Chapter Two

This entry is part 3 of 16 in the Spinning on an Axis

In all the time that had passed since Nikolas Cassadine had first laid eyes on Elizabeth Webber in the children’s ward at the hospital, he never thought he’d be the person she’d turn to with this secret. She’d turned to Lucky after the rape; to Jason after Lucky’s death; to Jason after finding Lucky in bed with Sarah; and Jason when she’d been shot at. Not once in their friendship had Elizabeth come to him with something.

As she looked expectantly at him from across their table in Kelly’s, Nikolas began to appreciate just how much they’d come to depend on each other since she’d left Jason and his family had left town. He thought their friendship was probably stronger than ever, and he had every intention on helping her get to the bottom of this latest problem.

He looked at Elizabeth thoughtfully. “Why does it feel like your life never slows down?”

Elizabeth groaned and put her head in her hands. “Ugh, I know. And I was doing so good, Nikolas. I saw him last night and we didn’t even argue. We had a short conversation. I didn’t cry–he didn’t try to explain. And I get back and Jerry was waiting…”

Nikolas sighed. “What are you going to do? I mean, he didn’t tell you the whole story.”

“And in my experience, that can’t be good,” Elizabeth muttered. “I don’t know. I mean, he said he was proud of me. I can’t ignore him just because he may have left some things out.”

“And you’re going to give him a chance to explain?” Nikolas asked.

“I think so,” Elizabeth said. She frowned. “I am such a hypocrite.”


“Because I won’t give Jason that chance.”

Nikolas rubbed his eyes. “Liz, you know it’s not the same thing. Jerry has just come into your life. He never promised you anything. Jason did. He said he’d never hurt you on purpose.”

“I know,” Elizabeth remarked. She leaned forward. “But maybe he had a really good reason. I haven’t even tried to hear him out. Maybe–” she broke off and smiled at him weakly. “Maybe I’m not over him.”

“It’s okay,” Nikolas said, squeezing her hand. “You’re in love with him. That doesn’t go away just because you want to.”

“Where’s Helena and that dumb diamond when you need them?” Elizabeth muttered, sitting back in her chair.

“Liz, maybe…” Nikolas shook his head, laughing a little. “I can’t believe I’m telling you this. Me, of all people. But maybe, you should let Jason explain. At least…you’ll know.”

Elizabeth was about to reply when Kelly’s door swung open. She automatically looked at the new customer and froze. It was Jason. He met her eyes and stood there for a second.

Nikolas turned and saw him. Glancing back to her, he said, “What do you say?”

She broke the stare and looked at Nikolas. “No. I’m…I can only concentrate on one problem at a time.” She closed her eyes briefly as Jason passed their table and headed to the counter.

“Right,” Nikolas agreed. “So what are you going to do?”

Elizabeth frowned. She bit her lip and looked at the table. “Can we leave?”

Nikolas understood immediately and stood. “Come on. I have to get back to Deception anyway. We can discuss your new job there.”

Elizabeth laughed weakly. “I haven’t agreed to come there.”

Nikolas glanced at Jason’s back. “Well, I think Deception would be a good career move. You wouldn’t have to stay at Kelly’s.”

Elizabeth glanced at Jason as well and turned back to her friend. “Maybe you’re right.”

“Come on.” Nikolas grabbed Elizabeth’s hand and led her out of the diner.


“Jerry Jacks,” Nikolas mused as he sat behind his desk in Laura’s old office. “I still can’t believe it.”

“You and me both,” Elizabeth murmured, pulling her gloves off. She rubbed her hands together and blew into them, trying to warm them up. She sighed and rubbed her eyes. Seeing Jason at Kelly’s reminded her for the billionth time why Nikolas’s job offer would be a brilliant move. If she wasn’t at Kelly’s and if she could learn to avoid the docks, maybe…just maybe these accidental run-ins with Jason would finally end. And maybe she could get on with her life.

Stop thinking about Jason, she chastised herself. You just found out that your parents aren’t your parents, that Bobbie’s ex-fiancé is probably your biological father. Get your priorities straight.

Nikolas had to grin as he watched Elizabeth argue with herself. She was thinking about Jason–he could tell by the irritated expression on her face. He’d become more tolerant of Elizabeth’s relationship with Jason since he and Elizabeth had become friends again. He supposed the tolerance came from the fact that she didn’t really have a relationship with him anymore–just what was left. He always had to bite his tongue when the subject of Jason came up. He wanted to congratulate her on getting away from Jason before getting herself killed, but he had a feeling that wouldn’t go over well. She was still quick to defend him. But she was in love with him–a fact that Nikolas could hardly ignore and he knew eventually she’d let Jason explain what had gone on that previous fall and that she’d forgive him. An eventuality Nikolas was trying to prepare himself for.

“So, how are you feeling about this?” Nikolas asked finally.

Elizabeth frowned. “I know what I’m not feeling. I’m not feeling betrayed or lost or anything…” she sighed. “All my life I wondered…what went wrong. Why I never measured up to Sarah and Steven. Why I didn’t get good grades, or why I didn’t look like the rest of the family. I thought it was my fault.” She gave her friend a little smile. “You want to know something funny? I feel relieved. I never have to see them again–their disappointed faces…” Elizabeth bit her lip. “Does that sound weird?”

Nikolas shrugged. “You get to feel how you want to feel.”

Elizabeth frowned and looked away. She’d never tell Nikolas–but his last words sounded like advice Jason would give her. But either way, he was right. She didn’t have to justify the way she felt to anyone.

“Do you think I should talk to him?” Elizabeth asked, trying to clear her thoughts of Jason. “Should I march into his hotel room, demand the truth or let him tell me?”

“I think you should demand the truth,” Nikolas replied. “I think you’ll be much happier in the end if you don’t have to wait. That doesn’t work remember?”

“Yeah…I remember,” Elizabeth replied, softly.

Nikolas studied her. “You should talk to him.”

“I thought we established that I was going to.”

“I meant Jason.”

Elizabeth shook her head vehemently. “No. He’ll try to explain and I’ll just get irritated that he put Sonny’s wishes in front of a promise he made me. And I have to remember…he’ll always have to put Sonny in front of me. And I don’t think I should have to settle for it.”

“I just think that the longer you avoid it…the more it’s going to hurt,” Nikolas said, gently. “Liz, there’s no love lost between Jason and I, I’m not going to try and pretend that we’ll ever be friends. But he saved my life once, remember?”

“Yeah.” Elizabeth looked away. “I remember holding Sarah back from throwing herself on you. She was so worried. That whole experience…with Lucky visiting you and you pushing Sarah away…” she shook her head. “It feels like another life time doesn’t it?”

“It does,” Nikolas agreed. “But anyway, I think…I think you should hear him out. It’s the only way you’ll move on.” He looked down at the desk. “I miss Gia sometimes so much that it’s hard to breathe and we’re still technically together. I know she’ll be home for Christmas soon and that eventually, she’ll graduate and we’ll get married, but that doesn’t change the fact that right now…she’s not here. Liz, it’s a terrible feeling to miss the person you love–you know that. And it’s harder for you. You have to see Jason ever-”

“Nikolas,” Elizabeth cut in. She flashed him a smile. “I appreciate what you’re trying to do–really. But like I said at Kelly’s…I can only concentrate on one thing at a time. And right now, I have to deal with this. I don’t want to think about Jason and what’s happened between us.”

“All right, fair enough,” Nikolas conceded. “Look, I think you’ve pretty much made your decision. You’re going to go talk to him and demand the full story right?”

Elizabeth nodded firmly. “Right.” She stood and pulled her gloves on. “No time like the present,” she said, cheerfully. She zipped her leather jacket and frowned. “You know…it’s no wonder I can never stop thinking about him.”

“Why?” Nikolas asked.

“I still wear this jacket.” She looked down at the jacket and smiled fondly. “It was the first thing he ever gave me. It’s not always warm enough but that never bothered me–I loved it. He gave it to me that Christmas he spent in the studio.”

Nikolas gave her a sympathetic look. “Maybe you shouldn’t wear it.”

Elizabeth frowned. “You’re probably right. But I can’t not wear it. It reminds me of one of the best times of my life–oddly enough. I know you don’t believe me–but if it hadn’t been for helping Jason that winter, I don’t know if I could have moved on from Lucky, stopped grieving.”

“Maybe you’d still be with Lucky,” Nikolas said.

Elizabeth shook her head. “Even if I hadn’t changed or moved on…Lucky still would be who he was when he came back.”

“You’re probably right.”

Elizabeth smiled. “I’d better go.”

“See ya.”


She entered the lobby of the Port Charles Hotel and cringed. Sonny was there. She briefly considered leaving and waiting until he was gone, but Elizabeth knew he’d already seen her.

“Elizabeth!” Sonny came towards her, Johnny and Francis in tow.

Elizabeth took a deep breath. “Hello, Sonny.”

“How have you been?” Sonny asked. “I haven’t seen you much since…” he stopped, not sure how to phrase it.

“Since I broke up with Jason?” Elizabeth supplied. “Or since you faked your death?”

“Yeah…” Sonny said, scratching his forehead. “Listen, about that–”

“There’s nothing to say,” Elizabeth said, cutting him off. “I’m glad you’re alive–but that’s it. I can’t…” She stopped and shook her head. “Goodbye, Sonny.”

“Wait,” Sonny said. “Just…just let me say this. Please. Jason’s walking around–”

“I don’t want to hear about Jason,” Elizabeth cut in. She sighed. “Look, I’ve made a decision. I thought…I thought I could handle Jason’s life–and most of it…I probably could.” She stopped and met his eyes. “But the second he broke a promise to me…I can’t settle for a life where promises are broken because of his loyalty to you. And I’m sorry if that makes me a selfish person, Sonny, but I know what I need in a relationship and…” She rubbed her eyes. “I can’t do this right now.”

“He loves you,” Sonny said, to keep her from walking away. Elizabeth turned and sighed.

“I know. He told me that one of the last times we argued,” she remarked sadly. “But it’s not enough, Sonny. And I can’t sit around and pretend that it is. And I’m not going to make demands he can’t meet–it’s not fair to either one of us.” She shrugged her shoulders slightly. “I have to go.”

Sonny watched Elizabeth get on the elevators, frowning. “I don’t know what to think anymore,” he muttered.

Johnny traded looks with Francis. “It’s too bad about Ms. Webber,” he said. “She could have been good for Jason.”

Sonny shot him a dark look. “You don’t have to remind me that this is all my fault.”

“I was only saying,” Johnny replied.


Elizabeth raised her hand hesitantly to knock on Jerry’s door. It swung open and Jerry grinned at the sight of her.


“Hi,” she said. “We need to talk.”

Jerry frowned. He hoped she hadn’t inherited his little brother’s uncanny ability to tell when Jerry was keeping something. “Come in.”

“I don’t have a lot of family,” Elizabeth began, standing in the middle of the room. “And I’m not stupid enough to dump someone who obviously wants to be part of my life. But there are some things we need get straight.”

Jerry closed the door and leaned against it. “I’m all ears.”

“First…are you just passing through town?” Elizabeth asked. “Because…I don’t want to let you in my life only to have you leave. That doesn’t work for me.”

Jerry looked away. “In my line of work, I have to travel a lot…it’s part of my job. And I usually just go with the flow. But I’d be willing to set roots down in town again. Get an apartment. I’ll have to go away often–but I’d come back.”

Elizabeth nodded. “Fair enough. Second, you were bullshitting me with that story yesterday.” She crossed her arms. “Who is my mother, why did I end up with the Webbers and what else aren’t you telling me?”

Jerry grimaced. She had inherited Jax’s irritating ability.


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