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October 22, 2012  

Carly wasn’t all that surprised to see Elizabeth at the bar in The Floating Rib. What did surprise her was the open bottle of tequila in front of Elizabeth. She looked around for her date but he wasn’t around so she sat a few stools down from Elizabeth. She watched Elizabeth realize she was there.

“Hey, Coleman! Get Carly a glass. She needs to celebrate with us.”

Carly frowned. Elizabeth didn’t look like she was happy, let alone celebrating. She looked sad. No, not just sad. Haunted.

Coleman pulled out a shot glass and poured a shot of tequila before placing it in front of Carly.

“What are we celebrating?”

“Today I found out Jason is the father of Sam’s baby. Isn’t that just wonderful?”

Carly almost said yes, but the look on Elizabeth’s face stopped her. She watched Elizabeth down the shot like water.

“It’s not wonderful?”

“Of course it is, Carly. It’s wonderful that Jason finally has a son he’s not embarrassed or ashamed of.”

“Now wait a minute! Jason loved Jake.”

Elizabeth filled her glass again.

“I know.” Her voice cracked. “He just wasn’t enough.”

Carly didn’t know what to say to that as she watched Elizabeth down that shot as well. Elizabeth poured another one. “Maybe it was just me who wasn’t enough.” Carly wasn’t touching that with a ten foot pole. She wasn’t against kicking someone when they were down, but this felt different. Elizabeth looked at her. “I tried to be like you at the end. Always showing up. Never backing down. But once again I was the only one fighting.”

Down went the shot. Carly looked at her warily.

“Maybe you should slow down a bit.”

“It’s nice of you to be concerned, Carly, but I’m not driving.” She picked up the bottle and filled her glass again. Her aim wasn’t completely true so some ended up on the bar top. Elizabeth stared at the mess momentarily. “Darn it. Besides, who would miss me?” She pointed the bottle at Carly. “And you can’t say my kids. That’s a given.”

“Jason would.”

“Maybe. But mostly he’d feel guilty. Because it’s always Jason’s fault, you know. It was Jason’s fault Michael got shot because he took Michael from the Quartermaines...twenty years ago. It was his fault Sam watched Jake’s kidnapping because he.” She made air quotes for her next word. “gave me a child instead of her.” Carly’s eyes widened and then narrowed. She would have to ask Jason about that. “He takes the blame for everything and uses it to walk away.” She threw back the shot. “Just like everyone else in my life.” She chuckled mirthlessly. “How pathetic do I sound?” She traced the rim of the glass with her finger. “You probably think pathetic is my middle name.” Carly gave her a pointed look. Elizabeth was well past caring and laughed. Her words slurred. “So what if I’m pathetic? Let’s drink to that.”

Carly let Elizabeth fill their glasses, but then made eye contact with Coleman. She looked at the bottle and tilted her head to the side to get him to take the bottle. She picked up her glass to toast when Elizabeth did. She downed her shot. Being nice to Elizabeth was not easy but she gave it a shot.

“I’m not sure Coleman can handle any more of your fun tonight. Why don’t we get you home?”

Elizabeth sighed. 

“You’re probably right. This is supposed to be a fun place and I’m just bringing it down.”

She slid off the stool and almost on to the floor, but Carly caught her. Cody came over and picked Elizabeth up and headed for the door. Carly stopped to leave a message with Coleman but saw Jason on the stairs.

“I’ll be back after we take her home.”

......................

Carly made sure Elizabeth got into her house and even waited for her to lock the front door before heading back to the bar. She went straight to Coleman.

“Where is he?” Coleman pointed to the back booth. Carly wasted no time before dropping in the seat across from Jason. “Is it true?”

“Carly.”

“No, Jason. Did Sam watch someone kidnap Jake?”

He sighed.

“Yes.”

She fell back against the wooden booth.

“The first time?”

“Yes.”

She leaned forward.

“I have so many questions but the big one right now is are you out of your mind? How could you be with her after she let someone kidnap your child? You married her. And you forgave her.”

“She saved him from the Russians.”

“And that just makes everything okay? What is wrong with you and Sonny? He married Claudia. You married Sam.”

“It’s not the same.”

“Maybe not, but it’s not right. No father should be that accepting of a woman who did that to his child.”

She slid out of the booth and left.

.......................

October 23, 2012

The pain in her head woke Elizabeth up. That and the sun shining in through the window. She was now sorry she hadn’t closed the curtains before going to work the day before. But she was really sorry for all the tequila she’d drunk the night before. It had seemed like a good idea at the time, but now she just wanted to throw up at feeling so bad. She gingerly slid out of bed as to keep from moving her head a lot. When she got to the bathroom she saw her outfit from the night before in a pile on the floor in front of the shower stall as well as her towel. She didn’t remember showering, but was grateful it was one less thing she’d have to do before picking up her kids from her Grams. She pulled out a bottle of headache meds and tried to figure out why she talked to Carly, but her thoughts were elusive due to the pounding in her head. Hopefully she wouldn’t be sorry. She’d figure it out later. She grabbed her toothbrush. She wanted to get ready to go get her boys.

...................

Later that afternoon Elizabeth was coming back to the nurses’ hub on the Pediatrics floor when she saw Carly and Josslyn at the counter. There was always some heartache when she saw the little girl but she was glad there was good that came from Jake’s death.

“Hey, Elizabeth. How are you feeling after last night?”

“A tad embarrassed. I don’t remember a lot of what I said last night.”

Carly chuckled.

“That’s the fun of drinking.”

Elizabeth smiled.

“I wasn’t calling it fun this morning.”

“I bet.”

“Anyway, thanks for helping me get home last night.”

“It was no problem. I’ve been there before.”

“Maybe so, but I appreciate it.” Carly hesitated before leaving. “Is there something else, Carly?”

“I think Jason was wrong for going back to Sam after what she did to Jake.”

Elizabeth reeled back in shock.

“I told you that?”

“You and tequila were friends long before I showed up last night.”

“I can see that. Thanks for your support. I know it’s for Jake and not me, but thanks. It was hard to understand after the kidnapping and the gunmen.” Elizabeth’s pager went off so she didn’t see Carly’s eyes widen at the word gunmen. “Sorry, Carly. I have to go. Thanks again.”

Elizabeth was out of the hub and down the hall before Carly could respond. She didn’t know Carly was planning yet another talk with Jason.

......................

Carly knocked on Jason’s door loudly. The door opened and she found Sam on the other side. She breezed past her. 

“Where’s Jason? I need to speak to him.”

“Such a surprise there, Carly. I suppose you expect me to thank you for knocking at least.”

“I don’t care what you expect. I need to see Jason.”

“I’m right here.” Both women looked up as Jason came down the stairs. “What’s wrong?”

“I need to speak to you alone.” She gave a pointed look to Sam.

“You can’t come barging into my house, Carly, and demand things.”

“Look, Sam--”

“Stop!” They quieted. “Sam, you were leaving to go to work anyway. I’ll see you later.” Sam huffed and stomped her foot before grabbing her jacket out of the closet and leaving. “What do you need, Carly?”

“Apparently, I should have asked more questions last night but I was mad so I left.”

“Carly.”

“Don’t you Carly me, Jason. What does Sam have to do with some gunmen?”

“What?”

“I was talking to Elizabeth earlier and she mentioned it so I tried to think back. Is she talking about the time she was stopped in the park with the boys?”

“Don’t bother Elizabeth.”

Carly looked affronted.

“I didn’t bother her. Geez, Josslyn had a checkup and we saw Elizabeth at the nurses’ hub. We talked a little about last night. She thanked me and left. Now answer the question.” She put her hands on her hips. “You know, I haven’t decided if Elizabeth is too forgiving or if she’s just stupid for talking to you after marrying Sam.”

“Yes, Sam hired those men who stopped Elizabeth in the park. She wanted us to believe it was too dangerous to be together.”

“Too dangerous to be with Elizabeth anyway.”

“That’s not fair.”

“Fair? You tell Elizabeth it’s too dangerous to be with her or your son, but you marry the woman who terrorized him?”

“She didn’t terrorize him.”

“She terrorized his mother. That should be enough.”

“Carly--”

She cut him off with a quiet voice.

“She thinks he wasn’t enough. No one should ever feel that way. I should know. And now I’m leaving because I’m mad at you for making me defend Elizabeth Webber.”

.......................

Elizabeth was surprised to look up from the file she was updating in the computer and see Jason standing in front of her. 

“Do you have a minute?”

Elizabeth checked her watch. 

“I don’t get my break for another hour.”

“Will you meet me up on the roof?”

Elizabeth eyed him warily.

“I guess.”

“Thanks.”

When it was time for her break Elizabeth headed up to the roof without changing. She opened the door and found Jason waiting. She stepped out onto the roof and took a moment to regroup.

“I’m here.”

Jason turned from the skyline.

“Thank you for coming.”

Her voice was quiet.

“What do you need, Jason?”

“I don’t need anything. I just wanted to see how you are doing.”

Elizabeth’s face registered her shock.

“What?”

“I worry about you.”

“Why?”

“You’re my friend.”

“And you’re married to her. You and I both know we can’t be friends.”

“We can.”

“Does she know you’re with me?”

He looked away briefly before looking her in the eyes.

“No.”

“I appreciate your concern, but I’ll be fine. I admit I had trouble finding out you had a baby with Sam. One day I’ll be happy for you, but today is not it. Good-bye, Jason.”

She turned and left before letting him respond.

.................

Winter 2012

The next few months passed normally for Elizabeth. She went to work. She raised her boys. She spent time with her Grams and Steven. She even had normal conversations with Carly at times. 

She had decided to stay out of Jason's way as best she could but it had become unnecessary.  Carly had told her he and Sonny were having issues with a supplier and Jason had left town. He had yet to return. 

It would have been nice if Sam had the same courtesy but she seemed to go out of her way to cross Elizabeth's path while she had Danny with her. Elizabeth refused to let Sam know it bothered her.  Carly had been surprisingly supportive. She came across Sam gloating to Elizabeth once and dared her to talk like that when Jason was around and told her some day Jason would see through her, baby or no baby. 

Only one thing had managed to completely throw her off-kilter but after a few days of absolute shock and confusion she accepted her fate and life returned to normal. However, it did get her to thinking and she realized she wanted to make some changes and now was the time to do it.

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