This is a direct sequel to the Flash Fiction series, Darkest Before the Dawn.
Written in 55 minutes. Time for a basic spell check but no for typos.
Port Charles Park: Ice Rink
“Are you blind?” Elizabeth Webber shot to her feet, cupped her hands around her mouth — “Hey, Ref! Get your eyes checked!”
“That’s crap!” Patrick Drake shouted from her side, dragging his hand through his slightly shaggy dark hair.
Sitting next to them, Jason Morgan just frowned, then looked at the rest of the parents in the stand—who were all on their feet, screaming obscenities that were a lot worse than Patrick and Elizabeth.
“She doesn’t look like she’d be a crazy sports mom, does she?” Laura Spencer mused as she picked up her grandson, two-year-old Aiden Webber, and cuddled him in her lap. “I’ll talk to Spencer about trying to decapitate Cameron. I promise.”
“He’s just mad that Emma made Cameron a nicer card for Valentine’s Day,” Elizabeth muttered as she sat back down. “And he keeps calling Cam a townie—”
“He likes to ignore the fact that he lives in town now, too,” Laura said dryly. “We’re working on it—” She winced as Spencer’s skates slid out from underneath him, and the eight-year-old started to slide across the ice. “Oh, no—”
“He’s back up,” Jason said, reassuring her. He winced as Spencer Cassadine got back to his feet, unsteadily, and started to skate in Cameron’s direction.
“I wear to God if that referee calls one more foul on my kid,” Elizabeth said, her teeth clenched. “And—hey!” She lunged to her feet again as Spencer bypassed Cameron and headed for Emma Scorpio-Drake.
“Oh, I know he’s not going after my kid!” Patrick said with a scowl.
“They know they’re talking about kids, right?” Jason asked Laura a bit dubiously. This was a side of Elizabeth he’d never seen before — but maybe it shouldn’t surprise him. She’d always been fiercely loyal to the people she loved and there was no one she loved more than her boys. It made sense it would translate to supporting them in sports, but this—
He found himself grinning as the referee managed to grab the back of Spencer’s uniform before he was able to finish swiping out with his stick towards Emma. Patrick’s daughter turned, narrowed her eyes, and launched herself at the Cassadine — the two kids hit the ice and started rolling around, shoving each other.
“Just like her mother,” Jason said, with a slow exhale. Robin had never taken shit from anyone, and he knew from experience she could throw a punch.
Elizabeth heard him, then smiled at him. “Yeah, Robin taught Emma how to defend herself. But—”
“There it is,” Laura said with a sigh, as Cameron launched himself on the two of them, dragging Spencer away from Emma, and the irritated umpire ejected all three of them. “I guess we’d better go get them.”
“I’m buying Emma all the ice cream she wants,” Patrick told Elizabeth as they trooped down from the stands and headed over to pick up their kids. It wasn’t the first game that the trio had been thrown out of, and they were used to the routine by now.
It was Jason’s first time making it to one of the games, and while he’d heard about the bitter rivalry, it was something to see the eight-year-olds all trying to kill each other. They could probably hold their own against Carly in her heyday.
“You know, Cameron told me that Joss gave him a Valentine,” Elizabeth said, as if reading Jason’s thoughts. She took Aiden from Laura and grinned at him. “I think that’s going to complicate things.”
Jason winced. “Oh, man. Joss takes after her mother, so—”
“It’s not my fault,” Emma said immediately as the adults reached them. Standing next to them was their beleaguered coach who was not having a great day.
“Mrs. Spencer,” Dustin Phillips said, with a sigh to Laura. “We’ve talked about Spencer’s sportsmanship—”
Spencer gasped. “He attacked me!” He jabbed a finger at Cameron who stuck his tongue out at his cousin. “You—you—you townie!” Spencer launched himself at Cameron all over again and would have reached him if Jason hadn’t waded in and grabbed Laura’s grandson — Elizabeth got her son, and they dragged them apart again.
“We’re working on it,” Laura said. “But in my defense, I told the league not to put them on the same team.”
“One more ejection, and I’m cutting all three of them,” Dustin said. He went back to the kids still playing.
“You’re ruining it for all of us!” Emma screaming, stomping her foot at Spencer. Her cheek was cut. “And you’re the townie, you dink!”
“I am not a townie! I live on an island!”
“You live on Charles Street you—” Emma went after him, intending to deliver a kick to the shins, but Patrick grabbed his daughter.
“Well, this has been fun,” he said dryly. “But I’ll take my kid home before she does anymore damage.”
“It’s not fair, Dad!” Emma complained as the Drakes walked towards their car. “He’s such a brat!”
Spencer glared at Cameron with an utter look of loathing that might have worried Jason if he wasn’t eight. “You turned her against me!”
“All right, all right—that’s enough!” Laura snapped. She grabbed Spencer’s shoulder and shook him slightly. “You went after that girl on the ice, Spencer Cassadine! And you tried to hit your cousin—”
“He is not my cousin!” Spencer wiped his nose, then glared at Cameron. “Uncle Lucky said you’re just a bastard—”
“Shut up!” Cameron roared, and then he was airborne, tackling Spencer to the gravel parking lot, then punched him square in the face before Jason was able to grab him, lifting him in the air, still kicking wildly.
“I’ll kill him! Let me kill him!”
Shaken slightly, Laura pulled her grandson to his feet, looking at Elizabeth with a blank expression. “I—”
“We should go,” Elizabeth said, tightly, sliding a hand down Aiden’s back as the toddler started to cry. Jason put Cameron on the ground, but kept an arm around his shoulders, holding him back.
“I think that’s a good idea. I’ll—I’ll talk to him.” Laura leaned forward to kiss Aiden’s cheek, then tried to hug Cameron, but he turned his face away from her. “I love you, baby,” she murmured, brushing his hair back. “I’ll call you,” she told Elizabeth, before taking Spencer’s hand and dragging him away.
“I want to go home,” Cameron said, flatly. He shrugged away from Jason and stalked towards their car.
Webber Home: Hallway
“Hey.” Jason touched the small of Elizabeth’s back as she left Aiden’s room, switching on the night light and closing the door. “Why don’t you let me put Cameron to bed?”
“I—” Elizabeth sighed, looked down the hallway towards her oldest’s room. “I don’t know. You think that’s a good idea? I mean—God, if Spencer’s right—I can’t believe—” Distressed, she looked away, swiping at her eyes.
“You’re still upset,” Jason told her. “And you know Cameron doesn’t like to see you cry. I’ll talk to him, and see if he’s up to talking tonight. Otherwise, it might be better if we gave him some space.”
“All right.” She clenched her hand in his shirt briefly before releasing it. “I’ll be in the bedroom if you need me.”
He kissed her forehead, and they separated. He waited to hear their bedroom door click shut before he knocked on Cameron’s door.
“I don’t need to be tucked in. Go away.”
“I just wanted to say good night,” Jason said. “Can I come in for a minute?”
“Jason?” There was a sigh. “Fine.”
Jason pushed open the door, then went inside the room to find Cameron sitting up in his bed, already dressed in his Captain America pajamas. He eyed Jason suspiciously. “Why are you here and not my Mom?”
“I can go get her,” Jason offered, closing the door, then leaning against it.”
Cameron shrugged a shoulder, then stared at his blanket. “It’s fine,” he said dully. “Spencer is a doofus. I know that.”
“He doesn’t seem like a nice kid,” Jason agreed.
“And I don’t care what Lucky says about me,” Cameron said in a small voice. “He’s not my dad. I know that. He doesn’t want me. He only calls Aiden. And he never comes to see him either. I don’t care—” His voice trembled slightly.
Jason stepped forward, perched on the edge of the bed. “It’s okay to be hurt,” he said softly. “There’s nothing wrong with admitting it.”
“I don’t need him,” Cameron said. He looked up, his blue eyes burning into Jason’s. “My mom is best mom ever. She’s all I need. I don’t need Lucky. I don’t need you either.”
Cameron looked away, then a tear slid down his cheek. Then another. “I miss Jake.”
Jason exhaled on a shaky breath. Cameron didn’t often talk about his little brother, and he and Elizabeth were both careful not to reminisce about him often around the boys. “I do, too.”
“You were his real dad, weren’t you?”
“I—I was,” Jason admitted.
Cameron swiped his hand under his nose. “My real dad is dead. Spencer said his dad said my dad was a bad person. Was he? Did you know him?”
“I did know him,” Jason said carefully. “And Zander was…he knew how to get himself into trouble. But I know your mother liked him. And my sister—Aunt Emily—she loved him. She was married to him for a little while. He wasn’t all bad, Cameron. He just didn’t make a lot of good choices.”
“Mom says I have to be nice to Spencer because his dad just dumped on him Grandma Laura, and she didn’t want him stuck in boarding school. His mom is dead. And his dad doesn’t want him. So I guess—I mean—” Cameron sighed. “I’d be really mad at everyone if my mom dumped me on someone.”
“It sounds like a tough situation.”
“But my mom would never do that,” Cameron told Jason. “Never.”
“No, your mom would walk through fire for you. And your brothers.” Had walked through fire, Jason remembered.
“I’m sorry I said I don’t need you,” Cameron muttered. “I like that you live here now. Christmas was more fun this year.” He peeked up at Jason. “Mom smiles a lot now. More than since Jake died. Last year was hard.”
“I’m glad we’re together. I love your mother. And I love you and your brother,” Jason told him.
“You’re not going to leave, are you?” Cameron cleared his throat. “I mean, you and my mom—you’re gonna marry her, right? I don’t want her to cry again.”
“That’s something your mom and I have talked about,” Jason told him. “But I’m not going anywhere. There’s no where I’d rather be.”
“Okay.” Cameron nodded. “Okay. I’m okay,” he said, and this time it sounded like he meant it. “Tell mom I’m okay. She was right. Spencer is awful, but I think—I know what it’s like for a dad to dump you. And if my mom were gone—if I never knew her—man, that would suck.”
Cameron had his mother’s soft heart and kindness — with Zander’s recklessness. God help the world, Jason thought as he helped the eight-year-old climb under the blankets.
“Hey, Jason?” Cameron asked as Jason switched off the lamp on the night stand.
“You promise you’re not leaving?”
“I promise.” Jason ruffled his blonde hair, then Cameron grinned, turned over, and closed his eyes. “Good night, buddy.”
Elizabeth was pacing when Jason went into their room, biting the nail of her thumb as she walked from the window to the end of the bed, before turning around and starting again. At Jason’s entrance, she whirled around.
“Is he okay? Does he need me?”
“He’s fine. He’s probably already asleep.” Jason rubbed his hands down her arms. “By the time I left, he’d already reminded himself that Spencer has it pretty rough right now — and Cameron says he knows how it feels to have a dad dump him, and how much worse it would be not to have his mom.”
Elizabeth groaned, then let her head drop against his chest. “Oh, God. I tried so hard not to let Cameron feel Lucky’s leaving like this. Lucky was already not doing much with the boys by the time he left the country—but he never calls Cameron—”
“He doesn’t blame you,” Jason assured her. “In fact, you’re the only person in the world he does believe in one hundred percent, so you’re doing something right.”
“Something,” Elizabeth muttered. She sighed, pulled away from him, then sat on the bed. “You’re sure he’s okay?”
“Yeah. He was mad at first, but he’s okay. He’s a good kid, Elizabeth. A good kid who’s asking questions about Zander, by the way. Apparently, Spencer also told him Nikolas said Zander was a bad person—”
“I could really kill the two of them right now,” Elizabeth snarled. “Talking like that in front of Spencer—What were they thinking? I liked it better when they hated each other—” She dragged a hand through her hair. “What did you say?”
“That Zander wasn’t a bad person. He just didn’t make great choices. That you liked him. That Emily loved him.” Jason hesitated. “Cameron seemed worried I might leave.”
“Oh.” Elizabeth blinked at him. “Oh. Well, I guess—I mean, you only moved in a few weeks ago. Maybe we rushed it. Did we rush it?” She chewed on her lip. “I just—I want so bad to be a better mom than I had, but I think I keep messing it up—”
“You’re an amazing mother,” Jason told her. “And Cameron would be the first to tell you that. No, I think he’s just been through a lot. Losing Jake. Then Lucky moving away — me moving in. It’s been a lot.”
“Right.” Elizabeth frowned. “We’re not going to have this fight again, are we?”
“No,” Jason said. “I asked you to marry me. And you wanted time. This was a compromise. And we didn’t fight the last time,” he reminded her. “But I’m in this. For good.”
“It’s okay that you don’t believe me yet,” Jason said. “But this is what I want. You and the boys. It’s all I ever wanted. When we talked about getting married four years ago, one of the things I wanted to do was adopt Cameron.”
Elizabeth stared at him, her eyes widening. “Jason—”
“I know Aiden—I know Aiden has a relationship with Lucky, and I don’t want to mess that up. And if you think it’s not a good idea—”
“You want to adopt Cameron?”
“I’ve always loved him,” Jason told her. “Because he was yours. And then because he’s Cameron. Lucky had the chance to be his father—he doesn’t want it. I do. I can’t—it’s not about making up for not being there for Jake.”
“I didn’t say it was—”
“It’s about this life we’re building together.”
“I’d—” She hesitated. “I want to talk to Cameron about it. But, Jason—” She leaned forward, kissed him, fisting her hand in his shirt. “I love you. For wanting it.”
“I love you, too.”