Wake me up inside
Wake me up inside
Call my name and save me from the dark
Bid my blood to run
Before I come undone
Save me from the nothing I’ve become
– Bring Me to Life, Evanescence
Friday, April 7, 2006
General Hospital: Nurse’s Hub
Elizabeth winced and rolled her arm again, trying to gingerly move her shoulder. She’d asked for the paperwork detail again because it would keep her in one place longer. It also allowed Cody to watch over her better as well as doing a favor for the other nurses who hated paperwork. It might go a long way to boosting her reputation with them.
But she really just wanted to crawl back into bed with an ice pack. She’d slept uneasily, even knowing that Cody had taken one of the guest rooms down the hall and that there were two more guards outside the house. Jason had stayed for dinner and nearly all of Spiderman 2, but with Cameron there to keep them from conversations they should not have, it had been almost a relaxing evening.
If she didn’t think about the reasons she was at her grandmother’s with Cameron or why Jason was there.
She glanced up as the elevator doors opened, and she saw Bobbie step out with a frown on her face. Elizabeth wrinkled her nose as Lucky’s aunt approached her.
“Elizabeth, I was hoping I’d see you today. Do you have a minute?”
“I have so much paperwork,” Elizabeth began, but then Bobbie just arched her brow, and Elizabeth remembered how much she owed this woman. With a sigh, she set down her pen and followed Bobbie over to the waiting area where Cody sat, pretending to be interested in a newspaper.
“I know you,” Bobbie said to him. “You—I’ve seen you at Sonny’s—”
Cody winced, then got to his feet. “I’ll be over by the elevators,” he told Elizabeth, folding his newspaper under his arm. Bobbie watched him go, her eyebrows knitted together.
“Why do you have a guard?” Bobbie asked. “What did Lucky do—”
“Oh—” Elizabeth flushed, and smoothed her hair, making sure it was arranged over the bruise. “Oh, that’s nothing. That’s about Manny.” She briefly told Bobbie about Manny and the reasons he might have targeted her. “It’s just a precaution.”
“Is that why Lucky was so mad about Cameron hanging out with Morgan? Because I talked to Carly and she said—”
“Carly’s doing me a favor by letting Cam play with Morgan today,” Elizabeth interrupted. She folded her arms. “I didn’t want him in daycare. And Lucky—it’s fine. It’s not like the PCPD can do anything.”
“Elizabeth.” Bobbie pressed her lips together and stared at her for a long moment. “You called me last night, sounding upset. You didn’t want Lucky to pick up his own son—insisted I have my son drive him to Audrey’s when she’s out of town—Lucas told me you had a cut on your face and that you’d been crying—”
“I fell,” Elizabeth insisted. “I was tired, and I tripped on the carpet. C’mon, Bobbie. You know what the hours are like here. And I have a toddler—”
“I do know that.” Bobbie stared at her for another long moment. “Let’s sit.”
“I should get back to work—”
“Just for a moment,” Bobbie said, a thin thread of steel in her tone. With a sigh, Elizabeth sat on the sofa. Bobbie sat next to her. “Have I ever told you about one of my first husbands? D.L. Brock?”
“I—” Elizabeth shook her head. “No, I guess I didn’t—I really only knew about Tony and Stefan.”
“Well, D.L. came a lot earlier. Before Tony. He was not a kind man.” Bobbie hesitated. “He was abusive—”
“Bobbie, I don’t know what you’re thinking—”
“I’m thinking that you need to stop interrupting me,” Bobbie said gently. “Because I have something I’d like you to hear. He beat me one night, and I had to have a hysterectomy. That’s why there’s only Carly. Why Lucas was adopted. Because I trusted someone who hurt me.”
“I’m sorry that you went through that,” Elizabeth managed, her eyes blurring with tears. “It’s horrible.”
“It was. But what was more terrible was thinking I was alone. That I couldn’t tell anyone. I don’t know what’s going on with Lucky, Elizabeth. But don’t you ever forget that I love you, too. Every bit as much as I love my nephew. You are part of my family, and that has nothing to do with his marriage to you.”
Bobbie leaned forward and gently tucked Elizabeth’s hair behind her ear, letting her fingers drift over the bruise, the angry purple fading into a sickening mix of green and yellow. Over the cut by her cheekbone. “I love you,” she repeated. “And when you need someone, you come to me. Because you are not alone. And I know that Lucky is not the boy we knew.”
Elizabeth wanted to tell her so desperately, but she couldn’t form the words. She didn’t know why. Bobbie clearly knew. And she was ready to hear it.
But Elizabeth wasn’t to say it.
“I have to get back to work,” Elizabeth finally said. She got to her feet. “Thank you for coming by. And for helping so much with Cameron. He loves you.”
“I love him,” Bobbie said. She kissed Elizabeth’s cheek, just above the cut. “When you’re ready, you know where to find me.”
Bobbie left then, and Elizabeth watched her go. Cody returned to his post in the armchair, armed with his newspaper. She looked at him. “No news?”
“Not a single sighting.”
She sighed, rubbed her face. “That’s not good, is it?”
“No,” Cody admitted. “If he’d just left town—” He shrugged. “Don’t worry, Miss Webber.”
“I won’t. I know you won’t leave me alone.”
General Hospital: Pediatrics Floor
Emily frowned as she walked past a patient’s room, stopped, and backed up a few steps to find her brother in a room with Epiphany and Alan.
“What’s going on?” she demanded.
“Emily,” Alan began, but Emily wasn’t in the mood to be batted aside by another well-meaning man. Not today.
“Is Elizabeth okay? Is Manny in the hospital? Where’s Cameron?”
Jason sighed and looked at Alan and Epiphany before looking back at his sister. “Em, give me a minute, and we’ll talk.” He turned back to Alan “Thank you for letting Stan into the security room,” Jason said. “I know this makes you uncomfortable.”
“It does,” Alan said with a sigh. “But I didn’t want the board to hire Manny. And the PCPD has their hands tied. I don’t love this, Jason, but if you’re right, then one of my nurses has been targeted under my watch. I won’t stand for it. Whatever you need. Just—” He grimaced. “Catch this psycho.”
He left the room, then, and with a pointed look at Jason, Epiphany followed. Emily folded her arms. “Well?”
Jason closed the door and turned to his sister. “You said that Manny used to hang out on this floor all the time. Until Elizabeth got moved.”
Emily nodded. “Yeah, and then it was like I never saw him.”
“But Skye was here a lot the last few weeks, wasn’t she? Doing a charity thing for the hospital?”
“She was—” Emily frowned. “But Manny was never around. He was always upstairs—Oh, man.” She swallowed, letting her hands fall to her sides. “He really was watching her. Oh, God, Jason. I thought she was just overreacting—”
“I did, too. But she’s got a guard, and I’ve got people on her grandmother’s house—”
Emily exhaled slowly. “So she went to Audrey’s. I was wondering—do you know why? What happened?”
Jason shook his head. “You should ask her about it—”
“No—” Emily touched his arm. “No. C’mon. What’s going on?”
“You should ask Elizabeth,” Jason repeated gently.
“Hard since she’s not talking to me,” Emily muttered. She looked away, then flashed her brother an irritated glare. “This is mostly your fault, you know. If you hadn’t been such a…jackass…I never would have—” She stopped.
“Attacked me?” Jason demanded. “Told me something you knew Elizabeth would be embarrassed about? Do you want me to apologize to you, Emily? Because I don’t really know what the hell I did wrong.”
And sometimes when Emily thought about it, she couldn’t quite put her finger on it either. “Well, you should have let me make my own choices because I figured out pretty quick that Sonny is…not a good idea.”
Jason frowned at her. “What? What does that mean?”
“It means,” Emily said through gritted teeth, “that you were right. I hate it, but you were right. Sonny doesn’t—he doesn’t respect me. He refused to talk to me about Manny even though he’d already told you it wasn’t his problem. He can’t have it both ways—”
Jason exhaled slowly. “Sonny has a thing about women and the business.”
“Yeah, I’m sure there’s a good reason for that. But this isn’t business. This is a psychotic asshole who might try to hurt my best friend. And it’s bullshit because you let Elizabeth help all the time and clearly he doesn’t have a problem with it—” She broke off when she saw Jason hesitate. “What?”
“I didn’t plan it. But—that winter when I got shot—Elizabeth just—she fell in the middle of it. And then the bomb in her studio—I mean—look, it’s not important. It’s just—Sonny really doesn’t want Elizabeth involved either. I always…almost always,” he corrected softly, “told her more than he wanted.”
Emily swallowed hard. “Almost always,” she repeated. “Except that one time. When Sonny didn’t want her to know about faking his death.”
“Yeah. And I listened to him. I shouldn’t—” Jason stopped. “It doesn’t matter anymore. I’m sorry you’re hurt, Emily, but—”
“But Sonny doesn’t respect women,” Emily said. “Even women he says he loves.” She nodded. “Okay. Well, that clears up a lot. He doesn’t respect or trust me—”
“That’s—probably a little harsh, but—no, not really.”
“And that’s what you wanted to protect me from.” Emily folded her arms, hugging her patient’s chart to her chest. “I figured it out on my own, Jason. I can take care of myself.”
“You’re my sister. I’m always going to want to take care of you. Stop you from getting hurt.”
“Yeah. I know. You’re my brother. And I’m always going to want to take care of you,” she told him. He flinched. “Hey, what’s good for the goose and all that, Jase—we both went about it the wrong way, but neither of us was wrong. You told me that Sonny would hurt me. That he’d never be what I needed. And you were right.”
“And maybe I did it the wrong way, but I’m not wrong. You deserve better than Sam McCall. I’m glad I told you what Elizabeth said. I wish I’d done it three years ago when it might have made a difference.”
Jason looked at her for a long moment. “Why didn’t you?” he asked finally.
Emily frowned. “Because I—well, you’d moved on with Courtney. And I guess—I don’t know. I thought it was true. And if you really did cheat on Elizabeth, then maybe she was better off.” She tilted her head. “Would it have changed something? Has it changed something?”
“I need to get going.”
Jason started past her, but Emily grabbed his arm. “Jase, she’s married now.”
“I know that—”
“And she’s dealing with a lot. Lucky’s not doing great with this setback, I know that. They’re fighting a lot. He told me that—”
“You’ve seen him?” Jason turned back to her, his interest engaged again. “When?”
“Last night. He came to the Quartermaines looking for Elizabeth. I guess—you said she’s at Audrey’s.” Emily sighed. “He said something about you hanging around and it’s—it’s—I don’t know. I’m just worried. Judging by how he looked last night, he’s probably going to fail his physical today, and it’s going to make things worse.”
“Worse,” Jason repeated. “So…you haven’t seen her?”
“I saw her yesterday, but—” Emily frowned. What didn’t she know? How bad were things with Lucky and Elizabeth? “You’re not telling me something.”
“It’s—it’s nothing. Elizabeth already told me we can’t be friends. I’ve accepted that. You don’t have to worry, Emily. I’m not trying to get between them.” He shook his head. “I learned that lesson a long time ago.”
He left this time, and Emily stared after her brother, troubled. “You never had to try,” she muttered as she left the room. Jason seemed to drive a wedge between Lucky and Elizabeth simply by breathing.
She couldn’t wait for this Manny crap to be over, so everything could just go back to the way it used to be.
Luke’s: Back Office
Luke frowned as his sister walked in. He pulled his feet off the desk and got up. “Barbara, was I expecting you?”
“No, but I was hoping you might know where to find your son.” Bobbie set her purse down and took off her jacket. “Have you seen him lately?”
“No, he’s been avoiding me, truth be told, since he borrowed money to pay their car insurance—” Luke shook his head. “I tried to tell him he could move into the house, save themselves some rent, but he refused.” He gestured for Bobbie to take a seat, but she shook her head. “They both have good jobs — I don’t know why they’re struggling—”
“Speaking like a man who’s never had to worry about child care,” Bobbie said sourly. “Lucky’s on half-pay because he can’t work a full shift. And part of Elizabeth’s paycheck goes to daycare. They’re stretched pretty thin. And that’s before the hospital bills.”
“How—” Luke hesitated. “Does he tell you all this?”
“No, but I made it my business to find out. Audrey went to Memphis for a month to visit her grandson, and your son refused to change his schedule around, so Elizabeth didn’t have to pay extra for daycare.” Bobbie tilted her head to the side. “I’m afraid Lucky is more like his father every day.”
“Well…” Luke cleared his throat. “That doesn’t, ah, sound very complimentary, Barbara Jean.” He got up and walked towards the front of the club, where he poured himself a drink. “What did my gender do now?”
“Not your gender. Your bloodline. You weren’t, and still aren’t, very fond of your stepson—”
“Oh, come on—” Luke set the bottle of whiskey down with a thud. “That’s not fair. The Dark Prince is…” He wiggled his fingers. “Dark. He’s a Cassadine—”
“And you made Laura’s life hell because of it. Forced her to choose. To feel guilty.”
Luke scowled and sipped his drink. “I love when you stop by, sister dear. Always a boost to the ego.”
“Lucky is doing the same thing to Elizabeth. He doesn’t…” Bobbie shook her head. “He doesn’t love that little boy.”
“That’s not—” He sighed. “How can you possibly know that?”
“I asked Mac. And he said that he offered to cover Lucky at work so he could use that time to go to physical therapy. If Cameron stays in daycare between four and seven, Elizabeth has to pay nearly two hundred extra dollars a week. Lucky refused to take Mac’s offer, not even to save Elizabeth money.”
“I—” Luke hesitated. “He’s…” But there weren’t words. “Okay, so he’s selfish. No crime in that. And maybe he’s just too focused on getting back on the job—”
“Elizabeth asked me to help. I already watch Morgan a few nights a week, and I rearranged my schedule to make sure I could be there. Because Lucky outright refused. I tried to ask him why, and he told me it’s not his problem. Elizabeth asked him to pick Cameron up from my place exactly once. And Lucky forgot.”
None of this was good evidence. “Okay, so Cowboy isn’t a good father. That…” Luke winced. “That does run in the family.”
“I think he’s hurting Elizabeth.”
Luke stared at his sister for a long time before swallowed hard. “And you don’t mean emotionally.”
“No, I don’t. She has a bruise on her face, and I saw her holding her shoulder as she was in pain. Last night, she called me, Luke, and I could hear it in her voice. She was crying, trying to control herself. Begged me not to let Lucky pick up Cameron. To have Lucas take him to Audrey’s. Because she would be there.”
Luke rubbed a hand over his face. “Damn it, Barbara Jean. That’s not—Lucky loves that girl. He’s always loved her. Don’t you remember how careful he was with her? He used to—” His voice thickened. “He used to…”
“He used to,” Bobbie repeated softly. “He used to worship her. He used to think about how to make her happy. He used to watch her. Watched the world around her. Tried to anticipate anything that might hurt her. All of that is past tense.”
“It’s—it’s been a tough year—” But Luke couldn’t even finish it.
“Worse than the year she was raped, and he found out about…” Bobbie gestured at him. “Worse than that? Because that rocked his world. Yes, he’s been sick. He’s been hurt. But I’m worried—”
“Did she actually tell you he’s hurt her?” Luke asked, desperate to find a way out of this. “Elizabeth’s a strong girl, she wouldn’t stand for it—”
“Oh, like she wouldn’t sit around for a year dealing with brainwashing while Lucky treated her like crap? How many times did we all tell her just to have patience? That if we loved Lucky enough, he’d come back to us—”
“This isn’t our fault—”
“No. It’s not. But if we don’t do something now, whatever happens next will be our fault. Have you seen Lucky today?” Bobbie repeated.
“No. I—I haven’t.” Luke reached for his cell phone. “But I’ll call him—”
“I’ve left voice mails. He’s not picking up.” Bobbie reached over, touched his hand. “Luke, she’s not ready to face it. I know that. I’ve been there. We’ve both been there.” She cleared her throat. “We watched Mama go through it—”
“I’m not talking about it, Barbara Jean—”
“There’s something rotten in the Spencer blood. Daddy used to beat Mama like it was nothing. And she died. You—”
“You don’t have to tell me what I did,” Luke muttered. “I know what’s in me. What I did to my angel. What I can never take back. But Lucky was different. He was going—” He looked back at his sister. “He was going to be better than all of us.”
“And maybe he still can be. But only if we stop it now. Before he really does something he can’t take back. I love that girl, Luke. Laura loved her, too. What would she want us to do?”
“She’d want us to look out for Elizabeth.” Luke sighed. “Yeah, okay, we’ll track him down. We’ll make this right.”
General Hospital: Hallway
“I’m gonna ask her,” Patrick declared with a firm nod of his head. He shook his finger at Robin Scorpio. “Don’t talk me out of it—”
“Couldn’t be done if I wanted to—” Robin grimaced as she watched Elizabeth working at the hub. The nurse winced as she lifted a pile of charts. “Can’t we just tie her up and force her to let one of us look at her shoulder?”
“I like the way you think. Clearly, I have great taste.” Patrick slung an arm around her shoulders. “But it’ll look weird if I do it, so I’ll distract her, and you get the rope—”
“The two of you are dumb as hell.”
The doctors jumped at the bark behind them and spun around to find Epiphany scowling at both of them. “You want to ask her? Just ask her. She ain’t gonna tell you fools nothing.”
“But we can’t just…” Patrick gestured in Elizabeth’s direction. “We can’t let it go. Can we?” He looked at Robin, and she knew he was thinking about the conversation they’d had the month before. His worry over something in Lucky’s medical history that would spill over to Elizabeth.
It looked like his worst fears had come true.
Robin forced a smile on her face and turned to the nurse. “He’s learning empathy,” she told Epiphany, trying to lighten the moment. “It’s cute. Really.”
Patrick scowled. “Great. The two of you have jokes, but I’m over here—”
“Just follow me,” Epiphany said with a roll of her eyes. “Now.” She stalked across the hallway and meekly, the doctors followed.
Elizabeth looked up to find the trio standing in front of her, their expressions resolute. “Uh…can I help you?”
“Here’s what is going to happen,” Epiphany told her. “You’re going to let one of these idiots take a look at that shoulder. You’re going to let the other one take pictures of your injuries. We’re not going to ask you any questions. But you will have them if you need them.”
Elizabeth stared at her supervisor for a long moment before shaking her head. “I’m fine—”
“Girl,” Epiphany began, but Robin, taking her life in her hands, interrupted.
“Just me, then, Liz. You and me. We’ll go do a quick exam, and I promise. I’m not going to ask any questions.”
“There aren’t questions to ask—”
“You have a son you need to be able to carry,” Robin told her, stepping to the front of the trio. “Don’t risk making it worse.”
Elizabeth closed her eyes. “Fine. But just you.” She eyed Patrick and Epiphany suspiciously as Robin took her by the elbow. “And no questions.”
“Not even one.”
When they were in the room, Elizabeth sighed, realizing Robin had clearly prepared for this. “You went to see the S.A.N.E nurse,” she murmured.
“I did,” Robin said as she unpacked the kit. “I wanted to take pictures, and this has a disposable camera and measuring stick. We…” She looked at Elizabeth. “We don’t need any of the other stuff, do we?”
“No.” Elizabeth hesitated, then slowly peeled off her scrub top, wincing.
She moved on to the long-sleeved knit top she wore underneath. Robin helped Elizabeth ease it over her head, revealing the purple bruise on her shoulder blade, the fingerprints on her arm, and to Elizabeth’s surprise, another bruise wrapping around her abdomen. She frowned at it as Robin stood her in front of the wall and handed her the measuring tape.
“I didn’t see that,” she murmured. Oh, God, she was covered in bruises. She’d tried so hard not to look at herself in the shower in this morning, but—
Robin thankfully remained silent and merely handed Elizabeth a hairband. She tied her hair back to reveal the sickening bruise at her hairline.
“I know I said no questions,” Robin said, “and I mean that, but um, the shoulder injury…I just need to know what you…” She sighed, looked at Elizabeth. “No questions,” she repeated.
Elizabeth met her gaze for a long time, then nodded. She gestured at her face. “The first bruise is three days old. That’s from hitting the wall. And these…” She gestured at the first set of fingerprints on her right arm. “That’s two days ago. The, uh, cut on my face…and the rest of them…” She closed her eyes. “I fell backward over a table and into a lamp. Then I hit the floor.”
Robin gently rotated Elizabeth’s shoulder for a minute, then nodded. “I think it’s just a bad contusion. Are you taking anything for it? Motrin?”
“Motrin and ice.”
“That’ll probably be good.” Robin handed Elizabeth her shirt. “I’ll take the camera to a one hour place. It’ll be dated today. And if…you ever need anyone to certify when they were taken, I’ll do it.”
Elizabeth held her clothes to her chest, her eyes burning. “You’re really not asking questions.”
“If you want me to ask them, I will. But I don’t think I need to.” Robin bit her lip. “Are you safe?”
“Right now? Yes.”
“I don’t know you that well, Elizabeth. But I like you. And I remember Lucky from growing up here.”
“I’m just stating facts. I know that there will be some people who will either never believe you or assume you did something to deserve it.” Robin met her eyes. “You never deserved it. And I will believe you. When you’re ready to answer those questions.”
Elizabeth closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “Okay. Thank you.”
“Let me know if that shoulder feels worse, okay? We might want an MRI, but it doesn’t look that serious.”
When Elizabeth had gotten changed, she followed Robin back out to the nurse’s station, where she found Patrick and Epiphany still waiting. She arched a brow. “Don’t you people have jobs?”
“Yes, I’m going to go do it in a minute.” Patrick scowled. “I don’t like people.”
“This is not news to me—”
“And I think your husband is a giant asshole—”
“Patrick,” Robin hissed, whacking him in the shoulder as Elizabeth blanched.
“But since I’m not allowed to say that,” Patrick continued, “so I’ll just say that you are one of the few people that I like. And it pisses me off I can’t do more to help.” He paused. “It really pisses me off.”
“You…” Elizabeth hesitated. “You are helping. Thank you for your concern. I’ve got this under control.” She looked at Epiphany. “Can I clock out early? I only have fifteen more minutes—”
“Yeah, but grab your guard,” Epiphany told her. They watched as Elizabeth got on the elevator with Cody.
“Well, what did she say?” Patrick demanded as soon as the doors had shut. “How bad is it?”
“I can’t tell you that,” Robin said with a roll of her eyes. She muttered under her breath and stalked away.
“I’m worried,” Patrick told Epiphany. “If she doesn’t say what he did to her, she might talk herself into going back—”
“All we can do is be there for her. You forget — he’s not just her husband. He’s a cop,” Epiphany said with a shrug. “And they’ll stick by him.”
Patrick wanted to argue, but simply couldn’t. So he just went back to his shift.
General Hospital: Parking Garage
Elizabeth hung back slightly as they approached the dark black sedan Cody had driven her to work in. She waited as Cody walked around the car, looking for evidence that it had been broken into or tampered with.
He stooped on the ground to look under the car, completing the bomb check. Then she heard him hiss. Her pulse kicked up as she took another step back. “What is it?” she demanded.
“A flat tire.” Cody scowled as he got back to his feet and dusted some grit and dirt from his suit jacket. “Damn it.” He pulled his phone from his coat. “I’ll call for another car.”
Elizabeth exhaled, relieved. She just wanted all of this to be over. “Okay—but—” She frowned. “Don’t you think it’s weird that we have a flat? Don’t Jason and Sonny do, like, routine maintenance?”
Cody glanced up, frowned at her, then looked back at the car. “Shit. Let’s go back inside—”
A shadow darted around them, and Elizabeth screamed as Manny Ruiz lurched out from behind a car and ran at Cody, who didn’t even have a chance to pull his gun before the tire iron smacked the side of his skull.
“Run,” Cody choked out as he fell against the car. Elizabeth took off, the pads of her sneakers slapping against the concrete floor as she dashed back towards the emergency stairs, knowing she’d never get to the elevator.
Just as she reached the door and started to twist the handle, a hand slid over her mouth, and Manny’s voice panted in her ear. “Not so fast, Pretty Girl. You’re all mine.”
Elizabeth bit his hand, then screamed. Manny swore, spun her around, then backhanded her. Elizabeth flew into a car, then falling onto the ground.
With a moan, Elizabeth tried to crawl away. She could see Cody in the distance, laying sprawled out by his car.
She cried out as Manny yanked her head back—then dimly saw the car bumper in front of her before pain exploded in her head, and her vision went black.