Her meeting with Alan Quartermaine went pretty much how she thought it would. With her grandmother retired, he couldn't be more happier to have her working there. A part of her wasn't sure about following in Audrey Hardy's footsteps, but she needed to get back to work and this was a sure chance at a job. Mercy had been her first choice, but - when they told her there was a waiting period - Elizabeth couldn't take them up on it.
She needed a purpose and taking care of people is her purpose. When she first decided to become a nurse, it wasn't because it was what she wanted, it had been practical. Her art career wasn't picking up and her gram's voice kept playing in her head, telling her that she had one in a billion chance of actually becoming a world renowned artist - so nursing was her second and only choice.
It wasn't that long into her nursing career that she met Aaron. He helped her in ways that she never thought possible. She had been going through so much, five years on her own - no family to turn to, no friends that she trusted enough to confide in, with the exception of Robin. They didn't speak at first, outside of treatments and protocols, but then he started talking to her - wanting to get to know the nurse taking care of him, at least that's what he told her.
She wasn't sure what it was, but he had her confessing to things she never told anyone before. He got her talking about her first year on her own - how hard it had been to start off on her own in a new city - the problems she faced, the break-ins and spooky nights she spent alone.
It had been the third year on her own that she started becoming obsessive with the locks. Needing to check and double check, sometimes even triple check, just to be sure that she was safe. It took her a while before she realized she had a problem, resulting in her seeing a therapist. She went from doctor to doctor, but none of them could truly help her. Then she fell in love with Aaron and her life changed.
He made her feel safe. He taught her how to overcome it - moving in with her to help her feel safe - and slowly she stopped. The longer they were together, the easier it had been to only lock the door once and leave it be.
Then he died and it came back, worse than before. She tried to remember all the reasons she shouldn't be afraid, but none of them worked. After his death, she checked the door five times, sometimes six, anxiety attacks coming and going every now and then. The grief therapist diagnosed her as PTSD resulting in a relapse of her OCD.
Robin returned from her HIV awareness group early to be with her. She helped Elizabeth ease out of her PTSD - the anxiety attacks stopping, but the OCD only lessened, not really going away. From fix to six times, Elizabeth returned to only checking and then double checking.
Once she had been sure Elizabeth would be relatively okay, Robin took a position at one of the hospitals in Paris. Elizabeth had been sad to see her leave, but she knew that it was an important - amazing - opportunity for Robin. Not wanting to be alone anymore, no longer feeling safe where she was, Elizabeth made the choice to come home.
"Elizabeth?" a voice calls out to her, pulling out of her inner thoughts. "Are you here?"
"Yeah." she calls back, walking out of the boxcar. "You're late."
"Sorry." Jason sighs, shrugging out of his jacket before hopping up into the boxcar. "I got caught up with Sonny and...you know what, never mind. I'm sorry I was late."
"Is everything okay?" Elizabeth can see something was up by the look in his eyes. "You have that look in your eyes."
"You remember that after almost ten years?"
"You're hard to forget." Elizabeth remembers trying very hard to forget him - it didn't work. "So are you going to tell me what's up?"
"Sonny's having some problems in the business and he's asking if I want to work for him again." Jason could see the look in her eyes turn from shock to utter disbelief. "I haven't given him an answer yet."
"Huh." Elizabeth shakes her head - she couldn't believe that he was really considering returning to the mob. It was a miracle he had gotten out last time, he wouldn't be able to get out again.
"Huh what?" Jason looks at her intently, wondering if she'd be as blunt with him as she used to be. "If you've got something to say, say it."
"Its your life." Elizabeth says simply. "If you want to go work for Sonny again...its up to you."
"The girl I knew would've had a lot more to say than that." Jason points out - she had been labelled the rebel Webber for a reason - never abiding by anyone's rules. "Why are you holding back?"
"The girl you knew had her heart broken by the person she trusted most." Elizabeth says bitingly before taking a deep breath. "Can we just start training?"
"Don't." Elizabeth states, shaking her head. "Just don't go there, okay? I can't handle it right now."
"Okay." Jason walks over to grab his fist wraps for her. "Lets get started then."
They trained for the next three hours, going through the basic positions and safety precautions. Elizabeth was thankful that he didn't try to talk about their past or make excuses for what happened between them. She wasn't exactly sure if she wanted an explanation for the way things ended.
Having enough for one day, they took a walk for ten minutes in silence to cool down. When it was time for them to go their separate ways - Elizabeth needing to get ready for dinner at Mac's and Jason going for a ride - they walked together to their vehicles.
"Same time tomorrow?" Jason asks, watching as she tosses her things into the car.
"You gonna be on time if I say yes?" Elizabeth counters with a slight smirk.
"Yeah." Jason shakes his head. "So is that a yes?"
"That's a yes." Elizabeth shakes her head. "See you then."
"Elizabeth, wait." Jason blurts out, stopping her from getting in her car. "When will you be able to handle it?"
"You said you couldn't handle talking about us." Jason reminds her. "When will you be able to?"
"I don't know." Elizabeth replies honestly. "I doubt I'll ever be ready."
With nothing left to be said, Elizabeth got into her car while Jason straddled his bike, both going their own way - back to their own lives. She drives slowly, so many thoughts running through her mind, wondering why Jason wanted to talk about them after so many years. When she finally arrives at her studio, she takes a quick bath before getting dressed and heading out. She hopes that dinner with the Scorpios will take her mind off her own life.
Jason has an equally crowded mind as he rides through Port Charles. There was a lot he wanted to tell her, knowing that it might help her to know everything, but he couldn't push her. The look in her eyes told him that she was fragile as is, he didn't want to make, whatever was going on with her, worse than it already was.
"Elizabeth, I'm glad you could make it." Mac smiles brightly, hugging her in greeting. "Come in, come in. The girls are in the kitchen, they've been so anxious to see you again."
"I've missed them too." Elizabeth smiles, following him into the kitchen. "Did Robin show up yet?"
"She's outback." Mac confirms. "She wants to pick flowers for the table. You know how she is."
"Right." Elizabeth laughs softly. "Same old Robin."
"Liz!" Georgie exclaims, giving Elizabeth a hug in greeting. "You're really back! I told Maxie, but she had to see you for herself."
"Gossip in this town is hard to rely on." Maxie says simply with a shrug as she wipes her hands on the dish towel. "Forgive me for being skeptical."
"Dinner smells great." Elizabeth comments, hugging Maxie. "When did you get so good at that?"
"With Mac as a father, one must learn in order to survive." Maxie says teasingly. "Nice outfit. You could use a little upgrading, but its cute."
"I'm not going shopping." Elizabeth laughs softly when Maxie just shrugs and goes back to cooking. "I'm gonna go see if Robin needs help in the garden."
Walking outside, she finds Robin walking amongst the flowers, trying to decide which to pick for the center piece. She could remember spending so much time in that garden, laughing and talking like only two girls could, so many memories.
"Hey." Robin greets when she spots her. "How was the training?"
"It was...okay." Elizabeth sighs, following Robin to sit on the bench. "He wanted to talk, like we knew he would."
"And did you?"
"What do you think?" Elizabeth shakes her head. "Sonny offered him his job back."
"What?" Robin blurted out, unable to grasp Jason ever going back to the mob. "Is he stupid, simple, or slow? How can he even think about going back to work for him? Please, tell me you talked some sense into him."
"I didn't." Elizabeth sadly concedes. "Its not my place."
"If not you, then who?" Robin counters. "You have to talk to him, Liz. He cannot go back to working for Sonny."
"Why can't you talk to him?" Elizabeth challenges. "You're still his friend. I'm just his ex...if you can even call me that."
"No matter what happened in the end, you're the only one he has ever listened to." Robin says seriously. "Your opinion is the only one that has ever mattered to Jason. Please, you have to talk to him."
"If he wants to go back to work for Sonny, nothing I say will matter." Elizabeth couldn't believe Robin was doing this. "He's going to do what he has to do and I can't persuade him one way or the other."
"Liz...please." Robin stares into her eyes pleading. "It won't kill you to talk to him."
For the rest of the night she could think of nothing else but Robin's words. It won't kill you to talk to him. If that was true, why did Elizabeth feel like she'd go into cardiac arrest every time she spoke to him about the past? Calling it a night, she said her goodbyes and went home. Robin's words playing over and over again in her head. When morning came, Elizabeth took a quick shower and got dressed, deciding to talk to Jason after all.
"Johnny?" Elizabeth couldn't hide her surprise. "You work for Jason?"
"I like to think we're equals." Johnny smirks, hugging her in a warm embrace. "You're looking good, Liz."
"Thanks." Elizabeth smiles politely. "Is he here?"
"Inside working on a bike." Johnny concedes, opening the door for her. "Excuse the mess."
Elizabeth walks through the garage, the place seemed so fitting for both men. As she's walking to the work space, Elizabeth can hear rock and roll music playing in the background. Maybe some things did change over time. She never would have thought Jason would listen to music while he worked on bikes.
"Liz?" Jason stands up from his spot on the floor. "I didn't expect to see you here."
"I bet." Elizabeth walks over to him. "Have you made a decision about Sonny?"
"Not yet." Jason shakes his head. "Why?"
"Just wondering." Elizabeth takes a deep breath to steady her nerves. "Are you seriously thinking about going back to work for him?"
"He needs help." Jason shrugs, tossing the hand towel onto the cart. "I know the business and he wouldn't need to train me."
"That makes it convenient for Sonny." Elizabeth looks at him intently. "What about you? Do you really want to return to that kind of life?"
"You fell in love with me when I was part of that life." Jason points out, noting the look of hurt that crosses her features. "Sorry. That wasn't fair."
"No. You're right." Elizabeth shakes her head. "I did fall in love with you while you were in that life, but you got out. Why would you go back to a life you hated so much?"
"Sonny needs me." Jason uses as his justification. "I don't see why I can't just help him."
"You know its not that simple." Elizabeth says seriously. "If you go back, you won't be able to get out again...you know that."
"You're right." Jason concedes. "But Sonny's going through a lot right now."
"I know I can't tell you what to do, but you wanted my opinion, so here it is." Elizabeth looks at him intently, wondering what he'll decide in the end. "You've got a good thing going here. You've still got so much to live for and going back to the business will end any chance of that. Don't throw your life away for something you don't even believe in. Trust me when I say this, you'll regret it for the rest of your life."
"Speaking from personal experience?"
"That doesn't matter." Elizabeth shakes her head. "You're gonna do what you gotta do regardless of what I say. I just hope you don't regret the choice you make."
Jason watches as she walks out of the garage. A part of him was touched that she took the time to talk to him about whether or not to work for Sonny. After their conversation the other day, he doubted she really even cared at this point. For her to go to his shop to talk to him, taking that initiative, it gave him hope that he could fix things with her. Hopefully get to a point of being friends again. Grabbing his cellphone from cart, Jason calls Sonny.
"Its me...thanks for the offer, but I can't return to work for you." Jason says into the phone. "Returning now will come with a sacrifice I can't make. Sorry."
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