Staring out at the pouring rain, Lila Quartermaine thinks back on the long life she has lived, finally able to accept that the end was no longer years away, but rapidly coming her way. She no longer fears death or leaving the world, no, she has accepted that even she couldn't live forever.
Her fears lie not with her own mortality, but with her loved ones that she will be leaving behind. It was no secret that she was the one keeping this family together, a truth that she must find a way to fix so that they realized they needed each other, even without her presence.
With a soft sigh, Lila's mind travels to her grandsons, both equally loathe the other and she couldn't even fathom a way to fix that chasm. There was still so much mending to be done, so much mistakes that needed to be rectified, that she just couldn't allow herself to give into the inevitable.
No. Lila Quartermaine refuses to leave this world with her family in the shape it is in. The question now was how she will be able to bring them all together again. Make them see that none of their differences mattered because family is diverse, but solid as one.
"Miss Lila." Reginald kneels down beside his boss and friend. "Are you ready for bed?"
"Not quite yet, Reginald, dear." Lila pats his hand softly. "There are a few things I'd like to do before I retire to bed. Wheel me over to the desk, will you?"
"Of course, Miss Lila." Reginald says without hesitation, unlocking the brace before wheeling her to said desk and locking the brace again. "I'll be in later to check on you again."
"Thank you, dear." Lila smiles softly, having truly appreciated Reginald's presence in her life.
Realizing what had to be done, Lila pulls out various pieces of letter paper and begins the first stage of her plans. The only way to get everyone here was with the truth and she will blackmail them emotionally if that's what it'll take.
Her grandson, Jason, has decided to marry a woman Lila would never have seen coming. Maybe it was wrong, but she wouldn't let him make the wrong choice, which added one last person to her list of visitors. If Jason was truly serious about this woman he has planned to marry, inviting a certain brunette artist would not make a difference.
Telling Reginald of her plans, Lila hands him the handful of envelopes and requests that he send them out first thing in the morning. Satisfied with the steps she has taken so far, Lila agrees for Reginald to take her up to bed, the rest of what she has planned will be put into place once she gets confirmation from those she has written to.
For now, she will retire to her bed and gain enough energy to face the morning.
"Mother, are you sure about this?" Alan, her son, asks her the next morning. "You do know that it will be utter chaos in this house with everyone staying here, don't you?"
"Honestly, Alan, would it really be much of a difference from the everyday life here?" Ned, her grandson, counters. "This family uses any little thing to fling into utter chaos."
"Fair enough." Alan relents, sitting down for breakfast. "I just hope you know what you're doing, mother."
"I know exactly what I'm doing." Lila assures, smiling as the rest of the family enter the dining room, having settled with her plans and gracefully accepting. "This family is far too broken for my liking and I will see to it that we are banded as one before my time comes."
- - - AJ Quartermaine - - -
Trudging to the door, running a weary hand down his face, AJ bends over to pick up the mail on the floor by the door, along with the newspaper. Seeing one letter with familiar handwriting, AJ quickly makes his way to the kitchen to pour himself a cup of coffee before sitting down to read the letter that was clearly from his grandmother.
"AJ." his wife whines, sauntering into the kitchen, finding him at the table. "Why are you up so early?"
"Quiet for a sec." AJ says seriously, reading through the letter and shocked at what it entails. His grandmother is dying...not just sick, but dying. What a way to start of his morning. "Oh, god."
"What is it?" she asks him curiously, seeing the shock on his face. "AJ?"
"Pack your stuff." AJ says firmly. "We're going to be staying at my family home for a while."
"What?" she exclaims. "But you hate your family and they hate you...why would you want to subject yourself to that?"
"They're still family." AJ states through gritted teeth. "My grandmother wants the family together and that's exactly what she's going to get. Now either pack up your stuff and join me with my family or I'll go by myself. Your choice."
"Fine...okay? Fine." she shakes her head, rolling her eyes as she walks out of the kitchen to do as he demanded.
While his wife goes to pack her things, AJ thinks about what this will mean for his family. Losing his grandmother will have a ripple affect through the entire family, making it all the way to his brother. Though he and Jason weren't the closest of brothers, AJ could only imagine how hard this will hit him. A part of him hoping that they'll at least be able to be civil for their grandmother's sake.
- - - Emily Quartermaine-Cassadine - - -
After the most amazing anniversary ever, Emily saunters down the stairs to where her husband awaits her. Their usual breakfast greets her as she walks into the dining room, her hunk of a husband rising to his feet to greet her.
"Good morning, Mrs. Cassadine." Nikolas, her husband, kisses her soundly before pulling out her chair. "How did you sleep last night?"
"Perfectly." she replies, smiling at him. "What about you, Mr. Cassadine? How did you sleep?"
"Soundly." he replies, laughing softly with her at their usual morning teasing. "This came for you early this morning."
"Huh...its Grandmother's handwriting." Emily takes the envelope from him, opening it with haste, needing to know what her grandmother wanted and why she had sent it in the mail.
Rushing through it, Emily had to go back and read again, this time slowly and carefully. Her heart caught in her throat, Emily couldn't believe the words that were written in her grandmother's beautiful penmanship. This couldn't really be happening. It couldn't be.
"What's wrong?" Nikolas kneels down beside her, taking her hands in his. "What is it?"
"We have to pack up our stuff." Emily says in a quiet voice. "Grandmother wants the family together while she's still well enough to spend time with everyone...she's dying Nik...she's really dying."
"Oh, baby." Nikolas wraps his arms around her as the tears fall hard. "We'll leave after breakfast...I'm so sorry. I'm so, so sorry."
- - - Jason Morgan - - -
Trudging into his penthouse, having spent the whole night - straight into the morning - keeping tabs on a growing threat, Jason just wanted to down a couple beers before calling it a night. What he wasn't expecting when he got home was the letter that sat for him on his desk.
Immediately he recognizes the writing, his heart tightening at the sight of it, prompting him to plop down on the chair to read it. The fatigue fades off into the background as the words start to register in his tired mind. His heart completely breaks as he finishes reading the letter.
Admittedly, he'd rather get shot a thousand times, set on fire and chopped in pieces before he ever willingly lived at 66th Harbor View Road, but he didn't have a choice now. For his grandmother, Jason will swallow his pride and spite long enough to do what she wanted.
With her health failing her, Jason couldn't deny her anything. Hearing his fiancee walking down the stairs, Jason turns to see her smile slightly before placing herself on his lap. It was no secret that she didn't like his family anymore than he does, but he hopes she'll endure them with him.
"Where you go, I go." she says without hesitation. "Jason, I know how much you love your grandmother, I barely know her, but she's always been so sweet to me. Of course, I'll go live there with you."
"Thanks, Sam." he says softly, laying his head against her shoulder. "Knowing them, this is going to be hell and I'd rather not go through it alone."
"You're never alone...not as long as I'm here." she assures him, hugging him close. "Now, I'll go pack our stuff and we can head over, okay?"
"Okay." he shakes his head, allowing her to walk back up the stairs.
Sam couldn't believe that she would have to live at the Quartermaine mansion, those people hate her just as much as she hates them, but she knows that he will do whatever his grandmother wanted and that meant she would have to, as well. Hopefully it wouldn't be that horrific.
The part of the letter that he didn't tell Sam about, the part that had him more than wary, was that Lila invited his first girlfriend to stay with them. In spite of everything that has gone down between them, Jason felt a shadowing need to see her again. Touching the tattoo on the side of his neck, lost in thought, Jason smiles slightly at the memory of the day they had gotten it done. Her version of teenage rebellion.
He has kept up to date with her career, keeping newspaper and magazine clippings whenever she had a huge accomplishment, but he's never spoken to her or seen her since the day they broke up. While they ended on bad terms, Jason can only hope that - with all the years apart - they can at least be civil, if not friendly.
- - - Elizabeth Webber - - -
Tossing her keys into the bowl by the door, Elizabeth shrugs out of her coat and hangs it up on the hook. Like every morning for the last month, her boyfriend greets her at the door, wrapping his arms around her and kissing her soundly.
Normally that was the best way for her to be greeted, but a letter on the table caught her eye and prompted her to push him away. When he looked confused by what she had done, she simply shakes her head and picks up the letter. Every part of her shocked to see that delicate handwriting, memories following the thought of the beautiful woman.
This couldn't be real, she thought, reading and rereading the letter, sure that there must have been a mistake. That her mind was screwing with her and the letter had said something else. Her boyfriend stands by, confused as tears remain frozen in her eyes, this couldn't be real.
Yet there was the letter, the request clearly written for her eyes to read, its real. Shutting her eyes tightly against the tears, Elizabeth couldn't give a damn that her first love would be there, that she'd have to live in the same house as him, all she cares about is Lila.
Touching the tattoo on the side of her neck, she smiles slightly, remembering the day they had gotten it done. She had wanted a symbol of her coming of age and a way to get back at her grandmother, thus was born the his and her tattoos. It was poetic, really.
"What is it?" her boyfriend asks, wrapping his arms around her.
"Lila's dying." she says bluntly, needing it to really hit home. "She wants her family to stay with her while she's still able to be with them...she's asked that I join them."
"You should." he says without hesitation. "We can postpone your showings long enough for you to be there for her."
"Can you handle that?" she looks at him carefully. "I need to pack and book us two seats on the next flight out."
"You want me to go with you?" he asks her curiously.
"Do I have to ask?" she counters, eyeing him intently.
"Its just that...my career is just..."
"Whatever, Ric." she sighs, running a weary hand down her face. "Just handle the showings and I'll handle my flight home."
"Elizabeth, honey, you know I'd go with you if I could..."
"Save it." she says firmly. "I have a lot to do and little time to do it in."
Walking away from her boyfriend, Elizabeth makes her way to her bedroom and packs up her stuff while she calls for a ticket on the first flight to Port Charles. Its been years since she has stepped foot in Port Charles and she knew that this would prove to be interesting.
After all, her presence is sure to cause a variety of different reactions from the locals. Yup. This was going to be interesting to say the least. Normally she'd decline the offer, but this was Lila that's doing the requesting and Elizabeth couldn't deny her anything. Even if it put her right back into the thick of her very complicated, crazy past.