|One More Life to Live
Author: BuffyPikeBike PM
My own One Life to Live continuation, picking up directly after the show's cliffhanger finale. Please note, nothing General Hospital-related has happened in this or will happen.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Family - Jessica B. & Natalie B. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 3,804 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 12-17-12 - Published: 09-20-12 - id: 8541044
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Episode 2 – January 17, 2012
Los Angeles, California
"Aren't they so cute?" Langston enthused as she and Markko walked out of their bedroom to find Starr and Cole still snuggled up on the sofa. The four best friends had watched movies for hours last night after putting Hope to bed for the evening. The little tot was spent from the long flight apparently because when Langston had checked on her earlier, she was fast asleep still. Just like her parents who had an afghan blanket bunched up to their chins as they snoozed contentedly in each other's arms.
"Yeah they're alright I guess," Markko said. "But nowhere near as cute as us." He then kissed Langston's nose and then went in for a full on lip lock but she laughed and held up a hand. "Morning breath?"
"Yes. Bad," Langston laughed. "Let's both brush our teeth and then we can wake them up. Then let's half a celebratory breakfast at Spago."
"Spago, Lang? Since when are we famous enough to get a table there just when we want it? We're struggling artists. We couldn't afford a glass of water there. Plus Cole has to lay low. At least for a while so no one sees him and finds out he's alive. I don't want to lose him to prison again."
Langston nodded. "Yeah, of course. It was just the excitement of the moment. I mean, the Four Musketeers are back in action!"
"I understand. I'm happy too," Markko said. "Let's just hope no one we know comes to L.A. and ruins our reunion."
Langston touched Markko's cheek softly. "You missed him, didn't you?"
"Yes," Markko said. "And I missed you too when we were apart."
"That's never going to happen again," Langston said. "I was stupid and I'm so sorry that –"
Markko shook his head. "No more apologizing. You've done enough of that. I know that Ford, much as I hated him, meant something to you so … I guess I'm sorry he's dead."
Langston smiled because it was better than crying. The news of Ford's death had hit her harder than she would have ever guessed or admit, but she really was happy with Markko. She loved him. Ford had been a fluke, a mistake, one she would never let herself repeat.
"I am sorry he's dead too, Markko, I am because he's Ryder's father but any romantic feelings I had for him … Well there never were any. It was just self-destruction at its finest." She smiled then and grasped his hand. "Come on, let's go freshen up and then we can wake up the household."
Back in Llanview
Todd looked at Blair following her half-declaration that maybe she had never believed in him at all. "Well that settles everything," he said banging on his chair. "McBain, McBain, I am ready to be taken to my cell. Get me away from her right now."
Blair reached for the sleeve of his shirt but Todd yanked away. There was nothing Todd Manning despised worse that rejection and that's what this felt like to him. "Todd –"
"Don't 'Todd' me. Just go. Go be with Tomas. We all know he will take you back in a heartbeat." He then turned his back on her purposefully and snapped at John, "Take me downstairs or release me. Just get me away from those people." He said "those people" with such contempt that Blair felt sick. It was just like Todd to go and overreact this way.
"You heard him, John," Tea barked. "Haul him away. He's ready to finally face what he's done."
"Delgado, shut it," Todd said. "I have admitted nothing but that I don't feel like looking at your pathetic smug faces any longer."
"I'm not gloating, Todd," Blair said but Todd just ignored her and kept pounding on his chair until John moved to his side. He uncuffed Todd and led him towards the elevator which would take him down to lockup.
Blair immediately whirled around to face Tea. "Look at what you've done, you witch!"
"What I've done?" Tea hissed. "I'm not the one who murdered someone and framed someone else. I'm not the one who-"
Blair held up a hand. "You're just so damn bitter that you lost Victor that you want to take away everything I have with Todd."
"Don't go there, Blair," Tea snapped. "This has nothing to do with you. I just want justice served once and for all. When my baby comes into the world, I want it to be a safer place which means Todd Manning will not be trolling the streets anymore."
That said, Tea walked away to talk to Nora Buchanan who had just arrived at the courthouse. Tomas took that free moment to move over to Blair who was close to tears. She was a strong woman but realizing the man she loved had killed someone – his own twin brother – and lied to her about it was a heavy load to bear.
"He got to you, didn't he?" Tomas asked as he ripped a handful of tissues out of a box and passed them to Blair.
"You know who," Tomas said. "Todd. While I was away, he convinced you to let him back into his life." It wasn't a question.
Blair nodded. "Yes he did get to me. I should never have believed a word out of his lyin' mouth but damn, Todd can be irresistible at times."
Tomas frowned. "I think I've heard enough."
"I'm sorry," Blair said. "I shouldn't have been so quick to believe 'your confession'. If I hadn't, none of this would have happened."
"Maybe it was just inevitable," Tomas said.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, I could only distract you so long from the man you seem to truly want – Todd. I want him to pay through the nose for what he has done and I mean to make sure it happens but I'll take no joy in watching him destroy you again because Blair, I love you. I have always loved you. I know you don't need to hear that right now but it's true."
"Are you really?" Tomas asked. "Because I think you know exactly what and who you want and it's not me. I hope we can still be friends in spite of everything but I am not going to expect us to pick up where we left off before I was 'escorted' out of town."
"You're taking this all very well," Blair said.
"I have no choice. After seeing you and Todd again together today, I know I have no chance with you and I am not going to spend the rest of my life fighting for something if you don't want it as much as I do."
Tomas then turned and walked towards his sister, leaving Blair to think over everything that had gone down this afternoon.
Hunter rode with Vimal to the police station and they were soon informed by one officer that Todd would not be allowed any visitors other than counsel until the arraignment in the morning. Hunter was disappointed but then quickly thought of a way around it. He looked at the cop and said, "I am Mr. Manning's attorney."
The cop cocked his beefy head to the side. "You don't even look old enough to have graduated from high school."
Vimal was giving Hunter pointed, anxious looks but Hunter ignored them. "I'm flattered you think I am aging well, but I am indeed Mr. Manning's attorney." He held up the folder with his resume and articles inside that he had clipped from several newspapers he had worked for and then quickly moved it behind him. "See? I came prepared with everything I need to work on my client's defense."
The cop rolled his eyes and took a sip of his coffee. "Alright you can go down. What's your name by the way?"
"That's not pertinent information to this case," Hunter retorted. He smiled at Vimal, mouthed "everything's fine!" and then hurried after the chunky officer who was surprisingly fast despite his large girth.
They rode down in the elevator and Hunter willed Todd not to rip him apart before he could explain why he was there and why he was impersonating an attorney of the law.
They climbed off the elevator just as a man with black hair walked towards them. "Vinny, who's this? A new customer?" He asked facetiously.
"Nah, John, this is Manning's lawyer. Supposedly," the cop said.
Hunter held out his hand to John but John just looked at it before turning back to face Hunter. "Well Mr. –"
"Hunter, you can go in but fair warning, Manning's in a stink of a mood."
Hunter swallowed hard but nodded as the cop called Vinny led him into lockup. "Manning, your lawyer is here," Vinny said before walking out.
Manning sat up to perch on the edge of his cot as he stared at Hunter. "I guess Blair sent you to me as a way to punish me. Like sending in the vice president of the Mickey Mouse Club will help my defense," he muttered.
"Actually, Mr. Manning, I'm not technically a lawyer."
"What?" Todd glared at him.
"My name is Hunter. I'm a reporter. We had an interview scheduled for today but –"
"What the hell? You came down here expecting me to hire you while I'm sitting in a smelly cell? Are you fucking stupid?"
Hunter cringed. "I am starting to wonder that very thing, but if you'll just listen to me I think I can help you."
"Help me?" Todd said disbelievingly. "What are you going to do exactly – call in the other members of The Little Rascals to create a diversion of some kind?"
Hunter chose to ignore Todd's last statement. "Yes I can help you. I'm a talented journalist, Mr. Manning. I can use the power of the press to sway public opinion of you. Right now from where I am sitting – er, standing – you look frankly, guilty as sin, but give me a byline and a keyboard and I will convince the town of Llanview – heck, the whole world – that you are an innocent man."
Todd scoffed. "Trust me, Hector –"
"Whatever. Trust me when I say I am anything but innocent."
"So you actually killed your twin brother?" Hunter waited for a reply but got none so he went on. "Well we can paint you as a victim of circumstance then. You had no choice but to kill your brother. He was taking away everything that mattered to you, he stole your family, he was insane and possibly going to shoot you if you didn't shoot him first. You had no choice. You're not a murderer – you're a victim of a cruel and apathetic system…"
Todd chuckled. "You are dumb. No one would ever call me a victim if they knew my history."
"I know of it. I am just trying to help."
"No you're shamelessly using me to make a name for yourself, to further your career. I don't like it … but I almost respect it," Todd admitted.
"So am I hired?"
Todd shrugged. "Yes. What can it hurt?" He said in a blasé fashion. "Besides, someone needs to help resurrect the paper while I'm on the inside. Not that I plan to be here for very long. In fact, not very long at all…"
(Scene fades to black; end of Episode 2)
A/N: Thanks to all my reviewers so far! Remember, feedback is love!