Title: Twisted Redemption
Summary: "What's worse," he asked indifferently. "The sins we've committed or the lengths we've taken to absolve ourselves from them?" Journey. Alternate Universe.
Author's note: Take everything you know about General Hospital and forget it. It's not going to help you here and really, it will only confuse you. The characters you see are not really as you know them, and I've taken the liberty of creating a few of my own as well. I got the idea from watching old tapes of Guiding Light actually, from 1998 and 1999. This is based loosely around what happened there, so if it seems familiar to anyone, that's why. It's another variation on how Jason and Courtney end up together, though I'm not sure I've seen this one done before. Just to clear things up before I get started, there's a few things you need to know: Courtney and Carly are friends, but they don't know Sonny and Jason, and Sonny and Courtney aren't related.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of it.
Feedback is never required but always appreciated!
"Courtney!" Carly's whisper was sharp as she elbowed her best friend. "Courtney look!"
Courtney shot her an evil glare before turning her eyes to the left. Her throat went dry and she forgot about the pain in her side as she took in the man standing at the foot of the stairs. She didn't blink as Carly grabbed her arm and pulled her into the storeroom and locked the door.
"That was him right?" Carly began pacing back and forth. "I mean, my eyes aren't playing tricks on me, are they? That is Jason Morgan out there."
"Of course it's him Carly," Courtney snapped. "Ever since Bobby Corinthos went missing all we've heard is wait until Jason Morgan comes to town. Hell, you even said it yourself! Great." She sighed and closed her eyes. "Well, here he is Carly. Standing in the middle of your club. Do you think that's a coincidence? Do you? Because I don't think it is. No, scratch that. I know it's not. He is standing out there looking around and he only has one reason to be here. He's here for us."
Two weeks earlier…
It was cold as Courtney searched the shoreline for her best friend, mentally cursing her for waking her up in the middle of the night and begging her to meet her at the beach. She didn't go into details, only saying it was an emergency, although with Carly, an emergency could be something as trivial as a lost swimsuit top as a result of a midnight swim.
Finally she spotted Carly's figure a few yards down the beach and it was clear from her posture that something really was wrong. She quickened her pace, jogging the rest of the way over.
"Carly? Carly what happened?" Courtney knelt down next to her and brushed a strand of hair out of her eyes. Carly was sitting with her knees pressed to her chest, arms wrapped around them and rocking back and forth slightly . "Carly, come on, talk to me."
Carly finally looked up, her dull eyes meeting Courtney's worried ones. "I couldn't let him rape me," she said finally. "I wouldn't let him."
"Who Carly? Who tried to hurt you." Courtney watched as her eyes moved past her and she turned her head in the same direction. "Oh God Carly." She crawled a few feet over and turned over the unconscious form. "It's Bobby."
"He was going to hurt me," Carly whimpered. "He tried, I fought back, I found a rock, I hit him hard…on the head… he fell back and he didn't move. That's when I called you."
"Okay Carly. It's okay." Courtney moved her hand to Bobby's neck, searching for a pulse. It was there. It was faint, but it was still there. "He's still alive," she said, turning back to Carly. She thought for a moment. Carly, though strong in her own right, was not much help in a situation like this. "I'll stay here, you go get AJ," she said finally. AJ was her boyfriend, he'd know what they should do next.
"Leave? Court, what if he wakes up?"
"He won't. You hit him pretty hard. Here." She pressed the keys to her car into Carly's hand. "Hurry up, go. I'll be okay." She watched as Carly ran back towards the car and smiled reassuringly when she turned and looked back. "I'll be fine!" she called after her. Her eyes swung back down to the unconscious man in front of her. "Damn it Bobby, why couldn't you just go away?"
"He is not here for us!" Carly whispered, her eyes flashing. "There's no way. Only three people know about that night and two of them are standing in this room!"
"That we know of!" Courtney shot back. She pressed her hands to her face and sighed. "We're so dead."
"We are not dead. We didn't kill him."
"Of course we did!"
"No!" It was Carly who snapped this time. "As far as we know, someone else came along that night. It's possible, I mean, Bobby wasn't exactly a great guy, I'm sure there are at least a dozen other people who wanted him dead as well."
"You keep telling yourself that Carly," Courtney said bitterly. "Maybe one day you'll actually believe it."
"Okay stop!" Carly held her hands up in the air. "Fighting about this isn't going to help now. What we need to do is relax. We need to be completely calm when we get out there. I mean seriously, what did we expect? Bobby worked here before I fired him. Of course Jason Morgan was going to show up in my club sooner than later, I'm surprised it took him this long."
"That's true," Courtney conceded. "The cops know this was the last place Bobby was seen for sure."
"Right, so he's probably here just to check the place out," Carly added. She twisted her hands together and looked at the door. "I guess we should get back out there, huh? I mean, he's probably going to want to talk to me at least."
"You're right," Courtney agreed. "Carly, just promise me you'll stay calm, seriously okay? The second you start babbling it's over, he'll know something's up."
"I can stay calm!" She rolled her eyes at the look on Courtney's face. "I can! Besides, even if we were the ones that killed Bobby, I wasn't the one that hit him the second time."
"I'm kidding!" Carly linked her arm through Courtney's. "Trust me, I'm not going to turn on you. We're in this together."
Courtney only shook her head as they walked back out into the club. Carly's words did little to reassure her, and she would never put it past her to confess everything to this Jason Morgan, especially to save herself.
It was an odd friendship that they had, Courtney reflected, as they separated. She sat back down at her table and listened as Carly greeted Jason brightly and loudly.
They had met the year before, in a human sexuality class at Port Charles University. Courtney would have rather been anywhere else, but as a psychology major she needed to take the class and wanted to get it out of the way sooner than later. On the second day of class this gorgeous, confident, and overly hyper girl who was taking the class "just for fun" sat down next to her and asked her if she thought she would have a shot at sleeping with the professor. It was the first conversation Courtney and Carly Robertshad shared and despite Courtney's shock at the topic at hand, over the course of the class they had become friends.
Being friends with Carly was a double-edged sword though, Courtney had soon realized. Sure she was fun to be around, she owned her own club so there was always a place to hang out, and she was fiercely protective of her friends. The minute it stopped benefiting her though, Carly wouldn't think twice about turning on anyone, no matter what. So far, Courtney hadn't seen that side of Carly, but she still stayed on her toes. After all, it was no secret that Carly was after Courtney's boyfriend.
Keeping one eye on the brunette and one eye on her psych book, Courtney tried to look casual as she strained to hear their conversation but she could only make out their voices over the other chatter and music. She tried to focus on her textbook again but she couldn't get Carly's words out of her head.
"I wasn't the one that hit him the second time."
"Come on Carly, what's taking so long?" Courtney wrapped her arms around herself as the wind picked up again. She couldn't have been gone more than ten minutes but it seemed much longer. She dug through her purse for her cell phone, she wanted to call AJ and let him know that Carly was on her way to get him so he didn't just turn her away without hearing her out.
"Finally," she muttered as she retrieved the phone from the very bottom of her bag. She held it up to inspect the signal and cried out in surprise as the phone was snatched out of her hand and thrown a few yards away. "Bobby!"
"Nice to see you're joining our little party," Bobby said, bringing a hand to the back of his head. He swore when he saw his fingers coated in blood. "Where'd your friend run off to? That little trick isn't going to like what I'm gonna do to her." Courtney tried to edge away but he caught her wrist. "Well now where do you think you're going Princess?" He pulled her back down onto the sand and laughed harshly. "You wouldn't want to leave me out here all alone, now would you?"
"Been drinking tonight Bobby?" Courtney asked as pulled her head as far from his as possible.
"I drink every night Blondie, remember? That's why Carly fired me. Couldn't have a bartender who drank more than he served." He coughed. "Stupid bitch."
"See, I thought she fired you because you were running drugs through her club."
"Nah." Bobby leaned back and stared hard at her. "She had me arrested for the drugs but she fired me for the drinking. Get it right."
"Yeah well, apology accepted." He reached out and ran a hand through her hair. "You're prettier than Carly, ya know that?"
She sat there unflinching. "Well she can't be that bad, I mean, you must have had a reason for attacking her tonight."
"She's a bitch, how's that for a reason?" He waited but Courtney gave no answer and he shrugged. "Either way, she's not here and you are, so what do ya say? Let's see if blondes really do have more fun."
"You're sick," she spit out as she yanked her wrist from his grip. He was quick though, and grabbed her other arm before she could get far.
"So I'm told. I'm also a man and trust me, no man would pass you up if you were standing in front of them."
"A real man wouldn't have to take it regardless if I wanted it or not." She knew she shouldn't have said it the slap across her face told her the same.
"Not quite as bitchy as Carly, but feisty all the same," Bobby muttered as he pushed her down into the sand. "Good thing I like feisty, but word of advice? Keep the comments to yourself."
Courtney struggled as he pinned her down. For a moment all she could think of was that she should have agreed to take that self-defense class with Carly but she quickly pushed the thought out of her mind and focused at the situation on hand. His mouth crashed down on hers and she bit into his lower lip as hard as she could. He lifted himself off of her slightly but only to slap her again.
"I take it back, you are a bitch," he grunted as he wiped the blood from his lip. "Makes this all the more fun for me." He grabbed at her shirt roughly, trying to undo the buttons with one hand.
Courtney managed to free one of her hands and felt around frantically for anything in the sand. Finally, her fingers hit a rock and after a little maneuvering her hand grasped it. She took a deep breath and brought the rock down as hard as she could over Bobby's head.
There was a sickening crack and Bobby slumped forward, pinning her underneath him. Summoning all of her strength she shoved him forward and his body fell to the left of her.
Scrambling to her feet, Courtney stared down at his still form. He wasn't moving and she couldn't tell if he was breathing but she wasn't about to get close enough to check for sure. She realized she was still holding the rock in her hand and did the only thing she could think of. She threw it as far out into the lake as she could, listening for the hollow splash before turning and leaving. She couldn't risk staying, she'd go find Carly and AJ who had to be close by and they'd figure out a plan. They had to.
She turned back and squinted. She could still see him lying there and she felt sick to her stomach.
"What have I just done?"
"Court?" Carly snapped her fingers in front of her face. "Courtney!"
Courtney blinked. "Carly, sorry." She raised a hand and scratched her forehead. "What's up?"
"I wanted to introduce you to Jason," she said, gesturing to the man that stood next to her. "Jason, this is my best friend, Courtney Matthews, Courtney, this is Jason Morgan. He works for Sonny Corinthos and is here to talk to anyone who knew Bobby."
Courtney nodded and held out her hand, unable to look the man directly in the eyes. "It's terrible, what happened," she murmured.
"I agree, death is a terrible thing," he commented dryly.
Carly nodded. "Bobby's body was found two days ago," she explained. "The police are keeping it quiet."
Courtney couldn't breathe. "Oh." She fought to stay calm as she trained her eyes on Jason bravely. "And you're here to try and figure out who killed him?"
Jason shrugged. "I'm here to try and get some answers."
"Your reputation precedes you, Jason," Carly said, somewhat boldly. "Or should I say, the Corinthos family reputation?"
"The Corinthos family is a powerful one," Jason replied cryptically. "If they want answers, then answers they'll get."
"You're pretty sexy," Carly commented as she flipped her hair over her shoulder. "Got a girlfriend?"
"Too busy for one," Jason said, his eyes still on Courtney. She felt them on her and blushed uncomfortably.
"Pity." Carly winked. "Well, my supply guy is here so if you'll excuse me, I have to go deal with him. Jason, it was nice--"
"Actually, if you don't mind, I'm going to stick around," he said as he pulled out the chair across from Courtney. "Try and find people who knew Sonny's brother and things like that." He nodded at Courtney. "Carly says you're here most of the time, so you could help me, right?"
"Great!" Carly said, a little too loudly. "Order anything you want, it's on the house." She smiled reassuringly at Courtney and walked away before Courtney could say a thing.
Jason tapped the book in front of her. "Behavior Modification," he noted. "Psych major?"
She closed the book with a sigh. "I appreciate the attempt at small talk Mr. Morgan, but please, can you just ask me what you want to know?"
"It's Jason." He leaned back in his chair. "You don't like me."
"I don't know you."
"But you're scared of me."
"How can you be scared of me when you don't even know me?" She looked up and saw him grinning at her. "You said so yourself."
"Fair enough." She set her elbows on the table and leaned on them. "But again, what do you think I can help you with here?"
He shrugged. "I don't know yet," he said honestly. "But Bobby used to work here and you're here all the time, so maybe you've seen or heard something that I might find helpful."
"Maybe," Courtney mused. "Can I ask you a question, Jason?" She was surprised at how easily the name slid off of her tongue.
"Sure, we're friends now, ask away."
"What happens if you find whoever is responsible for Bobby's death?"
Jason regarded her as carefully as he chose his words. "When I find Bobby's murderer, I'll do everything I can to make sure they'll pay for what they've done."
It was the answer Courtney had expected. Unfortunately, it was also the answer she feared the most.