Title: "Of Convenience"
Author: monimala
Fandom: "General Hospital"
Rating/Classification: PG, ficlet, Jason/Brenda.
Disclaimer: I don't own them, etc.
Summary: The night in between the island and Brenda finding out she's not really ill...perhaps why she and Jason were so civil before she stole his gun?

He's slept in worse places than on the living room couch. Floors, jail cots, the box car. He's trained himself to get at least four hours of sleep even if he's standing up and he wakes at the softest scratch of sound. Cloth against skin, doors creaking, footsteps toeing across the carpet.

"Don't," he says, softly,opening his eyes just a crack...seeing her, clearly, in the early morning dimness.

"Don't what?" She's automatically on the defensive, leaning against the door, one hand still tensed on the knob. "I was just coming down for a snack."

"The fridge isn't in the hallway...unless you were planning to go across to Sonny's," he points out, sitting up slowly, working out the kinks in his lower back as he swings his feet over the side of the sofa.

"I wasn't!" she assures.

He winces. Her voice has to be the highest, whiniest thing he's ever heard. And he's had to sit through a lot of unnecessary noise in his life. Carly on rum being close to the top of his list. "Go back to bed," he urges. "You've had a rough week. You need to rest."

"I'm not going after Luis," she says instead of listening. "I just wanted to go for a walk. Get some fresh air."

"You had plenty of fresh air on the island," he reminds, closing the distance between them and making a conscious effort to be gentle when he grasps her arm. "Come on. Let's go."

"Where are we going?"

Her lips twist into that almost-flirting grin even he's not strong enough to withstand and he finds himself snapping back, "I'm taking you to bed!"

She cocks her head, her curly mess of hair spilling to the side...like she's at a modeling shoot. "About time," she chuckles, softly, something bright and sharp in her eyes. "We never did have a wedding night, right?"

He winces at the thought, barely suppressing a shudder. "Shut up!" he directs, steering her towards the stairs. "Just go."

He's surprised when she goes up to her bedroom with little protest. And he, politely, turns his head when she unzips her jeans and steps out of them, although he can't escape the golden flash of thigh, high-cut bikini underwear, at the periphery of his vision. He waits till she climbs into the Queen-sized bed and finds himself tugging the sheets up to her chin and tucking her in like he's watched Carly do for Michael so many times over the years.

"Jason?" Her eyes go black like an approaching storm, speculative.

"What?" His hands still their reflexive smoothing of the comforter and one of hers steals out from the cocoon to slide around his wrist, pull him down to the edge of the bed.

"Thank you," she says in that dry, desperate tone.

"For what?"

"Everything. Nothing. Hating me. Caring anyway." And her smile again. "For being with me."

"No problem." For just a split second...one...two...maybe three seconds...he remembers a girl in a long dark gown dragging him onto a dance floor and laughing like she didn't have a care in the world. "Any time," he murmurs, absently, brows furrowing as the image clears away and all he's left with is Brenda in the here and now. Half-dressed and half-awake.

In a few months, she'll be trying to remember who she used to be. The way he tries to forget.

"Any time?" she repeats, softly. "Now? Can you stay with me until I fall asleep?"

"I guess."

She scoots over, making room and he, stiffly, stretches out on top of the covers. Her giggle is enough to make him roll his eyes...but, then, she's up on her elbow for a moment, just staring at him, and he feels the gentle brush of her lips against his cheek. So light that she can deny it in the morning.

"Thank you," she murmurs, again, head falling against his shoulder, body curving, instinctively, into his.

She smells like his utilitarian soap, like cinnamon.

He's slept in worse places than next to his wife.

And after her eyes flutter shut, and her chest begins to rise and fall with that regular pattern of sleep, he gets up, gingerly, and moves back to one of them.


November 15, 2002.

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