On A Dying Wind

Email: abandoned-by-sanitypixelcherry.com

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Funny, she thought, as the rusted leaf swirled in the breeze--a fragile wonder that rode the current in stride; a reckless passenger of an unsure fate--why did that seem so familiar? And why did she wish things could be different? JamSon

Disclaimer: As always, I own nothing associated with General Hospital, and make no claim to. This is all just for fun. So, don't be a punkass and sue me, okay?

A/N: I'm ba-ack! And this time with a fic showcasing one of my new favs--Jason and Sam (insert boo here, lol. I know they're not horribly popular, but I still enjoy them). Now, if you read the summary, you're probably like "Huh?", but don't feel bad if you don't get it—I don't even get it, lol... It's a line from a latter chap and I thought it sounded marginally cool and decided to go with it. Anyway, the rundown for this one is simple, and, I have to say, a complete departure from my usual stuff--Emily is not a central character! Masses gasp is shock Didn't think I was capable of it, huh? Well, that last part has yet to be proven. This is set about six months in the future, minus all this ridiculous Nico crap. Jason and Sam have gone through with the wedding, she hasn't lost the baby, and, miraculously, Sonny is keeping himself and that magic penis of his to the OTHER side of the hall. Now, in this I'd say that Jason and Sam are getting closer. They aren't there yet, meaning that no declarations of love have been made (nor will they be. I sorta think that's way too cheesy for these two characters). Right now, they're friends, bordering very finely on more. But, as always, things are complicated. What fun would it be otherwise?

All other notes: Carly still has no idea that Sam's baby isn't Jason's, and she won't be finding out anytime soon. At least not here. Courtney is busy with Jax. Emily still thinks Nikolas is dead and is actually taking a huge amount of solace in Lucky, and vice versa (I did this because this whole Lucky/Em/Nik/Mary things is just way too complicated and, well, disgusting for me to even try to deal with). So, I'm choosing to ignore. I'm being a horrible NEm fan, but, at this, point, I just don't give a crap. I like Em and Lucky's chemistry, even if it probably won't last. Everything else in PC doesn't really matter because I won't be touching on any of it. This is mainly about Jason and Sam, with a little Luckily in the background. If I need to clarify anything else, I'll probably just work it into the story.

Okay, I'm all done here. Hopefully that set up wasn't too confusing for you, lol. Now, go read and I hope you like it!

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On A Dying Wind: Chapter One

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They tell you where you need to go
Tell you when you'll need to leave
They tell you what you need to know
Tell you who you need to be

But everything inside you knows
there's more than what you've heard
So much more than empty conversations
Filled with empty words

And you're on fire
When he's near you
You're on fire
When he speaks
You're on fire
Burning at these mysteries…

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She skimmed a hand over the swell of her belly, chin pressed to her chest, tiny whispers floating softly from her lips. She wasn't sure, exactly, when she'd started doing this. Talking to the baby. But the practice, something she'd once-upon-a-time viewed as a little odd, was like second nature to her now.

Words, anything and everything, tumbled out of her mouth in hushed and soothing tones, a fact that still baffled her. Halfway remembered fairytales, foggy strings of nursery rhymes, stories of unbelievable bad luck she hoped to God would skip at least one generation this time, and promises, frail and shaky but true to their very core poured from her in these late hours when the penthouse was dark and quiet. From her to the little life inside her. From a mother to her child.

And that's the very thing that kept tripping her up. The mother part. She was going to be someone's mom, someone's everything, and it scared the hell out of her, even now, even this far into it.

A little voice in her head kept saying she wasn't cut out for this. That she was a con-woman, a thief, and a seasoned liar. She wasn't parent material. That was what she told herself at the beginning—what damn never everyone told her.

Well, not everyone.

He never told her she couldn't do this. No, he actually pleaded with her to try. He fought for her child—and for her, in a way—when no one else would. Jax had wanted to strip her of her baby and send her packing, never to be heard from again. And Sonny. Well, Sonny had wanted to blow his whole world apart for his child. But not for her. She didn't fit in. She was the one having the baby, but, strangely enough, everyone thought they could just make her a non-factor.

Everyone but Jason.

Unbidden, the tiniest of smiles crept to her lips as she stared out at the darkened cityscape, remembering how she came to find herself here, married to a man who, at one time, she didn't even like. She looked at the generous diamond that encircled her ring finger, moved it just so, and watched as it glittered in the moonlight.

She'd never planned on becoming his wife. But then she'd never planned on a lot of things, so she guessed it all sort of balanced out, in a really weird way. She'd stared out in love with a man who embodied everything unattainable. Rich beyond her wildest dreams. Emotionally closed off. Married. Hopelessly in love with his wife. And she'd ended up married herself, actually committed, to a man who sacrificed everything for the sake of a little boy he loved more than life itself, and a baby he hadn't even met yet. A baby that wasn't even his.

And it was then, graciously, before her mind could venture too far down that path—the one that usually found her making a horrifically long list boasting the up-sides to Jason Morgan—that she heard the man himself slip his key into the lock, and push open the door. Quietly, of course. He was just all kinds of considerate. At times she wished he wouldn't be. It had a way of making everything so much… messier in her head.

She was obscured in shadow at the window and she hoped, however vainly, that he'd just cut a path to the stairs and disappear into the penthouse's cavernous depths, leaving her to her thoughts and the peaceful silence.

"What are you doing up?"

Sam sighed. They didn't call 'em vain hopes for nothin'.

Eyes still cast out she answered, measured and softly, more tired than anything else. "What are you doing home so late?" And, as immature as it was, she really liked doing this—answering his questions with questions. It had the most amusing effect on him. His eyes would narrow and he'd let out a gigantic puff of air as he stared at her, surreptitiously vexed.

And his reaction now wasn't any different; even if she couldn't see it, his eyes were narrowed, and his face did hold a hint of furtive annoyance. But it subsided quickly and he sank, rather loudly, into the simple slate-gray couch at the far end of the living room.

"Business." He grunted out the one-word cure all, ridding himself of his jacket and tossing it behind him to land in a heap on the pool table. Sam narrowed her own eyes on the lump of leather. Would it kill him to be a bit tidier? Or did picking up after yourself break 'mobster code' or something? Shaking her head she turned her focus back on the city lights.

"That must have been some business," she commented. "It's almost three in the morning. Faith still being a pain in the ass?"

He laughed, low and deep, relaxed and easy, a rarity that brought a flutter of… something in her gut. She didn't know what, exactly, but it always managed to hitch her breath in the most annoying way. "Faith is always a pain in the ass," he said, and then paused. She knew exactly what was coming out of his mouth next. "And I'm not going to talk to you about this."

There was a hint of accusation but Sam chose to ignore it, as she'd become used to doing. Jason tended to think—incorrectly—that she was somehow obsessed with his job and finding out the details of it. But nothing could be farther from the truth. As far as she was concerned, what went on outside of this penthouse, across the hall, and in Mobster World, were entirely Jason's thing. She didn't want or need to know. Not unless he wanted to tell her. Which he never would.

When she didn't immediately throw out a retort—which wasn't entirely out of the ordinary these days, a hazy silence cocooned them once more, the tick of the wall clock and the distant sound of his breathing the only noise that reached her ears. She sank into it—the silence—and savored it, happy to have it back. It seemed the easiest moments with Jason were usually the ones where neither of them did much talking. Just… sitting. Just being. If that made any sense at all.

There was an easiness to it she couldn't explain, a rhythm in the quiet that made her mind enlist a more serene outlook on her situation, that helped her clear the fog and wade through the muck.

Because things were most definitely mucky.

See, it was like two sets of lines defined her life now. One set clearly showed her where she wasn't allowed to be anymore: Sonny's bed, Sonny's heart, and Sonny's life. And the other pointed out where she—in the eyes of damn near everyone—was supposed to be, but also where there seemed to be no plausible chance of her ever belonging: Jason's bed or Jason's heart. But, in the middle, pinned helplessly between the two, was where she found herself: in Jason's life—but only in ankle deep. She wasn't allowed anything else but a visitor's pass, and, most times, wasn't even sure she wanted anything else. Because if she thought things were 'mucky' now, all she had to do was add 'anything else' to the equation, and all hell would break loose. And Sam didn't much care for the idea of Hell. She was probably headed there, eventually, she thought, and where was the logic in speeding up that process? But, when just sitting alone and quietly with the very source of most of her distress, Sam, oddly enough, found that things had a way of taking on a more… controllable air. His presence had a calming effect on her and she didn't' have a clue why, except to say that he seemed to have that same effect on nearly every female he dealt with. Emily, Carly, Elizabeth, Monica… Courtney. It was a gift of his, and whenever he decided to give it, she accepted it greedily.

But—and she was really getting annoyed with that word tonight—Jason didn't seem in the giving mood. His tired voice broke into her thoughts.

"You never told me why you're up so late."

So it appeared there'd be no avoiding a conversation. She was kind of ticked at that fact, but conceded that if there would be no way around having to talk, she'd at least do it from the comfortable couch. Sighing, she gathered herself from the window and tried her hardest not to waddle as she crossed over to where he was. This far along in her pregnancy, she found that a pretty impossible task.

Just before she reached the couch, she stepped into a slice of moonlight, and Jason let out a little chuckle at the look of utter concentration on her face. She glared at him. "Oh, that's right. Laugh at the pregnant woman," she chided, easing down next to him slowly. He jutted out an arm to help steady her but she slapped it away. "I can sit down, Jason."

He held his hands up in mock-surrender, eyes bright even in the dark. "Better?" he asked her.

Sam nodded and closed her eyes, nestling into the couch's warmth. "Much."

"So, now will you tell me why you're downstairs by yourself at three in the morning?"

Her head lolled to the side and she squinted at the outline of his face. She was sitting in the light and he was still encased in shadow. She could hardly see him. That bothered her. She like being able to see his eyes. "No big mystery," she said. "I couldn't sleep."

"More nightmares?"

And she wasn't sure whether to be annoyed or touched by the fact that he remembered her slip of the tongue about having occasional bad dreams. It wasn't exactly something she ever intended on sharing with anyone, or an occurrence—however rare—that she liked revisiting. But he had, remembered, that is, and Sam couldn't help the warm feeling that spread across her chest. She really wasn't used to having someone around to remember things like that. It felt kind of… nice. She shrugged and let her eyelids drift closed. "Nothing I'm not used to."

Again, she couldn't see it, but Jason's forehead furled lightly in the dark. "Do you want to talk about it? Some people say it helps."

She chuckled and cast him a sidelong glance. "You know," Sam said. "Sometimes I can almost swear that Emily's invaded your body or something."

"What are you talking about?" He sounded confused and, to Sam, that just made it even funnier. Her face busted wide into a grin.

"You," she said, poking a long finger into his bicep. "And your sister. For being so different, you two sure are fond of saying the same things. She gave me that exact line two days ago."

She heard a quick rush of air that, after nearly nine months of living together, Sam recognized immediately as a laugh. The man just had to be silent about everything. "Well, did it work?" he asked.

Sam smirked into the dark. "That's classified information, pal." It was delivered with every attempt at lightness, but, judging from the sudden slowing of his breaths, Sam became acutely aware that the remark had struck a sour note. He had been trying to reach out, attempting to connect, but, being the socially and emotionally inept loner that she was, she went for the easy brush off instead of just letting him be concerned, interested. Always better not to get too deep. Too real. Too…close. It was times like this where she honestly wished kicking herself was still physically plausible. "Look, Jase, it's not that I don't want to talk about it with you…" she said in a waffling, unsure tone. "It's just that… I don't... wanna talk about it... with you." She finished with her eyes screwed shut. Somebody get this girl a gold star for her astonishing communication skills!

There was a beat of silence and she peeked at him cautiously with one eye. Thankfully, even in shadow, she could see that he smiled at the lameness of her answer. "That doesn't make any sense," he said, the barest hint of amusement embroidering his words.

She barely hid her relieved smile. "I know," she laughed nervously. "But it's kinda all I got right now... you know?"

And she knew he did. He nodded, in that special way of his. So uncomplicated and nonjudgmental, accepting and understanding as all hell. Sam sighed. She really liked that nod.

"I'm gonna go to bed," he said, his voice drawing nearer in the dark. This was usually the part where he kissed her goodnight, a simple peck on the cheek, but damned if she didn't still look forward to it. Like, a lot. And Sam found her eyes slipping shut at the feel of his hand on her stomach, drifting over the swell in a gentle caress. God, she could feel the love he had for this baby, feel it right through his fingertips. It made her tremble. It moved something in her, made her chest tighten and her eyes blur. Damn hormones.

"You better get some sleep, too," he said softly, those eyes of his softening in a smile as they followed the path of his hand. "You have that appointment in the morning."

Willing, pleading with her lungs to draw even breaths, Sam somehow managed a response. It was barely more than a murmur. "Liz and Emily are picking me up."

He nodded his understanding to her left and Sam felt the spiky ends of his hair brush her jaw line as he did it. She bit her lip, waiting. And then it happened. She was overwhelmed by the wonderfully satisfying feeling of his warmth drawing nearer, his distinct scent—leather and musk and the last stubborn traces of aftershave—becoming stronger until he was right there, his cheek brushing against hers, his breath beating softly against her hair. "Goodnight," he whispered, and then pressed a kiss to the skin just below her ear. This time she didn't tremble.

She shivered.

But she didn't have much time to dwell on the momentary lapse in her defenses, because in a flash Jason was on his feet and moving toward the stairs. She watched, bereft, as he ascended them slowly, one by one, until he'd disappeared completely. She strained her ear and listened carefully. And once she'd heard it, the reassuring 'click' of his bedroom door closing, Sam let her head fall back, and the breath she'd been holding release itself with a hearty 'whoosh'.

Let's see. She was supposed to be in love with one man (lets call him Guy Number A), pregnant with his child, but married to his best friend (Guy Number B)—at the request of A and B, no less—under the pretense that said baby was, in fact, Guy Number B's and not Guy Number A's, but—and just when she thought there was no conceivable way things could get anymore Peyton Place—she was faced with the undeniable fact that, at some point during this whole fiasco, she'd begun to care less about every little thing that Guy Number A did, and had started to care a whole lot more about Guy Number B, her husband… really care about him. Like, care, care. Like, shudder-at-his-touch type care, here.

And, on top of all that insanity, she actually felt guilty about it. Guilty!

Sam let out a miserable sigh. Remember what she'd said about her life being mucky?

Yeah. This was exactly what she'd meant.

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TBC…

(a/n) Well? It's my first crack at non-Emily, though I couldn't resist mentioning her just a bit. :p

Did you like it? Should I go on? As of right now I have nothing big or extraordinary planned for this and, if I even write anymore for it, it'll probably be just to satisfy my fascination with the Sam/Jason dynamic. I know that a lot of people don't really dig it, but I do. I think they fit pretty niftily together (excuse the ridiculous word, lol). I mean, he's far from perfect, and well, Sam's just about as non-perfect as a gal can get. They can enjoy being messed up, complicated people together, lol.

And, yeah, I know the song I used has a Christian tilt, but I think if you kind of ignore that fact, it fits Sam's strife pretty well. :o)

Anyway, just a warning, if I go on with this—that is if I get a decent enough response, then my updates will probably be pretty sporadic. I already have two epics going on and another fic that I have yet to post the second chapter to, lol (I am coming along on that. Promise!). I'm not sure how much time I'll be able to devote to this. But, regardless, I'm going to keep writing this one for me. I had so much fun writing this. It was, like, cathartic or something. Anyway, bye for now! –Loke