Written in 54 minutes. Scenes are numbered from previous parts.
I imagine you are home
Kelly gestured for a nurse to join them, then swung the curtain closed. Elizabeth clasped her hands over her belly, desperate to feel her baby kick, to connect to something good and pure, that wasn’t part of the nightmare she’d barely managed to survive. She turned her face into the pillow, the tears soaking the fabric.
“Honey, I need you to take deep breaths—” Kelly rubbed her shoulder, eying the monitor with some trepidation as Elizabeth’s heartbeat began to race and her breathing became more shallow. “Elizabeth—” She hissed and bit out a medication order for the nurse hovering at the end of the bed. The fetal heartbeats were also racing—
“It’s over. I ruined everything—”
“You ruined nothing,” Kelly stressed. “Men did. They always do.” She stroked Elizabeth’s hair, hoping the hysterical mother would focus on her. “Listen to me. Look at me, honey. Hey. Elizabeth—”
“They all hate me—”
“Their loss,” Kelly said, wincing as the nurse tugged back the curtain enough for her to see that no one had actually let the immediate area, and Jason looked ready to launch himself across the room when he saw the nurse hand Kelly the syringe.
“We’re just going to give you something to sleep, honey. Okay?” Kelly reached for the IV line. “You’ll rest, the fluids will do the job, and it’ll make sense when you wake up.” She paused. “Do you want me to keep Jason updated?” she asked reluctantly. “I’ll make a note in the chart—”
“What?” Elizabeth’s eyes start to close, then fluttered. “Is he okay? Did he make it out?”
“Yes.” Kelly decided to take that as permission, and expressed a sigh of relief as both heartbeats smoothed back into a normal rhythm. She dragged a hand through her hair, then stalked across the room. “Just you—” she pointed at Jason. She glared at Lucky and Sam. “You two wait here—”
“She’s still my wife—”
“I’ve seen the divorce papers,” Kelly retorted. “Shut up or the next place you’ll be is out of the hospital. You—” She jabbed a finger at Jason. “Let’s go.”
She waited until they were back at the cubicle, Jason glancing back at the angry duo—who Kelly might have had some sympathy for if she hadn’t been around for the deterioration of Elizabeth’s marriage. “What did you give her?” Jason demanded. “Is she all right?”
“She’s fine. She was hysterical because one jackass wouldn’t leave her alone and another son of a bitch decided this was a good moment for honestly—” Kelly closed her eyes. “She’s fine. She’s going to sleep through the night. When she’s moved into a room, you can go see her. Until then, go deal with those two and keep this away from Elizabeth. She’s been through enough—” She stopped Jason as he started to walk away. “And I’m not talking about tonight, Jason. I mean for the last six or seven months. One more fight or raised voices, I’m having all three of you barred from the hospital. Elizabeth and that baby come first. She’s my patient and my friend. And you don’t scare me.”
With that, Kelly tugged the curtain closed and went to arrange Elizabeth a room.
In your room, all alone
He’d just wanted Lucky to go away—he shouldn’t have said anything—he knew that—Jason reluctantly trudged back towards Sam where she stood next to Lucky, her malevolent glare not boding well for what would come next.
And she didn’t even know that Jason hadn’t done much thinking about her at all after Elizabeth had told him about the baby, and he had started planning a life with her and the kids. Or that he’d proposed marriage.
Just marry me.
What would she have said if they hadn’t been rescued? He dragged a hand through his hair, searching for the words to explain any of this—
But then Emily came through the doors that led to the rest of the hospital, her eyes red and bloodshot. Jason froze as she came towards them. Alan. His father.
Emily threw herself into his arms. “I c-called Sonny—he said you’d come to the hospital—that you and Liz—” She sniffled, swiping at her eyes as she drew back. “Is she okay? Where—” She looked at Lucky. “What’s wrong? Oh, God is she—the baby—”
“Ask your brother,” Lucky bit out, then stalked across the emergency room and through the entrance, disappearing into the night. Sam remained where she stood, her angry expression not softening.
“Elizabeth is fine,” Jason told her, rubbing his sister’s shoulder. “They’re keeping her overnight and gave her a sedative to sleep. Kelly said the baby was okay.” He sent Sam a scathing glare, and she pressed her lips together. He’d tell Emily later. “Alan?”
“I came—I came to get you. Mom—” Emily sucked in a shaky breath. “It’s not good, and she needs us. Okay? Please.”
“Okay.” He looked once more at the curtain, then at Sam.
“Don’t worry,” Sam retorted. “I won’t say or do anything. I’ll wait until you’re ready for the conversation.” And then she followed in Lucky’s footsteps.
“It’s a long story. Let’s go.”
And you open your eyes into mine
Jason followed Emily onto the elevator, and she pressed the button for the ICU, her fingers trembling. “I was so scared,” she whispered, holding a fist to her mouth. “I chose Dad to leave. I couldn’t—I’d never forgive myself if Liz lost the baby because of that.”
“It wasn’t a fair choice,” Jason told her, drawing her close. “She understood. We talked in the elevator. She’s okay.”
“Everything’s falling apart,” Emily managed, but closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and gathered herself. “I can do this.”
The doors opened, and they went down another hallway until Jason saw Monica—his mother—standing with a doctor—outside a room with glass walls. Beyond that, Alan was stretched out on a bed, his eyes closed, his skin pale. He stopped. Flashed back to the lobby, helping Alan to the door.
This is my father.
Monica turned—saw them—and Jason saw the grief in her eyes before a shield slid down. “You’re okay—” She raised her arms, then let them drop to her sides and forced a smile. “I didn’t know if they’d found you—”
Jason hugged her because he knew that’s what she wanted, and he wanted it too in this moment. Monica clung to him, and he could feel her body—his mother—trembling. “I tried to get Elizabeth somewhere safe,” he told her, drawing back. “But we got trapped in an elevator. She’s all right.”
“Oh, good. She—she was with Alan for a while and he worried for her.” Monica looked to Emily. “I—I’m waiting on the rest of the family, but—” She looked back towards the room. Towards Alan. “It was a massive heart attack,” she said softly. “He needs surgery, but—”
“But he’s not strong enough.” She closed her eyes, squeezed them shut, as if that could somehow make the rest of this easier. “He’d die on the table.”
Jason’s hand, still on Monica’s forearm, tightened slightly. “Is he—are they waiting for him to stabilize—”
“No.” Monica’s voice faltered. “No. They can’t. They’re just—they’re m-making him comfortable—”
“No!” Emily cried out, sharply. “No! He was walking, he was okay, he was talking—” She turned to Jason, her eyes frantic. “Tell her, Jase. You were there—”
“Em—” Helpless, his throat tight. His father was going to die. He’d spent years estranged from his parents—refusing to acknowledge who they were to him—and now—there would never be a chance to be different.
This was his father.
And he was going to die.
And everything feels better
Sam spied Lucky sitting on a bench by the emergency entrance and headed over. He glared up at her. “You knew,” he spat out.
“I thought you did, too,” she said, gently, finding compassion in her own anger. She sat at the end. “Jason told me when it happened. And about the paternity test. I knew—I knew you didn’t know about the test, but I thought you knew about the blackout.”
“The—” Lucky shook his head. “The blackout.” He stared straight ahead. “She found out about Maxie and left. Saw us together in the apartment.”
“And went straight to Jason—” Who had seen her with Ric. Sam could have forgiven it, could have let it go, but how? Jason didn’t regret it. “She’s been wrapped up in his life ever since. Poking her nose in, pretending she knows everything—” She curled her hands into fists. “And she was lying to him. He didn’t know. He couldn’t have.”
“How can you be so sure?” Lucky demanded.
Because she’d seen his eyes when he’d believed Lucky to be the father. She’d watched him these last few months as he went through the motions of loving her while pining for the child that wasn’t his. And, Sam thought, for the mother of that child that he’d already forgiven for lying to him.
She’d have to fix that — she just needed to find a way to rip the blinders away so that Jason could see Elizabeth for the manipulative bitch she’d turned out to be—
“Because I am,” Sam said flatly. “She chose to lie to us all.” She got back to her feet, looked at the hospital. “I’m not giving up that easily.”
“Good for you,” Lucky said sourly. He stood, then strode off into the parking lot, disappearing between the cars, and Sam went back to the hospital, determined to fight for her relationship.
And right before your eyes
Emily crept into the hospital room, looking at her father, at this man stretched out in the bed, so quiet and still already. How would she survive this—
Alan’s eyes fluttered, focused on her, then he smiled. “Emily.” His voice was scarcely above a whisper, and his hand twitched on the bed, as if he wanted to reach for her but lacked the strength.
Emily picked it up, holding it between both of hers. “Daddy,” she managed through the tears. “I love you.”
“Love you, too,” he breathed. “More than the stars in the sky.”
“No girl could have asked for a better father.” Emily leaned down to press her lips against his forehead, trembling. “I love you,” she said again. Then dropped his hand and fled back out into the hallway, unable to keep herself from breaking down.
Jason hugged his sister tightly, then passed her to Monica. Alan’s vitals were fading and most of the family was still en route to the hospital, trapped in the traffic caused by the hostage crisis and the blockades still in force with the hotel still dangerously unstable.
He didn’t know if he even deserved a goodbye—maybe Emily should get another turn or Monica—
“Go,” his mother said gently.
So Jason did, his hands his pockets, his face still streaked with soot from the explosion, his clothes still smelling vaguely of smoke and fire. He stood by his father’s bed, watching as his chest rose and fell.
He remembered a conversation not long after the accident where he’d almost felt connected to Alan, when his father had spoken of how he’d seen himself in Jason, how proud he was, and how Jason would understand one day—
Jason had struggled hard after the accident, running from anyone and everyone who kept searching for Jason Quartermaine in him, and being angry when he wasn’t there. He hadn’t been able to really understand what it meant to be a father.
A father loves you into a box, he’d told Mike after Sonny had deserted Brenda at the altar and left everyone questioning him. With expectations and pushing, and demands—Mike had always tried to explain it—but it wasn’t possible.
Until Jason had held Michael. Until he’d experienced it for himself. And yet — it still hadn’t shaken the way he felt about the Quartermaines—not after they tried to use his accident to make him an unfit father—
He exhaled slowly. He’d be a father in a few short months. A real one. With the blood ties that might protect him from losing another child. And he would never have a chance to make things better with his own.
Alan’s eyes opened, and he saw Jason. “Jason.”
“I—” Jason cleared his throat. “I’m sorry.”
“I never should have—” Alan’s voice faded, and he turned his head to stare at the ceiling. Swallowing. “Never should have given up. Should have kept fighting for you—”
“You did the best you could,” Jason said, believing it more now than he had before. “It’s okay.”
“No. Regret. Mine. Don’t—” Alan closed his eyes, and the monitors beeped. He reached for Jason, and Jason took his hand. “You. Good father. Deserve good.”
“I wish I’d given you another chance,” Jason confessed, forcing the words over a lump in his throat. “That we had time.”
“Always loved.” His voice dipped out again. “Never stopped. Don’t you. Give up.”
“I won’t.” The monitors sounded a sharp alarm, and Jason looked up — Alan’s heartbeat was fading. “Dad,” he said, trying out the word, and Alan looked at him. Their eyes holding. “I love you,” he said, not sure if it was true, but hoping it would give Alan some peace.
“Liar—” But Alan was smiling as he closed his eyes. Jason looked up, met Monica’s eyes through the glass—
With Emily trailing behind, his mother hurried in, looked at the monitors. “Darling,” she said ,standing on the other side of the bed. “We’re here, Alan.”
“Love you all.” Alan’s voice was so low that they had to bend towards him. “Be happy.”
And then the monitor flat lined, and he was gone.