Weep for yourself, my man,
You’ll never be what is in your heart
Weep, little lion man,
You’re not as brave as you were at the start
Rate yourself and rake yourself
Take all the courage you have left
And waste it on fixing all the problems that you made in your own head
– Little Lion Man, Mumford & Sons
January 3, 2006
General Hospital: Conference Room
Diane Miller was a lawyer in every sense of the word. She lived, ate and breathed the legal system. From the tip of her salon cut red hair to the soles of her designer heels, she exuded both confidence and superiority.
Sonny had recommended her to Jason and Elizabeth as someone who helped him out when his brother Ric wasn’t available. She was their go-to woman and Sonny trusted her with his life and freedom, which meant Jason did as well. Elizabeth wasn’t entirely sure but she was willing to try it.
At least until she ran out of money for the legal fees.
“I’m not going to lie to you, Miss Drake,” Diane said, making a note. “It will be extremely difficult to get your father off the hook for these charges.”
“I’m not worried about that right now,” Elizabeth replied. “I just need to get him arraigned and hopefully released on probation. He’s still in and out of consciousness with the drugs. I haven’t really been able to discuss anything with him.” She chewed her lip. “You should know upfront that I’ll be paying the fees but if Dad wants to take this to trial—”
Diane waved a hand, dismissing her. “The fees are taken care of. I’m on retainer for Sonny and he’s instructed me to bill him.”
“No…” Elizabeth shook her head. “No, I can’t accept this.”
“My dear, I am not exactly cheap,” Diane said, twisting her pen between her long fingers. “Sonny merely said that you were a close friend of his—practically part of the family. And Sonny’s family receives the best.”
“I suppose I’ll have to take it up with Sonny then,” Elizabeth sighed. She rubbed her eyes. “Do you have the information about his arraignment?”
“Yes. I imagine getting bail won’t be difficult, however…” Diane hesitated. “It won’t be cheap. With his prior record and the seriousness of the charges, it could be very steep. Is there perhaps a house or some other real estate that you might be able to put up as collateral?”
“Dad sold the house and I rent…” Elizabeth shook her head. “I guess I’ll have to cross that bridge when we get to it.” She stood and extended her hand across the table. “Thank you very much for coming on short notice, anyway. It means a lot.”
“Of course.” Diane paused. “On a personal note, I wanted to tell you how sorry I am that you seem to be going through this alone. This won’t be an easy time for you. I’d like to say that I could offer you an ear but I’m told I’m somewhat…” she lifted her hands in a shrug. “Lax in the area of compassion.”
“I have Jason,” Elizabeth said. “And some friends. I’m not alone.” She offered a thin smile. “But thank you for your concern.”
Diane nodded and gathered her materials before exiting. Elizabeth took another moment to gather her thoughts before following. She wasn’t alone, not really.
But she was pretty damn close.
Drake Home: Living Room
Will gingerly pushed open his front door and stepped into the house. He hadn’t been home since Christmas Eve and he hadn’t spoken to his mother since a disastrous call Christmas Day. It was hard to accept that his family had come so far in such a short time.
Two years ago, his father had been a well-respected cardiac surgeon at General Hospital, his mother a solid housewife and he’d been an honors student. Or so he’d thought. Shortly after Thanksgiving the previous year, Cheryl Drake had kicked her husband of eighteen years out of the house with very little warning to her son.
It was not something Will understood then. Sure, everyone knew Liam Drake was a social drinker—the life of the parties. Occasionally, he imbibed a bit too much but wasn’t that true of everyone? To Will’s sixteen-year-old eyes, nothing about that seemed wrong. The bills were paid, his dad went to work and came home. They had a nice house in a nice area of town.
But Liam was drinking more and more after his sister-in-law passed away because his brother Noah was drinking more and they’d always drank together. He was coming home later and later and his work performance was suffering. These were all things Will had learned later by interrogating family members and friends.
Now, Liam had moved to New York City to work and he and Cheryl were still duking it out in the courts. His mother was angry because she hadn’t worked in nearly twenty years and didn’t know how she was supposed to take care of the house or herself now. She’d started drinking to dull the reality of her situations months ago and that’s when things had become almost unbearable in his home.
Will sighed and stood in the entryway for a long moment. Alcoholism and bad relationships were the Drake legacy. He just hoped he wasn’t doomed to repeat it.
“Will?” His mother came out of the kitchen, wiping her hands on the dish cloth. Her eyes were red and her mouth pinched. “I…thought you were staying with your cousins.”
“I am,” Will said cautiously. “I came home to talk to you about some stuff and to get some things.” He looked at her for a long moment. “Mom….are you sober?”
Cheryl closed her eyes and nodded. “Three days without a drink. I heard about Noah’s accident and the little girl…” she shook her head. “Suddenly, my future looked kind of bleak. I looked around this house and you weren’t here.” She stepped towards. “Will, I’m so sorry for what I’ve put you through.”
“It’s okay,” Will shrugged and looked away. “You were going through stuff.”
“No, it’s not okay. I am your mother and that should be my first priority.” She gestured towards the sofa. “Let’s sit and talk for a moment. We have a few things to figure out.”
“Yeah.” He scratched his head and joined his mother on the sofa. “Uh, Mom, there are some things I need to tell you that you might not be happy about. Lu…” He paused. “Lu’s pregnant.”
Cheryl sighed. “Oh, dear. That’s unfortunate.” She hesitated. “You two are so young…surely you’re not going to keep the baby.”
“We’ve figured out a plan,” Will said. “We’re keeping the baby. Lu and I are going to finish school and her parents are going to help us out so we can both go to college and get our education. I’m going to stay at the Spencers to take care of Lu.”
“Will…” Cheryl reached out and grabbed his hand. “This is just a promising time in your life, I can’t help but feel you’re making a mistake. What kind of life can you give a child? You’re just babies yourselves.”
“Mr. and Mrs. Spencer said they’d support whatever decision Lu made and Lu wants the baby. It’s her decision to go through with it and she made it clear that she doesn’t expect anything from me. But that’s not what I want. I care about Lu, Mom—”
“Don’t be ridiculous—you can’t care about her enough to ruin your future!” Cheryl stood. “You’re going to be a doctor, Will. And teenage fathers never make it to medical school!”
“There’s no reason why I can’t continue on. I’ve got scholarships lined up and her parents made it clear they won’t allow either of us to sacrifice what we want—”
“That’s easy for them to say!” Cheryl planted her hands on her hips. “Their kid wasn’t going to amount to much anyway. What the hell was Lulu Spencer ever going to accomplish in life?”
Will slowly rose to his feet. “Mom, that’s not fair. We’ve made our decision—”
“The hell you have! I won’t allow it. I am your mother and until you are eighteen, I have the right to dictate what you do and where you live. You will come home immediately and I don’t want you to have anything to do with that girl or her family.”
Will sighed. He should have known this would end like this. Even if his mother had given up the alcohol, she was still the angry, bitter woman who’d kicked out his father. She was never going to understand this decision and she was never going to support it. He’d have to learn to accept that.
Quartermaine Estate: Foyer
Monica stepped in from the dining room, sipping her coffee. She was glad she’d arranged for her day off to coincide with her daughter’s. Since she’d broken off the engagement New Year’s Eve, Emily had been subdued and stayed in her room more often than not.
It was unacceptable and Monica wasn’t going to allow it to continue.
She watched Emily come in from her morning jog and pull off her parka and her earmuffs. She tugged her gloves off and shoved them in the pocket of the park. “How cold was it out there?”
Emily jumped and turned to find her mother, sipping her coffee. “Mom. Aren’t you supposed to be in work?”
“I took the day off.” Monica tipped her head towards the door to the dining room. “Why don’t you join me for breakfast?”
“I’m tired, I thought I’d lay down—”
“Join me,” Monica repeated in a tone Emily recognized. With a sigh, she followed her mother into the room and obediently filled a plate with food she knew she wouldn’t eat.
Monica took her seat and reached for a slice of grapefruit. “We haven’t had a chance to talk since you broke up with Nikolas.”
Emily’s hand stilled as she stirred sugar into her tea. “No one in the family has really said anything.”
“Emily, I hope no one influenced you to make this decision.” Monica remarked. She hesitated. “You seem to think that you have to work harder to be a member of this family. That you have to be something extra so that we’ll love you.”
“Mom—” Emily shook her head.
Monica reached over to cover Emily’s hand. “All you ever had to do was to wake up in the morning. You are my daughter and a member of this family, no matter who you marry.”
Emily bit her lip. “I think that you could probably make Dad and Grandfather go to the wedding and you could probably insist that they be nice to Nikolas on holidays and when we ran into each other in public but it would never be the same. Nikolas’s uncle is going back to Greece if we get married and Grandfather will never look at me the same way—”
“Emily, if you love Nikolas, that shouldn’t matter—”
“That’s what I told myself when we started dating,” Emily cut in. “And when Nikolas asked me to marry him, I told myself that what happened between our families wouldn’t matter. But that’s not true, Mom. My family…” She blinked away tears and swallowed hard. “You guys loved me when you didn’t have to. You took me in and kept me out of the foster system. Who knows where I could have ended up. You gave me a direction in life — I love being a doctor, I love my work at the hospital.”
“And we are all so proud of you, sweetheart. It was worth every heart ache of your teenaged years to get to this point,” Monica said. “But we are your family no matter what—”
“I am terrified that Nikolas will look at me one day and he’ll think it wasn’t worth losing his uncle. They’re so close, Stefan is like his father.” Emily paused. “And I’m scared that I’ll look at him and all I’ll see is the loss of my relationship with Dad and Grandfather. We’ll resent each other, Mom, and this beautiful love that we have…it will wither away and we’ll hate each other.”
“It doesn’t have to be like that, Emily—”
“I don’t see how it could be any be any other way. Family means everything to Nikolas and I. If we sacrifice our families to be with one another, how can we not resent one another down the line?” Emily shook her head. “It’s just not possible, Mom. I’d rather break our hearts now and be able to remember him with love than with hate.”
Monica couldn’t find it in herself to argue with that logic. She couldn’t deny that Emily certainly had a point. Alan and Edward would probably distance themselves from Emily. Not deliberately and not maliciously, but Alan knew his father hated the Cassadines. Nikolas would not be invited to any family gatherings and Emily would be forced to choose.
“Well, you know your own heart better than anyone else,” Monica murmured. She patted Emily’s hand. “But I am your mother and I will love you no matter what.”
General Hospital: Locker Room
“Fancy meeting you here.” Robin dropped onto the bench next to Patrick and put her hand on his forearm. “Ellie said you hadn’t been by all day.”
“Couldn’t.” Patrick stood and pulled open his locker. He tugged his scrubs off and reached for the pullover in the locker. “I know what you want me to do, Robin and I wish I could say I’d do it, even if was just for you…”
“Patrick…” Robin got to her feet and surprised him by wrapping her arms around his waist and pressing her cheek to his bare back. It was one of the things she’d always done to comfort him in the past and it was almost torture to have that for a moment. “All I want is for you and Ellie to be okay.”
Patrick turned and gripped her shoulders lightly. “He was arraigned this afternoon, wasn’t he?”
“Mmm-hmm,” Robin murmured. “They set bail but Ellie can’t pay it. Even so, Noah can’t be released from the hospital for another week so she’s not even going to worry about it.”
“How can she stand behind him?” he muttered. He pulled away from her and shoved the sweater over his head. “How can she support him after everything he’s put her through?”
“Because its family,” Robin said simply, “and Ellie’s never turned her back on family.” She paused. “Patrick, my heart aches for all the pain you’re going through but I can’t help but think…” she stopped and shook her head.
“Just say it, Robin. We both know what you’re thinking. I’m making myself miserable,” Patrick said sharply. “I’m the one who refuses to go see my father and I’m the one who’s leaving my sister alone to deal with this. God knows how she’s paying for the lawyer or how she’ll pay for bail.”
Robin pursed her lips and pondered her next statement. “Diane’s on retainer for Sonny Corinthos. He’s doing Ellie a favor.”
Instead of flying into a rage as expected, Patrick surprised her by sinking back onto the bench. “This is what I’ve been reduced. Sitting and doing nothing while the local crimelord plays hero. This is ridiculous.”
“He cares about her because she’s important to Jason,” Robin told him. “It’s not about playing hero. He knew she needed help and he did what he had to do to support her. That’s what friends do. That’s what family does.” She sat next to him. “Patrick, you don’t have to want to set Noah free to support each other. You just have to listen to one another. Don’t shut her out again because she might not give you a second chance to make it right.”
“I know you’re right but it’s just so hard…” He shook his head. “How can I face her after everything I’ve done to her?”
“You just have to walk up to her and let the rest of it take care of itself.” Robin touched his cheek. “Patrick, I would give anything to turn back the clock and change the way I left, the way I handled my illness. I have so many regrets. Don’t let Ellie be one of yours.”