I am here, I am here
I’ve already seen the bottom, so there’s nothing to fear
I know that I’ll be ready when the devil is near
I am here, I am here
All of this wrong, but I’m still right here
I don’t have the answers, but the question is clear
– I Am Here – P!nk
Tuesday, November 4, 2003
General Hospital: Hospital Room
Election Day in Port Charles was a cold and blustery one as winter weather made a surprising appearance—almost as surprising as the birth of Morgan Stone Corinthos, two weeks before his due date. Carly was just grateful she’d sent in her vote for the mayor by absentee ballot the week before.
No way in hell was she going to miss her chance to shove Garrett Floyd out of office.
The birth was relatively easy, and Carly allowed Sonny to be there with her while their son came into the world. She was still staying with her mother, still unsure as to what her marriage was going to look like once the trial—slated to begin in a week—was over.
But Sonny looked nearly like his old self as he beamed at his son and showed off Morgan to Bobbie and to Michael, who was eager to be a big brother. Dr. Meadows proclaimed Morgan to be perfect, which Carly already knew.
Her son was her miracle baby that had helped her survive a nightmare and it was her job to make sure he had the best life possible.
“I want you to come home,” Sonny told her when Bobbie had taken Michael home and Morgan was laying peacefully nearby, dozing off.
“We talked about this, Sonny,” Carly murmured. She shifted, her epidural fully worn off. “After the trial.”
“I know, I know. I just—” He looked over at the portable crib where Morgan’s tiny fist was waving in the air. “I just want my family back. The way we were before any of this happened.”
“I know.” Carly reached up to touch his cheek. “I know. But we can’t go back. We can only go forward. And right now, I’m not sure if we can do that.”
Sonny felt a bit more tense, but finally nodded. “Okay.”
“Okay. Can you turn on the television? WXPC is going to have the election results starting at six, and I don’t want to miss the moment Floyd is gone.” She winced as she shifted again. “Did Jason call?”
“Yeah, he and Elizabeth are on their way. They had a doctor’s appointment first.” Sonny leaned down to touch Morgan’s soft baby skin. “But no one wants to miss that asshole getting thrown out of office.”
Port Charles Hotel: Renaissance Room
The Ashton campaign was throwing an election night party, and Dillon was there to support his brother even though everyone knew Ned was going to win. The polls had put Ned ahead for the first time shortly after the press conference and Vinnie Esposito’s arrest, but in the month since, they had opened up a gulf so wide that it would take a miracle for Floyd to win.
But this was Port Charles, so Dillon was prepared for anything.
He’d invited Lucas, Felix, Maxie, and Kyle, and of course Lulu. He’d left Georgie off the invitation list, so he wasn’t expecting anyone to show up. They all did.
“You really voted for Ned, even though he’s going to fire your stepdad?” Felix asked Maxie as they settled at the one of the large round tables set up. He eyed the plate of hors d’oeuvres as a waiter passed them. He looked at Maxie with raised brows. “He’s not mad you’re here tonight either?”
Maxie shrugged. “I’m sure he’s not thrilled, but I’m not gonna make important decisions to be sentimental. One of us has to be a rational adult, and apparently, it’s me. Georgie decided to vote for Floyd.” Maxie rolled her eyes. “Her first vote as a registered voter and she threw it down the drain.”
“How do you know who she voted for?” Lulu asked, leaning forward.
“I heard her talking to Mom about it when we got home. She said she felt like she needed to support Mac. Whatever. Ned is going to be a better mayor.” Maxie popped an olive in her mouth.
“I’d drink to that,” Lucas said, craning his neck, “but all of these people know exactly how old I am.”
“Hey, celebratory party at the pool house?” Lulu asked Dillon. “I can make some calls and pick up something to celebrate with.”
“Hey, let’s not celebrate just yet.” Dillon reached for a glass of water. “You never know in this town.”
Across the room, Alexis worried. When Ned had started this run for mayor, she hadn’t really expected him to win. He’d gotten into the race late, Floyd was a popular incumbent—but after the serial rapist case had blown up in everyone’s face, it was clear that Ned was going to be the next mayor.
And it had occurred to her last night that she was now a liability for him—her daughter was a liability—a secret that a political enemy would love to discover. She fretted as Ned watched the election results on the large television they’d set up for the events, as it inched closer to eight and the official close of the polls—the earliest time the race could be called.
“Sorry,” Lois said, as she retook her seat next to Ned. “Sonny called me to let me know Carly had the baby.”
Olivia started, looking at her oddly—as did everyone else at the table. “When did you get friendly with Sonny Corinthos again?” she demanded. “You haven’t talked to him in years.”
“I saw him when I came up last month, after the arrest.” Lois frowned at her friend. “We reconnected. Don’t worry, Ned. We’re not married anymore so no one is going to complain—”
“I’m not,” Ned said dryly. “I think Sonny might be more popular than the PCPD at this point—”
“That’s not hard,” Jax muttered. “So, Carly had the baby.”
“She did.” Lois looked at Olivia who was still frowning. “Liv, what’s your problem? I know you haven’t talked to Sonny since he left the old neighborhood—”
“I forgot you grew up with him, too,” Ned told Olivia who just sighed.
“I did, but he was closer with my cousin, Connie.” Olivia shifted, looked around. “I think I need to go check on something in my office.”
She got up and left without another a word. Lois twisted in her chair and watched her leave. “Almost twenty-five years later, and she’s still mad that her cousin stole her boyfriend. Liv went away for almost a year to stay with relatives in Buffalo after Connie and Sonny hooked up. But Sonny got his in the end—Connie broke his heart and went away to college.”
“Sounds like a woman I’d like,” Jax said, with a broad grin.
“But it worked out for Liv, too,” Lois said, with a shrug. “She met Dante’s father and now she has that beautiful boy—” She took a deep breath and forced a smile on her face. “Anyway. She’s still sensitive about it.”
“Oh, look they’re going to call the election,” Alexis said, pointing her finger at the screen.
PCPD: Commissioner’s Office
Mac had already largely packed up his office. The new mayor would take office on December 1, but everyone knew that Mac would be the first casualty. Floyd had all but abandoned him, and Mac had done his best to stay under the radar since Esposito’s arrest a month earlier.
He sat in his office, watching the election returns on a small television. He glanced up when Taggert and Scott came in, both looking disheveled, Taggert carrying a six pack of beer. “They’ve called the election,” he said.
Scott grimaced, looked at the screen. “Well, it was nice working with ya.” He sat on the sofa. “I wonder who they’ll get to replace you.”
Taggert offered Mac a bottle of beer. Mac looked at him. “We’re off duty, and what’s Ned gonna do? Fire you?”
Mac took it, twisted off the cap, then looked at Scott. “Haha. Very funny. Kelsey was back at work today, wasn’t she?”
“I tried to talk her out of it. Told her to take a few more weeks, but she’s determined to make sure I don’t screw up.” He hesitated. “I’m going to make her second chair on Lansing. Ease her back into things, help her run Major Crimes more closely.”
Taggert scowled as Floyd came on the screen to give his concession speech, looking wan and exhausted. “How’s that going? It hasn’t been in the papers lately.”
Scott took one of the beers Taggert was offering. “Nothing to report. Ever since he lost his bid to get Sonny’s medical records, he hasn’t done anything but the bare minimum for this trial.”
“Maybe he’s hoping Carly and Liz will fall apart on the stand,” Taggert said. “He’s in for a rude awakening if that’s it. He might be able to talk himself out of the drugging charges, but there’s no way to talk away those videos of him going into the panic room and Carly and Elizabeth both testifying to the kidnapping and finding her—”
“I don’t know. I just—” Scott leaned over to dig his cell phone out of his pocket as it rang. “Baldwin—” He closed his eyes. “How in the fuck—”
He listened for a long moment, then let loose another string of profanity before flipping the phone shut and almost throwing it.
“Well.” Scott set the beer down. “That was the service monitoring Lansing’s ankle monitor. It was deactivated about ten minutes ago.”
“God, damn it.” Taggert surged to his feet. “I’ll call Crimson PD—”
“I’ll put out an APB,” Mac said as he started for his desk.
“I’ll go give Carly and Elizabeth the bad news.” Scott grimaced. “Better put them on high alert.”
An election party was also in full swing at Luke’s club. When the results were announced, the crowd cheered, and the party only got more raucous. The live band that had been hired was keeping the crowd happy while Claude kept the drinks flowing.
His parents would be home in another week, his grandmother was currently dancing up a storm with his aunt Amy, but Lucky couldn’t bring himself to be quite as happy as everyone else in Port Charles.
And he wasn’t alone, as his two best friends sat with him at the bar, both of them trying to make the same decision as he was.
Should they keep plugging away at the PCPD? Or was it time to move on? After almost five months on the job, Lucky wasn’t sure it was what he wanted to do. He liked the part where he helped people, and he was glad he’d been able to help put together the case against Vinnie. He knew Dante and Cruz had worked hard on Carly’s kidnapping.
But the PCPD seemed more hopeless than ever.
“We could get a PI license,” Dante suggested. He grimaced. “Or I could go home to Bensonhurst, but it makes you wonder if cops are like this all over the place.”
Lucky hesitated and then straightened as he saw Kelsey winding her way through the crowd, scanning it. He held up a hand and she joined him behind the bar, brushing a kiss against his lips. “Hey, you. Sorry I’m late. Are you guys talking about who might be the next commissioner?” she asked.
“No. You want a drink?” Lucky asked.
“Dr. Jones finally cleared me, so pour me the biggest gin and tonic you can.” She reached for a pretzel. “I think Ashton has to go outside of the city. Bring in new blood. I liked Mac, but he made a lot of mistakes. I definitely think it’s time for a change.”
“So, you’re staying?” Dante asked, frowning. “Even after—”
“Am I thrilled I needed brain surgery because a cop I worked with turned out to be a psychopath?” Kelsey shrugged. “No. But we did the job. We solved the case.” She looked at the Dante. “I know it’s hard on you—he turned out to be family—”
“Yeah, well…he was the least favorite son of my mother’s least favorite sister, so I guess it could have been worse.” Dante shifted. “What about all the crap with Floyd and Mac—”
“It sucks, but it came to light, didn’t it? Because you guys didn’t stop working. Because Taggert didn’t stop working. This isn’t what I thought my first job would be like, but you know what?”
She turned and twisted to gesture at the television screen still carrying the election news. They were rerunning a clip of Elizabeth from the press conference. “At the end of the day, the asshole who hurt her? We get to put him on ice for the rest of his life. And next week, we’ll slam the door on her ex. I can live with that.” She turned to Lucky, who grinned down at her. “I think we did okay, don’t you?”
“Yeah, we did okay.” He kissed her again. “I guess we’ll stick with it.”
Cruz’s beeper started to vibrate. He scowled and looked down at it, then pulled out his phone as a text message came through. He was the only one of them on call. “Hold that thought. Taggert just sent a 911. Lansing jumped bail.”
General Hospital: Hallway
Bobbie closed the door, leaving Sonny and Carly alone with their son and rejoined Jason and Elizabeth in the hallway. “So, does that make you even more excited for your little one?” Bobbie asked with a light teasing smile.
Elizabeth wrinkled her nose. “I’m not sure it’s possible to be more excited.” She linked hands with Jason. “I just wish my divorce was final. Ric decided to fight it, so it’ll be another month. Maybe two.”
“But it’ll be over,” Jason told her. He wrapped an arm around her shoulder, drew her in close. “And the trial will be over.”
“With any luck, we can all be moving on by Christmas,” Bobbie said with a smile. She stepped forward and wrapped them both in a tight hug. “Thank you so much. Without the two of you, I don’t know what would have happened to my grandson and daughter. You brought her home.”
“We couldn’t have done it without you,” Elizabeth said. She kissed Bobbie’s cheek. “We worked together, and you know, we make a hell of a team.”
“Jason would be happier if we had less drama for a while,” Bobbie said, with pointed look at Jason’s pained expression.
“He’s stopped taking my pulse every other hour,” Elizabeth reported with a broad smile up at him. “Now it’s only every three hours—which is what Kelly recommended.” The last month had been so good—she’d gone home for bed rest and then Jason had surprised her by taking her to a cabin he’d rented in Niagara Falls. Just the two of them for five whole days.
She was starting to believe that this time, they were going to get it right and get the happy ending they deserved. She smiled up at him, and he grinned at her when he caught her looking.
The elevator doors slid open and Scott hurried out, looking unhappy. Bobbie scowled. “Scott Baldwin, don’t you dare come over here with bad news—”
“It can’t be helped. Morgan, do you have security on Lansing?” Scott demanded shortly.
Jason hesitated, exchanged a look with Elizabeth whose face drained of color. “We have guys on the house where he’s staying—so does Nikolas Cassadine, but—what happened?”
“His ankle monitor has been deactivated. Crimson Pointe PD searched the house—he’s not there.” Scott clenched his fists. “Lansing jumped bail. We don’t know where he is.”