Musings
Breathing
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This is the second in my song fic series. The song is by Lifehouse.

Breathing
 

“Go away,” Elizabeth said forcefully staring angrily at Jason.

 

“Not going to happen, Elizabeth,” Jason said. “I know you’re angry but I also know you’re scared of storms and I’m not going to let you be alone. I’ll just sit out here in the hall.”

 

“Now you care?” Elizabeth said incredulously. “Now you worry about me being scared? What about all the nights I was terrified in your penthouse because you weren’t home and I hadn’t heard from you? How about when I was so scared that you had died with Sonny? You couldn’t be bothered with me then so why the hell are you acting like you care now?”

 

Jason stared at her, realizing that her walking out went deeper than Sonny’s fake death. He had thought that she was angry he lied about that and he could completely understand that but he was also sure that given time she would understand that Sonny’s death had been business and forgive him. The things she was saying now though made Jason realize it was going to be a much more difficult fight.

 

“I didn’t mean to make you scared, Elizabeth,” Jason said. “I thought you knew that I was good at my job, that I would be okay.”

 

“Conveniently forgetting that I found you shot and ready to bleed to death in the snow,” Elizabeth shot back. “But you would have been okay, I’m sure.”

 

“This wasn’t like that,” Jason said trying to explain only to have Elizabeth cut him off.

 

“I wouldn’t know since I can’t be trusted with the truth,” Elizabeth spat at him. “I mean, Carly sure, cuz we all know how good she is at keeping secrets and her temper but Elizabeth couldn’t know. She’s never been able to keep a secret, to let people make their own suppositions even when it cost her everything. Of course, I should have known this was so different from when you got shot.”

 

“I know you’re angry,” Jason said. “But I swear I didn’t do this to hurt you. I did it because it was my job.”

 

“I’m aware of that,” Elizabeth said. “I almost would prefer if you had meant to hurt me. It would probably be less painful. It’s funny but I never expected anyone to be able to make me feel this bad again. I mean, after my family and Lucky, I honestly didn’t think it was possible. But with them, they did it on purpose. They wanted to hurt me so it affected me so much less because I knew that. So if you had done it on purpose, to hurt me, I could have accepted that. But I can’t accept that you could hurt me this badly without even trying. I can’t and won’t put myself through being the last thing on someone’s list ever again.”

 

Jason blinked at her, completely astonished. He had absolutely nothing to say in response. He wasn’t much of a talker but it wasn’t usually lack of a response that kept him quiet.

 

He finally found his voice and said, “I refuse to give up on us. You can push me away, you can pretend you don’t know me, but I will not give up on us. I told you that you mattered to me and I meant it. If it takes the rest of my life to prove it, then so be it.”

 

Elizabeth regarded him coolly for several minutes before she shook her head sadly and said, “It’s too little too late, Jase. I can’t believe in your promises anymore.” With that she quietly shut the door.

 

Jason stood there for several seconds in disbelief. It would have been less painful if she had shot him. She didn’t believe in his promises anymore. Going from unshakeable faith to this was the most painful experience of his life. Right up there with losing his son. That was how he knew he would never be able to give up on Elizabeth—he wouldn’t survive. The thought brought a clarity he hadn’t had since he had come back to Port Charles. A small smile played on his lips as he sank to the floor outside her door. He would start by keeping this simple promise to her. He wouldn’t leave until she did because even if she never admitted it, she would feel better knowing he was there during the storm.

 

I'm finding my way back to sanity again

Though I don't really know what I'm gonna do when I get there

I take a breath and hold on tight

Spin around one more time

And gracefully fall back in the arms of grace

 

Cause I am hanging on every word you say

Even if you don't want to speak tonight

That's alright, alright with me

Cause I want nothing more than to sit outside heaven's door

And listen to you breathing

Is where I want to be, yeah

Where I want to be

 

The song started softly from down the hall but Jason heard in none the less. He wasn’t sure what was going on with him and songs lately but even his pragmatic soul couldn’t ignore the fact that the song he had heard in his penthouse had driven him as much as the storm when he left for Elizabeth’s studio. The song now playing in an apartment down the hall tugged at him too.

 

Then without warning the song got very loud, as if someone realized their favorite song was on and wanted everyone to hear it as well. Only it was two o’clock in the morning and people—Elizabeth—was trying to sleep. Jason sat there for a few seconds debating how to go about getting the music turned down when Elizabeth’s door swung open. She didn’t look at him, simply walked down the hall and pounded on the door the music was coming from. Jason stayed back but moved so he could see and intercept if necessary.

 

When the door swung open he was glad he had. The man at the door was slightly buzzed and very angry. It was clear that he and his girlfriend had been involved and he was pissed at being interrupted. He glowered down at Elizabeth but she glowered right back.

 

“You need to turn the music down,” Elizabeth said calmly. “Some of us have to get up and work in the morning.”

 

“This is my girl’s favorite song and she likes it loud,” the man said as if that ended that.

 

“I don’t care if it’s the Queen of England’s favorite song,” Elizabeth retorted. “Turn it down.”

 

“Look lady, it’s not my problem that you can’t get laid,” the man said. “But don’t be bringing me down with you.”

 

With that comment Jason shifted and the movement caught the man’s eye. He may have been buzzed but it didn’t take more than a few seconds for him to recognize Jason. His eyes got wide and when he looked down at Elizabeth she was glaring at the enforcer.

 

“Don’t you dare come down here, Jason,” Elizabeth warned. When Jason didn’t reply but didn’t move either, she turned back to the man in the doorway. “Look just turn down the music.”

 

“Sure, I, uh didn’t realize you had company,” the man said. “Sorry.”

 

With that he disappeared back inside and the music level immediately decreased. Elizabeth turned around and walked back to her studio not looking at Jason again before going inside and shutting the door. Jason sighed but settled back down on the floor outside her door.

 

I'm looking past the shadows in my mind into the truth

And I'm trying to identify the voices in my head

God, which ones you

Let me feel one more time what if feels like to feel

And break these calluses off me one more time

 

Cause I am hanging on every word you say

Even if you don't want to speak tonight

That's alright, alright with me

Cause I want nothing more than to sit outside of your door

And listen to you breathing

Is where I want to be, yeah

 

 

The next morning Jason was still sitting in the hall outside Elizabeth’s door when the man from down the hall came out of his apartment. He stopped suddenly, looking uneasy when he saw Jason sitting there. Then he squared his shoulders and walked toward the enforcer.

 

“I, um, I’m sorry about last night. I was a little buzzed and I didn’t mean to disrespect your girlfriend,” the man said. “But, uh, why are sitting in the hall?”

 

“I’m not his girlfriend,” Elizabeth said walking out of her studio and heading down the hall to shower.

 

The man looked back at Jason and suddenly his eyes hardened. “Look, man, I don’t care who you work for, you don’t get to stalk anyone.”

 

The man had expected to get shot or at the least punched so he was shocked when Jason grinned.

 

“I’m not stalking her,” Jason said. “She’s mad at me so I sat outside instead of inside.”

 

“Oh,” the man said embarrassed. “Well, when my girlfriend gets mad at me, I buy her flowers or jewelry. That usually works.”

 

Elizabeth can’t be bought,” Jason almost growled remembering the white roses Lucky always gave her.

 

“Um, that isn’t what I meant,” the man said. “I mean, they are like a physical apology cuz sometimes words don’t cut it and I’m not very good with them.”

 

Jason just looked at him, more than ready for the man to leave. He took the hint and went to the stairs. Jason sat there waiting for Elizabeth to come back down the hall. He couldn’t help it but the other man’s words had gotten to him. ‘Sometimes words don’t cut it.’ Well that was fine with Jason he was more action oriented anyway. Apologizing hadn’t worked so he would go with his original plan from last night. He would allow his actions to show that he wanted her in his life and that he wasn’t giving up on them.

 

Oh I don't want a thing from you

Bet you're tired of me waiting for

The scraps to fall off of your table to the ground

La da da da...

Cause I just want to be here now

 

Cause I am hanging on every word you say

Even if you don't want to speak tonight

That's alright, alright with me

Cause I want nothing more than to sit outside heaven's door

And listen to you breathing                  

Is where I want to be, yeah

Where I want to be

 

Elizabeth walked down the hall, her wet hair glistening and Jason’s mouth went dry at how beautiful she was.

 

“Why are you still here, Jason?” Elizabeth asked tiredly.

 

“I told you I wasn’t going to give up and I told you that I wouldn’t leave you alone during the storm,” Jason said.

 

“And I told you what I thought of your promises,” Elizabeth glared at him.

 

“I know,” Jason said softly. “I know that words aren’t going to make you trust me again. Only actions will do that. So I kept the promise I made last night and I will keep the rest that I make and I will show you that I want you, I need you in my life. I won’t give up and then you’ll see that I mean it.”

 

With that Jason strolled down the hall leaving Elizabeth gaping and the words from the song last night played over and over in both theirs heads.

 

Cause I am hanging on every word you say

Even if you don't want to speak tonight

That's alright, alright with me

Cause I want nothing more than to sit outside heaven's door

And listen to you breathing

Is where I want to be, yeah

Where I want to be

 

 

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