Lucky stared at his father. He never actually expected him to confess, but then again he never expected him to have been capable of such a thing. Without a word, Lucky grabbed his coat from the chair and began to walk out the door.
"Wait a second, we're not done talking."
"I have nothing to say to you, Luke." Lucky practically spit out the words, his rage completely taking over his emotions.
"Lucky, we fell in love and got married. That changes everything. Laura and I got past it!" Luke practically pleaded, still not quite back into his normal state.
"Mom is unique when it comes to her heart and her capability for self-delusion." Lucky replied, unconsciously echoing the words of Stefan Cassadine.
"I don't want to hear you or see you or even be anywhere near you right now!" Lucky stalked out of the house, slamming the door behind him.
"Lucky, what are you doing here?" Elizabeth exclaimed, opening the door for him.
"I left home," Lucky replied simply.
"WHAT?!" Elizabeth cried, ushering him into the living room. "What possessed you to make you leave?"
"He found out the truth."
Elizabeth gasped and her breathing became unsteady as Nikolas spoke from directly behind them. Lucky whirled around.
"You didn't tell me that he was here." Lucky stared at Nikolas coldly.
"I didn't know," Liz replied truthfully, trying to calm herself down. "Nikolas, what are you doing here?" she asked, her eyes full of fear and painful memories.
"I came to see Sarah. Am I right, brother? Did you find that long-hidden piece of Laura's history buried underneath Luke's heroic image?"
"Shut up, Nikolas. Stavros did the same damn thing to her over and over again."
"My father did no such thing."
"Fine. You ask Mom about him and try, just try not to see the pain and fear in her eyes!"
"Oh my God." Elizabeth broke in, drawing a shaky breath. "Lucky, your dad, Luke, did to Laura what that- he- oh my God- he did what the guy in the park-" Her eyes looked aimlessly around and she went very pale. Lucky cursed himself for even speaking to Nikolas.
"Yes, Elizabeth. I found out from Nikolas." Lucky knew that lying would only kill her later.
"You believed him?"
"It's true. Heard it straight from the source." Lucky laughed bitterly without any humor. Elizabeth looked at the two boys standing near her and sat down on the couch, her head feeling as though it was spinning off course.
"You poor mother. How could she get through this twice?"
"I don't know. But, Elizabeth, if she can then you can. She had to face him everyday and she got through this. You never have to see him again."
"My God, she married him? How - how could she do that? She knew didn't she? I mean, she knows?"
"The circumstances must have been completely different. They had to have been. Otherwise, she wouldn't have-" Elizabeth trailed off, closing her eyes to the pain.
"I don't know. I don't want to know. I just wish it had never happened." Lucky replied, looking at Elizabeth in concern.
"If it had never happened, neither of us would be alive today," Nikolas stated.
"What? My parents had been married for a while before I was born. And what do you have to do with anything anyway? Are you suddenly a Spencer or something?"
"If your father had not raped Laura then Scott Baldwin would have never punched Luke out on his wedding day and Laura would have married Jennifer Smith and the Cassadines would have kidnapped her instead of Laura." Nikolas explained.
"Are you saying that it was a good thing?" Lucky cried incredulously.
"No, but it's in the past and there is nothing we can do about it now. Lucky, let it drop."
"Like hell. Nikolas, you need to shut up. You - ugh! That's it. I'm outta here." Lucky raced out the door and started down the street.
"Lucky! Wait!" a pained voice called. Lucky turned around in the twilight.
"Elizabeth, it's freezing out here. Go back inside."
"No. Don't go. I'll kick Nikolas out. Just come back."
"It's not about Nikolas. It's about me and everything I thought I knew about my life," Lucky replied, pulling an old shirt out of his bookbag and handing it to her. She threw it on.
"Lucky you can't stay out here forever." Elizabeth sighed in annoyance, comforted slightly by the shirt.
"I won't. I'm leaving, Elizabeth. I came to say goodbye." Elizabeth's hand flew to her mouth.
"No! God, Lucky don't do this to me! Ever since that night, you've become like my support system. If you leave I'll fall apart!" Elizabeth's eyes glistened with tears. Lucky stared at her, nearly overcome by an urge to hold her and comfort her.
"I can't stay here." He turned away to clear his head. Elizabeth reached out and grabbed his shoulder to turn him towards her.
"Then take me with you," she said simply, tears falling down her cheeks. Lucky took her into his arms and held her as she cried. He knew he was going to make one of the hardest decisions of his life.
He was going to say yes. He was going to take her with him. Leave Port Charles forever.
Then it hit him.
If he left now, he would just be running. Running away from the truth, from the past, from himself. It wasn't right to take Elizabeth with him when she was still in a state of turmoil herself.
Lucky slowly pulled away from her. Elizabeth stared into his eyes, wondering, wishing she knew what he was thinking.
"You're right. I can't leave you. But running away won't solve a damn thing and it won't do either of us any good."
"You aren't leaving?"
"Nope." He smiled sadly, half at her, half to himself.
"Then what are you going to do? Are you going back?"
"I can barely stand being in the same city with, with him. I can't stay in that house. Everything I was led to believe in that house was a bunch of lies."
"Will you stay with your aunt or what?" Elizabeth wiped her tears away with the back of her hand.
"She's probably at that house right now."
"Yes. She's the reason I knew for sure." Lucky took a deep breath. "I asked her point blank if my father raped my mother. I could practically see her squirm . She told me to ask him. I was standing right by our answering machine, trying to decide what to do, when I heard her call and tell him to call her as soon as possible. That- that it was an emergency." Lucky steeled himself against anymore tears. It seemed like he had wept more in the past month than he had his entire life.
"So am I."
"Nikolas! You're early!" Sarah exclaimed, tripping lightly down the stairs. Nikolas slowly turned away from the window, telling himself that it was not his fault that Lucky's life was crashing down around him.
"Actually, I needed to tell you that I am leaving on a Cassadine trip and will not be able to accompany you out to dinner."
"Oh. Well, when will you be back?"
"I don't know. I will call you when I return."
"Okay. I guess I'll see you then." Nikolas kissed her quickly on the cheek.
"Jonas? I'd like to commission my jet to leave Port Charles tomorrow morning."
"I'm sorry, Mr. Cassadine, but your uncle already took the Cassadine jet this morning." Nikolas sat bolt upright.
"Was Miss Bell with him?"
"Where was he going? And Jonas, keep in mind who will be keeping you on payroll soon."
"North Carolina, sir."
"Is there another plane in Cassadine possession in Port Charles?"
"Then get it fueled up and ready to go in less than an hour!" Nikolas snapped, suddenly having an unbearable headache.
"Might I ask where? We need to know how much fuel is needed."
Nikolas stood outside the door of the small house, ready to knock. Ready to see Laura. Then he heard a familiar voice inside.
"Lasha, this is completely inappropriate! I specifically told you not to come anywhere near Port Charles or I would tell Luke everything!"
Nikolas knew he should knock. He knew he should leave. But he was frozen in motion, listening to his uncle and his mother. He knew Laura must have said something in reply, but the door muffled her voice so he could only hear Stefan speaking clearly.
"I'm sorry if my protection of you from my mother doesn't suit your husband! But I am not taking chances with you! . . . . . . Of course I have not told him! I do not want to hurt you, Laura. But if I must in order to protect our son, then I must! You can never return to Port Charles! The damage of you coming and going in Nikolas' life is too much. Helena has been hinting around enough as it is! . . . . . No, she does not know. She still thinks that I was a smitten schoolboy with an unanswered love for my brother's wife. . . . . Yes, I am sure. . . . . . . . . Laura! I would never resort to Helena's tactics. I do not forbid you to see him! You. . . . . . . Yes I know you wanted to return! . . . . . . Nikolas would not understand. . . . . What kind of father do you think I am? You want me to tell my son that I never let him see you because Helena would have killed us both? That I could not even send you pictures? That she forbid you any knowledge of whether he lived or died? What purpose would that serve, Lasha?"
Nikolas couldn't stand it anymore. He had to leave.
"Luke! Thank God I caught you! Lucky-" Bobbie stopped dead in her tracks. Luke was sitting alone on the couch, staring straight ahead of him, his eyes red, his face tired. Looking as though he had just been to hell and back.
"I know. I told him everything. Everything, Barbara. And he left." Luke looked at her as if he were in slow motion. "He's right. Laura's disillusioned. She still hasn't come to terms with what happened. She just made herself believe that it was something completely different. And I let her."
"Luke, you're scaring me." Bobbie's eyes grew wide. She stared at the stranger in her brother's body. The man she had never met before.
"What? Oh. Sorry. Just give me a minute. I'm caught between the past and the present and it ain't pretty." Luke replied, sounding like himself, but still having that look on his face.
"You didn't listen to me when I said Lucky would hear it from somebody else. Do you want Laura to?"
"Did you tell him?"
"No! Why would I do that? Call her Luke!"
"I don't want her to be in the middle of this!"
"She already is! What if Lucky calls her first?! She'll be completely off guard and won't know how to handle it!"
"Fine." Luke picked up his phone and dialed the familiar digits.
"Laura, what's wrong?. . . . . . Oh. OK. . . . . Um, listen, do you have a while to talk. . . It's about Lucky. . . . . .No, he's fine... physically. . . . . He found out... about the, uh, night at the disco. . . . ."
"Good morning, Nikolas. How did you sleep?"
"Just fine. Uncle, may I ask you something?" Nikolas asked craftily.
"I just want to make sure I had my facts straight before I get into another argument with Lucky." Nikolas noted Stefan's slight changes in face, the tightening of the jaw, the wrinkling of the brow.
"My father never raped Laura, correct?"
"That is absolutely correct!"
"And Laura refused to see me because of what Helena did to Lesley, correct?"
"Basically, yes," Stefan answered slowly.
"Stavros never raped my mother."
"Nikolas, I already said your father never raped her. Now is there some hidden meaning behind all of this interrogation?"
"No. It's just with everything happening to Lucky, I just wanted to be certain that I didn't have any family secrets I wasn't aware of."
"Ah. Well, I have a business meeting, if there isn't anything more...?"
"Not a thing." Nikolas smiled until Stefan left the room. "Father." he muttered, his smile turning into an angry scowl as he stalked out to find the only person who would understand. His brother.
"Lucky, I need to speak with you." Lucky sighed, turning to face his brother.
"How did you track me down?" Nikolas gave him a look. "Nevermind. Listen, Nikolas, I know I should be grateful to you for telling me, but I really-"
"You were right," Nikolas interrupted him.
"Oh! So you finally accepted that your father raped Mom. That's good. I see I'm not alone in the life shattering revelations this week."
"My father never did such a thing."
"Nikolas can you even hear yourself? Have you gone nuts? Are you getting in touch with your Cassadine side or something? Try talking to me again when you're somewhat sane." Lucky rolled his eyes and walked away.
"My father never raped her. Stavros did. Stavros is not my father."
Lucky froze and slowly turned around to face his- what was Nikolas? Not his enemy - not anymore. Certainly not his friend. Only his brother. Lucky took a deep breath.
"What are you talking about? You - you mean you disowned him or, or Stefan is more of a father figure or something like that, right?" Nikolas looked Lucky straight in the eye.
"My biological father is not Stavros Cassadine." Lucky turned away first.
"You don't know what you're talking about! The only people on the God forsaken island were Stavros and Mom and Helena and maybe Alexis and a few dozen servants and-" Lucky's stopped speaking. His eyes widened and his face became pale. "Oh shit. Not..." He trailed off, and looked at his brother for confirmation of his worst fears.
"Yep. Stefan Cassadine."
"Emily? Is that you?"
"Ned! Why are you calling? Shouldn't you be home by now?"
"I've got something that requires my immediate attention for a few weeks. Seems I'm going to be stuck here until mid-April. I'm glad I got you, Em. Can you tell the rest of the family without making a big deal out of it?"
"Sure thing, Ned."
"Bye." Emily hung up the phone. She stared at it thoughtfully for a few seconds before picking it up again.
"How long have you known?" Lucky asked. "Is this new knowledge, or am I just the last to know as usual?"
"I just found out two days ago."
"Then why have you always been so adamant about your father never raping Mom?"
"It never made any sense. Stefan would always jump to immediate defense if I even hinted that my father had hurt her in any way. I was thinking of Stavros. He was thinking of himself."
"What- he- Stefan TOLD you?"
"You had the good fortune to be told from the source. I had to overhear the sources discussing it."
"Whoa! Mom's home?"
"No. I followed him to North Carolina and overheard them talking."
"What was Stefan doing in North Carolina?"
"Checking up on her. Lucky, do you know why Laura left Port Charles?"
"To go to a special doctor in Switzerland for my grandmother."
"Wrong. It was because Stefan threatened to tell Luke and everyone who my father was."
"That's a surprise." Nikolas gave him a 'duh' look. Lucky sighed. "No, that she came back to North Carolina and everyone's still alive."
"You knew didn't you?"
"WHAT? I had no idea that Stefan was your- God, it makes me sick even thinking about it!"
"No, you knew that Lesley was ordered killed because Laura tried to see me."
"Of course. Helena would have killed Mom on sight, only she lost track of us briefly, so she went after Grandma. I thought everyone knew that."
"Everyone but me. It seems Stefan was protecting me from my own mother." Nikolas sat down and slammed his fist onto the seat. "Damn him!" A slight smile came to Lucky's face.
"Does Stefan know that you know?"
"No. I gave him a chance to tell me, but he didn't take it." Nikolas looked up, rubbing his knuckles. "Why?"
Lucky was practically grinning now.
"I've got a plan."
"You've got a plan? You sound like your father," Nikolas replied.
"And you sound like yours."
"Touche, mon frère."
"Whatever. Now the conditions of the plan are simple. No secrets and no disloyalty or going off on your own."
"Define secrets," Nikolas replied warily.
"We both tell all so we're always one step ahead of the liars. See, we wont have to cover our pasts so nothing will trip us up."
"Agreed. So, what's the plan?"
"It begins with Part One, Stefan." Lucky smiled.
**LATE AT NIGHT, ONE WEEK LATER**
"N. Found 3 of 5."
"3? Good job."
"And a new branch."
"Here, longer than you."
"Meeting at GH?"
"Good job, L."
"Ok, who'd you find?"
"One sixteen year old girl living in France. One twenty-something woman living in Australia momentarily. One nineteen year old boy living in California."
"Names and relation, please." Nikolas smiled in amusement.
"Nineteen year old, Andrew Grace, presumed dead son of Mikkos and Helena."
"You found Alexander?"
"Yes. Stefan faked his death and set him up somewhere."
"Twenty-something, Miranda Jameson."
"Daughter of Alexandria Quartermaine and Anthony Cassadine. Alex sent Miranda to live with her cousin, Tracy."
"Ugh. Who was the sixteen-year old?"
"Nikolas, you might want to sit down for this."
"Valéria Dubois, dark hair, dark eyes, sixteen," Lucky took a deep breath. "Your twin sister."
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