Sonny didn't want him working for him any more. Jason didn't want to believe it, but he heard the words. He couldn't tell himself they weren't true. He heard them. Across his hospital room, Robin stood there and watched him closely. Then, Jason knew the truth. She put Sonny up to it. She made Sonny tell him that he didn't want him around anymore. The truth hurt, but it couldn't be denied.

He told her he knew what she did. She cried on Sonny's shoulder. She brought up Stone. She dealt Sonny a handful of cards loaded with guilt and Sonny gave in. Jason looked away from her. He couldn't bear to look at her.

"I don't understand," Robin said, her voice filled with tears.

Jason hated to hear her cry. It tore him up all over again. "You used to," he mumbled.

"Why do you think that your job is your life?" She threw the questions at him unexpectedly. "Why do you think that there's nothing else worth living for? Do you know how that makes me feel?"

He knew the answer to the last one. "It makes you feel like I oughta be living for you."

More words came from both of them. They went round and round in circles. Robin tried to justify her actions and Jason responded with what he knew to be true.

"When I woke up from that accident there were only two people who looked like they knew what they were doing that made sense to me and that was you and Sonny. So I watched you guys. When people said 'hello', you said 'hello.'" He drew in a deep breath as he added, "When people would cry, you'd touch them here... And I watched how all these things worked, Robin, and you were the best at them than anybody. So when you told me to do something, I did it."

She became still as she listened to him and the tears started to fall. They talked some more, but Jason knew that there would be no turning back. She did the one thing he never expected of her. She lied to him. Finally, she told him that he had to make a choice. Life with her or life with Sonny. It wasn't a fair choice. He knew no other life than the one he had with Sonny. He couldn't learn another one.

So the decision was made. They would end things now in a hospital room where everything between them pretty much began. Tears rolled down his cheeks. Jason didn't waste his time in wiping them away. More would fall anyway.

The bed dipped under her slight weight as she sat beside him. Her hand closed over his and he held on to her tightly. "Will you promise me you'll never get sick?" he pleaded amid his tears. "Promise me you'll never get sick. You said that I was never afraid of anything. That was never true until now."

Robin looked back at him. Her own face wet and her eyes sad. "I promise you there will never come a day that I don't love you. There will never come a day that I don't feel lucky that something so wonderful could have happened to me."

They kissed and then much quicker than Jason wanted, she was gone. Gone from his life and he knew she would never come back. He wept for hours.

~**~

The scene in the hospital happened months ago. Jason didn't know that having Robin out of his life could hurt so much. When people talked about love and being heartbroken, he couldn't understand it. He thought those were just words used to keep a person in line to make them feel guilty, to make them feel like they owed the other person something. He knew he was wrong. The words meant something and now, he knew first hand what it was to love and to have your heart break into a million pieces every day.

He went out to their bridge often. Robin's presence was strong there. He could remember the way she felt in his arms. How her lips tasted and the way her brown eyes lit up when she looked at him. Those thoughts didn't ease it pain, but it was the only thing he could do. She was gone.

One day he was on the bridge and his thoughts drifted to Robin again. Instead of remembering the good times, he thought about the bad. The last time he saw her. The words they said came back to him. He remembered how he learned everything from her and he remembered something she said to him.

Then, he realized there was something he needed to do. He left the bridge in a hurry, never looking back and never once believing that his intentions were in error or too late to mean anything.

~**~

"What God has joined together, let no man put asunder. I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride."

Keesha smiled into AJ's shining blue eyes and waited for his kiss. He did not disappoint. His arms closed around her and pulled her soft curves against his hard body. His firm, sensual lips claimed hers, devouring her and making promises that their wedding night would be memorable. By the time the kiss ended, the spectators at their wedding were cheering, clapping and laughing.

Her cheeks felt hot with embarrassment, but when she looked at her new husband, she saw that his face only glowed with his love for her. Her embarrassment faded and she faced her family and friends with a bright smile.

The ceremony and reception were held at the Quartermaine estate. Keesha looked around and saw that everyone seemed happy and pleased. Even her father's face held no twinge of regret. Her union with AJ truly had his blessings.

AJ's hand closed around her waist. "Let's get out of here," he whispered against her ear.

She laughed. "We can't leave now. We just cut the cake."

He pouted. "Please. I just want a few minutes alone with my wife. Can't I have that? Pretty please?"

She couldn't tell him no. Not when he looked at her like that. She nodded. "Okay, AJ. But we're not going upstairs to your room!"

"How about the gazebo?" When she nodded, he took her hand and led her through the crowd. He spoke briefly to Emily. "If anyone needs us, we're in the gazebo, but that's just between you and us. Don't broadcast it to the entire world, okay sis?"

"Okay," Emily agreed.

They reached the gazebo without incident. AJ sat on the bench and wasted no time in pulling Keesha onto his lap. She brushed blonde strands of hair from his eyes and he smiled. "Are you happy, Keesha?"

"Yes," she said. "I'm very happy, are you?"

"I can't find the words to describe it," he said in a husky voice. "I want to give you everything. I don't ever want to give you a reason to regret being married to me. I'm sober and I'm gonna take every day one day at a time to remain that way. Do you believe me?"

"Yes, I do. I wouldn't have married you otherwise." She kissed his cheek, his nose and finally his lips. "I believe in you, AJ, and I believe in us."

He rested his head against her breast and sighed. "I can't wait for the honeymoon."

She giggled. "You are too much!"

He laughed as he looked at her again. "Well, some things about me will never change."

"That's good to know."

They kissed again, slow and deep. A loud cough brought a premature end to their passionate embrace. They pulled apart to see Emily's smirking face staring at them. "Grandfather wants to see you, AJ. He says it's important."

Keesha rose from his lap and AJ stood. He took her hand to lead her back to the wedding party, but she shook her head. "I want to stay out here for a few minutes and smell Lila's roses."

"Okay." He kissed her cheek before turning to Emily. He grabbed his sister's hand. "Lead the way."

Keesha watched her new husband and new sister-in-law walk across the lawn. She couldn't help but smile. AJ would make a wonderful father one day. She looked forward to the day they'd become parents. Her smile widened. She looked forward to every day with him. She knew they would be happy together.

Then, a chill swept over Keesha. She turned quickly. Jason stood at the opening of the gazebo. His sapphire eyes bored into her and unnerved her a little. "What are you doing here?" she asked.

"I wanted to talk to you."

Keesha frowned. What could he possibly want to tell her now? He'd already said more than enough to her when he first woke up from the accident. If he came to ruin her wedding day, he'd soon learn that he didn't have the power to do so.

He must have read her thoughts on her face as he quickly said, "I didn't come here to hurt you."

"What do you want?" she asked. "We don't have anything to talk about."

He sighed. "No, we don't, but I do have something to say to you."

"Well, hurry up," she said a little impatiently. "AJ is waiting for me. If I don't come back soon..."

"He'll come out here," Jason finished for her. "Yeah, I know."

He moved further inside the gazebo, but made on move to get too close to Keesha. He swallowed hard, all the while staring at her. A part of Keesha was curious, but another part just wanted him to get on with it. In the deepest part of her soul, she still cared about him. The love she felt for his former self was buried deep and couldn't be tampered with. Besides, what she felt for AJ overrode the past. It strengthened her and gave her more joy than she ever imagined was possible. Come to think of it, maybe she didn't want to hear what Jason had to say. She opened her mouth to tell him so and then he spoke.

"I've learned something since the last time I saw you. I know what a broken heart feels like, and I know that you were hurting when I woke up from the accident-"

"Jason-"

"No, let me finish," he said when she interrupted him. "I didn't understand everything then. Few things made sense to me. What you felt for Jason Quartermaine wasn't real to me. I didn't know about love then, but I know about it now. I know that I was wrong to treat you the way I did. I shouldn't have. I shouldn't have disrespected you or the love you and Jason Quartermaine shared. I'm sorry, Keesha."

He didn't wait for a response or her forgiveness. He left the gazebo and strode across the lawn the way he had come.

"What did he want?" AJ asked, his voice hard and cold.

Keesha wrapped her arm around his waist to soothe him. She looked at him and with wonder in her voice said, "He wanted to talk to me and he did something I never expected."

"What was that?"

"He said the two hardest words... He said, 'I'm sorry.'"

AJ relaxed. "He was long overdue for that apology."

"It was more than that," she said, allowing him to lead her back to the reception. "He's growing. Just like the rest of us."

~The End~

[Author's note: The dialogue from Jason and Robin's breakup was taken from General Hospital. The rest of the story, however, is all mine.]

General Hospital ©ABC
The Hardest Words © 2001 niklovr
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