Okay here is the disclaimer: THIS IS angst filled. What you need to know: It takes place after Courtney "died" during the virus. Nikolas finally got their child back (Maxie gave him the paternity results) and is living at Wyndamere. This takes place almost exactly two years later.

It was snowing outside; the crunch of the snow under his feet and the laughter of the little boy filled his ears. Even after two years he couldn't believe that he had been blessed with this gift from an angel. The little boy that he and Courtney created had made him whole again. When Maxie had discovered the real paternity test, and told him a part of him still couldn't believe it. The next three paternity tests came back the same a 99.999 percent fact that he was little John's father. As the anger quickly faded; he was able to take his little boy home to Wyndamere. The first order of business was to change the little boy's name and birth certificate. John after Jax's father just didn't seem appropriate…so he did right by the love of his life, and Matthew Stefan Cassadine was renamed that sunny day in June. It took a lot for him to get used to having a baby around. So the nanny was hired, and he bought every single safety certified baby item he could get his hands on. Even after she and his brother had parted Liz helped a lot with the newness of fatherhood; coming over and designing the most gorgeous nursery for Matthew. That was also the time Helena came sniffing around. The first three nannies quit for fear of their lives, but Mrs. Landsbury's niece came to stay and she was not intimidated by a Cassadine. They fell into a comfortable routine…he grew closer to his family. Sam was now a part of the family, and he welcomed his cousin with open arms. When Jason went to work for Robert Scorpio she moved in Wyndamere with he and Matthew, and then when Alexis' marriage ended in shambles she too took up residence there with Kristina and Molly. They came to count on each other…and when Jason and Sam married he surprisingly moved with them onto the Island. They all figured the best way to combat Helena was strength in numbers. And now he sat watching his boy and cousins play in the snow. Kristina was teaching the younger kids how to make snowballs.

"Thud" was all he heard as the first snowball came from the group of kids.

"Owwww!" he screamed with flourish for the kids benefit as he began to chase them.

Matthew and Molly were inseparable as they ran together toward a grove of trees. He quickly grabbed each kid in each arm as they squealed.

"Daddy!" Matthew cried as he tickled him.

He never tired of that boy calling him daddy…looking up at him with those blue eyes of his mother and the dark hair of his father.

He sat there watching them build a snowman when Alexis walked towards him.

"You never tire of it, huh?" she asked sitting on the bench next to him.

"What?" he asked looking up.

"Staring at him…watching every thing he does with pure amazement?" she asked.

"Is it that obvious?"

"He is the most gorgeous little boy…he has her eyes" she said her voice tinged with sadness.

"She gave me the most beautiful gift in the world…I just wish she was here to help me out…give me advice" he said the tears willing the tears to not come forth.

"She is here with you…watching over you and her son" she said wrapping her arm around his shoulders.

"I know…that's what keeps me going" he told her.

They heard the launch pull up later, and went to greet whoever was at the door.

"PAPA!" Matthew and Kristina cried when the opened the door to greet Mike.

"Hey kiddos" he said picking up Matthew and tussling Kristina's hair.

"Cookie, papa?" Matthew asked giving his pout lip.

Nikolas saw the tears come into Mike's eyes.

"One track mind" Nikolas said with a bittersweet smile.

"Just like his mama" Mike said wiping the tears away quickly with the back of his hand.

When Nikolas walked Mike to the launch the older man looked at him and smiled.

"She loved you so much" he said.

"I loved her too" he said the solitary tear slipped down his cheek.

"I know you did…I am reminded of it every time I see my little grandson. Thank you for letting me be a part of his life" he said.

"You're his grandfather…Courtney loved you so much…this is what she would have wanted"

"She would have wanted you to move on with your life too…you have mourned her for long enough…she would want you to be happy" the man said before climbing on the launch.

Nik knew that what Mike said was right…but how could he move on with someone else when she still had his heart?

Two Months Later…

"Do you Elizabeth Webber take Patrick Drake to be your lawfully wedded husband?" Father Coates asked the couple in front of the church. Nikolas smiled as he watched one of his best friends marry. When Liz and Lucky broke up it seemed as if the old gang would never be the same again. Emily moved to California and Lucky took a job overseas, but Nikolas and Liz managed to stay close…and now as he watched her remarry; he couldn't remember a time she was happier.

"Congratulations" he whispered in her ear as they danced at the reception.

"God Nikolas, can you believe it" she asked beaming that bright smile at him.

"You love him, huh?"

Her eyes cast downward for a moment, "I never thought I could love this much, you know?" she said.

"Yeah I do know…I'm going to miss you; so you better write and call" he said.

"Please, I am going to be so bored over there; you are going to get inundated with mail" she said.

Later that evening Elizabeth and Patrick left on a honeymoon to Europe. The honeymoon was supposed to last a month, and then Patrick had a ten month long residence program at a prestigious neurological clinic in Spain. He was happy for her yet sad because he was losing his friend for a year. When he walked off the dance floor a familiar voice was heard behind him.

"Nikolas Cassadine, are you going to leave without a dance with me?" he heard Maxie Jones ask.

The two years she had been gone away at school had matured her into a young woman. They had stayed in contact since she found out about the paternity, and he was happy to see her again.

"Hey you…how's school?" he asked taking her into his arms.

"Good, I am actually back…for good" she said as they gently swayed to the music.

"Really?" he asked.

"Yep, I am interning in the DA's office thanks to your aunt and finishing up at PCU" she said smiling.

"That's great…we should have dinner sometime" he said smiling.

"I'd like that."

One week later

"Nikolas Cassadine, you wound me" Maxie said laughing over dinner at the Metro Court.

Nikolas was surprised at how much fun he had with Maxie. He hadn't been on a date since Courtney had died and it felt good to.

"Thank you Nikolas, I had a great time" Maxie said as he walked her up to her door.

"Me too" he said smiling and leaning in for a kiss on the cheek.

He walked away but just as she entered the door he turned around, "Maxie."


"I'd like to do this again" he said.

"Me too" she said eyes twinkling.

When he got home that night Sam was sitting in the den.

"How was your date?" she asked

"It wasn't a date" he said smiling.

"Right Mr. Smiley Pants" she teased.

He sat down on the seat adjacent to hers.

"I had a really good time" he said.

"Hey" she said sitting on the arm of the couch, "Court would have wanted that, you know that right?" Sam asked looking into his eyes.

"Yeah" he said closing his eyes.

Six Months Later

"Higher Maxie, higher" Matthew called out to the woman who pushed him on the swing set.

In the last six months Nikolas had come to grow fond of the young woman. Her involvement in his life was a breath of fresh air. As an added bonus Matthew was crazy about her also.

"Daddy, daddy" Matthew cried seeing his father watching them.

"Hey buddy, Mrs. Landsbury made cookies, you want to go grab some" and before he was finished the little boy was running towards the woman standing on the porch.

"Hey you" Maxie said flirtatiously.

"Hey" he said taking her into his arms and kissing her on the mouth.

When they broke both were breathless and sighed, "Wow" she said before they walked towards the mansion hand in hand.

Meanwhile in Spain

"Honey, I'm home" Patrick Drake called jokingly letting himself in the front door of the apartment.

"PATTY!" the little boy cried running and jumping into his arms.

"Cam, my favorite man, where's mom" he asked.

"In the kitchen" the little boy said as they walked towards the door.

"Well there are my two favorite men" Liz said smiling as she stirred something.

Patrick put Cam down who ran back to the television and enveloped her into his arms breathing in the sweet smell of her hair.

"Have I told you how much I love you?" he asked.

"I don't think you have" she said spinning around to face him.

"Oh well let me tell you" he said before dipping down to kiss her sweet lips.

It was hard to believe he had found someone like Elizabeth in a place he never really wanted to go. But there she was in scrubs in the lobby of the hospital not taking any of his player spiel. She worked hard for her and her son; made so qualms about anything. She earned his respect and friendship first. He was with Robin and she was married to Lucky…but when the mutual relationships fell apart they found themselves spending more and more time together. There was always something there, a spark…and they both tried hard to fight it using the excuse of not wanting to ruin their friendship, but in the end it became too much…and this was where he had found his true love. He asked her to marry him four months after their courtship started knowing that it was right…when she took his last name it made him the happiest man on earth. Now here they were in Spain where he was working with the top neurosurgeons on the planet, and he couldn't imagine a better life than with Liz and Cam.

"So how was work?" she asked the man who had stolen her heart.

To hear him talk about medicine was a thing that amazed her. She had always known he was a great surgeon…albeit a cocky, self centered one…but in the time she came to know him she had seen the depth of his soul. And that made her love him even more…plus he had dimples to die for.

"Good, we have a new patient being flown in from a private clinic in Greece. She doesn't remember anything…who she is…where she is from. They found her wandering on a beach. I just hope we can help her" he said shaking his head.

"Hey, you are the best surgeon I know…if anyone can do it…it's you" she said encircling his neck with her hands.

"Mrs. Drake…always the flatterer" he said kissing her again.

On a private plane bound for Spain…

The doctors put her on a plane that evening sending her to a clinic that was touted as the best in the world for brain injuries. No doctor had yet to explain why it was she couldn't remember anything. So she prayed that this time she would be able to get some answers. As she looked out the window at the vast areas of land she ran her hand through her long silky blond hair…hoping that this time they could tell her why a particular pair of brown eyes invaded her every thought.

A/N: I know you are probably wondering, Nik and Maxie, WHAT? But hey its two years later and I had to put Nik with someone new to make the story more dramatic. Hope you enjoyed, and as always any feedback is GREATLY appreciated!