A/N: Fanfiction Friends, there is a lot of uncertainty out there, I thought I could do something small and insignificant by adding a chapter to this story. Reading helps me in hard times and my hope that someone will gain a little enjoyment from this story also helps too. I'm grateful for you the readers, for the creative actors and team at General Hospital and for an internet connection to share my little piece of fanfiction with you all. Sending you good thoughts and prayers with this piece of alternative fan fiction. I wrote this chapter pretty quickly - so if there are errors, feedback, please send them my way. - Team Dowager.
Chapter Nine: Is this Real?
Chase sighed deeply after reviewing the evidence Nina had brought him at least 5 times. There was no doubt about it aside from the pending DNA test, Nina Reeves was Willow Tait's biological mother. He took a few minutes to think about how, after so many months, everyone had missed it.
He recalled how Willow and Sasha looked so much alike that they could be sisters. Then he looked at pictures of Nina's late husband, Silas. Chase had to get past the weird resemblance Silas had to his own brother. Then again, everyone had a doppelganger or two. Chase had once met a detective from Llanview Pennsylvania. John McBain, was his name, who also looked just like his brother. These things happened every now and again.
Chase thought about how appreciative he was to have his brother right now. He hoped for a moment that Nina and Willow could genuinely start over. Chase had never known the kind of unrest Willow had as a child. He had grown up in a loving home with two solid parents.
Chase paused for a moment, Woah, how could be making this about himself. He took one more stab at reviewing the packet Nina had brought him.
Nina's story, along with the supporting evidence of Harmony, including her first Dawn of Day pledge to Shiloh and everything started to make sense. Harmony (aka Lorraine) and Douglas Miller were offered a baby, a half heart pendant, and a $100,000 to disappear from their home in New York City, no questions asked. They were told the baby's biological mother was dead and that the child was an orphan. The lawyer who approached them shared that the little baby girl's only remaining family were terrible people. He emphasized that Douglas and Lorraine would be providing this child a gift of two loving parents. Both Lorraine and Douglas had always wanted a baby girl, and they were hard up for cash. They took the deal and ran. Never looking back.
Madeline Reeves had known all along where her granddaughter was. She clearly wanted nothing to do with Willow until Nina woke up from the coma. Madeline, at that point, had reached out to Douglas and Lorraine, offering them more money to stay silent. The Millers, by that time, loyal followers of Shiloh, were all too happy to accept the payment and hand it over to their leader Shiloh.
The money trail direct from Madeline to the Millers sealed the deal for Chase. Chase wondered why type of person Madeline Reeves was. To make her own daughter Nina suffer that much. Then again, Harmony, Willow's adoptive mother had caused Willow so much anguish too.
Chase thought more about Nina's situation. Nina had a brother as well, Nathan, who was Maxie's late husband. He remembered that Nathan was really Nina's cousin and Liesl Obrecht's son. Liesl's other child Britt was infamous at the PCPD. Woah, Willow, was gaining some fascinating relatives with her long-lost biological mother.
Chase yawned for a moment, and he looked at his watch. When did it get so late? Three hours had passed since Nina and Willow left on their shopping excursion. Weren't they only going to be an hour? He thought. He kicked himself for losing track of time and for forgetting to ask for Nina's mobile number since Willow's phone was still not with her.
For a moment, he contemplated asking to borrow a squad car. He dismissed the thought pretty quickly, knowing that the police station was the best location for Willow to find him if she needed anything. Chase packed up the information Nina had provided him carefully so that he could go over it with Willow later and decided to wait in front of the station for Willow and Nina to show up.
Chase felt the rush of the fresh ocean air on his unshaven face. It was a beautiful day, Chase thought to himself as he found a bench in front of the police station. He loved how quiet the island was this time of year. Calm even. Great for thinking and reflecting. Chase felt hopeful despite everything. Willow had finally opened up to him about what she was going through. His heart ached for how much pain she was him, but he was happy to share that pain if it meant helping Willow heal.
No wonder her sleep was so troubled, to see her own father with her baby witnessing Shiloh's abuse. He couldn't imagine the shame Willow felt even though none of this was her fault. He pushed this image aside because it made his blood boil. He had never known hatred like what he felt toward Shiloh. Willow's suggestion to get away for a few days was probably good for Chase too. He was unsure of what he would do if he saw Shiloh again. Shiloh, the man with nine lives, back from the dead.
The physical sensation of Chase's hand, making a fist, reminded him that this weekend wasn't about Shiloh. It was about Willow. He hoped that Willow was going to start to feel some calm, despite Nina's intrusion. Chase got anxious and stood up, beginning to pace a little in front of the station. What an incredible woman he was in love with?
Willow was all about second chances. She had attempted with Harmony, although everything and now was going to give Nina an opportunity. Chase wondered how he could be so lucky to be with a woman who was so incredibly strong and kind.
There were not many people like Willow in this world. Most people would snap by now. Not Willow. He thought.
He started to wonder and potentially understand why she chose that name for herself. Willow trees were robust and flexible. They could bend and not break. He caught himself, saying Willow's name out loud when he saw the new Mercedes pulling up to the parking lot.
Chase jumped instinctively as the vehicle drove up to him. He was surprised to see Nina driving and Willow asleep in the passenger seat. Nina pulled up to Chase and rolled down the window. Chase peered in concerned for Willow.
"Chase. Willow just dozed off, I figured she could use the sleep." She whispered, "I'm so sorry we're so late. We got a little sidetracked…do you want to drive?" Chase noticed the serene look on Willow's sleeping face and the calm in Nina's own. Nina was clearly whispering on Willow's account.
"It looks like you're doing a fine job of driving. I can get in the backseat if you don't mind."
"You got it. Just be careful not to open the sealed plastic bag. I'll let Willow tell you about it when we get back."
Chase noticed the tightly sealed plastic bag. He assumed by both Nina's and Willow's change of clothes that something strange had happened.
Chase sat in the back seat, impressed by Nina's driving and memory of how to get back to the cottage. He also looked at Willow's sleeping face. He felt calmer himself. He was glad Willow was getting a little rest.
"Yaa'rgh." Willow yawned and opened her eyes, stretching her arms as Nina pulled up to the cottage. Chase immediately stretched his arm from the backseat to touch Willow's shoulder.
"Did you have a nice nap?" He grinned. He didn't notice Nina smiling as well.
"I needed that." Willow yawned again, "I feel like Rip van Winkle, was I asleep for 10 years? " She looked, her eyes smiling first at Chase and then Nina.
"About 30 minutes, but heck who's counting." Nina giggled.
Chase felt relieved at how comfortable Willow and Nina seemed with each other.
Willow smiled, "Chase," She turned her head, "as much as I enjoyed that nap. How 'bout lunch?"
"Sure!" Chase was super excited and super hungry. "Do you want me to grab this bag?" Looking at the trash bag.
Nina interrupted. "Nooo…I'll grab the bag, and you handle lunch after telling me where your laundry area is."
Chase graciously complied, telling Nina where the laundry room was in the basement as they all exited the vehicle. Nina grabbed the bag with one hand and handed Willow the key fob with the other.
"I'll leave you two alone for a little bit. I'm not really that hungry. Nothing like a little laundry and review of Crimson layouts…"
Before Chase could share the news about their dial-up internet, Nina was already up the stairs and inside the cottage remarking about how she had her own Crimson hotspot.
Willow placed her arms around Chase's neck and genuinely smiled.
"You look very Nantucketer – you sure you're not from around here." Chase joked. He stared at her wavy hair for a moment. It reminded him of the first time they were caught in the rain and how impressed Willow was with Chase's ironing skills.
Willow smiled and hugged him closer.
"Willow," Chase returned her embrace, "Do I want to know why Nina Reeves is doing laundry in my parents' cottage basement?"
Willow smiled playfully, "No, you really don't want to the reason behind the need for laundry. I will tell you later if you REALLY want to know. I think the better question for right now is … Is Nina Reeves, world-renowned fashionista, and Editor-in-Chief of Crimson Magazine really doing my laundry in your parents' basement? Am I still napping or is this moment real?"
Chase kissed Willow's nose and looked at her, "Yes. This moment is real. Just as real as the love between us, and the magic of this island."
Chase noticed Willow's stomach growling as they kissed.
She pulled away, grinning, "Let's get started on lunch, shall we."
Chase stood to attention jokingly, "Aye aye, Captain!"