Chapter 38

She wanted to see AJ without him.

Jason wandered through General Hospital alone, bereft and without a sense of purpose. How could he make things right if she refused to lean on him? The moment when she took his hand played in his mind. The soft touch of her flesh molded to him. She was warm and feminine. Jason Quartermaine once described her caress as a treasure. Every time Jason Morgan was in her presence, he understood. And wanted more.

Not ready to go back to the garage, he headed for the hospital's garden. A few clouds warred with the sun's brilliance. A fountain took up the middle space and he decided to sit on a nearby bench. Directly in the sunlight, he closed his eyes and lifted his head to the sun.

Now, this felt weird. Losing his guard, closing his eyes in a public place. He would never have done this before. But his life wasn't as it was before. He realized that he made mistakes. He knew that he had a daughter. He sensed underlying emotions between him and Keesha. Everything had changed, but the world still saw him as the same person. For the first time, he didn't know what to do.

Two sets of footsteps sounded on the brick walkway. He opened his eyes and looked. Emily held Maya's hand and both were deep in conversation. They hadn't noticed him, so he enjoyed the chance to look at his little girl.

So beautiful.

He watched, hungry for moments to memorize. Then his breath caught in anticipation. In another second, they would see him. He would have to remain distant, unmoved. Although for the first time, he finally understood what it was to feel.


Keesha left the wheelchair in the hallway and carefully made her way inside AJ's room. A sob lodged in her throat. Flashbacks to winter 1995-1996 attacked her. She grabbed the wall for support.

As she took in slow, deep breaths, her gaze drifted around the room. So many machines and tubes connected to him. A symphony of beeps… She pushed herself from the wall, trying to ignore that each beep signified a heartbeat. If the beeps stopped, so did his heart.

Dear God, how could she go through this again?

Keesha pushed the question from her mind. Wallowing in self-pity wouldn't cure AJ. He needed her and that was all there was to it.

She reached his side and eased herself onto the guest chair. An IV led into his left hand so she gently slid hers underneath until their palms touched.

"AJ, I know you can hear me," she said with all the strength she could muster. "You have to fight for us. Maya and I need you, so does this baby I'm carrying. We have so much ahead of us. A good life, a happy life. Don't give up."

Tears blurred her vision. She struggled for enthusiasm. He looked so pale and fragile. White bandages formed a tight cap around his head. Bruises darkened his cheeks. He didn't resemble the energetic, robust man who played tag with Maya in the backyard and chased Keesha around the living room. Tony warned about AJ's communication abilities. She hadn't paused to consider that. Relief that his memories hadn't been damaged bubbled inside and overrode everything else. But now, she wondered.

"Focus on my voice, baby," she said. "This is Keesha. I love you and want you to wake up. Come back to me."

The hand on hers trembled. His eyelids fluttered open. She gasped. He turned his head toward her. A faint smile crossed his lips. Tension slowly flowed from her. She returned his smile and scooted closer to the bed.

His mouth parted. A frown creased his brow and a few unintelligible words escaped. Then, he managed, "Kee…"

Elated, she nodded, "Keesha, yes. I'm here, AJ. I'm right here."

He stared. His eyes seemed to take in everything as they raked over her face and body. His frown deepened. "Harm."

She searched her mind for understanding. Harm? She encouraged him with a smile. "I'm trying to understand."

"Kee harm. Kee harm."

"Keesha," she murmured, "that's me. Harm… Oh, was I hurt? No, I'm fine. Just a few bruises. Nothing major."

"Girl?" He looked past her and searched the room. "Girl?" His gaze was frantic as he looked at her again. "No here."

"Girl?" Keesha inwardly groaned. She should have heeded Tony's warnings.

"There isn't anyone else here. It's just you and me."

"Girl! No big girl," he insisted. "Girl. Need girl."

"You need the girl? She's small?"

He nodded.

"A small girl or maybe a little girl? Maya? Our little girl."

He squeezed her hand.

"She's fine," she assured him. "If Tony says it's okay, I'll bring her to see you."

"No here," he said. His words came slow and breathy. "No here."

She understood. "I won't bring her here. We'll figure something out."

He gave her a faint smile before falling asleep.

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