Disclaimer: All characters are property of ABC/Disney. I'm just using them for my own creative pleasures.
John walked towards the Port Charles waterfront—his mind going back to what happened last night. It was a mistake—a huge mistake that he couldn't take back now. But he could do something—could walk away from this god-forsaken town and back to Llanview. He'd do his best not to break this stupid restraining order, but he had to be closer to them—both his son and the woman he still loved, still thought he was reaching for this morning when he woke up and realized it wasn't her next to him.
As he neared the water he heard a voice—frantic and immediately recognized it as Starr Manning's. As he got closer the words she was saying hit him and he quickened his step.
"You're sure there wasn't a little boy with her? Brown hair—clear blue eyes. He's—uhm—twenty months old and goes by the name of Liam," she said as she tried to do quick math and looked up to see those same blue eyes she had just described rushing towards her. "Ok—thank you. I'll be there soon."
"Natalie?" he gulped, the two cousins weren't close, but for her to say she'd be there soon he wondered how bad it was.
"Apparently there was a car crash—she's unconscious," she said as she tried to go around him and he stopped her.
"No—at General Hospital. They said it looked like she was leaving Port Charles when it happened."
"Starr will call you as soon as she talks with the doctor," said John as he hung up her phone and walked back to where she was waiting. He handed it to her and sat down, "Jessica said she's not going to tell their parents until we know something more."
When they'd got to the hospital Starr had gone off to try and find some news while he took her cell phone to call Natalie's sister—knowing she wouldn't answer if she saw John's number, but perhaps would at Starr's.
"Does she know why Natalie was here in Port Charles?"
He nodded, "She lifted the restraining order—wanted to tell me in person, along with something else that Jessica didn't want to get into."
"That's good—I mean at least when she's well enough to go home you can go with her and see that boy of yours," she said, wiping her eyes and thinking of how she was in this same hospital after a crash that had a different outcome. "Where is Liam?"
"He was playing in the background with Ryder. Safe and sound—no clue what's going on," he said as they watched the doctor start towards them.
"That's good," she said as she stood up and John followed. "How is she?"
"She's still unconscious—bruised but no broken bones or internal injuries. She's lucky—the car was pretty far down the embankment—and had been sitting there for a couple hours before a truck driver saw the tail lights. You can go in now."
"Thank you," said Starr as John led the way and walked in.
When he walked in and saw her his heart dropped—he had a strong feeling what happened that would have caused her to rush out of town she had just come to so quickly. And he was expecting that when she opened his eyes finally they would be glaring at him and telling him exactly where to go—truth was though he already was there.
"John," spoke Starr quietly and pulled him out of his thoughts. "I know this is none of my business—that we've been living in the same town for awhile and haven't run into each other, but did something happen last night that made Natalie leave so quickly? At the waterfront you seemed surprised she was here—but the accident happened overnight. I just—was wondering."
John nodded, keeping his eyes on Natalie and watching her begin to stir, "Hey," he said softly as he instinctively walked forward so the first thing she would see when she opened her eyes from the dark was him.
"Hey," she smiled and then looked past him to see Starr standing there also, "Starr—hey—when did you get in town?"
"I—uhm, just yesterday," she said as she looked towards John for guidance and walked towards the bed.
"How is Los Angeles? Did you bring Hope with you?"
"Uhm, no. She's with her father," she said with a ragged breath and felt the emotions hitting her all of a sudden. "I'm going to go call Jess and tell her you are ok," she said and took off.
"Did I say something wrong? Wait—is Cole alive?" she asked, suddenly becoming confused.
John sighed and sat down on the edge of the bed and took her hand, knowing he wouldn't be able to do that if she had her memories, "What is the last thing you remember?"
Natalie took a deep breath, "The last thing I remember is—we're getting ready for Todd's trial. It should be starting in a few days, right?"
John bit his lip—he was no doctor and had no clue how much he should tell her right away, but he wasn't going to hold back, "The trial is over—Manning was acquitted."
"What? John—what month is it?"
Natalie sat there looking at him like he was crazy and laughed, "I'm missing seven months of my life. Seven months of our son's life. Wait—where is Liam?"
"Home—playing with Ryder. Probably building those towers with the lock blocks and then knocking them down," he smiled, and realized she didn't have anything along those memories to revert to right now. But she would—they had to come back because the last month of Liam's life was empty for him as well. "You were in a car accident—they found your ID and Dante saw Llanview, PA and called Starr. I happened to come by—."
"Wait? Who is Dante?" she asked as she looked out the small window and realized it didn't look like the nurses' station she was used to. "I'm not in Llanview, am I?"
"No," he said, realizing he was royally screwing this up. "You're in Port Charles, NY. Starr lives here now—and so do I, sorta."