It had been a week since Jason had moved out and Elizabeth was weary. She had kicked Diane out of her house, kept from throwing Carly down an elevator shaft at the hospital and liked to think she had won a stare down with Sam at the Metrocourt. She was weary, but determined. She had known better than to try and keep Jason’s identity a secret, but she’d done it anyway and now she knew. She got up from the couch where she was folding laundry to answer the door. She was surprised to see Patrick on the other side.
“Mind if I come in?”
She stepped back and she followed him to the couch after shutting the door. Her voice was confused.
“What are you doing here? I'm a pariah, remember?”
He flashed a smile.
“I’ve heard the rumors.”
Her voice was shaky.
He quickly pulled her in for a hug.
“I know you and I know Nikolas put you in a difficult situation. You could have handled it better, but love does strange things.”
She pulled away and sat down.
“You’re a good friend, Patrick."
“I know. Don't you forget it.” She chuckled. “How are you, really?"
“I should be asking you that.”
“I’d rather not talk about it, although you’re well within your rights to say I told you so.”
"I didn't want to be right."
“It’s not your fault. She made her choice after finding out the truth. That's on her, not you.”
“I'm still sorry.”
They both looked at the door when there was another knock. She got up and answered it. She was even more surprised to see Jason.
“What do you want?”
“I saw Jake after school yesterday and I promised him I would come fix his bike.”
He hesitated when he saw Patrick, but stepped onto the landing.
“It's in the backyard.”
She closed the door, walked past him and sat back down on the couch. She picked up a shirt from the basket and began folding it. She could feel Jason looking at her, but she continued to work. She put the folded shirt on the coffee table and grabbed another. Jason finally moved and headed towards the kitchen.
Once he was gone Patrick commented.
“He looked confused.”
“That's because the last time I saw him I was begging him to stay. Not my finest moment; not that choosing to lie was a good move, either.”
“And now I think I've finally realized I can only count on myself.”
She looked at him and had to blink back tears.
"Is it safe to ask why you did it?"
"The easy answer is because I wanted to be happy, but I thought he'd be happy, too. Jason and I always worked best when it was just us. In my studio, in our safehouse. But when you add in Sonny, Carly, Sam and Lucky we didn’t stand a chance. I should have known better after he went back to Sam last time.”
His voice was thoughtful and kind.
“How come?” She looked at him. He could tell she was debating in her mind. “You know you can tell me anything.”
“Even if it makes Sam look bad?”
He tried to joke.
“Especially so. She left me, you know.”
“How much do you want to know?”
“Whatever you want me to know."
She blew out a breath.
“She watched Jake's first kidnapping."
“What the…she did what?"
“Hid in the bushes and let that woman take Jake. She came to me and told me we were the same since we both lost a child. She told me,” she closed her eyes briefly in memory, “that I could have another baby to replace him. I kicked her out.”
She tried to smile.
“She wouldn't let us on her show so we could appeal to the kidnappers, even threatened to quit her job if Amelia let us on anyway.”
“How could she? That's despicable.”
“That’s not all. A couple months later she hired those men in the park to scare us away from being a family. It worked.”
“Why doesn't anyone know? How could you not tell me? She lived in my home with Emma.”
“We were trying to keep Jake’s paternity a secret. She got her freedom if she kept her mouth shut. Jake was a target because he was Jason’s son and she wasn't his mother. I would have said something if I felt Emma was in danger. I'm so sorry.”
“Me, too," He took a deep breath, “but what’s done is done. So that was it? You guys were over?"
“We met in secret for about 6 months after Emily died. We were even engaged for half a minute or so it felt. I had barely said yes when we got the call saying Michael had been shot in the head. He walked away for good then. Said he couldn't risk our lives.”
He sat up and rested his elbows on his knees.
“And yet he turned around and married Sam and had a baby."
“It wasn’t that fast, but yeah.” She picked up a pair of small pants and folded them. “Anyway, I was a fool for trying to recreate the past.” She put the folded pants on the table with the other clothes. “Enough about me and my terrible choices. How are you and Emma holding up?”
“She's having a difficult time. Between Sam and Robin…”
“I’m so sorry I did this to your family.”
“You didn’t. Sam didn’t have to walk away for a man who doesn’t even remember her, but she did.”
“Why don't you and Emma come for dinner tonight?”
“That’d be great. Emma needs to be around her friends. But I didn’t come over here to beg for dinner.”
“Of course.” He paused. “I got a new job.”
Her eyes widened.
“I'm guessing you don't mean here.”
“No. I got a call yesterday from Chicago Med. They’re getting ready to open a Neurosurgery wing and they want me to head it up.”
“That’s amazing news, Patrick.”
She playfully smacked his arm. He studied her until she shifted.
“What are you thinking?”
“You should come with me.”
“I'm serious. It's a new wing. They'll need nurses and you’re the best one I know.” He looked down when his phone received an alert. “Think about it. We can discuss it later. Can you pick up Emma from school? An accident is coming in with severe head injuries.”
They both stood up and headed toward the door.
"Of course. We'll see you for dinner when you’re done.”
He kissed her cheek and headed out. She went through the house to the back door. She opened it and spoke to Jason.
“I have to go get the kids from school. Let yourself out when you’re done.”
Before he could respond she was making her way back through the house.
She was standing outside the ballroom doors taking a breath before entering into the Gala. She thought about checking her phone for the time, but he wasn’t late yet.
She turned and saw Patrick approaching.
“Hey, I just got here.”
He looked at the closed doors.
“Are we sure about this?”
He smiled at her answer.
“Are we doing it anyway?”
“If we must.” He held his arm out toward her and she hooked her hand through it. “Thanks for being my date.”
“What can I say? I’m a catch.”
“Let’s get you inside before your head floats away.”
They walked into the ballroom and Elizabeth felt like everyone was suddenly looking at them.
“Looks like Carly’s on the warpath. Let’s get you somewhere else.”
Patrick nudged her into the crowd. When they came out on the other side she saw Jason and Sonny sitting at a table near the wall. She caught his gaze, straightened her back, raised her chin after and veered off to the left. She saw Epiphany and Felix at a nearby table.
“You look amazing, girl.”
Epiphany stood up and embraced Elizabeth.
“It's nice to see your gumption."
“It's nice to know I still have it.”
Elizabeth and Patrick sat down at their table just in time to see Sam join Jason and Sonny at their table. She turned so she didn’t have to torture herself. A passing waiter stopped by with a tray of champagne and canapés. They all took a glass and some food and thanked him. Elizabeth raised her glass.
“Here's to being enough by yourself..”
Felix raised his glass.
“Cheers. Love sucks.” Elizabeth looked at Felix quizzically. “Don’t ask.”
Patrick lifted his glass.
“You know how I feel.”
Epiphany looked them all over. She raised her glass.
“You all are a mess. Cheers.”
Elizabeth laughed and drank. Felix wagged his finger at her.
“Girl, what we really need is tequila. I want to witness a legendary ‘lick it, slam it, suck it’ shot.”
Patrick cocked his head.
“She probably doesn’t remember how.”
One of Elizabeth’s eyebrows shot upward.
“Excuse me?” She gave Patrick a look. “I know what you’re trying to do and I’ll let you. Let’s go.”
The four of them made their way through the tables and people and found four barstools next to each other. As they sat down Elizabeth asked the bartender for salt, limes and tequila.
Jason tried to pay attention to the conversation Carly insisted on having, but his attention kept drifting to the foursome at the bar. Jason lifted his bottle of beer to his lips just as Carly snapped at him.
“You’re not paying attention at all.”
“I’m here. What more do you want?”
“Quit looking at her. She is not worth your time. I mean, really. The nerve of her to show up with Patrick, let alone at all.”
“They’re friends, Carly. Friends support friends. That’s what they do.”
“Please. She just wants sympathy.”
Jason looked at Sam. She obviously agreed with Carly.
“Carly, leave him alone. He’s an adult. He’ll figure it out.”
Jason resisted in rolling his eyes at all of them, but it was a struggle. It bothered him Elizabeth didn’t seem upset by their fight. He abruptly stood up and left the table. Carly huffed. Sam whined.
“What does he see in her?”
“Doesn’t matter. I won’t let her sink her claws into him again.”
Jason approached the bar so he could observe Elizabeth without her seeing. She was laughing at Felix who had dropped his lime before he could use it. He cursed inwardly when the group went silent when they noticed him. Elizabeth turned in her seat.
“Elizabeth, can I talk to you for a minute?”
He noticed Patrick’s stare as she slid off the barstool. She put her hand on Patrick’s arm.
“I’ll be fine.”
He motioned to the balcony and she led the way. He swore as they stepped onto the balcony. He pulled off his jacket and held it out.
“I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking.”
She took it carefully and slid it on and wrapped it around her.
Silence settled over them.
“How are you?”
She turned from the view of the city to look at him.
“‘It’s been a rough week, but it’s been fun to come tonight and forget for awhile.” Silence descended again as she studied him. “What is it you really want to know?”
“I heard you and Patrick the other day. The things you said about Sam. Are they true?”
She looked out over the skyline.
“I suppose I deserve that. Yes, it’s all true. You can ask Spinelli. I’m pretty sure he helped you track down the gunmen Sam hired. Or you can talk to Amelia Joffe. She was Sam’s boss when Jake disappeared. She went with you to rescue him.”
He put his hand up and spoke gently.
“Stop. I believe you.”
She spoke but there was no heat behind her words.
“That’s a first.”
“You lied to me about something huge. What did you expect me to do?”
She turned her full body towards him then and pulled his jacket closer around her.
“I expected you to hear me out. I expected you to believe in me as much I believed in you. I expected you not to be looking for an excuse to leave.”
“What? I wanted to marry you. How can you say that?”
“I’ve had a lot of time to think since you walked out last week. At the time I was devastated and desperate trying to get you to stay and listen to me. You believed the worst in me from the moment you found out. How many times did you tell me over the last year you didn’t care if you had a family out there, that you didn’t want to know? And yet you accused me of trapping you, of keeping you from your wife and son. I’m sorry I didn’t realize you would want to know because it was Sam and Danny. If that wasn’t enough you accused me of not wanting you until I knew you were Jason. I thought we had been building something and then Hayden showed up so nothing happened. You have no idea how it made me feel when we found out it was all a lie.”r32;
“How did it make you feel?”
Her voice was sad.
“It doesn’t matter anymore. Last week you treated me like Lucky used to. You could be ugly because you were right. I deserve better.” She took his jacket off folded it in half and held it out to him. “Good-bye.”
The lining on one of the pockets was sticking out of the pocket a little. He tucked it back in and stopped short. He stuck his hand in all the way and pulled out the ring he had placed on her hand just months before. He closed his fist around it and wondered if he’d made a mistake.
Patrick had been watching the balcony doors after Elizabeth left. As soon as she had come back in he was off the barstool and heading her way.
“Are you okay?”
“Not really, so I’m just going to grab a cab and go home.”
“We’ll go together. I’ve had enough fun.”
“Okay. Maybe we can talk about that job offer so more.”
His eyes widened briefly before he smiled.
“Now that’s more like it.”
They headed to the coat room before leaving.
Three days after the gala Elizabeth officially applied for a job at Chicago Med. She was nervous, but if she got the job she wouldn't be going alone so that made things easier for her. Five days after that she found out she got the job. It was now Christmas Eve and she only had one week left at General Hospital. She came out of Room 927 and started typing on her phone.
“Wow, does your boss know you text at work or is that why you’re leaving?”
Elizabeth sent her text and then faced off with Carly.
“Not that’s it’s any of your business, but I am texting this patient’s doctor about some results. Why are you harassing me at work?”
“I know I can harass you anywhere, but it’s fun when your coworkers get to hear what a lying—“
Elizabeth stepped closer and interrupted.
“Do you have something new to say because you flapping your mouth about the same old thing just makes you sound like a petulant child.”
“How dare you—“
“How dare I? You keep getting in my face about keeping Jason from his child when you did it not only once, but three times. If it had been up to you AJ, Sonny and Nikolas would never have known about their children. Get out of my face or I will assault you.”
“Carly.” They looked to see Jason approaching. “Leave Elizabeth alone.”
“I’ll talk to you later.” Carly huffed and stalked off. Jason turned to see Elizabeth going the other way. “Elizabeth.”
She stopped and pivoted.
“I know. I’d just like to work out details so I can spend some time with the boys tomorrow.”
“My shift is over in about twenty minutes. I’ll meet you in the waiting area.”
Jason nodded and she went back to work. It wasn’t long before she was done and back in her regular clothes. He stood up to meet her.
“Walk you to your car?”
“Sure.” The elevator arrived and he motioned for her to go first.” What were you thinking?”
“If it’s okay I’d like to come over early and watch them open presents.”
“They get up early.”
“I know. I’ll be there at seven. Alright?”
They exited on the parking garage lower level.
“I still can’t believe you’re leaving.”
“I can’t either, but I think it’s a good opportunity. I think it’s good to have a fresh start. You can come visit Jake anytime.”
“It’s not the same.”
“No, but it’s better than what we believed a year ago.”
He nodded thoughtfully.
“I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Christmas had been strained with Jason and the boys, but it was over and Elizabeth was now in moving mode. The movers had come three days ago and packed everything up in two days. It was now New Year’s Eve and their last night in Port Charles. She double-checked the lock on the hotel door before slipping through the room to check on her boys. She had let them stay up a little, but not until midnight with them heading out of town the next day. She kissed Aiden who was using the couch for a bed and then Cameron and Jake who were sharing the extra bed. Her phone rang and she grabbed it and headed to the bathroom hoping it wouldn’t wake the boys. She answered it without looking.
“Yes, Patrick. We’re ready to go.”
The voice sounded far away, but she knew that voice. Her body went cold.
There was silence only interrupted by static.
“But it can’t be.” More space over the phone. “Jason? Talk to me. This is impossible.”
“….not me. I’m not in Port Charles.”
“It can’t be. This doesn’t make any sense.”
The voice was still far away, but stronger now.
“...lizabeth, listen to me. It rains in Uzbekistan when you forget your umbrella.”
Her knees gave out and she slid to the floor.
“Jason? Where are you?”
“Vienna? Jason, listen to me. Hang in there. I’m coming to find you.” She took a deep breath. “I’m going to find you.”