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March 1, 2013

Jason was finally home. He was cutting through the park to check in with Sonny when he heard Elizabeth’s laughter. He missed her. It was as simple as that. As he came around the corner he saw her and Patrick pushing Aiden and Emma on the swings. She was in scrubs so she was probably headed to work soon. He knew he should keep moving but he just needed to be near her for a few minutes. He watched as the kids ran to the slide while Elizabeth and Patrick kept watch.

“What about that new nurse in Orthopedics?”

“The one that won’t stop talking?”

Elizabeth chuckled.

“She doesn’t talk that much.”

“She was in the cafeteria the other day when I was eating and her friends didn’t get a word in.”

“Fine, fine. But there’s got to be one person that you can think of to ask to the Nurses’ Ball.”

“What about you? Who are you going with?”

“I don’t need the hassle.”

Patrick scoffed at her.

“Oh, so I need a date, but you’re too good for that?” He laughed. “No way. If you’re going alone I’m going alone.”

She smiled.

“Deal.” She paused. “I want to run something by you. I’m not asking for approval, but I just want someone to talk to.”

He looked at her.

“Sounds serious.”

“I want to leave Port Charles.”

Jason couldn’t move.

“Wow. That is serious.”

“I think the boys and I need a fresh start.”

“Too many memories?”

“Yeah. It doesn’t help that everyone has opinions on how I should live my life.”

“This town does have its share of nosy neighbors.” They waved at Emma who was trying to get their attention. “Will I miss you? Yes, but you need to do what is best for you. And you can count on me to help in any way.”

Her eyes were a little teary.

“Thanks, Patrick. That means a lot.”

Jason didn’t want to hear anymore. He walked away, trying to process the fact Elizabeth was leaving. She had been a part of his life, either in his life or on the edge, for so long that he couldn’t comprehend not seeing her or hearing about her at all. He looked forward to the days he just happened to run into her, like today. He had been concerned after that night at the bar. Today she looked beautiful, healthy. He stopped mid-thought. And became angry.

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

Jason went back to the park, but it was empty so he headed to the hospital. He found Elizabeth coming out of daycare.

“I need to speak to you.”

She could see something was wrong.

“I’ve got a few minutes before my shift.” She went into a conference room across the hall. He shut the door and turned to face her. “What’s wrong, Jason?”

“You’re pregnant.”

Her eyes widened in shock.

“No one knows. How did you--?”

“I know your body, Elizabeth. It didn’t register at first, but when it did I came right here.”

Elizabeth’s face showed her confusion.

“I appreciate your concern, but--”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“You’re married to another woman, Jason. We’ve been friends, but I wasn’t going to bother you.”

“Bother me?” His voice turned icy. “Bother me? I needed to know!”

She put her hands on her hips.

“Excuse me?”

“That’s my child, Elizabeth! I tried to understand why you didn’t tell me about Jake, but after all we’ve been through how could you do it again?”

Her face drained of color. He was immediately concerned and helped her sit down. He sat next to her. She bent over in her chair and started crying. He was very alarmed, especially when he heard her. 

"When I found out I was pregnant I remembered the shower I had taken that night. It was months later so I couldn’t check the trash. I thought someone had--had--" 

She couldn't say the words. 

"I'm so sorry, Elizabeth. I had no idea you didn't remember. We used protection. Apparently it didn’t work.” He looked around the room and saw a box of tissues by the window. He went to get it. “It’s going to be okay.”

They heard Patrick’s voice before he opened the door.

“Elizabeth, Daycare said--” He was by her side in an instant. “What’s wrong?”

“I’m okay, but I need you to tell Epiphany I’m sorry but I can’t work today. I have a family emergency.”

“Is it the boys?” He saw Jason. “What are you doing here?”

“The boys are good. He’s here because I need to talk to him.”

Patrick looked warily at Jason before back at Elizabeth.

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

She gave him a pointed look. Patrick didn’t look convinced, but didn’t argue.

“Alright, I’ll talk to Epiphany. Call me.”

“I will.” He left, leaving the room in awkward silence. Jason returned to his chair with the box. Elizabeth wiped her face. “You saw me the night I was at Jake’s?”

“I heard part of your conversation with Carly so I went to your house. I wanted to set the record straight on some of the things you said. Things didn’t go exactly as planned.”

She looked down at her stomach.

“Obviously.”

She leaned back in her chair. His phone rang before he could respond to that.  She sighed quietly as he answered.

“Morgan.”

“We’re having problems with the shipment. I need you to come in.”

He looked at Elizabeth who was looking away and he could tell she expected him to leave.

“I can’t, Sonny. I have something important going on.”

“Can’t it wait? This is big.”

“No, it can’t.”

He heard Sonny shift some papers and sigh.

“Fine. I’ll call Shawn, but we’ll talk about it later.”

Jason hung up and put his phone in his pocket.

“Please don’t leave town.”

She blinked back tears.

“I didn’t know this baby was yours. I didn’t. I didn’t even know I’d been with someone until I went in for a couple of routine tests and found out I was pregnant. I don’t think I’d ever been more shocked in my life. I freaked out. That night at Jake’s was the only time I’d been drinking, let alone away from my boys. Remembering that I had showered made me fear the worst. I had an alarm system put in because I was afraid.”

“I’m so sorry. After you shut me down the next day I planned to talk to you again, but I had to leave town. It took a lot longer than I expected.”

“Once I got my equilibrium back my first plan was to just go about my business and not talk about it. Raise this baby and my boys. And then I realized I could move and not have to deal with everyone judging me.” She paused and spoke quietly. “I could still do that.”

“You could, but I don’t want you to.”

“Your wife hates me and the feeling is mutual. I don’t want to have to deal with her in my face all the time.”

“I’ll do my best to keep her away not to mention you’ll have a guard.”

“Right. Will it be someone I know?”

“You remember Cody Paul?”

“Tall and quiet? The one I met when your office burned down?”

“That’s him.”

“Okay. I won’t fight you on this.”

“Thank you.”

“Are you sure about this? This is all kinds of complicated and it won’t be easy.”

“When has our relationship ever been easy?” He took her hands in his. “We’ll figure it out as we go.”

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

He sat in the hospital chapel. Elizabeth hadn’t given him a deadline for telling Sam but did tell him she wouldn’t be able to hide her pregnancy much longer. He had known asking Elizabeth to stay in town would complicate things, but he couldn’t just let her walk away. He could never make up for how he failed Jake, but he could start new with this baby. The first step was to tell Sam. She had Danny today so he would talk to her after he briefed Sonny on his trip. He figured he’d stop in at Kelly’s and pick up a sandwich on the way.

He held the door open for a family who was leaving the diner. While waiting he saw Molly and her boyfriend, he assumed, sitting at a table with Danny. He changed his plans. He sent a couple of texts and headed home.

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

The last thing Jason expected to see when he opened his door was John McBain sitting comfortably on the couch. He put his keys on the desk with a sigh. He opened the door all the way and spoke to Milo.

“Make sure McBain doesn’t get lost on his way out.” He looked at Sam. “We need to talk.” He headed upstairs. He took a quick shower before heading back down. Sam was still on the couch, this time alone. She stood up. He didn’t have to read her body language to know she was angry.

“You didn’t have to be rude, Jason.”

“He’s a cop and he’s sitting in my house like he’s welcome here.”

“He is. He’s my friend.”

“Do you have any idea what it looks like to have a cop spending time here? My guys may know what’s going on but the Five Families don’t. It doesn’t look good for you to be around him.”

“You’re just saying that because you hate him.”

“You are missing the point. He is on one side of the law. We are on the other.”

“And you’re missing my point. He is my friend and he needs to be with his son. Every parent should be with their child.”

He arched one of his brows. She had unknowingly given him an opening.

“Every parent?”

She paused and gave him a confused look.

“Well, every good parent.”

“Do you think I’m a good parent?”

She was quick to reassure him.

“Of course, Jason. You’re the best father to Danny.”

“He’s not my only child.”

Her eyes flashed an emotion, but it was gone too quick for him to define.

“I know, but Jake is gone now.”

“I’m not talking about Jake.”

He saw her stiffen.

“What?”

“I slept with someone before I left town and she’s pregnant.” He paused. “It’s Elizabeth.”

She growled in anger. Her voice was full of scorn.

“Let me get this straight. You not only slept with your whore of an ex, but you got her pregnant....again.”

“Don’t call her that.”

“Why not, Jason? She slept with a married man.”

“So did you.” She gasped and slapped him. He took a breath. “I’m just saying you shouldn’t judge her. This is on me.”

“Oh, I doubt it. When I get my hands on her--.”

“Leave her alone.”

She started crying.

“How could you do this to me, Jason? To Danny? You know what? I don’t want to hear it. I can’t even stand to look at you right now. I’m going upstairs to pack. Danny and I will be staying at my mother’s.”

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