Also, I'd like to note that I do not own ABC's One Life to Live or General Hospital or the characters and I will NOT be receiving any payment whatsoever for writing this story. It is intended for entertainment purposes only. This story is AU.
"Put the gun down, Hannah. You don't want to hurt anyone," Cole tried to reason. Hannah only laughed, waving the gun around menacingly. She was ready to take the life of Starr Manning as she saw her as a threat to her happiness. She wanted Cole for herself, and she was determined to get him any way she had to, even if she had to shoot whoever stood in her way.
Todd Manning walked into the room, seeing his family being threatened by the crazy young woman holding the gun. His daughter Starr was trembling at Cole's side, while his nephew, little Sam looked on with wide eyes. "What the hell is going on here?" Todd demanded.
"Hannah O'Connor escaped from Statesville Prison, and she wants to shoot Starr," Cole answered as he moved in front of Starr. There was no way he was going to let the mother of his child die. The need to protect her was greater than anything he had ever known.
"Give me the gun," Todd demanded of Hannah.
"Don't come any closer or I'll shoot you, too!" Hannah threatened as she aimed the gun at Todd's chest.
"I don't think you wanna do that," Todd said in a low growl.
"I am going to do away with Starr once and for all, then Cole will be mine," stated Hannah.
"Sam, come here to me," Todd said as he looked down at his little nephew. Cautiously Sam ran into Todd's arms. Todd picked up the boy and took him to safety while Hannah was distracted taunting Starr and Cole. Todd had to get back and protect his daughter and the father of his grandchild, but he lingered in the foyer, looking for some sort of weapon.
"I know something you don't know," Hannah said with a crazy laugh as she looked over at Cole.
"What might that be?" Cole asked as he continued to stand in front of Starr protectively.
"You have a sister. Your father has been lying to you and your mom all this time!" Hannah said with a laugh.
"What? I don't have a sister. You're crazy as hell," Cole responded.
"Ask your dad. He knocked someone up LONG ago. He's kept it from you all these years..."
Cole looked confused. Was Hannah really telling the truth or was this just another of her demented games? "How did you find out about this sister? Where is she... and what is her name?" Cole demanded.
"Her name is Samantha McCall. And she lives in Port Charles, New York," Hannah revealed. "I know all about it. Your dad has been lying to your mom for YEARS!"
"I don't believe it. YOU'RE the one telling lies!" Cole yelled.
Todd returned to the room, coming up behind Hannah cautiously. His plan was to grab her and wrestle the gun from her, but it didn't go as he had intended. Hannah heard his approach. "Your daughter is going to die!" Hannah cried out visciously. Todd tried to reach for the gun, but in that same moment, Starr rushed out from behind Cole, wanting to protect her father. When Hannah saw that Starr was in range, she aimed the gun at Starr, intending to shoot her.
The gun went off. Todd threw himself in front of Cole and Starr. A second bullet was fired. "Ohhh my God!" Starr sobbed when she saw that both her dad and Cole had been wounded. When Hannah saw what she had done, she crumbled. She dropped the gun, seeing the blood covering Cole's chest.
"Don't die, Cole!" she said as she threw herself on top of him.
"Get away from MY boyfriend!" Starr yelled as she started slapping Hannah repeatedly.
Just then, Blair entered the room. "What the HELL is going on in here?" she demanded as she saw Todd and Cole bleeding on the floor. She immediately picked up the gun and aimed it at Hannah.
"Starr, call 911 now!" she instructed her daughter.
Todd lay in his hospital bed, wincing in pain. Blair was at his side. "How's Starr and Cole?" he asked her.
"Starr is with Cole. He just got out of surgery," Blair explained. "It was really bad, Todd. The doctors are not sure if he's gonna make it."
"Someone needs to call Marty. Get me my phone," Todd insisted.
"Todd, you've been injured. That crazy bitch Hannah shot you. You need to take better care of yourself."
"It's just a flesh wound. I'll take care of myself later. Now, GET ME MY PHONE."
"Alright, you big idiot. Call Marty then. See if I care," Blair said with annoyance. She tossed Todd his cell phone none-too-gently, then she hurriedly left the room.
Moments later, Todd had gotten through to the secure location where Marty had been hiding out since she had left Llanview to avoid arrest. "Marty, it's Todd. I bet you never thought you'd hear from me..." he said on the phone. "It's about your son Cole. I'm afraid there's been an accident... and you need to come to Llanview right away."
Marty arrived in Llanview as soon as she got the news. She was wearing a disguise as she prayed she wouldn't be recognized and thrown into jail. She wore a dark wig, sunglasses and a trench coat. The first place she went was Todd Manning's hospital room. "Marty?" he said as he was surprised by her disguise. "Is that- that you?"
"Yes, it's me," Marty replied.
"What happened to you?" she asked with a frown, seeing bandages covering his shoulder. "Were you shot?"
Todd nodded. "Yeah. By some chick named Hannah O'Connor. She escaped from Statesville Prison. I take it you know her."
"Yes, she was a nut-job. She wanted to take Cole from Starr. Ohhh my God! Did she do something to Cole?" Marty asked fearfully.
"She confronted Starr and Cole with a gun. It was ugly. I tried to stop her, but..."
"But what, Todd? Is my son okay?"
"He was trying to protect Starr," Todd stated. "He didn't want that crazy bitch to hurt my little girl..."
"Cole's been shot?" Marty asked tearfully.
"Yeah. And I got shot, too. Better me than either one of them."
"You took a bullet trying to protect Cole and Starr?" Marty asked him in disbelief.
"I'd do it again," Todd said with a heavy sigh.
"I need to see Cole."
"Blair's out there in the hallway. She'll take you to him."
Todd closed his eyes, trying to rest as Marty cautiously approached him. "Thank you, Todd... for calling me... and for trying to protect my son," she said to him gratefully.
Todd opened his eyes as their gazes locked. "You need to go to your son, Marty. He needs his mother," he told her quietly.
A couple of weeks had passed, and Todd's wound was almost completely healed. He was feeling much better and hassling the nurses so much that they were ready to release him from the hospital. He was just about to sign his release papers when Marty came in to see him. "Hello, Marty. How's Cole doing?" Todd questioned.
"Much better. The doctors say he should be released in a week or two. It was a close call, but it looks like he's gonna be alright."
"That's good. I'm glad everyone got a happy ending..."
"That's the thing. I know he's keeping something from me, something major... but when I ask him, he won't say a word."
"What could he be keeping from you?" Todd asked. "Maybe he just doesn't wanna go back to prison."
"Yeah, I know that's partly it. He wants to be with Starr and Hope."
"And he should be. Listen Marty, I owe you sooo much after all we've been through. As a favor to you, I am going to help fake Cole's death so he doesn't have to return to prison. He can get a new identity and a fresh start, then he, Starr, and little Hope can be a family again."
"You'd do that for my son?"
"It's the least I could do for all the hurt I've caused you."
They stared at each other as tears glowed in Marty's eyes. "Thank you, Todd," she said in a whisper. "You don't know what it means to me."
"I just want my little girl to be happy. It's obvious that Cole makes her happy . They deserve to be together, and I'm going to make it happen. I promise."
When Cole was well enough to be released, Todd staged his death. Cole, Starr, and Hope shared a tearful farewell with their family at LaBoulie. "Where's Mom? Why isn't she here to say good-bye?" Cole asked regretfully.
"I don't know where she is, but something must have kept her," spoke Todd. "She can come visit you when you get settled in California. Right now, you need to hurry away from Llanview before you are recognized. If John McBain finds out you're actually alive, you'll end up back in prison."
Many hugs were exchanged, along with several tears. "Thank you for everything you did for us, Dad," Starr said as she hugged her father ever-so-tight.
"Take good care of Peanut," Todd said as he kissed his granddaughter's cheek.
"I will, Dad," Starr promised.
Minutes later, Starr and Cole were in the car with their daughter, ready to embark on a new life together. They were headed to California, so they could visit Langston and Markko.
"I'm gonna miss 'em," little Sam said sadly as they pulled out of the drive.
"I know, Sweetie, but we'll go visit them soon," Blair promised as she hugged and kissed her little boy.
"At least they got away. Cole wasn't arrested... and they can have a happy life now," Todd said as he gently closed the door.
*I wish I could be so lucky,* he was thinking. It was just a matter of time he knew until they came for him. He'd have to pay for Victor's murder, and the price would be very steep. Everyone who loved him would hate him after they knew. He was going to lose everything.
That very night John McBain arrived at LaBoulie after he had gathered enough evidence to arrest Todd for Victor's murder. "I am innocent!" Todd cried out, but Blair was not convinced.
"You killed your own brother and you're gonna rot in hell for that, Todd Manning!" she shouted.
Todd was carted away and brought in to be processed. He thought it was all over for him. Cole was free, and he was happy with Starr, but Todd was going back to Statesville prison. He was going to be locked up in a cell for killing his own twin brother.
After Todd's processing was completed at the station, John told the guards to lock Todd up. Todd was just about to be incarcerated, when Marty burst into John's office.. "You can't arrest Todd. He didn't kill Victor!" she exclaimed.
"Marty?" John cried out in shock.
"Marty, what are you doing here?" Todd demanded as he frowned at her. "You'll be arrested, too. You should have left Llanview and returned to your safe location while you had the chance."
"I had to come here, Todd. I have the evidence to prove your innocence."
"What the hell are you talking about?" John asked with confusion.
"Todd didn't kill Victor," Marty stated. "Victor's alive."
"And you know this how?" John questioned.
"I received an envelope in the mail this morning. It contains a script written by Alison Perkins. Victor sent it to me," Marty explained as she withdrew the script from the envelope and showed it to John. "What happened with Todd and Victor wasn't Todd's fault- it had everything to do with Irene and her mind control. The script says that Victor is alive, and Todd is innocent. Irene was behind ALL of it. She brainwashed Todd, forcing him to do her evil bidding. The script also says that Irene brainwashed me to throw Natalie off the roof and commit those awful crimes. Irene wanted Natalie to suffer because Natalie is Vicki's daughter, and Irene and Vicki are rivals."
John looked at the script, not quite convinced. "You say Victor sent this to you? He's alive somewhere? Where is he?"
"I don't know, but the note he sent with the script says that Alison Perkins has been holding him hostage all this time... and that you'll find his grave empty," Marty responded.
"This better not be some sort of a hoax, Marty. I am going to have Victor's body exhumed, just so we can check out this story," John stated.
"Alright, let's do this then," Todd spoke up. He was eager to see who or what was in Victor's casket considering he had vivid memories of shooting his brother.
At the cemetery, John had Victor's grave exhumed as Marty and Todd looked on. Just as the script indicated, the casket was found to contain sandbags. Todd was just as surprised as John. "There's no body. I guess you'll have to let me go," Todd pointed out.
"I can't arrest you on a murder charge if there's no body, but there is still the business of unlawful impisonment involving Tomas. You can't leave town," John responded.
"You can't prove I did anything. It's Tomas's word against mine."
"You're free to go for now... but like I said- don't leave town."
"What about me? You have clear evidence now that I didn't willfully hurt Natalie, Kelly, or Dr. Buhari," Marty said to John.
"I'm looking into that," John responded. "Until then, I am afraid you'll have to come back to the station with me."
"I don't think so," Todd bit out. "You're not arresting Marty. She's done nothing wrong. It was my evil bitch of a mother that caused all of this. She brainwashed both of us and used us as pawns in her evil game."
"Listen, I'll let you both go for now..." John said with a heavy sigh. "But this is all still under investigation. I don't have enough to bring you in on charges... but that could all change."
"Come on, Marty, let's go," Todd prompted, but Marty stared at John as anger made her pause.
"John, I hope you, Natalie and the baby are very happy," she said with sarcasm behind her words. Even after all this time, she was still hurting somewhere deep within considering John had dumped her for Natalie and he did not seem to care when THEIR baby had died.
"Marty, come on," Todd coaxed. "This isn't worth it. HE isn't worth it."
"You're right..." she said softly as they walked out of the cemetery together. "I'm over John McBain. I don't need him. Natalie deserves him- that womanizing jerk."