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

Watching from Afar

I watched as my child grew inside the woman I never thought I'd have a family with. I watched as her husband touched her belly, feeling my child kick, thinking it was his. I listened from the distance as they picked out names and tried to decide what sounded best with Spencer, as I ran names through my head that sounded best with Morgan. Michael once fit well with that name. Not anymore. He's a Corinthos now.

I watched as she smiled and held her son in her arms, while her husband wrapped his arms around both of them. I remembered back to the night she came to me. She was hurt. I was hurt. We comforted each other, no strings attached. Well, there was a string, a big one too.

I heard her lie to the ones she loved every day. I heard myself go through the motions, lying to Sam and telling her that she's the only one I think about. She couldn't possibly know all of me after the Metro Court explosion. Everything changed. I learned I was going to be a father, and in an instant, that was snatched away, just like Michael was. She wanted a family and a house where her kids could run and play without fear of a shower of bullets. I could give her that. I could take her away, but I'd take her away from everything and everyone she knew.

I held the sonogram picture in my hands, reading the note from Elizabeth. I'd told her it was best not to get connected, but she sent the picture to me anyway, hoping it would help. It didn't. It made me want fatherhood even more than before. Seeing my baby's perfect nose and those tiny fingers made me visualize a child with its mother's eyes and smile. If it was all of her, it would be perfect.

I wondered if Lucky would find things in that child that reminded him of him. There would be nothing, but if it made things better, he could pretend all he wanted. He would never know.

I watched the last month of the pregnancy fly by from the background. Everyone was prepared. Elizabeth told me they couldn't find out the baby's sex. I already knew. I had a feeling anyway. I wanted to be there to know if I was right, but Lucky would come and wrap his arm around her, beaming with pride and telling me how excited he was to be a father. To my child. I wanted to tell him. I wanted to tell the truth to Sam. She had no idea the depths of my lies.

I ran into Elizabeth many times on the docks. She'd try not to cry. Sometimes, I thought I'd cry too, but I wouldn't let myself. I couldn't feel attached, but the thing was that no matter how hard I tried to stay away, the more I wanted to be there, opening doors for her, helping her up when her belly got in the way. I wanted to do the things that Lucky was doing.

Lying in bed, sometimes Sam would ask me what was on my mind. I'd lie to her and tell her the things she wanted to hear. I felt heartless. I wanted to tell her. There were moments when I came so close. I couldn't break her heart that way. I couldn't tell her that while we couldn't have a child of our own, I was having one with Elizabeth.

The due date neared, and Sam wondered why I was so nervous. I nearly told her. I nearly let it slip. I went for a walk and ran into Elizabeth playing with Cameron in the park. She looked beautiful, her belly full with my child. I wanted to reach out and feel it move, but I knew it wasn't my place anymore.

She looked sad when she looked at me. I had put that sadness in her eyes. I hadn't wanted to. I wanted to tell her that it would be ok. I would leave if it would be easier. She would tell me she wanted me in the child's life, even if it wasn't as a father. I told her I couldn't do that. I couldn't hear my child call somebody else daddy. It was hard enough when Sonny became Michael's father. I couldn't go through that again.

I watched as Elizabeth doubled over outside of the hospital. Nobody was around. Nobody could help. I ran to her. I scooped her up in my arms. I carried the mother of my child into the hospital, insisting on help. I watched as they wheeled her off to delivery. I saw the conflicted look in her eyes. I heard the nurse calling Lucky. I knew he'd be there any minute. He'd be the one to welcome my child into the world. He'd be the first man to hold my baby.

I waited outside her room, hearing her cries of pain. I wanted to help. I heard her calling for Lucky. My heart broke, and then I heard her call for me. A nurse came out, requesting me to come in. I wanted to, but I didn't think I could handle it. I couldn't see my child born and then say goodbye.

She called for me again. I went in, and I saw the sweat and tears streaming down her face. She said she needed me. I told her Lucky was on his way. She said she needed me. She wanted me to be here for this. I asked her why, but she didn't answer. She pushed. I heard my child's cries, and saw her lifted up onto her mother's belly. God, she was beautiful. Dark hair like her mother, eyes like mine.

I congratulated her, and she told me she couldn't have done it without me. I wanted to turn and walk out then. I couldn't watch anymore. I had to go, because if I held that baby, I wouldn't want to let her go. But Elizabeth held her out to me. I couldn't resist. I took her in my arms and held her so close, as she cried in my arms, proving she had a healthy set of lungs. She was so pink. So perfect.

I let her go eventually, making my way out of the hospital and into the warm mid-afternoon. Lucky had just arrived with Cameron. They were celebrating my daughter's birth. Her name is Laura, after Lucky's mother. Laura Morgan, I thought. It fit.

I watch her when she's with her family. I want to be there, but I'm an outsider looking in from afar. It kills me to hear her giggle as Lucky holds her up in the air. But I'm happy she's happy. That's what she deserves.

The End