And I don’t blame ya dear
For running like you did all these years
I would do the same, you best believe
And the highway signs say we’re close
But I don’t read those things anymore
I never trusted my own eyes
– Stubborn Love, The Lumineers
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
General Hospital: Break Room
“Oh, Bobbie, I’m so glad I caught you.”
Bobbie Spencer turned from the coffee pot and offered Elizabeth a warm smile. “Hey, sweetie.” She kissed her cheek. “How are you doing? We haven’t caught up in a few weeks.”
She mixed sugar into the coffee she poured. “How’s surgery?”
“A little boring. It’s been a lot of paperwork so far,” Elizabeth confessed. She folded her arms, leaned back against the fridge. “Patrick wants me to be familiar with a lot of the complications, to know the procedures before he’ll start letting me scrub in to observe or assist.”
“Makes sense.” Bobbie’s lips curved into a smile. “You could still change your mind. We need a nurse down in the ER—”
“I know, I know. But I have better hours upstairs, and that matters right now.” Elizabeth hesitated. “Listen, I wanted to ask you what your schedule was like. Gram is leaving for Memphis later this week, and she picks up Cameron from daycare a few nights.”
“Oh, yeah?” Bobbie sipped her coffee. “What’s Lucky doing?”
Elizabeth pressed her lips together, looked away. “Um—well, he’s doubling up on his physical therapy. You know Patrick didn’t give him a return date yet, and, uh—” She tucked her hair behind her ears. “I can pay you—”
“Stop it. We’re family.” Bobbie waved it away. “I was just wondering why Lucky wasn’t jumping at the chance to spend a little more time with Cam.” She tilted her head. “Have you guys started the adoption process yet?”
“Oh.” Elizabeth laughed nervously, looking down. “No, no. We’re—we’re, um, holding off on that for a little while. There are, uh, filing fees. And you know, Lucky’s his stepfather right now, so—” She stopped. “When things calm down,” she said finally. “We’re going to revisit it then.”
“I see.” Bobbie sat down at the table, nodded. “Well, I have Carly’s boys a few times a week — to give Leticia a few free evenings while Carly works. She bought into the Metro Court, did you know?”
“I saw something about that. So, maybe Lulu or one of her friends could babysit?” Elizabeth frowned. “Or do you think they’ll—”
“No, what I was going to say is that it might be good for Cameron to play with the boys. He and Morgan are a few months apart, and Michael does a good job with younger kids. I can probably give you two or three nights a week right now.” Bobbie raised her brows. “How many did you need?”
“That’ll work for now. Thank you so much. And I love the idea of Cameron playing with kids his age. I should get back to work—”
She turned back at the door to look at her aunt by marriage. “Yeah?”
Elizabeth forced a smile on her face. “It’s fine. Thanks again, Bobbie. My break is over.”
General Hospital: Hallway
Patrick frowned when he saw Lucky pacing the hallway outside of his office. “Lucky? Did I forget an appointment?”
“No—” Lucky huffed. “I’m sorry. I know that I was—” He clenched his fists at his side and took a deep breath. “I know I was out of line at my last appointment. Do you have a minute?”
“I have a few before I have to go down for rounds.” Patrick unlocked his office and gestured for Lucky to come in. “How’s the pain?”
“Worse than when I left the hospital,” Lucky admitted. He cleared his throat. “Because I’m out of the pain meds and I was hoping—”
“You weren’t able to find another doctor?” Patrick leaned over his desk and dug Lucky’s chart from a pile on his desk. “I told you, Lucky. I’m not prescribing you any more.” He flipped it open, just to refresh his memory. “I mean, you’ve been in and out of the hospital for a while—and it looks like the train accident wasn’t the first time you’d been prescribed the oxy.”
“Uh…no, I had it after the coma last year.” Lucky rubbed his chest. “I had a rough year—”
“Shot in the chest, a stroke, impaled by a pole—” Patrick nodded. “Yeah, I get it, Lucky. I really do. You’ve been on oxycontin off and on for a year.” He hesitated. “I didn’t have the earlier records the last time we talked. When you told me about the other injuries, I got curious. You never…”
He met Lucky’s eyes. “You never went off the oxy, did you? You kept asking for refills, and the doctor kept refilling it. At the same dosage.”
“Because I’m not addicted. I just need to get through the day—those pills were why I was able to get back to work—I have a family—” Lucky scowled. “What the hell are you accusing me of?”
“Nothing. But knowing that you’ve been on these meds for a year now?” Patrick shook his head. “I’m not writing a refill. I haven’t changed my mind—”
“Bullshit! You weren’t my doctor last year! You have no right to judge me!” Lucky grabbed Patrick by the shirt and shook him. Despite Patrick’s height and health, he merely arched a brow as if curious enough to see where this would go.
“I’m a fucking cop! I got injured in the line of duty! I need to get back to work! I need to get through physical therapy! You have to refill—”
“You need to go to the pain management clinic.” Patrick looked down at the hands holding his scrubs. “You gonna let me go, or do I have to call for security?”
“Fuck you!” Lucky spat. He shoved Patrick away. “You think you know what it’s like to be me? I was shot in the chest! I nearly died! I got a pole shoved through me—I’m lucky to walk! I did that! I got back on my feet!”
“You did. And maybe you’ll do it again. But not with those pain meds. A year is long enough, Lucky.” Patrick reached for his notepad. He scribbled something down, ripped off the sheet, then handed it to Lucky. “Here—”
Hoping it was a refill, Lucky snatched it out of his hands. Blood pounded in his ears as he realized Patrick had just, once again, written down the address of the pain management clinic. “You son of a bitch!”
He swung out with his left hand, intending to break apart his pretty face, but Patrick quickly sidestepped him. Lucky fell onto the desk, then rolled onto the floor, panting and wincing from the pain.
“You have a problem,” Patrick said quietly. “You need to get it under control. You have a beautiful wife, a son—”
Lucky shoved himself to his feet, wiped his mouth, and glared at him. “You better not be filling my wife’s head with this shit! I am not an addict! You have no right to tell her!”
“I haven’t.” Patrick grimaced. “I wish I had when I first took you off the pills. But you revoked permission, and I have to respect that. But Lucky—” He shook his head. “You keep going down this path, and Elizabeth will find out sooner or later.”
“Well, it won’t be from you!” Lucky tore the address into pieces and let them drop on the ground. “Go to hell.”
He staggered out of the office and made it to a nearby restroom. Lucky splashed water on his face, trying to get himself under control, to block out the burning fire in his back. He just wanted his life back.
And that was never going to happen unless he could make the pain go away.
General Hospital: Hallway
Elizabeth slid the last chart into the slot on the door and breathed a sigh of relief that she was finally done checking every last patient under her care. They were stable, their meds were up to date—
She had been nervous about taking over the post-surgery ward as part of her training, but it had gone pretty well so far, and— Elizabeth checked her watch with a smile. It was time for her break.
She took the service stairs down a flight to get to the locker room—she wanted to call Cameron’s daycare and check on him. She never got to spend enough time with her little guy, and every minute counted.
But when she retrieved her phone from her purse, she frowned down at it. She had three missed calls from Lucky and one from Jason. She bit her lip, then dialed her husband first because that was the right thing to do.
“Where the hell have you been?”
Elizabeth flinched at the anger in his voice. “I’m at work, Lucky. I don’t have my phone while I’m on shift. If you need me—”
“You weren’t at work! I just looked for you there! Nadine said you weren’t there! That you didn’t work there anymore!”
Elizabeth wrinkled her nose. “Lucky, I don’t work on the Pediatrics floor anymore. Don’t you remember? I got—I got promoted. To surgery. I’m on the sixth floor. Are you still here—”
“I—” He was quiet for a long moment. “I’m sorry,” he said, his voice calmer now. “I forgot. I’ve had a lot on my mind. No, I went home.”
“I’ll see you later.”
The line went dead, and Elizabeth just stared at it for a long moment. She thought about running upstairs to ask Nadine what the hell happened, but…
She really didn’t want to know. Lucky had forgotten about the promotion that they’d argued about only a few days ago—her promotion which was the whole reason she couldn’t change her shifts around—
Pushing Lucky and all of it out of her head, she dialed Jason’s number. Maybe he had good news—she hadn’t seen the creepy janitor once today.
“Hey. You called? I’m sorry. I’m at work, and I don’t have my phone on the floor—”
“It’s okay,” Jason said. “I wanted to know when your break was. Or ask if you can meet after work.”
“Oh.” Elizabeth blinked. “Is everything okay? I’m—I’m on break right now, but—”
“I’m in the area, so I can be there in ten minutes. Is that enough? I’ll meet you on the roof.”
“Yeah, uh, ten minutes is fine.” She hung up the phone, then shook her head. It seemed like the day for weird calls. She grabbed her coat, hung it over her arm as she shoved her cell phone into the pockets of her scrubs, and closed her locker.
When she left the room, she stopped still as Manny Ruiz exited a hospital room on the other side of her. He flashed her a smile. “Hey, Elizabeth. It’s nice to see you.”
“Have a nice day.”
Then he wheeled his cart down the hall, whistling as he walked. Elizabeth fought the urge to shudder, then went back to the service stairs. She didn’t want him to follow her to the elevator and know where she was going.
General Hospital: Roof
As she stepped out onto the roof, she pulled her coat on—the winds were still brutal at this time of year, and she didn’t know what the hell Jason was thinking, asking her to meet up here.
She blew warm air into her hands, rubbed them together. “Just because he can’t feel cold doesn’t mean the rest of us are so lucky,” she muttered. She glanced over her shoulder as the heavy steel door to the hospital opened, and Jason stepped out.
“Hey. What’s going on?” She walked towards him, shoving her hands in her pockets—she’d forgotten to grab her gloves. “Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, I just—” Jason grimaced. “I’m sorry. I forgot how cold it is—I just didn’t want Manny to see us meeting.”
“Oh.” She shoved a piece of hair away from her face. “Fair enough. I hadn’t heard from you since the pier, so I guess—” She managed a half-smile. “I guess I thought the problem was almost over.”
“Yeah, I wanted it to be,” Jason admitted. “But Sonny—” He shook his head. “He doesn’t think we should do anything.”
“Oh.” Elizabeth drew her brows together. “Oh. Okay. I guess—well, maybe he’s right. Maybe I’ve overreacting—” When she saw him look away, she paused and thought about what he’d said. “He doesn’t think you should do anything,” she repeated. “That’s not the same thing as nothing needs to be done.”
“Skye is Alcazar’s problem,” Jason managed to say, though it looked as if every word had to be forced from his throat. “And—” He broke off, looked at the ground.
“I’m married to a cop,” Elizabeth finished. “So, you don’t need to do anything about either of us.”
“I didn’t—” He shook his head. “It’s not what I think, but—”
“But it’s what Sonny thinks.” She closed her eyes. Oh, man. Things never changed. “Well, that’s that. Thanks. Maybe I’ll talk to Alcazar—”
Elizabeth started past Jason, but he grabbed her elbow—stopped her from leaving. She turned back to face him. “What?”
“I know what you’re thinking—”
“You really don’t—”
“I told Sonny—”
“Jason—” Elizabeth held up her hands, palms out. “Look, I really get it. It doesn’t matter that Luke and Sonny were business partners, that Lucky was brought up in this world, too. You know? He’s a cop now. And I married him. I get that for Sonny, it puts a huge dent in my credibility. I really do understand that.”
“And he doesn’t know Skye. Other than when she testified at your murder trial and tried to have Brenda convicted of murder—” Elizabeth winced. “She’s not someone who matters to him. And—” It went without saying that Elizabeth hadn’t really ever mattered to Sonny either. “I get it,” she repeated. She bit her lip, then shook her head. “I should get back to work—”
“What were you going to say?” Jason pressed, laying his hand on the door so she couldn’t open it. “Elizabeth—”
She hesitated, then sighed. “Honestly? It doesn’t surprise me.” She met his eyes, saw him frown. “It’s just—” She looked away. “I thought you were worried, too. When I told you I trusted you to take care of Manny—I don’t know. It seemed like it mattered to you.”
“Not enough,” she said with a roll of her eyes. “I don’t know what made me think things would be different this time.”
Jason blinked, stepped back with a shake of his head. “This time?” he echoed.
“Sonny gave you an order,” she said softly. “And you’re going to follow it. Nothing’s changed at all, has it?”
He swallowed hard—and she knew now that Jason knew exactly what she meant. He’d remembered it when they’d talked briefly about Sonny faking his death, but she wasn’t sure how much of it had stayed with him.
“I think maybe I wondered…I wondered because of what happened with Courtney,” she said slowly, even as her brain screamed shut the hell up! “And then Sam’s daughter. I thought—but I get it now.”
“What—” He clenched his fists at his side. “What do you get?” he asked finally.
“Sonny gives you an order, and you follow it. Unless it matters enough for you to do what you think is right.” She smiled, even as her vision blurred. “And this doesn’t.” She took a deep breath. “Skye doesn’t matter.”
She didn’t say anything else, but the unspoken conclusion hung between them, heavy in the chilled air.
I don’t matter.
“I was wrong back then. When I said you would always be Sonny’s enforcer.” He closed his mouth, pressed his lips together. “First, last—maybe. But not always. So, I guess there’s that.”
When he said nothing else, she nodded. “I’m going back to work. Thanks for letting me know.”
General Hospital: Lab
Robin glanced up when her door crashed open, and an angry neurosurgeon stalked in. “Hello,” she said blandly. “Having a bad day?”
She made a note with her pencil as she awaited whatever snark Patrick would offer—their usual routine. Then he just sat on the stool next to her and glared at the wall, she set down her pencil.
“Patient confidentiality is what’s wrong. You should never have friends.” Patrick glared at her. “This is your fault.”
“Because I encouraged you to be nice to people?” Robin asked. “Because I didn’t tell you to make friends.”
“No, but—” He scowled, dragged his hands through his hair. “I can’t tell you. You’re not a doctor on his case.”
“No, but I’m not stupid. And if I guess it, then you’re in the clear.” She pursed her lips. “You have a total of two friends in Port Charles. Elizabeth and me.”
“I have other friends—”
“Frat brothers scattered to the corners of the Earth, yes, I know.” Robin tipped her head to the side. “Something wrong with Lucky’s case? And he’s not telling Elizabeth? But it’s something she should know?”
“I can neither confirm nor deny that.” Patrick grimaced. “But I really can’t deny it.” He stared at her sullenly. “He revoked her access to his files. Not that she cared, I bet. But it meant I could talk to her. And now I wish I’d said this thing to her before he revoked.”
“But you didn’t.” Robin hesitated. “I’ve known Lucky for years. He’s a good guy—”
“Who just took a swing at me—” Patrick shook his head. “I’m sure he’s a good guy who has had a lot of rotten luck. But he’s being a dick about it—”
“He really went after you? Did you call security?”
Patrick snorted. “Please. He’s got the strength of a fly right now. Anyway, can you think of a way around this whole friend thing? Is there a loophole? Because if I’m right, Elizabeth really should know this. As a human being on this planet, I want her to know—”
“Patrick, can you just—” Robin wrinkled her nose, then sighed. “Look, Elizabeth works at the hospital, so she knows about confidentiality. And she lives with him, so whatever he’s dealing with, she’ll figure out. The only loophole—which I’m sure you know—is imminent danger. If you know something about your patient—”
“I can contact the authorities if I think he’s going to hurt someone, himself, or otherwise break the law. Yeah.” Patrick flicked a pencil across the desk. “No such luck. I think he’s just making a dumb decision.” He paused. “I think…if things don’t change, I think it might be something that could get him in trouble down the line.”
“Okay.” Robin nodded. “So, we wait. We pay attention. I like Elizabeth, too. I haven’t worked with her as much as you have, but she was always a good person.” She touched Patrick’s hand. “I’m sorry we can’t do more.”
“I just—” Patrick shook his head. “There are things that I’m seeing that remind me…” He met her eyes. “They remind of my dad. And sometimes, when my dad got into moods, you stayed clear of him. And that’s all I can say.”
Robin sat back and swallowed the initial protest that she knew Lucky, knew that he wouldn’t do those things. “We’ll keep our eye out, Patrick,” she repeated. “And we’ll stick by Elizabeth. We’ll be her friend. That’s all we can do for now.”
Morgan Penthouse: Living Room
Sam looked at the clock on the mantelpiece and frowned before picking up her phone to dial Jason’s number. He’d said he’d be early tonight, and she wanted to talk to him—wanted to clear the air. Things had been tense and weird between them since their fight over the maternity test, and Sam wanted things to just go back to the way they had been.
She felt slightly mortified that she’d acted that way on the pier yesterday when she’d seen Jason sitting close to Elizabeth. They’d looked so…intimate. They’d been making eye contact, their bodies turned towards one another—
Sam had been sure something was going on she didn’t understand—but then he’d told her it was about Manny, and Elizabeth had looked positively bewildered by the suggestion of anything else. Whatever weird flirtation they might have had in the past—it was over. Jason had told her that—
The door opened, and Sam turned around to see Jason walk in. “Hey, I was hoping—”
She stopped when Jason didn’t look at her. He hung up his coat, then put his gun in the lockbox in the closet. “What’s wrong?”
“What?” Jason frowned and shook his head. “What are you talking about?”
“You just—you look like something’s wrong.” Sam folded her arms. “I know we’ve been fighting, but—” She bit her lip. “You said you were going to talk to Sonny yesterday. I was asleep when you got home. Is—did something happen?”
“I—” Jason took a deep breath. “Maybe. I don’t know. Elizabeth thinks Manny is watching Skye at the hospital, but Sonny doesn’t seem to think—” He rubbed his eyebrow. “He doesn’t think it’s our problem.”
“Manny isn’t your problem?” Sam repeated skeptically. “How does he figure that? Is that what you and Elizabeth were talking about yesterday?”
“Uh, yeah. She’d just—she’s worried. But Sonny thinks Skye is Alcazar’s problem, and—”
“Since Alcazar decided to start taking over in Miami, he’s fallen off your radar, right?” Sam shrugged. “Maybe Sonny’s right. Alcazar should have a guard on his girlfriend. Especially since she’s pregnant. I mean, are you surprised that’s what he thinks?”
“No,” Jason admitted. “No, I guess I’m not. I just—I think Elizabeth was disappointed,” he continued, his voice dropping just slightly as he’d continued speaking. Sam squinted at that, trying to understand his shift in tone.
“Because she’d thought you’d ride to Skye’s rescue?” Sam asked. “Well, I mean, she doesn’t get it. Right? I mean, you can’t do anything crazy to draw attention to you, the PCPD is still watching Manny, and Skye’s the one walking around without a guard.”
“Yeah—” Jason rubbed his chest, absently. “Yeah, I know. That’s all true. But—”
“But you still feel responsible for Manny,” Sam said slowly. “Because you didn’t kill him when you had the chance. So anything he does is on you.” She wrinkled her nose. “Jason, that’s kind of insane. I mean, Manny’s done crap to a lot of people. Is all of it your fault?”
“No. No, but—”
“He’s not coming after anyone you care about, is he?” Sam asked, arching her brows. “I mean, it’s not like Sonny is telling you to abandon someone who matters. Skye isn’t even really part of your family. Why do you care about her?”
“I don’t, really,” Jason said. But he frowned at her. “But Lila and Emily do. Alan does.”
“Fair enough.” Sam tilted her head. “You told Elizabeth what Sonny said?”
“Uh, yeah.” Jason looked away, looked towards the desk. He put his hands on the back of the chair “I talked to her today. I just came from the hospital.” He glanced at Sam for a moment, then looked away again.
Sam straightened her shoulders. “Jason, you said Elizabeth was someone you trusted, right? I mean, it’s not like she’s trying to get you to do something that you could get in trouble for to help her husband?”
Jason wrinkled his nose, almost in disgust. “No—no, that’s not—she wouldn’t do that. She’s scared of Manny. Lucky already told her they couldn’t do anything. So she’s…”
“I just—I guess I’m trying to figure out why you’re so….” Sam wiggled her fingers. “So weird right now. You agree with me, you agree with Sonny — this isn’t your problem. Except for the fact you always take on the weight of the world. So, what, are you upset because you disappointed Elizabeth Spencer? I didn’t realize you were so close.”
“We’re—we’re not,” Jason said after a long moment. “But that doesn’t mean I like letting her down.”
He said this more to the surface of the desk because he didn’t look up when he said it. Sam narrowed her eyes. “Courtney said something weird to me once.”
Jason looked up, frowned at her. “What—”
“She said that no matter what,” Sam said, folding her arms, “I was never going to measure up to Elizabeth. I thought it was a weird thing to say at the time, and I mostly forgot it. I met Elizabeth later that summer, and I just got this weird vibe that the two of you had been something once.”
“Sam—” Jason exhaled slowly. “Once. A long time ago. It didn’t—It didn’t go anywhere,” he said, almost as if he were forcing the words out. “But we were always friends. We’re just—we’re not that close anymore.”
“But you asked her to run my test—”
“Because I knew I could trust her. And I’d already told her about the orderlies at the hospital watching Manny. Sam, it’s not—” Jason paused. “It’s not more complicated than that.”
“Okay.” Sam pursed her lips. “Then I’m sorry you disappointed a friend, Jason, but she doesn’t live in this world. She doesn’t get it. I mean, do you think Sonny’s wrong about not getting involved?”
“I think there are good reasons not to,” Jason said slowly. “But that doesn’t change the fact that Manny Ruiz is a dangerous psycho, and we’d all be better off if he were gone.”
“You’re not Superman,” Sam said flatly. “It’s not your job to fix the world.”
Jason looked at her for a long moment, and she had a strange thought she’d said the exact wrong thing. “I’m gonna head to the warehouse. We’re expecting a shipment.”
“Jason—” Sam just stared at him as he took down his gun, tucked it into his jeans, then put on his coat. “You just got home—”
“I’ll see you in the morning.”
The door closed behind him, and she scowled. Just what the hell had gotten into him lately?