Chapter Nineteen

She, She is the words that I can’t find
How can the only thing that’s killing me make me feel so alive
And I couldn’t speak
I couldn’t breathe to save my life
All of my chances swim like sinking ships
This time it’s it
I’ll drown or make her mine
– She (For Liz), Parachute

Early Wednesday, December 4, 2003

Harborview Towers: Penthouse Hallway

It was not long after one in the morning when Sonny and Carly exited the elevator and turned the corner to find Max waiting for them. “Hey, Max. Leticia and the boys doing all right?”

“Yes, sir, Boss. Been quiet since about ten.” Max nodded, moving to open the door. “How’s Miss Webber and the baby?”

“Perfect.” Carly stepped inside the penthouse, and then leaned against the doorjamb. “Six pounds, eleven ounces. She was born at 7:05 PM, so if I remember correctly…Dominic won the pool.”

Max huffed. “If the kid could have just waited three more hours, I’d have had some good money.” He cleared his throat. “Jason make it to the hospital?”

“Yep,” Sonny nodded with a half-smile. “I think he’s hanging at the hospital tonight. Not really interested in letting either of them out of his sight, so…” he shrugged and looked at Carly. “Go ahead, and tell him, you know you want to.”

“Bite me, Sonny.” Carly lifted her chin. “She named her after me.”

Max frowned. “But we painted the damn wall—”

“She added Carly’s name to the end of her already chosen name,” Sonny clarified, rolling his eyes. “Cadence Audrey Caroline Morgan. I figure I’ll have to follow Carly around for a few days to make sure people don’t think there are going to be two Carlys running around.”

“The absolute horror,” Max agreed.

Carly stuck her tongue out of him and went inside the penthouse, collapsing on the couch while Sonny gave Max a few instructions and then closed the door. “I have a namesake, Sonny. You can’t take that from me. I watched Elizabeth and Jason sign the papers for her birth certificate. It’s official.”

“And a year ago, you’d have been horrified at the thought of Muffin Webber naming her kid for you.” Sonny joined her on the couch and just grinned at her. “My, how the world has changed.”

“Ah…” Carly closed her eyes. “Screw you.” She opened them again and looked at her husband. “They’re going to be okay, aren’t they? I saw Jason’s face when he held Cady for the first time, and it was everything I think Elizabeth wanted. He looked…”

“He looked like a father,” Sonny murmured. “And I think it was a good first step. But it’s not enough to just look at her with love. He’s going to have to step up.”

“Yeah…but…” Carly sighed and turned her face into the cushions, exhausted. “I also saw her face when he held the baby, and Elizabeth looked relieved, like she’d been trying not to hope for it…and then when Jason gave Cady to Monica, introducing her with his last name…Maybe he did that for appearances, but he didn’t have to. No one would have said anything if he’d just said, here’s Cady. But he didn’t.”

“It’s a good first step,” Sonny repeated. He hesitated. “You were right a few weeks ago, when you said that if you could make Jason happy, it would mean you hadn’t broken him. Maybe I wanted to believe we were past all of that, that things had changed…but…” He leaned his head back against the sofa and looked out into the room. “We did break him. You, me, Robin, maybe even Elizabeth a little. He never trusted easily to begin with, you know? And Robin shattered him. Before he could recover from that, you drop-kicked him, and then I pushed him over a cliff.” He let out a little bitter laugh. “Hell, Elizabeth only broke his heart. Almost nothing compared to the three of us combined, because he broke hers, too.”

“Sonny…”

“Okay, maybe we didn’t break him, but we did…we did chip away at his ability to believe in people, even if he’d never admit it. He told me he couldn’t believe Elizabeth would stay. She never had before, and it wasn’t like people didn’t lie. Robin had promised to keep the secret, but she’d blindsided him. You asked him to be Michael’s father…and I taught him about honor and loyalty. And look at what we did to him.”

“I thought he’d forgiven us,” Carly murmured. She leaned into Sonny’s side, her cheek against his shoulder. “And I think he did. But he never forgot. So you kicked some sense into him?”

“I hope so,” he sighed. “Because I’m beginning to see your point. If he can be happy, if he can build a life with Elizabeth and Cady, then maybe we don’t have to feel guilty anymore.” He kissed the top of her head. “I love you, Carly, but I wish like hell we could have figured it out without betraying him.”

“I know.” Carly closed her eyes, and remembered the look on his face when he’d seen her on the steps that terrible night. To know he’d been standing there, with a gunshot wound. Maybe Jason had forgiven them, but she had never quite been able to forgive herself. Not all the way. Not until she knew he would be okay.

General Hospital: Elizabeth’s Room

Elizabeth yawned and hastily covered her mouth, with a sheepish smile. “Sorry, Gram,” she said to her grandmother, who was rocking Cady across the room. “I just…haven’t been able to sleep much. These hospital beds aren’t nearly as nice as mine at home.”

Audrey laughed and laid Cady back in her bassinet. “Well, you’ll be out of here tomorrow. I know you’re eager to get home and settle Cady in her nursery.” She perched on the edge of Elizabeth’s bed. “Are you and Jason all right, darling? After you kicked him out of the delivery room—”

“I was…” Elizabeth sighed and closed her eyes. “I was angry at him, Gram. I know the trip was important, and I’m not just saying that. I know he had to go, but it didn’t change how I felt about it. I just…” She hesitated. “I love him. You were right about that, and we’ve been trying really hard to make it better, to make a family, but…”

“You know that your grandfather was the love of my life,” Audrey said softly, brushing Elizabeth’s hair off her forehead. “But he and I spent years fighting it, because there were days when it was just too difficult. We made mistakes, we said and did things that hurt one another terribly. We both tried to move on with other people, but there came a day, when we realized that no matter what we’d done to try and destroy our love, it still beat within our hearts.” She took Elizabeth’s hand in hers and laced their fingers together. “Falling in love is the easy part, Elizabeth. It’s everything that comes after it that’s difficult…and it’s what makes it worthwhile.”

“I know that…” Elizabeth paused. “We just…started this all wrong. Backwards. I wasn’t sure if he could look at Cady without thinking of how she came to be, how many people we hurt, and the mistakes—”

“Elizabeth, did you not see at that man holding your daughter?” Audrey interrupted. “The look on his face when he handed his daughter to his mother for the first time…that is not a man who sees an obligation, and you know Monica is going to live on that moment for months.”

And Audrey was right, because she had seen Jason holding Cady, and she’d seen the love in his eyes, the way his face had lit up. And when he’d given her to Monica, calling her our daughter, and adding his last name…it was everything she wanted that moment to be.

Which meant that Jason had been hiding that love for months. No matter how much she had begged for honesty, he’d kept that locked away.

“I do believe differently now. I know he loves her. I just…want to make sure I do everything I can to give Cady a good life. With parents who love her always…” She cleared her throat. “But Nadine told me all summer to just talk to him. Carly told me to talk to him. And I never did. I let the way I thought he felt color my emotions, and I told him that he hadn’t…given me a reason to stay…except I know he wants me to.”

“So maybe, my darling, the next time you talk to him, you actually listen.” Audrey leaned forward and kissed her forehead. “You’ve been through so much, Elizabeth. But you know, if it lead you to this point, to that beautiful little girl, then perhaps…it was worth the journey.”

“Now, that I believe,” Elizabeth laughed, squeezing her grandmother’s hand. “I can’t believe you’re on Jason’s side, Gram. You realize how impossible that sounds to me.”

“Well, I could have fought you tooth and nail, but you made it abundantly clear years ago you would do as you like.” Audrey smiled. “I learned that for sure the day you ran away with Lucky Spencer, and if that hadn’t gotten through my skull, the moment you told me you were moving out because I trying to send Jason away.”

“You know…Gram….” Elizabeth winced. “Nothing happened that winter. I know what people were saying, but…it wasn’t like that. Jason needed a place to stay, and I was just helping him—”

“Well…” Audrey leaned back. “I can’t say I’m not relieved. You were a little young, but…” she sighed. “He was always so good to you. And even now, I see the way he looks at you, how he treats you. I will never understand his lifestyle, but it is not for me to accept.” She touched Elizabeth’s chin. “All I want is for you to light up again, and you did that last night when you brought that angel into this world, and when you saw Jason hold her, that light was burning brightly. Hold on to that feeling, and I’ll be satisfied.”

The door opened and Elizabeth’s eyes widened when she saw Emily step in, hesitantly. “Hey…do you…can I come in?”

Elizabeth felt her grandmother tense at her side, so she patted her grandmother’s shoulder. “It’s all right, Gram. Can you give us some time?” She smiled. “Maybe go develop your film and show off to the rest of the staff.”

“That is an excellent suggestion.” Audrey kissed Elizabeth’s forehead, kissed Cady goodbye before pausing next to Emily. “She’s just had a baby, so I hope you’re planning on being civil.”

With that, she left the room, leaving the former best friends alone. Emily shifted uncomfortably and looked toward the bassinet. “The…hospital gossip is that you named her Cadence.”

“I did.” Elizabeth nodded. “Cadence Audrey Caroline Morgan.” She took a sip of water her grandmother had left at her bedside. “I didn’t get the chance to thank you after…the attack in October—”

“No, no.” Emily held up her hand. “You have nothing to thank me for.” She sighed. “God, this is so much harder than I thought it would be, because I had planned it all out in my head—what I would say to you, and then what I would say to Jason, but it’s all gone now. I…I’ve been a bitch.”

Elizabeth arched an eyebrow. “No arguments here.”

Emily smiled then, somewhat sheepishly. “And you didn’t deserve it. I can…see it now. After your botched kidnapping, I felt so guilty. And even before that, I was trying to understand why I was so angry, when you were right all along — I had broken up with Zander over a year earlier.”

“Em…”

“And I never once asked you to explain,” Emily hurried to continue. “I did what I always do with you. I looked at the situation and judged without context. Like I did with Jason that winter. I assumed you were sleeping with him, even though you would have told me something like that, and then you rightfully refused to tell me anything substantial when I was such a brat. I always do that to you, Liz. I’m sorry.”

“Emily…that was years ago—”

“But it starts back there,” Emily said, stepping towards her. “I was so angry when Lucky came home, because he didn’t come home. Not all the way. We all knew it. And I was so angry with you—”

“Me?” Elizabeth repeated. “Why?”

“Because you were Lucky’s girlfriend. You loved him, and he loved you, and you were always so perfect together. And I thought if you’d stop…” She huffed, rolling her eyes. “It sounds so stupid when I say it out loud, but I thought if you’d stop worrying about Jason, and just concentrated on Lucky, he would come back all the way. Except he never did. Even now, when he’s mostly okay, he’s still not Lucky.”

“Oh…Emily…”

“So I was angry about that, even though it was my fault, too. We all refused to see Lucky wasn’t the same. We ignored all the signs, blamed you for them. And he spent so much longer under Helena’s control. If we could have seen it earlier…so I blamed you even more, because you knew him better than anyone else, so if you didn’t see the signs, it was your fault. You weren’t looking hard enough.”

Elizabeth closed her eyes and tried not to be annoyed, tried to remember Emily was a year younger than her, that they had all handled Lucky’s problems in their own ways. “So this anger fed into your reaction over Zander.”

“That’s what Lainey, my therapist says,” Emily said. “I started seeing her after your kidnapping attempt. And it’s why I came home, and immediately befriended my brother’s girlfriend, even though I knew he’d broken up with you and started seeing her right away. I let what Courtney tell me color our conversations, because I was always looking for reasons why everything was your fault.” She took a deep breath. “But it wasn’t. I’m just sorry I had to sacrifice our friendship, my relationship with my brother…” And now she cast her eyes towards the bassinet. “And chances of knowing my niece.”

Because Emily did look upset, did appear regretful, Elizabeth just sighed. “I want to say that we can forgive each other. Because we’ve gone through so much, but I just…I don’t know, Em. I really needed you last spring, and you couldn’t hear me.”

“I know.” Emily swiped at her eyes. “And I made the situation so much worse when I hinted to Ric. I would take that back a thousand times if I could, Elizabeth. I promise you that. I wish I could make it better, that I could make it so it never happened—”

“But it’s not like I’ve never made a mistake.” Elizabeth said. She bit her lip. “We may never be that close again, I don’t know. But at the end of the day, we go back a long way. And you are Jason’s sister. He loves you. So…” She shrugged. “Go pick up your niece.”

Emily’s eyes brightened. “Really?”

“Yes. I know you’ll love her as much as we do,” Elizabeth said, believing that for the first time. “So…what are you waiting for?”

Emily scooted over and lifted the newborn into her arms. “Oh, she’s so gorgeous. You’re calling her Cady for short? I just love that. It’s original, and it’s all her own.” She made a cooing noise. “Oh, she is going to have Jason wrapped around her finger, I can just see it now.”

Elizabeth smiled faintly. She was hoping that was true, but it was nice to hear others say the same.

The door to the room opened and Jason stepped, in a brown bag from Kelly’s. His eyes zeroed in on his sister, and Elizabeth saw him tense. “Emily.”

“Jason…” Emily took a deep breath. “I just…came to clear the air with Elizabeth. To meet my niece.” She looked down at Cady. “Elizabeth…said I could hold her.”

Jason glanced at her, and she was grateful for that—for him to look to her for confirmation, because she knew the distance between them had been a result of his protection of her, of her health. “Elizabeth?”

“Jason, relax.” Elizabeth shifted in her bed. “Tell me that’s Ruby’s chili, or at least as good as Don can make it.”

“It is.” Jason set the bag on her table that hung partially over the bed and stripped off his leather jacket. He looked at Emily. “So…things are good?”

“They’re better,” Emily clarified. She stepped towards them and handed Cady over to him. “I…have a lot to make up for. To both of you. I’ve been…working some things out, and I just…” She took a deep breath, and smiled even though her eyes were miserable. Jason wasn’t giving her much to work with. “I have to get back to work, anyway. My break’s over. I’ll…call you, Liz.”

When she was gone, Jason adjusted Cady a little higher in his arms, but Elizabeth was pleased to see he made no move to hand her over or put her back in the bassinet. “It was really okay?”

“Yeah. We cleared the air. We’re not back to where we were, but…” Elizabeth hesitated. “We were honest with each other, and that’s…important.”

“Yeah.” Jason took a deep breath. “I shouldn’t have gone to Puerto Rico. I knew it even when I decided to go, and Sonny warned me, but I thought…with what you’d said after the baby shower, it would be…”

“Jason, the day is going to come when you and I are going to sit down and we’re going to be honest with each other again. Like that day we sat in your penthouse after I moved in, and cleared most of the air.” Elizabeth reached out for his band. “Because if this is ever going to work, we’re both going to have to stop protecting ourselves. I don’t want to live half a life when I think that I…and my daughter…that we’d be so much happier with you.”

“I want you both to be happy with me, too,” Jason admitted.

“But that day is not this day,” Elizabeth said. “Not when I’m less than twenty-four hours out of labor, and I can smell that chili. Now gimme.”

Thursday, December 5, 2003

Morgan Penthouse: Living Room

Jason waited for Francis to push open the door before he stepped inside, Cady’s baby carrier in his one hand and Elizabeth’s duffel bag over his shoulder. He stepped aside to watch as Elizabeth gingerly stepped over the threshold. Behind her, Cody and Marco had flowers, stuffed animals and other various presents Elizabeth had received while in the hospital. “Do you want that stuff in the nursery?”

“Um…” Elizabeth paused by the desk and considered. Jason set Cady on top of the desk and the bag next to her. “Yes. But…just put it in the empty corner, because I don’t know how I’m going to arrange any of it yet.”

“Sure thing, Miss Webber.” Cody nodded, and he squared his shoulders, probably trying to look as tough and professional as always, but it was difficult while he was carrying the giant teddy bear Nikolas Cassadine had had delivered. He and Marco started up the stairs.

“Do you want to sit?” Jason asked. “Carly set up the portable crib down here if you don’t want to take Cady upstairs just yet—”

“Jason…” She put a hand on his arm. “Relax. I’m tired, and I’m sore. But I’m fine. I’ve been sitting for the last week, too uncomfortable to move.” She leaned over Cady’s carrier and smoothed the baby’s almost non-existent fluff of dark hair. “I’m nervous,” she confessed. She smiled as the two guards, finished with their duty, headed out of the penthouse.

Jason frowned. “Why? We have everything—”

“I’ve never been a mother before,” Elizabeth explained. “It’s easy right now, because she’s so good. She sleeps, but…” She huffed. “She’s going to cry, and what if I don’t know what kind of cry it is? How do I know if she’s hungry, or scared or lonely?”

“It’s not easy.” Jason lifted the carrier in his hand and led her over to the sofa, where he put Cady on the coffee table, knowing Elizabeth would sit. “I didn’t know with Michael, but I figured…if he was hungry, he’d eat. So I’d give him a bottle, and if he didn’t want that, then if I held him, he wouldn’t scared or lonely. And eventually, he was on a routine with his feedings, and you know…their crying is different. It’s not always the same for every emotion.”

Elizabeth froze, her hand halfway in the air before turning back to him. “Jason…”

He didn’t meet her eyes, just stared at the baby, hoping she would wake up, stop this conversation. He wasn’t ready for it. To admit to Elizabeth that he hadn’t trusted her. Not all the way.

“I never…” Elizabeth cleared her throat. “I should have thought about it. About Michael. And…” She twisted on the sofa, and he only sighed when he saw her wince. “But I guess…I just didn’t. I…” Her shoulders slumped. “Did you think I would take her away?”

“I…” And of course, now that she was looking at him, asking him this question, he realized just what an idiot he’d been, because of course she wouldn’t take Cady away. “No. But—”

“I guess you didn’t think Robin or Carly would either,” Elizabeth said, but he saw the hurt in her eyes, in the way her mouth was set in a line.

“Elizabeth—” But he had no defense. None at all. “It’s not that I…”

“No, I guess…” Elizabeth sighed, her fingers feathering over her daughter’s cheek. “I guess I even understand it. You loved Robin, and for God knows what reason, you trusted Carly. And it’s not…like I haven’t given you reason to distrust me—”

He was not going to let her blame herself for his idiocy. “Elizabeth, it’s not…” He took a deep breath. “I didn’t…consciously think you would let me fall in love with your daughter and then take her away. I never thought you’d do what Robin did. And I know you’re not insane enough to do what Carly did. But…”

“You’ve been telling me all along in your own way.” Elizabeth tucked her hair behind her ears. “I just didn’t hear what you trying to tell me. I never stay.” She shrugged. “Not news. But Jason…you never stay either.”

“I—” And he couldn’t deny that. He had walked away first, that winter before Lucky was back. And he’d left town after she walked away in the park. And maybe she had physically left the penthouse the year before, but he’d pushed her out, he could see that now. “I know that.”

“So what are we left with?” she murmured. “Two people who don’t trust the other to stay. Can…can we even get past that?”

“If we want to.” Jason reached for her hand. “We used to trust one another. To take what the other said for face value.”

“When we were just friends,” Elizabeth replied with a smile. “But you started trying to protect me that winter, in my studio. Started trying to make decisions for me, when I told you wanted you around. Trying to protect to me. It’s…when our feelings started to change, at least for me, I started…to become guarded because I was…” She laughed, an almost exasperated sound. “I was so afraid you’d see how I felt on my face, and I wasn’t ready to deal with how I felt, much less to have you let me down gently.”

“Why would I have done that?” Jason frowned. “You knew…how I felt about you.”

“Not…entirely.” Elizabeth pursed her lips, trying to explain. “I thought I’d see you look at me, particularly that second time you stayed in the studio, when I was seeing Lucky. And I…I guess…I had mostly assumed that the way I’d felt the year before, had faded. I mean, you were this gorgeous guy with a great smile who spent half the time living with me with your shirt open because I was changing your wound.” Her cheeks flushed and he grinned. “And you were this great listener.” She wrinkled her nose. “I saw you looking at me, sometimes then. But I didn’t…say anything then, because…” she shrugged.

“I’m not sure what would have happened if either of us had given in to how we felt then,” Jason said quietly. He looked at their fingers laced together. “I thought maybe you were too young. And you were starting to get past Lucky, but you weren’t there yet. I was…dealing with my own stuff. But…that last day, when I tried to say goodbye.”

“I wanted you to kiss me,” Elizabeth confessed, with a guilty smile. “When you leaned in toward me, I thought…just for a second, you might.”

“I considered it, but it wouldn’t have been fair.” Jason exhaled slowly. “So you’re right. I was already making decisions for you because of how I felt. I should have kissed you any of the dozen times I thought about it. Every time you hugged me, or kissed me on the cheek. How many times we came close that last time I was home…I kept waiting for you to make the decision, because it was your life that would change. You were the one who had to make the choice.”

“We’ve wasted a lot of time, Jason,” she said softly. “Are we going to keep wasting it? Or are we going to stop looking for reasons to walk away. It’d be easy. It’d be safer, maybe. But I…” She closed her eyes and seemed to come to some sort of inner decision. “I’ve loved you since I was eighteen years old, and maybe I’ve even been in love with you for as long. But I don’t want to be in love by myself anymore. It’s too hard. It’s lonely.”

“You’re not.” Jason reached out, and feathered the back of his hand down her cheek. “You’re not alone. I…I love you, too. And I don’t want to waste another minute.”

And apparently, neither did Cady, because the newborn’s eyes fluttered, she hiccupped, and then she wailed, and their conversation was over for the moment.

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Comments

  • I don’t care! I loved this update! You covered some serious ground and I can’t believe I got a glimpse of my Liason after so long! Kudos!!

    According to kcke2pen on April 25, 2014
  • I love everything about this. Thank you it’s about time they talk. I was about to ask you to lock them in a room. lol

    According to Lisa on April 25, 2014
  • Such an awesome update. Glad sonny didn’t have to lock them in a room and that Liz finally figured out Jason’s fears. Loved it

    According to Jen on April 25, 2014
  • What a great chapter. They finally had their talk. Yay!!! But dang Cady for waking up at that moment. Haha.

    According to Cora on April 25, 2014
  • loved it. glad that they had an honest talk and admitted that they want this to work and they love one another.

    According to Nicole on April 25, 2014
  • Talk, talk ,talk It is so good but so many men especially men don’t, at least mine wouldn’t

    According to leasmom on April 25, 2014
  • so sweet…. glad Emily is starting to come around.

    According to Tish on April 26, 2014
  • It’s about time they are on the same page. I hope Emily is really trying to be a friend. I half expected her to run with Cady to Ric. Loved each one saying ” I Love You”

    According to starhine on April 26, 2014