Sanity


Two Weeks Later

I just want to feel safe in my own skin
I just want to be happy again

They were somewhere in Arizona now, a small town just off the highway. As far as they knew, no one had any idea where they were.

But Elizabeth still didn’t sleep at night.

They’d been in this motel room for three days, by far the longest amount of time they’d spent anywhere. They only spoke when necessary.

She’d bought a book at a convenience store somewhere in Southern California and she sat at the small table near the window, reading it.

The shades were drawn, and she’d unplugged the lamp from the nightstand between the double beds. She’d set it up on the table and tried to convince herself she was back in her room at her grandmother’s instead of some small unknown town in the southwest.

I just want to feel deep in my own world
But I’m so lonely
I don’t even want to be with myself anymore

She sighed and set the book on the table, rubbing her eyes. She didn’t feel comfortable sitting in here by herself while Jason was getting something to eat. It was like she expected another hit man to jump out of the corner.

She separated the curtains to peer out to the street. When she saw Jason crossing the street, a pizza box and a six pack of soda in his hands, she let out a relieved breath and let the curtains fall back into place.

A few moments later, Jason entered. He set the food down and sat across from her. In the two weeks they’d been on the road, he’d never mentioned Carly, though Elizabeth knew he must be upset about it. He also never mentioned Courtney or Sonny and the only time they’d talked about Ric had been the day he’d told her husband was dead.

“You want a soda?” Jason asked. She nodded and after he handed it to her, she opened her book again and began reading. Immersing herself in a bad convenience store novel seemed a more enjoyable prospect than making conversation.

The sound of his cell phone shattered the silence and she glanced up sharply. His phone never rang. Of course she knew he was in contact with someone in Port Charles, but…was it really a good idea for someone to have his cell number?

On a different day
if I was safe in my own skin
then I wouldn’t feel lost and so frightened

He met her eyes briefly before taking the phone from his jeans pocket and answering it. “Yeah.”

“We’ve got a problem,” Johnny said in a hushed voice. He ducked into an unused office at the warehouse. “Baldwin can’t pin Lansing’s murder on Sonny, so he’s going a different route.”

Jason stood and turned away from Elizabeth’s eyes. “What does that mean?”

“It means that he’s using your disappearance to his advantage,” Johnny replied.

“That doesn’t surprise me.” Jason held his breath, knowing there was more.

“But his theory and how uh…people are reacting is why I’m calling.” Johnny hesitated. “He’s saying you and Elizabeth committed it together and then ran off.” There was another pause. “Jason–“

“They’re saying she’s guilty?” Jason cut in sharply, glancing at Elizabeth briefly who sat up and looked at him oddly.

“That’s not all,” Johnny continued. “The press is eating it up and they’re doing all these stories about you two. They found pictures of that warehouse fire on Valentine’s Day. They’re bringing up the kidnapping, the explosion and the shooting…Jase, it gets worse.”

He muttered something under his breath. “I can’t imagine how.”

“Courtney’s publicly ended the engagement.”

He couldn’t speak for a moment. He reached out his with free hand and braced it against the wall, an action that alarmed Elizabeth. She closed her book and stood up.

“Jason?” Johnny asked. “Are you okay?”

“You mean…she actually believes this?” Jason asked finally.

“I’m sorry, man. Listen, your sister has been defending you in the press and Lucky Spencer and Audrey Hardy are defending Liz, but it’s not doing much good.”

“What about Sonny?” Jason asked.

There was another pause. “He hasn’t said much,” the guard hedged.

“But?” Jason pressed.

“Look, Jase, the longer you two stay gone…the more time Baldwin’s got to spread this story. I know you don’t give a damn about yourself, but what about Elizabeth? She’s innocent in this.”

“Yeah…I know that.” Jason closed his eyes and dragged a hand through his hair. “Listen…I need to think about this. Talk it over with Elizabeth. I’ll call you back.”

“Okay.”

“Thanks for calling.” Jason hung up and leaned against the wall. “We’ve got a problem.”

But this is today
and I’m lost in my own skin

“I gathered as much from your side of the conversation,” Elizabeth said cautiously. “What’s wrong?”

“Scott Baldwin…I guess he didn’t have any luck prosecuting Sonny for Ric’s murder,” Jason told her carefully. “And he jumped on a new theory.”

“He thinks I did it,” Elizabeth said, slowly.

“He thinks we both did it and then ran off together,” Jason corrected.

Elizabeth widened her eyes. “And the people back home? What do they think?”

“I got the impression that it was pretty much accepted. Emily, Lucky and Audrey seem to think different but it’s not enough.” Jason sat on the edge of the bed, his mind already perusing their different options.

And I’m so lonely
I don’t even want to be with myself anymore

Elizabeth noticed the absence of Courtney’s name in that list and suddenly felt a sharp streak of sorrow for Jason. She remembered all too well what it was like when the person you loved didn’t trust you. “We have an alibi,” she pointed out. “At least a dozen people would put us on the flight to Seattle.”

“That’s true, but I bought those tickets under a different name. As far as anyone else is concerned, we vanished as soon as we left Port Charles. There’s no paper trail of either of us anywhere,” Jason told her. “We’re each other’s alibi and it won’t hold up in court.”

“But there’s no other evidence,” Elizabeth said, almost desperate. “There’s nothing linking either of us except the fact we left town.”

“And for Scott Baldwin, it’s enough. He’s corrupt, Elizabeth. He wants me in jail and he nearly succeeded last winter,” he reminded her.

“So…what? We run for the rest of our lives?” she asked, nearly panicked now.

He shook his head. “The longer we’re gone, the worse it’ll be.”

“But I thought it wasn’t safe to go to Port Charles. Especially since Sonny wants you dead.” Elizabeth crossed her arms tightly and studied him. After a moment of silence, she looked at the ground. “What should we do?”

“We have to go back,” Jason said after some hesitation. “Not right this second. Not even tomorrow, but sometime in the near future.”

“What about Sonny?”

Jason stood and shook his head. “Let me worry about Sonny.”

Elizabeth hesitated, her doubt in Jason showing again. He sighed, disappointed but understanding all at the same time.

And I just say oh, oh
I feel, oh, oh

“Elizabeth, I know what happened in Seattle upset you but you have to trust me. Once we’re back in Port Charles, on our own ground…I can protect you more.”

“I know,” she sighed. “I just…how are we supposed to get out of this without telling them Sonny put a hit on my life and then one on you?” she asked.

Jason frowned and sat back on the edge of the bed, deep in thought. She sat back at the small table and flipped the lid of the pizza box open. Her stomach had started to rumble a little and it was obvious Jason would need some time to come up with a plan.

And I’m so lonely
I don’t even want to be with myself anymore

She was halfway through a slice of plain when he stood and joined her at the table. “They already know we’re together,” Jason began. “I mean…that wherever we are…” he fumbled.

She nodded. “Right.”

“And the press has the idea that we killed your husband and then ran off somewhere together.” When he said together this time, she knew what he meant.

“We’re not going to be able to change their minds about that, you know that right?” Jason continued. “Once people get an idea in their head like that…”

“Yeah, I know. So how are we supposed to convince Scott Baldwin and the police that it’s not?”

I just say oh, oh
And I’m so lonely

“We don’t have to convince them of anything,” Jason replied. “We have time working with us. No one saw either of us after I took you to the warehouse, right?”

“Right,” Elizabeth said slowly. “But we didn’t leave until after midnight.”

“I can arrange to have records show we were on a flight to London before Ric’s murder,” Jason told her.

“Basically…we’re going to take their idea that we killed him and ran off together and just remove the kill part,” Elizabeth clarified.

“Yeah.” He shifted. “I know it’s not the best thing…but it’s the only believable explanation.”

“But what about Courtney?” Elizabeth asked, finally voicing the name that he hadn’t in two weeks.

I feel oh, oh
I don’t even want to be with myself anymore

He hesitated then and looked away. “She, ah…she believes what the papers say. And she broke off the engagement.”

“Oh, Jason,” she sighed. “I’m so sorry.”

He shook his head. “It doesn’t matter right now. When we get back to Port Charles, I’ll talk to her. Straighten it out. But Elizabeth, this is the best and simplest explanation for what’s been going on.”

“And if we go back…you’re sure you can keep me safe from Sonny?” Elizabeth asked.

“Yes,” Jason said firmly. “I’m sure.”

“Okay then,” Elizabeth agreed. “Let’s go.”

I just want to feel safe in my own skin
I just want to be happy again

Song: Honestly OK by Dido

Comments

  • Oh, I love this but I am not happy that he cares anything about Courtney. I get it of course, and it makes sense in the story, but it makes me cringe. I want them to go to London and spend some time before they head back! Maybe they will find each other again. Sonny, in the meantime, needs to accidentally shoot himself. Just saying!

    According to Karen Jones on January 24, 2015