Disclaimer: I do not own General Hospital or any of its characters.

The Hardest Decision

Michael walked out of Pentonville prison for the first time in two years. He'd been sentenced to two to five years in person for killing his step mother. He had been lucky and was able to get parole right after the two year mark.

Michael's life had changed dramatically within the last two years. He'd stopped seeing his parents about six months after he'd been incarcerated. He told them that it was because he didn't want them to see him in prison, but the truth was he didn't want to see them. Michael loved his family, but they had just made his life harder

Michael looked up and saw his older brother coming towards him. Michael approached Dante and embraced him. That was another thing that had changed. He had started to warm up to his brother. The brother that had helped put him in jail, but Michael didn't blame him for that. Dante had been trying to help him and he'd had no idea that Michael would go to prison. Michael actually considered it to be the best thing that could have happened to him. Oh, he prison, but it showed him what was in store for him if he joined the mob. It showed him that he couldn't just do whatever he wanted.

"You okay, man?" Dante asked after releasing Michael.

"Yeah, I'm good," Michael told his brother.

"Alright, you want go back to my place now? We can get you settled in," suggested Dante.

"No, I have to do something," Michael said vaguely. "I'll meet you back there."

"Do you want a ride?" he asked.

"No, I'll take the bus. This is something that I have to do on my own," Michael told him.

Dante nodded. He knew that Michael was likely going to see his parents and that no matter what Michael was going to do, he needed to do alone.

Xxxxxxxxxxx

Michael arrived at his father's house about an hour or so later. Much to Michael's surprise, he was able to enter the house quite easily. There were no guards at the front gate. Michael walked through the house and into the living room, where he found both his parents talking. They must have heard him come in because they both turned towards him.

"Michael!" Carly yelled happily and went to hug her son.

When Carly got close, Michael took a step back. "Please don't," he begged her. He knew he was hurting her, but he couldn't let her hug him. The decision he was about to make was hard enough as it was

"When did you get out? Why didn't you call us?" asked Carly.

"I got out an hour ago," Michael said curtly.

"Why didn't you tell us you were getting out? We would have come and gotten you," Sonny said coming forward.

"Dante came, but I decided to take the bus here," he explained.

"Dante? Dante knew you were getting out?" Carly asked.

Michael nodded.

"How?" she wondered.

"I told him," Michael admitted.

"Wait, why would you tell him and not us. Why would you be talking to Dante at all? He's the reason you went to prison," said Carly.

"Mom, I really don't want to fight about Dante," Michael told her.

"Okay, your right. We should just get you home," Carly said.

"No, I'm not going home with you," said Michael.

"Michael, I know you want to spend time with your father, but I-" she started.

"I'm not staying here either," he told them.

"You not? Sonny asked surprised. "Well, you have to stay somewhere."

"I'm staying with Dante tonight. I'm going to start looking for a job and a place to live tomorrow," explained Michael.

"What? That's ridiculous. You'll come home with me," Carly told him.

"No!" Michael yelled. "I'm not staying with you. I'm not staying with either of you. Not ever again."

"Why not?" Carly asked.

"Because the two of you are bad for my world," Michael said crudely. "During the time that I've lived with you, I've been kidnapped, shot, and put in prison. I don't want to go back to prison and I don't want to end up dead or back into a coma, which is what will happen if I let you back in my life."

"What are you saying, Michael?" asked Sonny.

"I'm saying that I want you to leave me alone. I'm saying that if you see me on the street, I want you to walk in the direction. I'm saying that I don't looking for me. I'm saying I want you to stay away from me. I want you to let me live my life without you," He told them.

"Sweetie, you don't mean that," Carly said crying.

"Yes, I do," said Michael. "I'm sorry, I know this hurts you to hear, but I can't have you in my life. I just can't. You're toxic to it. I would leave if I could, but as long as I'm on parole, I have to stay in Port Charles. So, I'm asking you to stay away from me until I can leave myself. This is the way it has to be."

"This is Dante's idea isn't it?" Carly asked.

"No mom, it's mine. I just can't do this anymore. I can't be apart of this world. It will either kill or put it will put me back in prson and those just aren't all they're cracked up to be," he told her.

"Michael, don't do this," Sonny begged.

"I have to," Michael said just loud enough for his parents to hear.

Michael then walked away and left his parents standing there. He hated what he'd just done. It was the hardest decision that he'd ever made, but it had to be done. He loved his parents, he really did, but being around them wasn't option anymore. Being in prison had taught him something and that was that he hated prison and he didn't want to go back. He had to walk away before the world that his parents lived in finally swallowed him whole.