Chapter One:

You can have anything you want if you will give up the belief that you can't have it.

- Unknown

For many years Johnny O'Brien has watched out for Elizabeth Webber, remaining in the shadows on the outskirts of her life, wanting nothing more than to keep her safe. To keep her family safe. Given that its Port Charles, danger was a constant impending factor in their lives and he had to protect them. To keep them safe.

Then she and Jason took a chance on each other and he had thought that would be it. That he wouldn't have to worry for them as long as Jason was there to protect them, but the man just couldn't seem to get it right. So, once again, he is left to protect her and her family. Something he'd gladly do at the risk of his own life, which is the case every day of his life.

One night in particular stood out from the rest. It was the day her son almost died in front of his eyes. He remembers how dark it had been that night. He had been sitting in his unmarked Sedan across the street, just keeping watch on her house, and then the front door opened wide. At first he thought it was her, that she had decided to take her boys out, but that wasn't the case.

He had be frozen for a nanosecond before his body jumped into action. Abandoning all care for his life and the possible end of it, he jumped out of the car and ran as fast as his legs could take him. He heard her scream her son's name, but he couldn't think of that. He just had to get to the little boy and save him from the impending hit and run.

If he had reacted a split second later, the little boy would be lost to death's hand, but thankfully he was just in time. He had been nicked in the process, but he didn't care. The boy was safe and that's all that mattered. After setting the boy safely on the lawn, he made his dash for safety. She couldn't know he was alive. As much as he wanted her to know, his life was still in danger and he couldn't bring that into her life.

He watched them from afar, seeing the relief spread over her face when she wrapped her arms around her son. Tears had been falling hard down her face as she realized just how close she came to losing her son. A part of him wanted to reach out to her, to assure her that she didn't have to worry about her son, that he had been watching after them, but he swallowed his admission and returned to his car.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

"Yeah?" he calls out, casting the memories away.

"How is she?" Francis, his best friend and partner, questions. "Still critical?"

"Hypothermia." he informs irritably, he had a bad feeling coursing through him the moment she stepped foot on that boat. "According to Robin, she's going to make it."

"Don't you think you're pushing it?" Francis questions with an arched eyebrow. "What happens when she remembers?"

"I've been keeping an eye on her." he states firmly. "She hasn't remembered anything."

"But she will." Francis points out. "Sooner or later the memory will come back to her...then what will you do?"

"I'll figure it out when it comes to that." Johnny concedes, standing up from behind the desk. "I should get back to the hospital."

"You're cutting it close." Francis says warningly. "Someone is bound to recognize you."

"Then they recognize me." he states through gritted teeth. "I have to keep her safe."

"Fine." Francis says firmly. "Don't say I didn't warn you."

"Dully noted." he looks at him intently. "Can I go now?"

"Go." Francis sighs, pulling open the door. "I have to go keep an eye on the boys. I don't trust them with Spencer for a second."

He drives to the hospital, anxious to see her again, to see for himself that she's okay - that she'll be okay. Parking in the garage, Johnny secures his jacket's hood over his head, slipping his dark shades on. He makes sure to take the service elevator, using the janitor's cart to get around the hospital without drawing attention to himself.

"I swear, Matt, I didn't save myself." he hears Elizabeth pleading for the doctor to believe her. "I saw him. I can't remember who it was, but there was someone there."

"You need to get some rest." the doctor says to placate her. "Just relax, Elizabeth. You'll be better than ever soon enough."

"You don't believe me." she accuses the doctor. "He was there. I know it."

"A mysterious half naked man coming from the water." the doctor looks at her skeptically. "A little too romance novel, don't you think?"

"I'm going to sleep now." she says, her voice slightly defeated. "You should go fix things with Maxie, if that's what you still want."

Ducking his head as the doctor walks out of the room, Johnny wishes he could walk in that room and tell her it was him, but he knows the risks and he couldn't take them. So, taking a deep breath, he walks into the room once he's sure she's asleep.

"I'm so sorry about all of this." he whispers, running his fingers through her hair. "I wish I could tell you it was me. That I've been here all along, but its not time."

He places a soft kiss on her forehead, his heart aching in his chest.

"Soon." he promises, fighting tears that would form. "I'll return to you soon. I promise."

With a heavy heart, he walks out of the room, taking the service elevator to leave the hospital. She'll be safe in the hospital. Forsaking the threat to his own life, Johnny had to find a way to come back to life for good. It was evident in the hardships that she has faced that she needs him. So he'll find a way to come back. A way to keep them safe while staying alive in the process. He had to. For her sake.

"How are they?" Johnny questions, closing the passenger side door of Francis's SUV.

"They're fine." Francis assures. "They're having dinner and will be in bed soon."

"I need your help." Johnny says reluctantly. "Just don't say you told me so."

"You want your life back." Francis says knowingly. "I know how you feel. In case you've forgotten, I'm not exactly on the most welcomed list in Port Charles either."

"So how do we change that?" Johnny questions, looking at him intently. "How do I get back to them?"

"I don't know yet." Francis looks at the Spencer house. "But we'll find a way. We have to. She needs us now more than ever."

"I know." he sighs, staring at the house that held half his heart in it. "Do you have any idea where we start?"

"I'm working on it." Francis promises. "Just keep up with what you're doing. We'll find our way back in, trust me."

"Okay." Johnny gets comfortable. "Wake me when you start to get tired."

"Will do." Francis says, settling in with his cup of coffee. "Get to sleep this time."

"No promises." Johnny chuckles before reclining his chair and closing his eyes, anxious for the day that he can return to his loved ones. Praying that its sooner than he can imagine.

A/N: Let us know what you think.

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- ROCkER & Jackal's Vixen -