I've Got You Back
Dr Tony Jones studies the EEG of Carly Corinthos carefully.
"Well? What do you think?" Bobbie asks hopefully.
"I think you're right. I think she's coming out of it." Tony agrees. "The coma is definitely more shallow."
"Thank God." Bobbie gratefully mutters. Her daughter is frequently a pain in the ass, but her life just isn't the same without Carly's Go To Hells delivered at the top of her lungs.
"Yeah, the rest of the staff will think so too for an entirely different reason. With Sonny, Alcazar and Jason all visiting the ICU is starting to look like Beirut. Bobbie..." Tony hesitates.
"I know." Bobbie sighs. "Sonny isn't listening. And Jason has always believed Carly is indestructible. He won't hear anything else. It won't be as bad as Jason's brain damage... right?"
"Every case is different." Tony reminds Bobbie. Bobbie might be his ex wife and Carly a former lover but he's a doctor first now. "Yes, there are differences between a defuse frontal lobe injury of man hitting tree and a bullet to the right temple. There are so many variables. We really won't know until she wakes up.
"But it's until not if." Bobbie counters.
Tony just smiles and hands the file back to Bobbie before walking away.
Life has gone on around Carly. Sonny had been charged with her shooting and released on bail. Jason had taken baby Morgan and Courtney home from the hospital and gotten Michael settled back into the penthouse. And while Lorenzo Alcazar hadn't been released from the hospital after his own gun shot wound, he is seldom in his own room. Bobbie had kicked up a fuss about her grandchildren being with Jason-- hell being across the hallway from Sonny but with Courtney being home fulltime it freed Bobbie up to spend as much time with Carly as possible.
When Bobbie walks into Carly's room she isn't surprise to see Alcazar sitting there.
"Something is different." Lorenzo looks up at Bobbie hopefully.
"Dr Jones believes that the coma is getting more shallow. She could wake up anytime." Bobbie brushes the hair exposed below the bandages. "If Carly wakes up while you're here get a nurse IMMEDIATELY and ... don't be surprised if she's disoriented. She might not know you right away." or at all
Jason stands in the doorway overhearing Bobbie's instructions to Alcazar. He'd like nothing better than to take Alcazar out in the woods and finish the job Sonny had started. How Sonny had managed to shoot the bastard at nearly point blank range and miss every vital organ except Carly's brain is a mystery that only God could explain. Alcazar is in Carly's room with the doctor's permission. She seemed to react to Alcazar more than anyone else anyway. And if he could put up with Tony Jones to get Carly better than he could put up with Alcazar.
Bobbie pauses at the doorway. "Did you hear?"
Jason nods. "Courtney has new pictures of Morgan."
"I'll stop by after work. " Bobbie gives Jason's arm a squeeze. By nonverbal agreement Sonny's name isn't mentioned. She eases by him.
Jason doesn't say anything to Lorenzo but takes the seat by the other side of the bed and starts talking to Carly like she'll answer any moment. "Courtney sent another roll of film for developing. Morgan doesn't do anything but sleep, eat and cry. So it's more pictures of him with all the baby gifts. Courtney's doing okay I guess with Leticia's help and Michael's really been stepping up.
He's angry, Carly. Leticia's been called down to Queen of Angels a couple of times. Father Coates has been cutting him slack but maybe he needs to just do his schoolwork at home until you get back things cool off a bit. Course Bobbie would have a fit about that. The only reason the kids are still at the penthouse is cause she knows that Leticia and Courtney are there full time."
Damn if he'd talk about Sonny with Alcazar sitting right there. And this whole talking thing is tough. Normally Carly is the one that carries the conversation. "Sorry. You're better at the whole talking thing than I am. I guess I owe you for the last couple years when you did most of the talking."
It isn't the first time Lorenzo has eavesdropped on Jason Morgan's conversations with Carly. He used to wait out in the hall until Morgan left. Once the Doctors said his presense appeared to help Carly, he'd stayed even when others are there to see her. He can tell there are things that Jason wants to say but not in front of him. "I'm going to get some coffee."
There is no response from Jason: not a nod or a shrug of acknowledgement. But as soon as he's gone-- Jason leans in. "Come on, Carly. Bobbie say you could wake up any time. I need you to wake up. I can't talk to you like this. I feel like I'm the one locked up in Ferncliff by Evans and not getting your letters. I need you to tell me what you want. Anything you want, Carly. Just wake up. Just..." Jason hears a groan and holds his breath willing Carly to wake up. Slowly her eyes open. "Hey, There you are." Jason says softly. One of the things that bothered him in the hospital was the constant noise.
"Where am I?" Calry mutters.
"Anyone get the plate of the bus that hit me?" Carly reaches for her head.
Jason stops her. "You've been out of it for over a week. I'm sure everything hurts."
"Do you work here?"
That gives Jason pause. And he really looks at Carly. She returns his gaze evenly as if looking at a helpful stranger. "No, I'll go get your doctor." He leaves before Carly can call him back. Spying Tony at the nurses station, he calls out in a low voice that carries. "She's awake." Tony drops a chart on the nurses station counter and heads toward Carly's room. Jason stops him at the door. "She doesn't know who I am."
"That might be temporary." Tony reminds Jason.
"Or it might not." Jason says flatly. Until this very minute he hadn't realized what it would mean.
"Or it might not." Tony agrees and goes in to see his patient, shutting the door behind him.
Jason slides down the wall of the corridor and holds his head in his hands.
Alcazar comes back and sees Jason sitting on the floor. He dumps his excuse for leaving, the untouched coffee, in a trash container. "What happened?!"
"She's awake." Jason doesn't look up. "Dr Jones is in with her now."
"Thank God." Alcazar turns to open Carly' door but stops at Jason's next comment.
"She doesn't know me."
Alcazar sits down to wait for Tony.
Jason pushes himself to his feet. "I need to tell Bobbie she's awake."
Not Sonny but her mother. It's a thought that occurs to Lorenzo as he waits impatiently for Dr Jones.
"Good Afternoon, Carly. You gave everyone quite the scare."
"That guy who just left said I've been asleep for a week? What happened?"
Tony brings out his penlight. "Let me just check a few things and then I'll be able to give you a fuller picture, Carly." His patient waits patiently while he examines the pupils of her eyes and then does responsiveness tests to her extremities having her feet push against his hand. Having her make fists around his hand. Finally Tony takes a seat next to the bed. "Now tell me what you remember, Carly."
Carly glances at the badge that is hanging from the pocket on his lab coat. "Dr Jones, I know you're probably trying to be reassuring by calling me Carly and all, but my name is Caroline. My mama never did believe in nicknames and I feel like you're speaking to someone else."
Tony's hand tightens around his pen. Welcome to the mine field. "Thank you for letting me know. Caroline."
"Thank you." Carly smiles at the older man.
"Now Caroline, tell me what you remember. Lets start with the basics. Date?"
"No idea. I've been asleep for over a week." Caroline retorts smartly.
"Good answer. President of the United States?"
"George Bush. If you're going to ask me to name them all you are going to be horribly out of luck. I wasn't paying much attention in history class back in school."
"Me either." Tony admits. "Where do you live?"
"Do you know where you are?"
"That hunk that just left said General Hospital."
"Can you tell me where General Hospital is?"
"Okay this has been kind fun so far... the whole twenty questions thing. But what in the hell is going on?!"
"That's my girl." Bobbie says proudly from the doorway. She'd heard Carly's last comment from the other side of the door. Heck-- halfway down the hall.
"And who the hell are you?!" Carly snaps. "I want to know what is going on. Where is my mother? She and I might not get along but if I've been in the hospital for a week then she'd sure as hell be here. If only to read me the riot act when I finally woke up. Is she in the hospital too? Where is she?!"
"My name is Caroline. Caroline Benson. And I want to know what the hell is going on. And I want to know right Fucking now!"
"How is she?" Sonny Corinthos demands of his best friend as he comes up the corridor. "They told me that she's awake."
Jason grabs Sonny by the front of his rich textured Italian suit and start slamming him against the wall. "She's gone. She.. is.. gone..."
"What the hell is the matter with you?!" Sonny pushes back at Jason barely moving the younger man. "What do you mean she's gone? The nurses told me she's awake!"
"She doesn't know me. ME. How can Carly not know me? She's gone. Just the same as Jason Quartermaine was gone from the moment AJ ran his head into a tree. You killed her. You killed Carly. I trusted you. I gave you everything that was important to me, and you killed her."
"No. It's impossible." Sonny shakes his head in denial. "Carly's awake. Everything will be okay. She'll come home. To me, to Michael and the baby. Everything will be okay."
Bobbie stomps out of the room carefully shutting it behind her. "You two shut the hell up! This is a hospital for gawd sake! My daughter has enough problems without you two getting her even more upset!"
"Bobbie..." Jason asks pleadingly.
"She didn't know me either." Bobbie says flatly but Jason can read the grief in her eyes. "Jase, is it possible... maybe..."
"I know when she's lying to me, Bobbie. This isn't a lie."
"But it's just temporary." Sonny interjects. "It'll wear off once she gets better-- gets back in familiar surroundings. Carly will come back."
Tony comes out of the room. Bobbie looks at him questioningly. "I gave her a mild sedative. She was starting to get agitated."
"She just came out of it and you're drugging her already!" Jason snarls. "You sonofabitch!"
"You take one step toward me and I'll have security bar you from this hospital." Tony says flatly. Then he looks to Sonny. "Carly is awake. She knows George Bush is president but I think she'd be surprised that it's George W Bush. She believes her mother, Virginia, is alive. She prefers to be called Caroline, Caroline Benson. I think it's pretty well developed that she has a memory deficit."
"She's lying." Sonny offers. "Carly's mad at me. It'll be okay. Just let me talk to her."
Lorenzo takes the seat next to Carly's bed. He'd overheard most of the Doctor's conversation with Carly. And all of Bobbie's. Enough to know that the fight to bring Carly back to him wasn't over yet. "How are you?"
"Floating." Carly says with half closed eyes. "Whatever they put in that..." She indicates the IV bag. "Ought to be bottled. Oh wait... it is."
Lorenzo grins at her. "Glad to see you haven't lost your sense of humor."
"Who are you?" Carly asks bluntly.
"The reason you are in the hospital."
"You were in the path of a bullet meant for me."
"Who did you tick off?"
"A Jealous husband."
"Tsk. So should I call you Mr Homewrecker or do you have a first name?"
"Lorenzo. Lorenzo Alcazar."
"Well, Lorenzo Alcazar, nice meeting you, I guess. Hope she was worth it." Carly's voice fades as she falls asleep.
"She is." Lorenzo takes her hand and kisses the back of it. "She is."
"Get away from her." Sonny demands from the doorway. "Get away from my wife."
"Caroline is asleep. Do you really want to get into this now?"
"She's back. That means the doctor don't have the say anymore. I do. And I say family only. You aren't welcome here. Get out."
"No, you both get out." Bobbie demands. "Now." When she sees that Sonny is going to protest, Bobbie interjects quickly. "Or my first stop after I get out of here is going to be to a judge to get a restraining order. Once I tell the judge you shot my daughter..."
"Carly wouldn't want this."
"Carly doesn't live here anymore. Caroline Benson does. And I suspect she isn't going to put up with any crap. From either of you." Bobbie holds the door while they leave.
Hours later, Carly wakes with a horrible hangover. Whatever they put in the IV was great for knocking a person out but awful for waking up to. She smothers a groan when she sees a redhaired woman asleep in a chair. What the hell is going on with this? Private room, private nurse. Whoever had shot her must be rolling in the bucks cause there was no way any hospital would be doing this free. And with no insurance it's just a matter of time before she'd be out on her ass. But now is the time to get some answers. She eases out from out of the covers and puts her feet to the floor.
Carly winces as the pressure of her weight hits her feet but she smothers the groan. She pauses and exhales and then pushes off the bed swaying but hanging on to the edge of the bed to keep her balance. About the time she is feeling steadier she notices the draft up her backside. "Oh you have got to be kidding me." Grabbing hold of the IV tree, she goes over to the closet and grabs another of the backless gowns from off the shelf. Half leaning against the closet she slides it on like a robe. At least her modesty could be maintained, well mostly maintained since she couldn't put it over the damn IV tree. Using the tree for balance, Carly opens the door and looking both ways shrugs and hangs a right.
She keeps a hand on the tree and the other on the rail along the hall and inches along toward the hub of activity. She waits out of the way until the nurse goes on rounds and then goes over to the charts. Reaching over the counter she grabs the one that corresponds to her room number. "Carly Corinthos? What the hell?!" And then she sees the date in the corner of the chart. "2003. Oh boy. This isn't good. What the hell is going on?"
"Do you really want to know?"
Carly turns around to see the leather clad hunk standing behind her. "Yeah. First things first. Who are you?"
"I'm the guy who has always known who you are, Caroline." Jason holds out an old keyring with Caroline imprinted on it. "You know you've got missing time from looking at the chart and I can help you fill in the blanks. If you want the truth, I'll tell you. And if you want out-- I'll take you out of here right now."
Caroline reads him carefully. She's always had a skill with men and knowing what they wanted. "What's in it for you? That Alcazar guy told me I was shot cause I got in the way of a jealous husband. How do I know you're not the jealous husband?!"
"It wasn't a jealous husband, Caroline. It was your jealous husband.
"No. You ask the questions; I'll answer them-- which is more than you're going to get around here. All you'll get from Dr Jones is questions and evasions. Everything is a test for him until you feel like your head is going to explode. And when you try to fight him he'll drug you so you won't get agitated."
"Yeah, that's sounding about right. So how do we do it? How do I get out of here?"
"Gimme your arm." Jason demands. One Carly does he rips out the needle and bends her elbow to keep it from bleeding. "I'll get you a bandaid for that."
"That would be good." Carly says wryly. a little warning would have been nice.
Jason goes behind the nurses' desk and grabs a square of gauze and a thing of tape. He quickly doctor's Carly's arm and then he shrugs out of his leather jacket and holds it for Carly to put on. "Lets go."
"They're waiting for you at the house. I've had all afternoon to set this up."
"How did you know I'd go along with you?"
"Because we're going to be best friends."
Lorenzo Alcazar looks both directions before he makes his way into Carly's room. The bed is empty and Carly's mother is asleep in the chair. Lorenzo walks over to the bathroom and raps on the door softly. "Caroline? Caroline?" When there is no answer he growns concerned and opens the door. She's not there. Going over to Bobbie, he shakes her by the shoulder. "She's gone."
Bobbie comes awake in a heartbeat. "Oh that sonofagun. Not again."
"What do you mean not again?"
"The first thing he did after Carly woke up from having Michael was get her out of the hospital. He hates them. And he really hates Tony, Dr Jones."
"Sonny broke Carly out of the hospital before?"
"Where would he take her?"
"How should I know? I'm just Carly's mother! Last time he put her on a plane to Florida." Bobbie stalks out of the room. "This would be just like him. If Carly told him she wanted to go sky diving he'd get the damn parachutes. Never mind that she's recovering from major surgery, from brain surgery and child birth..." Her voice fades as she moves to the hub of the floor.
Lorenzo pulls a cell phone out of his robe pocket. "Find Jason Morgan. Don't stop him. Don't interfere. Just find him."
"Wow! What's this place? Is it your house?" Carly asks as she climbs from the back of the motorcycle. She hands Jason back the helmet and carefully checks that her bandage is still in place. Riding on a motorcycle after just sustaining a head injury. Is that kinda like leaving the barn door open after the horse is already out? And the whole hospital gown flipping under the leather jacket. More than one perv on the road had probably gotten a good look.
Jason opens up the front door and steps out of the way. "It's the house that Sonny bought for you. It's where he shot you."
"GEES!" Carly turns around to look at Jason mouth agape.
"Don't worry. The cleaners were in as soon as the cops left. Fixed the door. Got rid of the blood." Jason shrugs.
"You know some interesting people. I'm freezing; is there any heat in this place?" Carly locks her arms around her and hugs the leather jacket close as she shivers.
"Sure. Everything's been checked." Jason goes over to a panel by the the staircase and cranks the heat a few degrees. "Also had a generator put in. There is a storm every year that knocks the power out so its handy. I'll show you how to use that one in the morning. All the clothes I could grab I put in here." Jason opens a door to what would be a library or a study. "There should be some sweats if you want to get out of that. I'll go put the kettle on and then whatever questions you got. I stocked up the beer too. But you should probably skip that until all the crap Dr Jones pumped into you gets out of your system."
"I'm probably going to have to make a list. But first things first... is it really 2003?"
"Yeah, almost 2004. You want a pizza?"
Carly shrugs helplessly. "Sure. I guess. Just no mushrooms or..."
"Anchovies. I know."
Carly goes over to the room off the living room and pauses before going in. "It's really weird to have someone I've never met before today finishing my sentences."
"You want me to stop?"
"Maybe back off a little." Carly shuts the door.
After checking himself out of the hospital, Lorenzo makes his way back to his apartment. Marcella is still there. Has been every since he was shot. Rather than being his ghost Lily, she'd ended up being his personal assistant: bringing him his mail and phone messages so things could get done while he had stayed at Carly's side.
"Have there been any calls?" He tosses his keys aside and walks over to the bar to pour himself a glass of water. He absently massages his chest. The stitches itch and he couldn't reach the ones on his back.
"Lots of calls. With no information. Carly left the hospital?"
Lorenzo nods before offering up his water goblet in a mocking toast. "One of the little bits of information I didn't know. Jason Morgan makes a habit of breaking Carly out of the hospital as soon as she wakes up."
"But she woke up! This is good news, Lorenzo. Were you with her?"
"I'd left to get coffee." Lorenzo says wryly. "I felt it. That she was going to wake soon but Morgan wanted to talk to her. I could have stayed but I went to get coffee. And when I returned, she was already awake and Morgan ready to peel the paint off the walls."
"Why?" Marcella asks. "Carly isn't his wife. It doesn't make sense."
"Carly doesn't remember anything. Anything since coming to Port Charles. Her name isn't Carly. It's Caroline. Caroline Benson."
Marcella slowly smiles. "A cocktail party. A glance across the room, a fresh start-- all the things that weren't possible before."
Lorenzo nods in agreement. "It would be perfect except for one thing."
"No, she doesn't remember her children either."
"Oh Lorenzo." Marcella gaze is piting and her smile falls away. "After everything she's been thru to be with her kids? How can she not remember? I know that you wanted the chance to meet as strangers but you bonded over this baby. You were always there for her."
Carly exhales the heat of the pizza around the slice and wipes at her mouth with a paper towel. "So how long have we known each other?"
"That really doesn't mean anything to me." Carly says wryly feeling like she is inhabiting an episode of the twilight zone.
"Seven years. Give or take. I was out of town for awhile. You've been out of town a few times. Never for too long."
Carly shivers. "And upstate New York? What the hell is up with that? There is no way I'd ever come to this iceberg by choice."
Jason winces and rubs his forehead. "I hope you remember this." He takes a deep breath and then spits it out. "You're adopted. You knew that right?"
"Yeah." Carly wads up the papertowel in her hand and frowns. "I found out in the first grade." the hard way
"Your bio-mother lives here in Port Charles. A real shady PI tracked you down to Florida and told you about her."
Carly shakes her head. "I didn't hire the guy?"
"No, Bobbie hired him."
"The redhaired nurse at the hospital. The one with the really fakey voice who was all-- That's my girl. That's my biological mother?"
"Yeah. Bobbie Spencer. She's okay. But frankly having the last seven years wiped out might be the best thing that ever happened to your relationship."
"Oh? What did I do? Sleep with her husband or something?" Carly jokes reaching for another piece of pizza. When Jason doesn't answer she looks over at him. "I didn't?! No way!"
"DR Jones? EWWWWW. That's just gross. He's old. And really kinda patronizing. If he'd called me Carly one more time I was going to deck him. So why did Mommy dearest all of a sudden decide to go looking for the kid she must have given up for adoption when she was like... twelve?"
Jason shrugs. "I don't know. She was already looking for you when Lesley Lu needed a bone marrow transplant so it wasn't that."
"Your... biological cousin I guess. Bobbie's brother's kid. I was in a car accident before you hit town. When I woke up I didn't remember anything or anybody from before the accident. So if I knew why Bobbie contacted Peyser..." Jason shrugs. "You weren't a match for the kid anyway."
"Is that why you're being so nice to me? Getting me out of the hospital. Making sure everything here is set up? Because you once had amnesia too?"
"This is what we do. When you're in trouble, I get you out of it."
"And when you're in trouble? I return the favor?"
"More than once." Jason agrees with a nod.
"And did we... you know... ever..." Carly raises both eyebrows significantly.
"Have sex?" Jason asks wryly. "What do you think?"
"Oh yeah, I think we did. And I bet it was the best you ever had." Carly leans in and drawls seductively.
Jason nods in agreement. "While it lasted. But it was never enough. Eventually we realized being friends was the only way we wouldn't end up killing each other."
"How long did that take?"
"November 30,1999- for me anyway." Jason shakes his head and then shrugs. "So three years. Give or take."
Lorenzo stares at the fire with a narrowed gaze.
"What are you thinking?" Marcella worries. She can see the scheming in the tension in her employer's back. There isn't a line that Alcazar won't cross in order to stay next to Sonny Corinthos' wife.
"If Morgan is with Carly then he isn't with Courtney."
"Lorenzo!" Marcella's tone is scolding.
"Not me. You." Lorenzo retorts sharply. "I want you to go find out what she knows. And if she doesn't know anything to make sure that she knows that her husband is with Carly. That Jason attacked Sonny in the hospital."
"You didn't tell me that. Why would Jason Morgan attack Sonny?"
Lorenzo frowns. "He was acting like Sonny had killed Carly rather than her waking from the coma. Jason kept saying over and over that she didn't know him. "
"What does it mean?"
"Something else to find out."
"And if Sonny shows up? Or if something I say gives Sonny a clue where Jason and Carly are?"
"They could be anywhere. According to Carly's mother, the last time Jason broke Carly out of a hospital he put her on a plane to Florida."
"She just had a baby!"
"She'd just had a baby then too." Lorenzo says wryly.
"So are you going to talk about it?" Carly asks Jason. She shoves the last half of a pizza slice on her plate toward him and on a gut level isn't surprised when he picks it up and takes a bite.
"I didn't just get a bullet to the brain. Did he kill the baby too?"
"No!" Jason denies that one fast. "The baby, Morgan, and your older son, Michael, are both staying with my wife, Courtney."
Carly leans back in the chair, processing the new information. It still feels as if it's someone else they are discussing. "You're married. I have two kids. My kids are staying with you and your wife. What does your wife think about you and me?"
Jason shrugs. "You two are tight. She's the only one of my girlfriend's that you've ever liked. Every other woman you hated before they even got a word in edgewise. But that could be because she's Sonny's sister. I think you cut her some extra slack."
Carly's eyes go wide. "And does she know about you and me?"
"Yeah, and you and AJ Quartermaine too. That's Michael's biological father, although Sonny has adopted him. Another thing you and Courtney have in common. Your first husbands were both AJ."
"How many times have I been married."
"How many times married or to how many different guys?"
"There is a difference?"
"Yeah, You've only been married to two guys-- AJ and Sonny. But you've been married four times. Once to AJ and three times to Sonny."
"That's just crazy! Even Elizabeth Taylor only married Richard Burton twice!" Carly pauses to think about that one. "Just twice right?"
"Who the hell is Elizabeth Taylor?"
"Nevermind. It's not important." Carly starts rubbing the bandage on the top of her head.
"You getting tired?"
"I can't keep all of this straight."
"Yeah, I know it's a lot. Thing is, I know you can take care of yourself..."
Carly interrupts, "Yeah, I was doing so well I got a bullet to the brain."
"Sonny's got a lot of enemies, Caroline. And they all know your face and you don't know theirs. That puts you in danger."
"Great. Well since I'm not feeling to fond of guns right now, do you have any suggestions? Any pictures? Names? Clues? Maybe you should just drop me off at the bus station and I'll take it from there."
"I can do that if you want. But these people are really motivated. You're actually better staying close rather than being out in the open. I'll get you pictures."
"What are you doing here?!" Courtney demands blocking the access into the house she'd been staying in since Sonny had dropped his control of the local organization and handed it over to Jason. It would have been nice to have a little input on that one. Considering it is her whole life being affected.
"It was either me or Lorenzo." Marcella says wryly before adding, "Is your husband here?"
"Like I'd tell you anything." Courtney sneers.
"He must still be with Carly."
"What do you mean still with Carly."
"Carly woke up today. Jason broke her out of the hospital. If you don't know about it... I suspect Sonny doesn't either."
Courtney is about to ask more questions when there is the sound of a baby crying from inside the house. "Come in. It'll just take a minute." She runs up the stairs to the baby's room.
Marcella comes in and shuts the door behind her.
"I know you. You talk to my daddy sometimes."
"Yes." Marcella agrees looking down at the little red haired boy. "Not as much as before. How are you?"
"I have a baby brother."
"I heard him." Marcella looks toward the ceiling.
"My mother will be home soon. She had surgery. She's in the hospital because she was shot. But it was an accident."
"Do you know where she was shot?"
Michael taps the side of his head. "Right here. But they don't know I know. I went to see Mama in the hospital but she was still asleep."
Marcella sits down on a chair so that she is at eye level with Michael. She is overstepping and she knows it but she has to try. She runs a finger over the side of Michael's face. "Almost everything is in here. All of your memories. Everything from remembering to put your shoes on after your socks to remembering what your little brother's name is. But it doesn't have everything." Marcella puts a hand on Michael's heart. "Your heart may not be able to tell you to put your socks on first. Or what your little brother's name is... but it tells you that you love your little brother and nothing would ever stop that."
"Get away from him! You're scaring him!" Courtney comes back down the stairs. She is carrying Morgan but she snarls like a mama bear anyway.
"No," Marcella smiles reassuringly at Michael. "I'm not. Michael's mother loves him which is something he already knows. Here and here." Marcella moves her hand from Michael's heart to the side of his head. "And when she comes home, if because of the accident she doesn't remember to put her socks on first?"
"I'll tell her." Michael agrees with a nod. "I'll help."
"And if she doesn't remember Morgan's name?"
"I'll tell her."
"And if she doesn't remember your name?"
Michael doesn't have an answer for that but looks from Marcella to his Aunt Courtney with a worried gaze.
Marcella continues. "Then you'll tell her your name and remind her but you won't have to worry or be scared because you know in your heart that she loves you."
"Michael, I think you need to go upstairs and work on your schoolwork. So I can speak to...."
"Marcella alone." Courtney waits until Michael goes upstairs and then sits down across from her still holding the baby. "What do you know?"
"Only what Lorenzo told me." Marcella leans in and keeps her voice low. "Carly woke up today. Your husband was with her when she did. She doesn't remember anything."
"What do you mean anything?"
"I should have said anyone. She knows she is Caroline Benson but she didn't remember your husband, her husband, her children."
"Oh Gawd. It's like what happened to Jason all over again. What everyone's been afraid of."
"I don't know what you mean."
"Jason was in an accident. Before I met him. Before he even met Carly and it wiped away everything that happened before, who he was before. Jason says Carly was the first person he met who didn't know him from before the accident. The first person he really ever had a clean slate with."
"Oh." Marcella realizes now why Jason would be so upset at Sonny. "That explains it."
"Your husband attacked Sonny in the hospital. Told Sonny that he'd killed Carly. At least that is what Lorenzo said he heard. Lorenzo didn't understand it since this was such good news, that Carly had come out of her coma."
"Jason broke her out of the hospital?"
Marcella nods. "And since he is mad at Sonny, I doubt he would have taken her to the safe house that Sonny had me in."
"Don't think I'm going to tell you anything. You'd run straight back to Lorenzo with it."
"You know that he would never hurt Carly."
"He's done nothing but hurt Carly ever since he came to town. Teaming up with Ric, kidnapping her, trying to drive my brother crazy. Hell! you're the living surgically altered proof of that." Courtney hisses back, always conscious that Michael is a little too much like his mother and is probably listening at the top of the stairs.
"And if your husband is still mad at Sonny and doesn't tell him where Carly is? Doesn't use Sonny's resources in protecting Carly? If he comes back to see you and the children and Carly is left alone... to be found by Faith, or Ric Lansing, the assistant district attorney? Most people who have been shot do call the police. Lorenzo wants to help keep Carly safe from people who she doesn't recognize as being a danger to her."
"It was an accident! Sonny would never intentionally hurt Carly!"
"Caroline Benson doesn't know Sonny." Marcella reminds. She gets to her feet. "Doesn't remember being married to him. How do you think your brother is going to react to that? I'll let myself out."
"What about this Sonny Corinthos guy?"
"You mean your husband?" Jason reminds. He'd just gotten back from dumping the pizza box in the garbage. He'd grabbed a beer for himself out of the fridge and put some water in the kettle in case Carly wanted tea or hot chocolate.
"You did say that I've married the guy three times. Which means to me that I've divorced him at least twice. He bought me this house, but he's not here. Lorenzo Alcazar tells me I got shot by a jealous husband and you tell me I get shot by my jealous husband. Was I cheating on him? With that Alcazar?"
"No." Jason's answer is terse. "Yes, you were thinking about trying to make Sonny jealous but it was because he was pushing you away. This house was about pushing you away. Giving you a place away from him."
"And what did I think about all this?"
"You were pissed and tried to make him jealous."
"It seems to have worked." Carly rubs her head significantly. "Please! Nine months pregnant and I'm coming on to some guy? I was nine months pregnant right?"
"Yeah. And the guy is hot for you."
"Oh gees, is it his baby?" I have been quite the slut for the last few years if this guy is telling the truth.
"It's Sonny's. You had an amnio done to make sure. You didn't meet Alcazar until half way thru your pregnancy. You went into premature labor, he was there. When you went into real labor, he was there. Sonny saw him standing over you and shot him."
"While I was in labor. In this house."
Jason nods. "The bullet went thru Alcazar and hit you."
"While I was in labor. In this house."
Jason nods again. "Sonny helped deliver the baby and then realized that you'd been hit by the bullet."
"Was anyone else in the house at the time?" Carly asks suspiciously.
"I didn't get here until after Morgan was born."
"Right." Carly nods. "My mama had a saying for just about everything. I think that the one that applies here is Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I don't even want to remember what she had to say when I married the same guy three times. I can guess."
Jason winces. "Caroline, about Virginia...."
"What about my mother?"
A thought occurs to Lorenzo and it's too bizarre to not follow up on. He quickly calls his hacker. "Has there been any services hooked up to the Adams street address since Mrs Corinthos has been in the hospital?"
"Gimme a sec."
Lorenzo can hear the guy humming as his fingers fly over the keyboard. Then there is a long pause. "Well?"
"It's processing. Yep, there it is. Today. The last of the utilities were turned on today at the Adams St address. You want the phone number?"
"Yes." Lorenzo looks around for a pen and quickly writes down the number.
Jason holds Carly close and doesn't say anything just lets her cry it out. "I know it hurts."
"How could you know?" Carly hits him in the chest. "How could you know?!"
"Caroline, your mother had a heart attack after you moved here to Port Charles. You went back down to Florida to take care of her."
"And she had another heart attack?"
"No, she was up here visiting. She had a massive stroke. Caroline, she was gone before she hit the floor. Virginia didn't have any pain. We took her back to Florida together. Found a place overlooking the water."
"Mama loved the ocean." Carly hiccups.
Jason strokes the hair that falls over Carly's shoulders. "She loved you too."
"I hurt her so much. I pushed her away. I was so angry about her lies and for Frank leaving."
"She knew you loved her, Caroline. Yeah, she didn't like the stuff you did. She wasn't good at showing how she felt. But she loved you."
"How do you know?"
"You told me."
"What am I going to do? What am I going to do?!"
"You said I slept with her husband."
"But that was a long time ago."
"I doubt she's forgotten."
When Marcella gets back to the apartment, Alcazar has already changed clothes and is ready to go out. "Don't you want to hear what I found out?"
"I know where she is."
"I know why Jason Morgan was so upset. He's still with her. And he didn't call his wife or Sonny Corinthos. I was the one that told Courtney that Carly came out of her coma."
Lorenzo takes a seat. "You have the floor."
Marcella throws her coat over the back of a chair and curls up in a seat across from Lorenzo. "Before Caroline Benson came to Port Charles, Jason Morgan was in a serious accident, in a coma. When he woke up he didn't remember anything or anyone from before the coma."
"Ah... thus the hate of hospitals. And the overreaction today."
"The person that Jason was died the day Jason Morgan woke up in the hospital. So when Carly woke up and didn't know anyone..."
"Carly didn't lose herself-- only time and that still might be temporary."
"Carly was the first person that only knew Jason Morgan. Never knew the person who was before. Never compared him to the person before. He is the one that introduced her to Sonny."
Alcazar holds up a hand for Marcella to stop talking to give him time to process all of the information. How big of a piece has Morgan been all along? "I have to think."
"You going to be okay? Lock the door when I leave and don't let anybody in. I mean nobody. Forget it. I'll just stay." Jason turns around and starts to walk back into the house.
Carly gives Jason a push in the chest. "You've got a wife and two kids at home. And I'm sure your wife and the oldest boy are wondering what the hell is going on."
"You're going to love him, Caroline. Michael is a great kid."
"He sounds like it." Carly shakes her head and leans against the open door. "But how can I... bring me a picture. Give me some time to figure things out a bit. I have to be able to walk up to him and say this is my kid or it's going to mess with his head."
"I'll bring the pictures tomorrow." Jason leans in and gives Carly a kiss on the cheek.
Carly grabs him by the front of his leather jacket and looks up into his eyes. "I slept with you the first night we met, didn't I?"
"There wasn't much sleep involved." Jason caresses the side of her face. "I love you. You're my best friend. Sonny's like a brother to me but I'm not going to just go along, not now-- not about this. What ever decision you make, Caroline Benson, I've got your back.