Author: Solo Ensemble PM
Manny Ruiz wreaks his own unique brand of havoc on Port Charles meanwhile, Elizabeth, Patrick, Epiphany and Jason all land in jail. I suck at these summaries.Rated: Fiction K - English - Elizabeth W. & Jason M. - Chapters: 10 - Words: 28,603 - Reviews: 37 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 08-04-06 - Published: 05-17-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2944437
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Note: Okay, I finally have an angle for this title and I will do everything in my power to get this posted to completion by May 28, but that's crunch time for me with the end of the term papers, exams, etc. So we'll see what happens. Also, I've got this planned to the end, and if I touch on anything that becomes a spoiler, then it is entirely coincidental and I am NOT trying to spoil any SFs. Thank you and enjoy the story; it won't be too long. Cookies for anyone who finds the Debbie Downer allusion!
A warning for readers: This fic doesn't have the traditional narrative opening, nor will it have the traditional narrative closure. If you're looking for a nice, clean ending with all the loose ends tied up, look elsewhere because I'm pulling an Orlando; life goes on after the end of the tale, and what happens next is entirely up to your imagination.
This title was proposed by Julie/Jeweltones.
She was beautiful in the moonlight.
His dark eyes followed her slight figure as the brunette approached the ledge, skimming her fingers over the stone as she looked out at the twinkling town that lay beneath her feet. She had that exquisite porcelain skin that just tossed off the light, making her glow in the darkness. And her eyes – such innocent eyes. She was a dreamer, this one. And he thought she was beautiful in the moonlight.
Resituating the black bag slung over his shoulder, Manny Ruiz stealthily ascended the fire escape, his eyes focused on sweet Elizabeth. Sweet Elizabeth, who had stolen away from the charity auction for a moment of solace and reprieve on the balcony under the moon. If sweet Elizabeth knew what was good for her, she'd turn on her silver stilettos and go right back inside the banquet room at the Metrocourt.
He was about to hoist himself up onto the roof of the building when he heard a series of soft clicks in the quiet of the night. Manny stilled, slowing his breathing as he craned his ears toward the sound and listened. He heard soft rustling noises and a few more muted clicks – the undeniable sound of a sniper's tripod. He would know, because he carried one with him right now.
Lowering his bag onto the metal landing of the fire escape, Manny gripped the ledge with his gloved hands and slowly pulled himself up so he could see onto the rooftop. He scanned the roof and his obsidian eyes instantly landed on a man dressed similarly to himself, crouching in the corner with a tripod already set up. He wore a black skullcap, black cargo trousers and a fitted black sweater. His hands were also gloved as he assembled his rifle, and Manny watched as the other man fumbled with the parts.
The moon was full tonight, and he was glad for that because when the man stretched his arm out to glance at his watch, Manny was able to distinguish the black snake tattoo on his wrist. The mark of the Escobar organization.
With the grace, agility, and stealth of a cat, Manny pushed himself up onto the ledge and dismounted quietly, his favorite black boots not making a sound when he came down onto the cement. The sniper remained oblivious, too focused on his task to notice that he wasn't alone. He was most probably a rookie – a young man that the Escobar guards had plucked off the docks and trained briefly before sending out to do the dirty work.
The sniper was all set now – he had assembled his weapon of choice and had balanced it on his tripod and was now looking through the crosshairs at his target, who was still enjoying the moonlight and the summer breeze. The young man shifted his weight on the balls of his feet, trying to get into a good position as he crouched on the rooftop behind his rifle.
Manny didn't bother to conceal himself and instead simply walked forward toward the sniper, stretching out the rope that he kept in his side pouch. Elizabeth traced little designs on the stone ledge with her polished index finger – she had opted not to splurge on a professional manicure – and remained oblivious to the danger she was in, but Manny wasn't worried.
The sniper's finger was ready for the trigger as he finished framing the shot and took one last look at the petite brunette. She was not the target of the Escobar family's anger; she was meant to be a message. It wasn't her fault, the poor girl. She was just mixed up in the wrong company and was now forced to pay for the sheer ineptitude and stupidity of those who cared for her.
But the Escobar men had yet to realize that Manny Ruiz was neither inept nor stupid, and that he did care for the young woman. In a flash, he had the rope around the young sniper's neck and skillfully ended it before the man could even fight back. Satisfied that he had squeezed the last breath from his trachea, Manny let the limp sniper's body fall to the concrete and stood back to survey his work.
Sweet Elizabeth still stood basking in the glow of the moon, unaware of the literal bullet she had just dodged. Manny smirked to himself at her girlish ways as he dragged the sniper's body a short distance away and then resumed his spot. There was no need to set up his own equipment; not when he had what Mr. Escobar had so generously provided.
Peering through the crosshairs, Manny noticed that Corinthos' mid-life crisis, the ex-princess Emily Quartermaine, had joined her friend on the balcony. The two women were engaged in conversation as Elizabeth stared out thoughtfully at the dark skies, and Manny waited patiently until they both returned to the party.
From his vantage point on the roof, he could almost distinguish another petite brunette in a white dress, guzzling champagne near the French doors that opened out into the night. He adjusted his black gloves, clenching and unclenching his fingers to ensure the best fit.
Morgan should be arriving at any moment; if he waited patiently, he would be rewarded.
And sure enough, ten minutes later, Manny was watching as the enforcer handed a note to a waitress and asked her to deliver it. He crouched down behind the tripod, knowing that the moment was upon him when the brunette appeared to meet her lover. He watched as the couple embraced, his own finger embracing the trigger, and a sadistic grin tugged at his lips as he watched the enforcer spin her around in the crosshairs.
He pulled back, satisfied, when Jason lifted his hand and found blood on his fingers. Lingering a moment longer to fully enjoy the look of horror and desperation on the stoic enforcer's face, Manny crept alongside the edge of the building and slipped down onto the fire escape.
Safe and out of sight, he craned his neck and watched Jason scoop the young woman into his arms and race toward the three medical professionals conversing inside the banquet room.
"Somebody help! Sam's been shot!"
Manny couldn't help it – he chuckled. Noah Drake was laying his coat down on the floor, Monica Quartermaine was checking for an exit wound – and Manny Ruiz was laughing. His twinkling eyes landed on a young woman in a pale green minidress as she helped Jason brace himself against the doorjamb, lingering there to offer her support.
With a smile, he retrieved his unopened bag and slipped down the fire escape. "Goodnight, sweet Elizabeth. You can thank me later."
Elizabeth sighed as she made her way back to the main desk. She didn't even want to think about what Jason must have been going through at the moment. The look in his eyes when he signed the consent form she offered was all she needed. It was a terrible decision to make, and her heart went out to him in his time of loss. She knew personally how badly Sam wanted children, and how devastated she was when her daughter died.
She slammed the binder she held down on the desk, prompting a look from Epiphany. Life just plain sucked.
"Dr. Lee, I need to know – what's going to happen to my daughter?"
Elizabeth turned over her shoulder to see Alexis Davis pursuing Kelly. It had come as quite a shock to learn that Sam was actually the District Attorney's daughter, but as a medical professional, she couldn't pay attention to that bit of gossip at the expense of her job. She learned new and strange things every day at General Hospital; all she had to do was learn to roll with the punches. They weren't paid to stand around the water cooler, but to remain professional at all times and serve the patient as best they could.
"The surgery was a success, but Sam's not out of the water, yet." Kelly led Alexis over to the lounge, and Elizabeth watched as the two women sat down on the red couch. From the stern look on her friend's face, she knew that whatever the news was, it was very, very bad.
When Alexis got up from her seat and raced down the hallway to her daughter's room in tears, Elizabeth knew she had been right. Kelly sighed and shuffled over to the desk, her expression weary and dejected.
"How bad is it?"
"Spinal compression and cranial edema," the Vietnamese doctor replied, crossing her arms over the edge of the desk and resting her chin. "Between you and me…I don't think she's going to make it."
"But – isn't there something that can be done?"
"We can wait for the medication to resolve it," Kelly sighed, "but the chances are very slim. And the procedure is too risky – she'd hemorrhage before it was completed."
Elizabeth's eyes widened and she leaned closer to her friend, her voice dropping to a conspiratorial level. "But – there is a procedure?"
The other woman nodded absently. "Yeah, but, like I said, it's too risky. The only one who stands a chance at getting it done right is Patrick Drake."
"And he's out of the country," Elizabeth finished with a frustrated sigh, swiping her bangs out of her face.
"But…" Kelly's lips were puckered as she thought. "If you can call him and get him to come down here, I can talk to Alexis and see if she's willing to go through with it."
"I'm on it," Elizabeth nodded, and Kelly pushed herself away from the desk and took off down the hallway.
"-Thanks for lending me that book, Lucky," she heard a young woman's voice from a few paces away. "It's really great – I just can't put it down. You're not getting it back for, like, another two weeks, so deal."
"Maxie," Elizabeth smiled, waving the girl over as she reached for her own cell phone to get in touch with Patrick. Hopefully, reception was good on the Markham Islands. "Is that Lucky on the line?"
The blonde nodded, looking rather impatient as Elizabeth flipped to her speed dial menu. "Yeah – do you need me to tell him something?"
Elizabeth nodded absently. Maxie and Lucky had been helping each other deal with Jesse's death a few weeks ago, and their shared grief had been excellent therapy for the two of them. Maxie checked in with Lucky every so often, and he genuinely seemed to enjoy his conversations with the young woman. She had even helped Elizabeth help Lucky with his addiction to morphine, and for that, she was very grateful.
"Tell him that there's been a shooting and I won't be home til late tonight, okay?" The brunette turned her back when Maxie nodded, moving out of the way so that Epiphany could get to the charts stacked on the counter. "Thanks, hon."
"No problem," Maxie called out sweetly, rolling her eyes behind Elizabeth's back. "Hey, Lucky, you still there?…Yeah. I'm so going to hold you to that, Buddy…You'll see, I have my ways. I can be very persuasive…Uh-huh. Listen, I just talked to your wife and…yeah, I told you I was at the hospital. Anyway, I just talked to her and she said that there's been a shooting…no, uh, Sam McCall. She was brought in by Monica…the Bachelor Auction at the Metrocourt…You didn't know about that?…Yeah."
Maxie winced, knowing that Lucky would be able to faintly hear his wife's voice.
"Yeah, it's Elizabeth. Listen, I know you and Robin are really busy, but I need you-" He had cut her off in mid-sentence, and Elizabeth quickly interjected once more. "No, wait, don't hang up. Listen, you have to get back here, okay? I will do whatever it takes to make that happen…yeah. You're the only one, Patrick…Okay, good, thank you, thank you. I'll be waiting for you. Bye."
The blonde cleared her throat and edged away down the hall away from the nurses' station. "Anyway, she says she'll be really late tonight, so….yeah. Okay. That's fine. Later."
She took one last look at Elizabeth over her shoulder as she flipped her pink cell phone shut and slipped it into her bag. Normally, she found it difficult to have a conversation with Elizabeth and tried her best to slink away as soon as she possibly could. But as she studied the brunette now, she didn't feel any guilt. It served the wench right for cheating on her husband with Patrick Drake for the past month.