Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in this story. They belong to TPTB at ABC and the creators of General Hospital.

Once More, With Feeling
Chapter 1

Carly stared out the window of her lonely bedroom, listening to the crackling of the fire that never seemed to warm her as she spent her nights alone. What a world she was living in. She had sat, night after night, at the window, staring out at the driveway, waiting for the man she loved to come home. She was married to a man she'd sworn to herself she'd never marry again in her life. Her boys were confused about the status of their parents' relationship, though Michael tried to act adult about it. She knew he loved Jax, but he preferred his mother to be with his father. It just couldn't be that way. She couldn't go through that again. It had been too long, and she'd started to heal. But something inside of her had never full healed, and that was her heart. She loved him. She couldn't deny that. But it hurt too damned much to have it broken over and over again by the same person that she always managed to give it to.

"Mommy?" Carly turned from the window, seeing her youngest son standing there, his eyes tired from sleep.

"Morgan, what is it sweetie? You should be in bed."

"I had a bad dream. Can I sleep with you?" Carly smiled, walking over to collect her tired son in her arms. She knew she shouldn't coddle him. He was a growing boy. But she couldn't help it. He was still her baby.

"Of course you can," she said with a smile. "Mommy won't let anybody hurt you, ever, ok?" Morgan nodded, and Carly helped him under the covers, tucking him in tight. She sat beside him, and when he closed his eyes, she studied his face, still in amazement about how much he resembled Sonny. He would be a heartbreaker one day too.

Carly glanced at her cell phone, something that had become routine every night. She'd waited for Jax's call, but it never came. He was too busy rescuing Jerry. If he hadn't gone off like she'd told him to, they'd be newlyweds now. But it was Valentine's Day. It was supposed to be a beautiful night, but instead, she'd sat at home watching cartoons with her sons and hoping for the phone to ring. Since when did Caroline Benson wait for a man to call? When had she become so boring and pathetic? She'd waited for Sonny to call too, but with him, it was out of worry and not out of some need to know that he still loved her or was thinking about her. She had never doubted his love. Through all the Hell they'd been through, she'd always known he cared, even though they were both too bull-headed to admit when they were wrong.

Her thoughts were growing too big and too loud, and she was starting to feel smothered by it all. So, she stood and crept out of the room and down the stairs to pour herself a drink. She needed to relax. She needed to clear her thoughts. Unfortunately, her thoughts continued to swarm around the men in her life, especially the one she didn't want to be thinking about. He was her husband now, after all, but that didn't matter. She loved Jax. She was promised to him. But she was starting to wonder if he felt the same. Sure, he was probably busy saving his brother and unable to make contact by phone, but Sonny had been in worse circumstances before, pretending to be dead or hiding from the police, and he'd still managed to get word to her and let her know how much he cared. Despite his flaws, his love was something she had held onto when there hadn't been much else.

She downed the brandy quickly and placed the glass back on the bar. Moving toward the window, she frowned at the sight of the snow coming down so quickly. She figured the boys would have a snow day, and she probably wouldn't be able to get out to the Metro Court. She didn't mind staying home with her boys all day. She loved it. Now that they were older, they were developing personalities she'd never expected out of them. While Michael was defiant and quirky, Morgan was quiet and sensible. She had to laugh at the way Michael was so much like Sonny, and they weren't even blood relatives. Morgan must've gotten his disposition from Adella, because he certainly didn't get it from either one of his parents.

Carly pressed her hand against the icy window, feeling the flecks of snow hit against her glassed-over palm like bits of sand in a storm. She wondered if Jax was warm wherever he was. If he was in the jungle, most likely, but God only knew where Jerry had led him. God only knew if he was still alive.

Just as quickly as the thought of Jax entered her mind, the feeling of cold brought her back to Christmas, long before Morgan was thought of, long before Alexis complicated things, when Sonny lay dying in the snow on the street from a gunshot wound. He'd asked Alexis to tell his wife he loved her, and it was still something that sent a feeling of shock through Carly to this very day. Perhaps she'd known all along that he'd loved her, but hearing it, especially from someone else's mouth, was something she hadn't expected. She'd thought it was a lie until he told her for himself. Seeing him open his eyes after nearly leaving her forever…she'd never felt such relief in all of her life, and to this day, that moment was one of the greatest she'd ever experienced. The more she thought, the more she realized that all of those moments had been with Sonny. Even bringing Morgan into the world had been happy, despite the circumstances that had followed.

She groaned aloud, wishing she could stop thinking about him. One great big knot had swelled up inside of her stomach and took up permanent residence there after she had said 'I do' to Sonny for the fourth time. One reason was because she didn't know how to tell Jax, and the other was one that made the knot even bigger…being married to Sonny felt more natural than anything, despite her efforts to distance herself from him. It had worked for a week, until the boys had gotten homesick. The moment they'd arrived back in Port Charles from Aspen, Sonny was back in her life again, and she had to fight harder than ever to keep him out of her head and her heart. Her resolve was weakening, however, even though she tried her hardest to hold onto her vow to herself and to Jax, the one that swore that that connection with Sonny was purely for the children. But these days, she wasn't so sure.

Headlights flooded her view of the snow, and she narrowed her eyes, trying to see who her visitor was. She turned from the window, feeling that knot tightening. She swallowed hard, felt her palms begin to sweat, and she leaned her back against the front door, praying it wasn't who she thought it was. When that familiar knock came to the door, she nearly jumped out of her skin. Turning and unlocking the door, she braced herself. As soon as she opened the door, she wasn't met by the usual dimpled smile, but two beautiful brown eyes full of concern. She couldn't tell him to go away when he was looking at her like that. Something was wrong.

"Sonny…what are you doing here? It's late."

"I was worried."

"Worried about what? That I might die of boredom on Valentine's Day?" She was trying to make light of whatever was going on, because she didn't want to be dragged down again. She wanted to be happy. She found herself having to force-feed herself the idea that Jax made her happy. He didn't make her feel miserable. But the more she told herself that, the more she realized she was wrong. She was miserable.

"I…I guess I had a nightmare."

"Like father like son," she remarked.

"What?"

"Nothing…I…it's just Morgan. He had a bad dream, and…"

"Is he ok?"

"He's fine, Sonny. He's sleeping now." Sonny nodded awkwardly. She'd never seen him quite like this. No, he wasn't on the verge of a breakdown. But he looked as if he hadn't slept in days.

"Mind if I come in?"

"I don't think that's a good idea. I was getting ready to go to bed, and…" He noticed the smell of liquor on her breath right away.

"You've been drinking?"

"I had one drink, Sonny. One. I needed something to help me sleep." She fidgeted in the doorway, and the wind picked up. "It's really coming down out there," she sighed. "I don't think you're gonna make it home in this weather." Sonny just stared at her. "And I'm not mean enough to make you sleep in the car, so come in. You can sleep on the couch."

"I don't want to impose."

"You're not. Just get in here," she replied with a roll of her eyes. Sonny stepped in, and she expected a cocky smile, but she didn't receive one. He stepped in, and she took his coat, waiting for him to speak again. It was several more moments until he opened his mouth again.

"Carly…"

"What is it, Sonny? What's got you so upset?" He looked down for a moment, running his hand over his stubble-covered chin.

"I had that dream again." Carly felt her stomach tighten, and she swallowed, her dry throat beginning to ache.

"It was just a dream." Her voice shook with each word.

"It was so real, Carly. I've had it before. Before Morgan was born."

"Well, I'm not pregnant now, and I don't intend to be until Jax and I are married, so I don't think you have anything to worry about."

"I don't care, Carly. I had that dream before, and we found out Morgan had a heart problem. And then I shot you, and…"

"Sonny, stop, ok? Just because you had a dream doesn't mean something bad's going to happen. You're just thinking too much…feeling guilty about things that happened a lifetime ago."

"I just want you to be careful, alright? Something doesn't feel right." Carly nodded, knowing to humor him when he was like this.

"I'll be careful. I promise," she assured him. The ticking clock was beckoning her to bed now, and she yawned.

"You know where the pillows and blankets are."

"Yeah," he said with a familiar nod. She smiled a little, that worried smile she used to get when they were together and he acted like this.

"Well…good night, Sonny." He watched her walk up the stairs, a vision in a white bathrobe.

"Night."


Author's Note: What'd you think of the first chapter? Please let me know:) Depending on reviews, Ch. 2 will be up soon.