AN: Unlike all the dialogue from the main story, which was penned by Sri Rao and the other writers of GH: Night Shift, this Epilogue is wholly spun from my own wishful thinking.
Anna sat in her darkened apartment, waiting. It had been nearly a year since he had walked out of General Hospital, on his way to the clinical trial in Bern. Alone. A year since she had found his note on the table with a promise that he wasn't walking out of her life forever – that he would come back to her.
Patrick had repeated for her what he'd explained to Robert: once the trial was over there would be a follow-up CT scan, PET scan in six months, the bag removed after a year. So if everything had gone as anticipated then the timing was just about right.
She fingered the note, now worn around the edges from repeated handling. Having read it hundreds of times she knew the words inside by heart. 'I'll be waiting with the Mai-Thais, once I'm back to myself. Robert.'
She'd held on to that promise like a lifeline for the past twelve months. Trusting him. Resisting the incessant urge to fly to Bern and override his wishes in order to be with him. Enduring the emptiness that pervaded her life without his presence in it. He'll come back to me.
He knew where she was. He wouldn't make her go find him – though she'd do it in a heartbeat if she must. But no, something intrinsic in her bones told her that he would find her when he was ready. When he was healthy again.
And if it would be any night, it would be tonight.
Unless he doesn't come. Unless he didn't really mean it. No! she scolded herself as for a helpless instant her faith wavered dangerously. He did mean it. He does.
And so she was waiting. Hoping. Praying.
Please let it be tonight.
There was a sound outside. Her senses stretched to the utmost, she thought she heard the faint tread of footsteps. Or am I imagining it?
Again she strained to hear, but there was nothing. False alarm. Anna gasped back a sob. No! I can't be wrong about this. I couldn't bear it.
A light knock sounded on the door.
Oh please, let it be him.
Anna opened the door with trembling hands – and there he was, standing on her mat with his old duffle bag slung over one shoulder. Her eyes drank him in. He looked fit, tanned and trim, rested. He looked well. He looks…fantastic.
"Hello, Anna." His voice resonated deeply, powerfully in the evening air. His blue eyes sparkled with the old light – that intoxicating mixture of love, mischief and delight that never failed to captivate and hold her under its enthralling spell.
Like an offering, he held out the handle of a metal object that gleamed in the moonlight. It appeared to be a large pail, into which had been placed a jumble of cocktail glasses, a bag of melting ice, and bottles of pineapple juice, brandy and rum.
It was a bucket of Mai Thais.
"Happy Anniversary, luv."
She put her hand to her mouth, laughing and crying at the same time, overcome by the sudden sure knowledge – radiating through her, bright and true – that, starting tonight, she would be spending the rest of her life with the man she loved.