Disclaimer: Anything remotely recognizable as being a part of the cannon General Hospital.

Claiming any artistic creativity thought up by yours truly. Copy Writers be fore shamed.


BREATHE

Heart pounding in her chest, Elizabeth Webber snatches her cellphone, needing desperately to call anyone that could help. The fire department, yeah, that's the people that any sane person would call when there's a fire. They could help. They can put out the fire.

"Come on, Sonny." she could hear Jason practically begging for his best friend and partner to come out of the burning warehouse. "Come on!"

As her mouth moved on autopilot, telling the emergency operator all the information that he needed to know, Elizabeth stared at Jason. He was growing more anxious by the second, his body telling her more than his words ever would. It wasn't even a surprise when he started running for the door.

"Jason!" she shouts, dropping her cellphone, fear gripping her tightly, prompting her to run to the door that he just ran out of. "JASON!"

He stops for a moment, meeting her eyes, practically begging her with his eyes to understand before he runs around the corner. She shouts his name a couple more times, hating that he was about to risk his life without even a second thought. She barely notices Lucky as he comes around the corner. She was too focused, too afraid, she needed to know he was okay.

"Elizabeth?" she hears Lucky call to her, but she's already heading back into the studio, snatching her cellphone off the ground to finish talking to the operator. "Hey, don't look out there. There's a fire."

"I know." she tells him, staring out the window, eyes frozen on the warehouse as she hangs up with the emergency operator. "Come on...please...please not again."

"Elizabeth...hey, I'm right here." Lucky turns her, flowers in his arms, forcing her to meet his eyes. "Its not the same like last time. I'm right here."

"But Jason isn't." she whispers, tears frozen in her eyes. "I have to go."

Running past him, Elizabeth runs as fast as her legs can take her, she had to get down there. She couldn't take it anymore. Making it to the front door of her apartment building, Elizabeth pushes past the onslaught of people that have gathered to witness the burning of one of Sonny's warehouses. She was about to finally hit the police barrier when two strong arms stopped her.

"You shouldn't be down here." Francis tells her seriously, forcing her to stop squirming. "Its not safe here."

"He's in there." she pleads with him to understand. "I can't just wait in my studio...please...I have to be here."

"I'll watch out for her." Johnny voices from behind his friend. "Its only right, man."

"Fine." Francis steps aside. "But you don't get anywhere near the building, understand me?"

"I promise." she agrees without hesitation. "I just have to be here."

"Come on." Johnny slips his hand into hers, guiding her past the barrier where there weren't anyone guarding it. "He'll make it out, Liz."

"I'll believe that when I see him for myself." she counters, following him over to where Carly was standing, her eyes frozen on the destructive power of the flames.

The flames clashed against the midnight blue sky, the sounds of sirens blaring through the air, fire fighters demanding that people stayed back. Everything that should keep her focus, but none of them register to either her or Carly.

Both personally invested in the men that have found themselves trapped inside. The only thing that registered past her focus was Johnny's reassuring hands on her shoulders, both holding her back and giving her whatever strength he could lend.

"Lucky, I'm only going to warn you one more time." Mac Scorpio says sternly, glaring at him. "Stay back! The fire is out of control and I cannot afford having anymore civilians past the border."

"Elizabeth's in there, Mac!" Lucky urges him to understand. "She's right there! She's next to Carly."

Marcus Taggert turned around sharply to find that Elizabeth had indeed found a way past the barriers and into the blocked off zone. His first instinct is to get over to the young woman and tell her to leave the premises, but Mac holds him back before turning to Lucky.

"I'll handle Elizabeth, but you will not pass this border." Mac states firmly, pointing at him sternly. "Don't test me right now, Lucky, because I will have you arrested. You understand me?"

"Yeah, Mac." Lucky concedes. "I got it."

"Get one of the men to keep an eye on him then do a perimeter check." Mac orders Taggert before walking over to Elizabeth and Carly. "Elizabeth, what are you doing here?"

"She's with me." Johnny steps up to defend. "She's not causing any trouble, Mac."

"This fire can get further out of control without any sign of doing so...its too dangerous in here." Mac states, forcing himself to not be affected by the pain that is burning vibrantly through Elizabeth's eyes. "She can't be here."

"He's in there." she whispers, but can still be heard. Her voice completely broken as her eyes turn to Mac. "He's in there...I can't leave."

"Its too dangerous, Elizabeth." Mac insists, trying to break through to her, to get her to understand. "I just need you to get past to border, back to where its safe."

"I can't leave." she turns away from Mac to stare at the fire, directly into the mouth of the building. "I won't."

"Please, don't force my hand." Mac pleads, looking at her intently. "I will arrest you if I have to."

"Try it." Elizabeth dares him, not even glancing at him. "I'd love to see you try."

"Leave her alone!" Carly finally speaks up, tears soaking her faces as she walks over to stand beside Elizabeth when Mac goes for his cuffs. "While you're wasting your time focusing on the bystanders, Jason and Sonny are at the center of your so called danger! Focus on the people inside the fire! Just because you don't care about them, it doesn't mean that they don't have people that love them! Get them out of there, now!"

"I'll keep her safe, Mac." Johnny steps up, standing in front of both women. "They both need to be here...please."

"Fine." Mac drops his hands back to his side. "But they are your responsibility. Anything happens to them, its on your head."

"Don't I know it." Johnny thought to himself when Mac turned his back on them and walked off. "And both men that would kill me are now fighting for their lives."

Retaking his place behind Elizabeth, Johnny places his hands on her shoulders, supporting her the best he could. Now standing side by side, Carly and Elizabeth stare into the mouth of the fire, praying to all that's holy that the two men they loved made it out alive.

When the fire grew hotter and higher, both women instinctively took hold of each other's hands, surprising Johnny to his core. Realizing what they had done, they glance at each other for a moment, wondering who would pull away first, but neither doing so. A slight smile exchanged, their gazes revert back to the fire. Willing their men to walk out of the fire.

Out of nowhere the support beam, holding the doorway up, comes crashing down, sending a shocking pain to surge through both women. Johnny felt them jerk forward, forcing him to hold them back, gesturing for Francis to come over and help him.

With Carly in Francis's arms and Elizabeth in Johnny's, both men support the two women as their tears fall faster and harder, Carly's cries ringing out for all to hear. Just when it seemed like all hope was lost, Jason comes trudging out of the fire supporting Sonny's weary body. Immediately, Carly pushes out of Francis's embrace to take Sonny into her arms, crying harder as she clung to him.

Still in Johnny's hold, Elizabeth watches Jason fall to his knees once he's no longer supporting Sonny's weight. For a moment they stare into each other's eyes before Johnny's hold slowly drops from her body and pushes her into action. Walking over to him, she kneels down and helps him back onto his feet, allowing him to wrap his arms around her.

Breathing a sigh of relief, she clings to him, shutting her eyes as she thanks the heavens above for returning him to her in one piece. As the medics try to examine both Sonny and Jason, both men send them away with an angered tone, returning their focuses to the women before them.

"How could you do that?!" Elizabeth practically shouts at him once her heart slowed down enough. "You know how I feel about fires! How could you do that to me?!"

"I'm sorry." he says softly, not even fighting her on it, slowly wrapping his arms around her as she broke down in his arms. "I'm so sorry."

"I can't lose you." she whispers against his chest. "I can't lose you, you hear me? I just can't."

"You're not going to lose me." he promises her. "You're not going to lose me."

"I better not." she states firmly, shutting her eyes once again. "Because you won't like me if I do."

"Only you would threaten to hurt a guy after he's already dead." he goes for light humor, stroking her hair softly. "Its over now...everything's gonna be okay."

"I don't care that you two don't like it, you need to be checked out." Mac addresses Jason and Sonny, who both look at him like he's lost his mind.

"Carly used to be a nurse." Sonny says simply. "I'll be fine."

"I hate hospitals." Jason says plainly, leaning on Elizabeth for support.

"You two have got to be the most stubbornest people I've ever met." Mac groans, waving away the medics.

"Not true." Carly counters, securing her hold on Sonny. "Now, if its okay with you, I'm gonna take my husband home."

"Go ahead." Mac sighs, stepping aside. "Don't say I didn't try."

"Dully noted." Carly says simply, turning to Jason. "You need a ride?"

Glancing at Elizabeth, he turns back to Carly. "I'll be fine." he says reassuringly. "Get him home and take care of him."

"Ain't gotta tell me twice." Carly smiles slightly, walking off with her husband to do as her best friend instructed. For once, without argument.

"Come on." Elizabeth says softly, securing her hold on Jason. "Lets get out of here."

"Ain't gotta tell me twice." Jason mimics Carly's words, trying anything to get the smile back on her face, smirking slightly when it works.

"Funny." she mutters before keeping her hold on him and walking him past the crowd.

While both men are escorted away from the destruction by their women, Johnny and Francis stay behind, staring at the pile of rubble and debris, knowing their work was cut out for them in the morning. In the state the building is in, both men couldn't help but make the sign of the cross as they stared at it. It was nothing short of a miracle that both their bosses made it out of there alive.

"Bet you're glad this isn't the main warehouse." Johnny comments, standing beside his friend.

"Damn straight." Francis agrees, knowing what kind of hell they'd be in if it was the main warehouse. It wouldn't be in anyone's best interest if the explosion was there. "Well, lets get to work."

Getting back into the studio, neither of them notice Lucky standing down the hall, watching them as Elizabeth helps Jason into the small studio. He waits until they are inside before he walks off, down the stairs, and out into the town. The smell of burning debris plagues the air as he trudges his way back to his apartment. Promising that this wasn't the end of it. Not by a long shot.

"Elizabeth..." he tries, but he couldn't bring himself to actually voice to words.

"Not tonight." Elizabeth says softly, sitting him down on the couch before wringing out the wash rag in the bowl of water before slowly wiping off the ashes from his face. "Tonight we're going to be thankful that you didn't die in that fire...everything else can wait for morning, okay?"

"Okay." he whispers, his eyes shutting as she wipes his face gently, his hands sliding up to rest on her waist. "Some Valentine's, huh?"

"Its a stupid holiday anyway." she mutters, dipping the rag in the bowl before continuing her task. "I'm just glad you're okay."

"Good to know." he finds himself saying, prompting her to stop what she was doing.

"I care about you, Jason." she says seriously. "You know that."

"I know." he says softly after opening his eyes to look at her. "Sometimes, I guess, I just need to hear it."

"What about you?" she counters, eyeing him intently. "Do you care about me?"

"You know I do." he says wholeheartedly. "There's no word for what I feel for you...I doubt there ever will be."

"Good to know."


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