Author's Note: Thank you so much for giving 'Till You Make It' a try. This is my first fan-fic and I have to say that I'm really excited and nervous about it. I don't know how long the story will be but my hope is to keep you interested all the way to the end. It will be a challenge but I will do my best to be as true as I can to the characters. There will be some who will be a bit more mature then what they are on the show or behave in the manner they once used too before they were changed for the better/worst.
I am an Elizabeth and Kristina fan therefore please do not bash them. I am upset that Lexi Ainsworth has been let go and I could go on and on about how disappointed I am with General Hospital for that and so many other things but I wont. Even though she will be recasted Lexi is my Kristina. I am also a Liason and Ethina fan; that being said it does not mean they will end up together in my story.
To fellow Liason shippers: I may not be a Jasam fan but will admit that I do enjoy Sam's scenes with Alexis, Kristina and Molly. They are so great together. I ask that you all please be considerate of those who are Sam fans.
To Jasam shippers: My sincere thanks for giving 'Till You Make It' a try. I hope the journey I have for Kristina and Elizabeth will be enough to keep you interested. I will try to be fair to Sam in this fic and ask that you also be considerate to us Liason fans.
Things you need to know before reading this story:
Storylines – In this fic, not all the storylines from 2009 to current will have occurred. Some I may change to have happened a bit earlier or later and other's completely cut.
Kristina –She knows nothing of Sam's past or Elizabeth's relationship with Jason and Ric. Instead of inviting Ethan over under the false pretenses of helping with homework, she invites him over to open up honestly about her feelings for him. There was no dare to let her kiss him. He turned her down and she has been hiding from him since.
Elizabeth –She turned down Lucky's proposal back in 2009 and her affair with Nikolas did not happen; therefore no Aidan. After they came up with that plan to get Lucky & Rebecca jealous they quickly dismissed it. She keeps to herself and has been living a quiet life with Cameron & Jake.
Others –Ethan has not cut his hair yet and he knows nothing more of Elizabeth and Jason's history other than they dated briefly. Luke never hit Jake or any other child though he is still heavily drinking. Lulu is still working at Crimson. Jason and Sam are together but they are not engaged. Steven is still Chief of Staff at General Hospital. Spinelli did get shot by Lisa (who is dead) but after his surgery he was still the same person and Maxie has devoted a lot of her time helping him recuperate which has put a heavy strain on her relationship with Matt. Franco still kidnapped a baby but the little boy was an unknown child. Lucky saved him and returned him to his parents. Franco has not made an appearance since.
Summary: This story is about what doors Kristina Davis opens when she develops a friendship with Elizabeth Webber. With the help of Johnny Zacchara & Ethan Lovett, each woman will help the other through life, the pains of loss and the discovery of love.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended. I don't own General Hospital or their character's; except the few new ones I will be introducing to help support the storylines. I also don't own the song 'Till 'Ya Make It' by Jamie Lyn Noon in which the title of this story comes from.
Chapter 1: Path of Avoidance
Kristina Corinthos Davis stood hiding outside of Kelly's, debating on whether to go inside or not. She had always enjoyed coming to the Diner because it was a place she knew she would run into just about anybody she knew; one in particular. Ironically that was the reason why she hesitated to go in now. He was there. She couldn't see his face, his back was to her as he talked to her grandpa Mike but she knew it was him. Normally Kristina would've eagerly run in just to spend whatever time she could have with him but that changed when he turned her down a few weeks ago. Not to say that he hadn't been telling her for awhile now that he had no romantic interest in her, but Kristina did not take him serious; she was so sure he was lying. Apparently he wasn't. Of course he was sweet, gentle and apologetic about it but that didn't make the pain any lesser.
Her heart had still been broken by Ethan Lovett.
That night after he left she cried herself to sleep. Each day after she has spent most of her time alone thinking of all the times she foolishly behaved trying to get Ethan's attention. They made her cringe in embarrassment. Molly was the only one who knew of what had happened. Her younger sister encouraged her to move on, saying that Ethan probably wasn't the right man for her. It did nothing to ease the pain. Instead she just smiled and pretended that she was okay. No, she knew she wasn't ready to face him yet. Kristina was still unsure how to behave around Ethan. Would she feel uncomfortable in his presence, now really believing that he didn't feel anything for her? He was a good guy and she knew he would be his usual charming self but it would still be there between them. With one last look inside, Kristina turned around and began walking back to her car.
It was a warm Tuesday morning and now that school was over there wasn't a lot for Kristina to do. The only friend she truly had and enjoyed spending time with, she had just walked away from. It made her sad to realize that she had no real friends; she could lie to herself and say it was because she never allowed anybody close enough to her. Though that part is true the real truth was that nobody ever tried, except for Keifer, and look where that got her; inner scars for a lifetime. No, nobody really wanted to know the real Kristina for fear of her family. Not that she could blame anybody; after all her father was a Mobster, her mother was an Attorney who ran her boyfriend down, her older sister was dating her father's enforcer, one brother just got out of Pentonville for murder and the other was a detective bent on sending their father to prison.
Not exactly a hallmark family here.
With a sigh, Kristina pushed those thoughts back as she climbed back into her car. Though she was craving for a cup of coffee, going back home did not appeal to her one bit. She had cooped herself up there too long now and needed to get out. Since the Diner was out of the question there was nothing more she could do but drive to the nearest Starbucks but along the way a small café caught her attention. The small sign read 'Java Junkie' and outside sat tables with umbrella's nestled between thick bushes giving an almost hidden appearance.
The small building seemed to call out to her so she decided to give it a try. When she walked inside, Kristina instantly fell in love with the atmosphere. The feeling reminded her somewhat of Kelly's; not the look, but if she had to describe the place then she would say it looked a bit like the coffee shop in that old Friends sitcom Kristina had seen a few episodes of, only bigger and not so lit up. There were several comfy looking couches and armchairs that she couldn't wait to sink into.
"Good Morning. What can I get for you today?" A pleasant voice asked her. Kristina's eyes just about popped out when she saw the man behind the counter. Wow, was the only expression she could come up with as she drank in his blond hair and green eyes. He was absolutely gorgeous and when he offered her another smile she saw he had dimples. "Did you need another minute?" He asked making her realize that she was still standing there ogling him.
"I'm sorry, um, a regular coffee and a blueberry muffin please."
"Would you like that for here or bagged to go?"
"Here is fine."
"Sure thing cutie."
Kristina felt a blush and was thankful the guy had turned around. It only took a minute to get her items and pay. After thanking him, she looked around to choose a spot to sit in and was very surprised to see a familiar face sitting on a smaller sofa set against the back wall. Elizabeth Webber offered a small smile when their eyes met. Seeing the expression on the woman's face, Kristina could see that Elizabeth was just as surprised to see her there as she was. Not wanting to be rude, Kristina walked over.
"Hi." She offered the small petite woman.
"I wasn't expecting to see anybody familiar." She admitted.
"That is why I love coming here."
Kristina nodded her head in understanding. Elizabeth was a regular customer at Kelly's and she often saw her picking up orders, but never stayed. She never wondered about that or about the woman herself. She knew who she was and where she worked but not much else. Thinking about it now, she wondered why that was. It was obvious her whole family knew her, but nobody really talked too or about the woman; at least around Kristina.
"Do you mind if I join you?" Kristina asked.
"No, not at all."
"So how long have you been coming here?" She seated herself on the opposite end of the sofa.
"A few years now." Elizabeth answered. "I have to say I'm surprised to see you here."
"Yeah. I love it at Kelly's, but…" Kristina trailed off.
"Avoiding somebody." It wasn't a question but Kristina nodded her head. "I understand. It's why I've been coming here, except I've been avoiding a whole town." Elizabeth chuckled before taking another sip of her coffee.
"Why?" Seeing the hesitant look on her face; Kristina back-tracked. "I don't mean to be so nosy and I would totally understand if you don't answer."
"You're not nosy. It's more like how to answer that. It isn't just one thing; it's a whole history of things involving so many people." Elizabeth drew her right leg under herself and turned her body to face her. "I guess you can say I got tired of the harassment by certain people, especially when my boys were with me. I can tolerate a lot but my boys shouldn't have too."
"You have two boys, right?" Kristina asked, picturing the older curly brown haired boy and the younger blonde haired, blue eyed cutie.
"Yeah." Elizabeth's voice softened. "Cameron and Jake."
The two of them fell into silence, each sipping from their coffee; enjoying the soft jazz music that played overhead. Kristina had just taken her second bite of her muffin when the guy from the counter walked over to them. "Anything else I can get you Elizabeth?"
"No, I'm good Kevin. Thanks."
"What about you cutie?" His eyes fell on her.
Elizabeth let out a small chuckle in which Kevin replied by sticking out his tongue. "Hey, you keep turning me down so don't start acting jealous when I turn my attention to another woman."
"You wish I was." Elizabeth threw back at him.
"I really do." He sighed dramatically.
"I take it he does this a lot?." Kristina asked, smiling at the two.
"Hey, I am only human, and I am hoping that one day that special person will flirt back and we will fall in love and get married and have little mini-me's running around."
"Heaven help us all when they are on the loose."
"See, now I am going to have to make sure they give you special attention." Kevin flashed Elizabeth a devilish smile. "But first I have to find my other half."
"One day Kevin." Elizabeth assured him, a huge smile on her face.
"I am hoping. I admit I do have doubts. I mean if a beautiful woman like you could still be single than what chance do I have?" Kristina knew it was a joke, a continuation of the banter the two were having, but she saw the hurt that flashed in the other woman's eyes. Elizabeth ducked her head down for a brief second and when she looked back up she was laughing; all traces of sadness gone, but Kristina had seen it and wondered if that was what she now looked like when she thought of Ethan. She felt a kinship with this woman and found herself wanting to open up. She had a feeling Elizabeth would understand.
"Was there anything else I can get for you?" Kevin asked her directly.
"I am fine. Thanks." Kristina answered back.
"Okay. Let me know if you ladies change your mind." He smiled then walked back to the counter.
"Elizabeth…" Kristina began but paused. Could she really ask a woman she didn't know to listen to her whine about a one-sided love that went wrong?
"I'm listening." Elizabeth was encouraging her.
"I don't know what to do." She whispered honestly, the pain evident; even to her own ears.
"Are you in some kind of trouble Kristina?"
"No, no nothing like that." Taking a deep breath she looked straight into Elizabeth's eyes before continuing. "I don't know how to stop loving somebody who doesn't love me back." She was surprised to feel the tears pooling in her eyes. "I have nobody to talk too. The person I always turn to is the same person who broke my heart and it hurts, it hurts so much and I don't know how to make it stop or how I am going to ever face him again or if we even still have a friendship. I just don't know what to do and nobody wants to help or understand what I'm going through because they disapproved from..." Kristina stopped when Elizabeth pulled her in for a hug.
"Breathe Kristina." Elizabeth instructed running soothing circles on her back.
"I'm sorry to unload like this on you." She pulled back from Elizabeth's embrace and wiped the tears from her eyes. "Look at what I've done." Kristina exclaimed when she saw that her tears had stained the woman's shirt.
"Don't worry about it. They're just tears and the shirt can be washed. Remember I have two young boys, so you should see my other shirts." This brought out a smile. "I want to say it's not good to hold things in but that would make me a hypocrite since I am still holding in a lot myself."
"What do I do about…?" Kristina stopped midsentence when it dawned on her that Elizabeth knew Ethan. She once was married to his brother, making him uncle to her boys. Suddenly she didn't think talking to Elizabeth was a good idea after all. Most likely she would tell her the same things everybody else did.
"About Ethan." Elizabeth finished for her softly, surprising the young girl. "I have seen you two together quite a bit and so I'm assuming. Am I right?"
"I promise I won't judge. That is the last thing I would ever do. If anything I understand better than you know."
"What do you mean?"
Elizabeth stalled for a few seconds before saying anything. "I was seventeen when I started spending time with a guy that was older than me. Of course I fell for him and my family and friends and even people I didn't really know were constantly telling me that he was no good, that he was dangerous and too old for me."
"That is exactly what everybody tells me. So, what happened?"
"I would like to say that we overcame all odds and are living our happily ever after but that didn't happen."
"What went wrong?" Kristina asked, not knowing if she really wanted to know.
"We made so many mistakes, especially me, and at one point we were even at odds with each other but somehow we got past all that and remained friends. Than about six years ago our lives came together once again and I was sure that this time we would get it right. It wasn't easy and there were so many things that kept getting between us. Then he proposed and in that moment I was the happiest I had ever been. I remember thinking…finally." Elizabeth let out a long sigh and bowed her head down. Kristina could feel the woman's pain and instinctively grabbed her hand giving it a gentle squeeze.
"It didn't end well." Kristina wasn't asking, but Elizabeth shook her head in answer. "What happened?"
"A phone call happened and I just knew. I fought, even though he kept pushing me away and when things got too close to my boys, I once again gave into fear and that was that." There was something in Elizabeth's voice that got her attention.
"You sound like you regret it."
"Regret, no. Angry, yes." This surprised Kristina.
"Because he never fought for me; he gave me all these excuses that apparently didn't apply to others, only to me. It took me awhile but I finally understood."
"That he was never in love with me."
"I am so sorry Elizabeth." Kristina could feel the tears pool her own eyes when she saw the devastation on Elizabeth's face. She knew that look because it was the same one she wore on her own face. "How did you get over it?"
"I devoted all my time on my boys and myself for the past two and a half years."
"Will it ever stop hurting?"
"It will hurt like hell for awhile but eventually you move on; but you never forget. There are no words of comfort that I, or anybody else could give you that will make you feel better. Time heals all wounds. It may be an old saying, but it's true."
"Thank you Elizabeth." When she tried to shrug it off Kristina stopped her. "No, I mean it. You have no idea how good it feels that I was able to talk a little about this to somebody who not only understands but isn't giving me the third degree."
"Please feel free to talk to me anytime."
"Do you mean it?"
"Yes, I do."
"You're welcome." She gave Kristina a warm smile. "Well, I better get going or I will be late to work and I don't want Epiphany mad at me."
"I understand. She was always nice to me when I was in the hospital, but to be honest, that woman scares me." She joined her in laughter as she stood up and gathered her purse.
"She scares me too." Elizabeth admitted with a smile and began walking away. She took only a few steps when she stopped and turned back around. "I do have one suggestion. Sometimes keeping busy helps you not think so much on whatever problems you have. Find something to do, whether it is a part time job, volunteering somewhere or simply hanging out with friends. I guarantee it will help some."
"I'll keep that in mind. Thanks again." With a nod Elizabeth walked out. Kristina sat back and thought about the woman she just spent the past thirty minutes with. She found herself curious about her and the man who broke her heart. It didn't sound like she was talking about Lucky Spencer. She wondered who he was and if it really was over between them. Elizabeth said she doesn't believe that he was ever in love with her, but Kristina doubted that. He had to have if he proposed. It didn't escape her notice that she neglected to give her a name, which suggests that it may be someone she knew.
Normally she would have gone too Ethan about this and ask him what he knew about Elizabeth Webber but she couldn't do that, not with the wound his rejection gave her still fresh. But there was somebody else who could help her out, who had the capability to find out everything she wanted to know and Elizabeth did say that keeping busy would help keep her mind off of her heartbreak. Sure, it wasn't exactly a job or volunteering anywhere; more like a project, but it would do. Suddenly she found herself smiling and for the first time in the past two weeks she was looking forward to the day.
Elizabeth Webber locked the door from inside an empty hospital room and released a long tired sigh. The morning had been hectic. Thanks to traffic, she made it to work ten minutes late where an angry Epiphany stood glaring at her but instead of laying into her, as she always did when any of her nurses were late, she ordered her to hurry and change. There was a major accident from the very traffic that made her late. Their ER was short nurses and would soon be filled with injured people; she was needed immediately. Elizabeth wasted no time stripping out of her regular clothes and into her scrubs before throwing herself into her work. This gave her no time to think about her talk with one Kristina Corinthos Davis or the topic of said conversation. And that was a good thing. But now she had an hour break and as she stretched out on the bed she knew there was nothing to keep her mind occupied from going to it now.
She was surprised to see the young girl walking into the café she now was a regular at. Elizabeth discovered the place one day when she couldn't force herself to walk into Kelly's for the second time. The first time it happened was when she stood outside the entrance watching in disbelief as Jason, Lucky and Sam all stood at the counter talking. She didn't know what they were discussing but she could see no hostility between them. When she saw they were getting ready to leave, she quickly hid and listened to them as they walked away; she realized that the three of them were working together. She was confused on how she should feel knowing all the hell Lucky gave her about endangering her and the boys by spending anytime with Jason and now here he was doing that very same thing. The next day she made it all the way inside only to immediately turn around and flee when she saw Jason lean down and gently kiss Sam on the lips. Seeing the loving gaze he gave her shattered Elizabeth's heart.
Somehow she made it to her car and drove herself to work but when she stood in front of her locker, her mind replayed that moment and she broke down right then and there. One of the nurses tried to help but seeing how inconsolable she was, called for help. It was Epiphany who was there for her, who understood when she deciphered the words that Elizabeth chanted over and over.
"He went back to her."
Epiphany immediately pulled her into a hug and rocked her gently like Elizabeth did so many times with her boys. She encouraged her to let it all out, that it would do her good and stayed by her side the entire time. When her sobs ended she was left with smeared mascara, puffy eyes and a headache but she would always remember what Epiphany told her after ordering her to take the day off.
"You go home and you cry it all out, hold nothing back. Before your boys get home you get yourself together and take care of those precious Angels and thank God for them in your life. They will help you past this. And when you go to bed tonight you make a vow that you will never shed another tear for Jason Morgan. The man's a damn fool."
That was exactly what Elizabeth did. She drove home and as soon as she closed the front door she slid to the floor and cried for the life they would never live. The wedding they would never have. The trip to Italy they would never make. The family they would never be. The father their son would never know. She didn't know how long she stayed in that same spot before she forced herself off the floor and into the bathroom where she drew herself a bath. Minutes after sinking into the warm water she got lost in memories and the tears came again. Elizabeth could not stop crying as moments of their time together played in her mind. It was well after one in the afternoon when Elizabeth curled up on her bed and fell into an exhausted sleep. The ringing of her telephone woke her up. On the other end was Epiphany acting as an alarm; her boys would be home in an hour.
"Thank you so much Epiphany."
"You are welcome. You got to be strong Elizabeth and you got to hold on, till you make it." The tone in her voice changed. "Now, I will see you tomorrow nurse Webber, nine sharp."
When her grandmother dropped her boys off Elizabeth thanked her for everything she had ever done and invited her to join them for dinner. Seeing how happy this made her Grandmother, she made another promise to herself; to spend more time with her Grams. They enjoyed a nice evening and she would always treasure those twice a week dinners the four of them had. Six month ago Audrey Hardy passed away in her sleep. The entire town of Port Charles mourned the loss. Elizabeth was so thankful for her brother Steven; he was her rock during that time, though he was hurting himself. Cameron and Jake didn't understand death; all they knew was that they would never get to see their great grandmother again.
Time passed and life moved on, but Elizabeth felt at a standstill. She enjoyed her time with her boys, but she was lonely. Nikolas was out of town a lot on business and when he was home he spent time with his girlfriend Brook Lynn. Patrick and Robin were occupied with the mess that was Lisa Niles and Steven found himself in a good relationship with Olivia Falconeri. The house was left to Elizabeth but her brother was the one to move in to their grandmother's home. Steven tried several times to encourage her to move in but it didn't feel right for her to do. Elizabeth had moved so many times with Cameron that she liked that they had stability. The house she lived in was paid for thanks to Jason and Cam and Jake loved their rooms. Though there were many painful memories for Elizabeth, her boys were more important and this was home for the three of them.
Many of her co-workers, especially Epiphany, used to constantly encourage her to get out more and start dating. So when one of the new doctors in pediatrics asked her out, Elizabeth said yes. Jeffrey Taylor was nice looking, successful and very good with kids. The first date was pleasant and it felt good to have an adult conversation. The second date was a little awkward when he began talking about his ex-wife after the subject of past relationships came up. It was clear that he was still very much in love with her. After the third date the two of them agreed that there was no reason for a fourth one; they parted on friendly terms and Elizabeth turned in for the night disappointed. She went on a few other ones but nothing ever came of them and after awhile, she stopped looking and others stopped pushing. When the time was right and the right person comes along, than it would happen. She hoped.
Thinking back to the conversation this morning with Kristina, Elizabeth was surprised she enjoyed their brief time together. She was young and had a lot to learn, but now that Kristina was about to begin her first year of college, she had high hopes for the girl. She knew it would be tough for her. After all she is the daughter of a mobster and a powerful lawyer. In a way Kristina reminded her of herself; back when she was younger than what Kristina was now, before she lost herself completely in the saga that was Lucky Spencer.
Elizabeth let out a long sigh every time she thought of him. She would never forget that he was her first love and she would always be thankful for his presence during the most difficult time of her life, but the boy and girl they were back than were nowhere near the man and woman they are today. They grew apart and because they tried going back over and over to try and recreate what they once had, it destroyed so much between them. He was still in her life, but barely, especially since he distanced himself after she turned down his proposal. She could still remember all the expressions that crossed his face when she told him she could not marry him. Lucky had sprung it on her with his entire family around them and she could feel the walls closing in. That wasn't how somebody was supposed to feel when the person you love asks you to marry them. Elizabeth couldn't help but think of another proposal; in a penthouse - immediately she stopped herself from going any further but it did clear her head and she knew that marrying Lucky again would be a mistake. He was angry that she not only turned him down; but that she did it in front of his family in the very home they once shared.
Now he was dating a woman named Siobhan and any conversations they had were mostly about Cameron and Jake. But even those were getting fewer and further apart which was sad because from what Elizabeth could see, traces of the old Lucky were noticeable. He was back to that adventurous person he used to be. For awhile now he has cancelled more and more of his weekends with the boys and hearing all the gossip around the hub at work and reading headlines in the newspaper, it wasn't hard to figure out why. It seems that Lucky, Jason, Sam and Dante were a four man crew out to save the day. Instead of letting it get to her, she channeled all her focus on Cameron and Jake and made sure they were happy and felt loved.
Turning her body to lay on her stomach, Elizabeth closed her eyes and hoped for sleep to come. It wouldn't be a long nap, she only had an hour lunch, but that little bit would help her get through the rest of the day. She couldn't stop her mind from drifting back to Kristina and her relationship with Ethan. The girl was hurting, that was plain to see; though he had turned her down, she wondered if there was more to their story. Whatever was going on between them and anything else in her life, she had to remember that Kristina was Sonny's daughter, Sam's sister and friends to both Maxi and Carly; basically people who at one time or another she has had 'differences' with. Elizabeth had a drama free life going for herself, something she didn't want to lose. So she couldn't afford to let her guard down once. No matter how much she liked the girl.
Johnny Zacchara sat in his armchair, not really listening to anything his father was saying. The old man was going on and on about the injustice of Lisa's death; that she wasn't as smart as he thought if she had allowed herself to get killed. Johnny tuned him out and was lost in his own thoughts. He knew what kind of woman Lisa Niles was, had always known, but chose to ignore it because she reminded him of his sister and felt that helping her would make up for not being able to save Claudia; that and not wanting to be alone. Loosing Olivia was hard but seeing how happy she was with Steven Webber has helped him with that loss. He would always love her but he and his life were too messed up for any serious relationship; hence the Lisa fiasco. Her death had him re-thinking a lot of things that needed to change in his life.
Many citizens in Port Charles now looked at Johnny with disgust for his part in helping Lisa and his constant attacks on Sonny Corinthos. To be truthful he was tired himself and began to question if this vendetta he had was still worth pursuing; not that he would forgive and forget his sister's death or how she was murdered. Still it disturbed him that the only person who appears to be on his side cheering him on is his father. This brought out old fears that he would end up turning out exactly like him.
His relationship with Ethan had strained some when Lisa used an unknowing Kristina on her quest to take down Patrick and Robin Drake. It bothered Johnny too, but he couldn't see past the company and warmth Lisa's body provided and if anything had happened to Kristina, he knew he would never have forgiven himself. She was a good kid, one who he related a lot too and who has been kind to him and the memory of his sister; even after all Claudia had done to her family. Thinking of how he reminded Ethan that Kristina had lied before and suggested she could be doing the same thing again made him cringe.
Not one of his finest moments.
"Are you even listening John? What am I asking that for? Of course he's not...because you never do." His father broke him out of his thoughts, but before he could reply back with a retort, somebody knocked at his door. Johnny stood up and walked over to answer it and was surprised not only to see the very girl he was thinking of on the other side but also the awkward smile she was giving him. That was uncharacteristic of her.
"Kristina. What are you doing here?" Seeing the expression on her face fall slightly, Johnny could have kicked himself for sounding like he didn't want her there. "Come on in. How are you?" He tried again.
"I'm good." Kristina answered as she walked in, but stopped when she saw his father sitting watching them. "Oh, I um...I'm sorry. I didn't mean to disturb you and your father. I can always come back another time."
"You're not a bother. You know you are always welcomed here." Johnny reminded her as he closed his door and steered her to the couch next to him since his father had moved and now took the place in his armchair.
"You are no bother Miss Corinthos." Anthony threw in, offering her a smile. This made Johnny narrow his eyes. What was the old coot up to?
"Um...you can call me Kristina…Mr. Zacchara." Johnny could tell his father made her nervous. He didn't blame her one bit.
"Thank you Kristina. I will." Johnny did not know what was going on in his father's mind but he had a feeling that he would not like it. Later on he would have to talk to him and warn him that Kristina was off limits.
"Is everything okay Krissy?" Johnny asked, not just to steer her away from having a conversation with his father, but because he sensed something from her; sadness maybe?
"Actually, I need your help. It's not anything major, I promise."
"Why don't you tell me what you need and I will see if it's something I can help you with." He encouraged, a little leery. Kristina could come up with some crazy plans.
"I need some information on somebody that..."
"Is somebody bothering you?" Concern filled him immediately.
"No nothing like that. I met somebody at this new coffee shop today…"
"Not Kelly's?" Surprise evident in his voice.
"I wasn't in the mood to run into anybody." Kristina answered.
Johnny promised himself he would get the story from her later, when they weren't in the presence of his father, or anybody else. "So, what you are saying is you met a guy and don't want to go to your father about him."
"Wrong again and would you stop making assumptions and let me finish." She scolded him. His father snickered.
"I am sorry. Please continue." He smirked at her cute scowl. She may be a tiny little thing but she sure had a temper.
"I want to know everything about Elizabeth Webber." Kristina surprised the hell out of Johnny. "Do you know her?"
"Personally, no, but I do know who she is." He admitted, picturing the woman. "Why the interest in her?"
"To avoid running into…somebody, I stopped by this new coffee place. Elizabeth was there and I joined her. She seems like a real nice person and she helped me with something that was troubling me."
"I still don't understand why you want information on her."
"I think I may have brought up some painful memories for her of a man she once loved. She was sad and she seems very lonely. I want to help her but for me to do that I need the name of the guy."
Anthony snorted at this but Johnny ignored him. They both knew who the man was and this had the ability to get very messy. "How would knowing his name help?"
"Once I know who he is then maybe I can help them get back together."
"What makes you think there is anything to salvage between them?"
"There may not be, Elizabeth believes that he never loved her."
"Clearly you don't believe that."
"Honestly, I don't know. She could be right for all I know."
"Then why continue?" Johnny was confused why this mattered to her.
"I have free time, why not?" Translation - it would keep her mind off of whatever it was that had her down, Johnny guessed.
"It's not good prying into other people's personal life. You may end up doing more damage than good." Johnny tried to persuade her away from pursuing this any further. "Why don't you find something else that you could do to help keep you busy? I know I have some free time, we could make plans." Johnny knew he was grasping at straws but anything was better than her finding out the truth.
"You know something." Her unwavering gaze settled on him. "What are you keeping from me? Do you know who the guy is?" Johnny tried to come up with something, anything, but his mind was drawing a blank.
"Oh John boy you should see the expression on your face." His father was clearly enjoying his discomfort. "Why not tell her the truth?"
"You know who he is Mr. Zacchara?"
"I make it a habit to know everything about my enemies my dear."
"Elizabeth Webber is your enemy?" Kristina exclaimed shockingly.
"No, I have no quarrels with the lovely nurse. Though there was a time when I thought I may. Take it from me; Ms. Webber is correct in her assessment. Believe me, his actions have proved that."
"You know I tell the truth John."
"We don't know anything."
"Oh, don't we?" Johnny hated to admit that his father was right, but that was not their business.
"Kristina, listen to me. Drop this, okay."
"I will find out either through you or someone else." He could see the determination and curiosity in Kristina's eyes but her knowing had the probability to lead to other things, like some of what Sam had done in the past. That was something he didn't want her learning.
"You don't know what cans you will be opening up. I know you Krissy. The more you learn, the more questions you will have and the more secrets will be unveiled that are not your business. For your sake and your sake alone - drop this."
"The name Johnny." Damn stubborn girl! But he was stubborn too and he would not be the one to tell her anything.
"Jason Morgan." Johnny wanted to strangle his father.
The room fell into silence and Johnny could do nothing but look at the disbelief expression that crossed Kristina's face. There was nothing he could do now; she knew and there was no going back. This was bound to get ugly and all he could do was make sure he was there for her.
"I have to go. I am sorry I bothered you." Kristina jumped up and rushed to the door.
Johnny ran after her to the lobby where he closed his front door behind him to give them some privacy. "Wait, Kristina!" He stopped her before she could get away. "Promise me you won't do anything rash. Take the time to let it all sink in and if you decide you still want to know more, than you can come to me and I will tell you what I can." Kristina nodded her head but Johnny wasn't satisfied with that. He needed to hear the words. "Promise me."
"I promise." Her voice was soft and laced with pain.
"One more thing..." Johnny continued, knowing this was something that had to be said. "I know you're upset by this but you need to know that Elizabeth is not a villain here. I understand your loyalty to your family, and I commend you on that but Elizabeth is not your enemy. She is what she appears to be."
"Okay." Kristina replied and turned around to continue on. Suddenly she swung back around and wrapped her arms around his neck in a tight hug. "Thank you."
"Anytime, I am here for you. Remember that." Johnny waited till Kristina was gone before walking back inside to deal with his father. Something piqued the man's interest and if Kristina was involved than it was not a good thing. "I don't know what has popped into that twisted mind of yours old man but you will not go anywhere near that girl. Do I make myself clear?"
"Why John, I am offended."
"Come off it."
"What makes you think…?"
"I know you and I am telling you, no."
"Let me assure you that I have no desire to hurt the lovely Kristina Corinthos." Johnny narrowed his eyes in suspicion. "I think it is good that she has you to turn to for help." Not once did he relax, if anything he tensed even more with worry. "You two seem close." He seemed to be skirting around. "She trusts you and I see the feeling is mutual."
"I consider her a friend and she has been through a lot. I will do anything to protect her" Johnny made sure his father got his point.
"That's good. I appreciate the kindness she just showed me." Johnny waited, knowing something was about to come. "She sure is a beautiful girl?" He didn't have to wait long.
Johnny let out a laugh and shook his head. "Stop right there. Kristina and I are just friends who have a lot in common. She is just eighteen and going to be starting college."
"Suuure she's young and she's seen a lot in her life. Maybe it made her a little stronger, but enough to deal with everything she will soon be discovering? This may have her at odds with her family and who will be there to help take care of her."
"Oh so let me get this straight. You are only thinking of her well being out of - what - the kindness of your heart?" Johnny scoffed as he poured himself a drink and threw it back in one gulp.
"I am always looking at the big picture, especially when it comes to you John. All I'm merely suggesting is that you don't be so quick to dismiss the lovely young lady simply because of age. That girl has potential; imagine the woman she will one day be."
"You are one crazy son of a bitch."
"Crazy or not, I am right. With her at your side…" Anthony smiled, a dreamy faraway look in his eyes. "Oh, the possibilities."
Johnny decided he heard enough. He pulled out his gun, secured it properly and tucked it in the back of his pants before grabbing his car keys and walking out in the middle of his father's fantasy. Yes, his father was right; having the daughter of Sonny Corinthos by his side would be a smart move in his line of work; not to mention the best revenge. But he would never, could never do that to her. On the other hand, if Sonny ever tried to coerce her to marry somebody from one of the families for the sake of business, then all bets were off. Kristina would be safer with him than anybody else. With her safety on his mind, Johnny pulled out his cell phone and made a call.
"Hello." Ethan answered on the third ring.
"We need to talk. It's about Kristina. Are you at the Haunted Star?"
"I'm here." The Aussie replied.
"I am on my way."
Kristina could think of no place to go to sort out the confusion going on in her mind. Instead she sat in her car in front of the park watching as children ran around playing and thought how growing up really sucked. How simple things were when you're little with no worries in the world. To think it was only going to get worse as you get older. Her parents and sister were proof of that.
It was still so hard to wrap her brain around that. When Johnny tried to convince her to let it go, she didn't understand. For a brief second a part of her wondered if maybe it was her father and he was just trying to protect her. Not ever would she have guessed her sister's boyfriend. When she heard Jason's name, many not so pleasant things crossed her mind about Elizabeth Webber and immediately she geared herself up to protect her sister. When Johnny warned her not to make a villain of Elizabeth, it made her feel shame since that was exactly what she was going to do. It didn't matter how nice she was to Kristina or that not once had she felt any maliciousness from the other woman. Yet she was ready to battle with her.
One thing for sure, Kristina needed to not act irrational and be clearheaded about this. Taking a few deep breaths she closed her eyes and quieted her mind for just a minute. When she felt herself relax some, she adjusted her seat back; brought both her legs up and wrapped her arms around them. Resting her chin on her knees she started thinking of how this could be true. There were no memories that she could recall of Jason Morgan and Elizabeth Webber ever being together. Even when Jason and Sam were apart those years, he had remained alone.
"I was seventeen when I started spending time with a guy that was older than me." Parts of their morning conversation came back making her realize that this went far back even before Sam. "Than about six years ago our lives came together once again and I was sure that this time we would get it right." Six years ago, the same time her sister and Jason were apart. "It took me awhile but I finally understood "
"That he was never in love with me."
Kristina could still feel Elizabeth's pain when she spoke those words, remembering it now brought tears to her own eyes. Johnny was right; this was bound to open up doors that she shouldn't be opening. Doing so would disrupt her sister's happiness and that was the last thing she ever wanted to do. Sam was great, and she loved her big sister. The love that she shared with Jason made it so hard to believe that he ever loved anybody else. Then she thought of her father and Brenda's long turbulent relationship. No, no. Kristina refused to go down that road. It simply may be that Jason and Elizabeth were lonely and came together because of the comfort of their history.
"I devoted all my time on my boys and myself for the past two and a half years."
What about the first three? Were they together that long? Why did she not know this? Finding out that it was Jason that broke Elizabeth's heart brought out more questions that Kristina knew she could not ignore; something else Johnny was right about. With all her heart she wanted to just let this go and forget, but she knew herself; knew that, clearly, that would not be the case. The mission was now tweaked and her reasons for doing so may have changed but she still planned on finding out everything she knew about Elizabeth Webber and her relationship with Jason. She made a call to Johnny.
"Hey Kristina." Johnny answered. "How are you doing?"
"Confused. Not to mention I have a headache from too much thinking. If only I could rewind things...but I can't, neither can I drop this. I have to know Johnny." It wasn't surprising that Johnny was able to understand her on this. He asked if she was sure; Kristina was and he agreed to keep his promise. He then asked where she was at so that he could meet up with her. She told him she was at the park and thanked him before ending the call.
Sometime later the passenger door of her car opened, startling Kristina and making her jump in fear. When she saw who it was that sat beside her, she instantly relaxed. When his eyes settled on her, she remembered the last time they were together and suddenly felt embarrassed and uncomfortable. With all that was on her mind, Ethan was the last person she wanted to see right now but unless she was prepared to push him out the car and zoom off, she knew she had no choice but to have that first awkward conversation with him.
There was only one thing on Ethan Lovett's mind to do today, and that was to find one Kristina Davis and deal with the issue that kept coming between them once and for all. It's been two weeks since he last seen her and though he knew she was avoiding him and the right thing for him to do was let her be, he just couldn't do that. Trust was not easy for him, especially for an ex-con man like himself, but somehow he found it with his newly discovered father and a young troubled teenage girl.
With Luke, it was easy and not so surprising that he was able to bond with him. The two had so much in common; they were alike in so many ways and Ethan had come to admire the man before he discovered their relation. As for his brother and sister, that was a little different. He did love them and would always worry and be there for Lucky and Lulu, but it was different and he could never quite get in sync with them; especially with Lucky who he had a difficult start with. For awhile it was just him and Luke, and he was fine with that.
Than Kristina walked into his life and though she was young and caused him so much grief, she made an impression on him and somehow became someone Ethan could turn too. Opening up honestly to her has helped him clear his head and sometimes he would find himself seeking her out at Kelly's, knowing there was a chance she would be there. This was why it was important for him to find her and make her understand that there could never be anymore between them. They have been through too much to let their friendship end like this.
The first stop Ethan made was to the lake house where Molly informed him Kristina wasn't home. He thanked the young Davis girl and made her promise that she wouldn't tell her older sister that he was looking for her. Ethan knew if she found out than she would make it that much harder for him to pin her down. The next stop was the Diner where he made polite conversation with Mike only to be informed that he had not seen his granddaughter.
"Come to think of it, I haven't seen her in here for awhile."
There was no sign of her at the park or on the docks. Ethan even went as far as calling Dante and Sam and asking if they had seen her; both were dead ends and Ethan began to get frustrated. Kristina really had a way of getting under his skin, she was stubborn, hard-headed and at the moment still not answering her cell phone. He didn't know how many times he had called and left her a message. Not knowing where else to look, Ethan headed back to the Haunted Star where he found his father behind the bar, knocking back his usual.
"Dodge." Luke greeted. "You were out and about early."
"I was looking for somebody." Ethan was hesitant to say who. When it came to Kristina, Luke and he did not see eye to eye.
"And who is this un-named person?" The way his father was eyeing him made him wonder if he somehow knew.
"Nobody for you to…" The ringing of his cell interrupted. Ethan quickly pulled it out and answered, hoping that Kristina would be on the other end. "Hello." He answered without checking to see who it was.
"We need to talk." He was disappointed to hear Johnny Zacchara's voice, but what he said next caught his interest. "It's about Kristina. Are you at the Haunted Star?"
"I'm here." He replied back, a little upset with himself for not thinking of looking for her at Johnny's.
"I am on my way."
As he hung his cell and slipped it back inside his pocket, he could feel his father's questioning gaze on him. He chose to say nothing. Instead he walked over to the bar and grabbed himself a bottle of water. All the running around made him thirsty. Not to mention that Ethan hadn't had anything to eat today. It was already past noon and he knew he should eat but chose not too with Johnny on his way. Something in the man's voice alerted him that things may not be okay with Kristina.
"And who shall be gracing us with their presence?" His father asked in his special sarcastic way.
"Johnny is on his way over to talk to me about Kristina." Ethan decided to be honest. It wasn't like Luke would be going anywhere and no doubt his father would eavesdrop on their conversation. As predicted, he had something to say on the matter.
"You are just digging yourself deeper and deeper my boy."
"I am sure I have no idea what you are talking about." Ethan retorted back, looking him in the eye.
"Sure you don't. That jailbait is in love with you Dodge, and you are only making things worse by encouraging her."
"Kristina is eighteen and she is a friend, nothing more."
"You are no idiot, so stop acting like one. That little girl has stars in her eyes every time she looks at you. Drop her son. I know it didn't work out with Maya but there are plenty of beautiful older woman out there. Kristina Corinthos is not the way to go, she will only bring you trouble."
There was nothing Ethan really could say that would make Luke understand the friendship he valued with Kristina and if she could just get past her crush then they would be okay. Johnny's arrival saved him from having to come up with saying anything.
"Johnny." Luke greeted their guest; he made it no secret his current dislike for the man. At the moment Ethan wasn't completely happy with Johnny himself for his role in his dead psychotic girlfriend's part of trying to get Kristina hooked on hydrocodone. He may have not been the one to supply it but it was hard to get past his reaction when Ethan confronted Johnny about it. It still angered him remembering how he suggested that Kristina might be lying about where she got them from. Not just angry with Johnny but with himself for doubting her for even a second. Thankfully she wasn't on them long enough for it to have a lasting effect, other than a few shakes, Kristina was okay.
"Can we talk somewhere privately?" Johnny asked when he joined them at the bar.
"Don't let me stop you two from making fools of yourself."
"Now is really not the time Luke." Ethan could see Johnny was worried and this concerned him.
"Let me guess, Kristina has become a damsel in distress and you two jackals are going to bail her out."
"We can talk outside." Ethan ignored his father and followed Johnny out, leaving behind his father who continued to warn him about the dangers of being friends with a mobster's daughter.
"Is Kristina in some kind of trouble?" Ethan wasted no time.
"Nothing like that but she is about to open up a big can of worms that has the possibility of turning her world upside down."
"Start from the beginning."
"Kristina decided to have her coffee at a new place to avoid someone…and by the expression on your face, I am going to guess it is you."
"For the past two weeks now." Ethan admitted tiredly, the sound making his accent come out thicker. "I have been trying to find her but she is doing a damn good job hiding from me and refusing to answer any of my calls. She can be frustrating sometimes."
Johnny said nothing; instead he arched his eyebrows and flashed a smirk. "And what made her want to avoid you?"
"A few weeks ago she calls me and invites me over. When I arrive a couple of candles are lit and she is pouring wine."
"Ah." Johnny nodded in understanding. "I think I know the rest. You turned her down and now she is avoiding you."
"In a nutshell."
"So you really don't have any feelings for her?"
"She is eighteen Johnny."
"Is that your only reason?"
"That is reason enough."
"You, my friend, are an idiot." Johnny shook his head at Ethan. "You are also the reason why Kristina is about to open a door she shouldn't and in the process may discover Sam's closet full of skeletons; heading down a path there is no turning back from, despite my warnings."
"What skeletons and why would she? Better question, how is it my fault?"
"Let's just say that not only did Sam McCall have a whole different life before Port Charles, she has done a few things since she has been here that will be hard for Kristina to deal with. As for how it's your fault, well because avoiding you steered her to cross path with Elizabeth Webber."
"Elizabeth?" Ethan exclaimed in surprise and confusion. "I am still not following."
"Apparently they bonded over a broken heart and Kristina wants to return the favor so she decides she wants to know the man's identity and comes to me. I refused to tell her, even went as far as pleading with her…we both know how well that doesn't work." Ethan nodded his head in agreement. "My father was there and he took it upon himself to provide her with the name."
"The guy being…?"
"I forget that you haven't been here long enough to know some histories."
"I have heard some things here and there about Elizabeth and Jason…" Ethan trailed off when it hit him.
"Bingo." Johnny confirmed.
"I always thought it was just a brief thing."
"Definitely not brief and goes way back."
"What exactly is Kristina going to find?"
"You will find out when she does. I have no doubt I will be hearing from her soon, and I promised that I would give her everything I know." As if on cue, Johnny's phone rang. "I tell you this…" Johnny began saying when he looked down at his phone and saw who was calling. "…she has timing…Hey Kristina. How are you doing?" He greeted her with a soft voice and placed the call on speaker so Ethan could hear.
"Confused. Not to mention I have a headache from too much thinking. If only I could rewind things...but I can't, neither can I drop this. I have to know Johnny."
"I figured you would, but are you sure?"
"No, but I know myself."
"Ok." Johnny gave him a speculated glance then with a smile he asked, "Where are you at?"
"I am at the park, sitting in my car. Why?" At that moment Ethan forgave Johnny for everything.
"Stay there. I am on my way."
"Okay. Thanks Johnny."
"Anytime." After hanging up he looked at Ethan. "You are going to head over to the park and work out things between the two of you. She is going to need us. The both of you meet me at my place in a few hours." Johnny pulled his car keys out of his pocket. "In the meantime I am going to pick up some files and get rid of my father for the night."
Ethan wasted no time saying goodbye to Johnny. Instead he just nodded his head and was off to the park. He had no idea what words he could say to make things right between them but he was going to try. If he wouldn't let her father, the mobster who had the capability to kill him and has attempted to do so on many occasions, stop him from being a part of Kristina's life than he would be damned if he would let her try to do the same.
It didn't take long to get to the park and like she said he found Kristina's car parked in the lot. From what he could see inside, he observed how she hugged her legs to her chest. She looked so small and fragile like that and all he wanted to do was take her hand and assure her that everything would be okay. The way Johnny made it sound, that wouldn't be the case and he knew there would be some ugly truths about to come out. All Ethan could do was to make sure he was there for her and that she knows she could count on him, no matter what.
When he slid in the passenger seat of her car, he knew he had startled her when she jumped. Ethan could've knocked and alerted her of his presence but he didn't want to take the chance of her reversing and running away. "You are stubborn and hard-headed and have had me all over town this morning looking for you."
"No. Let me talk." He stopped her. "I am sorry that I have hurt you. That is not something I had any intentions of ever doing but we are friends. I trust you Krissy and I can talk to you about anything, including this. I value our friendship and would hate to lose that so can we please get past this." Never would Ethan have thought that he would be begging to keep someone in his life. After his parents died he had to adjust from his happy home to living life on the streets where he learned how to con people and rely on nobody but himself. Now he had a father, a stepmother, two half siblings and the girl who sat beside him chewing on her lower lip, looking like she was fighting to keep her tears at bay.
"I value our friendship too." She whispered. "But…"
"No buts." With his left hand Ethan grabbed hold of her right one and angled both their bodies so they were facing each other. "Let's just forget about that night and go back to how it was. You're a beautiful sweet girl Kristina and one day some lucky guy is going to capture your heart but that man is not me."
Kristina remained quiet for a few minutes. With her head down, her dark hair became a curtain preventing him from seeing her face and trying to guess what she might be thinking. He said nothing, giving her whatever time she needed. As the silence dragged on, Ethan averted his attention to the playground and watched the children running around. Several minutes later she lifted her head and was surprised when he could not decipher anything from her eyes. It was always easy to see what she was feeling; she was young and had yet to learn how to hide her emotions, at least to him. It seems that may not be the case anymore and it made him sad to think he was the reason.
"Do you have any plans today?" The question surprised him.
"No. Why do you ask?"
"I asked Johnny to get me some information and would like for you to be there with me."
"Consider me there."
"Johnny should be here…"
"Actually he's not coming. I was with him when you called. He asked us to meet him at his place in a few hours."
"Are we fine here?"
"I am kind of hungry. All I had was a muffin for breakfast."
"You shouldn't forget to eat. Kristina, are we okay?"
"Do you mind if we stop and eat somewhere before we head over?"
"Sure." Ethan answered slowly, not understanding what was going on. "But is everything okay now?"
"I am not in the mood to run into anybody we know."
"You're not answering my..."
"How about we just go through a drive through and eat in the car."
It dawned on him then, what Kristina was doing. She was going along and forgetting that that night ever happened. This should've pleased him, should've made him breathe easier to know their friendship was not lost. So than why did he feel anything but pleased? Why did he feel like things between them would never be the same again?
With a heavy sigh Ethan went along with her and as she readjusted her seat and drove off, he chanted in his mind over and over that ignoring that night was for the best.
Author's Note: Chapter 2 will be added soon. Comments, criticisms and suggestions are always welcomed.