Title: "One True Thing"
Author: Mala
E-mail: malisita@yahoo.com
Fandom: "General Hospital"
Rating/Classification: 'R', Sonny/Jason, slash, language.
Disclaimer: Nope. I don't own them.
Summary: There are some things you're just used to.

You've gotten used to the sound of glass shattering across the hall. It's almost second nature to you now to contact the union guys who replace the windows with alarming efficiency. You have them on speed dial and you have the call in even before you open the door and move, quietly, into the penthouse that looks and feels nothing like yours.

"Sonny?"

He's been holding it together as well as can be expected for the last few weeks. A broken decanter here...a few shot glasses there...and, of course, there were the balcony doors, but that wasn't entirely his fault.

It's never entirely his fault.

You've gotten used to that, too.

He's slumped by the windows, staring out...and the blood running down the side of his hand, the shards on the floor, tell you that it was a wine glass this time. Snapped at the stem. You don't pray, but you thank God, anyway, that he's downgraded to Cabernet from scotch.

"Any word?" His voice is raspy, like his three-day growth of beard. He doesn't look at you, but you know his eyes are haunted, ringed from lack of sleep.

"Courtney says the boys are fine. The doctors haven't called. And Faith's people haven't made any more moves since the hit." You shoot off the report like it's a grocery list...and it might as well be. You remember kissing Courtney good-bye in Hay's Landing. She tasted distant, like the horizon that you could never quite catch no matter how fast you rode on your bike. She's not as distant as Carly, though...who is so far away you're sure you'll never see her again.

You're used to letting go.

Sonny isn't listening to you. He's fixated on some imagined ghost. Not Lily this time. Just his guilt. His demons. Things you don't understand because you don't have them. You just have space where feelings like that should be...and even things like love are new to you. Itchy like brand new socks.

It's been years since you were born. Since you woke up blank and he was the only one who reached out a hand to you. But nothing can change how tightly he held on. How he shaped your universe, gave you a shot, a chance, when nobody else would.

That's why you're still here.

Doing the same for him.

Always making the call.

You kneel down and pick up the fallen glass, sweeping it into your palm and disposing of it, cleanly, in the kitchen wastebasket. You're good at disposal. The best. When you return, he's no longer at the window. Instead, he's standing in the middle of the living room, absently patting his pockets as if he's lost something.

"Jason?" He squints up at you, as if he's seeing you for the first time today, like he's just noticed you're there.

He flinches just a little when you approach and you wonder if he's nervous, if he's scared, if he thinks that losing Carly, that putting that bullet in her brain, means he has to be locked in the closet forever.

Maybe he thinks you're going to put him there. Because you loved her first.

But he'd be wrong. He was first.

He's still first.

"I'm here, Sonny." You touch him tentatively, like he's wild. The last few times, he's lashed out at you, hit you, and you've let him because you know that's better than hurting himself. You let him say whatever he wants, too. You let him tell you that all you want is Courtney back... that you don't care about anything... that you're only running the business because he told you to. Some of it's true, some of it isn't.

You remember when he wasn't speaking to you. When he told you to choose and you stared at him because that was stupid. You can never choose...there *is* no choice here...but he leaned in close and asked you..."Is she good? Is it good when you fuck my sister, Jason?"

You didn't know words like that until Sonny taught them to you. Robin taught you the good words and he taught you words like "fuck" and "kill" and what they meant.

You didn't answer then and you don't even think about it now.

Is it good? Courtney's your wife. Whatever that means. All of it.

Sonny...Sonny is your life. Whatever that means. All of it.

He starts shaking beneath your hands. A thousand tiny tremors. "I broke another glass."

"I know."

He rubs at his eyes with one clenched fist, like Michael when he wakes up from a nightmare. Except Sonny can't wake up. He won't let himself. "I'm so tired, Jason...so tired..."

"Then you should sleep," you say, simply, gently guiding him towards the stairs with one palm at the base of his spine.

"I'm going to wake up alone," he mumbles, slurring from the alcohol. "'M always alone. I deserve to be alone."

You don't tell him he's wrong. You show him.

Just one more thing you're accustomed to.

Maybe the most important thing.

He doesn't resist when you sit him down and minister to his cuts... when you put the bandages and peroxide aside and unbutton his shirt, his pants, help him into bed. You've done it so many times over the years when Carly wasn't there or just couldn't deal with it. He always wakes up in the morning and accepts coffee in silence and pretends it wasn't your hands undressing him and drawing the sheets up to his chin. That it isn't you crawling in behind him now and draping an arm, loosely, around his waist to make sure he doesn't slide through the silk and land, senseless, on the floor.

"Sleep," you urge, softly. And it's not your lips that brush the back of his head...that soothe the tension lines at the base of his neck.

He makes a sound of protest and you murmur wordless things, rocking him against you like you do with Morgan to make him stop crying. Except he's not a baby. He's fully grown and warm and hard and unyielding. But he still needs you just the same. He still counts on you to be here, whether he knows it or not. To clean him up. To hold him together. To hold him.

And it's never entirely his fault.

--end--

November 13, 2003.



Story Index E-mail Mala Links