Disclaimer: I don't own General Hospital or its characters.

Summary: He was only supposed to protect her, falling in love hadn't been part of the plan. Courtney is in trouble, and it looks like Jason is the only one who can save her.

Author's Note: Just my own variation on how Courtney and Jason could have ended up together. Takes place when Courtney was working at Oasis. If you like, take the time to let me know what you think!

Also, I know there is already a story on this site with the same song, and I apologize to that author, I hadn't realized that there was until I had this one uploaded onto the site… so check her story out too! It's quite different than this one is.

Song credit goes to Big and Rich, the song is Holy Water.

Somewhere there's a stolen halo,
I used to watch her wear it well,
Everything would shine,
Wherever she would go,
But looking at her now you'd never tell

Every morning he saw her, fresh-faced and smiling, her hair thrown up in a messy ponytail as she flitted around the diner, taking orders and laughing with the customers. She was always polite and cheerful, she always brought him his coffee before he could ask for it, and sometimes she even talked him into a blueberry muffin, even though he didn't particularly care for blueberries. Or muffins.

Now every night he saw a completely different side of her. One that was full of make up, glitter and hairspray. Watching her writhe and slide across the stage, he couldn't even tell that it was her.

There was no similarity at all between Courtney and "Daisy".

It was the same routine every night. He would watch her on stage, without actually watching her, and when she was done, he'd pay for her to spend the majority of the rest of her shift with him. Idly making conversation with her as she danced, still, not really looking at her. Inevitably though, she'd have to go entertain other men, and this was the part of the night he hated most. He couldn't protect her without watching her.

When her shift was done, he'd take her home, make sure she was safe and settled for the night, and then go home himself, where he'd scrub himself raw in the shower, as if by ridding himself of any reminder of Oasis would help her as well. He could only imagine what she went through each night, alone in her apartment.

And every morning, she'd be there, still smiling, still serving him his coffee, and never once giving any indication of the night before.

Someone ran away with her innocence,
A memory she can't get out of her head,
And I can only imagine,
What she's feelin' when she's prayin',
Kneelin' at the edge of her bed

He hated that she had to do this, he hated that she was paying for his brother's mistake and that AJ had no idea.

He hated that he felt such a strong desire to protect her.

Courtney stormed out of the Oasis, failing to acknowledge the bouncer who called goodnight after her, failing to respond to the catcalls and whistles of a few stray customers who hung around outside of the building. Failing to notice that the red light had changed to green before she stepped out into the intersection.

She stood frozen in place as she saw the bus heading toward her, praying it would hit her, but before it even got close, she felt herself being yanked back onto the sidewalk.

One of the regulars inside had gotten too rough with her, berating and groping despite her protests. Jason had shot out of his chair and sent him to the floor with one hit. While Coleman was harassing him for the damage done to a chair, Courtney had taken off and after he had thrown a few bills at Coleman to take care of it, he had found her, standing in the middle of the street with headlights rushing at her.

She was facing away from him, but he could tell she was crying by the rise and fall of her shoulders. He took her elbow gently, turning her towards him and his anger only intensified as he saw the tears mixing with heavy mascara on her cheeks.

"Let's go," he said quietly, taking his jacket off and slipping the worn leather over her petite frame.

She was quiet the whole way home, and didn't protest when Jason followed her into the apartment, instead of just saying goodnight like usual.

"Hey girl," he said as Rosie bounded over to him. He gave her a quick pat on the head and she went back to her food dish. He looked up to see Courtney still standing next to the door, unmoving. "Courtney?"

She jumped at his voice and looked at him. "I'm sorry, what?" she asked finally.

"Why don't you go change your clothes?" Jason suggested, realizing she was still wearing Daisy's costume.

She nodded. "I think I'm going to take a shower," she said, clutching his jacket tighter around her.

"Sure," Jason said. "I'll have coffee ready for you when you're done."

"Thank you," she answered as she brushed past him. He listened as she turned the water on, listened for the shower curtain to be pulled back, waiting to hear the splash of water hitting her body before he began to make the coffee.

Jason was trying to calm down himself. He still wanted to kill that guy, and couldn't promise that he wouldn't reach a less than desirable fate should he ever walk into that club again.

The coffee was ready and Jason poured it into two mugs, still listening as she showered. It sounded differently though, and he listened closer. Something was off.

"Courtney?" He knocked on the bathroom door. He could still hear the water running, but there was no answer. After a few seconds he turned the doorknob, and upon finding it unlocked, opened the door.


And she says take me away,
Then take me farther,
Surround me now,
And hold, hold, hold me like holy water,
Holy water

He found her sitting in the far corner of the bathtub, knees drawn tight against her chest, hands pressed to her face, her whole body shaking with sobs. As he got closer, he realized the water was scalding hot and turned it off. Grabbing the bathrobe off of its hanger, he wrapped it around her and lifted her out of the tub and carried her into the bedroom. Drying her off as gently and as discreetly as he could, he dressed her in the pajamas that were lying on the bed next to her.

"I'll be right back," he said quietly, placing a hand on her back. If she heard a word of what he said, she didn't show it. He brushed the wet tangles off her shoulder and went into the kitchen to retrieve her cup of coffee.

When he came back into her room, she was curled up on her side, asleep. He sat down next to her, and again brushed the hair from her face. Her cheeks still glistened from her tears, and with the edge of her bedspread Jason wiped them away before sitting back and watching as she fell into an uneasy sleep. He wasn't sure how long he sat there, just staring at her, but it was daylight when he finally settled himself in the corner chair and closed his eyes.

She wants someone to call her angel,
Someone to put the light back in her eyes,
She's looking through the faces,
And unfamiliar places,
She needs someone to hear her when she cries

Courtney was gone by the time Jason opened his eyes a few hours later. He cursed at himself silently as he checked the entire apartment, confirming that she had slipped out without him knowing. One look at his watch reminded him of her morning shifts at the diner and he was out the door and on his way to Kelly's.

He found her there, going about her usual routine, smiling brightly and chatting with Lucky as she served his breakfast. He tried to catch her eye, but she wouldn't look up so he found himself going to his usual table and waited for her to come to him.

"Black and two sugars," she said a moment later, setting a cup down in front of him. "Dad made banana muffins today if you want."

Jason searched her eyes but found no signs that she wanted to talk about last night, or that it even happened. He was surprised though, by the hardened look in her clear blue eyes, they still sparkled, but something was definitely off.

"Sure," he found himself saying, even though he disliked banana muffins more than blueberry. Before he could say anymore, she was on her way to the counter.

"Here you are," she said, setting a plate in front of him a few seconds later.

"Thanks," he replied, resigning himself to the fact that Courtney wasn't going to talk to him.

"You're welcome," she said. She hesitated. "And thank you."

The words were barely above a whisper, but Jason heard them and looked up at her with a reassuring smile and a nod.

And they settled back into their normal routine, with the exception that Jason was staying over at her place almost nightly, now that they were dealing with her stalker and he didn't think it was a good idea for her to be alone.

Late one night he was woken out of his light slumber by the ringing of the telephone. She must have been waiting for a call he noted, because it was answered immediately and he could hear her talking in hushed tones.

He tried not to listen, as eavesdropping wasn't something he'd normally do, but her voice rose in either anger or frustration several times and he couldn't help but overhear her side of the conversation.

"Don't you understand, I need you here!" Silence, followed by a sigh. "I know. I know it's important for you to be there, but damn it, I miss you. I really wish you were here to help me get through this." Another pause and her voice turned shaky. "Fine, I love you too. Good night."

Jason listened as she put the phone down. He heard her climb out of bed and open her door so he quickly closed his eyes and pretended to be asleep.

Rosie gave him away though, running over to him and jumping onto his chest, licking his face. Courtney giggled a little, as she tried to pull the retriever off of him.

"Sorry about that," she said.

"It's okay," he said, sitting up. "I was awake anyways."

"Good." Courtney perched herself on the opposite end of the sofa and tucked her legs underneath her. "I couldn't sleep. As usual."

It had become another part of their routine; these middle of the night conversations. She always claimed to wake up because of Rosie, but Jason knew it was the phone calls from AJ. He went along with her story though, and truthfully, he waited for those calls to end so she would come out there.

What he didn't know was that Courtney secretly anticipated the end of the phone call herself. She looked forward to spending this time with Jason, talking about anything and everything that came to mind. Well, mostly she talked and he listened, but every once in awhile he surprised her with a story of his own. His voice was soothing, hell, just being in the same room as him calmed her down. He listened as she talked about everything, her mom, what her life had been like growing up, her marriage to AJ. Jason in turn, would share amusing stories about Carly, or talk about raising Michael, and Courtney found herself charmed at how his eyes would light up whenever he talked about the people he loved.

It was messed up, she had realized a few nights ago. Jason made her feel safer and more comfortable than her own husband did.

And every night when she went back to bed, she would wonder if his eyes ever lit up when he talked about her.

And she says take me away,
Then take me farther,
Surround me now,
And hold, hold, hold me like holy water

"I talked to AJ tonight," she confided, as she idly stroked Rosie.

"How'd that go?" Jason fought to keep his voice neutral.

Courtney shrugged. "I asked him to come home and he wouldn't, beginning and end of conversation." She looked down at her hands, which had left Rosie and were now twisting at the hem of her pajamas.

"You deserve better than him Courtney," Jason said before he could stop himself. When she didn't respond he kept going. "You could always leave him."

"No." She kept her gaze fixated on her pajamas. "I made a commitment to him, I can't turn my back on that." She took a deep breath. "We're just in a rough spot right now, we won't be like this forever."

"Courtney look at me." He waited until she lifted her gaze. He was about to tell her exactly what he thought about a husband who wouldn't even come home while his wife was being stalked, but quickly realized it would do more harm than good to belittle her husband to her face. "You deserve better," was all he said.

Courtney changed the conversation quickly, and soon Jason found himself listening to another one of her stories about a disastrous attempt she had made at cooking the other day. She could be reading the ingredients off of a box of cereal and he still would have listened just as intently. Just the sound of her voice set him at ease, and he couldn't remember feeling this comfortable in a long time.

They talked for a while longer, growing sleepier as the hours ticked by. Before either of them knew it, they had fallen asleep on the couch mid-story.

She just needs a little help,
To wash away the pain she's felt,
She wants to feel the healin' hands,
Of someone who understands

Jason paused outside of the apartment door and listened carefully. Courtney had called him, told him she needed him there immediately. As he knocked on the door he heard the sound of breaking glass. He didn't wait for her to answer the door; he used his own key to get in.

The apartment was a wreck. Anything that was made of glass appeared to have been thrown against the walls, a chair was upturned, and Courtney was nowhere to be found.

"Courtney!" He yelled, reaching for the gun tucked next to his body. She appeared in the doorway of the bathroom clutching a towel to her hand. He reached her side in three long strides, noticing that her face, while stained with tears, also had several cuts and bruises.

"What happened?" he asked, releasing his grip on the gun. He took the towel from her hand and opened her clenched palm, revealing a jagged red line. Her hand felt warm in his as he pressed the towel back to her wound and led her over to a chair.

"AJ," she muttered.

"He was here? He did this? Courtney, did he hurt you?" Again, Jason was surprised at how angry he became at the thought of anyone hurting her.

She took a shaky breath. "He's the stalker. I caught him and he admitted it. He was drunk; we got into a fight, and I- I shot him. I shot my own husband. Oh God Jase, what do I do?" Before he could respond she buried her head in his shoulder and wrapped her arms around his neck.

"Okay, it's okay." He rubbed small circles into her back. "Where is he now?" he asked.

"I don't know. He was hurt, but he left as soon as I called you. I don't know where he went." She started to cry again.

"Okay, don't worry." He reached for his phone and had within minutes had Johnny and Max looking for AJ. "Everything's going to be fine," he said to Courtney, who was still in his arms. "Are you hurt? Besides this cut?"

She shook her head. "No, he just hit me once, and that's when I shot him. I was trying to wash up and knocked over a glass in the bathroom," she said, explaining her hand.

"Alright, well let's get you out of here."

"Where?" she asked.

"My place. We'll get you cleaned up there and wait for Max to call." He stood up, and helped her to her feet. "Come on, let's go."

At the penthouse he inspected her cuts and bruises closer and decided against taking her to the hospital, choosing to tend to them himself. As he held the washcloth to her eye she winced momentarily before relaxing against his touch.

"All better?" he asked, drawing the cloth away and smiling at her. He was surprised when she looked directly into his eyes, something she usually tried not to do, and held his gaze. He felt her fingers slide over his, interlocking their hands together.

"Almost," she whispered.

And she says take me away,
Then take me farther,
Surround me now,
And hold, hold, hold me

AJ had been found and was bribed to leave town for good. All Courtney knew of his whereabouts was that he had taken a short trip to the Dominican Republic to grant her an annulment of their marriage and after that, she had no idea where he was, and quite honestly, she didn't care.

She hadn't left Jason's penthouse in almost a week now, she wasn't ready to face anyone other than Jason, and he understood that. He did anything he could to make sure she felt safe, He even going as far as bringing Rosie to her when he had gone back to her place to get a few of her things.

She had almost kissed him that night, the first night she had been there. She had been leaning in to reach him when Max called to tell them they had found AJ. The moment had passed, and neither of them had spoken of it since but still it hung heavily over them.

Courtney was still trying to process all of these new feelings. Jason was supposed to be her bodyguard; that was all. She wasn't supposed to even like him, let alone fall in love with him. And she didn't know how he felt either. What if he didn't see her that way? What if he only thought of her as Sonny's sister, his "assignment", or even worse, some pathetic stripper who had gotten herself into a disastrous marriage?

And then she would look at him, see him watching her, and she knew none of that was true. Jason Morgan may never share his feelings with the world, but she could tell he felt something for her.

She knew it when she saw his eyes light up as she walked into the room.

But there was no way she could do anything about it, she realized. Not only was she his boss' kid sister, she was also just barely divorced from his brother.

She knew this was the way it had to be; she had to leave. He was only her protection and now that she didn't need that, she didn't need him.

Except that now she needed him more than ever.

And she couldn't imagine her life without him in it.

She says take me away,
Then take me farther,
Surround me now,
And hold, hold, hold me like holy water

"You don't have to go," he said, as she pulled her jacket on and called for Rosie.

"Yes I do," she said softly. "I need to get my life back." Over the last week, with the help of Jason, she had found a new place to live, and Jason had made sure she never had to step foot in Oasis ever again.

Jason nodded, wondering what his place in her new life would be. "I just don't want you to go until you feel absolutely sure," he said.

She smiled at him. "I'm ready," she said, blinking rapidly to keep the tears hidden from him. "Jason, thank you so much," she said. "I can't ever repay you for everything you've done."

He opened the door for her then, nodding and swallowing down his own emotions. "If you ever need me," he choked out and she nodded back at him.

"Thank you," she said again, leaning up to kiss his cheek. She turned away quickly then, and walked away so he couldn't see her cry.

It was raining outside but Courtney didn't care. Maybe the raindrops would wash away some of her past, cleanse her of everything she didn't want, and make her new again.

She laughed bitterly then, realizing all of the positive thinking in the world wasn't going to make her feel better at this point. The rain mingled with the tears that were falling freely from her eyes and she had to stop walking for a moment to regain her composure.

When she looked up she was startled to see Jason standing in front of her. "Jason—"

"You know I can't let you go," he said, finding her hand and squeezing it in his. "You and I, we-re—there's something going on here, and we both know it. We both feel it." He stepped closer then, and brushed a few drops off of her face. "And if you want me even half as much as I want you, then we—"

Courtney cut him off, holding her free hand to his mouth. She couldn't believe what she was hearing, and was caught by surprise at how relieved she was to hear it. "Yes," was all she whispered as she moved her hand to cup his face and drew him closer to her.

As they kissed Jason was aware of the rain falling around them and he took it as a sign. It was over; they were both free from the hell they had lived the past few months, they had each been given a second chance at happiness.

Finally, he pulled away from her and saw that she was smiling. "It's raining," he said, smiling back at, running his fingers over her face.

"Yes," she said, tilting her head up towards the sky and feeling even more drops on her face. She laced her fingers through his again. "Feels good, doesn't it?"

Like holy water…