Chapter Seven

I couldn’t tell you why she felt that way,
She felt it everyday.
And I couldn’t help her,
I just watched her make the same mistakes again.

June 25, 2006

General Hospital: Cafeteria

Elizabeth set her tray down across from Patrick. “You know, the entire hospital has me either beating that crap out of Kelly Lee or you making her cry.” Patrick remained silent but Elizabeth soldiered on. She’d seen his face during a surgery that morning and he was in a mood that she had decided to prod him out of. She wasn’t sure why, but she liked this arrogant idiot sitting across from her and had made it her mission to make sure he didn’t screw up too much with Robin. “It amazes how the whole situation even got out since there were only the three of us in there. I don’t really mind people thinking I’m mean enough to take her on–it gives me a certain reputation, don’t you think?”

Patrick was still silent for another long moment before looking up. “The stuff people were saying about Robin and me when we were together, did you hear it too?”

Elizabeth sighed in relief. Finally! He would talk! “Yeah. Some people weren’t particularly subtle about it. I mean, a board member even told Robin directly that she could ruin your career. I heard that and I reported it to Alan, but there was nothing he could do–”

“Someone said that junk to Robin personally?” Patrick interrupted. “A board member?”

“Yeah,” she admitted. “Robin didn’t want me to tell you and there wasn’t really much you could do except get arrested for assault, anyway.” She frowned. “Why?”

“Robin told me that was the real reason she broke things off. Not that she actually thought I cheated on her with that nurse–”

“Nurse?” Elizabeth raised her eyebrows. “What nurse?”

Patrick paused. “Robin didn’t tell you? She tells you everything.”

“I know,” Elizabeth said, a little disgruntled. “I can’t believe she didn’t tell me about the nurse. The only thing she ever said to me about the whole thing is that you were both better off.” She shrugged. “I don’t like to push so I dropped it.”

Patrick shot her a disbelieving look. “You’re the queen of pushing and nagging.”

You, yes. You irritate me and if I don’t jump in, God knows what you’ll screw up on your own,” Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “I’m not going to bug Robin when she’s clearly upset.”

“I’m touched that you care so much,” Patrick said dryly.

“I know you meant that sarcastically but I will choose to believe otherwise,” Elizabeth sniffed.

“I told her last night that I couldn’t forgive her for thinking I cheated on her with some random nurse and for making that decision about my career for me but I didn’t know that someone–a board member had told that she was ruining my career.” Patrick exhaled slowly and leaned forward. “From now, I need you to tell me if you hear anyone saying anything to Robin or about Robin and me or the baby, okay?”

Elizabeth hesitated. “Patrick, I don’t think that’s a good idea. I mean, Robin has enough problems just knowing there’s that kind of gossip running around and now with the baby, it’s gotten more vicious and don’t you think you’re both better served if you’re not getting hauled off to jail twice a day?”

Patrick stilled. “What about the baby?” he demanded. When Elizabeth looked away, he slapped his hand on the table. “Liz, come on. If this was Cameron, you’d want to know too.”

“Well, all right. It goes back to when you guys broke up,” Elizabeth sighed. “Robin didn’t tell anyone other than Emily and I that it was her idea and she didn’t tell anyone why so the general consensus was that you got tired of her and broke up with her. And now that Robin’s pregnant, they think she’s either faking to get you back or did it on purpose to trap you and those who think the latter think she’s doing a cruel thing by intentionally infecting you and maybe the baby.”

Patrick said nothing but a muscle in his jaw ticked and Elizabeth was suddenly glad to be on the other side of the table. “Patrick, I’m sorry–”

“You should have told me what they were saying,” he said finally. “Because it’s only going to get worse when they find out we’re getting married.”

Elizabeth blinked. “Wait, what? The last time I checked, Robin said no. She never said a thing about changing her mind.” She frowned. “Clearly we have a pattern here. I’m going to have to speak to her about this.”

“She did say no, but I haven’t given up. I know all the reasons we shouldn’t but there are a lot of reasons we should, too.” He moved to stand but Elizabeth put a hand out to stop him.

“For what it’s worth, those people who know you and know Robin, they’re not saying anything. It’s the idiots who’ve never met either one of you and just consider it another topic for the hospital grapevine. People who love and respect you know that this baby was unexpected, that you didn’t get tired of Robin and more importantly, they know that you’re both crazy about each other and are just too stubborn–”

“I care about Robin,” Patrick interrupted. “But if she cared about me at all, she would have trusted me to make my own decisions about my career. I appreciate your advice, Liz.”

He walked away and Elizabeth wondered how someone that brilliant in the operating room could be such an idiot when it came to anything else.

Kelly’s: Courtyard

“If it isn’t my favorite doctor.”

Robin paused at the door to Kelly’s and smiled when she saw Noah sitting towards the back of the outside eating area. “You better not let Patrick hear you say that.”

Noah waved her over. “Come sit down. We haven’t had a chance to talk since Patrick told me.”

Robin sobered and reluctantly joined Patrick’s father for lunch. “Are you mad?” she asked softly.

Noah set his iced tea down and frowned at her. “Mad about what? That my son is having a baby with a woman I love and admire? Someone I consider part of my family?”

“No, that he might get sick,” Robin traced the table top. “You can’t tell me that hasn’t crossed your mind.”

“Patrick mentioned it when he told me. That you had basically blurted out the news, told him to get tested and that told him you didn’t need anything.” Noah set his napkin aside and leaned forward. “Robin, if it weren’t for you, my son and I would never have worked things out. I would have died of cirrhosis in some bar somewhere and Patrick might never have known. I will always be grateful to you for that.”

“I didn’t do anything,” Robin shook her head. “I just brought you guys back into the same hospital. Patrick pushed you into rehab and you made the decision to get sober.”

“And you pushed him into giving a damn, Robin. I’m not stupid. And if it eases your mind, Patrick has been tested and he should be hearing back about the results any time now. But it doesn’t matter to him and it doesn’t matter to me.”

“If he tests positive, you’ll both change your mind,” Robin murmured.

“Let’s not talk about that,” Noah shook his head. “Let’s talk about my grandchild. When are you due?”

“January,” Robin said. “But Alan mentioned that the baby might come early and if we do a C-section, we’d probably schedule it for before Christmas.” She smiled and rested her hand on her abdomen. “I haven’t seen another doctor yet, but Elizabeth Spencer is recommending her brother Steven. He’s supposed to specialize in HIV pregnancies.”

“Steven Webber,” Noah nodded. “His name came up when I was doing some research on this after Patrick told me. He’s new to the field.”

“But he’s not to Port Charles and I trust Liz’s opinion.”

“Oh, so do I. You know, I heard about Dr. Lee,” Noah said. “And I told Alan that he ought to fire her outright but Alan mentioned I might be biased.”

“She’s entitled to her opinion,” Robin shrugged.

“As person, but not as a doctor.” Noah shook his head. “There’s no excuse for that kind of behavior and she’s lucky I wasn’t the one in the locker room or I might not have been as restrained as Patrick.”

Robin laughed. “Yeah, I think you and my mother might have that in common. When I told her, she wanted to go down and punch her but I told her that Patrick had taken care of it. It endeared him to her, by the way.”

“Well at least one member of your family likes me,” Patrick said from behind her. Robin turned and bit her lip when she saw him standing just beyond the table. “Hey…I was supposed to meet my dad.”

“I–” Robin began.

“I’m sorry, Patrick, I saw her and I wanted to ask her about the baby,” Noah said without a trace of apology. “A holiday baby–that’s something special. A good way to start the new year.”

There were an awkward pause and finally Robin started to stand. “I’ll just let you have your lunch–”

“No, stay. I already ate anyway.” Patrick took the chair between them. “There’s something I wanted to tell you.”

“Maybe I should–” Noah started.

“No, I have to tell you something, too.” Patrick looked back at Robin. “You should have told me it was a board member who said something to your face. I wouldn’t…I would have understood more last night.”

Robin bit her lip and Noah straightened. “What’s this?” he demanded.

“It’s nothing,” Robin started.

“Someone on the board–Elizabeth refuses to tell me who–told Robin that she was ruining my career by being in a relationship with me,” Patrick informed his father.

“Elizabeth shouldn’t have said anything at all,” Robin huffed.

“You should have and the next time, some narrow-minded idiot says anything about you, the baby or you and me, I want you to tell me,” Patrick instructed.

“Right,” Robin rolled her eyes.

“He’s right, Robin, you should let him take care of it,” Noah told her. “You don’t need the extra stress.”

“Do I look like some princess in an ivory tower that needs to be protected from the real world?” Robin asked, offended.

Patrick and Noah traded glances before speaking in unison. “Yes.”

“Men,” Robin said, disgusted.

“And I want you to tell me if you hear anything either,” Patrick told his father. “I want to end this before the baby is born.”

“Should I tell you before or after I kick their ass?” Noah asked.

“Noah, don’t be ridiculous. Patrick, you’re being overbearing–”

“It’s up to you,” Patrick answered his father before looking back at Robin. “I’m protecting my family, Robin. And we both know if the situation was reversed, you’d do the same.”

Robin sighed. “Yeah, I guess, but it’s not reversed and it’s like you don’t think I’m strong enough to take care of myself.”

“I think you’re plenty strong,” Patrick replied. “But there’s nothing wrong with asking for help.” He leaned closer to her and Noah didn’t even pretend that he wasn’t eavesdropping. “You and I still have a lot to discuss. Especially–”

“I thought we agreed that wasn’t a viable solution,” Robin hissed.

“You agreed, I tabled it. We’re going to talk about it Robin, but I think we both need a few days to let things settle.” Patrick sat back and waved at the waitress to come take Robin’s order.

Since the moment Patrick had mentioned marriage, she’d been adamant in her refusal but his attitude and his actions over the last few days was beginning to erode her carefully built wall of immunity.

She just hoped he didn’t find a way to destroy it entirely.

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