1.03 “Over My Head”

This entry is part 3 of 11 in the series Season One

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sam’s Penthouse: Living Room

Elizabeth hated this place. She hated coming to Harborview Towers, to the penthouse level, to this door. As she raised her fist to knock, she remembered all the times she’d been here, from the beginning of her friendship with Jason to the last time she’d seen him. Standing here with the results of the maternity test, telling him that Sam’s child was still alive, and realizing he intended to raise Sam’s son.

And continue to deny Jake.

If she’d known he would die less than a week later, she might have…done something different. Said something different. She’d meant it when she told Carly her feelings toward the father of her middle son were mixed, a web of love and hatred so tangled she was almost relieved he was dead.

Because she didn’t have to keep wondering what about her and her son made him stop loving them and take that look out of his eyes.

She knocked briskly, reminding herself it had been almost two years since that conversation, and nearly eight years since she’d come here on a darkened night and fallen in love with Jason all over again. She loved Jake—but had she had the advantage of knowing the future, she might not have shown up.

The door swung open and Sam McCall stood there. The brunette raised an eyebrow. “What?”

Elizabeth sighed. “Can I come in? I wanted to ask you something.”

The other woman pursed her lips, but then stepped back. Elizabeth entered, noting all the changes since she’d been here that day—the pool table had been replaced by a dining table. Not that she blamed Sam, but it did make things look quite different. She smiled when she saw Danny sitting on the couch, gingerly touching an iPad.

Sam followed his gaze and offered an awkward smile. “There are a few really good games on it. Helps him settle before his nap.”

“Oh, I know. Cam begged me for one for Christmas, showing me a bunch of educational apps on Emma’s.” Here was common ground. “Jake, though, can’t be bothered. He’d rather run around all day to tire himself out, and then fall asleep with a book in bed.”

Sam nodded and cleared her throat. “He definitely sounds like Jason’s son.” She paused and looked down. “Does…he read travel books?”

“I bought him a few kid’s tourist guides,” Elizabeth confirmed. “He likes the pictures, likes planning where he’ll take me and his brothers one day when he signs a contract with the Phillies.”

Sam lifted her eyebrows and a genuine smile spread across his face. “The Phillies, huh? What happened to the Yankees?”

“He’s never been like everyone else.” Elizabeth glanced at Danny again and her heart softened, because he looked like her little boy. “Sam…I wanted to give you a heads up because I know…this was a difficult secret for you, but Monica wants to claim Jake as part of her family.”

Sam drew her brows together. “You’re going to tell everyone?”

“Well…” Elizabeth fiddled with the strap of her purse. “It’s not like it was a state secret. There were so many people who did know—” She hesitated. “Granted, most of them don’t live in Port Charles anymore, but…Monica’s just…lost so much.”

“Is this about me not wanting to declare Jason dead?” Sam demanded. “Because Tracy’s been bugging me for months about it, and I just…” She huffed. “I should have figured. Monica names Jake as Jason’s son, and because Jake is older than Danny, he becomes Jason’s legal next of kin.”

Elizabeth turned her head slightly, bewildered. “I-I don’t—”

“And then Tracy gets what she wants—me away from her precious ELQ.” Sam rolled her eyes. “And of course, you’ll be Jake’s proxy, so Danny will lose his ten percent and the son Jason didn’t want will get his other son’s inheritance.”

Elizabeth blinked at those words. Of course, she knew they were true, but it didn’t make it easy. “Sam, I don’t know anything about ELQ. I guess Monica coming forward means Jake would be eligible for the five percent Edward left to his other great-grandchildren, but I promise you, I didn’t know about Jason’s proxy. I don’t even care about it. I’ll probably sign Jake’s proxy over to Michael or even Ned.”

“Is that why you’re here? To give me a heads up?” Sam demanded. “Why bother? It’s not like you’re asking me for permission.”

Elizabeth closed her eyes, took a deep breath and reminded herself that once, Jason had been important to her. Essential, even. Danny was his son, he was Jake’s brother. “Sam, I came here because I didn’t think you should be blindsided. I also thought that since it would be public knowledge, if you’d consider letting Jake and Danny have a relationship—”

Sam closed her mouth at this and looked away. “It would confuse him,” she said after a moment. “Because he’ll get older and he’ll start asking questions. He’ll want to know why Jake doesn’t have any stories about his father, like an older brother who knew him would. I mean, Jake was five when he died. He should know things.”

“Jake has some memories from the few times he was around,” Elizabeth said softly. “And Cam has a few as well. And Sam, you and I have…stories. We can make sure Danny and Jake know about their father—”

“How would I ever explain to my son that his father didn’t want his other child?” Sam demanded.

Elizabeth actually took a step back. “Sam, I don’t know why you ever…have to say that.” Her throat felt tight. “I don’t even intend for Jake to find that out. I would never want either of Jason’s sons to look at him differently. For…all the problems we had at the end, I loved him very much once.”

“That’s just naive,” Sam retorted. “People are going to ask questions, Elizabeth. They’re going to ask why Jason was having a family with me and refused your son—”

“Well, I’m sorry, Sam, but I don’t know what to tell you.” Elizabeth braced a hand to her forehead and then dragged her hands through her hair. “I mean, maybe you know why he wouldn’t come forward after you guys got married. I asked him.”

Sam pursed her lips. “I asked him, too, you know. I told him I wouldn’t care, so if you blame me—”

“I don’t…” Elizabeth just shook her head. “Sam—”

“Because I told him he should be in Jake’s life, if that’s what he wanted. I would make it work, but I thought maybe he…” She looked away. “It’s not like I was wild about the idea, but I figure after Jason forgave me for letting him get kidnapped, the least I could do was paste a smile on my face about the whole thing, but he told me he was never going to come forward. That he didn’t want people to know.”

Never going to come forward.

Elizabeth was wrong—she hadn’t fallen out of love with Jason Morgan, because clearly she still cared enough for those words to pierce her heart. “Did…he say why?” she asked softly.

Looking miserable, Sam just shrugged. “He said it would confuse people. Confuse Jake. And that…” She grimaced. “C’mon, Elizabeth, don’t make me say it.”

“He didn’t want to come forward because he didn’t feel like Jake was his son,” Elizabeth said quietly. “I wondered if it…might be like that. I didn’t give Jason the opportunity at first, and by the time I was ready, Jason didn’t feel like he even had a son.”

“I don’t know if that’s…” Sam sighed. “Yeah, I mean, maybe it was part of it. I don’t know, Elizabeth. It never made much sense to me. Because I remember when Jake was born, and when he was kidnapped…” She pressed her lips together. “Both times. And I knew Jason loved him. So I don’t know if he was just telling himself he didn’t love Jake, but…”

“It never felt like he did.” Elizabeth stared at the floor. “I thought…maybe to protect himself from the pain of not being his father, he just closed his heart to him. And maybe by the time he was ready to start a family with you, he couldn’t reopen it.”

“Maybe.” Sam hesitated. “Listen, Elizabeth, I get that Monica wants to know her grandson. I’m sure Tracy’s paws are all over this plan. Don’t let them use you like this.”

“Sam, it’s not like that—Monica’s lost all of her children. She just…wants to cling to the family she has left. Michael, Jake and…” Elizabeth glanced over her shoulder where Danny was still playing with the tablet. “Danny.”

“Danny doesn’t know Monica as his grandmother.” Sam lifted her chin. “Jason wasn’t close to the Quartermaines anymore. I’m just…honoring him.”

“He did…care for Monica.” Elizabeth drew her bottom lip between her teeth, but she knew Sam was partially telling the truth. “Sam, Jason’s gone. I know you might not want to accept that, and I can’t…blame you. I wouldn’t…have had him declared dead in those first few months either. But…” She was quiet for moment. “Jason would have found his way home by now. Nothing would have kept him from…” Her heart clenched. “From you and your son. I know that. I didn’t…always want to, but I did.”

“I’m glad you do, but I’m not ready to declare him gone yet,” Sam said firmly. “I’m…just not ready. I know I’m dating again, and I’m doing that for my son, to have a life, but without a body…I just…don’t want to. And I don’t appreciate Tracy sending you to do her dirty work—”

“That’s not…” Elizabeth shook her head. “Sam, at least think about letting Jake and Danny get to know one another. They’re what’s left of Jason—”

“No.” Sam shook he head. “I have to do what Jason would have wanted, and he didn’t want people to know about Jake—”

“Really?” Elizabeth demanded. “You’re going to cling to that, even though Jason has been dead for almost two years? You’re going to deny Danny his entire family—just forget Jason’s side of the family—”

“If Jason had wanted the world to know Jake was his son, then he would have done it himself,” Sam retorted. “What gives you the right to go against his wishes like this? The money?”

“You know, Sam, I just thought that since Jake and Danny were brothers, you might want them to have a relationship. But I really don’t give a damn what you think.” Elizabeth pointed at her. “I am through letting what Jason wanted rule my life. Jake is my son, and I’ll do as I damn well please.”

PCPD: Commissioner’s Office

Anna stood from her desk and walked towards the middle of her desk to meet Leah and the woman behind her. “Mayor Richardson, I’m glad you could arrange this meeting.” She turned to her new district attorney, her hand extended. “Gia Campbell, I presume?”

“Commissioner Devane.” Gia’s shake was brisk, and she allowed a smile. “I’m excited to come back to Port Charles—I moved away more than a decade ago.”

“We’re ecstatic to have you back,” Leah said, with a warm smile. “When the attorney general called, asking for us to find you a place here, it was merely a matter of waiting for her to finish speaking.” She looked at Anna. “The transfer paperwork just came through my office for your new hires, so they can start as soon as they’re available.”

After the mayor had made her exit, Anna gestured towards the chair in front her desk. “Please, sit. I don’t know what Mayor Richardson has told you about our active cases or the status of our department—”

“I received the highlights,” Gia answered, setting her case down and taking the seat. She removed a legal pad and a pen, ready to make notes. “It seems the primary obstacle is one of your best detectives tends to be related to half the town or somehow otherwise involved with the cases, personally.”

“Yes.” Anna sighed, and leaned back in her chair. “Dante is exceptional, but his biological father is Sonny Corinthos. His aunt was Connie Falconeri, who was murdered, and his child was stolen by Britt Westbourne. That’s why I asked the mayor for two more detectives.”

“Yes, she mentioned you’re forming a major crimes unit.” Gia checked her pad. “Sly Eckert and Parisa Ahmadi. Eckert used to live in Port Charles, I think. I remember hearing his name—” She smiled. “I was friends with his cousin, Lucky, when I lived here.”

“Lucky was on the force before my tenure, but yes, his cousin lived here until he was maybe fifteen or sixteen.” Anna frowned. “I’m not sure, but he wanted to move back here, and I wanted someone who had knowledge of the town without any real connections to the players. Ahmadi is out of New York City, but she worked in Queens. Neither Dante nor Nathan are familiar with her.”

“Fresh blood is good.” Gia flipped a sheet. “Let’s talk about where you’re concentrating your resources and how I can help.” She hesitated. “I know, in the past, the DAs have taken an overly personal interest in your cases—downright interfering. I don’t see how that’s gotten the department anywhere, so I don’t intend to do the same. However, I do want to know what’s going on.”

“Fair enough.” Anna slid her glasses on and glanced at her own notes. “At the moment, we’re concentrating on Britt Westbourne and AJ Quartermaine. The Quartermaines, as you well know, are prominent and they want this solved as soon as possible. Our two prime suspects have alibis.” She sighed, thinking of Duke and his lies to her. She could see them for lies when she looked in his eyes. “I’m hoping to shake that up a bit by assigning Nathan and Sly.”

“All right. Now, I know you’re having difficulties in dealing with Britt Westbourne.” Gia tapped her pen against the legal pad. “I’ve been looking into the law a bit, and it’s unfortunate we can’t charge her with stealing the embryo. But…” she drawled.

Anna leaned forward. “I’m game for anything you want to try. She’s lost her job at the hospital, and her medical license was suspended, but she still refuses to sign custody over to Dante and Lulu.”

“I’ve been studying the timeline of events…Westbourne knew before she took the other embryos that Maxie Jones was not carrying Dante and Lulu’s biological child, am I correct in that?”

“Yes.” Anna leaned back and flipped through the relevant file. “Maxie’s appointment was in mid-January, we have the file, and Britt became pregnant in early February. She delivered slightly early, in September.” She hesitated. “Can you use the timing somehow?”

“Maybe. I’ll need a judge who’s so appalled by what’s happened that he’ll overlook some minor points, but we might be able to create a new standard.” Gia flipped another page. “I’d like to charge Britt with kidnapping.”

“Kidnapping,” Anna repeated. She lifted her brow and nodded. “I see. It’s the logical leap. She knew Dante and Lulu wanted a biological child, and also knew they weren’t getting one from Maxie.”

“Exactly. So, when she took their remaining embryos and used them, she was kidnapping a child she knew they would want eventually. A logical person would think that Dante and Lulu would go back to those embryos when they learned about the loss of their surrogate. The fact that Britt assumed Lulu could just…” Gia flicked her hand. “Produce more eggs…is neither here nor there.”

“But by charging her with kidnapping, you would also be making the argument that an embryo is a child.” Anna pursed her lips. “That, in itself, may be an issue.”

Gia nodded. “That would be the sticking point. I’m hoping that the judge will see that I am not charging her for stealing both embryos, but rather just the one—which became an active, breathing child, and that the kidnapping was not just the act of taking the embryo in January, but it continued. After Dante and Lulu found out about Maxie Jones, they went back to Britt Westbourne to use another embryo, to extract more eggs. She knew what had happened to their child—a child they intended to have. And she kept silent.”

A smile spread across Anna’s face. “I like it. What Britt did was so reprehensible it may just get through the court. And if you limit the argument to an embryo unlawfully implanted in a woman without permission who then had the child…it could really work.”

“And I would make case law.” Gia grinned in return. “If I succeed, I hope to send a message to the rest of Port Charles that the days of Alexis Davis, Ric Lansing and Scott Baldwin are over. I’m going to do whatever I can to see that criminals pay and keep paying.”

Quartermaine Estate: Family Room

Monica set down a sheaf of papers from the hospital and raised her eyebrows at Tracy. “You’re actually going to go out of your way to make sure someone else has their rightful inheritance?”

Tracy scowled and planted a hand on her hip. “Why does everyone seem to think I would scheme to keep Jake Webber out of ELQ? I like Elizabeth. She’s no Sam McCall.”

“Well, that’s certainly true.” Monica leaned back. “What does Ned say? It would mean a lot of paperwork.”

“Yes, well…” Tracy sat on the sofa adjacent to Monica’s perch in the armchair. “There are a few details we’re taking care of. Namely, declaring Jason legally dead, and thanks to you, we finally have the leverage to do that.”

Monica frowned. “I don’t see how I’m helping or why you’d bother.”

“Because Jason died almost a month before Daddy did, which means he was not entitled to that ten percent.” Tracy flipped open a folder. “Now, I’ve been consulting with Ned on the best way forward, and since Jason was single at his death, his legal next of kin are his children.”

“Ah.” Monica nodded. “And Jake, as the eldest, takes precedence. Which means, Elizabeth, acting on his interests, could petition so Jake could receive his inheritance. The only problem with that, Tracy, is that we don’t know if Jason ever included Jake in his will—”

Tracy waved her hand. “Monica, you underestimate me. I contacted Diane Miller regarding the matter. Now, she told me first she could tell me nothing, but…” She smirked. “She realized it would be common knowledge, and she likes Elizabeth, as well, and it’s been troubling her.”

“Why?” Monica reached for cup of tea. “Did Jason leave something to her?”

“Jason…the dumb bastard…changed his will in December of 2008 and never updated it.” An unholy gleeful smile spread across Tracy’s face. “He leaves a minor bequest to Michael and Morgan, but the rest of it? I mean, absolutely everything else, including property, cash and stocks? He split between Elizabeth and the boys. And by boys, I mean Cameron and Jake receive fifty percent of Jason’s estate.”

Monica choked on the liquid and set her cup down with a clatter. “Tracy. You can’t be serious.”

“I knew that bitch was keeping us from declaring him dead for a reason. She loses everything if Jason’s will is read into the record. Down to her fancy penthouse. Elizabeth gets control of everything, including the trust he set up for the boys with their half of the estate.”

“I…” Monica blinked. “He never put Sam back into the will? Even after he married her?”

“No,” Tracy almost sang the words. “Hell, I’d let Jake keep Jason’s percent if it meant getting Sam McCall’s dirty paws off it. Even better—as Jason’s legal next of kin, Elizabeth can petition on Jake’s behalf…to put Danny’s proceeds from his ELQ shares into a trust.”

“Which cuts Sam off even from that stream of revenue.” Monica shook her head. “It’s…not like Jason to ignore something so important. Did…Diane say what his will said before the change?”

“She wasn’t really forthcoming at first, but a few martinis and bitch session about Sam changes that. When we read Daddy’s will, I thought she was bending over backwards to keep Danny and Sam in control, but Diane assumed that we would have Jason declared legally dead months ago. It was unlikely the judge would backdate the date of death, which meant Elizabeth and Jake would split Jason’s shares—possibly Cameron, too, depending on how the will reads. I don’t know the language. She told Sam this months ago—that if Jason’s will is made public record, she would lose everything.”

Monica exhaled slowly, the anger burning in her veins. “It wasn’t about not wanting him to be dead. It was about the damned money.”

“Even better…Sam was taken out of Jason’s will in September 2007. She was taken off all his accounts as well. Something happened to make him cut Sam out completely.” Tracy leaned forward. “And then Diane told me something positively hysterical that I only wish Sam could find out about.”

“Diane’s not real good at this attorney client privilege,” Monica grumbled.

“She likes Elizabeth, and well, Jason’s dead.” Tracy shrugged. “Jason used to change his will once a year, and Diane has his old records going back to when Alexis and Justus handled them.”

“Remind me if Diane Miller is handling anything for me, not to cross her before I die.”

“Elizabeth has been one of Jason’s major beneficiaries since January 2000. At times, her share has been twenty percent, but she’s always been in line to receive part of his estate. Even when he was married to other women.” Tracy looked positively giddy. “I want to tell that whore that not only did Jason cut Sam out of his estate years ago, he left Elizabeth in there for more than a decade, even the son that wasn’t his—”

“Tracy…you can’t tell anyone that,” Monica admonished. “You’d get Diane in trouble.” She hesitated. “Elizabeth isn’t going to help you petition to have Jason declared dead, especially if you tell her she’s entitled to money.”

Tracy frowned. “Why not? What’s wrong with her? Doesn’t she want Jake to have what Jason left him?”

“I’m not sure…” Monica said, slowly, “how Elizabeth would take it that while Jason was running as fast as he could from them in life, towards a life with Sam and a little boy he didn’t even know was his before he died, that in death, he left her control of everything. And if the general public knew this before Jake’s party, they might…”

“They might think she came forward for the estate.” Tracy pursed her lips. “It’s a fair point, Monica. And you’re right. Elizabeth is far too nice.” She leaned back and huffed. “Well, still. I think you should tell Sam that as his mother, you want to put him to rest. You didn’t even get to have a damned service for your son. Bitch.”

Monica raised her brow. “Are…you protecting me or do you just hate Sam that much?”

“It’s a tossup.” Tracy paused. “Well, even if Elizabeth won’t help declare him legally dead, as CEO of ELQ, it’s my responsibility to see that the shares go to their rightful owner. And Jake is Jason’s legal next of kin. Which means he’s entitled to Jason’s ten percent in the absence of a will that says otherwise.”

Monica closed her eyes. “You just want to make Sam’s life miserable.”

“I deserve to have a little fun, Monica, don’t I?”

Lulu & Dante’s Apartment

“So her office is cleaned out?” Lulu said, a broad smile spreading across her tired face. “Completely?”

“Yes.” Nikolas leaned back on the sofa and remembered the look on Britt’s face as she’d carried her potted plant with her onto the elevator and left the building. “She and Brad’s last day was today.”

“Amazing.” Lulu closed her eyes. “Well, at least we ruined her life. You firing her, and the medical board suspending her. Do you think she’ll lose her license?”

“Oh, with a doubt.” Nikolas eyed his sister. “Does it help? I know…it’s not custody, but—”

“Diane thinks we’ll get custody without any real issues,” Lulu said. “And Dante called me from the station. They’ve got some ideas on how to get Britt after all. He wouldn’t give me any specifics, but maybe…just maybe…if she goes to jail, we get Ben without having to deal with a hearing.”

“Good.” Nikolas nodded. “It’s how it should be, Lu. And I’m going to do everything in my power. I should have bought back into the hospital ages ago, especially after Emily…” He looked away. “I was thinking of donating money for a new cancer ward in her name.”

“That would be lovely, Nikolas.” Lulu hesitated. “So Dante told me something interesting today—that Mayor Richardson finally appointed a new DA.”

Nikolas sighed. “It’s not Ric again, is it? Because I just cannot…”

“Nope. It’s someone you used to know.” She wiggled her eyebrows, clearly enjoying this moment of levity in an otherwise exhausting life. “Do you remember Gia?”

Nikolas blinked and looked at his sister. “Gia…Campbell? My…ex-fiancée?”

“Yep. Apparently, she’s been working in the civil division in Albany, with the attorney general. She was looking for a change of pace, a return to criminal law and the mayor snapped her up.”

“I…” He cleared his throat. “I can’t remember the last time I even…thought about her. I haven’t seen her since…” He hesitated. “God, it must be ten years now. Maybe even more.”

“Well, Dante really liked her. She seemed on her game, and Anna is over the moon because it’s not someone with related to Sonny or someone with a grudge against him. Gia’s all but clean in this town.”

He chuckled to himself, remembering that the reason he’d met Gia was because she’d blackmailed Emily. Clearly, she’d grown up. “Well, don’t forget her brother. Taggart hated Sonny and Jason.”

“True. But still not the same as having had his child or being his brother.” Lulu tapped him on the shoulder. “You should welcome her back to town. You and maybe Elizabeth.” She paused. “Have you talked to Elizabeth?”

“I…AJ died the night of the engagement party,” he said after a moment. “She was on her way home when Monica called her. She’s…been dealing with that…” He stared at his hands. “She’s not returning my phone calls.”

“Well, you were a bastard to her.” Lulu waited a moment. “I know…she and I have had our problems, but she didn’t deserve that, Nikolas. If she was feeling a little smug about unmasking Britt, it’s because Britt has hurt so many people Elizabeth cares about. And I’m not just talking about you.”

“I know.” Nikolas looked at the ceiling. “She hurt you and Dante.”

“And Patrick and Sabrina. You know how protective Elizabeth gets about Patrick, especially after Robin…died. Britt really messed with his head, and messed with Sabrina. I know…people will say she did it because she loves you, and I don’t know…that’s probably part of it all, but at the end of the day, Nikolas?” She leaned forward, trying to catch his eye. “Elizabeth hated Britt before you ever started to date her.”

“She’s going to be angry with me for a while.” Nikolas nodded. “I’ve accepted that, but Lucky and Jason did worse to her—”

“Well, there’s no denying that.” Lulu sniffed. “I love Lucky, and I hated what you and Elizabeth did to him, but…” She grimaced. “I should have stayed out of it. I had…no right to tear her apart in public like that. You know Lucky put her through hell when they were married. Both times. First, with the drugs and Maxie, and then with Sam.”

“Yeah.” Nikolas bowed his head. “I know that—”

“And then Jason walking away from Jake back to Sam—”

“Lulu—”

“I’m saying that I don’t know how Elizabeth trusts anyone at the end of the day, but you…she still held out hope for. And you took that trust and you blew it up. You’re going to have to do more than just apologize if you want her to forgive you.”

Drake Home: Living Room

Maxie pursed her lips and then drew them back to make sure her lipstick hadn’t smeared or made it to her teeth as she had nibbled on a muffin. “So, I’ve spent the last few days finding out what’s going on.”

On the sofa adjacent to her, Patrick sighed and sipped her coffee. She loved her cousin-in-law, she really did. Particularly because he was a forgiving person, and God knew, she’d done enough to piss him off.

“Since you wouldn’t give me any information when I got home.” She snapped her compact mirror shut and placed it back in her purse. “I talked to Dillon—”

Patrick frowned. “What would Dillon even know?”

“Oh, he knows tons!” Maxie straightened her shoulders. “He’s always been closer to Lulu than me, you know, so he knew about my…” She waved her hand. “Um. Stuff. And since Lulu is so up on the Britch, he knew all about the crap she pulled last year.”

He rubbed his forehead. “Maxie—”

“Hey, Patrick, I have very few people in this town willing to open their doors to me. Now, maybe you do it out of family obligation, but whatever, I’ll work with it.” She leaned forward, crossing her arms on her thighs. “I love you. I have not made your life easy, but that’s part of the new me. To offer you someone who absolutely never judges you. I know you’re pissed about Robin going. I can see it in your eyes. And God knows what you’re dealing with on the Sabrina front.”

“She’s pregnant. We’re having a baby.” He shrugged. “Nothing to deal with.”

Men. She huffed. “Patrick.”

“What do you want me to say, Maxie?” Patrick shifted on the sofa. “That yeah, I’m pissed at Robin? That I tried to understand why she had to go five minutes after she got home. There are about two minutes every day when I think she’s done the right thing, but the rest of the time, I just want to punch something? And yeah, Sabrina being pregnant is complicated, because I want the baby. I love my daughter, and I want to have another child, but I wonder if that’s why Robin didn’t have any issues walking.”

Maxie exhaled slowly and sat back. “Do you think you made the wrong choice?” she asked softly, prepared to accept whatever answer he offered. “Sabrina adores Emma, she loves you. She’s happy being here.”

“Sure.” He grimaced and dragged a hand through his disheveled hair. “There are moments, but I know…I made the right choice. Sabrina and I…would have worked if Robin were actually…” He shrugged and looked away. “If she’d actually died. But Robin’s alive in the world. And…”

“I don’t know why Robin did what she did,” Maxie said. “And I can’t imagine how hard it was for Sabrina, you know, to be on the verge of being married to the man she loves, have him walk away, and then try to be okay with it when he chooses the dead wife. I’m sure she’s trying to be understanding—”

“I wish she’d be angry with me,” he muttered. “It would make this all easier. But…she’s…nice. At the base of who she is, she’s generous.”

Maxie snorted. “I’m sure I don’t know what that’s like. It’s certainly not me. And it’s not you. That’s the thing we have in common. At our core, Patrick, we’re selfish people who taught ourselves not to be. So we fall back sometimes.” She leaned forward and popped a piece of her muffin her mouth. “We’re works in progress. So you go ahead, and be angry. You should be. But don’t get pissy with Sabrina because she’s handling this the way that works for her.”

“Fair enough.” Patrick eyed her. “What are your plans?”

“Now that I’m back, living in an apartment I can barely afford with no job prospects and no friends?” Maxie pursed her lips. “I’m starting over. Maxie 2.0. Or…if we’re going to be honest, Maxie 8.5. I…” She twisted her fingers. “I thought about calling Lulu. I talked to Dillon. He thinks she’ll eventually forgive me, but he thought I should wait until things are settled with her new custody problems.”

“Yeah.” Patrick leaned back on the sofa. “Probably better not to remind her of another baby she’s lost. But Lulu’s used to your antics, and…” He hesitated. “I can see how you talked yourself into thinking it would all work out. It’s a you thing to do.”

“Yeah.” Maxie wiggled her shoulders. “But I’m working on not being that person again. I just…have to figure out what to do with my life. Connie’s gone, so Crimson is long gone, and I’m unlikely to see another Kate Howard walk through my door.” She grimaced. “I wish Chloe Morgan were still around. Her fashion company was based out of Port Charles for a while when I was a kid, but after Jax left her to search for Brenda—though since she turned out to be alive, maybe not the dumbest thing he’s ever done—she headed back to London.”

“So maybe Port Charles isn’t where you should be.” Patrick reached for his coffee. “What about New York or Paris?”

“Ha. I can barely afford Port Charles, and if weren’t for my parents subsidizing me, I wouldn’t be able to afford even my own apartment. Especially since my roommate decided he wasn’t into cohabitating with a woman he’s not boinking and moved out.” She wrinkled her nose. “Whatever.”

“Have you…” Patrick paused. “Thought about talking to someone?”

“I am talking to someone,” Maxie said, frowning. “What, you want me to stop? I know I talk a lot, but…”

“No, no, I mean…” He hesitated, as if looking for the right words. “Someone professional. You’ve had a rough year. I know you went out to find yourself, but you’re still…not there, Maxie. Maybe it’s not something you can work through on your own.”

“What, like a shrink?” Maxie tilted her head, considering it. “It’s a thought. Have you taken your own advice?”

“There’s nothing wrong with me time won’t fix. I recovered from Robin dying okay, I can deal with her walking out.”

Maxie snorted. “All right, sure. It’s adorable when you lie to yourself.”

Kelly’s: Courtyard

Britt stepped into the courtyard, blowing steam from the top of her coffee and stopped when she saw Brad Cooper standing in front of her. “Oh. Hey.”

“Hey.” He nodded at her and then shifted. “Today was your last day, too?”

“Yeah.” She sighed. “I guess I should say I’m sorry—”

“You wouldn’t mean it, so why bother?” He shrugged and looked away. “I shouldn’t have helped you. I ruined everything in my life doing it—maybe I got a promotion, but I lost any chance to stay at GH, to keep Lucas…” He looked back at her. “You don’t care about this, but I’m heading down to New York to stay with friends. Cassadine told me if I didn’t fight the dismissal, he wouldn’t see me blackballed.”

Britt snorted. “I guess he saved the revenge for his fiancée.” Inside, she boiled knowing that Brad would be able to start his life over. She had lost her career—she would probably never get it back.

“I’m surprised to see you’re still in town,” Brad said. “I would have thought you and your mother would have disappeared by now.”

“My mother promised me that I’ll be able to keep my son.” Britt lifted her chin. “She got herself a pardon, she can get a custody hearing fixed and my license fixed. Once I know Ben will be mine legally forever, I’ll go. I’ll move to California or Oregon and get certified there. I’m not letting this town think they’ve won.”

“Okay.” He shrugged. “See ya around.” He paused. “I’d like to say it’s been nice knowing you, but actually Britt? It’s been a goddamn disaster.”

Jacks Estate: Entry

Carly pulled open her door and rolled her eyes. “God,” she said, directing her words to the ceiling. “I know I’m not one of your favorites, but maybe we don’t remind me so often.”

“Ha, Carly. Very funny.” Ric arched an eyebrow. “Can I come in?”

“Um…unlikely.” She leaned against the door jamb and arched her brow. “You have thirty seconds.”

“Well, I wanted you to know that while I was in California, I sought help to get over my Sonny issues.” He hesitated. “And naturally, you came up.”

“Therapy, huh? Yeah, you needed it.”

“Listen, Carly.” Ric rubbed his forehead. “I can’t ever…make what I did to you right, but I can just try to make amends. I’m trying to be a better person–”

“Oh, please.” Carly snorted. “It’s not possible. No one changes, Ric. We start out selfish, we stay selfish. We all make choices. I don’t need your sob story. I have enough of my own.”

He nodded. “Fair enough. But you know, for me, I needed to say I was sorry. It doesn’t…change anything. But you know…confession is good for the soul.”

She pursed her lips and tapped her fingers against the frame of the door. “You’re done with Sonny? I mean absolutely done?”

“Yes.” Ric nodded. “I wish we could be closer, we were once, but he’s not really a man I think I want to know anymore.”

“Well, that’s true.” She hesitated. “Look, you’re right. What you did to me all those years ago…there’s no amends for that. I’m mostly past it, because God knows, I’ve had shit luck since then. And it’s not like I’ve never gone out and done exactly what I thought would destroy someone else.” After a moment, she nodded. “We’re done. It’s over. You’re absolved. Go forth and be a better person. God knows, one of us should try it.”

Ric frowned. “Carly, is everything okay?”

She rolled her eyes again. “Yeah, I didn’t tell Elizabeth, I’m not telling you. You’ve had your thirty seconds.”

And then she closed the door.

General Hospital: Nurse’s Station

Sabrina Santiago sighed and set a chart down, rubbing her head with her free hand. “Ugh. I need to get some sleep.”

“Well, until you eject the basketball,” Felix DuBois murmured as he stood next to her, “you’re unlikely to get a decent night.”

She sighed and glanced over at the empty office inhabited by Britt until earlier that day. “It’s hard to believe she’s actually gone.”

“She’s out of the hospital, but she ain’t out of the picture yet.” Felix leaned against the counter. “But if Nikolas Cassadine has anything to say about it, it won’t be long until his sister has her kid, and then hopefully the Britch will take off for greener pastures.”

“From your mouth to God’s ears.” She uncapped her pen and began the arduous process of finishing insurance forms. “I hear Brad’s thinking of leaving town.”

“Good.” Felix nodded. “Otherwise, I might get desperate and fling myself at him from sheer loneliness. He’s got some good points, but not enough to go around.”

“I never saw anything worthwhile anyway.” She shrugged a shoulder. “Patrick was annoyed with me earlier this week. Emma had the flu, so he missed the appointment where we were going to find out the gender.”

“And you were nice about it, I’m sure, because you’re just a pain.” Felix shot her a half-smile. “He’s just…looking for a fight, to get some of his frustration out, and you refuse to give it to him.”

“Well, what should I have said?” Sabrina demanded. “Oh, Patrick, how dare you stay at home with your daughter? You’re only a single father to an actual living, breathing child that I adore. What an ass you are!” She rolled her eyes. “I’m not giving him a convenient target. I didn’t do anything wrong.”

“Except lie to him about the kid.”

Sabrina scowled as Felix stepped out of the hub. “For five minutes. Geez, Felix—”

“Hey. You picked him, you deal with his faults.”

She pointed her pen at him. “Uh uh, I don’t have to do that anymore. He picked Robin—”

“And she picked Africa.” Felix leaned over the counter. “Maybe this is your chance—”

“Oh, so I can be the default choice?” She clapped her hands in mock excitement. “Yay! Patrick, you love me because Robin’s not here! Let’s be together forever.” Her smile faded into a scowl. “It’s called self-respect, Felix. I have some.”

“Just checking,” he sang over his shoulder as he walked away to do his rounds.

Gatehouse: Living Room

Dillon capped his pen and handed the sheaf of paper back to his brother. “So I’m officially in charge of my own shares again when this is filed, right?”

“Yep.” Ned set the papers in the folder. “Mother will be happy to have you fly in for meetings at least.”

“It’s the least I can do since I haven’t been home other than funerals since I left.” Dillon tapped his fingers on the armchair, restless. “I have a few projects I’m working on, but nothing urgent. I figured I’d stick around. Maybe even base myself out of town. I have enough contacts, I don’t have to stay in LA.”

“You just want to see our mother wreak havoc at ELQ.” Ned grinned. “She’s got it in her head to rejuvenate the family, and ELQ shares are her weapon.”

“Yeah, though she’s probably ecstatic that Skye and Lila Rae don’t show up for the meetings.” Dillon shook his head. “She really hates non-blood members. It’s kind of creepy.”

“Well, I’m sure they’ll sign their shares over to Michael out of loyalty to AJ.” Ned tapped the folder. “There’s something I want run by you. About the shares.”

“Is this about Jason’s ten percent? Because, honestly, Ned, Mom’s been on me—”

“No, no…though this is sort of related.” He hesitated. “When Alan died, he left a will that gave the ELQ shares back to Grandfather, and left his money to Mother.”

“Yeah, I always thought it was weird he didn’t have Monica or Emily—” Dillon stopped and sighed. “What did she do?”

“Forged the will.” Ned leaned forward. “Alan left everything to Jason’s unborn children.”

Dillon barked with laughter. “Oh, man, that must have driven her nuts. Jason was still dating Sam McCall at that point. They didn’t know about Jake. So she cut Jake out of Alan’s inheritance.”

“And now she kind of feels guilty. I also think she just hates Sam so much she wants to parade Elizabeth Webber in her face as often as possible.”

“Mom feels guilty,” he repeated. “I may need to see this guilt in action.”

“Well, she’s trying to figure out how to give Jake his cut without including Danny. I told her I’d help.”

“I don’t know what you and Mom have against Danny anyway,” Dillon sighed. “He’s Jason’s son. Why not give him his inheritance?”

“Because Sam would be in charge of it,” Ned said. “And no one wants Sam to have anything more to do with ELQ than we have to. Listen, you know that our mother only has one good deed in her every decade. This decade, she’s choosing to give Jake his inheritance from Alan. Let’s figure out how to get it done and not push it.”

“That is a fair point.” Dillon frowned in concentration. “Well, it works for you guys that Sam wasn’t pregnant when Alan died, so there’s no way he had him in mind. Elizabeth was pregnant with Jake, though right?”

“She was,” Ned nodded. “No one knew yet. She’d had a paternity test, but naturally Sonny and Carly were involved, there was a miscommunication and Jason said something stupid about how it was for the best Lucky Spencer was the kid’s father.”

Dillon shook his head. “Lucky Spencer makes no situation better. Well, if she had a paternity test at GH, Alan would have had access to it. Even it was sealed. He might have found it.”

Ned grinned broadly. “You are such a Quartermaine. So we forge the will to specifically name Jason’s unborn child with Elizabeth Webber.”

“Nah, you gotta make it more realistic.” Dillon squinted. “Maybe split the stock between Michael and Jake. Jason was always partial to him, and Alan would have considered him a grandchild. So Alan left his stocks to his grandchildren and since he named them specifically, and not grandchildren in general—”

“It keeps Danny out of it.” Ned clapped him on the shoulder. “That is good work, Dillon.”

“Well, screwing people over does seem to come natural to Quartermaines.” He shrugged. “I don’t know Sam well enough to care, and if she’s not letting Monica know her own grandson, well maybe it’s for the best to get them away from ELQ. Mom just would have made his life miserable, anyway.”

The Brownstone: Living Room

Bobbie Spencer smiled broadly and stepped back to usher her prospective tenant in. “I’m glad you could come on such short notice.”

Nathan West nodded and stepped into the living room. “Commissioner Devane said you had just recently reopened the Brownstone, so I was hoping I could get in before you received too many applications.”

“Oh, I’m not actively advertising.” Bobbie gestured for him to take a seat. “I mentioned it to Anna and to my son, who works at the hospital.” Her smile deepened. “And I’ve rented to members of the PCPD before. Your new DA’s brother was one of my favorite people.”

“I was subletting from Maxie Jones,” Nathan told her. “But she returned a little earlier than I expected and…” He laughed, slightly uncomfortable. “I don’t really relish living with a woman I’m…” He shifted.

“Not dating?” Bobbie supplied, dryly. “I understand completely. Well, it’s simple here. This place has three floors, and five apartments. The first floor is one apartment and it’s where I live. My son lives on the second floor, and there’s an empty apartment across from him, and two more on the third floor.”

“You don’t need to know anything else?” Nathan raised his brows. “Like…a background check?”

“Honey, Anna Devane recommended you.” Bobbie smirked. “Believe me when I say, further investigation is unnecessary.”

Metro Court Hotel: Restaurant

Julian studied Alexis as she attempted to casually peruse a menu. He reached across the table and plucked it from her fingers. He flipped it and then handed it back. “I think it reads better this way.”

Alexis blinked at him before looking back at the menu. “Well, hell.” She closed it and set it on the table. “I’m sorry. I suppose I’m just distracted.”

Julian nodded and sipped his wine. “You just put your daughter on a plane to a country that’s several time zones ahead of you. Your sixteen-year-old daughter, I might add. I’m surprised you showed up.”

“Ric talked me into it.” She sighed. “And it’s a great opportunity. I do want to see Molly do amazing things. She’s the one daughter I know might actually capitalize on her potential. There’s still hope for Kristina, obviously.”

Julian smirked. “But less for our daughter, you might as well add.” When Alexis’s cheeks flushed, he shrugged. “Listen, Sam and I are still working on things, you know. But I get it. She hasn’t…exactly led an exemplary life.” When she just arched an eyebrow at him, he chuckled. “Not that I have either, but you know what they say—you want your kids to do better.”

“Yes!” Alexis leaned forward. “Exactly. That’s why I push Kristina and Molly so hard with school and with their choices. I want them to be strong on their own. I…” She fiddled with her fork. “I love Sam, I do. And most of the time, everything is fine between us. I love Danny. He’s the highlight of my day when we spend time together, but I just…” She sighed. “She has her PI license and only uses it to get herself into trouble. I thought…when she told me she was seeing John McBain, she was going to be ready to move on from Jason Morgan…”

“But?” Julian prompted when she trailed off. He frowned. “Is she still refusing to have him declared dead? Christ, Alexis, it’s been more than a year. Nearly two. What’s the point of continuing this?”

“Well…” Alexis grimaced. “I hate to say it, but I’m worried…” She looked around and lowered her voice. “I think it may have something to do with money.”

“Ah.” Well, aware of his daughter’s con artist past, Julian glanced down at his menu again. “But wouldn’t she receive money in his will?”

“I’m not sure,” she admitted. “Diane was his lawyer, so she would have drawn it up. And Jason never took Sam off the accounts even after they separated in 2012, even after the divorce was final.” She leaned back in her chair and picked up her napkin. She twisted it in her fingers. “I doubt Danny was in his will, and I’m wondering…”

“If Sam was either.” Julian nodded. “It would explain why she’s not looking to declare him dead, if it meant she would lose the lifestyle she’s used to. She’s lived off Jason, for what? Almost a decade now? Give or take some months when she had that…” He flicked a hand. “That television show. She’s probably used to it. But wouldn’t he have updated it?”

“Maybe.” Alexis paused. “Maybe not. I don’t know. I’ve brought it up a few times, but I don’t think the Quartermaines are going to wait much longer. Tracy is trying to get the shares at ELQ under control with the recent upheavals—between Edward’s death, AJ not being dead, and then actually being dead, then Lauren Frank—I’m sure she’s not thrilled Jason’s ten percent is in Sam’s hands.”

“Why would it be?” Julian asked. “They weren’t married at the time he died. Shouldn’t it go to his legal next of kin?”

“Well, Monica’s soft that way,” Alexis admitted. “She hoped that by allowing Sam to vote Jason’s proxy without argument, she might have access to Danny. Tracy, I understand, fought it, but at the end of the day…she allowed Monica’s wishes to carry the day. But I don’t think it can last much longer. If Tracy had had her way, she would have declared Jason dead back then, and he never would have inherited Edward’s stock.”

“Speaking of AJ,” Julian said, lifting his wine to his lips. “Any movement on that end?”

“No. I…went to the funeral, but I felt like such a fraud since I’m Sonny’s attorney.” She hesitated. “I can say this to you because I’m not representing him in this, but I really…”

“Oh, Sonny did it,” Julian said. “Anyone who doubts that should just look at his son, Michael. He’s got the eyes of a kid who knows just a bit too much about his father. The question is…what triggered it?” When Alexis frowned, he continued, “Why that moment? Why that day? Why in my apartment? My sister is involved, Alexis. I can’t figure out why, but I know it.”

“This is just…” Alexis shook her head. “It’s a train wreck, Julian. Because I’ve known Michael since he was a little boy. He’s close with my girls, part of the family. Sonny’s my client, the father of my daughter.” She tapped her fingers against the stem of her wine glass. “I told Sonny that if he’s arrested for AJ’s murder, I won’t…represent him. He didn’t take that well.”

Julian grinned. “You know, I don’t even have to lift a finger against him. He’s going to self-destruct all by himself.”

Alexis frowned, troubled. “You know, Ric said the same thing.” She cleared the throat. “The exact same thing.”

Oh, not this again. Julian sighed. “I’m not working with your ex-husband—”

“No, no.” Alexis shook her head. “No, I’m beginning to believe, God help me, that Ric came back for Molly and for his other ex-wife. So I don’t think you’re working with him. But…” She pursed her lips. “You’re both right. No one needs to go after Sonny, he’s doomed himself this time. Which makes me wonder…” She tilted her head to the side. “If he did kill AJ, if your sister knows it…why is she protecting him?”

“Oh, the motivation for that is simple.” Julian raised his glass as if in a toast. “There’s something in it for her. I don’t know what, but she’s getting something out of protecting Sonny Corinthos, and God help us all, when she finally gets it.”


Comments

  • Elizabeth tried to be nice but Sam was the same old bitch. I hope Lizzie comes out and takes Everything from Sam. It would be like Jason to have Elizabeth in his will since 2000. Can I ask why not 1999? Parts of this chapter made me mad others I wanted to do a happy dance. lol You’ve got me hooked but hopefully we don’t have to deal with a lot of Sam. Would Elizabeth want to welcome back Gia? They were never really friends.

    According to Lisa on April 26, 2014
  • In my head, Lulu suggests Elizabeth only because, even if you go by the way they aged he, she was a pre-teen when Gia and Nikolas were together, so she’s probably only aware that Elizabeth hung out with them, and that Nik and Liz are the only PC residents left that might remember her.

    According to Melissa on April 27, 2014
  • I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. My out should be writing for GH. Granted I’m a little partial because I’m an Elizabeth fan, but even taking the pro Elizabeth out of it, your story line is very interesting and I love how Quartermaine you are turning Dillon. Love Tracy, always have and always will, I wish GH would do more like her, the person you have to love who at times you want to wring their neck, but overall, at the end of the day she has a heart. You definitely understand the characters of GH that I have always known and loved better than the current writing team does. They need how to write the show to match the characters, be character driven. Love that ELQ will higher Ric. I love that man, when he’s not all about sonny anyway…lol.

    According to Jen on April 26, 2014
  • Sorry I meant to say you should be writing GH…darn autocorrect

    According to Jen on April 26, 2014
  • This is fantastic…can’t wait for the next part. And Dillon showing his ‘Q’ colors…awesome.

    According to Lee on April 26, 2014
  • loved it Sam is a money grubbing manplutive whore. thrilled that the Q’s are on the same side for once. it is bad if your own parents think the worst of you for not declaring your husband dead.

    According to Nicole Barnes on April 26, 2014
  • The entire ELQ and the battle of the (forged) wills storyline has me absolutely giddy with delight. You’re doing such a great job setting everything right and keeping it believable. I’m torn between wanting this to go down fast for instant gratification and stretching it out as much as possible to enjoy every single detailed moment of the downfall of Sam. Although i do hope Danny is looked after. Kid can’t help who his parents are. Love how the storylines entwine, everybody involved gets their moment and everyone basically interact the way they should. Looking forward to ep. 4.

    According to Aradia on April 26, 2014
  • Well your GH is a whole lot better than the stuff on tv….. can you get rid of Felix and Sabrina though– can’t stand them… nails down blackboard can’t stand them… feel so bad for Monica– I wish Emily was still alive as well.. I like her and Georgie as well. Such a mistake to kill them off. I am enjoying your version =-=at least it is faithful to the history of GH. Love Tracy and Monica– working together so great!! Love Ned and Dillon helping Jake as well. I think once Jake was killed off I lost interest in the show after Robin was “killed” off I stopped watching. I hate Franco with such passion that I can’t watch him–worst character in GH history IMO…

    According to Tish on April 27, 2014
  • Your comment reminded me that I hadn’t updated the storyline previews to match the new plotting I did last week. I’ve done so now, so hopefully to cheers you up about Sabrina. I used to like her as well, but she’s too saccharine. I’m going to write her slightly more realistically, but maybe she won’t be around too long 😛 Maybe. I’m weird. (But…I’m going to try to redeem Felix. I have plans for him)

    According to Melissa on April 27, 2014
  • Monica and Tracy’s conversation about Jason’s will was great. It was jaw-dropping and I yelled out “Whatttt??????” like a minion from Despicable Me. I’m sad to see Brad go because I do like his character on GH but he doesn’t really have a purpose on your version of GH. I love that you are bringing back Dillon as a supporting character. I adored his character expect that shitshow storyline where he fell in love with Lulu and Georgie was with Diego. That was a horrendous storyline. I’m also happy that you wrote away the teen storyline. Molly annoys me and I just don’t care for her character.

    Can’t wait to read the next episode.

    According to Cora on April 28, 2014
  • I really like this story. I like Tracy as the leader circling the Q wagons. I like that Elizabeth is realistic about “Jason’s” behavior. I like how the Q’s are looking out for Jake. I look forward to an update!

    According to Oldwoman53 on May 4, 2014
  • Loved it. I was angry that Elizabeth went to that tramp with good intentions and she basically got chopped off at the knees. And I started to hate Jason a little bit more after her tirade. Then I had to remind myself that it was pod Jason that was despicable. I also just love Tracy and her nickname for the tramp, street urchin. It always makes me smile. I also love Gia’s return. I can’t wait until she runs into Nicholas and Elizabeth. And Carly, I’m really loving her and her attitude. Great job!

    According to Felicia on March 3, 2015
  • Sam doesn’t care about anyone, all she sees is dollar signs and what will be taken away from her.

    According to Shelly Samuel on July 6, 2015