June 2, 2006
As a member of the Cassadine family, Nikolas had long ago accepted that his was not a normal family. It would always be just this side of eccentric–if not outright insane. His grandfather had tried to freeze the world, his father had kidnapped his mother, his grandmother had brought her son back from the dead and had brainwashed his brother.
His family was not normal but until that moment, even with some of things Stefan had done in the past, Nikolas had known he was not alone in being disgusted by his family’s history.
But his uncle sat in front of him, a dossier in his hands regarding the recent tragedies to hit the family and had outright admitted to nearly killing Robin.
For the first time in his life, Nikolas felt truly alone.
“I want an explanation and I want it now,” Nikolas said coldly. “Why you shot Robin, why you shot Carly and what the hell is going on with Alexis. I want answers, Uncle.”
Stefan sighed, slightly exasperated. “Nikolas, everything I have ever done was to protect you, to protect this family. Robin Scorpio was supposed to be your friend, was supposed to be loyal to you. Instead, she perpetrated this fraud with Carly Corinthos and Jasper Jacks, she kept your son from you. She had to suffer.”
“So you tried to kill her?” Nikolas snarled. “You framed my brother for this–I don’t give a damn about Carly or Jax but Robin didn’t deserve this and Lucky–”
“Lucky stumbled into the room, clearly under the influence of some type of drug,” Stefan cut in sharply. “I took advantage of his presence, of his belief that the woman in the bed was his wife but I did not set out to frame him. Nikolas, whether you like it or not, whether you love your brother or not, the Spencers will always be the enemies of the Cassadines. It is a fact and you cannot make it go away.”
“There is no feud,” Nikolas retorted. “The feud was carried on by Helena and by you. And Luke. Lucky, Lulu and I are not our parents and we do not intend to repeat those mistakes. The Spencer/Cassadine war died the moment Lucky and I accepted each other as brothers. And perhaps you didn’t intend to frame him, but neither have you helped to exonerate him. How dare you–”
“How dare you have so little regard for your own family?” Stefan accused. “John Jacks is your son and you sit here and you argue with my right to defend my family and punish those that kept him from you–”
“If Robin knew the truth and didn’t tell me, I’m sure it was because Jax is her friend as well,” Nikolas said calmly. “She wouldn’t have wanted to hurt him like that–”
“You are so willing to believe the best in people that you fail to see what is right in font of your face.” Stefan shook his head. “I’m disappointed in you, Nikolas. I thought I raised you better.”
“You raised me to be better than the rest of the Cassadines, to be future of this family.” Nikolas swallowed hard. “Go to Greece, Uncle. And disappear. That is the most I am willing to do to protect you.”
“You would turn your own flesh and blood into the authorities?” Stefan demanded. “Have I taught you nothing about loyalty?”
“You taught me everything about loyalty and the first rule is that you are always loyal to those who are loyal to you.” Nikolas slowly took his seat and squared his shoulders. “Robin is loyal to me. My brother is loyal to me. You, Uncle, are your mother’s son. And you can no longer be trusted.” He picked up his mail to finish going through it, but really he was disguising the trembling in his hands. “Go to Greece, Uncle. If you are still in this room ten minutes from now, I will call Mac myself.”
Somewhere Under Port Charles
“Do you smell the water yet?” Lulu raised her nose in the air and sniffed. “Because if you can smell the water, we should be closer.”
Dillon sniffed and wrinkled his nose. “If that’s water I smell, then I am never drinking the Port Charles water again.”
“I don’t think I’m doing this right,” Lulu remarked. “Because every time my dad does this, he doesn’t end up wandering tunnels under Port Charles for hours.”
“Yeah, but to be fair, Lu, your dad has had much more practice at this,” Dillon pointed out. “I’m sure he didn’t run his own caper right away.”
“We should carry like granola bars and water with us at all times,” Lulu decided. “Just in case this comes up again.” She rubbed her abdomen. “I haven’t eaten in like–forever.”
“How often do you think this is going to come up?” Dillon demanded. “How many reasons are we gonna find to wander the catacombs under Port Charles?”
“Hey, my half-brother is Nikolas Cassadine,” Lulu pointed out. “You’d be surprised how many excuses I could find to wander around down here. He might be sane, but there is some crazy stuff that happens around him all the time.”
Dillon fished in his back pocket and retrieved a somewhat crushed bag of chips. “Here, I was saving these but you can have them.”
“You’re too kind,” Lulu said dryly, but she eagerly tore the bag open anyway. She didn’t care if they were starting to go stale or even that the biggest piece was the size of her nail. She was a growing girl and she needed her food. After crunching for a few moments, she paused thoughtfully. “I bet my father has maps of these catacombs.”
“It wouldn’t surprise me,” Dillon replied, skirting the carcass of what he thought was a rat but decided not to give too much attention to. He was going to need at least eight showers to feel clean after this excursion.
“Do you smell water yet?” Lulu asked, sniffing the air again.
“I really hope that’s not water,” Dillon sighed. “It smells like onions.”
General Hospital: Nurse’s Station
The elevator doors slid open ad Jason stepped onto the hospital floor, his eyes searching the immediate surroundings. His sister stood at the nurse’s station and she waved to let him know she was there.
He approached her. “Hey, I was looking for Elizabeth,” he told her.
Emily pursed her lips, surprised. “Ah, she went to see Lucky. Why? Did something else happen to Sam?”
“No, no,” Jason shook his head. “I mean, other than the obvious, I guess. I just wanted to check in with her–she’s been keeping me updated with Robin and Carly since I left the hospital.”
“Oh,” Emily reached for the computer. “Well, I can do that. Robin’s in stable condition, she had an episode a little while ago but it’s all cleared up now. Carly’s also stable, they’re probably going to release her next week.” She glanced at her brother. “Are you, ah, doing okay?”
“I’m fine,” Jason said, dismissively and Emily knew that would be the end of the conversation. “What about the investigation?”
“Well, I don’t really know anything about that. They don’t tell us that stuff. But since Lucky’s involved, Liz would probably know.” She tapped a few more keys, trying to ignore the tension between herself and Jason. She wasn’t sorry she’d stood up for what she wanted but she would always regret that there was this rift between them now, an irreparable breach.
“You can wait for her if you want,” Emily offered. “But she’s with Lucky, so I don’t know how long she’ll be.”
Jason nodded. “Can you just tell her to call me?”
“Sure,” Emily agreed. She watched him stride towards the elevators and wished again that her choices and her decisions had been different.
General Hospital: Lucky’s Room
She’d been fourteen when she’d fallen for Lucky Spencer outside of Kelly’s. He’d been cool and confident and had an air of certainty around him, she’d been drawn to him from the moment they’d met. But it had been another year before she’d learned the meaning of love and how deep it could be.
It been almost nine years since she’d arrived in Port Charles–it felt like a life time more than that–but in all those times, her heart had always belonged to this man lying in the hospital bed. Not always her entire heart, but a piece had been reserved for him, her first love, her sweetest love and in the end, her most destructive love. She’d had the courage to leave Ric and the courage to leave Jason.
But she’d always lacked the courage to abandon Lucky, even when he’d pushed her away, and when he’d treated her badly and when he’d forgotten their love. She’d never been able to put him in her past and say goodbye and that was always because he’d been the one to find her in the snow all those years ago.
He’d been the one that picked her up, took her home and made her feel safe again. He’d put the pieces back together and with Lucky, she’d felt clean and loved and secure.
But Elizabeth was tired of being grateful to him for that and tired of feeling obligated to stay by him. She would always love Lucky Spencer, but for her own sanity, her own peace of mind, she had to leave him.
She stood just inside the door silent, but Lucky sensed her and turned his head towards her. His face was pale and his eyes were tired but he still looked like her Lucky–she could still see that boy that she’d loved so selflessly once.
“I didn’t think you’d come,” he said quietly.
Elizabeth lifted a shoulder in a careless shrug and sighed. “You’re my husband. If nothing else, we have to deal with that.”
Resigned, he nodded and cleared his throat. “I’m sorry that I made you fear for Cameron. If I had been thinking clearly, if I’d been thinking at all, I would have left him with Audrey.”
“You were trying to protect him, so for that I forgive you,” Elizabeth said softly. “And for the drugs, I forgive you. Because I understand that we all have our flaws and we all have our weaknesses.” She paused. “But you didn’t trust me. And you went to that room because you thought I would be there.”
“I know,” Lucky said. He pulled himself to his feet, exhausted but determined to finish this conversation no matter what it led them. “And I wish I could tell you why. I wish I could explain but the only thing that I can come up with is that you can do better.”
Elizabeth frowned and stared at him for a long moment. “Better? I don’t…I don’t understand.”
“You can do better than me, you deserve better than me,” Lucky clarified. “I have brought you nothing but pain from the day we met.”
“No–” Elizabeth shook her head. “Lucky, please don’t–”
“You were raped because I didn’t keep my word to you, because I didn’t go to the dance with you.” Lucky swallowed hard. “And you had to mourn my death for an entire year because of my family’s history. You had to fake your own death to save my life. And I repaid you by allowing that sham of a ceremony to go on. And then I slept with your sister and that’s not even going into how badly I treated you while I was under Helena’s influence–”
“Lucky, the past is just that–it’s the past.” Elizabeth hesitated. “I won’t deny that you’ve hurt me. And I sat and I took it because you saved me once. But that doesn’t change the fact that I love you, and I’m not sorry that we took this chance and tried again. I’m not sorry that we got married and tried to build a life together.” She exhaled slowly. “But no matter how much I love you, I love my son more. And I have to start putting him first and putting me first. Lucky, I love you, I will always love you but I cannot be with you.”
Lucky stared at his hands. “I know.”
“I want a divorce,” Elizabeth said softly. “I need a divorce. I need to stand on my own two feet and be by myself. But most of all, I need to be away from you.” She hesitated another moment but finally turned and left the room.
ICU: Waiting Room
Patrick glared at Jax from across the room, wishing that Mac and Robert hadn’t torn him away from the son of a bitch. They’d hesitated a moment–because he was sure he’d only done what they’d been thinking about doing themselves, but in the end, he’d been pulled away from the man responsible for Robin lying in a hospital bed.
Mac stepped back inside the room and shoved his cell into his pocket. “Nikolas is on his way, he already knew about Stefan but didn’t elaborate.” He rubbed a hand over his face. “Jax, you’re going to want to bring the baby to the hospital. And do it before I think twice about filing kidnapping charges.”
Jax paled but nodded and left the room, one of Mac’s officers escorting him.
“If Nikolas Cassadines knows about his uncle’s involvement, you’d better believe that Stefan is already headed for Greece, soon to disappear,” Robert said, irritated.
“Probably,” Mac nodded. “But we’ll have our answers and…” he hesitated. “Cassadines take care of their own.”
“What about Helena Cassadine?” Patrick questioned. “Robin had a meeting with her right before she came to the room. Isn’t she involved?”
“We can’t track her down either,” Mac said, clearly disgusted by the entire situation. “I hate the Cassadines.”
“Speaking of the Cassadines,” Georgie remarked, “or not actually since this has nothing to do with them, but has anyone seen Dillon in the last…oh…two days?”
“Ah…” Patrick scratched the back of his neck and looked to Mac. “Right. I didn’t get the chance to mention this but Dillon and Lulu Spencer were with me when Robin coded. I don’t know where they disappeared to but they came up with the same theory–that Robin’s shooting was connected to John’s paternity.”
“Dillon was with Lulu?” Georgie said through clenched teeth.
Mac narrowed his eyes. “And how exactly did they formulate this theory?” he demanded.
“Ah, can I plead the fifth now or do I have to wait until I’m in a courtroom?” Patrick asked, weakly thinking of the hospital policies he’d violated in not reporting Dillon and Lulu’s use of the hospital records and his own unauthorized testing.
“Well, that still doesn’t answer the question of where the hell Dillon and his freaking precious Lulu are!” Georgie seethed.
ICU: Robin’s Room
Robin forced her eyes open and turned her head wearily to the side, relieved to find her cousin Maxie slumped in a chair. “Maxie,” she said hoarsely.
Maxie snapped up and scooted closer. “You’re awake! Thank God! Let me get the doctors–”
“Wait–” Robin’s hand snaked out and grasped Maxie’s arm. “Wait. You have to tell Uncle Mac that Helena Cassadine is going to kidnap John Jacks. She just tried to kill me.”
Somewhere Under Port Charles
“Okay, that’s definitely water, right?” Lulu sniffed again. “It’s less onion-y.”
“It smells more like water than anything else has in the last few hours.” Dillon picked at his clothes, resolving to burn them as soon as this was over.
“Oh, and that’s light isn’t it?” Lulu squinted and quickened her pace, though how she had any energy after five hours of wandering these catacombs, Dillon didn’t know. Perhaps those potato chips had been super potato chips. Regardless, Dillon took longer steps to catch up with the blonde.
Lulu’s glimpse of light was indeed the cliché–light at the end of the tunnel. It led to a sewer outlet in an unfamiliar swamp like setting.
“I’ve never seen so happy to see the sun in my entire life,” Dillon said, raising his face to the celestial body.
“I wonder where we are,” Lulu narrowed her eyes and studied their surroundings.
“Why, Spoon Island, of course.”
At the sound of her voice, the teens spun around and saw Helena Cassadine standing behind them, a chilling smile spread across her thin lips.
“Yeah, Lulu?” Dillon remarked. “You’ll let me know when we’re supposed to start having fun right?”