This story is set in 2002, beginning in late October. Elizabeth left the penthouse on October 8, the blonde who shall not be named kissed Jason on the 19 (around that date), and five days later, Jason married Brenda in Vegas. While Jason was juggling the blonde and Brenda, Elizabeth was hanging out with Lucky, dressing in leather, and springing Luke from a chain gang in the South. It was a strange time (but fun! It was great to see Elizabeth on a caper). In any case, this story keeps Elizabeth in Port Charles and begins after the blonde attacked Jason with her lips. (I’m sorry, I’m feeling salty.)
Written in 51 minutes. Had time to run a basic spellcheck, but didn’t read for typos.
Elizabeth Webber often wondered who she’d murdered in a previous life to deserve the existence she was currently living.
In fact, to deserve this specific moment — Elizabeth Imogene Webber must have been a vicious serial killer.
“I’m really sorry,” Courtney Quartermaine said with a wrinkle of her nose and a flash of sympathy in her baby blue eyes. She set down the tub of dirty dishes on the counter in the kitchen of Kelly’s. “It just happened.”
She’d decided that while closing the diner where they both worked and cleaning things up in the back, that it was time she opened her heart and was honest with Elizabeth. After all — Courtney didn’t want things to be awkward.
Elizabeth narrowed her eyes, turned away from the sink, and studied the other waitress, a woman she’d considered a friend. Not a close friend — but Courtney had been more than an acquaintance. A friendly face.
“Explain it to me again,” Elizabeth said coolly. She folded her arms, leaned against the counter. “Like I’m a five-year-old.”
Courtney winced. “I really—I think I covered it. I know you’re upset because you thought you were dating him—”
“Thought?” Elizabeth repeated, with a lift of her brows. Oh, man, was this chick lucky that the butcher block full of knives was across the kitchen. “I thought I was dating him? Yeah, you’re going to need to start at the beginning.”
Courtney bit her lip. “It was just—all that time we spent together, you know? I mean, you know how sweet he is—”
Might be worth making a leap for one of those knives after all.
“And with this stalking thing going on, I really needed to feel safe. Jason makes me feel safe—”
“So does a golden retriever,” Elizabeth bit out, even as she heard her own feelings, her own thoughts echoed back at her. “He was guarding you. Because Sonny wanted him to. You’re married.”
“I know. And that’s why it’s wrong. And why I really didn’t intend for anything to happen—”
Against her better judgment, Elizabeth’s heart began to beat faster, her pulse throbbing in her wrist. “But it did.”
“A few days ago. That’s why I had to tell you. Because I know you were upset after everything that happened,” Courtney said, widening her eyes. “But you have to see now — it’s obvious that Jason was just being nice—”
“Being nice to who?” Elizabeth asked, her voice flat. If Courtney had known her for long, she’d have heard the sound of a woman who was not in the damn mood.
“To you,” Courtney continued. “I mean, you were dating Zander for a while and he hated Zander, so maybe Jason just didn’t want to hurt your feelings. I mean, you know how much he hates hurting people.”
“No, tell me more how Jason Morgan hates to hurt people.” Elizabeth fluttered her lashes. “I’m dying to hear your analysis of the man who works for your brother and that you’ve known for ten minutes. This is fascinating.”
Courtney scowled. “I’m trying to be nice—”
“You’re not very good at it,” Elizabeth retorted, even as Courtney’s words sunk in. She had been sort of seeing Zander for a hot minute in early August, and she did know how much that had hurt Jason.
She’d thought they were past it. She’d thought he’d forgiven her—not that she needed to be forgiven as they weren’t dating.
But—had they been dating at all? Or was Courtney right? Was it all in her head?
“What happened a few days ago?” Elizabeth asked with a sigh. Might as well rip off the bandage and let the air hit the wound.
“He kissed me,” Courtney confessed, her voice small and a bit ashamed. “I don’t know what to do. I love my husband—”
“I am not the one—” Elizabeth put a hand up in front her, then curled it into a fist. “He kissed you. A few days ago,” she repeated.
“Okay.” Elizabeth nodded. “Okay. Well, that’s—that’s just—” She cleared her throat. “Listen. Thank you. For telling me. Good luck with your marriage and your affair. I’ll finish cleaning up. Go home.”
“Oh, no, Elizabeth, let me—”
“Go home, Courtney,” Elizabeth snapped. She whirled around, a box cutter in her hand. “Or I swear to God, I am going to hold you down and cut your fucking blonde hair off!”
Courtney actually squealed, jumped back, hitting the counter in the kitchen. “Elizabeth—”
Elizabeth made a jabbing motion with the knife, and Courtney rushed out of the kitchen, barely stopping to grab her coat and purse before slamming the door behind her, the little bell above it jangling.
“I wonder if I would have done it,” Elizabeth muttered. She tossed the knife aside, put both hands on the counter, then closed her eyes.
He’d kissed her.
Logically, it shouldn’t hurt this way. It absolutely shouldn’t. Elizabeth had walked out of the penthouse, tossing some cruel and angry words at him in her wake—then shut him down the one time he’d come after to talk.
Elizabeth had needed more than twenty-four hours, but instead of just telling him like a grown up that she needed a minute, she’d lashed out and slashed at him.
“Okay. Okay.” She dragged her hands through her hair, took a deep breath. “Okay,” she repeated. “This is—this is good. This is good. I needed this. I needed to know. And now I know. He’s moving on.”
Elizabeth finished stacking the last of the dishes in the dishwasher, shoving it from her mind, desperate to stop thinking about it. To stop wondering exactly when she’d ruined everything — when she’d slept with Zander? When she’d asked him not to hurt Zander?
When she’d left the penthouse? Here, the next day, at Kelly’s?
When had Jason stopped caring—
And when had he started caring about Courtney—
Elizabeth exhaled slowly, looked around the diner. The tables were clear, the chairs neatly stacked. She was done. It was time to go home.
Home to an empty studio with crappy heating.
“You know,” Elizabeth said to no one at all—just a crazy idiot standing in the middle of an empty diner. “It would be nice just once to lose out to anyone other than a fucking blonde. Another dumb blonde.”
She dragged on her coat, looped her purse over her shoulder and left the diner, clocking the door behind her.
“A fucking blonde,” she muttered as she started towards the waterfront. The air was cold, but Elizabeth didn’t want to go home just yet. Maybe a walk on the docks would clear her mind.
Maybe she hadn’t been just a serial killer in a previous life, Elizabeth thought idly as she stepped down towards Elm Street Pier. Maybe she’d killed bunnies or something. Or puppies.
Yeah, a puppy killer definitely deserved her life.
Corinthos Penthouse: Living Room
Sonny Corinthos stifled a yawn as he snatched up the phone ringing off the hook in the living room. “Damn it, who the hell—What?” he demanded.
“Sonny—” His wife, Carly, rubbed her eyes from the stairs, as she stepped off the landing. “Tell them to call in the morning—”
Sonny cupped his hand over the phone for a minute, scowling at her. “Go upstairs, Carly. I need to handle this.”
Carly scowled, but he waited until he heard her stomping back up the stairs—then waited for the door to slam.
Sonny turned his attention back to the phone, took a deep breath. “Can you repeat that one more time, Francis? Who the hell is going to Vegas?”
Port Charles Airport: Hangar B
Jason Morgan did not believe in karma. Carly did—Carly believed in all kinds of spiritual crazy stuff. She’d always wanted to read him horoscope — apparently, Jason was a Virgo, whatever the hell that was.
And karma was Carly’s current favorite belief. “You get what you put into the world, Jase,” she’d told him a few months ago just after she’d married Sonny for what was probably the third time—but it might have been the fourth.
It was hard to tell sometimes.
If Carly was right—if you got what you put into the world—
Then Jason was getting exactly what he deserved.
“How much longer do we have to wait?” the brunette at his side snapped as she shifted from one foot to another. “I’m tired, and I just want this over with.”
“I told you. We have to wait until the pilot files the flight plan,” Jason said blandly. He rubbed the back of his neck, and looked towards the private jet. “You getting cold feet?”
Brenda Barrett snorted. “No. That’s not me. I don’t get cold feet. That’s you and your boss.” She folded her arms. “It’s freezing.”
“Then go inside.”
“Hey! You’re supposed to care about my well-being—”
“Not until the paperwork is signed,” he muttered.
“Look, if you’re having second thoughts,” Brenda said with huff, “then have them here. Before we get on a plane and haul our asses to Vegas—”
“I’m not—” Jason shook his head. He was way past second thoughts and onto fifth thoughts. “I’m trying to retrace my steps to figure out how exactly I ended up here. At midnight. With you.”
Brenda pursed her lips. “Well, it started with me coming to your penthouse and threatening to break up Sonny and Carly’s marriage—you really need to work on your priorities by the way. You’re sacrificing your happiness so Carly can be happy. I mean—don’t you have a life?”
“I used to,” Jason said. He rubbed the side of his face. He thought he had. But there wasn’t anything left for him. Not after the last few weeks. After the last few days. He’d just been minding his own business, standing in the rain, and then Courtney had just—
He had tried to be very nice about the whole thing—and she’d left immediately afterwards. Jason had gone to Sonny, told him very nicely that he had other things that needed to be done and Courtney needed an actual guard.
Sonny had looked at him suspiciously, but had agreed. And then Jason had found Brenda in his penthouse. Sitting on his sofa, looking at the yellow knitted blanket Elizabeth had left behind.
What was the point of worrying about his future? The only woman he was interested in wanted to set him on fire, and maybe if he weren’t single, Courtney Quartermaine would stay away from him. And Carly would be happy.
An unhappy Carly was a destroyer of worlds, which Jason knew all too well. No, this was for the best.
“Jason, I’m serious.” Brenda’s tone had shifted to something less bitchy, and more quiet. “You don’t remember this, but we were friends before your accident. And we were almost friends before you—” She cleared her throat and looked away.
Before he’d humiliated her at the altar for Sonny. “Brenda—”
“Do not do this if you’re having second thoughts. I wouldn’t really mess up Sonny’s marriage. Not on purpose,” she added. “I just—” Her voice sounded tight. “I don’t want to be alone when it gets bad. And I know Robin would take care of me. Or the Quartermaines. But they love me. I don’t want them to have to make decisions. I know why this is a good idea for me. But I need to know I’m not hurting you.”
Jason hesitated, looked away, towards the doorway of the hangar—towards the flickering lights of downtown Port Charles, where the waterfront lay beyond it. He wondered where Elizabeth was right now. Was she at her studio? Closing Kelly’s? Was she painting?
Wherever she was, she’d left him. Again. And this time, Jason hadn’t seen any hint that she’d change her mind.
“You’re not hurting me, Brenda. And I want to help you,” Jason told her. Because that much, at least, wasn’t a lie. “Let me go check on the flight plan. See how much longer it’ll be.”
At some point, Elizabeth lost track of where she was walking — she’d only meant to walk along Elm Street Pier where it merged onto Bannister’s Wharf, but then she’d looked up and realized—
“Pier 52,” she muttered. The Corinthos-Morgan warehouse loomed at the end of the pier, construction cranes scattered around the parking lot as they worked to rebuild after the explosion in August.
Elizabeth idly touched her arm where a faint scar still rested. She’d thought of that night as a turning point. Standing outside the burning building, watching Jason and Zander fight—Zander with a gun—
The sound of the shot—the searing pain in her arm—
The way Jason had looked at her—asked her about Italy—she’d thought for a minute that she hadn’t broken everything between them.
But maybe Courtney was right. Maybe Elizabeth had finally burnt the final bridge with Zander, and Jason was just too kind to tell her. Had ignored her all those weeks in the penthouse, hoping she’d get the message.
No. No, that wasn’t fair. She sighed, and started to turn back, intending to head back up the pier, to Elm Street, and to her studio. It was stupid to be wandering out here this late in the dark, after midnight—
“What the hell were you thinking?”
The angry voices startled Elizabeth out of her maudlin wallowing, and she turned — but the voice wasn’t talking to her. Footsteps were getting closer, and without thinking, Elizabeth ducked behind a a pallet stacked with boxes and metal barrels.
“You had one job!” a man snarled—Elizabeth frowned—she knew that voice. Why did she know that voice?
“You were to keep your eyes on my property, and now she’s gone!”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Alcazar—”
Oh….fuck. Elizabeth closed her eyes. Walked right into a scene between Luis Alcazar and a flunky.
What was worse than a puppy killer? Because surely—
A gunshot echoed in the night, and Elizabeth heard a thud and a cry — Then another shot—this one sounded closer — and the man’s cry stopped abruptly.
Elizabeth shoved a fist in her mouth, choking back the sound that wanted to leap from her throat. Oh, damn, damn, damn —
She started to inch backwards — she knew a back way to the waterfront, one that would take longer — but was hidden —
Just as Elizabeth was a few feet from safety, from freedom — she tripped over a nail jutting out from a board and hit the ground with a crash, her arm slapping against a building on the way down.
“Who’s there?” Alcazar demanded. “Who is that? Morgan?”
Elizabeth didn’t stop, didn’t even think. She leapt to her feet, turned, and ran for the shorter route to safety—even as Alcazar shot after her, bullets hitting the corrugated metal just inches from her head.
She only had one thought. One person who she knew she could trust.
She ran up the pier, up to Elm Street, then instead of taking the turn towards her studio, she turned towards the large building a few blocks away.