A/N: Psst! After this post, only two parts remain...
Prompt #76: "I promise that this will be the last time you'll see me. I won't come back. I won't put you through anything like this again. You can go on with your life without any more interference from me. It will be as if I'd never existed." ~Edward Cullen, New Moon
Kelly Lee was weird. Oh, Jason had no doubt that she was a qualified doctor. No matter what he felt about GH, he knew that it was a reputable hospital, that Elizabeth – medically speaking – was in good hands, but that didn't mean that he needed to be in those hands as well, and that brought him straight back to the frisky, flirtatious Dr. Lee.
Since the moment they had arrived, she had been giddy with innuendo, making tongue-in-cheek comments about his marriage to Elizabeth, and Jason was pretty sure that she had pinched his butt. Twice. Elizabeth had been too distracted by her nerves to notice her OB-GYN's inappropriate behavior, knowing that, because of their plan, Ric would undoubtedly be showing up sometime during her appointment. And Jason had been hesitant to say anything, not wanting to make his wife uncomfortable around her physicianand him on top of everything else.
But that was the rub of it.His wife. Elizabeth was his wife, and the more time Jason spent around her, the more he was reminded of the fact. Maybe he wasn't your typical guy, and none of his friends from the gym were married, but he knew enough about marriage to know that most couples did not sleep in separate bedrooms, that most couples got more from their commitment than a roommate and clean laundry. And he wanted more.
Sitting beside her in the exam room – a flimsy hospital gown the only thing shielding her body from his piercing gaze, Jason easily admitted to himself that his attraction towards his wife had nothing to do with Elizabeth's pregnancy. Given his past, he knew that people would jump to that conclusion, that they would assume that Jason was transferring feelings onto Elizabeth and her unborn baby because of his former attachment to another child. He wasn't an idiot, though – brain damaged maybe but not an idiot.
When he looked at Elizabeth, he didn't see Carly. When he thought about his wife's pregnancy, he didn't think about Michael. Jason knew that one child could not replace another, and he would never want to do that to a child anyway... even if it was possible. No, when he looked at Elizabeth, he saw... her – someone with the biggest heart he knew, someone who would do anything for her child except use or hurt him or her, someone who was capable of looking beyond what he did for a living and all the rumors that flew around town about him, someone who had taken care of him just because she loved his sister, someone who now took care of him simply because she wanted to. And physically...
Well, physically, the last thing Jason saw when he looked at his wife was her pregnancy.
Despite Elizabeth's protests to the contrary, she was still quite small and petite, her baby bump easily disguised by the maternity clothes she had been forced to break down and buy or the t-shirts she frequently snagged from his room. Rather, when he looked at her, he saw her mouth – those full, lush lips of hers either spread wide in all the various smiles she had, pursed to talk, or plumped and wrapped around a straw, or a pen, or the end of a paintbrush. He saw her hair which he still wasn't sure how to describe, because its shade seemed to constantly shift depending upon the light surrounding her; he saw her wide, fathomless blue eyes which never failed to tell him exactly how she felt... if only he could interpret the emotions; he saw her stubborn chin – tilted haughtily in the air when she felt passionate about something or tucked demurely against her chest as she napped upon their couch. He sawand felt her hands – tiny hands, busy hands, soft and loving hands, the ghost of their touch from when she took care of his injuries keeping sleep at bay every night as Jason reclined in bed, listening for the tiniest of sounds from her bedroom down the hall from his. And then there was her body, her breasts...
"Everything looks textbook perfect, Elizabeth," Dr. Kelly Lee announced, still glancing at her patient's chart. Because the OB-GYN was for once busy doing her job instead of asking questions about Jason and his wifegetting busy, and because Elizabeth's attention was equally split between mauling her bottom lip with her teeth and listening to what her physician had to say, neither of them had noticed his previous preoccupation, something Jason was sincerely grateful for. The last thing he needed to do was have to explain where his thoughts had been wandering to, especially not in front of the randy Dr. Lee. Besides, the last thing Elizabeth would want to hear was how, just when they were on the cusp of finally making her life safe for her and her unborn baby, he was reconsidering the terms of their marriage of convenience. Sure, every time he kissed her, Elizabeth responded readily and greedily to his touch, but a kiss was a far cry from a real marriage. After all, she had just gotten out of one disastrous union; he couldn't expect her to want to tie herself down to someone else so quickly. And none of that even took into account the fact that she was going to be a mother in just a couple of months' time. If their marriage did become real, then what? Elizabeth certainly wouldn't want Jason to play a role in her child's life... would she?
"Your blood pressure is right where we want it to be, the baby's heart rate is in tip-top shape, and you're right at your ideal weight as well. As far as pregnancies go, you two are definitely in the running for my star couple," Kelly Lee complimented, standing up from her stool and tossing aside Elizabeth's folder. Crossing her arms over her chest, the OB-GYN continued, "considering where we started when you first came in to see me, Elizabeth, you've made excellent progress, and I like to think that I can take a little credit for that. After all, if it wasn't for me and my suggestions, you never would have gone out and found yourself a... Jason."
Despite his best intentions, Jason felt his brow twist in confusion. He by no means wanted to encourage the other woman, but he had no idea what the hell he was being praised for. A quick glance at Elizabeth told him that his wife was embarrassed. She was blushing from her hairline to the collar of her hospital gown. Instinctively, Jason's gaze then dropped to Elizabeth's chest... as if his eyes were capable of seeing through the material of her gown. What he wouldn't give to know just how far down her body Elizabeth's blush continued. Before he could even interpret what her embarrassment meant – knowing that, whatever Kelly Lee was referring to, it was inappropriate, the doctor was already talking again, pulling up Elizabeth's hospital gown to reveal her swollen abdomen and panties – blue, lacy, and unbelievably tiny... yet definitely not small enough for Jason's tastes – as she readied the ultrasound machine and drizzled cold gel onto Elizabeth's baby bump.
"You know, I'll never understand why pregnancy and sex is such a taboo combination. You always hear the experience equated to a journey. Well, in any vehicle I've ever traveled in – be it a car, a bus, a train, or a plane, you need fuel to get the vehicle started, but you also need fuel for the entire trip. You stop using your fuel half way there, and you're going to stall out, and no one enjoys running out of gas. You have to keep the motor running. Churning.Burning."
"Okay," Elizabeth interrupted, her voice just a few decibels shy of being a shout. Her eyes were wide, her skin was flushed, and, if he looked closely, Jason would swear that her skin was dewy with perspiration. She looked exactly how he felt: painfully, deliciously...
"We get it, Kelly," his wife continued, lowering her voice and laying back down on the exam table. "Could we just... the ultrasound?"
"Now, you weren't going to start that without me, were you, Beautiful?"
In Jason's... distraction, he had almost forgotten why he was there with Elizabeth at her appointment in the first place. They needed Ric to break his restraining order, so that Jaggerwould have a legal excuse to track the man down in a very public place and speak with him so that Sonny would see them together. That was why Jason made sure that, when he went to collect his things from the gym, Ric was there, why he talked so openly about Elizabeth's seventh month check up. And, now, he was there to make sure that the slick attorney could not hurt Elizabeth or her child.
Despite the plan, he could still feel Elizabeth tense beside him. Instinctively, Jason reached for the closer of her two hands, sliding one of his into it as he maneuvered his body to block Elizabeth from Ric's sight to the best of his ability. While he kept his grip upon her fingers soft and loose, everything else about his form became hard and tense. He steeled his shoulders, stiffened his spine so that it was ramrod straight despite the ache in his healing ribs, and knew that his eyes had become glazed over like a sheet of cold ice. "Get out."
Instead of listening, Ric swaggered forward, a cocky grin upon his thin lips. "Oh, you mean how you had to get out of the ring because you couldn't hack it anymore, Jason?" The attorney shook his head as if offering sympathy. "You know, I was there that night. What happened to you was a damn shame. I mean, it was almost as if your opponent knew everything about you – your weaknesses, your strengths, your fighting style, your past injuries, but, of course, that's ridiculous. Impossible, even. Apparently, you just can't hack it anymore. As for my right to be here, well..." Ric rocked pompously back and forth on his shiny loafers. "I'm the baby's father, whereas you're just a liability for Elizabeth at this point. You're an unemployed, brain-damaged retard who used to earn a living with his fists but can't even do that anymore. I mean, really, Jason? How's that going to look in family court?"
He ignored the barbs, he ignored the overwhelming urge to showhis wife's ex-husband just how not washed up his fighting skills really were, and Jason even ignored the gentle pressure of Elizabeth squeezing his hand. While he appreciated her silent support, he couldn't allow himself to feel anything other than his hatred towards the pig standing before him. "You're not supposed to be here."
Ric laughed – a fake, put-upon guffaw which made Jason's free hand curl into a tight, lethal fist. "That's rich – coming from you, but it's just another example of why, when after my little boy is born and Elizabeth and I go to court, she's going to lose all rights to my son. She's an unfit mother. She married you, she associates with criminals, attends underground fights – and, yes, I have documented proof that she was at your last disaster of a match, and she..."
"Alright, that's enough, Mr. Lansing," two hospital security personnel interrupted Ric's rant, each of them roughly grabbing one of his arms to yank him out of the room. "You're coming with us. You've already been warned about this, you know – harassing Miss Webber..." Kelly cleared her throat, interrupting the man who was speaking. His name tag said Tom. "I mean... Mrs. Morgan. You were told to stay away from her."
For the first time since her ex had pushed his way into her appointment, Elizabeth spoke up. "I also have a restraining order against him. By being her, he broke it."
"Well, isn't that interesting," Tom mused, tugging on Ric's arm yet again. "I happen to personally know, too, that Mac Scorpio hates entitled little rich boys who think they're above the law. A call from me, and the commissioner will personally handle your case."
The security guard continued to rant and threaten over Ric's protests as he and his associate drug the lawyer down the hallway, but the words were cut off when Dr. Lee shut the door and turned back to her patient. "So, where were we," she asked rhetorically, already moving back to Elizabeth's side to start the ultrasound.
It took Jason several minutes to calm back down, to relax. Slowly, the tension in his body drainedaway until the point where he realized that he was still holding Elizabeth's hand... or, more accurately, that she was still holding his hand. Kelly was pointing out various things on the screen of the ultrasound machine – arms, legs, fingers, toes, all things that he couldn't see very clearly for himself, but, as he returned to the present, he could hear Elizabeth's slightly elevated breathing, feel her fingers sporadically clench around his in excitement. He also knew that seven months was late for the second ultrasound, but a broken machine and then a rushed sixth month appointment had dictated the unconventional circumstances surrounding that day's check-up.
"Despite his raging case of conceit, Ric's vanity towards the sex of your baby really isn't a full-proof gauge of the sex," Kelly quipped. "Would the two of you like to know if you're having a boy or a girl?"
Jason ignored the question, knowing that, despite being there with Elizabeth, he really had no role in her unborn child's life, so, when he felt his wife squeeze his hand, he looked up in surprise to see her staring back at him, a small, demure smile turning up the corners of that mouth he found himself thinking about way too much. Without looking at her OB-GYN, Elizabeth said, "I want Jason to know if it's a boy or a girl. Physically, I'm connected with the baby, but I know that, because of the accident, he or she is just a... a concept to you." Somewhere along the line, Elizabeth seemed to forget that there was anyone else in the room besides the two of them. As his chest constricted and his heart clenched with feelings utterly foreign yet, at the same time, unbelievably familiar to him, he could understand her distraction. "You can't really see the image on the screen right now, you can't feel the baby moving around inside of me, and, more often than not, I even hide my belly beneath your baggy t-shirts. You're a part of my baby's life, though, Jason – an important part, and I would like for him or her to be a part of yours as well."
"Yeah," he shook his head in agreement, blinking rapidly several times to clear the moisture which had gathered in his eyes. "Okay." Turning to Dr. Kelly Lee, he reiterated, "we want to know."
If he wasn't mistaken, he saw tears in the physician's eyes as well, but Jason didn't spare the OB-GYN a second glance. Instead, his attention was split equally between the screen before him that he suddenly found so riveting and Elizabeth's beautiful face. While he still couldn't see what she could see, knowing how Elizabeth felt gave him the courage to ask her to explain the picture to him... after they got home, of course.
"Well, folks, I have two words for you," Kelly said cheekily. "Think pink."