. And we’re going to have more nights like this. Maybe not many. But we got time.”

“Yeah.” Mike’s eyes slid away. “Yeah, we got time.”

And they both knew they were lying. Because, yeah, Mike had time. But maybe he didn’t. Maybe he’d wake up tomorrow and be gone.

How the hell was Sonny supposed to do this?

All through the changes the soul never dies

Jason was already dragging off his suit jacket when he approached her standing on the terrace. She didn’t even flinch as he dropped the fabric over her shoulders.

“I’m sorry. I always make it about me. You’ve been through hell, Jason. And I’ve been the worst kind of friend.”

“Elizabeth—”

“I’m so happy you’re you. That you’re alive. It scares me how happy I am,” she admitted. “And I hate myself for not saying it sooner. For making every conversation about him. I always do that to you. I make it about what Lucky needs. What Ric needs. What Ewan needs. And now—of all people for me to throw in your face—you didn’t sign on to support me through my choices, Jason.” She sighed. “I guess—it’s mostly because I know why you walked away. I never put you first, either. I never made it about you. So what happened—that’s not just on you. That’s on me. We were never going to work. You just saw it first.”

He exhaled slowly, looked out over the skyline of Port Charles. “It was months before I knew how much time had passed. I woke up in the clinic, and I knew it was a while before I could fight off the drugs. I hate pain medication. I always have.”

“I remember. You used to refuse it after you were shot. I had to beg you that winter.”

“I hate losing time,” Jason continued. “After my accident, I had lost the first twenty-two years of my life. I didn’t want to lose any more. So I when I saw that newspaper on the ship back—when I realized it had been five years—” He dipped his head.

“So much of your life has been stolen from you, Jason,” Elizabeth murmured. “Unfair doesn’t seem strong enough.”

“I thought about everyone at home. What it would mean for it be five years. What had happened to Michael? To you? To Sam? Were you happy? Were you okay? And then I saw…I saw Sam with him. She was happy. And you had Jake. You were happy. I didn’t know he was—” Jason shook his head. “Maybe it was better before I came back.”

“No.” Elizabeth shook her head fiercely. “No. Don’t you dare ever say that. No one’s life was better because you were gone. These last five years, Jason? My God. Carly and I almost married Franco. Sam—she almost lost Danny to cancer. Michael has been through hell. I’ve been through hell. When Jake came home, he struggled with what happened. He’s still struggling, and I just—you would have had the words. I kept wishing for you. The old you. Because Drew wasn’t—he isn’t you.”

“Elizabeth—”

“You’ve been home for five minutes, and it’s like a fog has cleared. If you were still gone, I’d probably still be accepting and swallowing every lie—” She pressed her lips together. “You’re the only one who makes me think I do deserve something better. Because you’re the only one who gets so angry at me for destroying my own life.”

“Elizabeth—”

“You don’t even know half of the crap that Sonny and Carly went through. With AJ and Ava—God, if you’d been here for Morgan—” Tears spilled over her lashes. “We hurt without you, Jason. Not with you. I don’t care if you’re complicating Sam’s perfect life. Who the hell cares about her anyway? You matter to me. I want you to matter to Jake. And there’s Michael and Spinelli—”

“Okay.” He held up his hands, chagrined. “I’m sorry.” Jason managed a smile. “I forgot how you get when you’re mad.”

“Well, don’t mess with me then.” She jabbed a finger in his chest. “We’re going to find out who stole you from us, Jason. I have an opening in my schedule, and I’m not going to rest until I help you get to the truth.”

We fight, we laugh, we cry

She looked up at him for a long moment and then moved into to hug him tightly. “I’m so glad you’re you, and that you’re home. Don’t you ever forget how much we all love you.”

“I won’t.” He pressed his lips to the top of her head. “You deserve more than better, Elizabeth. Stop settling for anything else.”

“I’ll just have to start listening to you more.” She pulled away with a watery smile. “You’re always right, anyway.”

As the years go by

January 6, 2015


Inspiration

Once a upon a time, in August 2002, I wrote my first Jason and Elizabeth story called Deserving. And then I decided to rewrite in the most asinine fashion–it became The Sisters and has sat on this site for many many years gathering dust while I stared at it, wishing it were a person I could punch. I know I’m usually pretty hard on my older stuff, but this particular piece is particularly putrid and I’ve known it since the beginning.

I’ve always had a yen to go back to the summer of 2002 before the Jason and Elizabeth storyline went off the rails, before Brenda’s return decimated all the other storylines, before Courtney turned into whatever the hell they decided she was going to be. So really, my inspiration comes from just wanting to fix the worst rewrite I ever did. I actually don’t even have the original version of Deserving, which makes me sad. Pieces of it survived into The Sisters: Sweet Revenge, but not the good pieces–if those ever existed. I just lifted scenes rather than attempting to actually rewrite it. I can’t…understand what I did back then.

Timeline

So in this rewrite, rather than simply returning to Summer 2002, I’m actually going back much further. After roughly about December 2001 and the Liz and Lucky wedding that never was, I’m rewriting the first half of 2002. Here are the major changes and the basic story set up for the opening.

For the most part, the months between December 2001-April 2002 will be filled in during the first few chapters as backstory so I won’t harp too much on those changes.  I did tweak the way Sonny and Carly’s divorce happened. Carly did her betrayal stuff in April 2001, and she and Sonny separated that summer. Their divorce was final in the fall of 2001, the two of them have mostly gone their separate ways.

We start in April 2002. Christ, I was still in high school then. Wow.  Let’s not even discuss that. As I mentioned, I’ve moved the timeline back to late 2001 — Lucky and Elizabeth didn’t get married, but Gia also broke up with Nikolas, annoyed with it all. Sonny didn’t adopt Michael, but still put AJ on a meat hook. Courtney showed up, married AJ who was disowned by the Quartermaines, etc. Other than that, I think most of it speaks for itself.

A note on characterization:  I’ve chosen to portray Sean Kanan as AJ, Lucky as Jacob Young, Nikolas as Stephen Martines (or Coltin Scott, which I think he was using as his professional name back then), and whenever you hear about Carly, it’s Sarah Brown.

A note on Courtney: She is going to be a major character in this story. I’ve taken her back to the very beginning — the girl I used to like quite a lot in the beginning. A bit naive, sweet, and believes the best in AJ. I hope you guys will give her a chance.


Media


Characters

elizabeth2002 jason2002 sonny2002 gia
bobbie2002 courtney michael_child
zander edward lucky_jy emily_amber
luis lucas_cj alan  sarah
nikolas_coltin

Chapters

November 29, 2014

alleweare

We won’t say our goodbyes
You know it’s better that way
We won’t break, we won’t die
It’s just a moment of change


Inspiration

After I rewrote Poisonous Dreams as A Few Words Too Many, I eliminated the marriage of convenience angle. It’s a concept I like reading in general because there’s a vast difference between developing a relationship outside of marriage and then making it work once you’re in one. So I started to think how I could do that concept again. What would make Jason and Elizabeth take that step? Spousal privilege, of course.

And from there, I looked at different time periods until I found my favorite one: Summer 2006. My God, the amount of story I’ve planned that uses this as a jumping off point is legion. I loved 2006 so much.

Timeline

So, this begins in October 2006. All of the events of the summer have happened through the point Lucky leaves for rehab in mid-September after throwing Elizabeth to the floor. Ric has taken over as DA for Alexis due to her cancer. Elizabeth has told Jason about the paternity issue, but rather than running the test at GH, she had it done at Mercy for more secrecy. I haven’t changed much except for the Jason and Sam relationship. There’s been no real movement to getting back together. Also, while Sam and Carly are aware of the NOP, only Sonny knows about the paternity test.

2017 Update: I hadn’t really watched the 2006 scenes as closely as I should have before writing this and I completely forgot that Emily did know about the paternity and blackout night. I also forgot just how supportive of Elizabeth she ended up being. I also kind of flubbed the Sam stuff in this story. I didn’t want to deal with her, so I really didn’t. And I feel bad about it. Not bad enough to rewrite, but just note that I didn’t really stick as close to GH canon as I thought I had.


Media

+ Soundtrack, Volume 1: Mood Music
+ Soundtrack, Volume 2: Songs From the Story


Characters

elizabeth Jason Morgan sonny ric
robin patrick scott diane
emily lucky nikolas carly
sam jax epiphany

Chapters

November 22, 2014

christmas
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you
 


Inspiration

So as a rule, I don’t tend to do a ton of holiday stories. There are a few reasons, but usually it’s because I’m so bogged down with writing projects that the thought of doing one more is insane, so the few Christmas projects that are on ths site are short stories or longer stories with Christmas celebrations.

However, this year I wanted to do something fun and light-hearted (for the most part) because so much of what I’m working on at the moment is either really complex or just angsty and dark with mental illness, domestic abuse, and whatnot. Plus I almost never write alternate universe — General Hospital canon is just so complex and filled with incredible characters and history that I get distracted for that. So AU is another challenge for me.

Timeline

All I Want is an alternate universe, so here’s my disclaimer. The Jason Morgan in this story has a characterization that’s closer to a blend of Jason Morgan and Jason Quartermaine, raised within the Quartermaine family but rejected by his stepmother, Monica, for the most part. Because there’s no accident and no mob, it makes sense that his character would not be as stoic or constrained as JM on screen.

Really, all you need to know is the short-hand abbrievations I use for the ELQ corporate structure, since ELQ is pretty important. Jason is the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) and AJ is the COO (Chief Operations Officer). They both report to Ned as the CEO (Chief Executive Officer). Emily is the corporate events planner, and Elizabeth is her admistrative assistant. All other things will be set up in the story. So to speak.

Trivia: Creating this story page led me to realize that there were no character images for Ned and Alan yet, which means I don’t write about them often enough. Challenge to myself in 2015: Write more for the characters I don’t use often enough. I…have rambled enough.


Media


Characters

elizabeth Jason Morgan aj ned
robin nadine monica alan
tracy sam emily edward
courtney kiki maxie olivia
georgie  michael

Chapters

May 1, 2014

I can’t remember why I wrote this. It’s labeled as a response to a challenge in my writing folder, so I’m assuming I was supposed to write about a traditional PC event. Anyway. This is kind of set in my Hand Me Down universe, in which Michael and Sonny were killed (see If I Don’t Try With You) and Elizabeth and Jason are married with the boys, and a daughter, and Carly has Cece.  Other than that, not much else is needed.


July 4, 2010

The annual Fourth of July picnic was one of the few days of the year when the citizens of Port Charles gathered and managed to remain civil to one another for at least three hours. That particular record had been set by the Quartermaines themselves in the early nineties. They had been within fifteen minutes of three and a half hours, but Edward had blustered about something that Alan had taken offense to and somehow, the mayor had ended up with mashed potatoes in his hair.

Each year, the celebration had grown in attendance until one couldn’t go to the park on that day and not tread over a picnic blanket, a table or in the case of more well-to-do residents – an entire tent.

On this particular day, the tent in question belonged to Jason Morgan. He was there with his wife, their two boys and their newborn daughter, Juliet. He had invited his best friend Carly, her husband Jax and their two children. It was a bittersweet celebration as neither Jason nor Carly were completely adjusted to spending this holiday without Carly’s ex-husband Sonny Corinthos and son Michael. Both had died just two years earlier.

They had endeavored to move on with their lives and both had done so with the birth of subsequent children. Each had solid marriages to their spouses and if life wasn’t exactly perfect, it was as close as either of them had ever been.

Despite the shade the tent offered, the day was steaming hot and sweat dripped from Jason’s adopted six-year-old son Cameron’s face. Cam had been chasing Carly’s son Morgan in a circle and both were red-faced and panting from the heat.

His wife, Elizabeth, bit down on her lower lip. “Maybe I should take them back to the car. Sit in the air conditioning for a while.” She adjusted her two month old daughter in the portable crib that had been set up and studied Cameron and their three-year-old Jake, who didn’t look much cooler. “It’s hotter than it was supposed to be.”

Carly gripped the front of her sweat-soaked cherry red tank top and pulled it away from her chest. “Well, it is summer,” she said with a smirk. “I’d be surprised if it was chilly.”

Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “Anyway,” she said, directing her remarks to Jason. “Maybe we should feed the kids and take them home. We can bring them back for the fireworks.”

“No!” Cameron argued. He shook his head. “I want to stay!”

“It’s too hot out here.” Elizabeth reached for a napkin, dipped it into a glass of iced water and started to wipe down her son’s face. Cameron squirmed.

“Come on, Mom!” he complained, twisting away. “I’m not a baby!”

“Which is why I didn’t spit on it first.” She sighed and released him. “Fine. Go. Run. Get heatstroke.”

“Thanks, Mom!” Cameron immediately tagged Morgan. “You’re it!” he crowed and took off.

“I’m taking Jules back to the car,” Elizabeth told Jason. She reached down and picked up the infant. “I can take Cece if you want.”

Carly glanced over to her fourteen month old daughter who was chattering away to her daddy about a ladybug she’d seen crawling on her arm. “I think she’s okay for now. I’ll make sure the boys don’t keel over from too much sun.” She glanced over at them and narrowed her eyes. “Excuse me. My kid is wandering too close to the Quartermaine tent. Nothing good comes from that.” She made a quick exit to grab head off Cameron and Morgan.

“We can all go back to the house,” Jason offered. He rubbed the back of his neck. “I mean, I’m okay, but if you think the kids are going to get too sick—”

“No, no,” Elizabeth shook her head. She smiled. “It’s the first year we’ve all been together as a family. Last year Carly and Jax were visiting Lady Jane,     and I know Cam’s having a good time with Morgan.” She brushed her hand over Juliet’s almost existent fluff of blonde hair. “I just don’t think it’s good for Jules.”

“I wasn’t able to stop Edward from coming over to see his great-grandchildren,” Carly huffed, hauling both boys back, a hand wrapped around each one of their arms. “What did we say about wandering away from the tent?” she demanded.

“To stay away from Robin Drake,” Morgan said with an impish smile.

“And the Zacchara tent,” Cameron added dutifully. He grinned, revealing his dimples.

“I’m pretty sure that’s not what I said,” Carly muttered.

“And I’m almost positive that I said not to leave the immediate area,” Elizabeth said, arching an eyebrow. “Isn’t that right?”

“Possibly,” Morgan nodded. “But Cam was gonna tackle me and the last time he did that, I ate dirt.” He shook his head. “So not interested in repeating that experience, Aunt Liz. I think you can get what I’m saying.”

“I can get that you didn’t follow my instructions or your mother’s,” Elizabeth remarked. She grinned. “Because I’m pretty sure we both said to stay away from the Quartermaine tent.”

“That is…” Cameron paused. “Entirely possible.”

“Mayday,” Carly hissed to Elizabeth. “Incoming. Quartermaine at ten o’clock.”

“You think if I hide Jake under the table, he won’t notice him?” Elizabeth asked. “The last time we took the kids over, Edward was trying to convince us it was time for Cam to go away to boarding school.”

“I told you visiting Edward was a mistake,” Jason shook his head. “But you insisted.”

“To be fair, I took them to see Monica,” Elizabeth reminded him. She pasted a smile on her face as Jason’s grandfather joined them. “Mr. Quartermaine,” she greed politely.

Edward rubbed his hands together, looking uncharacteristically harmless in a pair of khakis and a polo shirt. Elizabeth wasn’t sure if she’d ever seen him out of a suit. “Now, now, my dear, I’ve told you to call me Edward.” He smiled charmingly. “Or Grandfather.”

“Right, Mr. Quartermaine,” Elizabeth nodded. She turned to Jason. “I think I should take the kids to the car for the air conditioning. They need a break from the heat.”

“Oh, but I’ve just arrived.” Edward leaned closer trying to get a closer look at Juliet. “And I’ve hardly had time to meet my great-granddaughter.”

“Will you try to enroll her in college before she can walk?” Jason asked, a little resigned.

“It’s never too early to plan for the future,” Edward advised firmly. “If you have a firm idea now, you will be able to execute it without a flaw later. It’s solid parenting advice that Lila and I followed for our children and it worked. Alan was a splendid doctor and Tracy is well…” he paused. “She had great potential at one time. I can’t quite fathom her marital choices, but she’s not bad at business.”

Elizabeth glanced at her husband, looking for some direction. Jason just shrugged. When it came to Edward, it was best to let him have his say and avoid conflict. “That’s very nice advice, Mr. Quartermaine,” she said. “Jason and I appreciate it.”

“Don’t patronize me, young lady,” Edward said sternly. “It’s not my fault that they were both incapable of raising their own children. Lila and I did a fine job but our entire crop of grandchildren was worthless. Except for Emily, of course. She was a fine girl who is still missed greatly.”

“Of course,” Elizabeth replied, softening. She held out her daughter. “Would you like to hold Juliet for a moment? It’s a bit warm out here for her so I’m going to take her into some air for a while, but I’m sure she’d like to meet her great-grandfather first.”

Edward’s eyes lit up as she placed the infant in his arms. “That’s very kind of you, my dear.” He cradled Juliet in his embrace and smiled down at her. “I was very pleased when Monica told me Jason was marrying you, you know.”

Jason shook his head, knowing that Elizabeth was a lost cause now. She’d insist Edward have regular visits from now on, she’d feel obligated to both the old man and his sister. His wife had always been a soft touch.

“You were always so good to Emily,” Edward continued, “and you had such a good work ethic and a strong moral compass. You are the exactly the right woman for my grandson and for the mother of his children. He is very lucky you chose him.”

He handed the baby back to her. “You get that child out of the sun,” he cautioned. He looked to Jason. “You have a very nice family. Don’t screw it up.”

Edward ambled back over to his tent where Monica and Tracy were arguing, Dillon was attempting to hide behind Alice and Ned was ignoring everyone and speaking to his daughter, Brook Lynn. Another day at the Quartermaines.

“I give them five minutes before Tracy throws water in her face,” Carly nodded.

“Ten before the ribs goes flying,” Elizabeth replied.

“I doubt they’ll hold out that long,” Jax joined them. “I can see Monica eyeing up the hot dogs.”

“You’re all wrong,” Jason surprised them by speaking up. “Tracy’s hand is inching towards the chicken wings.”

Sure enough, a moment later, Tracy flung the first chicken wing at her sister-in-law. Monica retaliated with a hot dog and Dillon ducked in the picnic table entirely to avoid the ribs that flew a moment later.

“They’re going to need that water,” Carly remarked. “To cool down and to clean up.”

Elizabeth laughed and reached up to kiss Jason’s cheek. “I think I can take Jules back to the car now. I’m glad I didn’t miss the annual food fight. It’s just not the Fourth of July without it.”

April 29, 2014

bestthing3
But remember the time I told you the way that I felt
That I’d be lost without you and never find myself
Let’s hold onto each other above everything else


Inspiration

This story has changed so much since I originally envisioned it in 2004. Lila Quartermaine had just died, and I found myself wondering how Port Charles would handle Audrey’s death. So I began writing based on that idea, and had six or seven chapters written before a computer crash killed them all. Almost ten years later, I returned to it, and changed it around so that there are very few aspects of that old story that remained: really just the title and the way I deal with Jason changing Sam’s paternity results.

Timeline

For the most part, the major backstory will be explained in the first few chapters. I’ve changed only a few things. I pick up the show about May 2004 (or whenever Jason changed the paternity results), and go from there. So from that period on, only what’s in my story is what happened. Basically — just how Sonny and Jason deal with his changing the results. Elizabeth does not come home in June 2004 and enroll the nursing program. Emily and Nikolas are together, after he comes back from the dead. None of the Mary Bishop going insane stuff happens. Not that it’s important, but I liked Mary so…pfft.

Steven Webber is played by Shaun Benson, rather than Scott Reeves, simply because I never really watched Scott as Steven, but I really liked Shaun’s portrayal back then. A note about Steven as a character: John Durant is not a factor in this story, so he’s just a normal doctor at General Hospital, having moved to Port Charles over the summer.

Carly is played by Tamara Braun because she was playing her in 2004 and her characterization drives Carly’s motives, rather than LW or SBr.

Thanks to Cora for her incredible help during the outlining stage, and then for her skills as a beta 🙂

Author’s Note

Sonny is going to struggle with mental illness in this story, particularly a type of bipolar disorder with mixed episodes. This basically means his mood swings occur much more rapidly, and even occasionally simultaneously. I don’t know anyone personally with this disorder–everything I know comes from hours of research.  People who have this disorder are not innately violent, so I want to make that disclaimer. I just tried to adapt the disorder to someone with Sonny’s specific characteristics. I hope I do this illness justice and make Sonny less of a caricature and feel more like a living, breathing man struggling with a difficult illness.

If you have any experience with this, please contact me to let me know if I’m making this work or if I’m messing it up. I don’t want this to be a soap opera disease where I make it up as I go along.


Extras

Volume 1, Mood Music
Volume 2, Songs from the Story


Promotional Video

Both soundtracks may shift and change as the story continues.

As part of my Fanfiction 101 series, I discussed the development and concept of this story in much more detail: Inspiration, Characterization, and Development: The Best Thing

Feeling daunted by the amount of chapters already posted and the thought of sitting at your computer to catch up? Consider the ebook, which now has all the chapters.

The Best Thing .epub | .mobi | .pdf 


Characters

Jason Morgan
monica

Chapters

Part One: Sanctuary
Part Two: Redemption
Part Three: Mercy
Part Four: Salvation

April 12, 2014

In 2003, the ABC writers decided to let fans play with the storylines. That’s all I remember about the idea for this story. I think I decided to switch roles or just…I don’t know…go insane, because there’s a Sonny/Skye pairing in here that makes no damn sense to me, but eh, such is life. I can’t really explain what this is about.


Segment OneScene One

Jason Morgan stands at the window and looks out over the harbor. His hands are in the pockets of his black dress pants and his expression is thoughtful, bordering on the distracted.

He hears a sound behind him and glances towards it. He allows a small smile to cross his face as his wife slides an arm around his waist and leans into his side. “You know you’re overreacting,” she murmurs. Her other hand traces the lines of his abdomen through his black button down shirt.

He wraps an arm around her shoulders and shakes his head. “Maybe,” he allows. “But it doesn’t change anything.”

She sighs and tilts her head up to look at him. “He’s your best friend, Jason. And she’s your sister. You don’t want them happy?”

“It’s not that,” Jason denies. “It’s–” he stops and shakes his head. “I can’t explain it. You’ll just have to trust me.”

She shakes her head and pulls away from him, wrapping her arms around her upper body. “How would you like it if my brother had said it to you?” she asks softly. She stares out the window. “Would you have listened?”

“You don’t have a brother,” Jason reminds her. She rolls her eyes.

“Don’t be so literal,” she snaps. Her blue eyes meet his. “Do you know how many people told me that you were too dangerous, that you would only hurt me?”

Jason closes his eyes and shakes his head. “Elizabeth, please don’t.”

“I lost count of people warning me about you,” Elizabeth continues. “And I didn’t list to one of them. Because nobody tells me how to live and who to love.”

“You don’t get it–”

“No. You’re right. I don’t,” Elizabeth replies. She shakes her head again and heads for the doorway. “I’m going out.”

“Wait.” Jason turns and watches her pull her coat and flip her hair over the black collar. “Elizabeth”

Elizabeth bites her lip and looks away, pulling the lapels of her jacket tight around her. “I love you, Jason. I am always going to love you. But right now–I don’t like you very much.”

She pulls the door open and it clicks softly shut behind her, but the sound is like a gunshot in the suddenly empty and cold penthouse.

Segment OneScene Two

Skye Chandler paces the docks nervously, her eyes darting to the left set of the stairs and when finding them empty, she turned her attention to the right set. Where was he?

It’d been a hellish few days. Since her brother had found out about her relationship with his enforcer, he’d been giving her the silent treatment. Elizabeth had been sympathetic and promised to talk to Jason, but their marriage was troubled enough these days, Skye knew that. She didn’t want to add to the trouble.

Not to mention that she was almost positive she was about to get her heart broken. She knew her brotherknew him almost better than he knew himself. And Jason had double standards. It was fine and dandy for him to have Elizabeth in his life, but the second Sonny wanted someone for himself, problems came up.

Okay, that wasn’t being fair to Jason. After all, Sonny wasn’t involved with just anyone. He was involved with the boss’s sister. A major no-no. She knew in other organizations, men could be shot for less. If anything, Sonny was extremely lucky to still be breathing, but it didn’t make it any easier to accept.

She hears footsteps behind her and turns to face Sonny Corinthos as he comes down the stairs.

He stops a few feet from her. “Hey.”

“Hey.” She hates the way her voice sounds. Low and breathy with just a hint of tears. “Did-did you talk to Jason?”

Sonny exhales slowly and looks away. “Yeah. I did.”

“Oh.” Skye looks away. “It didn’t go well, I guess.”

“No.” Sonny chuckles a little, bitterly. “No, it didn’t at all.”

She blinks away the sudden tears. “What happened?” she asks softly. She knows how difficult it was for Sonny to even go against Jason in the slightest.

“He’s right,” Sonny says suddenly. “You don’t belong with me. You’d be better off with someone else.”

“No,” Skye says firmly. She shakes her head. “No,” she repeats. “That’s not true and even if it were, it is not your decision to make. It is not my brother’s either. It ismy decision.” She takes a deep breath and meets Sonny’s eyes. “Now, if you want to end this because your feelings have changed, if you don’t love me anymore, that’s fine. But do not hide behind your job or my brother.”

“Skye,” Sonny begins. “You know how much I love you.” He steps towards her and touches her face. She closes her eyes and leans into his touch. She jerks her eyes open when he pulls away abruptly. “But it’s over.”

Skye glared at him. She took a step back. “Fine,” she said in a short, clipped tone. “If that’s what you want.” She stares at him for a beat before turning on her heel and stalking away.

Sonny stares after her as she walks up the stairs and turns a corner, walking out of his life.

Segment OneScene Three

Emily Quartermaine-Smith sips her hot chocolate and eyes her sister-in-law across the table at Kelly’s.

Elizabeth keeps her eyes trained on the wooden grain of the table, but she can feel her friend’s eyes on her.

“You need to talk to him,” Emily says finally.

Elizabeth shrugs and looks away. “I try,” she replies. “But he doesn’t listen to me anymore.”

“He loves you.”

“And I love him,” Elizabeth says. She twists her small gold wedding band around her finger. “But it doesn’t seem to be enough anymore.” She takes a deep breath, squares her shoulders and looks up. “How are you feeling?”

Emily smiles, absently rubbing her growing tummy. “I’m feeling great right now,” she replies. “Zander is being over protective as always. I was lucky he even let me come here alone.”

“I can’t believe you’ll be a mother in three months,” Elizabeth mused. “I’m so excited for you.”

“You’ll do a mural for the nursery, right?” Emily asked.

“Sure,” Elizabeth agreed, her eyes sparkling at the opportunity to do some painting. “I’ll start some sketches and–”

“When was the last time you painted?” Emily cut in. Elizabeth sighed and looked away.

“Em–can we just not talk about this anymore?” she asks. “Let’s just accept that I’m miserable, okay?”

“Why?” Emily presses. “You have exactly what you always wanted. You’re married to Jason, the person you told me you couldn’t live without. You told me that you loved him more than anyone else in your life and that as long as you were with him, you would be happy.”

“I was young and I was nave,” Elizabeth replies bitterly. Her eyes are distant and cold. “He’s shut me out. He doesn’t talk to me anymore. He tells me to trust him–that as long as I trust him, he doesn’t need to explain the things he does.”

“Is this about his job?” Emily asks hesitantly.

“No. This has nothing to do with the way he’s chosen to live his life. It has to do with the way Jason treats me. Like I’m a fragile doll that needs to be set on a shelf. Never played with, never touched. Just there for show.”

Segment OneScene Four

Carly Quartermaine enters the kitchen of their cottage and stops just inside the room as she observes her husband and their six-year-old son eating breakfast. AJ is reading the newspaper and is in the process of explaining the finer points of the Dilbert comic strip to Michael.

Michael is giggling, his round face messy from eating scrambled eggs dipped in ketchup. She smiles softly and wonders how they managed to get to this place in their lives.

AJ glances up and catches her eye. “Hey.”

Michael looks up and grins. “Mommy!”

“Hey,” Carly greets them. She crosses the room and leans over to kiss Michael on the forehead. She wipes his face with a napkin and tousles his red hair. She moves to kiss her husband good morning but AJ surprises her by wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her into his lap.

“Morning,” he says quietly, smiling at her.

His smile is infectious and she can her own spreading across her face. “Morning,” she repeats softly. She leans forward and brushes her lips across his.

“Ewww…Mommy and Daddy are kissing!” Michael squeals. Carly breaks away and laughs.

“That’s because I love Mommy,” AJ explained to Michael. “You’ll find out what that means when you meet a girl as great as her.”

“Ick, girls suck,” Michael said grimacing. He pushes his chair away from the table and starts to run towards the living room. “I’m watchin’ Scooby Doo!” he calls back to them.

Carly wraps her arms around AJ’s neck. “So what are your plans for today?”

“Other than watching a large cartoon dog?” AJ asks, grinning. “I’ve got to go into work for a few hours. After that?” he shrugs.

“I’ve got something to tell you,” Carly says hesitantly. She searches his eyes for a second.

“What is it?” AJ asks, curiously. He tightens his hands at her waist.

Carly bites her lip, trying to contain her smile. “It’s good news,” she tells him. “Really good news.”

“Well, tell me,” AJ urges.

“I’m pregnant!” she announces gleefully.

Segment TwoScene One

Skye stalks into the penthouse to find her brother standing at the window. “Are you happy?” she demands harshly.

Jason sighs and shakes his head without turning in her direction. “I don’t want you to be unhappy.”

She laughs bitterly. “You could have fooled me. You’ve got a great lapdog in Sonny, I hope you know that.”

His shoulders slump and he sighs. Against her better judgment, Skye comes closer to him. Her voice is a little softer when she speaks. “Where’s Elizabeth?”

“She went out,” Jason replies. He turns then and meets his sister’s eyes. “She’s not happy about this.”

“Please. She hasn’t been happy in a long time,” Skye replies stiffly.

“Yeah. I know that.” Jason shakes his head again. “Do you love him, Skye?”

“More than anything in this world,” Skye replies quietly. “Make me understand, Jason. Why is it not okay for me and Sonny?”

He pulls out a chair and motions for her to sit. Skye does so and he takes a seat across from her.

“We’ve been taking care of each other for a long time,” Jason begins, clasping his hands and keeping his eyes trained on them. “You’ve seen me through a lot of bad times and I like to think I’ve been good to you.”

“You have,” Skye assures him. She reaches across the table and covers his hands with one of her own. “You’ve done everything in the world possible to make sure I have everything I want. That’s why I don’t understand.”

“You helped me to see that I loved Elizabeth and that I needed her. She’s in my life because you wouldn’t let me kick her out. I don’t know if I ever told you, but–”

“Jason, I know of all of this,” Skye cuts in.

“These last few months…things have changed around here,” Jason continues. “Ever since Alcazar–”

“You’ve been shut inside yourself, I know,” Skye replies. “Elizabeth knows it, too.”

“And I haven’t been treating Sonny like the brother he’s always been,” Jason tells her. “Skye, the reason I am opposed to the two of you together…it’s a selfish one. It’s irrational and it’s not fair to you. Either of you.”

“Then tell me,” Skye pleaded. “Tell me and we’ll fix it.”

Segment TwoScene Two

Sonny sits in Jake’s, sipping a beer and staring into space. He hears footsteps behind him and turns.

Elizabeth Morgan is standing there, her hands deep in her pockets. “Hey,” she greets him.

“Liz,” Sonny states. She slides onto the stool next to him and orders a beer. “Are you here to give me the lecture?”

“No,” Elizabeth replies. She sips her beer and sighs. “I’m here to commiserate. I think Skye’s at the penthouse pleading your case again.”

Sonny shakes his head. “I don’t think it’s going to work.”

“Don’t be so sure,” Elizabeth says. “If anyone can change his mind, it’s Skye. He loves her.”

“After everything I’ve done–” Sonny sighs.

“This has been hard on Jason,” Elizabeth says, trying to defend her husband. “He–”

“Save it, Liz,” Sonny cut in. “He got what he wanted. I broke up with Skye and now she hates me. So why don’t you go home to your happy life and leave me the hell alone?”

Stung, Elizabeth pulls out a few bills and lays them on the counter. She stands, and hesitates for a moment before turning around and walking away.

Segment TwoScene Three

Emily enters her apartment and smiles when she sees the door to the guest room. She can see Zander making a vain attempt to put the crib together.

“Hey you,” she says, grinning. “How goes it?”

“Damn thing sucks,” Zander grumbles, consulting the instructions again. “They say Leg B goes into Slot C and I’ll be damned if I can get it anywhere near Slot C.”

She giggles. “I could always call AJ,” she offers.

Zander snorts. “AJ wouldn’t know a crib from a table. He wasn’t around when Michael was born.”

“AJ’s always been good at putting things together,” Emily replies. She sighs. “I could call Jason.”

“No, no. I’ll get this figured out if it kills me,” he replies. He stands and crosses to her, kissing her cheek. “How was breakfast with Liz?”

“It was fine. She’s going to do the mural for the nursery.” Emily hesitates, her hand making slow circles around her abdomen.

“That’s great. You know, the last few times I’ve stopped by the gallery, her wall is kind of bare.”

“Yeah, she hasn’t been painting a lot lately,” Emily tells him. “It’s too bad. Pretty much everything else is going well. She’s got this great art gallery, she’s going to be an aunt–” Emily stops. “Okay, so those are really the only things going well.”

“What’s wrong with her?” Zander asks.

“Nothing substantial, I don’t think. I think it’s just this whole Skye and Sonny thing,” Emily replies. “I think it’s wearing on Jason and in turn, not helping Elizabeth. I’m going to try and keep her mind off it.”

Zander leans forward and brushes a kiss on her nose. “You’re such good friend. That’s why I love you.”

Emily raises her eyebrows. “That’s the only reason?” she asks.

He grins. “Okay. So it’s not the only reason.”

Segment TwoScene Four

AJ grins. “You’re pregnant?” he repeats. “Seriously?”

Carly nods, excitedly. “Completely and totally serious.” She laughs as AJ pulls them both to their feet and spins her in a circle

Michael, hearing the commotion, runs into the kitchen and starts jumping up and down, excited. “What’s going on?” he asks, happily.

“You’re going to have a little brother or sister!” AJ announces swooping Michael up into his arms and hugging him.

Michael’s face creases. “This is good news?” he asks.

Carly tousles Michael’s hair. “This is extremely good news,” she tells her son.

Michael shakes his head. “Uh uh. I’m the baby,” he states clearly.

“No, you’re a big boy,” AJ corrects.

“No, I’m the baby.”

“Big boy.”

“Baby.”

“Big boy.”

Michael squirms out of his father’s hold and takes off down the hall towards the stairs, screaming. “I don’t want another baby!”

Carly looks at AJ, stricken. “What are we going to do?” she asks.

AJ sighs and presses a kiss to Carly’s forehead before heading towards the stairs. “I’ll talk to him,” he promises.

Segment ThreeScene One

Jason sighs and looks away. “I’ve seen what living this life has done to Elizabeth,” he tells his sister. “I know that you’ve grown up with it and that you can handle it,” he assures Skye before she can rip into him. “But it’s one thing to be my sister and another to be with Sonny.”

“I don’t understand,” Skye replies. “Jason–”

“In the past three years that we’ve been married, Elizabeth has become withdrawn and quiet. I know you see it.”

“Yeah,” Skye admits. “But I’m not Elizabeth and Sonny isn’t you. We’re not like you. We don’t hide from our problems. We scream and yell at each other until we’re done. We don’t pretend everything’s great.”

“Is that what you think Elizabeth and I do?” Jason asks, stung.

“Jase, you and Elizabeth are the masters of hiding behind walls and that’s what you’ve been doing since the day you got married.” Skye sighs and pushes her hair behind her shoulders. “She’s terrified of losing you and you’re terrified she’ll leave you. So you both have erected these high walls to keep the other out and neither of you can see it’s killing the other person.”

Jason sits back and stares ahead. “Maybe you’re right.”

“I know I’m right.” She shifts in her seat. “Is that why you don’t want me with Sonny? Because you think what’s happened to Elizabeth will happen to me?”

“I just don’t want to see someone else I love destroyed by this life.”

“You haven’t destroyed Elizabeth,” Skye says firmly. “She loves you. She wants nothing more than to be with you. You just have to let her, Jason.”

“I want you to be happy,” Jason tells his sister. “And I know you’re going to do what you want anyway.”

“So, me and Sonny?” Skye asks, hopefully.

“If that’s what you want,” Jason replies. “I can talk to Sonny about it.”

Skye throws her arms around her brother and hugs him fiercely. “It means so much to me that you approve,” she says softly.

Jason hugs her back. “And I’m glad you found someone who can make you happy.”

Skye pulls away and studies him. “Are you going to talk to Elizabeth about this?”

Segment ThreeScene Two

Elizabeth sits on the bench at Vista Point and pulls her knees into her chest. When did her life get soout of control? It seemed like just yesterday she’d been happy. She closes her eyes and sighs.

When winter comes in summer
When there’s no more forever
That’s when I’ll stop loving you

“I love you,” Elizabeth whispers, touching Jason’s face. He stares at her for a moment, swallows hard and gives her tremulous smile.

“I love you, too,” he replies.

That’s when I’ll stop loving you
I’m sure you’ve heard these words before
And I know it’s hard for you to trust them once more
You’re afraid it all might end

“Oh, you two are ridiculous,” Skye says, rolling her eyes. She puts her hands on her hips and glares at the two of them who’d just come in from a ride. “It’s so obvious!”

Elizabeth frowns. “I’m sorry–you’ve lost me.”

“You’re in love with each other. Now stop making the rest of us sick and get it over with,” Skye replies, waving her hands. She pushes past them and walks out of the penthouse.

In a broken heart it’s scared of breaking again
Cause you gotta believe me
I’ll never leave you
You’ll never cry as long as I’m am there
And I will always be there
You will never be without, no

Elizabeth folds her arms across her chest and takes a deep breath. “Okay.”

“Okay, what?” Jason asks, amused.

“Okay–kiss me,” she tells him.

“Kiss you,” he repeats slowly. He frowns. “Are you sure?”

“Jason,” Elizabeth says rolling her eyes. “Don’t be so difficult. If I wasn’t sure, then I–”

He grasps her elbows and pulls her toward him to kiss her.

When winter comes in summer
When there’s no more forever
When lies become the truth
Well you’ll know then baby
That’s when I’ll stop loving
That’s when I’ll stop loving you

She opens the velvet box and her eyes dart up to meet his. “Jason. You–this is–” She takes a deep breath. “Oh…wow…”

He takes the box from her and pulls out a small gold ring with an average-sized diamond in it. “I love you,” he tells her. “More than I thought I could ever love anyone. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” He swallows hard. “Will you marry me?”

“Yes,” she says the second he’s finished speaking. “Yes, yes, yes–” She stops abruptly and kisses him hard.

That’s when I’ll stop loving you, yeah
As long as sunlight lights the sky
The light of love will be found in these eyes of mine
(These eyes of mine)
And I will shine that light for you
You’re the only one I’ll ever give this heart to
What I’m trying to say is nothing will change this
Loving on time you will find there
Cause I will always be there
You will always have all my love

“I, Elizabeth Webber, take you, Jason Morgan, to be my lawfully wedded husband,” she says in a trembling voice. “To love and to cherish, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer, forsaking all others, all the days of my life.”

Jason clears his throat and stares into her glossy sapphire eyes. “I, Jason Morgan, take you, Elizabeth Webber, to be my lawfully wedded wife. To love and to cherish, to have and to hold, in sickness and in healthy, for richer and for poorer, forsaking all others, all the days of my life.”

When winter comes in summer
When there’s no more forever
When lies become the truth
Well you’ll know then baby
That’s when I’ll stop loving
That’s when I’ll stop loving you

Segment ThreeScene Three

Emily twirls the phone cord around her fingers. “Yes, Mom,” she replies. “Uh huh. Yeah. I’ve been going to–right, Mom. Okay–definitely–I’m eating well–tell Grandfather over my dead body. Right. Okay. Bye–Okay, yeah. Right. Bye.” She hangs it up and leans back to let out a loud frustrated groan. “What is it with my family?” she asks.

Zander enters the room with a plate of salad. He hands it to his wife, before taking a seat next to her. “What’s wrong?” he asks.

Emily sighs. “Well, Mom wanted to know if I was seeing a doctor and to let me know that any time I wanted to come home I could.”

Zander frowns. “They do realize that we’re married, right?”

“I sure hope so. Who paid for the wedding otherwise?” Emily asks. “Not to mention that Grandfather is pushing for me to drop the Smith entirely so that the baby will be the Quartermaine heir.”

“What happened to Michael?” Zander asks.

Emily shrugs. “I think AJ finally made them realize he’s a grown man and will do whatever he pleases with his children. Including keeping Michael away from Grandfather.”

“How long do you think it will be before they realize you have that right, too?” Zander asks.

“A good ten years,” she says dryly. She gasps suddenly. “Oh!”

“What’s wrong?” he asks, leaning forward. He studies her. “Em?”

“The baby kicked,” she breathes. She takes one of his hands and presses it against her abdomen. “Can you feel it?”

Zander waits and then a grin breaks out on his face. “Oh my God. I can feel it! We’ve got one hell of a soccer player here!”

“Oh my God, I’m so excited!” Emily squeals. “The baby is kicking!”

He brings his other hand up to brush hair away from her face. “I love you,” he murmurs, leaning in for a kiss.

Segment ThreeScene Four

AJ pushes Michael’s bedroom open. “Hey, buddy,” he murmurs, taking in the sight of his small son sitting on his bed, his arms tightly crossed and his mouth set in a firm scowl.

“Go away.”

AJ sits next to him and is amused when Michael moves down the bed. He certainly had Carly’s stubborn streak.

“You know how much I love you,” AJ begins. “Your mother and I both love you.”

“Then what do you need another baby for?” Michael demands gruffly. Or as gruff as a six-year-old could be.

“Because your mother and I love each other. And we want more children,” AJ tries to explain. “We aren’t trying to replace you with another baby.”

“I’m the baby,” Michael tells him, seriously.

“You’re a big boy,” AJ corrected him. “Big boys get to go to the park and swing on the swings. Big boys get to go to work with me and help Mommy cook.”

Michael eyes him. “And big boys get to visit Uncle Jason?” he asks hopefully.

AJ tries to control his instinct to scowl. “Sure. But babies don’t get to do those things. Babies have to sleep in cribs and lay around all day. They can’t watch television or walk around.”

Michael’s noses wrinkles up. “Being a baby sucks.”

“Well, it doesn’t suck,” AJ says, grinning. “It’s just not a lot of fun. Besides, you get to be a big brother.”

“What does a big brother do?” Michael asks, intrigued.

“Well, a big brother looks out for their little brother or sister. They take care of them, make sure no one else messes with them.”

“Can I order them around?” Michael asks eagerly.

AJ grins. “Within reason, I guess. Hell, what’s the fun of having siblings if you can’t mess with them a little.” He reaches over and tousles Michael’s hair. “So, you read to go back downstairs and congratulate your mother?”

Michael heaves a big sigh. “Yeah. I guess.”

Segment FourScene One

Elizabeth opens the door to the penthouse to find Jason still in the same place as when she’d left. She closes the door quietly and clears her throat.

He turns and a look of relief crosses his face. “Elizabeth.”

“We need to talk,” she says softly. She makes no move to cross to him and he stays where he is. “We can’t go on like this.”

“I know,” he admits. “I talked to Skye earlier. I gave her my blessing.”

“You did?” she asks, surprised. “But I thought you–”

“It comes to mind that I was doing it for the wrong reasons,” he replies. “I wasn’t happy about it because I didn’t want Skye hurt. And even though I knew Sonny would cut off his right hand before he hurt her–I didn’t want them to be like us.”

“Us,” Elizabeth repeats.

Jason shoves his hands in pockets and sighs. “We’ve been walking around here these past few monthsthe last year or so especiallylike strangers. And I hate it.”

“I hate it, too,” Elizabeth tells him.

He holds his hand out to her and she crosses the room to take it. The second her hand is in his, he pulls her to him and wraps his arms around her. She slides her arms around his waist and looks up at him.

“I love you,” he says. “But I still think you’re going to see me for who I am–and your face will change and you’ll leave.”

“Don’t you get it?” she asks. “I love you, Jason. I’m not leaving. Ever. I know who you are and I love you. I know what you do…my face isn’t going to change,” she swears.

“I know that most of the time. But–” he stops and shrugs a little. “Sometimes I think about it. And I think about what my life would be like if you did…leave.”

“When you walk out that door,” she begins in a quiet voice, “some days, I am so terrified that you won’t come back. I try not to show it because I want to be better than that, I want to be the strong wife that you need, but some days it’s worse than others and I can’t…I can’t deal with the idea.”

He rests his forehead against hers and sighs. “We’re a mess,” he murmurs. “Skye was right. We’re both so scared the other is going to leave….that we’re not even seeing what our fears are doing to the other person.”

“I don’t want to be like that anymore,” she tells him, closing her eyes. “I don’t want to be scared that you’re going to leave and I don’t want you to think that there’s ever a day that’s going to come when I’m not going to love you and that I’m not going to be here.”

“I guess we’re just going to have to trust each other.” He moves his face and presses it into her soft brown curls.

“I can do that,” she replies, tightening her arms. “How about you?”

“I can try.”

Segment Four
Scene Two

Skye takes a deep breath and knocks on Sonny’s door at Jake’s briskly. She waits a few minutes, hearing some shuffling noises from inside. When it becomes apparent that he isn’t going to answer, she pushes the door open.

Sonny is slumped in a chair, a beer bottle in his hand. He frowns. “Skye.”

She enters the room and closes the door behind her. “Sonny.”

He takes a sip of the beer. “What’re you doing here?” he asks bluntly.

“I talked to my brother,” Skye replies. “And I know why he was against us.”

Sonny shakes his head. “I know why. Because I’m nothing but a killer–”

“No!” Skye stalks towards him and takes the bottle from him. “That’s not it, and you’re not a killer!”

“We’ve had this discussion,” Sonny says, sighing. “You know what I do for your brother–”

“Yes, I know that!” Skye snaps. “But to say that you are nothing but one is just ridiculous. I would never have fallen in love with you otherwise!”

“Skye, the point is–”

“The point is that Jason never had a problem with you!” Skye retorts. He stares at her for a second.

“Then what?”

Skye sighs and sits down on the bed. “It’s no secret that Jason and Elizabeth haven’t been…wellthat they’ve been having problems these last few months.”

“Yeah” Sonny sighs. “I saw her, today. Snapped at her pretty badly.”

“I think it hit an all-time low today. She walked out of the penthouse and I know Jason was worried she wouldn’t come back. See, he’s always been worried that she’s going to leave him. So scared he’ll lose her…he shut her out. And Elizabeth has been withdrawn and quiet…she shut him out, too.”

“What does that have to do with us?” Sonny demands. “Was he taking his frustrations out on us?”

“No directly. He was worried about me,” Skye confides. “Worried that what happened to Elizabeth–would happen to me.”

“That’s stupid,” Sonny cuts in. “I’m not Jason and you’re not Liz.”

Skye sighs. “I know. But he was worried about me. I talked to him about it–and it’s done. He’s finished with it. He’s going to talk to Liz.” Skye stands. “And he’s stopped objecting to our relationship.”

Sonny eyes her warily. “Are you sure?”

Skye nods. “He wants me to be happy.” She smiles tremulously. “And you make me happy.”

Sonny stands and crosses her to her. “I know you were disappointed when I chose to end our relationship instead of losing my job–”

“I was,” Skye interrupts. “But I understood. Jason’s not just a job to you. He’s your best friend.” She takes his hands in hers. “I love you, Sonny. And I don’t want to go through life without you.”

He pulls a hand free and touches her face. “I love you, too,” he tells her softly.

Segment FourScene Three

Emily giggles. “Come on. Just give me the ice cream already!”

Zander shakes his head and holds it away from her. “Nope. You’ve had enough.”

“Maybe,” Emily allows. She smiles. “But little Zander, Jr. doesn’t think so.”

He glares at her mockingly. “Not fair, bringing the tyke into this.” He hands the carton back to her.

“You can’t refuse me anything,” Emily teases, digging into the Rocky Road.

Zander studies her for a moment. “Em?”

“Yeah?” Emily asks, her words muffled by the ice cream.

“We haven’t really discussed names,” he says, “but I was wondering…if maybe for a boy, we could” he shrugs. “Peter?” he suggests.

Emily’s eyes soften and she sets the carton down on the coffee table. She touches Zander’s cheek. “I think that would be a great name,” she tells him. “And what about Paige for a girl?”

Zander covers her hand with his own, holding it to his face. “You’ve got it,” he promises, leaning over to kiss his wife.

Segment FourScene Four

Carly is sitting on the couch. She stands up quickly hearing her husband and son’s footsteps on the stairs. “Hey,” she says.

“Now, Michael,” AJ says, shoving the boy forward. “Don’t you have something to say to Mommy?”

Michael sighs. “I’m sorry,” he mumbles.

“And?” AJ prompts.

“And I’m happy about the baby.”

Carly kneels in front of him. “You know that this baby could neverever replace you in my heart,” she tells him softly. Michael shrugs and looks away. Carly grips his chin her fingers and forces him to look at her. “You are my first baby, the love of my life.”

“Hey,” AJ grumbles from behind them.

“What if it’s a girl?” Michael asks stubbornly.

“Then you’ll have a big job ahead of you,” Carly says firmly. “Because it’s going to be your job to make sure that she’s safe and happy. That no one hurts her.”

“But you’ll still love me?” he asks, hopefully.

Carly pulls him into a tight embrace. “Nothing could ever change how I feel about you,” she swears. “I love you so much.”

Segment Five

When the road gets dark
And you can no longer see
Just let my love throw a spark baby
And have a little faith in me
And when the tears you cry
Are all you can believe
Just give these lovin’ arms a try baby
And have a little faith in me

Jason and Elizabeth are sitting on the couch in the penthouse, his arms tightly wrapped around her. She leans against his chest, her eyes closed.

“Maybe we need to move,” she murmurs.

“Move?” he echoes.

“Yeah. We could pretend we’re almost normal. Like with a house or something. With a backyard.” She shifts, snuggling deeper into his embrace. “And a front lawn where we can have a mailbox.”

“A mailbox,” Jason repeats, highly amused.

“Mmm-hmmm…I can plant a garden and the yard would have to be big enough for a swing set.”

Curious, “A swing set?”

She opens her eyes and tilts her head to the side so that she can look at him. “Oh. Right. I didn’t tell you.”

A smile begins to tug at the corners of his mouth. “No, I guess you didn’t.”

“Well…about six months after Emily’s kid is bornhe or she is gonna have a cousin,” Elizabeth reports.

Instead of answering her, he tilts her face further and leans down to kiss her.

Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me

Skye opens her eyes, and rests her chin on Sonny’s chest. “I love you,” she tells him again.

“I love you, too,” Sonny replies. He runs his fingers through her dark red hair. “Marry me,” he says suddenly.

She raises her eyebrows. “Marry you.”

He nods. “See, I love you, you love me-why not?”

“Why not, indeed,” Skye smirks. “That’s the most romantic proposal I’ve ever heard in my life.”

“So I’m not the hearts and flowers type,” Sonny shrugs. “I can deal with it if you can.”

“I suppose if I must,” Skye replies, sighing. “Sure, why not?”

He grins. “That’s the most half-hearted acceptance of a proposal I’ve heard,” he teases.

When your secret heart
Cannot speak so easily
Come here darlin’
From a whisper start
Have a little faith in me When your back’s against the wall
Just turn around, you will see
I will catch you, I will catch your fall
Just have a little faith in me

“Okay, we’ve decided,” Emily declares. “Paige Lila for a girl and Peter Alexander for a boy.”

Zander wrinkles his nose. “Not to be picky, but Lila Paige kind of flows better.”

Emily repeats both names. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. Hey, what if we have twins?”

Zander shudders. “Lord, don’t even joke about that. I barely survived one crib!”

Emily grins evilly. “Or triplets.”

“I can’t hear this!” Zander cries, clamping his hands over his ears. “We’re having one kid at a time.”

“Must be nice to think you have a choice,” Emily cracks. “But I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work that way.”

“It will,” he says fiercely. “I just won’t accept anything else.”

Emily rolls her eyes. “Honestly, sometimes you’re such a baby.”

Well, I’ve been loving you for such a long, long time baby
Expecting nothing in return
Just for you to have a little faith in me
You see time, time is our friend
For you and me there is no end
And all you gotta do is have a little faith in me

Carly shuts off Michael’s light and closes the door. “I think that went rather well,” she remarks to AJ as they head for their bed room.

AJ groans. “Easy for you to say. You’re not the one that had to explain where babies come from. You’re taking the next kid.”

Carly opens her dresser and pulls out a nightgown. “It wasn’t that bad.”

AJ heads for the bathroom. “Uh huh. So when Michael asked you why boys were different from girls, you didn’t pretend to have morning sickness?”

Carly scowls. “I was not pretending,” she said indignantly. She pulls the nightgown over her head. “I did have morning sickness.”

“Pretty convenient timing,” he teases. He stares at his face in the mirror of the bathroom. “Maybe I should grow a beard.”

“Maybe you can sleep in the guest room.”

AJ digs out his shaving cream. “Too hot for a beard,” he grumbles.

She appears in the doorway and leans against the door jamb. “I love you,” she says. “I just wanted you to know that.”

He sets the shaving cream aside and pulls her into his arms. “I love you, too.”

I said I will hold you up, I will hold you up
Your strength is enough
So have a little faith in me
I said hey baby oh baby
All you gotta do is have a little faith in me
All you gotta do is have a little faith in me

SongHave A Little Faith In Me by Jewel

 

Set in October 2002, after Sonny is publicly known to be alive, but before that ridiculous breakup scene in the penthouse. Twelve years, people, and I’m still annoyed. Frickin soap operas.


October 6, 2002

— Harborview Towers —

Carly Corinthos jabbed the button of the elevator viciously and turned to Scott Baldwin. “Will you go away?” she snarled.

“Well, I’m headed to the police station anyway,” Scott replied, smiling his trademark smirk. “Might as well give me a ride, eh, Carly?”

“That’s Mrs. Corinthos to you.”

The doors opened and Carly ran right into Elizabeth Webber, fresh from her shift at Kelly’s.

“Whoa, Carly,” Elizabeth said, holding her hands up. “Is everything okay?”

Carly hesitated. “I have to go to the police station,” she said, loathing to be the one to tell Jason’s girlfriend he’d spent the last three weeks lying to her.

Elizabeth’s eyes widened in fear. “The police station?” she said softly. “What happened? Is Jason okay?”

“Jason’s just fine,” Scott jumped in. Carly threw him a nasty look. “In fact, I bet he’s just great, you know since, his boss is alive and everything.”

Elizabeth frowned and glanced at Carly. “What is he talking about?”

“Sonny’s alive,” Carly said, irritated with being held up. “Look, come with me and I’ll explain on the way.” She pushed the brunette back into the elevator and the doors shut before the district attorney could get in, too.

— Port Charles Police Department —

Jason Morgan leaned against the table in the interrogation room, his arms crossed. “How much longer are we going to be in here?”

“Long enough for those idiots to realize that we haven’t broken any laws,” Sonny muttered. He rested his hands on her hips and squinted through the blinds outside the window. “I think we’ve got a problem.”

“What?” Jason asked. He straightened. “What is it?”

“Carly and Brenda just saw each other,” Sonny murmured. “Not good.”

Jason peered through the blinds and exhaled slowly seeing the petite brunette behind Carly. “What is Elizabeth doing here?”

“Came with Carly, probably,” Sonny replied. He eyed Jason from the corner of his eye. “She’ll understand, Jason.”

“I doubt it,” Jason said under his breath.

It was another fifteen minutes before Taggart kicked Jason out of the room to question Sonny. Instructing the enforcer not to leave, he closed the door. Jason turned and stepped hesitantly towards Elizabeth.

“Elizabeth–”

“I don’t want to talk about it right now,” she murmured, keeping an eye on the snarling women in front of her. Part of her knew she should pull Carly aside, but a larger and angrier part wanted Brenda to kick the blonde’s ass, wanting Carly to feel some pain for the mortification Elizabeth was feeling right now.

“I–”

“I said that we’ll talk about it later,” Elizabeth snapped, finally looking at him, her eyes cold and angry. “Because you do not want everyone around us to hear what I have to say.”

Jason nodded and rubbed the back of his neck, knowing this night was going to get worse before it got better.

Finally, Mac Scorpio stepped in and announced that Sonny and Jason were to go home but to be careful not to leave town. They hadn’t broken any laws that night–but Sonny was going to be fully investigated for shooting Luis Alcazar.

— Limo —

The limo was cloaked in silence as Elizabeth sat next to Jason and pointedly ignored him. Carly wasn’t speaking to Sonny currently, pissed about Brenda’s return from the dead.

“After all that talk about honesty,” Carly muttered. “After making me promise not to keep secrets.”

“Carly–” Sonny began, his tone patient and indulgent.

“Do not start with me, Sonny Corinthos. You had no right to keep this from me!” Carly yelled.

“I knew it would just upset you–”

“You’re damn right it upsets me!” she raged. “You lied to me!”

Elizabeth snorted and shook her head. The hypocrisy level in this car was going to choke her.

“Did you know?” she asked, suddenly, interrupting Carly’s tirade.

Carly paused and looked at her guiltily. “Yeah.”

Elizabeth stared at her for a moment and closed her eyes. “That’s what I thought.”

“Elizabeth,” Sonny began, seeing a battle he thought he could win. “This wasn’t kept from you to hurt you.”

“Sonny–” Jason tried to cut in.

“We couldn’t just trust anyone,” Sonny continued, sure that Elizabeth would understand.

Carly groaned and rolled her eyes, sensing that Elizabeth’s outrage was going to take over in about five seconds.

Jason shifted, uncomfortably. Sonny’s choice of words hadn’t been good and he could feel the waves of hurt and anger coming from the woman beside him.

“Right,” Elizabeth drawled. “Because, hell, who am I, right?”

Sonny winced. “Okay, that’s not what I meant–”

“I’m just the girl that’s been cooped up in the penthouse, who’s been kidnapped and shot at twice just because I happen to know you and Jason. But hey, we can’t just tell anyone the plan right?” Elizabeth said sarcastically. “We can tell your wife, who turned you in the government, but not the girl who’s risked her life several times for Jason, right?”

“Hey,” Carly protested. “That’s not fair.”

“Elizabeth, that didn’t come out right,” Sonny tried again. Jason chose to stay silent for the moment, knowing his friend wouldn’t shut up until he had nothing left to say. “What I meant was it was completely necessary that this secret was kept.”

“Sonny, just shut up,” Carly advised.

“Of course,” Elizabeth said, sweetly. She narrowed her eyes. “Because God knows I couldn’t keep a secret to save my life right? I mean, completely excusing the fact that I trashed my reputation and let people think I was sleeping with Jason so they wouldn’t know he was shot or that I lied to everyone I knew and hid Jason in my studio, why the hell should you trust me?”

Sonny frowned. “Elizabeth, this wasn’t about you.”

“You’re right,” she said softly, the fire draining from her. She stared out the window. “I don’t matter at all.”

Sonny opened his mouth again, but Carly elbowed him in the ribs. “You’re just making it worse,” she muttered.

“Elizabeth,” Jason quietly. “You know that’s not true.”

She turned to look at him, her eyes full of tears. “Do I?”

The limo pulled into the underground parking garage of the towers. Elizabeth shoved the door open and stalked towards the elevators, not waiting for the trio behind her.

Jason watched the elevator doors shut behind her, a pained expression etched onto his face.

“I didn’t mean to hurt her,” Sonny said, firmly. “She’ll come around.”

Carly rolled her eyes. “Yeah, okay. Let’s just go upstairs.” She looked at Jason and touched his arm. “Look, she’s angry right now. Very angry. And she has every right to be. So, just let her vent. Let her yell and scream at you. Do not try and defend yourself because we both know it was wrong not to include her. But whatever you do, do not let her leave you. Because I’m willing to bet that will be her first instinct.”

“Actually, Jason, I need you to come over to the penthouse,” Sonny cut in. “We have some things to work out.”

Carly stared at him. “Are you insane?” she asked incredulously. “He cannot come over right now–”

“Damn it, this is more important,” Sonny interrupted angrily.

Carly felt Jason tense beneath her hand. “I’ll go talk to her,” she promised him. “You get this thing figured out with Sonny.”

“Fine,” Jason said shortly.

— Jason’s Penthouse —

Carly pushed the door open silently and saw Zander zipping up his bag. “Hey.”

He glanced at her. “Hey.”

“Going somewhere?” she asked, gesturing towards the bag.

“Elizabeth told me that Sonny is alive. She advised me to leave,” Zander replied. “She’s right. After we both risked our lives for him and then to be lied to…I don’t trust any of you to keep me safe. I’ll take care of myself.” He lifted the bag. “She’s upstairs packing now.”

He left, slamming the door behind him. Carly sighed and waited for the other woman to come downstairs.

She could hear her slamming around above her and winced every time a drawer slammed shut. For such a tiny girl, she sure packed a lot of violence.

Before Elizabeth came down, the door behind her pushed open and Jason entered, his face ashen.

“Is everything okay?” Carly asked, worried.

He hesitated a moment before speaking. “Sonny’s taking everyone to the island,” Jason told her.

She frowned. “Wait, what?”

“Tagliatti–” Jason’s jaw clenched. “He got caught laundering money and he’s going to make a deal with the DA.”

“A deal?” Carly asked softly. “What kind of deal?”

“He’s turning on Sonny,” Jason replied. “We have to leave now before the arrest warrants are issued.”

“Okay.” Carly tried to smile. “Well, at least Elizabeth won’t be able to leave you if she’s stuck on the island.”

Jason looked towards the stairs. “I’m not–I’m not taking her.” He looked back to Carly. “I don’t know how long we’ll be gone and I can’t ask her to give up her life here.”

“You can’t just leave–” Carly shook her head. “Jason–”

“You’d better go pack,” Jason told her quietly. “We’re leaving tonight.”

Carly sighed and left, cursing Tagliatti and Jason mentally.

It was a few more moments before Elizabeth descended the stairs, dragging a suitcase behind her.

She stopped in front of Jason. “I can’t be with someone who doesn’t trust me,” Elizabeth said softly.

“I understand.”

She waited. Waited for him to stop herto say something, to say anything. When he didn’t–when he only stared at her sadly, she clenched her jaw.

“Fine.”

— Hallway —

“You packed quickly,” Johnny mused, as Elizabeth dragged her suitcase towards the elevator. She stopped and stared him, irritated. “But didn’t Jason tell you? We’re not leaving for another hour.”

She frowned. “What are you talking about?”

“The plane doesn’t leave for another hour,” Johnny clarified. When the confusion didn’t clear from his eyes, he narrowed his eyes. “Didn’t Jason tell you?”

“Tell me what?” Elizabeth asked quietly.

“We’re going to the island–someone turned on Sonny and Jason,” Johnny explained. “We have to leave before the arrest warrants are issued.”

Elizabeth glanced towards the door of the penthouse. He hadn’t said a word. Hadn’t even told her he’d be leaving town. He’d just said he understood and let her leave. He hadn’t even cared enough to ask her to go with him.

She looked back at Johnny and sighed. “He didn’t tell me anything. I’m going home to my studio,” she said. “I was leaving him.” She hesitated. “I am leaving him.”

Johnny shook his head. “Wait, Miss Webber, we can’t not take you. You…you’ve been living with Jason, everyone knows the two of you are together. It’s not safe to leave you here by yourself.”

“That’s funny, Johnny,” Elizabeth said, pushing the button for the elevator. “Because if anyone knew anything, they’d know I mean nothing to anyone who lives on this floor.”

“Now that’s not true either,” Johnny argued. “Miss Webber–”

The doors opened and Elizabeth pulled her suitcase into the elevator. “Call me Elizabeth, Johnny. There’s no reason to pretend anymore.”

The doors shut on those words and he just stared at the closed doors.

November 18, 2002

— Sonny’s Island —

Jason stared out over the water from the deck of the large home adjacent to the casino. He could see Carly and Michael playing on the beach from where he stood.

“Did you get the reports?” he asked Johnny quietly.

“Yeah.” Johnny folded his arms across the suit he still wore. He was the only member of the inner circle still able to travel back and forth between Port Charles and the island, the only person that hadn’t been charged with racketeering and a host of other crimes.

He went back to check on the progress of the caseto let them know when it might be safe to return. He also went back for reports on members of the family they’d left behind. Courtney. Mike. Bobbie.

Elizabeth.

Courtney had barely noticed her estranged older brother had left town. Mike missed Sonny, but was still angry with his son for making him mourn for nothing. Bobbie missed Carly sorely and was working her charm on Scott, trying to get the charges dropped.

Elizabeth had moved back into her studio and was working at Kelly’s again. She almost seemed normal, but anyone who knew her knew that she was miserable.

Johnny had tried to convince Jason to let him bring Elizabeth back to the island, knowing the girl would jump at the chance to have any indication that he still cared. But Jason had refused, not wanting to disrupt her life.

Johnny strode forward, putting himself in Jason’s line of sight. Jason frowned, taking in the other man’s bruises. “What the hell happened to you?” he asked.

“One of Alcazar’s men paid me a visit,” Johnny replied. “Just a warning. Also left me with this.” He shoved a picture at Jason, not caring that he probably wouldn’t make most of it out.

Jason stared down at the black and white photo. “What is it?”

“It’s a picture,” Johnny snarled. “Of the girl you won’t let me bring here. Seems Alcazar is curious about her…curious why you left her behind.”

Jason narrowed his eyes. “He’s watching Elizabeth?” he demanded.

“Yep,” Johnny drawled. “Satisfied now?”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“You tried to do the right thing by letting her leave, trying to pretend that she isn’t in deep enough to matter. But if you want my opinion, Jason, there ain’t a man in the organization or in the families who doesn’t know Elizabeth Webber. Everyone knows about that bomb Sorel put in her studio, about the kidnapping, about her hiding you in her studio twice–it was fucking stupid to think you could her alone in Port Charles and pretend that none of that happened.”

“You done?” Jason demanded.

“Yeah.”

“Good.” Jason tossed the picture back at him. “Get the plane ready.”

“I’ll bring her–”

“I’m going to go get her,” Jason cut in. “Tell Sonny where I went. Tell him that I’m just going to get her and I’m bringing her back. I don’t have time to make the rounds, so he’ll have to deal.”

“You can’t go to Port Charles,” Johnny reminded him as he followed Jason into the spacious front room. Jason headed for the steps. “Taggart will have you thrown in jail.”

“Then he’ll have to throw me in jail,” Jason said. “Because I’m going to get Elizabeth.”

November 19, 2002

— Kelly’s —

Elizabeth closed the door to the diner behind her, making sure it was firmly locked. She sighed and tucked the key in her purse before stepping away to walk home to her studio.

She was halfway across the docks when she felt someone grab her arm and pull her underneath the dock stairs. She opened her mouth to scream, but a hand covered her mouth.

“Don’t scream,” Jason told her. “It’s just me.” He let his hand fall away.

“What are you doing here?” Elizabeth whispered. “You’re supposed to be on the island.”

“You know where I’ve been?” Jason asked in surprise. “How?”

“Johnny told me the night I left,” she replied. “The cops have been asking everyone if we’ve heard from you or Sonny. There are even charges against Carly aiding and abetting–”

“We know all of that,” Jason interrupted.

“Then why are you here?” she demanded. “You’re going to get caught–”

“I need you to come with me.”

She blinked. “What?”

“You have to pack a bag and come back with me,” Jason told her.

“Are you crazy?” she hissed. “It’s been a month since you left. A month. Why now? Why not the night you left?”

“Because I thought you’d be safer here,” Jason answered. “Because I didn’t realize how much I’d miss you.”

She frowned. “Okay. So what’s the real reason?”

“Alcazar’s watching you,” Jason said without hesitation. “I’m worried he’s going to make a move.”

“You came back here, risked prosecution and possible jail time to get me?” she asked softly.

“I’m sorry for what happened…and I’m sorry that I let you walk away without a word, but you have to believe me that I do care about you and–”

“Let’s go,” Elizabeth interrupted. “We’d better get out of sight anyway. Cops patrol these docks like crazy now.”

“You’re going to come with me?” he asked, skeptically. “Without any argument?”

“Do you want me to waste time and argue?”

“No.”

“Then let’s go.”

The End

I’ll be home for Christmas

Elizabeth Morgan set the last present under the tree and shifted the telephone to her other ear. “You’ve never missed Christmas before,” she sighed.

“Yeah, I know. I’m sorry,” her husband Jason apologized. “I thought I was gonna be home but the planes are all grounded–“

“I just…it’s her first Christmas, Jason. We should be together.” Elizabeth pushed her hair out of her face. “I’ll see you when you do manage to get home.”

You can plan on me

Jason hung up his cell phone and slid it back into the pocket of his leather jacket. He should have refused this assignment but the chance to finally nail mob kingpin Sonny Corinthos had been too tempting and he’d flown off after Thanksgiving.

The job had been done but now Jason would miss his daughter’s very first Christmas. He glanced at the clock on the wall and then to the car rental counter. Maybe not.

Please have snow and mistletoe

Elizabeth tucked their six-month-old daughter Noelle into her crib and set her stuffed teddy bear next to her. She smoothed her hand over the soft blonde downy hair and sighed. “Don’t worry, honey, next year you won’t even remember that Daddy wasn’t home,” she promised.

And presents on the tree

“You’ll be home in time for Christmas right?” Elizabeth asked as she watched Jason pack to for the South America trip from her seated position on the edge of the bed.

He nodded. “They don’t think it’ll take more than two weeks to get this case wrapped up.” He zipped his duffle bag and kneeled in front of her.  “I know I promised I’d be on vacation this month but I’ve been working the Corinthos file for three years.”

“You don’t have to explain it to me–just promise me you’ll be here.”

He kissed her forehead. “I promise.”

Christmas Eve will find me

Jason leaned towards the windowshield, eyeing the thickly falling snow. The roads were dark and he was almost worried he’d get lost.

He was almost three hours from home–his last plane had gotten held up in Delaware. But he’d never missed a Christmas with his wife since the day they’d met and he wasn’t going to start now.

Where the love light gleams

“Oh…was I supposed to get you a present?” Jason laughed as she looked at him with a glare in her eyes. “You didn’t mention that.”

“Oh–dont be such a guy,” Elizabeth huffed. “You know very well that it’s Christmas and it’s also our four month anniversary so just…stop playing around and give me my present.”

“I’m serious, Elizabeth, I don’t have anything.”

She slugged him in the arm. “After I went through God knows how many applications to get approved so I could buy you that stupid gun you were always drooling…” her tirade was cut off abruptly when he finally handed her the department store wrapped jewelry case. “Well, then…that’s better.”

I’ll be home for Christmas

Elizabeth stood on their sun porch–safely glassed in and climate controlled–and watched the snow falling. God this didn’t seem fair. His stupid job had disappointed her again.

She should have known better after he missed Noelle’s birth.

If only in my dreams

“I’ll be there for the next one.”

Elizabeth sniffled, her hormones still out of whack. “But she’s our first born, Jason. You knew the labor was near–and you took the assignment anyway.”

“We had a lead about Corinthos–”

“Oh screw Sonny Corinthos.”

I’ll be home for Christmas

The car ran out of gas an hour away. A mere hour. He slammed his fist on the steering wheel and sat back in the seat, defeated. He’d done all he could to get home.

Except stay home like he’d promised in the first place. Now that the Corinthos case was closed, he get promoted to a desk job and he’d never have to leave home again.

Not that it would really help his case tonight.

You can plan on me

It was almost four in the morning when the phone roused her from her sleep. She came out from a pile of covers and grabbed it. “Yeah?” she asked sleepily.

“I’m outside the state line. I tried–I tried to get there, I really did, but the car–“

“Jason?” Elizabeth sat up and rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. “Where are you now?”

Please have snow and mistletoe

“About an hour from home. I rented a car and now I’m stuck just outside of the state line in Jersey. I’m sorry, Elizabeth. I tried to get there but the car ran out of gas and I can’t see four feet in front of my face in this snow.”

She curled up in her bed and brought his pillow to her face, breathing in his scent. “It’s okay.”

“No, it’s not.”

And presents on the tree

“It really is,” she assured him. “I know how important this case was to you–”

“You and Noelle are more important and I should have sent someone else in–“

“But you closed the case and after three years, you deserved to be the one to arrest him. It’s okay, Jason. I mean–yes, I’m angry but I forgave you six months ago, this is no big deal.”

Christmas Eve will find me

“They’re promoting me.” He stared down at the bracelet hed bought her in Brazil. In the sunlight, light streamed through the prism-like stones and reflected all kinds of colors. Exactly the type of gift she’d adore.

“Thats great news,” she smiled.

“A desk job. In PC.”

Elizabeth hesitated. The part Jason had loved most about his job was the investigations, the intrigue, the places he’d go. Depending on the type of case, she used to go with him sometimes.

He’d hate being chained to a desk.

Where the love light gleams

“You don’t have to take it though, right?” she asked.

“Elizabeth, I’ll be home all the time–we can spend more time together, I won’t miss anymore of Noelle’s major milestones or any holidays–“

“But you’ll be miserable at your job and I don’t want that either.” She fingered the edge of the comforter. “I understand it takes a lot of time and patience to do what you do and it might not always seem like it, but I’m proud of you Jason, and I want you to be happy.”

I’ll be home for Christmas

Marveling at the wonderful woman he’d married, Jason shook his head. “God, I wish I were there right now.”

“I do, too,” she sighed. She closed her eyes. “But you’re here when it counts so its okay.”

“I love you, Elizabeth. I’ll be home tomorrow.”

“I love you, too.”

If only in my dream

Notes: Set in 2002, I’m assuming before this Courtney bullshit. Part of the Picture Fiction Challenge at Liason Underground. The prompt was an old key.


“You collect keys.”

Elizabeth Webber frowned and pulled the large shoebox out of Lucky Spencer’s hands. “It’s not that pathetic,” she defended.

He raised an eyebrow. “After all these years, how is it possible that I didn’t know?”

Elizabeth shrugged. “Never came up, I guess.”

Lucky nodded. “All right fair enough.” He surveyed the studio. “I think we’re about done for this morning, don’t you think?”

Elizabeth bit her lip and shoved a box to the side with the tip of her foot. “Yeah, I guess. I really appreciate you helping me pack.”

Lucky sighed. “I’m gonna miss you.”

She hugged him lightly. “It’s only for six months. And when I get back, I’m going to find a good apartment.” Her eyes lit up. “Maybe I’ll even have enough money for a house.”

He chuckled and shook his head. “I don’t doubt it. The paintings you shipped to San Francisco were fantastic.”

Elizabeth grabbed her purse. “Come on, I’ll treat you to lunch at Kelly’s.”

“Good. You can tell me why you collect keys,” Lucky told her, snagging the shoebox from the couch.

—-

“Okay, where’s this one from?”

Elizabeth set her soda on the table and rolled her eyes. “Lucky, I can’t remember where each and every single key is from.”

He scowled. “What’s the point of having them?”

“They’re pretty and they got these really awesome intricate designs,” Elizabeth told him. She dug around for a particularly ornate key with a piece of faded red ribbon attached. “I remember this one, though. It was my grandmother’s on my mother’s side. It was for her jewelry box.”

“You’ve never mentioned her before,” Lucky said, taking a bite from his cheeseburger.

“She died when I was really young. About six,” Elizabeth replied. “I don’t remember much about her except she always wore jasmine-scented perfume.” Her smile turned soft. “I’ve seen pictures of her. She’s the only family member I looked like.”

“So, how excited are you about San Francisco?” Lucky asked, raising his voice a little.

“I’m excited,” Elizabeth confirmed. “I’ve already arranged for an apartment overlooking the harbor. Can you believe the museum is paying for it?”

“Well, you’re a talented artist, Elizabeth. Your time was gonna come,” Lucky declared, his voice still a few decibels too loud.

“Thanks,” Elizabeth murmured, narrowing her eyes.

“So, are all the paintings you sent for sale, or did you just loan some for exhibit?” Lucky asked.

“They’re all for sale, except a few,” Elizabeth replied. She raised an eyebrow. “Why are you talking like that?”

“Which ones did you just loan?”

“All right,” Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “We’ll play this game. I loaned the one I did for your parents wedding–you know, the one I never gave them. I’m saving that for when she’s better.”

“I appreciate that,” Lucky told her, squeezing her hand.

“And I’m loaning the Wind,” Elizabeth said softly. She looked down at the table. “I thought about selling it–even came close to listing it as for sale.”

“So why didn’t you?” Lucky asked.

“It’s not mine to sell,” Elizabeth answered simply. “I guess it doesn’t matter since I doubt the owner even remembers the damn thing anymore.” She snorted and lifted her glass to her lips. “Doubt he even remembers me,” she muttered before taking a sip.

Lucky smirked. “Oh. He remembers both, I’m willing to bet.”

Elizabeth frowned. “You know, you’re acting odd. Even for you.”

Lucky leaned forward and lowered his voice to almost a whisper. “Elizabeth, do me one last favor in the memory of our friendship.”

“Memory? You say that like it’s dead.”

“Details. Anyway, I want you to get up, go into the courtyard and say goodbye to Jason.”

Elizabeth sat back in her seat and twisted immediately to look out the door. Jason was standing there, looking away towards the far side of the courtyard. “How long has he been there?” she asked softly.

“Since he walked out of here.”

Elizabeth turned back to look at her ex-boyfriend. “When was that?”

“Right after you said you doubted the owner remembered the painting.” Lucky grinned. “You gonna grant me this favor?”

Elizabeth stood, grabbed the shoebox and glared at him. “I’m only doing it because I–” she stopped, at a loss for an explanation.

Lucky sobered. “Look, Elizabeth, you’re about to embark on the adventure of your life. A museum across the country wants you for six months. They’re doing an exhibit, asking you to teach a class, paying for your living expenses. You cannot leave Port Charles still thinking about Jason Morgan.”

“I am not thinking about Jason Morgan,” Elizabeth hissed.

“You are, and you know it. Say goodbye to him.” He studied her. “And this time, I want you to mean it. Because you walked away from him. And you’ve kept going. You’ve both been walking away in opposite directions, but neither of you has taken the chance to permanently end it. And as long as that loose end is still dangling, you will never move on.”

She scowled. “I hate when you make sense.”

Lucky shrugged. “Take advantage of it when it happens.” He grinned. “It only occurs so often these days. Go, babe. I’ve got the check.”

“Damn right,” Elizabeth muttered as she headed towards the door.

—-

“Jason,” she said hesitantly. He turned and looked at her.

“Hey,” he said, shoving his hands into the pockets of his jeans.

She bit her lip, cursing Lucky with every breath she took. Damn idiot he was. “I–I wanted to tell you” You can do it, Webber. “I’m moving to San Francisco for six months. And I guess…I just wanted to say…”

She couldn’t do it.

She set the shoebox full of keys on one of the tables and ran a hand through her hair. “They want me for six months, an exhibit of my own. They want me teach a class there.” She snorted. “I hate school and this museum…they sponsor art classes for underprivileged kids–they want me teach them.”

“You’ll do great,” Jason told her firmly and honestly, taking a hesitant step towards her.

“I sent the Wind to be put on display,” Elizabeth told him in a rush of breath. “I probably should have asked you first since it’s yours, but I still feel like it’s the best work I’ve ever done.” She bit her lip. “I’m not selling it…it’s on loan” She looked away from him, looked at the ground.

“I overheard Lucky and you talking about it,” Jason admitted. “I do remember it, Elizabeth.”

“I know. I was just…in a rotten mood,” Elizabeth replied. “I’m packing up my studio and you know I’ve lived there for over three yearsthere’s so much.”

“You’re not coming back?” Jason asked quickly, stricken.

“I am–I just can’t afford the rent on the studio while I’m gone,” Elizabeth replied. “I’m not getting paid for the class out there. They’re paying for the rent and everything. I’m hoping I sell enough paintings to put a down payment on a house or something when I come home.” She sighed. “Lucky told me I should come out here and say goodbye.” She met his eyes. “But I can’t do it. I guess it’s a curse or something.”

“What do you mean?” Jason asked, taking another step towards her.

“I can say it in my head,” she told him softly. “I can even say it when I’m alone and no one’s there to hear. Because, believe me, I’ve been practicing it. I thought–you know, if I could say it to myself, it would mean the same thing.” She sighed. “We’ve never said it, you know? Not even when I thought you attacked Lucky. Or when you left town the first time. Or when I walked out of the penthouse. We’ve never said it, not even in passing.”

“I don’t see why we have to say it at all,” he said suddenly. She frowned and looked at him. “You’re just going away for a while. You’ll be back.” He shrugged. “And maybe…we can go for a ride when that happens.”

“Can it really be as easy as that?” she softly.

“Not everything has to be complicated to work,” Jason told her. The corners of her mouth quirked up as she recalled the night he broke the window in Kelly’s when she’d locked herself out.

“No, I guess it doesn’t,” she replied, smiling.

“When do you leave?” he asked.

“Tomorrow,” Elizabeth said. “I still have so much to do. Lucky kind of got exhausted while we were packing up my studio, so I had to bring him for lunch. I’d better go and make him get back to work.” She grabbed her shoebox and headed for the door.

“Elizabeth.”

She turned when he called out. “Yeah?”

“When the exhibit opens,” Jason said, “let me know. I’ll come out and see it.”

She smiled. “I’ll do that. See you later.”