Dirty Little Secrets
"There are no secrets that time does not reveal."
- Jean Racine

The rain has begun to pour down on the small wayside town of Port Charles, New York, sending chills down her spine as she shuts the curtains swiftly, trying her best to ignore the ramblings of her husband. For nearly two decades they have kept this secret, nearly two decades of lies and deception, and he wants to blow all that out of the water now? After all these years, he wants to throw caution to the wind and reveal the one secret they have sworn to take to their graves? Sure, she gets it, deathbed confessions and whatever, but this is neither the time nor the place for her husband to suddenly grow a conscience.

Hell, she had to compromise her brains out just to get him to keep his mouth shut for this long, allowing him to drag her ass all the way back to this pathetic town. When she left this godforsaken town with him all those years ago, she had sworn she'd never return, not ever, yet there she stood, all to keep the secret for as long as humanly possible. Her husband has little over two weeks left to live, if that, and she will do whatever it takes to ensure that he dies with the secret.

"She deserves to know." her husband continues to plead his case as she stands by the window, staring blankly at the curtains, not wanting to deal with him at all. "Don't you think we've taken enough of her life from her?"

"What about my life?!" she snaps, turning to glare at him. "You're dying, I get that, but have you even stopped to think about me? If she ever gets the truth, I'm as good as dead! Did you even stop to think about that, huh?"

"Then I won't tell her everything." he counters, his eyes begging for understanding. "Just the basics. I just...I can't take this to my grave, Carolyn, I can't. I can't die with this hanging over me."

"Well tough!" Carolyn walks over viciously, taking his face into her hands as she glares into his eyes. "I will not let you tell her, you understand me? After all you've put me through with that child, you owe me your silence! Do I make myself clear?"

"Crystal." he replies on a whisper, tears stinging his eyes as she pulls away from him to walk over to the window. "Have you always been this selfish?"

"You're one to talk." Carolyn states, arms folded over her chest. "Just because you're dying, it doesn't mean you get to take my life with you."

Jeff could feel his heart tighten at the sight of his wife, but he knows its not her fault. Carrying around a secret like this for as long as they have would change even the most kindhearted person as it has to done to his darling wife. As much as this will hurt, as right as his wife is in regard to the threat hanging over her head as it was his, Jeff refuses to take this to his grave. Somehow, someway, he will bring this darkness into the light and he will tell his daughter the truth.

. . .

Lost in thought, Elizabeth Webber absentmindedly starts wiping down the tables and counters in the local diner, thankful to have been given the closing shift this past week. After her breakup with Lucky, she just couldn't take running into him or any of his friends, especially Emily. The girl just couldn't get a clue, no matter how loud she shouts it or blatant she is with it. It seemed as if Emily wanted her and Lucky together more than either of them actually wanted to be together.

Sliding a quarter into the jukebox, she picks the most dance driven song on the list before returning to her tasks, needing to get the place clean before she locks up for the night. Some days she dreams of leaving town, making her way around the world and just existing, but she knows she's still a long way from that. Shaking her head, she tosses the rag into the bin before making her way around the diner to put the chairs up, knowing how much her boss hates it when she forgets to put them up.

"All work and no fun makes for a very dull sister." her brother voices from the doorway, causing her to turn and look at him with a slight smile on her face. "You ready to blow this joint?"

"Just about." Elizabeth replies. "You know, it would go a lot faster if you'd help me."

"True." Steven shakes his head before running his hand along the back of a chair. "And I would help if I weren't so against working on my day off."

"Jerk." she rolls her eyes before laughing softly. "I'll be done soon."

"Hey, did you get a call from mother dearest?" Steven questions as hops up onto the counter. "Looks like the guy's really going to keel over this time."

"She left a message." Elizabeth says plainly as she puts up the last of the chairs. "What about it?"

"Did she tell you about him wanting a face to face before he kicks the bucket?"

"She did."

"You going?"

"What do you think?" Elizabeth scoffs before grabbing her jacket and shoving herself into it. "What about you?"

"Same." Steven hops down from the counter to walk out of the diner with her. "The guy checked out of our lives a long time ago. As far as I'm concerned, this is just a technicality."

"I would forget I had parents if they didn't pop in every now and then to make my life miserable." Elizabeth counters as she links arms with her brother. "My place?"

"Definitely cleaner than mine."

"You would think so." she laughs before walking with him back to her apartment, thankful that she had the sense to clean it up some before she went to work that morning.

Arriving home, Elizabeth nearly booked it right out of there when she found their sister sitting on the steps that lead to her building. Glancing at her brother, she finds and equally confused look gracing his face, their sister not one to just drop in out of the blue. She was such a stickler for scheduling and appointments, hell, she nearly blew a gasket when they dropped by her place to surprise her on her birthday. Its called a birthday surprise for a reason, but their sister didn't see it quite that way. They still love her, though, quirkiness and all.

"Sarah." Elizabeth greets her sister, releasing her hold on her brother to hug her sister in greeting. "What brings you here?"

"Figured I'd have a better chance at getting some face time if I just showed up unannounced." Sarah says firmly. "You know, since this has to do with our parents."

"Not such a surprise, after all." Steven comments as he makes his way up the steps to the front door, dragging Elizabeth along with him. "You can save your breath. We're not going."

"Steven Lars Webber!" Sarah snaps, glaring at him when he turns to give her the death glare at his full name. "No matter what he has done, he is still our father and he is dying! The least you could do is suck up your issues and show your face at what is literally the man's deathbed!"

"Not. Happening." Steven states with gritted teeth. "If you love the man so much, why don't you run off to his bedside and leave us be?"

"Elizabeth, please!" Sarah turns to her sister. "Just...please."

"We're not like you, Sarah." she says with a sad smile, walking over to stand in front of her. "We didn't receive the kind of attention from our parents that you did. You can't expect us to walk into that room as if we're his loyal children when we're not."

"Then don't do it for them." Sarah exclaims. "Do it because I'm your sister and you love me! You both still love me, don't you?"

"Of course we do." Elizabeth sighs, turning to look at Steven. "Right, Steven?"

"Yeah, yeah, love and all that." Steven mumbles. "Doesn't mean I have to go."

"Okay, Sarah." Elizabeth meets her sister's eyes with sincerity. "For you...we'll be there."

"We?" Steven rushes to her side. "What do you mean we?"

"I'm going to be there." Elizabeth says simply, arching her eyebrow at him. "Which means you, big brother, are going to be there, too."

"Fine." he groans. "If I must."

"So...dear sister, we were just going to binge watch some movies, care to join us?" Elizabeth questions her sister with a slight smile. "You can pick anything out of my movie collection?"

"Sure." Sarah smiles slightly, grateful that she was able to get through to Elizabeth, having known she would be the ticket to getting Steven there. "Sounds like a plan."

Waiting long enough for her brother and sister to walk into the building, Elizabeth follows after them, a gut instinct tugging at her to see that there was something more going on with Sarah. She knows the kind of relationship they have with their parents and that never affected her so deeply. It wasn't as if this was the first time that their parents have asked for their presence since their father was diagnosed, so, her over the top begging didn't make sense. Unless, of course, there was something more going on. As much as she loves her sister, she has always been known to do their mother's dirty work and something tells her that's exactly what's going on here. She just couldn't figure out what or why.