Flash Fiction: Chain Reaction – Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 15 in the Flash Fiction: Chain Reaction

Written in  61  minutes. I do not reread for typos, and they always drive me crazy later. I suck, lol.

This scene might be useful. This story picks up on this day. Song is Cry Me A River (Justin Timberlake)


September 2, 2003

General Hospital: Chapel

Less than three months earlier, Jason had broken into the house where Elizabeth lived with Ric, looking for clues to locate Carly. Elizabeth had caught him and pulled out a gun. The anger and animosity had lingered between them for months before that night and had continued even after Ric’s crimes had been revealed.

But it all felt so far away tonight, as if they had happened to other people, in another lifetime.

All Jason knew now was that Emily, the one person they both loved more than themselves, was fading away—and that knowing Elizabeth was in pain still hurt as much as it did the first time he’d made her cry, that long ago day standing outside of Kelly’s, when he’d told her they couldn’t see each other again.

“Why is this happening?” she’d said, her voice broken, her shoulders shaking. A question without an answer, of course, but Jason couldn’t leave it there. He slid just a little closer, put his arm around her shoulders, and Elizabeth leaned into his embrace, crying against his shoulder, her tears damp against the black cotton.

He didn’t know how long they’d sat that there, the candles on the altar slowly burning themselves down to their tapers, his hand on her bare shoulder, his thumb circling her soft skin, the smell of her shampoo and the tickle of her hair against his jaw.

How had he gone nearly a year without touching her, without the feel of her body against his? It was a thought that slid in and out of his consciousness so quickly that Jason barely registered, but he was familiar with it — the longing to be near her, to touch her, to breathe her in — he’d put it away in a box, and locked it away for good, this time.

But it hadn’t been for good, Jason thought, but only because the option hadn’t been available. If he’d touched her once in the last ten months, it all would have come flooding back—

“I’m sorry.” Elizabeth sat up, and Jason knew he should pull his arm back, but he left it still loosely around her shoulders, his thumb still brushing the top of her shoulder. He was like an addict getting his first taste of alcohol after a long period of sobriety, and he didn’t like it. But he didn’t know how to stop it either.

Elizabeth brushed at her tears and looked at him, meeting his gaze. “I didn’t mean to—I mean, she’s your family.”

“She’s yours, too,” Jason told her. And he’d meant that. Elizabeth had risked her life over and over again for Emily, had always been right there every time his sister had needed her. “You don’t have to apologize.”

“I just—I know that I’m going to get that call.” She stared down at her hands. “I’m going to find out she’s gone, and I don’t—how can you stand it—how can you know this awful thing is going to happen and just sit—” She squeezed her eyes closed. “I can’t stop thinking, and I want it to go away. I want it to stop.”

“I can—” He swallowed hard when she looked at him, the tears clinging to her lashes, her blue eyes shattered. “I can help. I think.” He finally moved his arm, then stood and held out his hand. “Will you come with me?”

Elizabeth placed her hand in his Jason, and let him pull her to her feet. She stumbled slightly, the heel of her shoe catching the edge of the chapel carpet. Jason’s hand went to steady her, resting at the small of her back and she bit her lip, wishing she could just fold himself into his arms, absorb all the warmth he was radiating. She’d be safe there—

But she’d walked away from that a long time ago and this night — this night wasn’t part of that. It existed outside of time and space. Tomorrow, when the world came back and daylight broke, Emily would be gone and she and Jason wouldn’t have a reason to ever speak again.

It was an unbearably sad realization, so if Jason wanted to take her somewhere, to stretch out the time that was left to all of them — then she wouldn’t stop herself.

Jason led her out of the chapel, down the short hallway to the elevators. He jabbed the button, and they stepped into the car. Neither of them saw the blonde standing a few feet away, lurking in a door way, her mouth pinched and her blue eyes narrowed.

Elizabeth furrowed her brow when Jason hit the button for the parking garage level, and looked at him quizzically. “Where—” Her breath caught. The parking garage. Oh. Oh, she knew exactly where he was taking her.

It was same motorcycle he’d driven out of town four years ago, after he’d sat on a park bench and broken her heart with a kiss to the forehead, trying to say goodbye to her. Maybe they both would have been better off if she’d let him say it. But she’d insisted it was always see you later.

Jason handed the helmet, and Elizabeth took it, holding it against her middle, biting her lip, looking at the bike.

“We don’t have—”

“No, I was just thinking about my dress,” Elizabeth said, “but I can do it. I can—” She’d do anything if meant Jason would take her for a ride, if she could climb on the bike behind him, and get to hold on to him, just one more time. They’d never managed a ride since he’d returned the year before.

It was fitting, she thought. It would all end the way it had begun.

Jason unset the kickstand holding the bike upright, then straddled it. Elizabeth fastened the helmet, swung one leg over the bike and sat down, tucking the dress around her legs, then slid she slid forward, nestling her body just behind Jason’s, sliding her arms around his waist, holding tight the way she’d never dared to in the beginning. Then Jason turned the key in the ignition, the bike roared to life, and they were off.

Vista Point: Parking Lot

Elizabeth stumbled off the bike, tugging the helmet from her hair, grinning from ear to ear. “Oh my God! I forgot how loud it was! And you still take those turns like a mad man—the last one, I thought for sure were going to crash—” The road had seemed so close her heart had stopped for just a beat, then he’d pulled out of it, the bike was upright, and the world was normal again.

“And I think you might have busted an eardrum—” Jason rubbed his ear, and Elizabeth laughed, slapped him playfully. Then her smile faded, and she looked away, tears stinging her eyes.

“I forgot,” she said softly. “For just a minute. I forgot.” She cleared her throat. Looked back. “Did—did they call?”

Jason removed his phone from his pocket. “No. Monica said—” His mouth was tight. “She said she’d call. Or have someone—” His hand tightened around the phone. “We could keep going,” he said, almost to himself.

“Eventually we’d have to stop,” Elizabeth said wistfully. “And the phone would always be there, waiting.” She rubbed her arms, looked around at their surroundings. The night was a cloudy one — the stars barely visible. “I haven’t been up here in months.” Not since she’d come here with Lucky and run into Jason and Courtney.

Her stomach lurched, and she dropped her eyes to the gravel beneath her feet. Courtney. Jason’s fiancee. The woman who was probably waiting on him to come home.

“Me, either,” Jason said. He tipped his head towards the observatory deck. “Come on. Let’s see if we can see Spoon Island.”

If he didn’t want to think about who was waiting for him, then why should she? Elizabeth pushed it aside, followed him.

“Sometimes I wish I were Dorothy,” Elizabeth murmured, leaning over the guardrail, trying to see the pitched roof of Wyndemere in the clouds. “You know? From the Wizard of Oz?”

“Robin made me watch it once. She was the one with the shoes, right? She wanted to go home?”

“Yeah. She thought she had to go on a quest, but the answer was right in front of her the whole time. She just had to click her heels three times and say there was no place like home.”

“Why do you wish you were here? You can go home. I could take you there—you’re—you’re in the studio, right?”

“It’s not home. There’s no where that’s home,” Elizabeth said. “Maybe not home. Maybe go back in time to when Emily came back. I could tell something wasn’t right, but I was so wrapped up in my own horror show—I could have forced her to tell me what was wrong. And if she didn’t listen to me, I’d—” She looked at him. “I’d have told you, and we’d have made her see sense.”

She folded her arms tightly, looked back out over the water. “But there’s no going back. No correcting mistakes. Just learning to live with them. You’d think I’d know that by now and make better choices.”

“I wish I’d spent more time with her,” Jason said, his voice low, a bit rough. “You weren’t the only one distracted. And if she hadn’t listened to me, I’d have gone to you.” He straightened, one hand curled around the guardrail. “I could take you home—”

“So I could sleep? Go to bed and wake up in a world without Emily? No thanks. But if you need to go—” Elizabeth chanced a look at him, but didn’t speak the name. “You can drop me off—”

“So you can sit up all night?” Jason asked gently. “Wait for the phone to ring?”

“Like you’re going to do any differently?”

“No, I guess not. Well, if we’re both going to wait for a phone call, then—” Jason stepped towards the parking lot. “I don’t want to do it alone.”

“Me either.” She took his hand again, and they returned to the bike. He handed her the helmet. “Could you maybe, um, take more of the turns like that last one? Or is that too danger?”

“Let me see what I can do.”

Jake’s: Bar

Jason twisted the key in the lock, then stepped inside, waiting for Elizabeth to follow. “It just closed a little while ago, but I have the same, uh, arrangement with Coleman that I had with Jake.”

“I miss her, you know.” Elizabeth wandered over to the juke box, flipped through the choices. “Why she’d have to sell the place?”

“It’s not the same as it used to be, but…” Jason went around the bar, looked through the cooler. “Do you want something to drink?”

“Hmm, yeah. Whatever you’re having,” she said absently. “You know, I haven’t been here since you left two years ago.” The opening chords of a song he didn’t know (not that he knew many) filled the empty space.

“No?” Jason came over to her, handed her a green glass bottle already uncapped. He had an identical one in his hand.

You were my sun

“No reason to. Club 101 was closer, and then I didn’t really have a lot of reasons to go out and drink or have any fun.” Her eyes flitted to him as she sipped the beer, her lips wrapping around the stem of the bottle. “You come here, though, right? Enough to have an arragement?”

You were my earth

“Sometimes I—” He grimaced. “Sometimes I need to pick a fight,” he muttered, and took long pull, nearly a quarter of the bottle.

But you didn’t know all the ways I loved you, no

“Hmmm, I know what you mean.” Elizabeth wandered over to the pool table, running her fingertips over the felt top. “I definitely feel like punching things these days.” She glanced at him. “You want to play a round?”

He remembered the last time they’d played pool — the night he’d gone out and Sonny had faked his death. He’d spent time with her, hoping she’d understand the lie he was about to tell her. The horrible thing he was doing. But it had gone so wrong. It had lasted too long, and she’d been so damn hurt—

So you took a chance

“Yeah,” Jason said. He took another drink, then set the bottle on a nearby table. He went to the wall, took down two cues, handing her one. Then he set the balls up to break. “You can go first—”

And made other plans

“Taking pity? How do you know I haven’t practiced?” Elizabeth asked. She took a drink before setting her own bottle to the side, then leaned down to line up a shot. Her form was still terrible, Jason thought idly, but she did well enough, scattering the balls across the table. Not a single one went in, and she pouted, pushing out her bottom lip.

“Your turn.”

But I bet you didn’t think that they would come crashing down, no

“I need something stronger,” he said, suddenly, setting down the cue without even taking a shot. He headed over to the back of the bar, snagged a bottle of tequila, and two sets of shot glasses. He could call someone to drive them home.

You don’t have to say, what you did

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you drink hard liquor,” Elizabeth said, her brows pulled together. He set one of the shot glasses in front of her.

I already know, I found out from him

He didn’t, but she’d done that thing with her mouth around the bottle, and pouting—he was only human, and maybe if he got drunk, he wouldn’t see all of that. He poured the tequila. “You don’t have to join me.”

“No—” Elizabeth set the cue down, picked up the shot glass. “No point in letting you get plastered alone. On three—one, two, three—” They both emptied their glasses.

Now there’s just no chance

They continued the round, Jason doing his best to throw the game so Elizabeth wasn’t just watching him run the table. She’d improved — but not enough to compete against him. And after they each took a turn, they drank another shot.

For you and me

Elizabeth was wobbling slightly, trying to line up a difficult shot, when she suddenly straightened and scowled, coming around to his side of the table — right in front of him. “It’s a better angle over here,” she said, leaning over, wiggling to line it up.

There’ll never be

She was right, of course, Jason thought, and the right thing to do would be to move and give her room. To not be standing directly behind her while she wiggled her butt in a dress that kept slipping and sliding across her body as she moved her cue.

And don’t it make you sad about it?

She took the shot, and missed of course. She straightened, her fist around the pool cue, sliding down from the top the middle, and Jason nearly passed out. He must have made some sort of sound.

“What?” Elizabeth turned, her eyes lit with humor. “Was my shot that bad? Come on. I’m trying—”

“To kill me,” he muttered. He dragged a hand down his face. “This was a bad idea.”

You told me you love me

Her smile faded, and she looked away, biting her lip, and he felt like a heel. She had no idea that he’d started to lose his mind the second he’d touched her in the chapel, and that his self-control had been slipping away all night, eroded every time she bit her lip or wrapped her hand around something, or he just looked at her.

Why did you leave me all alone?

The tequila had been a mistake, Jason thought. Instead of dulling his senses, all it had done was heighten him and now everything she did drove him crazy. What the hell was wrong with him? Had the whole world gone crazy?

“I should call a cab,” Elizabeth said, when he said nothing, just stared at her. She set the cue on the table, started for the door. Walking away. Just like she had a year ago.

Maybe he was Dorothy, he thought stupidly. Maybe they’d gone back in time and she was walking and he had a second chance to stop her.

Now you tell me you need me

Jason charged after her, snagged her elbow, and tugged her back, swinging her back around, her body brushing his. “Don’t go.”

When you call me on the phone

“Jason—” She looked up at him, her eyes wide and luminous. “We should—”

Girl, I refuse

He didn’t want to hear about what they should do. He was tired of doing what he was supposed to do. The expected thing. The right thing. What was good for everything else. What did he have to show for it?

You must have me confused with some other guy

“Don’t go,” he repeated, brushing his thumb over her lip. Her tongue darted out, licked him, and that was it. The last straw. His hands dove into her hair and he kissed her, hard, hot and hungrily, the way he should have a thousand times before.

The bridges were burned

Her hands fluttered around him for a moment, and then she broke, fisting them in his black cotton t-shirt, pressing herself against him. Jason’s hands slid down her to her hips, and with a quick lift, her legs were wrapped around his waist and he was stumbling towards the stairs.

Now it’s your turn, to cry
Cry me a river

Comments

  • OMG What a start!!!!

    According to Sharpe on April 13, 2024
  • If this ends up going towards Cameron being Jason’s, I’m already sold! This is a hell of a start

    According to Brittany on April 13, 2024
  • Oh Boy we are going to get Lizon.

    According to leasmom on April 13, 2024
  • Holy Crap!!! This is going to be hot!!

    According to Becca on April 13, 2024
  • Wow what a great start! So hot! I can’t wait to read more!

    According to Golden Girl on April 13, 2024
  • YESSSSS! I am here for this!!

    According to Michele on April 13, 2024
  • you were successful because you got it just right.

    can’t wait to read more

    According to PAMELA HEDSTROM on April 13, 2024
  • I can’t wait. Bring on the sex so Cameron is Jason’s and not Zanders.

    According to Carolyn J Grandchamp on April 14, 2024
  • Wow, epic I can’t wait for the morning after and Cameron happening.

    According to Shelly Samuel on April 14, 2024
  • Baby Cam being Jason’s YES Great start

    According to Tammy Bodner on April 14, 2024
  • What a great start! I couldn’t read it until now and it was worth the wait. Now, I have another chapter to read. Lucky me!

    According to arcoiris0502 on April 14, 2024
  • Well holy smokes. Fantastic start. Do we have our Cameron in the making?

    According to nanci on April 15, 2024
  • Loving the way this story is going. Can’t wait to see where you take us.

    According to Carla P on April 15, 2024
  • I loved it! WOW, what a great beginning. Courtney who? LOL

    According to Felicia on April 15, 2024