Title: "Serenity"
Author: Mala
E-mail: malisita@yahoo.com
Fandom: "General Hospital"
Rating/Classification: PG-13, angst, ficlet.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, nope.
Summary: Skye has a recurring nightmare...or maybe a dream.

She has nightmares about little blue-tipped indicator sticks doused in vodka and tonic. Of her breasts growing heavy with Absolut. And it really isn't unusual for her to be dreaming about a drink. That's the occupational hazard of the alcoholic. You begin to see rivers of temptation everywhere you go, hallucinating that soda fountains serve gin and fire hydrants spew forth tequila.

What's unusual is for her to be dreaming of pregnancy.

After everything she's been through, everything she's done to her body, she has given up the idea of ever being able to have children. Of ever *wanting* any...because wouldn't she just drag them from pillar to post to hotel room to hotel room...like dear old mommy Althea?

But then she holds little Kristina in her arms... soft, warm, projectile-vomiting Princess Brat . Who laughs and waves her fists and loves her Auntie Skye simply for being there. And she sees the fear in Michael Corinthos's eyes when he calls one man "Daddy" and hears another say "No, you're mine." She echoes his peals of happy laughter when he says, "We're having a baby" and holds tight to his hand until his mother arrives to take him back to a safer house than the one she, herself, continues to come back to.

"We're having a baby."

Has she said that before? To Tom? To Jonathan? To Max? Or have those simple words been lost from her vocabulary like "love" and "family" and "belonging"? Lost and replaced by "booze" and "binge" and "hangover."

She was certainly having enough sex for a while there to kickstart a dive into the gene pool. Jax...Alcazar...Coleman...all in a matter of weeks. And she was so sick, so queasy, from all that lurching in and out of bed that there were spare minutes where she thought, "Maybe...maybe..." But even three different strains of sperm couldn't survive inside her poisoned womb. She killed potential children with a sponge soaked in vodka and condoms reinforced with self-pity.

So, it's unusual for her to be dreaming of pregnancy.

So, she wakes up screaming.

And a strong, lightly-haired, arm slides around her middle, pulling her back against a firm chest, cradling her to the rhythmic whisper of, "Shhh...it's okay. It's okay."

She shrugs out of his embrace and is glad his intoxicating, Kahlua-dark eyes are focused somewhere on the back of her head because they're the last thing she wants to be drunk on. "You're being a hero, Ned," she warns, dryly.

And her former cousin, current lover, simply laughs, rough like whiskey and water.

Better a hero, she thinks, than a father to a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Tomorrow...tomorrow she'll go to a meeting.

Tonight, she rises above him, straddling him on the rocks.

*God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.*

His fingers burrow into her hair, catching fire in the sherry flames.

*The courage to change the things I can.*

He sinks deep into her womb but not deep enough to fill it. Never deep enough to fill it.

*And the wisdom to know the difference.*

It's unusual for her to be dreaming of pregnancy.

Because she can't afford to.

She can't afford to hope.

--end--

May 1, 2003.



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