The Original Outline

This is the outline that I sent to Cora back in May of 2014. It’s long and messy and completely unedited for typos. It’s 12,000 words you guys.  Enjoy 😛


Picks in May 2004, begins in December. Elizabeth has left Port Charles, and is living in California. She left Ric in April, had Cameron in mid-May. Comes home briefly for Lila’s funeral.

Jason has claimed paternity of Sam’s baby. Sonny has reluctantly agreed in order to save his marriage. Sam thinks Sonny will change his mind, so she goes along with the project. Sonny does get annoyed, and without Jason’s knowledge, he rekindles his affair with Sam until she presses him for a solution. She can move to the island or somewhere else, and have the baby. He’ll set her up—like a dirty little secret. Pissed, Sam realizes Sonny is never going to leave Carly, so she lets him believe she’s going to do it. She wants to set up a trust for her daughter. Sonny agrees, and he draws up paperwork. Sam draws up her own and substitutes a termination of parental rights, which he signs.

When Sam begins bleeding after the birth of her daughter, she knows she’s going to die. As her strength deserts her, she makes Jason promise to raise her daughter, to make sure her daughter knows her. Jason agrees, because he knows if Sonny and Carly had custody, they would never let her know Sam. Sam dies. Sonny learns then that he signed a termination of rights, and agreed to Jason as a guardian. Jason tells Sonny Sam’s wishes, and that he’s going to support them. Sonny reluctantly agrees, knowing he pushed Sam into this and that if Carly found out about the baby, she’d take the boys and leave. His daughter will be loved by Jason, and it’s easier in the end to let the lie continue. He’s not happy about it.

Carly has always suspected that the baby was Sonny’s, but was content to let the situation stand as it meant Sam would be away from her. She doesn’t want Sam’s baby, because it’ll always be a reminder to Sonny. However, she does think another baby will fix things, so she decides to get pregnant.

Jason has a rough first month in November. Sonny’s not happy about the situation—Carly is pushing him to delegate to Jason so that they can concentrate on their family, and Jason is doing the extra work, because if he doesn’t keep Sonny happy, he might come for the baby, which he has named Evangeline Grace. Emily has actually named, and he accepts it.

Elizabeth returns home for Christmas in early December, and realizes how tired and aged her grandmother appears. Though her life in California is going well—she’s sold some art, and is scheduled for a show in a major gallery in New York in February, she decides she can work in Port Charles. Her brother is there, she wants her son to know Audrey in case she doesn’t have many years left.

She comes across a tired and exhausted Jason on the docks, and she strikes up a conversation. He eventually confides in her about the situation, and Elizabeth offers to help him in anyway she can. He realizes that he can’t do it alone, and tells Emily the truth about Sam, Evie and Sonny. Emily suspected, but she’s of the mind that Jason should raise Evie. Sonny isn’t the man he used to be. Carly ruined something in him that doesn’t seem to be fixable. She helps him hire a nanny, and by Christmas Eve, the situation is better. Evie’s not disrupted, constantly being shuffled around during the night and Sonny has relaxed his demands a little.

Elizabeth, Cam, Steven and Audrey show up to the Christmas Eve party. Steven borrows Cam to hit on nurses, so Emily takes the opportunity to introduce Elizabeth to Evie. While Emily is talking to Nikolas, Jason tells Elizabeth that he told Emily the truth—their conversation made him realize that he can’t do this alone. She’s a little sad they’re so far apart that he couldn’t turn to her, but she accepts it. The old comfort level is still there in a way. She’s holding Evie, they’re talking.

Sonny comes over, ostensibly to welcome Elizabeth home, but the look in his eyes makes her wary. He says he saw Cam across the room—he’s a cute kid, it’s just a shame that he’s got a jackass for a father. Jason is annoyed on her behalf, but Elizabeth senses this isn’t about her. He’s not even looking at her as he continues saying that while it was sad she had that miscarriage last year, it was for the best she wasn’t permanently connected to Ric. Now she’s upset, and Jason is pissed. He tells Sonny to knock it off. Their problems are their own, and he has no business bringing Elizabeth into it. Maybe he should walk away.

Carly sees Sonny talking to them, and she’s worried that Sonny is having second thoughts about Evie. She’s been having trouble conceiving, and realizes if she can’t have another child, Sonny might very well go after Evie.

Jason pulls Elizabeth away from the crowd, and apologizes. He knows this was about him, but Sonny shouldn’t have said it. Elizabeth says it was almost as if Sonny was reminding Jason about the other men in her life, which seems odd. He agrees, they don’t really know what he’s thinking. Emily returns to their side, and points out the mistletoe. Elizabeth annoyed with her friend, but Jason kisses her cheek and says it’s good to have her home. Elizabeth returns Evie to him, and heads over to her family. Emily remarks that Cameron is absolutely gorgeous, and she’s so happy for Elizabeth’s success. She’s sorry Jason doesn’t have someone in his life like she has Nikolas. Someone to make life a little…easier.

After the holidays, Emily comes over to Jason’s penthouse. She and Steven are splitting Cameron for the week Elizabeth is in California. She’s glad Jason’s doing better with Evie, that he felt like he could talk to her finally about it. He tells her about his conversation with Elizabeth. Emily talks about her regrets about why Elizabeth is a single mother. She could have handled the Zander situation so much better, and maybe he’d be in his son’s life. Jason says Elizabeth looks like she’s handling it well.

Carly has an appointment with Dr. Meadows, who agrees that Carly is probably going to struggle to get pregnant, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Try to relax and keep trying. Carly is annoyed. She knows things aren’t solid with Sonny, that they may never be that way again. For the first time, she wonders if she suggests they bring Evie into their family, if it’ll help. But it would leave Jason heartbroken, and it’s just not something she’s willing to consider.

Jason and Sonny’s relationship takes a minor hit when Johnny Zacchara shows up at Luke’s club. Sonny’s sure he’s up to no good, but Jason disagrees. The kid isn’t involved in his family’s business, and it’s more likely he’s trying to annoy the crap out of his father.

Elizabeth returns from California. She and her grandmother discuss her future plans. She wants to find a place for her and Cam, but she wants the right place—with good lighting for her artwork. Having him has made her open so much as an artist, and she has the money now to really pursue her dream. Audrey is relieved to see her settled.

Nikolas throws Emily a birthday party that’s children friendly so Elizabeth and Jason will bring Cam and Evie. He knows Emily has her eye on seeing them get it together, so he’s reluctantly on board. He’d like Elizabeth to be happy—he also feels guilty about Zander. The party is fun. Monica gets to spend some time with Evie. Jason and Elizabeth have some time to talk, and she’s happy he’s looking less haggard. He looks like a normal single father now—one with a nanny. He tells her that it’s because of her that he looked to Emily for support. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to take Elizabeth on her offer, but she’s got her own life. She wouldn’t have offered if she didn’t want to. She tentatively asks if things are improving with Sonny. They’re not. He’s thinking of moving away from the penthouse, to put some distance between Sonny and Evie.

Elizabeth is making a list of people to invite to her showing, and Emily suggests she invite Jason. He may not come down to the city, but it would go a long to reminding him that they’re still friends. Elizabeth agrees, plus Jason was always really supportive of her art, even when he couldn’t understand it.

Sonny and Jason are having issues—just minor ones. Some of the shipments are damaged. A few bookies disappear. Just rumblings. Sonny says it’s not a coincidence about Johnny Zacchara. Jason argues that it is. He’s not going after Anthony Zacchara’s son without evidence. It’s just not smart. Sonny wonders if Jason even remembers who’s in charge anymore.

Carly learns from Dr. Meadows that if she wants to conceive, she’s going to have to do extra work — like in vitro. Carly hesitantly broaches it to Sonny, who doesn’t want to do it. He won’t give her reasons, but she knows he’s regretting giving up Evie. She thinks again about bringing Evie into the family, but how to tell Sonny she’s always known, and it still doesn’t solve the problem of Jason. If his marriage to Courtney had worked out, she could justify it in her head—he could make another family. One of his own.

Jason talks to Emily about the invitation to Elizabeth’s opening. He’s apprehensive about going. He’s glad he and Elizabeth are starting to reconnect, but he’s not sure he should go. Emily tells him that Elizabeth would love the familiar faces, and tells him how supportive Elizabeth said he’d been about her art. He should go, because it’s what friends do, and a night in the city might be good for him and Evie. Get away from PC. She and Nikolas are going, as well as Lucky, Audrey and Steven. He agrees.

At Elizabeth’s opening, it’s going really well. She sees Jason and goes to him, knowing he’s uncomfortable in the setting. She offers to explain any of the paintings to her, and he asks her which one is her favorite. She tells him it’s the one she did, trying to capture a moment in which her arms are outstretched, ready to hold Cameron for the first time, to try and capture the love, fear, the anticipation of finally being a mother. He understands that—he saw Sam hold Evie for the first time,the only time. He’d had to help her because she was so weak, but she wanted to do it just once. It’s the reason he decided to honor her wishes, because Evie should know how much her mother loved her and tried to protect her. Even though it’s created issues with Sonny? He says he expects one day, Sonny will come for her, he’s not stupid. It’s not going to go away, but what was he supposed to do? Pretend Sam’s wishes didn’t matter? He’d kept that promise to Carly, too. And he admits that he doesn’t think Sonny is a particularly good father. That sometimes he sees Michael and Morgan as possessions, rather than people. Well, she knows that’s not how he sees Evie, and she’s in the best place possible.

Across the room, Nikolas is trying to decide which painting he wants to buy. He likes so many of them, but he’s drawn to one of a woman sitting in a bed, her hands at her head. The devastation, the loss. He knows its Elizabeth, and he wonders when it would been. Emily says softly that it’s the day she woke up after her pulmonary embolism, knowing what Ric had done. Nikolas doesn’t want that one now. He sees another one…and he knows it. It’s the fountain in a desolate winter scene, one lone red shoe with its strap broken laying by a bench. He doesn’t want that either. How can she paint these moments and sell them? Emily thinks it’s Elizabeth’s way of letting those moments go. Putting them on canvas, and freeing them. He finally decides on one—a chapel scene, with candles lit in the forefront, two shadowy figures sitting in a pew. He knows it’s from Emily’s cancer scare. Emily sees her brother and Elizabeth in a deep conversation. She hopes she’s not meddling too much, she just feels like they might not decide on their own to reconnect—both too far away from another. Nikolas wonders if she should force it, but he’d like to see Elizabeth have less of these painful moments to paint, if Jason can help her do that, well, he’s not opposed.

When Jason returns the next day from New York, Sonny demands to know were he went. Jason sees no reason to hide it, he went to Elizabeth’s opening. Is Jason trying to pick out a mother for his daughter? Sonny demands. Jason doesn’t know how to answer that, so he doesn’t. He calls Diane Miller, his own separate lawyer he met through Sam, and asks her for the best realtor. He needs to be away from the penthouse.

Carly learns through the grapevine Jason went to Elizabeth’s showing, and as much as she doesn’t like the other woman, she thinks this might be the answer she’s looking for. Elizabeth and her son could help Jason get past losing Evie. She knows, reluctantly, Elizabeth had been there in the aftermath of Michael for him. She begins to seriously consider confiding in Sonny, but she’s not sure how to push him to take Evie away.

Elizabeth and Jason run into each other on the docks, and she tells him that her showing was insanely successful. They sold half her paintings, and she’s actually going to make so much money, she won’t know what to do with it. He can tell she’s a little troubled, and she admits that the painting of the park scene, with her red shoe, sold the most. She’s not sure how to feel that someone owns that memory. It was freeing to paint it, as if she’d really let go of that broken girl in the snow, but at the same time, knowing it’ll hang on someone’s wall is troubling. He says if she’s let it go, then why does it matter? He has a point, and she’ll get past it. It’s just difficult. But still, she’s excited. He offers her a ride home, and she asks if he has his bike. It’s an old reminder, and he grins. Yeah. He takes her home on it.

Emily tells Elizabeth that she and Nikolas have finally set the date for their wedding in spring. She hopes Elizabeth will stand up for her, but she doesn’t want her to feel uncomfortable because Lucky is Nikolas’s best man. Elizabeth says that while she and Lucky are friends, that ship has sailed. They’re barely in each other’s lives now, and she prefers it that way. It’s easier for her to have people like that in her past. She rarely runs into Ric, as if he goes out of his way to avoid her, and she likes it that way. Emily is curious — so Elizabeth would rather have reminders of her past romances, how does she explain Jason? Jason’s different. And it’s not like they’re close like they used to be. Emily argues it’s exactly like it used to be. They run into each other, talk. He takes her for rides. Isn’t that how it started? Elizabeth is startled, she hadn’t thought about it that way. But Emily doesn’t push.

Lucky and Nikolas discuss his upcoming wedding, and Lucky admits he’s also uncomfortable that someone bought the painting of Elizabeth’s shoe. It was beautiful, like everything else, but that moment is so enshrined in his head, like a nightmare. Nikolas asks if he’s sorry Elizabeth and Lucky didn’t work out, and Lucky admits yeah, but mostly because he remembers how perfect life was before the fire, and how he hates that he ruined their friendship. They both did, by grinding their romance into the ground. They’d tried to so hard to recapture those moments that they’d destroyed each other. Maybe they’d have had a chance if they’d tried to get to know one another again, but instead, they’d tried to be those teenagers again. He hopes Elizabeth finds happiness, and admits he knows she’s been reconnecting with Jason. He’s not sure how he feels about that—since breaking the brainwashing, the irrational anger is gone, but he knows that she was falling in love with him, and stayed with Lucky out of obligation. Nikolas admits he agreed to help Emily push them together. Lucky just sighs, and admits what will be will be. He’d like to find someone to be happy with as well.

The tiny little problems in the business are still present, and Sonny is still sure it’s Johnny Zacchara on his father’s orders, because the bastard is still hanging out in town—at Luke’s, at Kelly’s. At Jake’s. Jason is unconvinced, but knows he can’t keep putting off dealing with this. Sonny is starting act erratically, and it’s not good for anyone.

Carly has also noticed the erratic behavior ramping up—she knows it’s because of Sonny’s guilt about Evie. She doesn’t want to push for her until she’s sure that Jason can…well, not exactly replace her, but not be left alone. She gingerly asks him about Elizabeth, and tries to be supportive as she encourages him not to lose out on his feelings. Jason isn’t really forthcoming, but he can’t admit that those long-buried feelings haven’t resurfaced. And it’s not as if he could push away due to danger, not when he’s raising a child of his own. Carly’s satisfied. They’re not there yet, but she feels like she can fix her family and not ruin Jason in the process, even though part of her knows she’s jumping through hoops to justify her plans.

The weather is letting up. Elizabeth tells her grandmother that she’s loved living with her for so long, but she really has to find her own place, with room for her art. Audrey will be sad to them go, but is happy Elizabeth lives in Port Charles again, and seems so happy at it. It’s all she ever wanted. She’s even planning to take a short trip to Italy in the summer, after Cameron’s birthday. She wants to see the light in Venice.

Jason has looked at a few places, has asked Emily what she thinks. She supports him getting geographical distance from Sonny and Carly, but might it just make things worse? He’s not sure how to avoid it. He’s had several uncomfortable conversation with Carly, that makes him wonder if she knows Evie is Sonny’s biological daughter. Emily pushes him to explain himself—and he admits that it’s always suspicious when Carly is saying nice things about Elizabeth. But maybe Carly’s just trying to be a better person. Emily doubts it.

Elizabeth runs into Jason in the park, with Evie. She has Cameron. They sit and talk, and watch Cameron share his toys with Evie. She talks about her search for the right place to live, he admits he’s doing the same, but he agrees with Emily. Leaving might create more problems than it solves. Things with Sonny seem to be deteriorating rather than getting better. Is he sorry he started this? Back with the paternity results? He admits if he had thought it through back then, he might not have done it, but he loves Evie. He doesn’t know what to do now. He’s honoring Sam’s wishes. He shows Evie pictures, and tells her about her mother. He knows Sonny and Carly won’t do that, that Carly hated the other woman too much. He thinks Carly knows the truth, and the fact that she’s keeping it to herself worries him. Elizabeth knows that means Carly has a plan, which never ends well for Jason. She wishes she could say something helpful, but there isn’t really anything to say. Has he thought about talking to Sonny about Evie’s custody? Jason has, but he thinks if he brought it up now, Sonny would want to take her, and Jason isn’t sure how he could justify keeping her if that were true. Is it better that they’re hiding all of this? She asks. It’s not his usual mo to stick his head in the sand. He’s used to confronting things. That’s not him anymore, he admits. He’s not sure when it became easier to just to pretend things were different than they were. He didn’t even know he could do that. She says that she used to do that, that she spent a lot time pretending that she could fix Lucky, that she could save Ric, but it was a mistake. He knows she’s right, but the last time he faced a situation like this, he walked away from Michael and now look at his life. Could he sentence Evie to being Sonny’s daughter?

Emily tells Nikolas she’s frustrated Jason and Elizabeth are moving at a snail’s pace. Because they’re perfect together. What the hell. Nikolas sighs, being the voice of reason, and tells her that it’s better this way. They’re not trying to recapture old feelings, trying to be who they were before Ric or Courtney. But they’re reconnecting as they are now. He reminds her Lucky and Elizabeth forced themselves into being someone else in order to be happy together. He knows Emily wants them to be happy, but if they’re going to be together, it has to be on their own terms.

Carly is also frustrated at the slow pace. Sonny’s becoming angrier, and she’s not sure what to do anymore. She tries to confide in Jason about Sonny’s anger, and Jason asks her point blank if she knows what Sonny is angry about, why he and Sonny are so far apart. Carly is hesitant, because she knows she’s given herself away. She just tells him she wants things to be as they were once, when Jason and Courtney were planning their wedding, and Sonny and Carly were happy. She wants that back. Jason tells her to stop living in the past and accept the situation as it is.

A period of peace for a bit. Problems in the business stop, but Johnny Zacchara is still hanging around. Jason tries to tell Sonny it’s because he’s seeing a nurse at the hospital, but Sonny doesn’t accept it. Jason distances himself from Sonny, who begins to delegate to other men in the business. He’s not cutting Jason out, but it’s not too far from the mark.

Elizabeth offers Jason an invitation to Cameron’s first birthday in the park. She wants him to bring Evie, He’s not sure, as he’ll be around her family, and she understands but it’d be nice for Evie to be socialized with other kids, wouldn’t it? Cameron will be there, and so will Alexis’s daughter, Kristina. Jason agrees, he just doesn’t want make anything difficult for her. He’s really not, she promises. They’re friends, and they both have young children.

At the party, Audrey is slightly dismayed to see Jason with his daughter, and wonders to Steven if Elizabeth is getting involved with him again. Steven reluctantly thinks if they’re not dating, it’s not far off. He’s seen the way they look at one another when no one’s looking, but he doesn’t think either will make a move. Emily overhears this and complains to Nikolas that she understands his point, but they’re both so hesitant. She’ll figure out something at their wedding at the end of the month. Jason hangs out until the party is over and tells Elizabeth he’s glad he came, that Evie had fun and it’s good for her to be around other kids. She’ll have a difficult life as his daughter, and he wants to make it easier.

Carly and Sonny’s marriage is still falling apart. They’re not arguing, but they’re not really communicating. Michael and Morgan are completely miserable, and she really thinks Evie would help. It would give Sonny someone to focus on, something good and fresh. She’s just not sure how to make it happen. She knows the cards she could play—she could tap into the growing distrust Sonny has for Jason, but part of her really rebels at that. She loves Jason. She also knows it can’t last — it’s either her marriage or Jason’s friendship, she’ll have to decide what’s more important.

At Emily’s wedding, Elizabeth is maid of honor, Lucky is the best man. Emily wishes her brother was the type to dance, but, eh, such is life. At the reception, Elizabeth makes a lovely toast about her friends and their love for one another, and how lucky they are to be able to spend forever with the right person. Emily tosses her bouquet and lands her target—Elizabeth. She tells Nikolas to aim the garter at Jason. Nikolas balks, because…no. But he reluctantly throws the garter wild, in Jason’s direction away from the crowd. It lands on his shoulder. Score! Emily insists Elizabeth and Jason dance because it’s her day, and damn it, she gets her way.

Jason and Elizabeth agree, and they’re both awkwardly amused, because they both realize what Emily’s been hinting at them for months. Jason hesitantly tells her that he’s thought about her a lot, that he’s glad she came home and they’re friends again. He didn’t realize how much he’d missed her, talkin and taking rides until she was back in his life. Elizabeth admits the same thing, and they both know they’re admitting some a bit more than that, but neither really know what to do about it.

Emily is satisfied that something moved forward and leaves for her honeymoon in Greece, happy she’s put them in the right track. She knows that Sonny and Carly aren’t going to lay dormant, and Jason needs Elizabeth more than ever.

A few days after the wedding, Jason and Sonny have another argument about Johnny Zacchara. Jason gives him proof that Johnny is dating one of the nurses. Sonny insists its a cover. Zacchara’s coming for them he’s just taking his time. Jason doubts it, as Anthony Zacchara is a lunatic who wouldn’t know patience if it bit him in the ass. Sonny can’t understand why Jason doubts him. Hasn’t Sonny given him his daughter? Shouldn’t Jason want to keep him happy? And Jason is frustrated, because Sonny only agreed to let Sam’s con stand. He storms out, and heads to Jake’s.

Elizabeth is also having a rough night. She’s run into Ric, who reluctantly admits that he and Alexis are having a child. He wants her to be happy, he hopes she’s moving on. He wants to make amends. She has moved on, but it’s the first time since she’s been home that Ric is bringing up the past, and she just wants it to stay there. She also heads to Jake’s.

She finds Jason already there, and she can tell he’s annoyed, frustrated, looking for a fight. Instead, she challenges him to a game of pool, promising she remembers the lessons he gave her once. He’s been drinking a little, just slightly buzzed. She tosses back a few as well. They start to play. She tells him that she remembers that day like it was yesterday and sometimes she wonders what might have happened if Lucky hadn’t shown up. He tells her he knows what he would have wanted to happen. She grins, and says she knows exactly what he means, but tonight, there’s an audience. It’s a shame they’ve both been drinking, it’s a perfect night to take out the bike. All she ever has to do is ask. She sighs, because that’s true, and wistfully she tells him she wishes he’d ask sometime. It seems like the decisions are always up to her. He knows what she means, but says nothing. They finish their game and head outside. His buzz is basically gone—once she’d shown up, he’d cut out drinking knowing they’d end up this way. He offers her that ride, and she agrees. But she wants to take the long way. Cam is with her grandmother, and already down for the night.

He agrees and takes her to Vista Point, and she looks up at the stars. She can’t believe how much it’s like it used to be. Just being easy with one another, taking rides, and yet sometimes they’ll walk right into an old memory. She can still remember the last time they were here alone. All the times they were here and he walked away from her. And asks him what might have happened if she’d chased after him one of those times? He doesn’t think in what ifs, he wants to think in this moment. He pulls her close and kisses her the way he’s been thinking about for months. And she kisses him back the way she’s thought about for nearly as long.

Emily returns from her honeymoon and makes a beeline for Elizabeth, who admits that she and Jason are seeing each other. Emily is beyond thrilled, and tells Liz that’s exactly what she’d been hoping for. Elizabeth tells her how…odd it feels to finally be on the right page, to have finally gotten the timing right. He’s not pushing her away, she’s not running toward anyone else. It’s just the two of them. Emily thinks she looks so happy.

Carly has also noticed the changes and decides she’s going to, at the very least, confide in Sonny that she’s always know. She tells Sonny that she knows they’re not happy, so she wants to start fresh. They shouldn’t have secrets, so she admits she’s known since before Evie was born she was Sonny’s. Sonny doesn’t know Carly’s bothering, and she just tells him it’s a sign of faith—a sign she wants them to be a family. She knows he’s unhappy. What’s wrong? He doesn’t feel like he can trust Jason anymore.

A few weeks pass in which Jason and Elizabeth spend a lot of time together. Audrey is reluctantly approving, since it’s clear Jason’s good for her granddaughter, but she’s just worried. Still…Evie is adorable. Elizabeth spends a lot of time at the penthouse with Cam, and recently, she’s been spending the night several times a week. Audrey tells Monica that she’s aware that it’s just a matter of time before Elizabeth moves out. Monica is overjoyed—Elizabeth has always been her favorite, and she’s a great buffer in the awkward moments with Jason. Plus, there’s Evie and Cam.

In fact, Jason is thinking about the best way to ask Elizabeth to move in with him. Not to the penthouse, but to start looking for a place of his own. Because he knows Emily loves him, he reluctantly asks his sister for advice. Emily is overjoyed and tells him to just be honest about how much he wants her with him, and why he wants to do this. She tentatively asks him if he’s thought about marriage. He’s less sure about that. They’ve both been married and divorced, and it might not be a road either is in a hurry to walk down. Emily agrees, but tells him not to rule it out. It’s more than a piece of a paper, it’s a promise that means something. It should be, and she thinks with them it would.

Carly runs into Elizabeth who is in the park with Evie and Cam. She wonders why Elizabeth is with Evie, and Elizabeth says Jason is meeting them later. They’re both wary of one another, because Carly doesn’t want to alienate Elizabeth—she needs her to stick by Jason, but she also doesn’t want her playing mommy to the little girl Carly plans to bring into her family. She leaves, and Elizabeth is perturbed. She tells Jason of the encounter, and he thinks she has a plan, but they’re so far apart now, he doesn’t know what to do about it. He knows he should talk about it, but he’s beginning to think that won’t solve anything. He promised Sam to take care of her daughter, to love her as his own. He does now, and Sonny let him do that. How can Sonny take that back? Elizabeth says they have to do what’s best for Evie. She knows Michael is having issues in school, has been acting out. That Morgan is probably as unhappy—his entire life has been in turmoil. Is it fair to Evie? Jason admits that’s what’s hardest about this. If they brought out into the open, he’d still want Evie to stay with them.

Audrey has been feeling ill for several weeks, and finally is forced to admit to Steven that she’s having heart issues. It’s nothing serious, but at her age, she has to be careful. She doesn’t want to tell Elizabeth just yet. She’s hoping Jason and Elizabeth will move forward, so she can be confident that Elizabeth will be happy with someone. Steven reluctantly agrees.

Elizabeth and Jason are in bed one night, and he asks her to move in. Not here, but somewhere. He wants to be with her and Cam all the time. She’s hesitant, because she loves him, but everything is so perfect, what if moving in changes things and it stops working? Why would it, he asks? And naturally she’s just worrying, because she has no answer to that. She’s just…not been this happy in so long, she wants to hold onto it. He agrees, but he thinks it could be even better. He wants to adopt Cameron, and maybe she could adopt Evie. They could be a family. They could get married if she wants, if that will make her feel more secure. She doesn’t want to get married to feel secure. She wants to get married because that’s what he wants. He wants to be with her, to be a family. He remembers what Emily said about making those promises, and he tells her he’d like to make those to her. She starts to smile, because is this a proposal? Are…they seriously getting engaged? He grins, because yeah that’s what this sounds like.

Elizabeth calls Emily and asks her and Nikolas to come to her grandmother’s house the next evening for dinner. Emily agrees and tells Nikolas she thinks she knows what it is—after her conversation with Jason earlier. Nikolas thinks that’s great. By the way, how about they start working on their own family?

Carly talks to Sonny again about Jason, and Sonny’s feeling a bit better. He doesn’t know why he thought he couldn’t trust Jason. Jason’s just doing what Sam asked, what Sonny told him to do. Love Evie as his own. He can’t take that from him. Carly agrees, but she’s still not sure, because this could be one of Sonny’s cycles. She’s worried if he doesn’t resolve this Evie thing, he’s going to sink back into it.

Elizabeth gathers her grandmother, her brother, Emily and Nikolas, and Jason reluctantly invites Monica. They announcement their engagement. The shrieking from Emily is quite loud, but everyone seems genuinely happy for the couple. Monica thanks Jason for the invitation. Audrey wants to throw them a real engagement party, something special for them. Jason doesn’t really want that, but he sees Elizabeth looking at him, and he decides she does, so he agrees.

Carly finds out about the engagement when Audrey books Club 101 for the party. She had bought back into it during her separation from Sonny, and Jax sold her the remaining interest then. Audrey booked Carly’s club because she knows Jason and Carly are friends, and she wants Elizabeth to know how much she accepts them. She’s so thrilled, really, which surprises her. But Evie is so delightful and she’s happy that Elizabeth is going to adopt her, and Jason going to adopt Cam. Carly knows her chances are sliding away.

Elizabeth thanks Jason for giving into her grandmother’s party idea, and he tells her it’s not his favorite idea, but he knows it makes her happy, and it’s not like it’s not something to celebrate. She just wants to be engaged for a while, and not rush into the changes. She wants to find the perfect place to settle down in, the perfect home. He tells her not to concentrate on perfect and just what feels right. He’s so literal sometimes.

Carly tells Sonny about the engagement and Jason’s plans to allow Elizabeth to adopt Evie. Sonny is annoyed. He’d been sure all along that this was going to happen, and if Jason is picking a mother out for Evie, he really plans to raise her forever. To be a family with her. He can’t figure out why this makes him so angry when he’s known the deal all along. Carly tells him that maybe he was right not to trust Jason—after all, he sure didn’t ask Sonny if that was okay, or tell them about the engagement. Sonny agrees with that. Maybe it’s time to remind Jason how life works.

Elizabeth convinces Jason to send Sonny and Carly invitations. The tension between them can’t go on forever, and they’re both tied up in knots about what they might do. Jason agrees it wouldn’t be good to leave them out, and agrees.

Emily is practically prancing with happiness because she has some amazing news—she’s pregnant. Nikolas is thrilled, but confused—did they just start trying? Silly boy, she tossed the birth control after the wedding. A little Cassadine running around, won’t that be awesome? Suddenly he feels ill.

The night of the party, Elizabeth is practically glowing. Evie and Cam are at the party initially, and even Kristina. Carly sees Kristina and Evie near one another, and is stricken because they have similar dark hair. She remembers that other secret she’s keeping and takes a hasty sip. Everyone is in awe at how gorgeous the kids look in their party wear. Emily insists on family photos and Sonny watches as Jason and Elizabeth pose, each other with the other’s child. It’s beginning to gnaw at him now. The nanny takes them both home.

Steven asks Audrey if she’s planning to wait until after the wedding to tell Elizabeth about her health problems, and Audrey says she’s not sure. They haven’t set a date yet, and she’s not sure how long she can hold off. She’s growing more tired. Steven is concerned. He’d like her tell Elizabeth after the party if possible. Audrey agrees.

Sonny approaches Jason to offer his congratulations. Jason is wary, knows he’s right be when Sonny tells him they’re going to have sit down and talk about how things are going to change now that Jason has a family of his own. Jason doesn’t think the situation should change, except he and Elizabeth are looking for someone to live that has room for her studio.

Jason tells Elizabeth that he thinks the situation with Sonny is going to get worse, and she’s sorry for it, but they’ll get through this together. As they’re dancing (because Jason finally gave in), there’s a commotion from the other side of the room. Audrey has collapsed.

She tries to play it off, tries to convince Elizabeth she’s all right, but Elizabeth isn’t stupid. She tells Audrey that if as a nurse, she doesn’t think she should go to the hospital, then Elizabeth will accept that. Audrey catches Steven’s eye and reluctantly nods. The party breaks up, as Elizabeth, Jason, Emily and Nikolas head for GH.

Audrey admits that she’s been having heart issues, but she didn’t want to worry Elizabeth until she had to. Elizabeth is upset her grandmother didn’t confide in her, but reluctantly accepts the situation. The tests return and it’s not great news. Her heart isn’t pumping efficiently (mitral stenosis) and her medications haven’t controlled it as well. The only thing left is surgery. Elizabeth asks her to have the surgery, to be around to see her great-grandchildren, but Audrey feels the surgery and recovery time is dangerous at her age. She’s not going to have it.

Jason and Elizabeth return to the penthouse, and she’s weeping. To be so happy and know that in a matter of months her grandmother might be gone. Jason reminds her she’d been worried about her grandmother’s health, and it was why she’d moved home. She sighs, because of course he’s right.

The minor business problems are cropping up again, and Sonny is convinced that the Zaccharas are playing with their heads. Jason disputes that, he thinks it might be the Ruizes, it fits them better. Sonny is annoyed Jason isn’t taking him seriously. Who’s in charge here, anyway? Jason doesn’t want to challenge him, but he’s conscious that if Sonny goes after the Zaccharas, it puts them all in danger, when they’re not even sure anything is wrong. He’s recognizing the signs of the breakdown beginning. He talks to Carly about it, but Carly tells him it’s Jason’s fault. Jason used to be someone Sonny could trust, and now Jason stole his daughter and he’s trying to usurp him. Troubled, Jason leaves the penthouse.

A few weeks later, Audrey passes in the middle of the night. Jason is distracted with Elizabeth’s grief and helping her and her brother with funeral arrangements. After the funeral, the will is read. Audrey has splot her estate evenly between Elizabeth, Steven, and Sarah, but has left the house to Elizabeth in hopes she might raise her family there and be as happy as Audrey and Steve were.

Elizabeth asks if it’s something they can do, if they can secure the house. Jason isn’t sure about the long-term, but reasons they can keep the penthouse for when security is heightened. He agrees to move their family to Audrey’s home.

There’s a fire at the warehouse that’s ruled accidental, but Sonny accuses Johnny Zacchara of setting it. He tells Jason to eliminate the Zacchara boy. Jason refuses, because it was an accident, and he’s not starting a war. Sonny seethes and goes after Johnny Zacchara himself. There’s a shootout, and Johnny escapes. He holes up with his girlfriend, Nadine, dropping out of sight. Sonny ends up in the hospital.

Jason reluctantly tells Elizabeth that Sonny is out of control and making decisions that will put them all at risk. He asks her, not that he wants to discuss such things with her, but he’s not left with much of a choice. He asks her if she would remain with him if he took over the business, because he’s not sure Sonny will ever be stable enough to handle things again, and he has too much too lose. Her, the kids, and he even wants to protect Michael and Morgan. She fell in love with all of him, and she honestly suspected this day might come.

Jason visits Sonny in the hospital and tells him he’s done, and the men are already behind him. They’ve been behind him for years, and Sonny’s pissed, because he’s known for a long time the men were more loyal to Jason than him, and remained with Sonny because Jason did. This isn’t over. Carly comes by after, and Sonny is ridiculously pissed. He took care of the problem. Zacchara is dead, and Jason retaliates by taking things from him. This wouldn’t have happened, Carly tells him, if Sonny hadn’t let Jason keep Evie. It’s time Jason understood who has the real power.

Elizabeth admits to Emily that things have been difficult since Audrey’s death, though they’re getting through it by trying to talk it out. Jason and Sonny are as far apart as ever, and she’s sure Carly’s been ready to turn on Jason for months. Emily agrees that the situation is about to explode, but she’s been expecting it for almost a year.

Jason and Elizabeth are tentatively discussing setting a date, just to have it done, not wanting to put off being married for too long when Diane Miller calls them to report that she’s received notice from Jordan Baines, Sonny’s lawyer, that he’s filing for reversal of the termination and to vacate Jason’s guardianship. Elizabeth takes the phone from Jason, who almost eerily quiet, sets up a meeting with Diane for the next day. They need to figure out what comes next. Jason isn’t sure. In his heart, he knows that Evie is where Sam would want her, that Sonny only sees her as something that belongs to him, but he also knows that by keeping her, it’s making things worse, that Sonny will spiral into a breakdown possibly, and without Jason to stabilize him, Carly’s liable to make it worse, and everyone’s in danger then. Elizabeth isn’t unsympathetic, but at the end of the day, is that the home he wants to send Evie too? No, he admits, and if he thought he could, he’d get Michael and Morgan away from them as well. So that’s it. They’ll tell Diane they’ll fight for custody, and she thinks they’ll win.

Meanwhile, Johnny Zacchara is pretty pissed at the world. He was maintaining a low profile, to keep his girlfriend Nadine from becoming an issue for his father, and now he’s been shot for his troubles. Nadine is fretting, because she knows if Johnny’s father finds out about this, it’s going to be very very bad. Johnny tells his father he’s taken off for Mexico to give himself some to figure things out. He can’t just heal and pretend nothing happened, because Sonny’s fucking insane. Nadine completely agrees, but she’s heard gossip that Jason took over things after Sonny was shot. Johnny’s ears perk up, maybe. But he wants to lay low to make sure, because he’ll have to ask her to make the contact and he’s not thrilled about that. Neither is she. He’s lucky he’s cute.

Emily meets with Jason and Elizabeth before the meeting with Diane, and she wants to make it clear that she’ll corrall all the character witnesses she can find. Sam left details with Diane as to Sonny’s behavior towards the baby. Monica and Steven will testify. Bobbie has tentatively agreed to testify, worried for her grandsons. Sonny and Carly have no one.

Diane agrees with Emily’s assessment. This should be clear. Sonny did nothing to take back custody in Evie’s first year. He signed a termination agreement, and it’s not Sam’s fault if he didn’t read it. Sam made it clear to Diane that she was planning to raise her daughter with Jason, and she signed a will to that effect, leaving guardianship to Jason. She hopes not to put Jason on the stand, but she doubts Sonny’s lawyer will cross him too much — Sonny’s arrest record is longer and more colorful, which will get Sam’s last wishes in. More importantly, Jason is connected to the Quartermaines, and his fiancee is well-loved and well-respected. It’ll come down to Elizabeth and Carly, and Diane plans to prove how crappy Carly is at motherhood. Jason feels marginally better, but is gulty at having to drag Carly through the mud. Elizabeth hopes he’ll wake up— that Carly was pushing this the last few months. She waited until she thought Jason would have Elizabeth and her son, trying to justify it. He knows that, and it’s…maybe he should have seen this coming. She pretended to be his best friend, but at the end of the day, Carly worries about herself.

The custody battle seems to open a line of attack—and problems become slightly worse. Shipments are outright stolen, drugs are on the streets, some hookers are beat up. Jason’s trying to keep it under control, but he wonders if Sonny is behind some of the issues. He wonders what happened to Johnny Zacchara’s body, and how long it’s going to be before Anthony comes for them.

At the actual custody hearing, Diane leads with Elizabeth, establishing her role in Evie’s life, her art career, her own son. Jordan skips over much of the bad stuff, knowing that much of it isn’t admissible. Ric was never charged or prosecuted for Carly’s kidnapping, so there’s not much they can do on that end. She brings out that Elizabeth has been married twice to the same man, but there’s just not much dirt there. Diane puts Jason the stand, bolstered by Jordan’s light-going on Elizabeth, and asks im to describe the situation about the paternity change and the guardianship. He describes Sam’s last words, and talks about how he tells Evie stories about Sam all the time, and how Elizabeth painted a portrait of Sam and Evie for Evie’s room at Audrey’s home. Yes, Elizabeth plans to adopt her, to be a mother figure, but he plans for Evie to always know her mother.

After a parade of character witnesses who wax poetic about Jason raising Michael—even Robin Scorpio has flown in from Paris, after Emily explained the situation—to discuss Carly as a mother and Jason as a father, Jordan reluctantly puts Sonny on the stand to explain why he didn’t contest guardianship initially. Sonny’s story doesn’t really make him come across well (hiding it from his wife, having a second affair, with it’s clear from Carly’s expression she was unaware of), but then Diane rips him apart on the stand—talking about the shooting of Carly the night Morgan was born, Michael’s long absences, the faking of his death. She keeps pushing at Sonny, and he’s growing angrier and angrier as if he’s about to explode, and then Diane abruptly calls off the questioning and sits. The hearing is over, the judge will return with a determination in a few days, but there are very few people that don’t think Sonny and Carly have lost—Sonny may be the only one. After all, blood is blood.

Jason and Elizabeth head back to Audrey’s, and her heart is breaking for him, because she remembers Sonny once, and how wonderful he was to her, to Jason, how much Sonny meant to Jason. To see them at odds like this, she wishes they could have found a way to avoid it. He does, too, but he thinks the decision was made the moment he honored his promise to Sam over his loyalty to Sonny. It’s almost the same thing that happened with Robin in some ways. His promise to Carly resulted in falling in love with Michael, and he couldn’t see how things were falling apart with Robin until it was too late. But it’s complicated because of Sonny’s mental problems, that he’s never received treatment for, and the business.

Nadine has kept Johnny informed about the custody battle, and he’s decided it’s time to make his move, and throw in his lot behind Jason. He thinks he can get his father on the right side if he does it right. He needs Nadine to make the contact, because it’s not safe for him in public with Sonny on the loose. She suggests going to Jason’s fiancee, Elizabeth. She goes to Kelly’s, she thinks that might work. Johnny agrees but makes her promise not to take any chances. He doesn’t think Jason will hurt her, but he can’t guarantee about Sonny.

Carly is nervous, because she hadn’t really planned on it going that far. She’d thought Jason would give them Evie, especially once he understood how close to the edge Sonny was. He’d always protected Sonny, and to put them through the custody hearing, Sonny’s going to slide over the edge when they lose—and she’s sure they’ll lose—and after hearing that Sonny had a second affair with Sam last summer, she’s not sure she wants this idea of family anymore. She sends Michael and Morgan to stay with Bobbie for a few days, not wanting them in the house.

Jason is trying to get things under control, but the word on the street is that Hector Ruiz’s son Javier has been seen in the area—that Ruiz is working with someone. Jason’s almost sure that Sonny’s gone to the Ruizes for manpower, which was a sign that Sonny was near the edge — the Ruizes were doing the minor sabotage to begin with. Jason’s walking a very thin tight rope, which he knows will snap when Sonny loses custody. He cautions Elizabeth, tells her to take a guard with her, and that the kids aren’t leaving the house until further notice. He can’t take them to penthouse because that’s where the threat is, and the other safehouse he’d been working on isn’t ready yet. He gives orders to Cody and Francis to work overtime making it ready. They’re going to need it soon.

Nadine approaches Elizabeth at Kelly’s. She tells her that it’s important she speaks to her, that it’s about Johnny Zacchara. Elizabeth is hesitant but steps into the courtyard for a quiet chat. Nadine tells her that she’s been dating Johnny for nearly a year, and that Sonny thought Johnny was up to something when he kept coming to town—he was coming to see her, after they’d met at a party in New York City. The night Sonny thought he killed Johnny, he came to her, she’s been hiding him, but Johnny wants Jason’s help getting out of this, and in return, Johnny will keep Anthony Zacchara from blowing them all up. Elizabeth didn’t know most of these details ,but she knew there as direct source of disagreement. She immediately brings Nadine to the warehouse.

Nadine repeats her story to Jason and Jason agrees to offer protection. He knows he’s going to need Anthony Zacchara on his side if Sonny is going to bring Hector Ruiz’s sons into this. Javier is more old school, like his father, but Manny is a fucking lunatic. He tells Nadine and Elizabeth stay exactly where they are. He’ll get Johnny to a safehouse, but he wants them safe in this room until Johnny’s out of Nadine’s apartment. He leaves.

Carly and Sonny are in the penthouse, and she’s wondering what she should do when the news comes down. She’s never been as good at helping Sonny in breakdowns. She’s tried to talk to Bobbie about what might be wrong, but the only thing that will fix Sonny is therapy and medication, neither of which he’s ever been open to. She thinks she’s opened a gate that she can’t close, and she’s aimed him directly at Jason. It’s a little late for regrets, she knows, but man, if Jason had just told her Sonny had had an affair with Sam while Carly was living across the hall, she would have left him. They’d been separated before but they’d been together. It would have been the end.

Probably. Maybe. But at least she could have made the decision, so maybe it was little his fault.

Carly gets a call from Jordan, and the judge has delivered her decision. They’re upholding the termination of Sonny’s rights, and approving Elizabeth’s petition for adopting Evie, subject to finalization after the wedding. They’ve lost custody. And…the judge recommends social services be involved with Michael and Morgan. Sick to her stomach, she hangs up and reluctantly begins to prepare to tell Sonny the truth.

At the warehouse, Nadine is on pins and needles. She was so nervous about approaching them, and Johnny hated her doing it, he hated her being involved but it wasn’t like they had a choice. She hadn’t saved his life and nursed him back to health to see him screw it up now. Elizabeth completely understands. She hid Jason once while he was shot, and it was less dangerous in some ways, but one of her well-meaning friends started a fight with him that ended up reopening his wound. Also, he pushed himself. She tells Nadine not to worry. She trusts Jason to keep them safe. She gets a call from Diane, who gives them the joyous news. Elizabeth is relieved, but admits to Nadine she’s kind of terrified. The other shoe is going to drop.

At the penthouse, Sonny has flipped the minibar and Carly is terrified, because she’s never seen the look in his eyes before. He flips the coffee table, and then throws a vase. It crashes past her, and she’s cut by the shards. And his words begin to penetrate that haze. Jason is a traitor. Jason’s going to pay. He’s going to get his daughter. He doesn’t care who gets in his way. He storms out. Shaking, Carly calls Jason’s phone. No answer. She leaves him a message, and the texts him. Get the kids out. Move the kids. Sonny’s slid over the edge.

At the warehouse, Elizabeth and Nadine are startled when the guards rush in and rush them to waiting car. They’re going to the safehouse now. Elizabeth is upset, where’s Jason? What about the kids? Francis doesn’t know what to say. And then Elizabeth is quiet, because she doesn’t think she wants the answers.

At the safehouse (which is a compound outside of Port Charles with stone walls, security cameras, electric fences — Jason wasn’t kidding with making it safe.) Elizabeth and Nadine go inside, but Jason still isn’t there, and they’re still not answering her questions about the kids.

The door burst open, and its Johnny with Cam in his arms, and their nanny (still no name) with Evie. Elizabeth is relieved, but Jason’s not with them. Where is he? What happened? She takes Cam from Johnny, who rushes to Nadine. Cody tells them Jason is in the car behind them.

Jason comes in, and he looks haggard. There’s a cut on his forehead. Elizabeth doesn’t understand what’s happened. Were they attacked at Nadine’s? Jason says he’ll explain, but they need to get the kids calmed down and settled. And Elizabeth realizes they’re too upset for them just to have been picked up on the way from Nadine’s. But she gets Jason. Leaving Johnny and Nadine, she and Jason and the nanny take the kids upstairs. They get them calmed down. Jason apologizes to the nanny (who shall one day have a name and a personality) for this, but she responds she knew what she was getting into it.

Once Cam and Evie are calm and in the nanny’s safe hands, Jason and Elizabeth return downstairs. He tells her that Diane called him as they were in the car going from Nadine’s to the safehouse. And three minutes later, he received a call from Carly. He ignored that, but then he got her text. He turned the car around immediately, and called the security at the house. By the time Jason and Johnny arrived, the car was outside, and the men were inside the house. The kids heard guns as the nanny and Cody were rushing them out the back, and men died.

Elizabeth is wrecked that Sonny sent armed men to the home they share with the kids, to her grandmother’s home. He would have killed the nanny, probably Elizabeth, would he have hurt Cam to get to Evie? She’s devastated, and looks like she’s going to crumble.

Instead, she turns away, takes a deep breath, and when she turns around, she looks steely-eyed, with a sense of resilience Jason didn’t even know what she had. She tells him okay, now she knows the situation. What’s next? Jason exchanges a glance with Johnny, and Elizabeth can see he’s about to send her and Nadine out of the room. She balks. Not after her babies were threatened, after gunmen went to their home. This isn’t business, it’s personal. Jason reluctantly sees her point. Sonny has allied himself with the Ruizes for their resources. Elizabeth gets it—Jason needs back up, he needs help. She looks at Johnny. It’s got to be his family to help, since Johnny coming to town to avoid his father is fed into this mess. Johnny agrees, and he’s already pledged his help to keep Anthony from retaliating. It’s not enough, Elizabeth tells him. She looks at Jason, Because he knows she’s right. He’s going to have to ally with Zacchara against Sonny. Johnny tells him he can convince his father to do that. He’s never liked Sonny anyway—because you know, Trevor Lansing and all.

Jason takes Elizabeth into his office. Nadine wants to know how much more dangerous this is going to get. Johnny tells her it’s going to get worse before it gets better. He can send her away, do something extra to make her safe, but she says she’ll call out of work for a few days and if Jason is okay with it, she’ll stay here. If he thinks his kids and his fiancee are safe here, she’ll be fine. Johnny agrees. He’s sorry about this, it’s hardly what she signed up for. She signed up for him, and whatever comes with that. Again, though, he’s lucky he’s cute.

Jason apologizes to Elizabeth for this getting so out of hand, could they have avoided it if he’d talked to Sonny earlier? Elizabeth isn’t sure. Sonny might have snapped earlier, there’s no way to tell. They have to concentrate on the now. She’ll stay here, with the kids, to stay safe. But he has to come home to her. They’ve come too far for them to lose each other now. He tells her he’s not going to make her promises he can’t keep. He’ll do what he can.

Jason and Johnny leave immediately for Crimson Pointe to make the deal with Zacchara and secure his resources. He only takes Francis with him as security. Everyone else stays in Port Charles. Nadine asks Elizabeth how scared she should be, and Elizabeth tells her somewhere under terrified. She should have known it would get this bad. Carly was involved, and she just knows Carly kept pushing and pushing until Sonny was too far gone to control. She wonders at Michael and Morgan’s safety, and Carly’s location. Despite everything Carly has done to Jason, she knows Jason will take it badly if she’s hurt in the crossfire. Nadine doesn’t know Carly that well, but she’s never seemed that stable. Elizabeth blames Carly entirely, because she thinks Sonny started to change because of her. Because, maybe to with someone as destructive, selfish and needy as Carly Benson, Sonny need to kill that part of himself that was generous and warm. He’s never been the same since he hooked with the walking hurricane. Jason was smart to get himself away from that while he could. If Carly’s selfishness is the reason Jason doesn’t come home, Elizabeth will destroy her.

Jason and Johnny meet with Anthony Zacchara and Trevor Lansing. Johnny quickly explains that he’s been hanging out in PC, not in New York, he’s been seein someone. Anthony figured, but he decided to let Johnny annoy Sonny. Well, unfortunately, Johnny admits, he annoyed Sonny a little too much, and Jason had to step in—not that Johnny knew this. Had Jason come to him, he would have figured something out. Jason’s annoyed by this, because, yeah, there’s a point, but let’s focus. He admits that Sonny shot him, and Johnny hid out for six weeks with his girlfriend, waiting for the right time to come forward. Now Anthony’s pissed, but Johnny says that the action Jason to split with Sonny and take power. But Sonny lost the custody hearing, and he’s going after Jason’s family. Johnny wants his father to back Jason in this power struggle, because Jason saved Johnny’s life.

Anthony isn’t keen to come in on either side of the equation, but he’s old school enough to understand that he needs to back Jason, as repayment for his son’s life. He agrees to supply Jason with anything he needs. And with his support comes other members of the syndicate on the East Coast. The Ruizes will back Sonny until it’s not useful to them anymore—and they want to work with Boston and New York too much to risk it for Sonny Corinthos, a two-bit player from upstate New York.

With the deal in place, and Anthony’s pledge to hold a meeting with the Families to make it clear to Hector Ruiz how the cookie crumbles, Jason returns to Port Charles alone. Johnny remains in Crimson Pointe to keep his father honest, but asks Jason to protect Nadine. She’s like Elizabeth—she’s only in this because she loves him, and she doesn’t deserve to get hurt. Jason agrees.

He returns to the penthouse to find it empty and trashed. And he finds Carly upstairs, bleeding from a head wound. He takes her to the hospital, and she drifts in and out of consciousness. She told Bobbie to get her brother to get the boys to disappear, because once Sonny realizes she sent them away, he’d come for her and she wanted them safe. Did…Sonny do this to her? He asks, appalled. She admits he threw her against the wall when she refused to tell him where the boys are. He’s out of control, she knows it, and she did this. She didn’t think long-term, she just wanted to fix her family, and instead she destroyed them. It’s all she knows how to do.

Shaken at Sonny’s actions—from injuring Carly to threatening children, Jason returns to his penthouse, to make it center of operations. He can’t contact Elizabeth, can’t give away the location of the safehouse. The house isn’t even in his name, or Elizabeth’s, but in Sam’s. He’d initally bought the property the summer before, thinking she’d want to live on her own at some point. And then he’d turned into a fortress to protect his family. Sonny’s not likely to look for Sam’s property. He hopes. He meets with Cody and Max about the situation. They’re trying to locate Sonny, what’s he going to do when he finds him? Jason doesn’t know.

At the safehouse, Elizabeth tells Nadine she wishes she could contact Emily and her brother. She’s sure they’re worried, and while Jason will eventually get around to telling them everything is okay, it’s not high on the list of priorities. Nadine asks how she can be in this life like this? What made her choose to really do this? And Elizabeth responds it wasn’t a choice, not really. She loves Jason. Every bit of him. Even the shadowy dark parts. She won’t say she’s not scared, but the end of the day, her family with Jason is worth it. Nadine admits that she loves Johnny, and she wants to think she’s cut out of this, but this has been such a shock. She hopes she’s strong enough, and Elizabeth thinks she might be. She hasn’t flipped yet.

Jason finds Emily at the hospital, and she’s been worried sick. There were reports of gunshots near the Hardy house, but nothing was found. Where are Liz and the kids? Jason says they’re safe, to let Steven know that, too. If anyone asks, they went to California to see some friends Elizabeth made while she was living there. Emily agrees and tells him to be careful. He’s put a guard on her, and on Steven. Sonny might not tihnk of them, but Jason’s not taking any chances.

Bobbie visits Carly in the hospital, and pleads with her to divorce Sonny. Carly agrees, and she’s worried about Jason, his kids, about her boys. They’re safe right? Luke hid them. Bobbie promises that Luke, with Lucky’s help, will protect them. This will be over soon. One way or another. Jason’s not going to let this stand. Carly feels like she’s seeing clearly for the first time in years and she’s destroyed over what she’s done, over what she allowed to happen to Jason, to Sonny. She’s the common denominator. She’s what went wrong. Bobbie can’t deny that.

Jason, in an effort to draw a confrontation, heads to the warehouse. His instincts are right…Sonny is there. And he’s alone. His alliance with the Ruizes is about causing trouble elsewhere—with shipments and the police, and the bookies, hookers. But Jason thought Sonny would deal with him on his own. Sonny confronts him about all that Jason’s stolen from him, and Jason it’s true that he participated in Sam’s scheme to block him from Evie, but Sonny brought that on himself by lying to Carly and not coming forward. He took the business, but Sonny was putting them all in the danger. Jason pleads with Sonny to get help, to find a way back to the surface again, to be that man he knows, that he considers his brother. He knows Sonny, the real Sonny, wouldn’t have sent men after two small children, wouldn’t have thrown Carly into a wall. He knows it. But Sonnys only hearing that Jason is criticizing him, undermining him. He shouts at him—he wants his life bakc, he wants what Jason stole, his kids, his business, his life. And when he goes for his gun, Jason is quicker.

After killing Sonny, Jason reluctantly returns to the safe house, and to Elizabeth. He looks in on Evie and Cam before sitting in a chair, watching Elizabeth asleep. She becomes aware of it, and wakes up. She knows, without speaking, what’s happened, and knows how wracked with guilt he must be. Jason asks how can she love him, he’s nothing but a killer, and Elizabeth knows she has to tread lightly, because he needs to know that she knows him for who and what he is and loves him anyway. She tells him that she knows that he’s killed people, with or without Sonny’s orders. She knows he’s capable of violence. But he exists in a world that isn’t black or white, but in shades of gray. She tells him that he has taken lives, but he is not a killer. It’s not the same thing. Today, he took Sonny’s life, but there was no choice. Sonny sent men to take their daughter, a daughter he never cared about until it was too late, until she knew Jason to be her father. He sent armed men into the home Jason shared with his family, either knowing or not caring Elizabeth would have given her life to protect Evie. In their world, by the rules Sonny himself taught Jason, what should Jason have done? Left Sonny alive so he could keep coming after their family? She grieves for the man she knew once, who loved Jason as a brother, but that man has been gone for so long. If Jason had died tonight, where would that have left her, Cam and Evie? It is the first time they have spoken about the nature of his job, of what he does, and though he know it shouldn’t, it soothes him.

The storm has passed. Johnny comes to Port Charles, to the compound to retrieve Nadine and tell Jason that Anthony, with the help of Boston and New York, has put the Ruizes in their place. They’re pulling out of PC, particularly in the wake of Sonny’s death. Johnny takes Nadine to meet his father, a terrifying prospect.

Jason visits Carly in the hospital and tells her that after this moment, he’s out of her life. He understands what she did, and he’s glad she’s not hurt more seriously, but after this, they’re done. He can’t have someone in his life that’s capable of turning on him. Wherever Luke hid the boys, maybe Carly should go with them. She agrees.

Elizabeth is reunited with her brother and Emily. They were so worried for her, and Elizabeth admits that she was also scared. Steven says he knew she didn’t go to California, and he’s not going to say a thing about Jason. Just happy she’s safe. Emily tells Elizabeth that she has a pretty good idea what happened, and she’s relieved Jason has her to help him deal with this. He would never open up to her, but to to Elizabeth, he may. She can’t wait to have her kid in February, so they can raise them together.

Jason takes his family back to the house, and Elizabeth is relieved that it looks the same. They get the kids settled and Elizabeth realizes it’s two weeks until Christmas. She blinks and realizes it’s a year almost to the day that she sat next to him on the bench, to draw him out of his exhaustion. What a year it’s been. Does she have any regrets, he asked? She thinks about answering that question honestly—that she wishes she’d pushed him to resolve things with Sonny and Carly, that she had made a move on him sooner, that they could have found a way to get Sonny help. But instead, she tells him she doesn’t believe in regrets. She believes in looking forward. To tomorrow. To their family, to their lives together. This year has been tulmultuous, insane, and amazing. She tells him that the best thing about their future…is it’s still unwritten and she can’t wait to find out what’s next.

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