This story starts with the "Love Shouldn't Be Safe" conversation between Jason and Elizabeth at the PCPD after Jason was arrested for killing the man sent to kill Emily and Sonny. The conversation is re-written and dialogue changed so that I can show why I think this is where the Liason should have started again and continued.
This is a repost of the original story that was unfinished and written in script. Please be patient all chapters will be uploaded in the next few days and the story will be completed
"I know what I have to do!"
It was a mantra Jason kept repeating to himself. He sat staring, his gaze fixed on the corner of the table in one of the interrogation rooms at the Port Charles Police Station. His hands were cuffed in front of him and resting in his lap. He would protect his sister, he knew what he had to do. Outwardly he appeared calm and in control, his usual stoic, cold and unfeeling self. But inside he had a mass of emotions, and memories running through his head and wrapping a steely band of resolve around his heart. Amidst those emotions, and memories, he made plans. He knew what he had to do to protect his sister, the memories reminded him. He'd protected someone before, despite what it cost him personally, and this time the stakes were just as high. It was not just Emily's life that was at stake it was her mind too. Why couldn't anyone else see that? Damn Sam. How dare she take Sonny's side against him and leave him locked up in here when he had so many things he had to do. If she couldn't agree with and support him then the least she could do was stay the hell out of it. For God's sake he was a grown man he didn't need Sam to tell him how to live or think. "Just like Robin. Just like Robin" he repeated aloud to himself. He would have to nip that in the bud and speak to Justice. Never again will Justice take advice or orders from Sam when it comes to Jason. Why couldn't anyone else see that Sonny would destroy Emily and no matter what it cost Jason personally he would make sure it didn't happen. It occurred to him to wonder how Alan was reacting. But that was a no brainer. Jason's lip twitched slightly. Finally, something he and Alan could agree on. He had to think clearly, decide the next steps in his plan, to force Sonny to give Emily up. He'd asked Sonny and he'd asked Emily. But they said "No". He'd demanded and they refused. They had both made their choice. Now he would force Sonny's hand. The stakes were too high; he couldn't risk his little sister. His memories reminded him of what could happen. Fresh memories of Carly loosing her mind because Sonny couldn't forgive her. Older memories of gunshot wounds, bombs and the absolute panic and desolation he felt when carrying Elizabeth's silent and still body from that crypt and wondering if he was to late. He knew what Sonny should do because he'd done it. It was about being selfless and if Sonny couldn't see that and didn't want to do it for Emily, Jason would do it for him. Jason knew what it cost a man to protect the woman he click of the door to the interrogation room opening made Jason squeeze his eyes shut in annoyance. "Please not Sam" he prayed silently. He didn't want to hear her apology again. She wanted him to calm down, well he was calm but he was also fighting the need to tell her to stay the hell away from him. So he guessed not calm enough. He raised his head slightly and slowly opened his eyes. Then he saw her. Elizabeth. Relief washed over him for a second, to be immediately replaced by concern. Protective mode kicked in and he uttered the next thought that came in to his head.
"Are you alright? Manny hasn't made a move has he?"
"No, he's actually been quiet." she paused "It's Emily. I've just seen her at the Quartermaines." She began but he interrupted her.
"Not you too Elizabeth" he groaned.
"Look you are both my friends and you are both hurting. Let me try to help." Elizabeth pleaded.
"Convince her to leave Sonny." He replied lowly.
"She won't Jason. You've broken her heart." She paused to see his reaction and continued when she saw the slight frown "Jason she loves you more than anything."
"I love her too." He whispered "It's why I can't stand around with my hands up my butt while she wrecks her life to be with Sonny."
"She said you shut down, you cut her off." Elizabeth told him. "I understand you're scared for her, but this is not the way to handle things. "
Jason shifted so he could look properly at Elizabeth. She knew him so well. "Maybe so, but I don't know any other way to handle it."
Elizabeth sighed "Jason what happened last night has scared all of us, probably you most of all. You had to shoot a man to protect your sister." Elizabeth shuddered at how that must have affected both Jason and Emily.
"Me shooting that guy won't protect Emily." Jason shook his head slightly, remembering the look on Emily's face when she realized he'd killed to protect her. His tone became brusque in his effort to control his rising anger. "There's plenty more of them around. This is only the beginning. It never ends in this business. She could get hurt at any minute of the day. Ask Lily…Oops no you can't because she was blown to smithereens." Elizabeth flinched at the reminder, and he continued on "I won't let my sister get hurt like that. I refuse. If Sonny won't protect her, and she won't protect herself, I will."
"Jason they're in love." Elizabeth deliberately kept her voice soft, her tone encouraging him to confide in her "If you make them doubt their feelings or force them apart without letting them see what their lives could be like together you could regret it. More importantly that could be a regret that hurts Emily for the rest of her life." She paused trying to ascertain if he was listening to her, "I know, I've been there." she glanced at him curious to know if he understood what she was referring to "I've allowed people to make me doubt myself and my feelings, or tell me I should go in another direction, make the safe or right choice. It's decisions like that which I regret and which have hurt me the most. I mean, Emily already has enough regrets about Nikolas and how her marriage turned out, she doesn't need anymore on top of it."
Jason looked at her intently, he knew exactly what she was talking about. Again his mind whirled back in time and his memories, of her, came flooding back. His fear that Elizabeth would die because of how he felt about her, because of what she meant to him. He knew she was right, he knew she was talking about their relationship. But at least she was still sitting in front of him, his gaze shifted over her. He focused his eyes, she was safe, healthy and with the man she loved. No matter that they had lost their chance. They had their rocky patch but now they were friends and he treasured that connection. It had all turned out right; he'd made sure of it. He knew she understood, so why didn't she make Emily understand.
"Have you told Emily that? To remember the regrets about Nikolas because if she stays with Sonny her regrets could be so much worse than they are now." His voice rose slightly in frustration.
"Yes of course I have, but she doesn't see it like that, she wants to make her own decisions and she's scared you'll force her to choose and she'll loose Sonny and you." Elizabeth explained.
"She'll be alive that's all that matters." He told her with a pained expression "Like you" he added silently.
Elizabeth looked in to Jason's eyes, she knew those eyes and that face so well. She decided to change tact. "Do you believe that Sonny and Emily are in love?"
"It doesn't matter what they feel for each other, Elizabeth. What matters is my sister's life and sanity." He replied stubbornly.
"Jason..that's not what I asked you. Do you believe that Sonny and Emily genuinely love each other?" she coaxed him.
"It doesn't matter what I believe, he should know that Emily deserves better. He should love her enough to let go." He reiterated.
"Jason..Jason it's not that easy…." Elizabeth sighed in frustration.
Jason felt frustrated too. Why was Elizabeth not on his side? He had to make her see his position about Sonny and Emily. More than ever Jason needed Elizabeth. His mind searched furiously for the right words. "Please Elizabeth" he prayed silently.
"Elizabeth, nothing that is worthwhile should be easy. But it's not about the easy option, it's about not being selfish for once in your life. It's about loving that person enough to let go for her sake, regardless of how much it hurts." He explained.
He got up and started pacing the room. The memories that had been haunting him for weeks were swirling around him and threatening to engulf him. The feelings, the fear that constantly assailed him four years ago, that Elizabeth would die because of how he felt about her.
"Elizabeth, I love my sister, but for the longest time I spent every hour of every day scared that my enemies would try and get to me through her. I've done everything I know how to minimize that threat so that I'm at a place where I think she's safe. Then along comes Sonny and now there's a double threat against her because of this relationship. I don't know how else to protect her."
Elizabeth tried to interrupt him, attempted to calm his pacing with a soothing tone. "Jason please sit down. I'll listen"
But Jason continued as if he hadn't heard her. The memories and long buried feelings had over taken him, and he was lost in a space where the present and the past mingled together.
"It's about deciding that her life is more important than your own happiness. It's about making the hard decision because you know…you know damn well she won't leave you. She'll stay right by your side, put herself in harms way just to be with you. It's about saying you can't look after me, you can't protect me. That's my job, to protect you and if that means I have to send you away or in to the arms of another man, then I'll do it. I'll do it."
Suddenly Elizabeth wasn't sure they were still talking about Emily. Jason seemed to be recounting their relationship. But that couldn't be, she sat in confused stunned silence as Jason continued.
"I'll do anything to keep you safe. There are some women who just don't deserve this kind of life and Emily is one of them. She deserves love and happiness and life. Not what Sonny can offer. I don't believe" He stopped abruptly, realizing his voice had risen. He closed his eyes, taking a deep shuddering breath to try and regain control of his emotions as he continued, emotion lowering his voice and making him emphasize each word
"I don't believe that Sonny loves Emily anymore than I loved Eliza…" He hesitated, opened his eyes to fix them on Elizabeth. He looked directly into her eyes knowing he'd reached the point of no return, and willing her to listen and understand. Her cobalt blue eye's, the ones he'd memorized over the years, the ones now clouded with shock and emotion were fixed on him, comprehension dawning in them. He realized he didn't want to stop the flow of words. He wanted to tell her everything. Swallowing he continued. "loved you…"
Her reaction was physical. Her body jerked and her breath caught in her throat. Her eyes, her beautiful eyes started to well with tears.
"You never loved me…you just thought of me as…" What? She wondered. She never really knew herself and that was what had hurt so much at the time. That she could love and want to be with Jason so much, but he was more interested in keeping secrets from her and protecting Sonny and Courtney. Whispering, searching his eyes for the truth, "You never loved me." she repeated in a flat tone.
Jason met her gaze directly and continued on. It was time he came clean with Elizabeth.
"Didn't I?" he challenged softlyy. "If that's what you told yourself over the past four years you were wrong. Think about it Elizabeth. Almost from the time we became friends I was trying to push you away for your own safety…Hell I even left Port Charles to protect you. But you never gave up, you always came back to me. Do you honestly believe after everything we had been through together that I didn't feel love for you?"
"You chose Courtney, You loved Courtney." she whispered accusingly.
"Eventually. Yes I did." He admitted. "But in the beginning I needed her to distract you…and distract myself. But it didn't last, I couldn't sustain it. Eventually she made the decision for herself that I had made for you. She didn't deserve my lifestyle and she got out. But that doesn't mean I felt nothing for you…I loved you enough to let you go."
Jason sat down again and reached for her hand "I did it for you, and Sonny should do it for Emily." He paused trying to find the right words to convince her.
"Don't you understand, Sonny and Emily are like me and you. If I was Sonny you would be my Emily."
He waited for that to sink in. He really, really needed Elizabeth to understand. He needed someone besides Carly on his side once he set his plan in motion. But more than that he wanted her to know finally, how it really was, is for him. He searched her eyes looking for some sign that she understood. But all he saw was a single tear tip from her eyes and leave a trail of silver as it slowly slid down her face. He gently released her hand to raise his cuffed ones and awkwardly but gently wipe the tear away. He then covered her hands again with his own, holding on to her.
"You are my Elizabeth and the one person, apart from Emily, whose life I could never, ever risk. I'm so proud of you Elizabeth and what you've done with your life. You have a career, a beautiful son and you're married to the love of your life….I never regret the decision to push you away because I know your life is better without me." His voice cracked with emotion.
Elizabeth took her own deep shuddering breath; preparing herself for the truth she was desperate to tell him.
"You are so wrong Jason…You have never been more wrong in your life. Do you know how often I wonder what my life would have been like if I'd chosen you and not Lucky that day? If I'd gone away with you! I can't help it. My life and my marriage is a shambles. For some reason as much as I try to love Lucky it's never enough. I just can't seem to make him happy and maybe now I know why Jason. Part of me has never gotten over your rejection of me and my love."
"Elizabeth that's not how it was…" shocked he started to deny it. Then fell silent when he realized that for some reason Elizabeth was devastated or angry or both…he wasn't quite sure.
"Really? REALLY? IT WASN'T?…GOD JASON…How dare you? How dare you make that kind of decision for me? With no consideration for what I wanted out of my life, no consultation or say in how my own life is shaped? GOD I can't believe you.."she yelled.
Two things Jason couldn't stand were to see Elizabeth cry and to make her angry, he'd accomplished both. "Elizabeth you weren't supposed to get mad…I was trying to make you understand. I need you. I need you on my side when it comes to what I have to do with Sonny and Emily." His attempt to calm her fell on deaf ears.
"Well you are on your own. I will never understand." She spat at him in pain.
"Elizabeth" he sighed his own pain, thudding in his chest. It felt bad, like it had four years ago when he came home to find her bags packed and she told him she was leaving. Now she was trying frantically to release her hands from his grip, but he clung to them.
"Jason you hypocrite….If anyone had done to you what you've done to me or what you intend to do to Sonny and Emily, you would never, ever forgive them. So you tell me how do I move on from here? How am I supposed to continue being friends with you after what you've told me?" she demanded angrily. She snatched her hands from his finally and turned to leave. but paused with her hand on the door at the sound of desperate appeal in his voice…
"ELIZABETH…Please don't leave"
She turned slowly to reveal the absolute hurt she could no longer hide
"You've ruined everything…I loved you so much Jason, but you betrayed me, you denied me. How can we ever be friends again?"
Jason felt the sting of tears behind his own eyes, he felt his heart squeeze. Had he ever really gotten over Elizabeth? Or had he taken all the love he had for her and buried it deep in his heart to be ignored and denied. Only to have it bubble to the surface because the relationship between Emily and Sonny had awakened the memories. He'd managed to lock away those memories but now with every passing moment they were becoming real to him again and the feelings were coming back. For a man who never saw the value in looking back, he'd sure done a lot of it in the last few weeks.
"You made a decision and I rebelled and went head long into a relationship with Ric. I berated you, I hated you, I turned on you, I'll never forgive myself for that." she mumbled sadly.
Jason swallowed hard "It hurt that you turned to him. It hurt even more that you were in danger. But I had no right to judge, I just hoped you'd find your way back and in the mean time I tried to warn you. Now we're friends again…and I am so grateful. Maybe I shouldn't have told you, I never intended to, but I needed you to understand why I've taken this stance with Emily. I need you to help me protect my sister."
He paused. Not sure he should go on, but not knowing how to stop the confession. "But more than anything this situation has brought up the past for me and I didn't want to lie or keep it from you anymore."
She slowly moved forward around the table. As she got closer Jason leaned back in the chair to look up into face. She stopped when she was as close to Jason as possible, and raised a hand to brush away the tear that had fallen on his own cheek. His eyes closed at her touch and opened again to look into her eyes.
"I don't know how I'm ever going to get over you admitting you loved me four years ago. But I don't want to loose what we have…So I'm going to be here for you whenever you need me, to talk to, to yell at, or to just be a sounding board. What ever you need! But I won't help you with Emily. After what you've told me and how much it hurts I can not and will not deliberately be a party to causing that kind of pain to Emily."
She leaned down and pressed her lips very gently to the corner of his mouth, lingering there to soften the blow of her words. Jason sighed and shifted his head slightly to return a kiss in kind to the corner of Elizabeth's mouth. Their eyes never leaving one another, and for a fraction of a second they both battled the urge to make it more. Then Elizabeth raised her head slowly, looking in to Jason's eyes. "OK?"
"OK…But please don't hate me Elizabeth. I'm all alone in this, and any other time that would be OK. But not this time, I need you. I might loose Emily over this and I can't loose you too." He pleaded.
She raised a small hand to lightly stroke and soothe the worry line from his forehead. Pleased with herself, as it disappeared under her touch.
"I could never hate you. I am totally pissed at you, but I could never hate you."
Slow smiles spread across their faces. Raw with emotion Jason sighed with relief "Thank you. Would you mind doing me a favor?"
Elizabeth smiled in agreement.
"Would you see if you can contact Justice? I need to get out of here… "he asked.
The door opened abruptly and John Durant appeared. "You are free to go. I can't hold you any longer. One of PORT CHARLES 's finest out there will remove the handcuffs. I can't wait to see what happens next with you and Sonny…Should be quite amusing."
Sighing Elizabeth turned her gaze to Jason "Would you like me to hang around and give you a ride?"
"No I'll contact Max..there's a few things I need to take care of" he smiled in thanks.
She smiled a half smile in return and turned to walk slowly out of the interrogation room, with Jason watching her. She was right, how were they ever going to go back to the way it was. He had hurt her, he regretted that, it was seeping out of every cell of his body. Then there was the feeling that was beginning to develop in Jason that he didn't want to get back to the way they were, at least not in the last few years, maybe he wanted to go back to the beginning.
Jason's Penthouse several hours later – a glimpse inside Sam's mind
"Jason wouldn't even look at me when he was released. He sent me home and went on with whatever he is planning. Something has changed. I don't want to believe that it's Jason's love for me, but I can't help it. I can feel him drifting away. He's been having nightmares, but he won't tell me what about. I catch glimpses of them but never enough to get a whole picture. Except that it's something that has happened, not something that might happen. I'm so scared. The distance between us is growing day by day and I don't know how to stop it. He wants me to agree and help him with Sonny and Emily. But they are in love, like Jason and I used to be in love. I don't want to take that away from them. We've fought so much lately yelling and screaming. But even that's changed, now he just shuts down and puts this barrier up and I can't get through. It can't just be about Sonny and Emily, there must be something more. Please God help Jason to confide in me. I don't want to loose him."