Chapter Thirty-One

May 15, 2004

The Cellar: Bathroom

Elizabeth bit her lip. “Okay, I think I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to have a baby.”

Courtney laughed nervously. “A little late for that. Listen–I’ll just go get Jason–”

Elizabeth’s wrist shot out to catch her before she could leave. “No, no, don’t leave.” She closed her eyes. “Oh, God, this hurts.”

“Okay, let’s sit down.” Courtney held out her arms. “Grip me, and I’ll help you sit. Just until I get back with Jason.”

Elizabeth grabbed her and Courtney gently lowered her to sit on the floor. “Just—breathe, okay?”

Elizabeth nodded and Courtney rushed back into the main room. She grabbed Brian’s arm as she went past him, dragging him to Jason.

“Elizabeth’s water just broke,” she said in a rush of breath. “In the bathroom.”

Jason took off without another word and Courtney looked to Brian. “Find Carly–she’ll know who to call.”

“Okay,” Brian agreed but he was talking to her back as she was rushing in the other direction.

Elizabeth’s face was dripping in sweat by the time Jason reached her. Her breathing was labored and silent tears were streaking down her cheeks. “It hurts so much,” she choked.

Jason swung her arm around his shoulder and lifted her into his arms, bracing her extra weight quite easily. “It’s okay, we’re going to the hospital.” He nodded to Courtney who was holding the door open for them.

“I think I’ve been in labor all day.” She admitted as he moved quickly down the hallway and back into the main club.

“Carly pulled the car around already,” Lorenzo said rapidly as they used the second entrance. “She called Elizabeth’s grandmother and Sage has the rest of the list going now, okay?”

“Thanks,” Jason remarked moving towards the car. He helped Elizabeth into the back before climbing in after her. Carly took off, the brakes of the car squealing.

Inside the club, Sage was handing out numbers for the teens to call. “I’ll call Emily,” she said, “Georgie, call Lucky Spencer. Maxie, you call Nikolas Cassadine and Lucas, call your mom.”

“What about us?” Kyle asked, almost pouting.

“You and Dillon go get your cars. We’ve got some people who need to get to the hospital and it’d be easier if the cars were right outside when we were ready to go.”

“Right.” Kyle left the club, Dillon in tow while Sage and the teens called Elizabeth’s friends and family. Courtney and Brian hurried to close down the club before the entire entourage adjourned to the hospital.

General Hospital

Audrey was already on shift at the hospital and was waiting for them at the emergency room doors. “How far apart?” she asked Jason quickly.

“About five minutes,” Jason answered. He helped Elizabeth into a wheelchair. “Her bag’s at the apartment,” he told her.

“She won’t need it right now anyway.” Audrey kissed Elizabeth’s forehead. “How are you feeling darling?”

Elizabeth clutched at the front of her grandmother’s sweater. “Drugs,” she panted as another contraction hit. “Now.”

“Well, that answers my question. Jason, let’s get you scrubbed up and ready for the delivery room,” Audrey took his arm but he was reluctant to leave Elizabeth. He kissed her forehead before following her grandmother.

Three hours later, the entire group had assembled in the waiting room. Carly was pacing like a nervous mother, muttering something about muffins and babies that Lorenzo couldn’t quite catch.

Lucky and Nikolas were arguing over godfather rights while Emily was smugly gloating at already having been picked godmother. Bobbie and Audrey were sharing pictures of their children–Bobbie had Lucas, BJ and Carly while Audrey showed off Tommy, Sarah and Elizabeth. Monica had arrived not long ago and was showing off her own three children’s pictures.

The teens were standing by the vending machine placing bets on which bag of potato chips had been in there longer. “This is a trick game,” Kyle decided after choosing the bag of Fritos.

“It is not. You can tell the Doritos have been in there longer from the dust,” Georgie defended.

“Yeah, but how you gonna tell who’s right?” Kyle pointed out. “Any bag can be dusty. Someone’s going to have to try it.”

“That’s right,” Sage nodded. “And the only fair way is to choose one person to eat one chip from each bag.”

“That’s disgusting,” Lucas remarked. “Who would do that?”

All eyes turned to Dillon who scowled. “You eat one chip off the floor and suddenly you turn into Mikey.”

“Mikey?” Sage echoed.

“Yeah, the Life cereal commercial,” Maxie said. “‘Give it to Mikey, he likes everything.'”

“I wonder whatever happened to Mikey,” Georgie pondered.

“He got sick because the people he trusted kept giving him bad food to be funny,” Dillon pouted.

Jason entered the waiting room and seemed surprised by the crowd that had gathered. “Carly–can I see you for a minute?” he asked, raising his voice over the many shouting inquiries about Elizabeth and the baby.

Carly followed him back into the maternity ward and frowned. “What’s wrong?”

“The baby–” Jason hesitated and looked away, swallowing hard. “The baby’s in the wrong position. They’re trying to turn her but Elizabeth may have to have caesarean.” His worried blue eyes met hers. “I don’t know anything about those. I read about everything else but–”

“They’re common and they’re safe,” Carly immediately. “A lot of women have them and go on to have more children.” She touched his arm. “Elizabeth is stubborn and she wants this baby. She’s going to be fine.”

“D-Don’t tell anyone. I don’t want them to worry until we know for sure she has to have one.” He took a deep breath. “I should get back in there.”

She kissed his cheek. “Tell her we’re out here and that we love her.”

“You do?” Jason asked with a hint of humor in his eyes.

“On certain Sundays, sure.” Carly grinned. “Get back in there and get your kid out here.”

When Jason got back into the delivery room, Dr. Meadows informed him that they’d been successful in turning the baby. He hurried to Elizabeth’s side and brushed her sweaty hair off her forehead. “Carly says you’re going to be fine.”

Elizabeth gritted her teeth, “Oh well if Carly says it,” she panted.

“Okay, Elizabeth, you’re dilated to ten,” Dr. Meadows told her. “When the next contraction hits, you can start pushing.”

Elizabeth’s held fell back and she closed her eyes. “I think the epidural is wearing off.” The monitor next to her started to beep, signaling an oncoming contraction. Elizabeth clenched Jason’s hand more tightly.

“Okay, push!” Dr. Meadows called. Elizabeth bit down hard and did as she was told.

“Never again,” she choked out. “You. Are. Never. Touching. Me. Again.”

“They all say that,” a nurse told Jason with a comforting smile. “They never mean it.”

“The hell I don’t!”

Waiting Room

Dillon stared at the Doritos. “No.”

“Dillon,” Georgie began cajolingly.

“No,” he repeated.

“But how am I supposed to win?”

“I am not a Mikey.”

Lucas rolled his eyes at their bantering and grabbed Sage’s hand, pulling her down the hallway. “I wanted to talk to you about something.”

She tensed. “Yeah?”

“Relax.” His thumbs moved across the back of her hands in small circles. “I just wanted to talk about graduation.”

“Okay.” Sage nodded. “Graduation is next month.”

“And I’m going to Yale in the fall,” Lucas continued. “Kyle and I are getting an apartment together.”

Sage raised an eyebrow, her amusement clear. “You and Kyle.”

Lucas grinned and looked away. “He’s not a total loser.” He cleared his throat. “So, I’ll just come down the same weekends he does. It’s worked for him and Maxie.”

Some of the tension left her shoulders and she brightened. “You mean a long distance relationship?”

He nodded apprehensively. “I know how difficult they can be and I understand if–”

“Lucas,” Sage interrupted with exasperation. “I love you. Don’t be so stupid.”

He exhaled slowly. “Good. That makes this next part easier.”

“Next part?” Sage repeated mystified. “Lucas, are you feeling all right?”

“I love you, Sage,” Lucas began, “And I know you’re only seventeen and that I’m only eighteen and that your uncle can have me working some freighter in Antarctica with a snap of his fingers–”

Sage rolled her eyes. “Honestly.”

“–but,” Lucas continued, “I know how I feel about you and I think I just want to make it clear that I want to marry you someday.”

Sage blinked and went very still. “Marry me,” she repeated softly. “You want to marry me.”

“After college and everything,” Lucas hurried to explain. “There’s no hurry.”

Her eyes filled with tears. “You really love me.”

“Well–yeah–didn’t I just say that?”

“And you want to marry me.”

“Are you okay, Sage?” Lucas asked with some concern.

“I just–” she took a deep breath. “I’m fine. This–this is just so out of blue, Lucas. We’ve never talked about this.”

Lucas swallowed hard. “We’re talking about it now.”

“Right.” Sage tugged her hands from his grasp and clasped them behind her back. “Lucas–”

“If this isn’t what you want, then you just have to say so,” he said sharply.

“Lucas, come on–I’m seventeen years old. I love you but we have years before we have to think about something like marriage,” Sage protested. “I’m not ready to make that kind of promise–”

“I thought we were on the same page,” Lucas remarked. “That we felt the same. Obviously, this was just a way to pass the time for you.”

“Don’t be like this, Lucas,” Sage said quietly. “Don’t be someone I have to pretend with. We’ve been together for six months. I’ve never lived anywhere for six months much less dated the same guy for that long. You were the first person here that I trusted and I love you. But that does not mean I have to sign my life over to you because you say so. Because you’re ready to do that.”

“If you think I’m asking you to do that, then you don’t know me at all,” Lucas stated coldly. “Plenty of people get engaged in high school.”

“And plenty of people decide that it’s not what they want,” Sage said, her voice just as frostbitten. “People leave. People change their minds. And I don’t see marriage as just the next logical step. My parents did that. My father decided he wanted a family. He picked my mother and marriage was just a logical step for him. Having a child was a logical step. That is not the way I’m going to live my life.”

“It’s pretty clear that we’re not on the same wavelength here. I’m not asking you yet. I love you, Sage. I know you had a rotten childhood. I know–”

“And I’m supposed to jump into your arms because you tell me that?” Sage asked. “Especially when you sound so patronizing like I’m a child that needs to be soothed?”

“Stop being so defensive. I wasn’t planning on actually asking for a while. I just wanted you to know how I felt.” Lucas grimaced. “Though I’m beginning to have second thoughts.”

Sage kept her face blank, her eyes clear. He wasn’t going to see how much that hurt her. He just wasn’t getting it. “Fine. You stay here and have your second thoughts.”

Waiting Room

When Sage re-entered the waiting room, Audrey and Emily were gone. “Did she have the baby?”

Maxie nodded, excitedly. “A little girl. Just a few—” the smile faded. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” Sage said quickly. “So she’s healthy and Elizabeth is okay?”

“Yeah.” Maxie shook her head. “No something’s wrong, What did my cousin say?”

“We’ll talk about it later,” Sage promised.

“Sage–”

“Later,” she hissed.

Delivery Room

Elizabeth’s eyes were drooping but she forced them to stay open. “She’s the most beautiful baby in the world, isn’t she?” she glanced up at Jason who was looking at his daughter almost in awe.

“Her fingers are so small,” Emily marveled. She leaned her head against her brother’s shoulder. “What are you going to name her?”

“Lila Emily Morgan,” Elizabeth said. She looked to her grandmother. “And our next daughter is going to be Audrey, I promise Gram.”

“What happened to your husband not touching you anymore?” the attending nurse joked as she gently lifted Lila from Elizabeth’s reluctant embrace. “I’m bringing her right back, Mom, just got to take some vitals and write some things down. Besides, you’re moving to your own room and you can take her in there with you.”

“Just as long as you’re both healthy, I don’t care if her name is Gertrude,” Audrey said with a warm smile. She kissed Elizabeth’s forehead. “Emily, let’s go back into the waiting room and give them a few moments alone before the herd comes in.”

When they were gone, Elizabeth closed her eyes and leaned back, a tired smile on her face. “I can’t believe she’s finally here,” she murmured.

“She doesn’t seem real,” Jason replied. He brushed his lips across her forehead. “You’re incredible, Elizabeth.”

“I love you so much,” she murmured. “For giving me the life I didn’t think I’d ever get.”

He took her hand in his and kissed her palm, watching as she slid into a painless sleep brought on by the drugs. “I love you, too,” he said. “For giving me the life I didn’t think I deserved.” 

Comments

No comments yet