Took 68 minutes. Started ten minutes late because my mom called and then I took an extra eight minutes to finish it well. See you Monday. *evil cackle*
“You know, I could get behind the idea of a leash,” Elizabeth called as Jason lengthened his stride to catch up with Cameron as he zoomed down Maple Avenue as fast as his little legs could carry him. Elizabeth followed behind more sedately with the double stroller, Jake dozing inside.
She had to laugh as Jason caught up with the miniature Spiderman just as he reached the edge of another residence. He scooped up Cameron, who just giggled. It wasn’t the first time he’d made Jason chase him tonight, but it might be the last. Her grandmother’s house was only a few away.
How did Cameron still have energy after going door to door at the Towers, stopping in at Kelly’s, and then hitting her grandmother’s neighborhood? It was truly mystifying, and she was a bit envious—and worried. Next year, they’d have two of them.
She waited patiently on the sidewalk as Jason helped Cameron climb the stairs to the next house, hold out his bucket and his brother’s. She couldn’t quite let herself believe that a year from today, she would still be living this dream — this fantasy life where she had a healthy relationship with a man she’d loved for most of her adult life, raising two healthy, perfect little boys.
“Mommy, Mommy, Mommy—” Cameron panted as he dashed back down the front walk. “I gots a huge Hershey bar—look! No fun size!” He yanked out the full-size bar. “Best house.”
Elizabeth looked at Jason. “How about I chase him for the rest of the walk, and you can take the stroller?”
“You mean, after I did it for three blocks, you want the last three houses?” Jason grinned, kissed her lightly. “I can finish it. He’ll fall asleep five seconds after we get to Audrey’s.”
“Let’s hope so, otherwise he’ll want to eat more candy and then he’ll never go to bed.”
PCPD: Squad Room
Lucky was not in the mood for whatever scheme Sam had cooked up, but he saw the eyes of the uniforms behind him. “Okay,” he said, reluctantly. “Let’s go talk. You can tell me what happened—”
“I just told you—” Sam wrenched out of his grasp when he touched her shoulder, intending to direct her towards his desk. “I told you what happened. Go do something about it!”
“I need a few more details. Sam, you can either file a full report or go home. These are the options,” Lucky said, and his tone must have broken through because she scowled, then marched over to his desk and sat down.
“I want you to arrest him. Tonight. Go find him—”
“First, you tell me what happened.” Lucky sat down, picked up a pencil and reached for his notepad. “Where were you and what was the threat?”
“I was just minding my own business, going to Kelly’s, and he was there with your whore ex and their bastard—”
His fingers clenched around the pencil, though of course it wouldn’t be a surprise that they were out as a family on Halloween. He exhaled slowly. “What did he say to you?”
“He told me no one would even miss me if I disappeared, and that’s not true! But he—” Sam’s voice shook, and he looked up to see fat tears sliding down her cheek. “He told me that I had to go away. To leave Port Charles. He wants me gone, and if I don’t leave on my own, he’ll make me go—”
Lucky frowned. “He told you all of this with Elizabeth and the kids right there?”
She narrowed her eyes. “Are you calling me a liar?”
Lucky had little doubt that there had been some kind of run-in with Jason that night, but the words rang him false. He’d known Jason Morgan for a decade. A few weeks ago, he thought, he might have leapt to accept the story.
But tonight, after reviewing the cold case file of two murdered young women, Lucky was just tired. And in no mood for Sam’s schemes.
“I am asking you if Elizabeth heard him,” he said carefully, “because then she could be a witness—”
“She’d just lie! You know that! That’s all she does is lie—”
“It happened at Kelly’s?” Lucky said. “There’s security cameras there—”
Sam nodded. “Yes. Yes. They’ll show what happened. You’ll see it. I just went into the courtyard and they were there, and he grabbed me and yanked me into the alley. Look—” She dragged up her sleeve — but there wasn’t a single mark. “It’s red—”
“It’s not.” Lucky set down his pencil. “You’re not going to tell me that maybe you said something to start a scene?”
“So what if I did, that makes it okay—”
“It makes it understandable if you started calling Elizabeth names in front of her kids that Jason would want you to get away from her—”
“He doesn’t have the rights to put his hands on me. That’s assault!”
“Uh huh. Well, I’ll go the diner in the morning. Get the tapes.” Lucky shrugged. “We’ll see what it says.”
“No! No!” Sam leapt to her feet. “You have to go after him now! Tonight! I want him arrested!”
“You mean track him down while he’s out with the kids, so Cameron can watch him be arrested,” Lucky said, and the flush in her cheeks only deepened. Bullseye. “Not a chance, Sam. It’s not a high priority, and it’s just your word against his. He’s not a flight risk. I’ll pull the tapes—”
Sam growled and swiped at his desk, shoving files and anything else to the floor. The uniforms at the desk snapped to attention, but Lucky held them off with a hand. “You’re a weak bastard! You won’t even act when I’m giving you everything!”
Lucky hoped, even on his worst day before he’d lost the custody case, he wouldn’t have jumped at the chance to humiliate Jason in front of the kids—in front of Cameron, who had already seen too much. But he knew himself better than that. He’d already done it once — arrested Jason the night the man had brought Jake home. He’d done that in front of Cameron—
“You’re giving me a story that I have to verify,” Lucky said. He rose to his feet. “You can sign the statement, and I’ll pull the tapes. Or you can go home and forget all of this. Those are the options, Sam—”
“Go fuck yourself. I’ll take care of it myself,” she spat and stalked out. He sighed, and started to clean up his desk.
He didn’t want to get involved, but for the sake of the boys, he’d call Emily in the morning and ask her to pass on the message to Jason and Elizabeth — Sam wasn’t going away quietly.
For now, he’d clean up his desk and go back to hoping for a miracle — that a lead would break in Georgie and Chelsea’s case.
General Hospital: Nurse’s Station
Emily checked her watch. “An hour. Sixty minutes until we get out of these scrubs and go have some fun.” She nudged Robin in the shoulder as she stepped into the nurse’s station. “Are you ready?”
Robin bit her lip, looked at the doctor from the corner of her eye. “You’re going to be mad.”
“Oh—you’re not ditching me, are you? Come on. Kelly and Lainey still think I took the wrong side in the divorce—”
“Oh, I wish you wouldn’t say it like that,” Robin grumbled. “Just call it a breakup—”
“I would, but your roommates have decided that it’s more like a divorce, and we’re the kids choosing between Mom and Dad.” Emily rolled her eyes. “I love them, but—”
“But sometimes they support you so much that you want to set them on fire. I get it. They mean well, but I don’t have the energy for their kind of support.” Robin shook her head. “Go out with them tonight. Have a few drinks. Ogle some guys. You’ll be fine.”
“Why are you ditching me?” Emily demanded, planting her hand on her hip. “Give me one good reason.”
“I’m tired. I just want to go home, curl up in bed, and just—” Robin returned to the computer, tapped a few keys. “I want to go to sleep.”
“Did you ever make an appointment with your doctor?”
Robin made a face. “No. It’s just—”
“Robin. You promised me you would do that. Over a week ago. Listen.” Emily stepped closer, lowering her voice. “I know how hard it is to lose someone you love so violently. My dad died of a heart attack, but he might have survived if he hadn’t had to wait for medical attention. And there are days that still make me stop, to force myself to stop looking for him everywhere I go at home.”
“And I’m not saying that six weeks is enough time to get over what happened — a lifetime won’t be—”
Six weeks when it felt like a life time— Robin’s thoughts stuttered to a stop. Six weeks. She swallowed hard. Georgie had been murdered on September 14. Her service had been a few days later. And it was now October 31.
“Robin?” Emily touched her shoulder. “You just went all pale and weird. What’s up?”
“It’s been six weeks.”
“Yes,” Emily said, a bit hesitantly. “I know. And it’s—”
“No. No. That’s not—” Robin scrubbed her hands down her face. “Never mind. Never mind. Um, look, tell Kelly and Lainey that I dipped because I was tired. I promise we’ll do something next week, okay?”
“Okay,” Emily said, a bit hesitantly. “Maybe I should call them and tell them I won’t come here—”
“No. No. You should, and if you’re nervous about hanging with Kelly and Lainey on your own—” Robin looked around, her attention snagged on the pretty dark-haired nurse at the other station. “Leyla.”
Leyla Mir turned, frowned slightly. “Yes? Did you need something?”
“Do you have plans tonight?” Robin asked. “Emily needs some reinforcements since I’m dropping out of Girl’s Night. Why don’t you go with her?”
Leyla looked at Emily. “When?”
“Oh. In about an hour — well an hour and some change,” Emily corrected. “I have to change. You in?”
“Sure. I’ll be done then, too.” Leyla picked up her chart. “Sounds like fun.”
Hardy House: Living Room
Jason had predicted correctly — the adrenaline rush of the night caught up with Cameron nearly ten minutes after they arrived at Audrey’s.
He’d been on the sofa playing with his action figures while Jason changed Jake’s diaper and Elizabeth and Audrey sorted through the candy. One second, he’d been planning the death of his Deadpool character — and then the next, he was leaning back, his little mouth open and his eyes closed.
“Oh, uh oh. Man down.”
“He had himself quite the adventure,” Audrey said. “You should change him into his pajamas so you can just put him to bed when you get home. Before he’s completely out.”
“Yeah, otherwise, he might get his second wind.” Elizabeth retrieved the PJs she’d brought just for that reason and went to the couch, carefully stripping off the costume. Cameron grumbled but didn’t really fight.
“He seems so happy,” her grandmother murmured, and Elizabeth looked over at her. “He’s adjust well to everything that’s happened.”
“Better than I thought,” Elizabeth admitted. “I worried, I guess. This last year, he’s been through so much.” She stroked Cameron’s curls. “From the apartment to here to living at the house, then here again, and now another new room. But it’s been smoother than I expected. Than I deserved, really.”
“Jason seems to have an excellent relationship with him.”
“He and Cameron connected almost instantly, but it helped that Cam already knew him.” Elizabeth slipped socks onto Cameron’s feet, then came back to tuck away the costume for playtime use.
“Have you talked to Cameron about the adoption?”
“No, no, I think he’s just a little young to really understand it. He doesn’t ask for Lucky anymore. Not since, oh, I think, a week or two after we moved into the penthouse. Jason’s home with them everyday, so I guess he doesn’t even notice Lucky isn’t around. He wasn’t around much this last year anyway.” Elizabeth started to pack the candy back into the buckets, having divided it more evenly between Cameron and Jake’s, so that Spinelli would have some to enjoy, too. “We thought that once we start calling Jason Dad around Jake, Cameron might just…”
“Start doing it, too?”
“Or it’ll help us start the conversation, at least. I don’t know. How did you handle it with Gramps and Uncle Tom?” Elizabeth asked. “He was around the same age, wasn’t he?”
“Oh, well, we didn’t even bother with adjustment. I just started to referring to Steve as Daddy, and Tommy went along with it.” Audrey glanced up as Jason came back from the kitchen, with Jake in his own pajamas and freshly diapered.
“He didn’t make it long,” Jason noticed, handing Jake to Elizabeth. “Do you want to head home? We’ll see you tomorrow, right?” he asked Audrey. “For Elizabeth’s birthday?”
Elizabeth wrinkled her nose. “Oh, we don’t have to do anything—”
“Hush,” her grandmother said, smacking her hand playfully. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world. But you better take my great-grandbabies home and tuck them in safely. Thank you for bringing them by and letting me enjoy them.”
PCU Campus: Kappa Sigma House
“This party is stupid,” Lulu grumbled, folding her arms over her white robes. “And my hair itches. Why can’t you ever let me make changes?”
“Leia is, like, iconic for the buns,” Dillon said, glaring at her. “Why’d you put me in charge of the costumes if you were going to complain all night?”
Spinelli just rolled his eyes and swirled his orange soda in the red plastic cup he carried. Lulu and Dillon had spent too much time bickering with one another, and it mostly felt forced, he thought. As if they wanted to bring back their old dynamic of Dillon taking movies too seriously, and Lulu making fun of him —
But it didn’t work anymore. Georgie wasn’t here to take Dillon’s side, and Spinelli couldn’t pipe up with any of his weird movie facts that would cut all the tension — Maxie had refused to come along, so there was no one to be sarcastic and call them losers —
Everyone had had their own little role to play in the group, and now it was empty.
“I don’t hate the hair,” Lulu said, suddenly. She exhaled slowly, looked at Dillon. “I’m sorry. I’m just—I thought if we came tonight, if we tried—”
“Yeah.” Dillon hesitated. “Let’s do something else. Why don’t we go grab Maxie and Coop and we’ll head over to the pool house on the Q estate?” he suggested. “We’ll just—we’ll do something that’s just us.”
“He means we’ll watch movies and argue about them,” Lulu told Spinelli, “but yeah, that’s better than this. Let’s go.”
Morgan Penthouse: Living Room
“Well, they’re both sound asleep,” Elizabeth said, stepping off the last step just as Jason set the phone back on the receiver. “Who was that?”
“Spinelli. He’s going to spend the night with Dillon.” He drew her into his arms, and she went, happily. “So it’s just us.”
“Oh.” Elizabeth raised a brow. “Really? All by ourselves with the whole downstairs to ourselves? We don’t have to worry about Spinelli coming in and surprising us? Whatever will we do?”
“I have a few ideas.” He dipped his head, kissing her, softly, lingering over it. He didn’t mind Spinelli living here — and he knew Elizabeth and the kids loved him. But it was nice, every once in a while, to have Elizabeth and the place to himself.
“Sometimes, I wish we’d had more time by ourselves,” she said wistfully. “You know. Dating before we became parents. Does sound selfish?”
“No.” He slid his hands down, tucking them into the back pockets of her jeans. “Being able to just take off, go for a drive without thinking about who’s going to watch the boys—I get it.”
“But…” Elizabeth slid her hands down his chest, smiling up at him. “But I also love it. Being out there with you tonight, watching you chase after Cameron to keep him safe but also letting him be a wild and crazy kid—I hope it never gets old. That I never stop appreciating how amazing it’s been these last few weeks.”
“You won’t, and neither will I. I love watching him experience life, and to do all these little things. To be with them everyday when I thought I’d never get to be in Jake’s life at all—” Jason shook his head, with a bit of amazement. “I just wish I could promise it’ll always be like this.” When she frowned slightly, he added, “Quiet, I mean. I have to start going back to work a bit more. Sonny was holding things down because of custody—”
“But it won’t be all the time. I told Sonny that I want time. That I need it for us.” He kissed her again. “It won’t be like the last time you lived here, Elizabeth. I promise.”
“I believe you. And I wasn’t worried about that. We’re different now.”
“Actually—” Jason stepped away from her and went to his desk, opened the drawer. “There was something I wanted to talk to you about. To, uh, bring up when the custody hearing was over, and your divorce was close to being finalized. Diane said it would be another week, maybe two?”
“Something like that, I forget the actual date, but yes. She wanted to give me the name change paperwork so I can go back to Webber, and we’ll need to take care of the boys—”
“I was thinking maybe you could hold off. On taking back your maiden name.” Jason held out a ring box, flipped open to a diamond ring.
Her eyes widened, as she looked at it for a long moment, then at him. “Jason.”
“If it’s too soon, that’s okay. I just wanted you—”
He stopped, swallowed. “Yes, it’s too soon, or—”
Elizabeth rolled her eyes and put her arms around his neck. “Yes, I’ll marry you. Just name the time and place. I should have said yes the first three times you asked—”
“As long as you said it eventually.” He kissed her, then slid the ring on her finger where the stone caught the light. “Happy early birthday,” he told her, then kissed her again, promising himself and her that this was only the beginning.
General Hospital: Parking Garage
“It’s all right if I’m bit a nervous, isn’t it?” Leyla asked. “It’s not as though Kelly and Lainey are my biggest fans — not after last fall—”
“That puts you in good company,” Emily murmured, stopping at the edge of the parking garage, trying to remember where she’d parked that morning. “Oh, okay. I’m down this way. End of the row.” They started towards her car, the only sounds the clicking of their shoes against the concrete.
“Kelly and Lainey don’t love me right now either because of Patrick, so at least I’ll have an ally,” she told Leyla. “They’ll have to get over it sometime, because I’m not in the mood—”
Leyla had fallen a step or two behind Emily because of her shorter legs, so it took Emily a moment to register the strange grunt she heard — and by the time she was spinning around and heard a sharp cry cut off — all she saw was a blurred figure and something in his hand as he raised it up.
Then her head exploded in pain, and Emily fell to the ground, the vision graying until it went black.
And then there was nothing.