Chapter 1

June 1, 2006

Port Charles Police Department: Squad Room

“So Georgie swears up and down to me that she had no idea that Diego was involved in a car stealing ring,” Mac sighed. “I can’t decide if I believe her because I think she’s actually telling me the truth or because I want her to be telling the truth.”

Justus Ward leaned back against the desk and smirked. “Kids. Glad I never had them.”

“Thank God for Robin,” Mac said, shaking his head. “The worst problem I have with her is her taste in men though that might be improving slightly. This one is an idiot, but at least he’s not a criminal.”

Detective Rodriguez stepped up to Mac hesitantly and swallowed hard. “Commissioner, we have a situation at the Metro Court,” he began, not entirely sure how to tell his boss what had happened.

“What did Carly do now?” Justus sighed.

“It’s not Carly.” Rodriguez hesitated but finally decided to just go ahead and say it. “911 got a call from one of the rooms–there was a shooting. I’m on call but, Commissioner, it was Robin.”

“Robin?” Mac echoed blankly. “Robin called it in?” Please don’t say it…

“She called it in,” Rodriguez confirmed. “But she’s also the victim. The EMTs are transporting her to GH now but she was unconscious when they arrived on the scene.”

Mac gripped his detective’s shoulder and Justus stood immediately in case Mac needed support to keep standing. “What was her condition? Where was she shot?”

“Ah, I don’t have all the details, sir, but she was shot once in the chest and once in the lower back. Sir, we should probably get over to GH–”

Mac nodded. “Yeah, we should–we should do that.” But he took another minute to gather his composure. Robin would need him to be strong, his family would need him to be strong right now.

Metro Court: Lobby

Carly gripped Jax’s arm as Robin was wheeled out the elaborate front doors on a stretcher. She swallowed hard. “Someone should call Patrick.”

Jax blinked. “I should call Brenda. Or find someone who has Brenda’s number.” He looked at Carly. “I–how could this happen?”

“I don’t know,” Carly said softly. She rubbed his shoulder and watched as the paramedics loaded the stretcher into the ambulance and flinched when the sirens began to wail. “I’ll call the hospital; Patrick should be warned before she just shows up.”

General Hospital: Emergency Room

Elizabeth leaned against the counter and surveyed the empty room. “It’s so dead in here tonight,” she sighed. “I can’t decide if I hate the slow nights or not.”

“I would rather have a slow night,” Emily Quartermaine decided. She made some notations in the chart of a teenager who had come in to have something…removed…from an unmentionable place. “The kids are lot more creative than I was at their age.”

Elizabeth snorted. “I wonder how they even got it all the way up there–it takes stamina–”

“Did someone say stamina?” Patrick asked as he joined them at the desk. “Because that is my middle name.”

“Must be good to be Robin,” Emily snickered. “How’d the surgery go?”

“Successfully,” Patrick grinned. “Was there any doubt? I’m going to head back out for the night–I have a beautiful lady waiting for me–”

Emily noticed the scanner light blinking and went to take the incoming call. Elizabeth took a sheet of paper from her pocket and waved it in front of Patrick’s face. “That last minute study session this afternoon paid off. I took my last test tonight and the results came in fifteen minutes ago.”

“You passed?” Patrick took the paper and grinned. “With me as a tutor, was there any doubt?”

“Okay, okay,” Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “But I am officially certified as a surgical nurse.”

Emily hung up the phone and whirled around. “We’ve got a GSW incoming, ETA two minutes. Liz, can you page the surgeon on call?”

“Ah…I’m right here, I can take it–” Patrick began.

“No, you can’t, Patrick,” Emily rushed to make sure the nearest trauma room was ready and a mystified Elizabeth paged Monica Quartermaine to report to the ER immediately.

“Why can’t I?” Patrick demanded. “It’s a gunshot wound, it’s not neurosurgery, I’m fully capable–”

Emily bit her lip and saw the ambulance pull up outside. “Patrick, you can’t because it’s Robin,” she blurted out.

“It’s Robin what?” Patrick asked, clearly not following her. “What about–” and then it sunk in. “No, that’s impossible. Robin is in my hotel room, she’s waiting for me to come back and–”

“Patrick,” Emily gripped his arms. “Listen to me, Robin is coming in with a very serious gunshot wound, okay? I don’t know the details, I just know that it–” she licked her lips nervously. “Patrick, they almost lost her in the ambulance.”

Sonny’s House: Living Room

“I want to watch cartoons,” Morgan whispered to his older brother as he and Michael snuck into the living room.

“No, they make too much noise,” Michael replied. He lifted his brother onto the couch and fumbled for the remote. “We came down to watch The Rock on Conan remember?”

Morgan pouted. “Scooby!”

Michael rolled his eyes and flicked the television set on. He started to change the channel but was soon engrossed in the breaking news report.

An unfamiliar reporter stood in front of the Metro Court. “I’m live at the posh Metro Court Hotel in downtown Port Charles where there has been a shooting tonight. Dr. Robin Scorpio, the niece of Police Commissioner Mac Scorpio, has been seriously wounded. We don’t have a lot of details but we can report that it does not appear to be a random shooting and that there are no other injuries. Commissioner Scorpio was not available for comment but we managed to get an exclusive interview with co-owners Carly Corinthos Alcazar and Jasper Jacks.”

Carly’s face filled the screen. “It’s just awful,” she sighed. “Our prayers are with the family–“

“Uh oh,” Michael sighed. He looked to his brother Morgan. “Mom’s on the news again. We better go wake Dad.”

Wyndemere: Study

“…sources say that the room was not registered to Dr. Scorpio, but to Dr. Patrick Drake, a neurosurgeon at General Hospital. Dr. Drake has not been located and the police will not say whether or not he is a suspect at this time–“

Nikolas glanced up from the sound of Robin’s name coming from the small radio he had tuned to the local news while he waited for an overseas conference call. He hadn’t caught the first portion of the report but the gist was startling clear as the report continued.

“There is no news at this time on Dr. Scorpio’s condition, only that she is listed in critical condition at General Hospital. This is Myra Gold with WKPC–“

Nikolas shut the radio off and then stared at it for a long moment as the pieces fell together and formed a horrifying conclusion. Robin Scorpio was injured while in Patrick Drake’s hotel room.

Robin, a petite brunette, who had been seeing Patrick.

Robin, who might look like Elizabeth from a distance.

His stomach lurched and Nikolas hurled himself out of his chair and called for the launch.

He had to find his brother.

General Hospital: Emergency Room

“Everyone wears gloves at all times,” Monica declared the second she entered the trauma room. She snapped the plastic on and nodded to Emily. “What do we got?”

Emily forced all other information from her mind and focused on the facts. “Twenty-eight-year-old female with gunshot wounds to the upper chest and lower back. Patient was conscious long enough to call 911 but EMTs were unable to rouse when they arrived. She flat lined twice in the–”

Emily’s voice faded as Dr. Noah Drake pulled his son from the room. “If Monica turned around and saw you, she’d rip your head off,” Noah remarked. “You know better.”

Patrick just shook his head. “Robin’s in there and–”

“And you’re staying out here,” Noah cut in.

Before Patrick could begin to argue his point, Mac Scorpio grabbed him by the shirt and shook him. “What the hell did you do to my niece?” he growled.

“Mac–” Noah grabbed at Mac’s shoulders. “Patrick was here all night–”

“It’s okay,” Patrick cut in, pulling himself form Mac’s grasp. “Commissioner Scorpio, I was called into surgery three hours ago–Robin was waiting for me at my hotel room. I don’t know anything more than that.”

Mac hesitated. “I’m sorry,” he said roughly. “I acted–I acted without thinking.”

“It’s fine,” Patrick tugged at the collar of his lab coat. “It’s no less than what her father is going to do when he gets here–”

“You called him?” Mac asked, surprised. “You must have a death wish–”

“No, I didn’t call him but…” Patrick gestured towards the television screens in the waiting room. “It’s all over the news. Do you really think Robert doesn’t know yet?”

Whatever Mac would say in response to that was cut off when the doors to the trauma room opened and Robin was wheeled out. Mac leapt forward but Monica stepped in front of him.

“Take her into the OR, I’ll be right in,” she told Emily and the other staff. She turned back to Mac and the doctors Drake. “Okay, Mac, I need to you be calm because it’s going to be a long night.”

“I’m calm, Monica. I need to know what happened, what’s going on?” Mac demanded. “Felicia’s been calling my cell phone for the last ten minutes and I didn’t want her to come down yet–”

Monica closed. “It might be for the best if Robin’s family were here.”

Mac blanched and any color Patrick might have had left was gone now. “Is she going to die?” Mac asked thickly.

“It’s going to be a long night,” Monica repeated. “The bullet to the chest ruptured an artery, that’s what we’re going into repair right now. The wound in her lower back is causing some hemorrhaging. We’re going to do our best to repair the damage but there are no guarantees.” She was silent for a moment. “It would be a good idea if her family were here.”

“Is there anything I can do, Mac?” Noah offered, touching the commissioner’s shoulder. “Anyone I can call?”

Mac cleared his throat. “Thank you but these are calls I have to make myself.” He shook his head, trying to focus. “Ah, if you could just wait here for an update? I’m sure Monica will keep Patrick apprised of the situation–” he stopped and realized Patrick was gone. “Where did he go?”

Nikolas rushed into the Emergency Room and made a beeline for Elizabeth who was standing near the trauma room, her eyes glassy as she stared into space. “Liz, have you seen Lucky?”

“What?” Elizabeth looked at him blankly. “No. I just–Robin was shot tonight, Nikolas.”

He nodded and found he couldn’t meet her eyes. “I–I know. I heard it on the news. That’s why–” he broke off. “I need to find Lucky.”

Elizabeth stared at him for a long moment. “Why do you need to find Lucky? He’s at home.”

“No–no, he’s not.” Nikolas exhaled harshly and took her by the elbow all but dragging her into the trauma room. “I know, Elizabeth. You don’t have to hide it from me. I’m not gonna judge you, I just…I want to know why.”

Elizabeth stared at him and slowly shook her head. “You’re going to have to spell it out for me, Nikolas. I just had to work on one of my best friends and now I have to go out there and keep her family updated as she fights for her life. So forgive me if I’m not in the mood–”

And then Nikolas realized he was judging. And he did have a side. “Some best friend–you were sleeping with her boyfriend,” he bit out. “I warned Robin about that jerk–”

“Whoa–” Elizabeth held up a hand and he shut up. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about your affair with Patrick Drake,” Nikolas said, his teeth clenched.

Jason’s Penthouse

Sonny was surprised when Jason opened the door only seconds after his knock. “You’re still up?”

Jason frowned at the sight of Sonny Corinthos at his door, considering they were still technically not speaking. “What’s wrong?” he demanded. “Have you heard from Alexis? Do you know where Sam is?”

“You haven’t been watching the news,” Sonny sighed. He rubbed his cheek. “Ah, there was a shooting at the Metro Court–”

Jason blinked. “Carly? Is she okay?” He turned and reached for his keys. “Is she at GH?”

“No, no–” Sonny shook his head. “Jason, it was Robin. She was shot. The boys heard it on the news and when they saw Carly on the television, they woke me up. I know neither one of us is particularly close to Robin anymore but I figured…”

“What happened?” Jason demanded. “Why would someone shoot Robin?”

“I don’t know. The news hasn’t said much other than she called 911 but was found alone in the hotel room, which is registered to her boyfriend, that Dr. Drake guy. No word on her condition other than its critical. I left the boys with Leticia but I was going to head over the hospital.” Sonny scratched his temple. “I thought if, ah, Emily or Elizabeth was on duty, I could find out how she is.”

“I’ll go,” Jason said quietly. “Elizabeth will tell me. And it’s probably better if Mac Scorpio doesn’t see you. We don’t know–we don’t know if the shooting is related to anything and he might think it is so just let me go and check on her.”

General Hospital: Emergency Room

Rodriguez had pulled Patrick away from his father and Robin’s uncle to question him about the events of the evening. He pulled the neurosurgeon into a quiet corner. “I need to know what happened this evening and where you were about forty-five minutes ago.”

Patrick sighed and scrubbed a hand over his face. “I was here, in the operating room. A patient went critical and needed to be operated on so I came in take care of it. My surgical staff can verify that.”

“Okay,” Rodriguez noted that. “You and Dr. Scorpio had a date this evening?”

“At the hotel, yeah.” Patrick took a deep breath and focused on telling the detective everything. A small fact, a detail that was unimportant to him might be able to help Robin and that was all that mattered. “We had dinner in my room about seven and ah…” he scratched the back of his neck. “We were in bed until about nine-thirty–that’s when my beeper went off. Robin was going to leave but–” Patrick’s voice faltered for a moment. “I asked her to stay, to wait until I got back.”

Rodriguez decided to veer off that line of questioning. “We’re getting the security tapes from that hallway but was there anyone else in your room that day? Any other visitors?”

“Yeah–Elizabeth Spencer.” Patrick took a deep breath. “I was helping her study for a certification test and she helped me set up the room for Robin. She left about six; Robin arrived about a half hour later. But no, no one other than her.”

General Hospital: Trauma Room

Elizabeth stared at Nikolas for a long moment and it began to come together for her. It began to make horrifying sense.

“You think I’m having an affair with Patrick.” Elizabeth licked her lips. “How–why would you think that?”

“Lucky–” Nikolas shook his head. “He was suspicious and I wanted to put his mind at ease so I hired someone to trail you–”

“You what?” Elizabeth exploded. “You hired someone to follow me? To what–take pictures of me?” She dragged her hands through her hair. “Christ, Nikolas–there was nothing to find out–Patrick was helping me study for my surgical certification. We weren’t having an affair–he’s crazy about Robin. I was there tonight–”

“I know!” Nikolas cut in harshly. “I saw the picture of you kissing him!”

Elizabeth stared at him, her eyes wide and then something in her head clicked and she backed up. “Oh my God. Oh my God.” Something curled in the pit of her belly and she felt nauseous. “Did you give that picture to Lucky? Did you show it to him?”

“I had to, Elizabeth. He’s my brother. My first loyalty is to him.” Nikolas was breathing hard and beginning to get angry. “He trusted you, Elizabeth, how could you do this to him?”

“I didn’t do anything!” Elizabeth retorted. “I kissed Patrick on the cheek, the same thing I’ve done to you a thousand times. We are friends and I can’t believe–” She turned away, terrified at the possibility. “Robin is only a little shorter than me, we have dark hair, and we have almost the same build–”

“You don’t know that it happened that way–”

“If Lucky went into Patrick’s room and saw Robin sleeping, he might have thought it was me.”

And the implication that held shattered her.

Nikolas watched her for a long moment. “You understand why I have to find Lucky, why I have to make sure it didn’t happen that way, that he didn’t do anything–”

“I don’t know where he is,” Elizabeth said numbly. “I haven’t seen him all day, not since I left the apartment to study with Patrick. I was going to surprise him,” she said as an afterthought. “It was going to be the answer to our problems, you know? Surgical nurses make twice as much money. We were finally going to be okay.”

“You should have thought about that before you started spending time with Patrick Drake. You know the guy’s reputation,” Nikolas said shortly. “You had to think people were going to talk–”

“First all, I assumed that my husband trusted me,” Elizabeth said. “And secondly, it never crossed my mind that anyone, especially Lucky, would talk about anything. I’m married and Patrick’s only been chasing Robin since the day he moved here. No one was talking, Nikolas! No one but you and apparently my husband thought anything was wrong!”

There was slight knock on the open door to the trauma room and they both turned to see Jason standing there. “I was–I was hoping to get an update on Robin,” he said, looking at Elizabeth oddly before turning a glare to Nikolas.

“Since when do you give a damn about anyone but yourself?” Nikolas demanded. He stormed out the room and out of the hospital.

“Elizabeth?” Jason questioned. “What’s going on?” He stepped inside the room. “Is Robin…is that why you’re crying?”

She was crying? Elizabeth pressed her hand to cheek and felt the tears. “I didn’t realize I was–” she said softly. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes and tried to regain her composure. “Robin’s in surgery, she’s listed as critical. That’s all I can really tell you, Jason.”

He nodded. “Okay, I know you two are close,” he started.

“But you asked why I was crying,” Elizabeth cut in. “I’m crying because it should be me in that OR right now.” Her eyes found his and she echoed a conversation they had shared a month ago. “It was supposed to be me.”

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