Disclaimer: The characters belong to GH and the song, Scars belongs to Papa Roach.

A/N: This is a follow up to my last song fic, Me and You. I highly suggest that you read that one first to gain some sort of understanding.

Scars

I tear my heart open, I sew myself shut
My weakness is that I care too much
And my scars remind me that the past is real
I tear my heart open just to feel

The wind swept around the small group of mourners. Courtney took a short inventory of who was there, making a mental note to send thank you cards. Bobbie stood off to the side, crocodile tears coursing down her wrinkled cheeks. Beside her was Sonny. He look uninterestedly at the simple wooden marker, but Courtney knew he was quietly dying inside. As much as Carly had annoyed him, she was still like a sister to him. Jax and his new girlfriend Sam were there. Jax seemed extremely perturbed by the proceedings and kept looking towards her anxiously. Sam was obviously not a fan of the pointed looks and did everything in her power to keep Jax's attention. Jason, herself and the kids rounded out the crowd.

It was strange that they were doing this. Mourning the death of a friend that they weren't positively sure was dead. It came like a blow to her stomach when a man with a thick French accent called to inform her that Carly had not come home from her nightly swim. All the local authorities were informed and a search was executed, but the only thing found was the her pink polka doted bikini. The trace blood found on it was enough for the police to call the case cold. It was widely assumed that a shark had gotten to her or that she just merely drowned in the murky waters.

Still, Courtney was quick to call the proceedings a ceremony, not a memorial. Memorial indicated that Carly was indeed dead and no matter how logical it seemed, it was something that blonde wasn't willing recognize. A soft cooing caught her attention and she looked down to find baby Anna stirring slightly in her arms. The child was just a hair over three months, but her huge blue eyes showed the alertness of someone six times her age. She felt Jason place a comforting hand on the small of her back as he watched Emma and Matt carefully. They were good children and made no fuss of standing in the chilly autumn air.

It was decided that each person would say something about Carly, mostly stories and such. Bobbie had started long ago and was still blubbering on about her "sweet baby girl." Courtney tried her best to stay attentive and understanding, but her mind was somewhere else. Her best friend in the entire world was more than likely gone for good and she didn't even have a chance to say goodbye. Their last conversation wasn't exactly a heart to heart and if Courtney had known it would be the last time they spoke, she wouldn't have used the tone she used. Or would she have?

I'm drunk and I'm feeling down
And I just want to be alone
I'm pissed cause you came around
Why don't you just go home?
Cause you channeled all your pain
And I can't help you fix yourself
You're making me insane
All I can say is...

Flashback

The shrill ring of the telephone woke her from her slumber. She cursed in her sleep, silently praying that the raucous wouldn't disturb Anna who was sleeping soundly in the next room. Her petite hand reached towards the nightstand, fumbling aimlessly until she retrieved the cordless receiver. 'Somebody better be dead,' she heard Jason groan and at this point, she had to agree with him. That was the first thing they agreed upon as of late. It had been a little over two months since she returned to from her mini vacation and they were at each other's throats constantly. Courtney liked to believe it was the long hours he was working coupled with the stress over having a new baby in the house that was tearing them apart. She just hoped that it would wear off soon and go back to the way they were before. She always hated fighting with him and worried about the time that he would walk away and never come back.

"Hello?" Her groggy voice seemed to catch the other person off guard.

"Were you sleeping?" Carly's voice rang through the transmitter like a bell.

"It's three in the morning." She returned in annoyance.

"Oh."

"Yeah." Courtney agreed shortly. "What do you want?"

"Well, you did say not to let another eight years go by without calling…"

"So you call now?"

"Yeah. I didn't realize it was so late there." She replied. "I'm sorry. I really am. I just needed to talk to someone and I didn't know who else to call." The statement infuriated Courtney. She was sick and tired of dropping everything just because Carly needed to "talk".

"Can we do this another time." She tried to remain calm.

"But I really need you, Court." The brunette whined.

"Fine."

"Fine?" She seemed unsure.

"Say what you got to say." Courtney drummed her fingers mindlessly on the plastic material of the phone. It was something to keep her mind off the annoyance she felt.

"Well, I've been thinking a lot since you went home." Carly began. "And I think I'm in love."

"You think?"

"Yeah after all the gushing you did over Jason. I began to see my friend Pierre in a different light." The brunette chatted on. "You see, I want what you have and I think that he might just be the person to give it to me."

"That's great." Courtney was genuinely happy for her friend.

"But there's a problem."

"What's that?"

"I'm still married to Jax." She replied bitterly. "So I was thinking that if maybe you could talk to him. Give him the divorce papers…"

"Absolutely not." Her tone was firm.

"Why not?"

"Because I won't do your dirty work, Carly." Courtney answered.

"Jax and I are still somewhat friends and I won't damage that on your account."

"So what?" She cried indignantly. "I'm your best friend! I think that should count for a little more."

"Stop it." She rubbed her temples tiredly. "I'm not doing it and that's the end of it."

"Are you seeing him on the side or something?"

"Are you fucked?" It was Courtney's turn to be indignant. "Stop being a baby and come home and do it yourself."

"You used to do anything for me." She whispered sadly.

"Yeah well things change."

"Why?"

"Because people grow up, Carly." She explained gently as if she were talking to a five year old. "They gain responsibilities."

"And I don't have responsibilities?" Her voice rose. "You just think my life is one big vacation, don't you?"

"Isn't it?" She returned wearily.

"Fuck you, Courtney."

"Fuck me?" She growled. "Who the hell do you think you are? Calling me at the crack of dawn and begging me the break up with your husband for you?" Silence. "I know how hard it must be for you to get to Port Charles. You know with that busy life you lead. Drinking, partying, and pretending that you are the only person in the entire world that matters."

"What's up with you?" She was stunned at Courtney's outburst. "Just because you're tied down, don't take it out on me. You got yourself into that mess."

"So now my life is a mess?" Venom dripped from her voice. "My life is just fine, thank you. I mean that's why you want it so badly, correct? You want what I have, but it will never work out for you."

"Why is that?"

"Because just like I was never cut out for life on the road..." She took a deep breath knowing that the next statement would more than likely serve as a wrecking ball to their friendship. "You were never meant to settle down. You're like a storm, Carly. You destroy everything in your path and then move on."

"That's how you think of me?" Tears coated the other woman's words. "Hurricane Carly. Out to ruin everyone and everything." Courtney didn't respond. She didn't have anything else to say. All the things that had been weighing on her for years had finally come out and while she didn't regret any of them, she felt a small sense of pity for how harsh they sounded.

"At least I know how you really feel." She continued on. "Sorry I bothered you…"

"Carly…"

"No it's fine, really. Give Jason my love." The dial tone signaled the end of the conversation and Courtney felt tears rush to the forefront of her eyes. She squeezed them shut and tried to force them back, but it was useless. The hot liquid burned her cheeks as she grasped the phone in her hand.

"Everything all right?" She heard Jason ask, but didn't respond. She expected him ignore the silence and fall back to sleep, but was pleasantly surprised when his strong arms wrapped around her waist. "What's going on, baby?" His voice was soft and comforting.

"I screwed up." She whispered in between tears.

"It can't be that bad…"

"She's never going to talk to me, again."

"We both know that's not true…" He tried, but she just shook her head. His thumb wiped away a few of the tears that scattered down and her cheeks and she forced a smile for him. Maybe things with Carly would never be the same, but she had said her piece. She couldn't be Carly's personal assistant anymore, she had her own life to worry about.

End of Flashback

I tried to help you once
Against my own advice
I saw you going down
But you never realized
That you're drowning in the water
So I offered you my hand
Compassion's in my nature
Tonight is our last stand

Courtney felt everyone's eyes rest upon her. It was finally her turn to speak, but as she opened her mouth no words came. She felt Jason's grip tighten slightly and looked towards him for something that would give her the courage to share at least one of the million memories she had with her best friend. Anna continued to gurgle quietly in her arms and she let herself be distracted for a moment. None of the people here were expecting much from her, but she felt that she owed it to Carly. Somehow try and honor the memory that she had trashed the last time they spoke. Tears were beginning to blur her vision and she did her best to force down the lump in her throat.

"You know what? I think I got skipped." Jason jumped in an effort to give her time to regain her composure. For the millionth time, she listened as he recounted the time that he and Sonny had ditched the girls in the graveyard late at night. She silently wondered if that was the only memory he had of Carly, because it was the only one she had ever heard him tell. He dragged the story on a little longer than usual and watched her out of the corner of his eye for some signal that would tell him that she was ready to speak. She nodded to him and gave a mournful smile. She could do this if not for herself than for the woman she considered her friend.

"Carly and I have had some crazy times together…" She began and a hush fell over the group. "For a long time she was the only person I could count on and I'll always cherish that. Because despite her obvious flaws, Carly was a good person. She cared so deeply about how each ofus thought of her and that's why she did some of the things she did. Jax, I know how tough this must be for you, but please don't forget that Carly loved you in her own crazy way…" The cocky Australian looked towards the ground and Courtney could see tears shining in his crystal blue orbs.

"Sonny and Jase," she let her gaze flutter between the two men. "She considered you two her older brothers even if you weren't technically related. You kept her out of a lot of trouble when we were younger and I know that she always appreciated that." She rubbed her temples and looked towards Carly's mom. The two women were never very close and Bobbie wasn't the best mother a girl could ask for, but she tried.

"Ms. Benson…" She let out a sigh. "I know that you never saw eye to eye with her, but Carly respected you a lot. She knew how hard you tried and while she may have never been able to express it to you, she told me how much you meant to her." She was about to speak, but was instead cut off by Bobbie.

"Courtney, dear…" Her tone was low and she spoke slowly. "Carly never deserved to have a friend like you. You were good to her even when no one else was and I need you to know how much I respect that. She loved you like a sister." Tears were threatening to spill, but the blonde refused to let them fall. Instead, she nodded and looked up to the sky. God, she hated Carly for making her go through this.

I'm drunk and I'm feeling down
And I just want to be alone
You shouldn't never come around
Why don't you just go home?
'cause you're drowning in the water
And I tried to grab your hand
I left my heart open
But you didn't understand
But you didn't understand
Go fix yourself

The kids had long since been put to bed and the normally bright house was eerily dark. Courtney sat alone in the parlor, a glass of wine in hand. She never normally drank, but felt the need to unwind after such a traumatic day. She wondered if some how this tragedy could have been avoided. Maybe if she had just tried a little harder, Carly would still be around to drive her crazy. God, how could she have said those awful things to her? Guilt had festered deep in the pit of her stomach, reminding her that she could have (but chose not) to save her best friend. The darkness formed a blanket around her and she appreciated the gloominess it brought. She deserved to feel this way. She didn't deserve to be happy. The door creaked and a small sliver of light shone through and cast a shadow on her. Jason stood in the doorway, his head leaning against the frame as he watched her carefully. They stayed silent for a moment as Courtney focused her attention on emptying the glass in front of her. She stood to get another one, but her footing gave way as she stumbled slightly. Jason was there without a moment of hesitation and his strong arms held her up.

"Thanks," she whispered as she straightened up. He didn't remove his grasp and Courtney found herself wishing that they could stay that way forever.

"It's not you fault," he told her softly as if reading her mind. "Carly is Carly and nothing you say or did was ever going to stop her from doing anything. You know that."

"I was so mean to her…"Her voice was hoarse.

"Well, she wasn't always sugary sweet to you." He reasoned and was met with a nod. "Please don't do this to yourself, Court."

"I just feel like I'm losing control of everything." She confided. "I mean, Carly's probably dead. We barely even talk anymore unless it's to fight. The kids are growing up so fast. I just don't know what to do…"

"Stop it." He brushed away the moisture under her eyes. "What happened with Carly was a tragedy, but you had nothing to do with it. As for the kids, well they grow up. There is nothing that either of us can do to change the course of nature."

"And us?" Her voice cracked.

"It's been rough…" He agreed. "I don't know about you, but I'm not going anywhere. You are the best thing that ever happened to me. I don't know what I would do without you." She checked his expression for sincerity and smiled slightly when she found it. His hand tangled in her hair and pulled her close. She breathed in the scent of his cologne and felt as if a small weight had been lifted off of her shoulders. "You know I'm right."

"About what?" Courtney asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Everything." He returned and she rolled her eyes. "You can't save people that don't want to be saved, Court. I saw you try a million times…"

"I know…" She nodded. She had to find a way to let Carly go. She had to find a way to make peace within herself so she could move on. "I need to go for a walk." Jason didn't say anything, just planted a soft kiss on her forehead. "You going to be around when I get back?"

"Where else would I be?" Courtney smiled and did her best to walk a straight line out the door. The after effects of her own private wine party were beginning to wear off and soon the head ache would settle in. She threw Jason one last appreciative look before the letting the cool air greet.

I can't help you fix yourself
But at least I can say I tried
I'm sorry but I got to move on with my own life
I can't help you fix yourself
But at least I can say I tried
I'm sorry but I got to move on with my own life

Courtney wrapped her jacket a little tighter around her shoulders. The wind had picked up and with it so had the cold. She looked at the pristine white cross that everyone had been crowded around hours earlier. It simply read: Caroline Benson. Forever in the hearts of everyone she touched. It wasn't elaborate like the woman herself, but it wasserving as a reminder for everyone that loved her. She had spent the walk over trying to organize her thoughts, but her mind was still a jumble.

"I have some many things to say to you, but I don't know where to begin." She knelt on the soft ground. "I love you, Carly. You know that despite what was said the last time we spoke. God, I'm not even sure why I was so angry. I know you didn't demean my life, but that's how things always were between us. I sat in the backseat while you drove and I don't regret it, but sometimes you could be a little much. I did the best I could to keep us together, but I failed. That's something I have to live with. I failed you and I'm sorry. I gave my all, but it wasn't enough." A few stray tears ran down her cheeks and she swiped them away.

"Is it bad that I feel somewhat relieved? For as long as we've been friends, I've spent so much time worrying about you and now I don't have to. I cherish all the times we shared, but sometimes you were enough to make me want to curl up and die. I can't live like that anymore. I have a family that needs me and they deserve my undivided attention. So, as much as it hurts to do this: I'm done, Carl. I'll always care for you, but if you ever resurface things cannot go back to the way they were. I'm sorry." She lifted herself off the ground and let her gaze wander over to the nearby pond. The water was calm and offered her some comfort. She just wanted to go home and bury herself in Jason's touch. She placed a soft kiss on the cross before walking off. She was a few feet away when a cool breeze swirled around her, she spun around. She looked to water one more time and was almost positive she saw her friend standing there waving. Courtney rubbed her eyes and the image was gone. She could blame it on the wine, but deep down knew better.

"Bye Carly." She whispered.

I tear my heart open, I sew myself shut
And my weakness is that I care too much
And our scars remind us that the past is real
I tear my heart open just to feel