Title: "Free Fall"
Author: monimala
Fandom: GH
Rating/Classification: no dirty words or smut, CarJax, filler, Jax POV.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters.
Summary: This is, after all, still Carly. A speculative filler scene for 1/16/06 as Jax and Carly scheme over the dinner patrons at the Metro Court.

He glances at her, askance, and wonders how it's possible that she's actually glowing as they watch their exes at sixes and sevens. Like all her time at Rose Lawn was just an extended trip to the spa and she came back after seaweed wraps and a chemical peel that stripped the insanity off her skin. Okay, not all of the insanity. This is, after all, still Carly.

But she's radiant, leaning against the bar, high on the anticipation of drama…and he hasn't seen that gleam in her eye since…since Club 101. Another life. A different year. Temporary madness that has proven to be anything but temporary.

Oh, God. That's how it began the last time…with her eyes sparkling and her hand reaching out. Her urging, "Come on, Jax." He took it. All if it. Her hand, her enthusiasm, and plummeted forward without a chute.

And that's what she's asking him to do again.

*Take my hand. Jump.*

And he knows he will. He's always been a thrill-seeker and nobody gives better thrill in this town than the woman next to him.

He listens to her running commentary on Sonny, Emily, Nikolas, and Courtney with only half his attention. Sure, he thinks, he should care what she has in store for his darling ex and his child, but right now, right this instant, he can't seem to stop remembering that Carly should have been his ex, that Morgan could have been his child.

There were a dozen "almost"s when they were trying to get the club together all those years ago. Times where he felt the electricity coursing between them every time they brushed shoulders or passed a schematic back and forth. He'd almost kissed her, almost made love to her, almost taken that leap.

*Take my hand. Jump.*

How different would their lives have been if he had?

If she hadn't embezzled money for Sonny? Or if she had and he'd forgiven her? If Brenda had never come home. Or if she had and he and Carly had acted on their impulses the night Brenda kissed Sonny on the pier.

That…that was their biggest "almost" to date. Carly coming to him, near hysterics, so angry that her eyes shot fire. "That bitch!" she'd whispered, entire body trembling. "That bitch is kissing my husband right now." He'd poured them both a drink, listened to her halting explanation as his heart broke over Brenda for the thousandth time. He'd pulled her close, wanting to comfort her…no, to exact revenge…maybe both. They'd stared at each other for the longest time. Thinking it. Both wanting it. Feeling entitled to it. And then he'd pushed her away.

He'd kept pushing her away. For years after that.

But here he is again. Pulled back.

Right back in her ring of light and on the edge of something without boundaries, without limits, without a net. Listening to her laugh too loud and watching her drink too fast.

They aren't the same people they were back then.

But in some ways, they've never changed.

In fact, he's certain that their greatest "almost" is yet to come.

Maybe tonight. Maybe they'll go upstairs after the explosive floor show and she'll tug off his tie and untuck his shirt and he'll press her back against the door and kiss her like he's wanted to for far too long. Maybe he'll strip her naked, quickly, feverishly, and see if she laughs too loud in bed.

"Carly, Carly, Carly…" he chuckles, shaking his head.

She glances at him, a smile quirking at the corner of her mouth. Damn it all, but maybe he's glowing, too. "What?"

He circles her wrist with his fingers, pulls her close for any patrons that might be taking note…and for himself. He presses his lips against her cheek chastely, free hand skimming up her side as he whispers…

"Take my hand. Jump."

And she does.



January 16, 2006

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