This begins in 2012, near the end of the water poisoning crisis after Jason has saved Elizabeth from Ewan. Thanks to Tania for inspiring this particular idea.
Written in 21 minutes. No time for edits or typo checks.
Elizabeth Webber felt a hundred years old as she stepped up to the porch to unlock her front door. Behind her, she could hear the booted footsteps of Jason Morgan who had driven her home from the hospital.
In the last twenty-four hours, she’d been kidnapped by her most recent romantic mistake, then rescued by her ex-fiancee, and then, somehow, the city had been saved when the antidote to the poison in their water system had been located. She and Jason were still slightly damp from the rain that had finally given them a sense of relief at the end of it.
It had been a hell of a couple days, she thought dryly as she slid her key into the lock. She turned back to Jason. “I’m pretty sure I have a frozen pizza in the kitchen. I want to call Gram and the boys in Disney World one more time, but if you want to stay—”
“Sure,” Jason said, with his own tired smile. He likely hadn’t slept much in the last week either—it usually took him three days of running on empty before he looked this tired, she mused, as they went inside and Elizabeth wrinkled her nose at the living room.
“You know what?” she said, stopping abruptly. Jason bumped into her, putting his hands at her waist for just a moment to steady them both. “I’m done.”
“Done?” he repeated.
“Done.” Elizabeth nodded. “I just kidnapped by the first guy I’ve dated since I almost dated Matt Hunter. And then he turned out to be a murderer. And before that—”
She scowled. Best not to think about about what had been before her brief flirtation with Patrick’s younger brother who was now in prison for killing Lisa Niles.
“Okay,” Jason drawled. He stepped around her to pick up a photo that had fallen from her table. He set it back in its place. “So you’re done.”
“I have the worst taste in men—present company excluded, mostly—” She added as an afterthought. She wandered into the kitchen. “Zander. Nikolas. Lucky. Matt. Ewan. Ric. Am I leaving anyone out?” she tossed over her shoulder as she pulled out the pizza from the freezer and flicked the oven on to preheat.
“Uh…” Jason slid his hands into his pockets and furrowed his brow at her, as if actually thinking it over. “I don’t know. I think that’s it.”
She pursed her lips, not sure if he was teasing her or not. “Hmph. Anyway, that’s a terrible list, and you—” Elizabeth stabbed a finger at hime. “Are the best of a bad bunch, and let me tell you, you’re not a shining star either.”
“No arguments there,” he muttered. “Elizabeth—”
“Anyway. I’m going to raise my boys, go to work, and keep Patrick out of trouble. That’s it. That’s all I want to do for the next twenty years. Maybe—just maybe—I’ll be in the mood to find someone to die with.”
Jason raised his brows. “You’re planning to die at the age of fifty-three?”
Elizabeth narrowed her eyes at him. “Listen—”
“Never mind.” She reached into her fridge and handed him a bottle of the Rolling Rock she’d bought on a whim a few weeks earlier. Jason had been stopping by more and more, and she’d just grabbed it the last time she’d been in the store. She opened her own bottle. “I’ll talk to Brad tomorrow,” she said.
Jason sighed and sat on a stool at the island. “You think I’m wrong?”
“I think,” Elizabeth said, slowly, “that you’re feeling guilty about everything that’s happened in the last year.” She offered him a faint smile. “I know you think it was your fault—”
“If I’m right, and Tea Delgado’s son was switched with Sam’s,” Jason said, “then it was my fault. Sam was only at the motel because of me.”
Elizabeth sighed and took a pull of the beer. It was hard to argue with him on that score, she knew. Sam had been living apart from Jason because he’d struggled to accept her pregnancy, the result of a rape from Franco, the serial killing psycho Jason had finally killed in January.
“Thank you for not arguing with me.”
“I think that it’s simple to say it was your fault it happened,” Elizabeth corrected. “Yeah, I think you were probably not as accepting as Sam probably deserved—” Jason looked away. “But to say someone kidnapping Sam’s son and replacing it with a dead child is your fault for that is to say it’s Sam’s fault for living in a motel instead of with her mother.”
“We’ve been over this,” she reminded him. “Just because there’s a possibility Danny might still be alive—it doesn’t mean what happened is one hundred percent on you.”
“But you’re not saying it’s not on me,” Jason replied.
“I—” Elizabeth shrugged, and ignored the question by turning around to slide the pizza into the oven. “Could you have done better with all of it? Sure. But you’re human, Jason. Maybe thing would have been different if Danny had survived.”
“Maybe.” Jason was quiet for a moment.
“You never used to think about this kind of stuff,” she said. Elizabeth tipped her head to the side. “Things were what they were, and there was no point in looking back. I used to envy that about you.”
“Yeah, well, then I started to make a lot more mistakes,” Jason muttered.
“Well, hey, then join the club. I am the Queen of Regrets.” She held out her beer and he clinked his bottle with hers. “You can be the King.” Elizabeth wagged her finger at him. “Platonic though. Because I told you, I’m on a twenty year break.”
Jason shook his head, but then smiled. “Yeah, okay, we’ll talk in twenty years.”
Brad Cooper was cleaning up the lab in the hospital after a long week of running tests and devloping serums. He was whistling under his breath, thinking of the vodka and popcorn he’d have when he finally got home.
He heard a throat clearing in the doorway, and he turned to see Tracy Quartermaine in the doorway. “Ms. Quartermaine.” Brad snapped to attention, bu frowned. He didn’t think he’d ever seen this member of the family in the lab. “Did you need something?”
“Someone is going to ask you run a test tomorrow,” Tracy said with an arch of her brow. “I’ll make it worth your while if you do it my way.”