Title: "How to Slash a Soap In Ten Ways"
Author: Mala
E-mail: malisita@yahoo.com
Fandom: "General Hospital"
Rating/Classification: 'PG-13', angst, humor, f/f and m/m slash, various pairings.
Disclaimer: Nope. Don't own them. This isn't canon.
Summary: Have you ever noticed that soap slash, for the most part, is a scary, scary, thing? My reaction to the horror was to write ten short, slashy, scenes involving some of the residents of Port Charles. Some of these are plausible and others *really* aren't.

Courtney stared long and hard at the other girl, watching her start to squirm with the tub of cleared dishes hanging low in her hands. "This isn't really about Jason, is it?" she wondered, slowly, aloud. "It's never been about Jason."

"What?" Elizabeth's brown eyes contracted with that spiteful anger ...that spark that meant she was about to go Robo-Waitress. "Of course it has...you stole him from me..."

"Shut up," she interrupted, swiftly, whisking the dishes away, slamming them down behind the counter, before grabbing the shorter girl's too-skinny arm and dragging her into the kitchen, away from prying eyes. "I've heard it. A thousand times. And it doesn't wash. I don't believe you."

Late nights working till close. Elizabeth's elbow brushing her side. Fighting with the dish soap and splashing water all over each other...not-so-angry-at-all eyes lingering on the damp spots on her blouse like the hungry gazes of those creeps at the Oasis.

Elizabeth huffed, her mouth all prissy and bow-like as she put her hands, defiantly, on her hips. "So, what do you think it's about?"

"I don't 'think'," Courtney assured, with a tight smile. "I know."

And to prove it, she kissed her.


Jason was like his right arm. His right leg. His right brain. Everything right. And what he'd done was wrong. Betrayal of the worst kind. Jason seeing his sister...despite the fact that they both knew it could get Courtney killed. Continuing to see her. Flaunting it.

Flaunting that he'd chosen her over him.

Sonny Corinthos was not a man who admitted such things easily. Not to himself, not to Carly, not to anyone. But being without Jason was killing him.

And when he woke up still dreaming of Jason's firm hand trapped in his grip, Jason's steady eyes lingering on his face, he knew it had gone on too long.

He rolled over in bed and reached for the phone, careful not to wake Carly...who would probably murmur a sleepy, "I told you so"...and followed his heart.

Before it broke.


He heard bells. They said that's what you heard when you were in love. But he wasn't in love...just having a round of mind-blowing sex with his ex-girlfriend's brother against a brick wall...so it couldn't be bells...and as he wrapped his hands in the other man's hair, he realized it was the sharp, shrill, tone of the cell phone that was pressing into his left kidney.

"A-aren't you going to answer that?" he wondered, raggedly, resting his head against the uneven, patchy, wall.

"In a minute." Cool breath fanned across the back of his neck, efficient hands that had once given him bruises did something far more mutually satisfying.

By the time Jason was done with him, pressing a handkerchief into his hands with the terse direction of, "Clean yourself up...and forget this ever happened," the cell phone had stopped ringing. And the stone-cold hitman didn't move to return the call. To even check the log. He just walked away.

As if whoever called hadn't mattered. Was nothing more than an inconvenience.

Zander was oddly comforted by the notion that he wasn't alone.


He tapped his fingers on the bar, thinking of music he didn't have time to write, to put lyrics to...lullabies for his baby girl...a dirge for Faith in her widow's weeds...a requiem for a dream.

He thought, as he watched his best friend, and former adversary, approach...that maybe the big blond lug had it right...it was time to swear off women who screwed you and screwed you over for free.

He had two dead loves...his first and his most recent...and everyone in between had been a divorce or a no-show at the church. His friendship with Jax...even though it had been rooted in massive business hatred...had lasted longer than most of his relationships with anyone else.

Jax could probably say the same, given the travesties of what had happened with Miranda, Brenda, Chloe, Skye, and then Brenda *again*.

What they needed was an anthem...an "I Will Survive" for the well-to-do male set that they could sing drunkenly to themselves at the PC Grill.

"What's that godawful tune you're humming, Ned?"

"'One Bourbon, One Beer, One Scotch'," he replied, wryly.

Jax returned the perversely acerbic favor with, "I didn't ask what you were drinking."

"You're getting me confused with Junior...I'm not the alcoholic in the family," he reminded, swirling the dregs of his bourbon around in its tumbler.

"No...you're just addicted to women who die, leave you, or are terribly bad for you. You need to swear 'em off." The observation was entirely too cheerful and smug. "We don't need them."

Ned couldn't help but arch an eyebrow. "Is this where you suggest we go back to your penthouse and watch gay porn?"

Jax's boisterous laughter...a rarity these days...echoed throughout the Grill, causing patrons to swivel and crane their necks so they could see into the bar area. But he didn't seem to care. He simply leaned forward, devilish blue eyes sparking with challenge...with a godawful tune of their own..."Well, I hadn't thought of *that*...but now that you mention it..."

He was no longer tapping his fingers on the bar but on his friend's thigh, the grin quirking on his lips half-teasing and half-serious. "Mention," he said once. And then they rose, together..."Mention."

He slung one arm around Jax's shoulders and as they lurched into the elevator, Jax leaned down and whispered it against the curve of his throat. "Mention."

It had a nice rhythm.

Well, imagine that...their anthem had the beginnings of a chorus.


"You're wound tight, tonight, AJ," Coleman drawled, wryly, grabbing a pint glass from the shelf directly behind him. "You need to loosen up."

"Says the bartender to the drunk." The other man was more disgusted than amused, which made the bartender in question wonder exactly why he'd chosen today to darken the door and smoky interior of Jake's.

AJ didn't drink as much as his sister and didn't play pool. Which meant he must've come for a shot of Coleman's winning personality. Or he needed help with some blackmail. Or stalking. Oh, how wonderful.

"Do you want a drink or are you going to stare at me like I've got stock tips trapped in my teeth?" he snapped after two straight minutes of AJ's nearly-black eyes boring into his face.

"Actually, neither," AJ said after a while, flashing the million dollar perfect smile that went with the silver spoon stuck in his gullet.

"Then, what?" Coleman watched the last few patrons of the night stumble out the door, making a mental note to check the police scanner in an hour for pick-ups. And maybe that's why he was slow to notice AJ's hand, with the shiny Rolex on the wrist, close around his collar. "What the Hell, Man?!?" he demanded, growling.

"I just wanna try slumming, " the rich little punk slurred against his mouth.

Coleman tasted the three shots of vodka Junior had consumed before coming in. And fire.


Skye was convinced that there were no lesbians in Port Charles. She knew because she'd looked. You couldn't throw something without hitting a junkie or a drunk, but finding a girl who was as "boarding school" trained as herself seemed to be impossible.

Which was why, she supposed, that Jax telling her all about Alexis's boarding school days gave her some measure of hope. Apparently, little Bianca Montgomery, over in Pine Valley, didn't have the East Coast monopoly on hot girl-on-girl action.

She was through chasing away her pain with booze. With men like Coleman.

It was time to find comfort with someone who really understood...who truly understood what it was like to be alone and needy...who had a rounded belly and gentle hands.

She was convinced that there were no lesbians in Port Charles. And she needed someone to tell her differently. But now was not the time to knock on Alexis Davis's door.


It was a Catholic tradition to light a candle for everyone you'd lost. It was a Cassadine tradition to wipe the blood off the knife after you pulled it out of someone's back.

Alexis...no, *Natasha*...had long since learned that there weren't enough candles in the world to make remembrances for everyone she'd had to let go. Her mother, her father--such as he was...her sister once and then again. Almost her baby. Chloe.

She hadn't thought about Chloe in a long time. Too long. And most of the time, she didn't regret the oversight. She had goals. Beating the murder rap, keeping custody of Kristina, making sure Sonny didn't find out that he was her real father...making sure Ned didn't go too far in his crusade to be her replacement one They were *good* goals. Important.

Goals she would not have had if it had been her, not Chloe, getting hit by that car. As had been the intention.

She'd buried her best friend long before she buried her sister. And she didn't even remember the tears she had shed. But perhaps she couldn't bear to.

Because along with those tears came the memory of long nights spent drinking red wine and secrets from each other's mouths like girls at a slumber party.

It was a Catholic tradition to light a candle for everyone you'd lost. It was a Cassadine tradition to wipe the blood off the knife after you pulled it out of someone's back.

It was her own tradition to pretend that Merlot and the memory of Chloe Morgan had never mixed on her tongue.


People always asked him what he had against Sonny Corinthos. And he stared them down until they slunk off with their tails between their legs. It was obvious what he had against one of the most notorious crime bosses in upstate New York. Who in law enforcement *wouldn't* have something against Sonny?

But deep inside, he knew they were asking the wrong question. And he was grateful.

They never asked what Sonny had against him. What Sonny held against him one night during a power outage in Bensonhurst. Hot, sweaty ...fans blowing long and hard in the neighborhood windows...he'd been waiting for Deke to come by and take him to the academy to sign up. You had to be eighteen, but he was seventeen-and-a-half and raring to go, to be like Deke since his own daddy had left him and Gia to marry up, marry better, and have better kids.

But Deke didn't walk by the stoop...Sonny did. And it was bright and sweltering and the other boy laughed at him, asked him if he really wanted to know what Deacon Woods could offer. Before he could answer, there was a fist slamming into his belly, a bruising mouth on his, and the grind of something hard and familiar against his thigh.

"You like that, Marcus? You like that, huh?"

His lips were bloody when he touched them, and Sonny was already whistling and crossing the street. He kept waiting for him to turn around, to laugh again...to look back. To apologize. To take it back. To move it forward.

He never did.

People always asked what he had against Sonny Corinthos.

He would never really know.


Lucky kind of, sort of, liked boys. He did. It was one of those dark secrets he didn't dare share with his father...who would probably start beating himself up for never taking an active role in parenting. But he really couldn't help it. Couldn't help noticing that Zander had great hair or that Jason had tight abs or that Nikolas really did walk like a prince...and wasn't *that* a weird thing to stare at since Nik was his half-brother and he loved him dearly?

He chalked it up to residual Spencer-Cassadine angst. The "looking at Nikolas" thing...not the "liking boys" thing. He didn't know *what* to chalk the "liking boys" thing up to.

He was taking Psych 101 at PCU now, so he could theorize that it was because he'd been mostly raised by a mother who, inevitably, got dominated by men.

But, really, it was more simple than that.

He kind of, sort of, liked boys because they were fucking hot.


Courtney had kissed a girl or two in her time. She found girls to be a welcome improvement over louses like her ex-husband AJ. And, like those "or two", Elizabeth kissed her back with a wonderful amount of enthusiasm. But, to her abject surprise, the other girl then pulled back and shook her head, stamping her foot and muttering, "No...no...no."

"What do you mean 'no'? I was right. This was about *me*. You wanted me this whole time, didn't you?" she demanded.

Elizabeth, all soft and flushed, and sexy, nodded, looked terribly miserable for someone who had just discovered a better kisser than Ric Lansing, Jason Morgan, and Lucky Spencer combined. "Yeah...yeah, I did."

"Then, what's the problem?" Courtney couldn't resist a dry smile that was eerily reminiscent of one Sonny's smirks. "Since I've helped you come to terms with that, we should be fine now, right? No more bitch fights in front of the customers?"

"Yeah...yeah, we're fine." A waved hand, but the look of sorrow didn't disappear. "You don't understand...you're a great kisser...too great..."

"How can anyone be 'too great' at kissing?"

Elizabeth squeezed her eyes shut, took a deep breath, and then looked at her again. As if the question was too hard for her. "My best friend, Emily..." she said, finally. "She moved away. And I promised her...I promised her, I wouldn't...not since she left...only boys."

Well, THAT certainly explained more about the repressed-jealousy diner drama that had pervaded their lives. Courtney sympathetically patted her shoulder. "Don't worry. I won't tell a soul. We can keep this between us."

The divider to the kitchen swung open. "Too late," interrupted a tall, beautiful, girl with dark hair. "*What* is going on around here?"

Elizabeth slipped, immediately, from her arms and weakly smiled at the person who could only be, as the grand entrance and 'caught red-handed' feeling indicated, Emily Quartermaine. "Uh...welcome home. Did you have a nice flight?"

"Yeah. It was great. 'Too great'," Emily said, with more than a hint of one of her brothers' deadpan humor and the other's bitter sarcasm.

Courtney bit the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing. And when that didn't work, she simply moved to the sink and poured a glass of tap water, sloshing it everywhere as she giggled helplessly. "Don't worry. This is Port Charles...I swear, it's in the water."

Emily eyed the proffered glass with suspicion. And then she shrugged. "Oh, what the Hell." She knocked back the water, some of it spilling down and dampening her chic, tight, top.

Courtney and Elizabeth simply looked at one another and smiled.



March 18, 2003.

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