"It's Lucky, Luke. He's in a coma." Luke, who had no idea that his son had been in a car accident at all, was completely shocked.
"What? How?" he asked his sister.
"Ask Lana. I just got here and I have a patient to tend to." Bobbie left for Lucky's room. Luke and Laura turned to Lana.
"Well, Lasha?" Luke asked.
"Lucky and I got into a fight," she sighed. "We started yelling at one another and he ran out and drove off. A few seconds later I heard this horrible sound," Lasha shuddered, remembering. "And I ran outside and it was his car. I ran inside and called the ambulance. Then I went over to see what I could do, but I didn't want to move him or anything because I feared I would injure him further. The other car had driven off." Lasha bit her lip, telling herself again that she would not cry.
"What do you mean 'had driven off'? Did you see the other vehicle?" Luke asked.
"Yes. It was, uh, blue. It was pretty beat up too." Lasha recalled. Luke turned and walked off.
"Don't worry. He's going to try and find the other car," Laura sighed. "Imagine, with all of our enemies, it was a car that put my son in a coma."
"That's not how he'll see it. He'll see that a Cassadine has put him into a coma."
"Luke? He won't think that. He's actually--"
"Not him. Lucky. He'll blame this whole thing on me."
"That won't make you Cassadine. It wasn't planned well enough," Laura half laughed. "For God's sake, Lucky pushed Nikolas down a staircase!"
"What is it with Spencers and stairs anyway?" Lasha asked. Laura's sad smile vanished.
"That will make you Cassadine." Laura said sadly. Before either one could say another word, a doctor came up to them.
"Hello, Mrs. Spencer. I'm Dr. Barak. You may see your son now." Laura followed Dr. Barak towards Lucky's room. Lasha began to follow her, but Dr. Barak's thin strong arm stopped her.
"I'm sorry, miss. Family only." Dr. Barak said shortly.
"It's all right, doctor. She's with me." Laura replied. The doctor moved her arm aside, apologizing. Laura and Lasha walked inside the well-lit room where Lucky lay, attached to what seemed like hundreds of wires. Bobbie stood up from where she had knelt to attach a wire.
"Bobbie, how is he?" Laura asked.
"It's too soon to tell." Bobbie replied to Laura's stricken face as Lasha slinked guiltily out of the room.
A Few Weeks Later...
Laura walked slowly into the room, putting her arm on Lasha's weary shoulder. Lasha looked up at Laura, her eyes tired, her body exhausted. Laura pressed her lips together, her face set with a mixture of sadness and worry.
"Lasha. Please go home and rest. You can't keep this up for much longer. You've gone nowhere except school and here for the past month," Laura pleaded.
"I am responsible, Laura. I'm not leaving unless I have to. I have to be here when he wakes up so I can apologize for what I did," Lasha replied.
"I'm going to get some coffee. Do you want anything?" Laura sighed.
"No. I'm fine. Bobbie made me eat an hour ago." Lasha tried to smile, but it only came out as a pained grimace. Laura turned and left, quietly shutting the door behind her. Lasha was left alone in the room with Lucky again. She began humming sadly to herself as she stared at Lucky's face, his eyes closed peacefully, his face still. Bobbie came in again.
"What are you humming?' Bobbie asked, changing the IV.
"Oh. It's called Solvejgs Lied*. It's German." Lasha replied,
"Wow. You know German?"
"Not really," Lasha admitted. "Just that the song is German. I only know the English translation. It's about a woman waiting eternally for this man to return."
"How gruesomely appropriate." Bobbie saddened, but had to leave to tend to other patients. Alone again, Lasha sang softly to herself.
"The winter may go and the spring may die, the spring may die / The summer may fade and the year my fly, the year may fly / But thou art surely coming, I know thoult be mine / I know thoult be mine," Lasha continued singing the song very softly, closing her weary eyes.
Lucky heard a song. It was very faint, but he heard it. He wondered what it was. Struggling, he opened his eyes. He saw, out of focus, a dark haired girl sitting near him, half singing, half humming. He blinked again. He recognized the girl. Lasha. He said to himself. Why did I hate her? Lucky wondered. She was a Cassadine through no fault of her own. I'm an idiot, he thought. He reached over and weakly tried to touch her hand.
Lasha jumped at someone's touch. Her eyes flew open. The hand furthest from Lucky flew to her mouth and her eyes overflowed with the tears she'd been holding back for months.
"Oh my God, you're alive!" she whispered, feeling as though she should be screaming but couldn't find her voice.
"L-Lasha, I'm sorry." Lucky struggled to get the words out.
"You? It's all my fault. If I hadn't started that fight..." she trailed off, wiping the tears from her eyes with her hands.
"No. I was being an idiot. I realize that. I shouldn't have snubbed you because of your family." Lucky replied. Lasha felt her heart would explode with joy.
"I better go get your mother. She'll want to know." Lasha stood as if to leave. On an impulse, she leaned down and kissed Lucky on the cheek. "I'll be right back," she said, walking out of the room.
"Amy!" she called to the busybody nurse at the desk. "Call Bobbie and Laura and Luke! Lucky's awake."
"He's what?!" Laura exclaimed, who had been walking towards them with her coffee when Lasha spoke.
Lasha grabbed Laura's hand and they raced over to Lucky's room, nearly knocking over a man Lasha did not recognize who was walking to the elevator.
"Excuse me!" Stefan Cassadine uttered under his breath. He saw only the backs of the women who had nearly run into him without a word and into an ICU room. He looked in the window of the room and nearly fell over in shock. Lucky Spencer was hooked up to about twenty different machines and Laura Spencer was visiting him! Then Stefan gasped.
"Nicole?" he whispered. No, it couldn't be. Nicole was gone. And she was much older than the girl there. Stefan watched Laura stand up and walk out of the room, leaving the girl alone with Lucky, sitting next to him on the bed. She started to walk towards the nurses' station. She stopped suddenly, spying Stefan looking into Lucky's room. She tried to duck out of the way, but it was too late.
"Welcome back to town, Lasha. Who is your visitor?" he asked.
"That's Lana James. Her parents died shortly after I moved to Switzerland and she's been living with me ever since." Laura replied, nervously. Lasha's uncanny resemblance for Nicole practically made her a moving target for Helena. Especially now that Stefan had seen her.
Stefan stared straight at her. "She looks like Nicole."
"Does she? I-I hadn't noticed." Laura replied nervously. An uncontrollable smile crept to her face as she looked past Stefan into her son's room.
"What?" he demanded, turning around to see Lasha and Lucky kissing. Stefan turned abruptly and stalked away. Laura, happy that her son had gotten over his prejudice, ran for Lucky's room, making sure to knock first.
"L-Lana!" Laura said hastily, shutting the door with her elbow.
"What?" Lasha asked sitting up.
"Ever considered dyeing your hair and getting colored contacts?"
"What?!" Lasha and Lucky said in unison, smiling at one another.
"Stefan just saw you in here." The smiles vanished from Lucky and Lasha's faces. "Lasha, you look exactly like Nicole. He recognized you, her, whatever, immediately!" Luke chose this moment to walk into the room,
"Hiya, kid. Glad to see you awake. You look rather happy!" Luke quipped.
"Luke! There's a problem!" Laura tried to interrupt.
"Anyone seen Count Vlad today?" Luke continued.
"Who?" Lasha asked.
"Stefan," Lucky whispered.
"Ol' Doctor Death looks as though he's seen a ghost!" Luke grinned. His satiric expression dropped when he saw the looks on the surrounding faces.
"He has." Laura replied grimly, looking at Lasha, who had become extremely pale.
"Nikolas. May I have a word with you?" Stefan asked that evening at Wydemere.
"What is it?" Nikolas asked, checking his watch. He hoped this would be short, he had a date soon.
"I need you to keep an eye out for a girl at your school," Stefan began. Nikolas raised one eyebrow in curiosity. "Now, you might not remember, but until you were about eight or nine, there were two other people on the island. A woman and a very young girl, my wife and daughter."
"Nicole and, and... it was something strange." Nikolas recalled.
"Lasha. She was three years younger than you. I was at the hospital today and I ran into your mother."
"Laura's home?" Nikolas asked in disbelief.
"Apparently. Now, she and this girl were visiting Lucky in the hospital-"
"What happened to Lucky?" Nikolas wondered aloud.
"Car accident or something." Stefan sighed, annoyed at the distraction of Nikolas.
"Sorry. Do continue."
"Now this girl was about fifteen or sixteen, something like that. You may even recognize her if you see her. She looks exactly like Nicole." Nikolas suddenly remembered the girl he ran into and although his facial expression did not change, his mind was miles away. Stefan continued, believing he had Nikolas' undivided attention. "Your mother said that the girl's name was Lana James and she was from Switzerland. I have not had the chance to speak with the girl, but I do believe that she might actually be Lasha."
"What did Nicole look like? I don't remember. Do you have a photograph or a likeness of her?" Nikolas asked, wondering if the girl he had seen was his cousin. Stefan rose and walked over to the wall safe. He unlocked it and pulled out several photographs which he handed to Nikolas.
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