For Stone by Shari


Brenda wiped the tears that had begun to fall away as she thought yet again
about making love to Sonny in the caves. Her whole body hurt her. She wasn't
sure why, but she knew that she had to tell Jax. She had to tell him SOON.

She moved to the window and looked down into the city. Everything looked so
small. There was a knock at the door. Brenda slowly made her way over to
answer it. She smiled brightly when she saw who it was.

"Robin! Oh my God, what are you doing here?" She hugged her friend nice and
tight.
"Hiiiiiii." Robin smiled as Brenda let her in and closed the door.
"What in the world are you doing here? How long can you stay?" Brenda led her
friend to the sofa and sat her down.

"Just for a day, I had to come and see if you and Sonny were alright. Jason
told me...." Robin looked down at the floor.
"Yeah." Brenda's smile faded.
"What's wrong?"
"Sonny and I........we made love." Brenda looked up at er friend half ashamed
half giddy.
"Oh." Robin stared at Brenda in concern and disbelief. Brenda got up to make
herself a glass of water.
"I-I-I don't know, Robin. I mean, we were there and we thought we were going
to die. It just happened."
"Wow, Brenda." Robin stared at her friend yet again in disbelief and watched
as Brenda swallowed the whole entire glass of water in one gulp.
"There's more." Brenda sat down at the table and Robin joined her.
"MORE??" Robin ouldn't believe what she was hearing. Brenda started to cry.

"I don't know, Robin. He-we thought we were going to die and I just knew that
I couldn't, you know, lie or deny it anymore. I told Sonny that I loved him."
Brenda looked at her hands. "That was when we made love. It felt like-like we
had never been apart. It felt so, I don't know, so RIGHT. It's just that
whenever I am with Sonny I feel like somethng is missing and I don't want to
feel that way anymore. With Jax, I don't feel that way. Jax makes every thing
feel like it might be ok. I don't know what to do-what do I do, Robin?"

Robin smiled at her friend. "I don't want to say the wrong thing. You, you
have to tell Jax. But, talk to Sonny. I know him and he is waiting to here
from you-what all that meant. He is waiting for you to come back to him with
open arms. You have to decide who you want to be with and stick to it. I just
want you to be happy and not to be hurting.....Do.......do you love Sonny?"

Brenda ran her fingers through her hair, tears flowing rapidly down her face.
She got up and went to the window again. " I don't know Robin. I mean, yes I
do. I love him so much, it kills me. But, I love Jax too and Jax makes me
happy, he keeps me safe. Its just like now, since Sony and I made love and I
told him that I loved him-I I'm miserable. I can't kiss Jax on the lips, I
can hardly even look him in the eye! I don't want to hurt him. I can't hurt
him." She looked at Robin. "There-there is something else. Not to do with
Sonny."

Robin was flabbergasted. "You can tell me anything."
Brenda sighed as she sat back down. She ran her fingers through her hair
again and looked down. "When we were in the cave, I was going through
withdrawl from my pills. I think I am addicted."

"You what?!?!" Robin leaned forward as if she hadn't heard Brenda right.

"Yes. They are the pills that I take for my hip after I got hit by the car
last year. Last summer, I would take them when my hip was hurting and then I
would take them just in CASE, then I took them before and then I took them
whenever I was stressed out. Now that MIRANDA is here, I remember that I took
them like every second it seemed because Jax spent every waking minute with
her. And when I was in the cave, I went through some really bad withdrawl. I
thought I was gonna die Robin. And when Jax rescued me and Sonny, when I was
in the hospital I told Alan and he just said that it was nothing. But now"
Brenda sighed and ran her fingers through her hair for the hundredth time
"all I want is a pill. I want one sooo much. It takes all my willpower not to
take one right now, Robin. I'm so scared." Brenda wiped the tears from her
eyes.

"Wow. Does Jax know?" Robin felt truly sorry for Brenda.

"Yes, I told him already." Brenda looked helplessly at Robin. "What should I
do?"

Robin thought for a moment. "Well, I remember when Stone first died and I was
crazy and when I first went on my medication, Dr. Kevin Collins helped me see
things pretty clearly. I don't really see him for that anymore, but I go talk
to him and he really helps, it can be about anything. You might ant to go see
him-what he has to say could surprise you."

Brenda shook her head. "I don't know-maybe." She hopped up. "You should
really go see Jason now, you don't have all day, you have to go back to
school soon anyway. Besides, I want some time alone to think about things."

"You sure?" Robin asked as she grabbed her coat.

"Yeah." Brenda smiled.

"Okay, but can I just call Jason first?"

"Sure, he's your boyfriend. Call him anytime."

"Thanks." Robin made her way to the phone and dialed Sonny's place.

"Corinthos." Sonny said when he picked up the phone.
Robin smiled brightly, "Guess who."
"Robin?! Hey! Where are you-at school?" Sonny smiled at her voice.
"NO, actually, I'm here. In Port Charles."
"You are, really?! Where? Why didn't you call me or Jason we would of come
and got you."

"It's OK, I'm at Brenda's and I got here fine. Is Jason there?"
"No, not yet, he was here, but left for a while. He should be-here he comes.
Wanna talk to him?" Sonny smiled as Jason took off his coat and looked at
Sonny questionaly.
"No-no, that's ok, Sonny. Look, don't tell him anything. I'll be there in 15
minutes-tops. I love you."
"I love you too, see-bye! Oh, wait. I'll have some food waiting for you when
you get here."
" No really, thats ok, I ate."
Robin hung up the phone all smiles.
"Sonny wanted to make me dinner, " Robin's face fell when she saw Brenda's
face crumple and her let out a huge wail. Brenda started to collapse, but
Robin caught her.
"It hurts so much, Robin, " Brenda sobbed. "It just hurts so much, I don't
know what to do."
"It's OK. I'll be here. No matter what happens in the end, no matter who you
end up with Brenda--I'm here for you. You were there for me when Stone was
dying. I want to repay you."
Brenda pulled away and wiped her eyes. "You have. But" Brenda pulled her hair
off her shoulders "Stone would hate to see me like this. He-he knew how much
I loved Sonny and-and how much he loved me. But all he wanted was my
happiness. I am-I WAS happy with Jax. But after the caves-he-he would be so
ashamed of me." Brenda sobbed harder. "It kills a bit of me everyday.That he
gave so much to me and had to die like that without getting anything from me
in return."

"Brenda YOU gave so much to Stone. You and-and Sonny were probably his two
most favorite people in the world. He-he adored Sonny. Sonny was everything
to him. And everything that was ANYTHING to Sonny was EVERYTHING to Stone. He
loved you and you loved him--that was enough."

Brenda smiled through her tears. "You make everything seem so much better."
Her smile faded. "But its not. Everything isn't better, Robin. I have to make
a decision and I'm not strong enough to do it on my own."

"Yes you are." Robin smiled. "I should go..... Son- he will be waiting for
me."
She headed to the door and opened it. "You will be fine. I know it. And if
you aren't--you kow where to find me."
Brenda hugged Robin nice and hard. "Thank you--for not judging me."
They pulled away. "Never. I love you."
"I love you too, Robin.
"Please see Dr. Collins."
"I......will."
"Bye."
"Bye."
* * * * *

Sonny walked to the door. He opened it all smiles, 'Robin, hey!"
"Hiiii." Robin smiled. "Where's Jason?"

Sonny closed the door. "I had to send him to Luke's for me--an errand."
"Oh. OK, well good. I wanted to talk to you anyway." She took off her coat
and set her backpack on the floor. "Come here." She sat on the couch.

"Whats wrong?" Sonny asked, concerned. "Is it-is it your pills?"
Robin laughed. "No! Nothing like that."She smiled brightly.
"Then what is it?"

"You know that I was at Brenda's."
Sonny nodded.
Robin frowned. "Sonny.......she told me everything. About her problem with
her pills and what happened to you and her in the caves." She looked down.

"Robin...." Sonny looked confused. "What--why....?" He was shaking his head.

Robin smiled as tears began to fall. "I love you Sonny. I love you so much.
Because you were there for Stone and for me. You have been nothing but good
to me--to him. You and Brenda broke up. I still don't understand why--I never
did. All I know was that you loved each other more than life itself. I saw
how much you were hurting when you guys broke up. I saw how much you were
hurting when Stone died.Then you lost Lily and your baby too. You gave thirty
million dollars to GH for Stone's memory. You moved on." Robin wiped the
tears from her eyes.

"I-I don't understand, Robin." Sonny whispered. "What are you trying to tell
me."
"You have to-to let go, Sonny. I saw how much Brenda is hurting. She has
never felt more alone in her entire life. You need to stay away. " Sonny
stood up, suddenly very edgy. He moved to the window. " Please, Sonny. It's
killing her. If you just look at her-- you'd see how unhappy she is, how
miserable. Do it for her, for Stone."

"Stone?" Sonny exploded. "For Stone? What does Stone have to do with
anything?"
Robin stood up and walked over to Sonny. "If you force her--she will be sooo
miserable. She needs to be on her own, she needs to get help for her
addiction, she needs not to be bothered. She will choose you for the wrong
reasons--you'll be miserable because she will be miserable. Let her
be......please Sonny. If you love her........."

"If I love her what?" Sonny ran his fingers down his face. "I don't believe
this."

"Sonny, Stone would want BOTH of you to be happy. He told you that. Jax came
and he made her happy. But now she is so miserable. Its because her feelings
for you have caught up to her. She was so sure that she could live the rest
of her life loving one man deep down in her heart--but married to another.
She can't. Maybe you could--she can't. She needs help."

"So I'll help her," Sonny said.

Robin smiled, shaking her head through her head through her tears. "No. She
needs it proffessionally. She is just hurting to much. The only way that you
can help is to stay away."

Sonny sat down, covering his face with his hands. He was shuddering slightly.

"I'm sorry. I know how much you love her. I know because its probably just as
much as I love Stone. But Sonny" She wrapped her arms around him "it's for
the best. Its the best for Brenda and the best for you."

"I don't know Robin, if I can." Sonny wiped tears from his eyes.

Robin's voice broke as she whispered, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry that you're
hurting. I hate it. I hate it so much."
The door opened at the same time the the phone rang. Sonny gently pulled away
and went to get the phone.
Jason closed the door softly behind him. He looked up. 'Robin?"
Robin wiped the tears from her eyes. "Hi! Surprise!" Jason beamed as he took
his girlfriend in his arms.

"Corinthos." Sonny answered the phone, clearing his throut.
"Sonny, hey, its Alan Quartermaine."
"Alan, oh. What can I do for you?" Sonny smiled at Jason and Robin, who were
still locked tightly in each others arms.

"Yeah, its been cleared. We are holding a board meeting here at GH concerning
the Stone Cates Memorial Wing. We, uh, were looking forward to your input and
Robins also. But I know that she is at school...."

"Uh, no, actually, Robin's with me, here Alan. When is the meeting?"
"She is,? Great. Its tomorrow night, here at GH. Seven sharp."
"I'll be there. See ya."

Sonny hung up and turned to his friends. "Well, prepare yourselves. The
building of the Stone Cates Memorial Wing is about to begin."

"Really?" Robin ran over to Sonny and asked him. "This means so much to me,
you know that right?"

"Yeah. Alan wants my input on everything. Yours too."
"Well, whats happening?" Robin asked.

"There is a board meeting at General Hospital tomorrow night to begin
discussing everything. Are you SURE you have to go back tomorrow?"

Robin sighed. "Well, I don't know. Lets see. I have two classes tomorrow. No
courses. They are study periods that I set up because I have midterms in two
weeks. I can rescedule."

"No, no, no. I don't want you to do that." Sonny said, pouring himself a
drink. "You only stay if you have absolutly NOTHING to do."

"No, Sonny its OK, really. I can reschedule. Its a private session anyway.
I'll stay and leave after the meeting. No problem."

"Are you sure?"

"YES! Now lets eat."
* * * * *

"I have an appointment with Kevin in an hour." Brenda smiled proudly at Robin
and Jax. "I-I just called him up and told him straight out that I needed to
see him and he set up an appointment."

"Thats great, Brender." Jax beamed at his wife. Robin had a faraway look in
her eyes, but smiled at Brenda anyway.
Brenda, Robin, and Jax were at Kelly's enjoying a little snack. Robin had
stopped by to say hi to Ruby and had bumped into Jax and Brenda.

"Robin, whats on your mind?" Jax asked concerned.

"Oh, well. The, uh, the reason that I stayed longer than expected was because
while I was at Sonny's, Alan called and asked him to go to the board meeting
at General Hospital tonight because they want to talk about preparations for
the Stone Cates Memorial Wing. They want me and Sonny's input on EVERYTHING."

"Wow, Robin thats really great." Brenda looked down in her slushie and
smiled. "I-I wish that I could help with the preparations. You know, 'cause
Stone and I were really close."

Robin smiled mistily. "He was really fond of you, Brenda. I think his two
favorite topics were you and Sonny. He could never get enough of you two."
Robin looked down at her watch. "Oh, I have to go. Sonny and Jason are coming
here to take me to GH."

Just then the door opened and Sonny and Jason strolled in, laughing
hysterically. They looked around, spotted Robin and headed over to her.

"Hey!" Robin got up and hugged Jason and Sonny in turn."Whats so funny?" Jax
and Brenda suddenly got very quiet.

"Hi, " Sonny smiled at her. " Nothing, inside joke. Ready to go?" He looked
down at Jax and Brenda. "Hello, Jax....Brenda."

"Sonny....." Brenda looked everywhere but into Sonny's face. There was alot
of tension in the air.
"So, uh, how are you?" Sony asked.
"Fine. I haven't taken a pill in over a month. I'm going to see Kevin later."
Brenda talked to her drink.
"Good, good." Sonny nodded. "Get well, OK?"
Brenda nodded.
"Yes. I am." Robin grabbed her purse and coat. "Thanks for buying me lunch.
Call me...." Robin smiled again. "Bye."

"Goodbye, Robin." Jax smiled at her, but just glared at Sonny. Sonny ignored
Jax. "Come on, we don't want to keep everyone waiting, do we?" Robin laughed.
"See ya." Sonny said cheekily to Jax and Brenda and left with Jason and
Robin.
Brenda watched Sonny, Jason and Robin leave. She sighed.

"Brenda, whats wrong?' Jax asked.
"Wrong?" Brenda laughed nervously. "Why would anything be wrong?"
"Well, for starters, you have been distant for the entire day. Then Sonny
walks in and you are squirmy and you wouldn't even look at him. Now, that
doesn't bother me at all really" Jax laughed, but Brenda looked extremly
uncomfortable-and guilty- so his smile faded "but its not like you to not
look at someone when they are talking to you."

"Jax, I'm fine." Brenda denied, laughing as she stared out the window.
"You sure?"
"Yes, positive. I have to go see Kevin now." Brenda shot up, barely kissed
Jax on the cheek and left Kelly's so fast, you woulda thought her seat was on
fire.
* * * * *


"Well, we already have the spot picked out where we will begin building. The
wing will be named after Stone Cates, the young man who died of AIDS two
years ago, and will be the head research facility for AIDS and HIV. We have
already hired a team of professionals from around the world who will be head
researchers." Alan stood before the staff at GH. "Any more suggestions?"

Sonny nodded. "We have a memorial wall put in, with pictures of Stone and all
his friends."
"I agree, " Alan stated. "Robin?"
Robin looked up from the notes she was taking. "Well, I was thinking when the
wing is completed, we throw a party, kind of like the Nurses' Balls, with
film strips of Stone and his friends, we let people speak about Stone, things
like that."
Bobbie nodded, raising her hand. "When would the wing be completed?"

Alan looked over at Stefan, who stood up. "I have conferred with the builders
and they are quiet anxious to begin whenever we tell them to do so. The
builders beleive whole-heartedly that the memorial wing shall be completed in
6-9 months, at the most, 10 months."
"Excellent, " Alan exclaimed. "So lets get this show on the road."
* * * * *

Brenda reluctantly knocked on Kevin's door. She quickly turned to walk away,
but Kevin answered almost right away.
"Brenda, hello." Kevin smiled, moving aside to let Brenda in.
"Hi." Brenda answered nervously. "I-I haven't seen you in a while."
"Yeah, I had been in recovery...." He led her to the living room.
"So, whats on your mind?"
* * * * *



"Jax?" Brenda called as she walked through the door of the penthouse. There
was no answer. She searched around for a note. There was none. Grabbing her
purse from the table, she quickly headed back out the door.

"Brenda?" Jax came into the living room. "Are you here?" He shrugged, "That's
strange."

* * * * *
/P>"I love you." Robin sighed as she hugged Sonny. "Be careful. Tell Mike and
Luke I said bye"
"Ditto to you too, little girl." Sonny kissed Robin on the top of her head.
"YOU be careful and take your pills, OK?"

Robin laughed, "Yes, yes, OK. Mail me whatever you decide to do about Stone's
Memorial."
"No prob." Sonny turned to Jason. "Take her to the airport and take the rest
of the night off."

"No." Jason refused. "I'm coming back here, to Luke's."
"No." Sonny ordered. "You look tired, go home and get some sleep. I mean it.
Besides, its raining pretty hard out there."

Jasom sighed reluctantly. "Fine, but you, make sure you don't go ANYWHERE
with out Pete and Joseph and if you don't, I'll hurt you when I get back."

"Yeah, yeah, whatever." Sonny pushed Jason and Robin to the door of Luke's.
"See you two later." Jason and Robin left.

Sonny sighed, clasping his hands together. He turned around. "Hey, Mike, get
me the reciepts for last weeks delivery of liquor." He headed into the bar
and poured himself some brandy.
Mike walked in carrying the book of reciepts. "Did Robin leave?"
Sonny took the reciepts from him, nodding. "She said bye."
"Is Jason taking her to the airport?" Mike sat down at the bar.

The door to Luke's opened, and Luke came in, soaking wet. "Bad, huh?" Sonny
asked Luke.
"You have no idea. The streets are completly flooded. There must be atleast a
foot of water already, and the rain isn't about to let up yet." Luke hung up
his coat and walked over to the bar.
"Robin said bye." Sonny mumbled, not looking up from the reciepts.
"Hey, she was here?" Luke smiled.

"Yeah, for about a day."

"You should of told me, Corinthos." Luke poured himself a drink. The door
opened. Mike, Luke and Sonny all looked toward the door. Brenda ran in,
shrieking from the amount of wind and rain. She wrung out her hair and
slipped off her jacket.
For the first time, Brenda looked up. She smiled sheepishly at the three men
who were staring at her with amusement.
She walked toward them.

"Hey, uh, Luke." She smiled. "I haven't seen you in a while."

"Yeah, long time no see. Glad to see you are alright. You are alright,
right?" Luke smiled at Brenda.

"As alright as I'm gonna get." A few moments of silence followed. Sonny
hadn't even opened his mouth yet. Brenda cleared her throut. "Uh, Sonny could
I speak to you? Its kinda important."

"Hey, Luke, I think one of, uh, our, uh, pool balls are missing, lets go look
for it." Mike and Luke headed into the back room.

Sonny stood up, pushing the reciepts aside. "So, uh, whats on your mind,
baby?" Brenda looked straight into Sonny's eyes.

"Us."

* * * * *
"Oh?" Sonny tried to look confused. Brenda sighed. "Can we go some place more
private, maybe?"
"Sure." Sonny led them into the office. "Talk."

Brenda looked down at her hands. "Well, when Robin came to the penthouse
yesterday and I told her about my problem....problems, she uh, suggested that
I go see Kevin. So I did." Brenda paused. "You already knew that, sorry. What
I-um, ok, see...."
"Brenda." Sonny tilted Brenda's face up, making her look into his eyes.
"Whats wrong, why are you so nervous?"

Brenda laughed. "Nothing." She frowned at his skeptical expression. "I hate
it that you can see right through me." She took a deep breath. "Okay. The
truth. No if's, and's, or but's. I told Kevin about what happened between us
in the caves. I told him my mixed feelings about you and Jax. I relized that
the truth is....... I love you both. Very much. Sonny...." Brenda wiped the
tears away that had begun to fall. She looked deep into his eyes and shhok
her head. "I can't. I can't do this. Part of me is screaming, 'YES!" You
know, "YES' , be with Sonny. But I can't." She started sobbing. "And I don't
want to hurt you, Sonny. I hate hurting you. But staying away from each
other, being away is whats best. That way we CAN'T hurt each other, we CAN'T
do things we will regret. Jax is really good to me, and I feel good when i am
with him. Thats the truth. I don't know what I feel when I am with you."

Sonny took a deep breath and tried not to burst into tears. "So, uh, what are
you saying, Brenda?" He bit his finger.

"I'm sorry." Brenda chest shuddered as she took a deep breath. "I love you. I
will forever. But, I need to be happy. Jax makes me happy. He keeps me safe
and thats what I need. I hate having to worry about you dying or me dying, I
hate having to look over my shoulder everytime I walk down the street. I
can't see you anymore. We can't see each other anymore Sonny." She wiped her
tears away.

Sonny nodded, biting his nails. He closed his eyes as two single, twin,
eloquent tears formed in his eyes and slowly rolled down his cheeks. Brenda
shook her head, moaning "Noooo...." She hiccupped softly as she stared blurry
eyed at Sonny. She saw his tears and reached out to wipe them away, but Sonny
stepped back. "Goodbye, Brenda." He managed.

Brenda stared down at the floor, confusion, disbelief, pain and astonishment
flashing across her face at the same time. What just happened here? She
thought. She shook her head and her voice broke as she whispered, "Goodbye,
Sonny." She headed out of the office, blinded by her tears.
When she made it into the club, she didn't notice Luke and Mike sitting at
the bar in deep conversation. They looked up and watched her rush to the
door, trying to mask her tears.

"Bye, Brenda!" Mike called. Brenda just let out a long wail in response.
Luke stared wide eyed at the door.
"OK." he turned back to Mike. "Can you tell me what just happened in here?"

Mike looked deep in thought when he answered, "I don't know. But I can bet
you those weren't tears of joy that were cascading down Brenda's face."
Luke nodded in agreement. "Which means......"

* * * * *

Over the next three months, to keep his mind off of Brenda, Sonny kept
himself real busy. He was working on Stone's Memorial Wing, not to mention
the club AND trying to figure out who Harry's partner was. Most of the time
it worked, but he still woke up every morning lonely. He would for the rest
of his life.

* * * * *

Brenda smiled at Jax over the saleswoman's head.
"So this is going to be a spring time wedding?" The woman asked.

"Uh, yes. So I was hoping for a bright colored gown, gold maybe?"

"Ahhhhhh..... Follow me." The woman led Jax and Brenda down the aisle to a
rack of expensive looking gowns. "Which color do you like?"

Brenda looked at the dresses. "The violet." She checked the price tag. "Oh.
$500, 000." She looked up at Jax, pouting. Jax laughed. "Didn't I tell you
that you could get any gown you wanted?"

Brenda shrieked with excitemnt, jumping up and down. She looked deep into
Jax's eyes. "I love you."
* * * * *

Robin was back for a week, helping with final preparations for The Stone
Cates Memorial AIDS Wing. Alan, Sonny, Robin, Monica, Bobbie, Stefan, Audrey,
Tony, Amy and everyone else on GH's staff sat in the faculty lounge of GH
planning last prepartions. The wing would be completed in about a month, now
everyone had to plan the party.
"Black Tie Affair." Sonny and Robin said in unison. "No fee, though." Bobbie
added.
"I'll send out invitations." Robin suggested.
"I'll provide the film strip and pictures." Sonny told everyone.
Sonny's mind wandered back to the rainy night at Luke's. Everytime he thought
about it, his heart twisted in pain.
"Sonny?" Robin called out to Sonny.
"Huh?" Sonny shook his head, leaving his daydream.

"Are you okay? I think I lost you there for a moment."

"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine." Sonny noticed that everyone had filed out of the
room. "Lets go."

* * * * *
Brenda was silently shuffling through the mail when she suddenly stopped. Jax
looked up from his newspaper. "Whats wrong love?"

Brenda tore the letter open. "Read it outloud." Jax told her.

"The Stone Cates Memorial AIDS Wing. " Brenda sighed.
"Grand Opening at General Hospital. Black Tie Affair and Dinner. Sponsored
Souly by Mr. and Mrs. Micheal Corinthos Jr., Robin Scorpio, and the Staff at
General Hospital. Friday, June 20, 1997 9:00pm. Join Us In Celebrating Stone
Cates' Life and His Memory." Brenda smiled as tears started to fall down her
cheeks.

"Here's a picture of Stone." She showed it to Jax. "I remember when we took
this picture. It was right before we found out he was sick. Stone had stopped
by our apartment and Sonny just grabbed a camera and started taking pictures.
He used up three rolls of film, one completly on Stone. I miss him so much."

Jax nodded. "You and Stone were close?"
Brenda nodded. "Pretty much. We grew close while Sonny and I were-" Brenda
gently wiped her eyes. "We have to go."

"Definitly."
* * * * *
"I got your invitation, " Lucy told Sonny two weeks later at Luke's.

"Thats great, Luc." Sonny grabbed a drink from the bar and took a long gulp.

"Yeah, yeah, so is this REALLY a black tie affair?" Lucy was starring at
Sonny excitedly.
Sonny laughed. "Yes. Lucy, its really a black tie affair. So, you go out to
Wyndams or wherever you shop and buy yourself a nice gown, OK?"

Lucy crossed her eyes. "Don't get sarcastic on me, Mister." Luke came up and
put one arm around Sonny shoulders and one arm around Lucy's. "Life is good.
Another busy night at Luke's joint."

Kevin came up to them. "Hey, Luke, get your arm off of my womans shoulders."
He was smiling.
Jason and Gina came into Luke's. "Gina!" Sonny headed over to the two of
them. "So, are you going to speak at the opening?"

"Hi, Sonny." Gina hung up her coat. "Yeah, of course. I finally convinced
Jagger and Karen to fly out next week for the final FINAL preparations." She
headed into the bar.
"They didn't want to come?" Sonny asked, sitting down.
Gina shook her head. "No, no, they wanted to come. But, Karen is pregnant,
and is expecting soon so they were reluctant, I guess."

"Good, good." Sonny took another sip of his brandy. Jason came over to Sonny.
"We need to-"
"Sonny! Phone for you!" Mike called from the other end of the bar.
"Excuse me." Sonny slid away from the bar.

"Corinthos."
"Sonny?" The voice was familar, but he couldn't put his finger on it.
"Yeah?"
"Its.....Karen."
"Karen, hey! Gina just told me about the baby, congrats." He tried to sound
enthusiastic.
"Thank you, look, could we meet someplace, please?"
"You're here, in Port Charles?" Sonny was surprised.
"Yes, I'm at Kelly's."
"Is...is Jagger with you?"
No, no he's not, so can you meet me here in, say, an hour?" She sounded odd.

Sonny checked his watch. "Yeah, yeah, I can probably squeeze it in. But, be
careful, Ruby doesn't like me much."
"Ok, bye."
* * * * *

"Jax, honey?" Brenda called to Jax from the living room.
"Yeah?" He came down the stairs. "Whats wrong, love?"
"Nothing, nothing, look, can we go out tonight? Its Ruby's birthday tonight,
so I was kinda hoping that we could stop by Kelly's and see her."

"Sure, sure. Let me go get me coat." Jax headed back to the bedroom.

* * * * *

continued...


Sonny walked into Kelly's and looked around. Karen wasn't down yet. Ruby came
in.
"Ruby! Hey!" Sonny smiled as he walked over to the bar.
"What do you want?" Ruby asked rudely.

"Now, Ruby, don't be bitter." Sonny sat down. "I'm waiting for Karen. Happy
birthday, by the way."
Ruby eyed him suspiciously. "Thank you. Karen should be down any minute."

"Sonny." He turned around and smiled at Karen's bulging figure at the foot of
the stairs.
"Hey, there." He got up and went over to her, giving her a hug. "You really
are filling up there."
Karen laughed, putting a hand on her stomach. "Yeah. Last trimester. Lets
sit." She looked over at Ruby, "Coffee and some carrot cake, please Ruby."

"Hey, you cut your hair." Sonny mtioned at Karen's layered style that was
shaping her face. "I like it, it's nice."
She smiled. "Thank you." Karen cleared her throat. 'Sonny, the reason that I
called you here was because-"
Ruby came over and gave Karen her coffee and cake. "Thank you, Ruby." She
smiled.
"As I was saying-"
The door to Kelly's opened and to both Karen and Sonny's surprise, Jax and
Brenda came strolling in. They stopped dead in their tracks, or more to the
point, Brenda did.
Karen and Jax didn't catch on. Karen stood up. "Brenda, long time no see."

Brenda's eyes grew even wider when she saw Karen's stomach. "Ka-Karen hi."
She smiled. "Are you and Jagger back in town for Stone's, uh, thing?"

"I am, Jagger had work to do, but I came early. I wanted to come and see all
my old friends. Jagger is coming next week."
Brenda smiled. "Pregnant?"
"Yeah, eight and a half months." Karen smiled brightly.
Brenda nodded, staring at her. "Karen Cates..... Wow. I never thought I'd see
you again........Oh! This is my husband, Jax. Jax, this is, uh, Karen Cates,
Stone's sister in law."
"Nice to meet you, Mrs. Cates." Jax stuck out his hand. Karen shook it
gladly. "Karen, you too, Jax.... Wow, Brenda, I can't believe your married.
I'm so happy for you."
"Thanks....." Brenda stared down at her feet.
"Oh! Sonny and I were just catching up. I was going to talk to him about
Stone's Memorial. I'll let you get back to what you came here to do." Karen
sat down.
"Sonny....." Brenda said uncomfortably.
"Brenda." Sonny smiled stiffly at her, then turned back to Karen. "Where were
we?"
Jax and Brenda walked over to the bar. "Happy birthday, Ruby!" Brenda called,
unenthusiastically.
"It was nice to see her." Karen smiled.
"Yeah." Sonny faked a smile.
"No, it wasn't.........." Karen looked into Sonny's eyes. "You and Brenda
used to be so close, what happened?" Karen looked concerned.
Sonny sighed. "Lets just say that while you were gone for the past two years,
alot of things went down that Brenda and I aren't too proud of."
"What kind of things?" Karen asked curiously.
Sonny shook his head, "Thats irrelevant. Lets hear more about you."
* * * * *

"Karen's back, huh?" Brenda asked Ruby curiously.
"Yes, pregnant too." Ruby smiled.
"Yes, I noticed. But, why is she back?"
* * * * *

THE STONE CATES MEMORIAL AIDS WING
DEDICATED TO THE LOVING MEMORY OF STONE CATES

Brenda stared up at the white and blue arch over the double glass doors of
the new wing added to GH.
It was the night of the party and Brenda was dressed in a long black satin
gown. She had curled her hair in little tendrils to shape her face.
She and Jax were sitting at a table with the Quartermaines.
Brenda got up and took Jax over to the memorial wall. She stared at the
plaqe.

MICHEAL 'STONE' CATES
AUGUST 19, 1977-NOVEMBER 30, 1995

Brenda smiled at the picture of Stone on the plaqe above his name, where his
smile was so wide it nearly touched his eyes, which were so bright with life.
Atleast no one could hurt him anymore.

* * * * *

"Excuse me, may I have your attention?" Alan stood at the podium and looked
out at half of Port Charles. "We are here to celebrate a life, a young,
wonderful life cut short. We are here to celebrate Stone Cates' life and his
memory. To begin with the program, here is Stone's best friend, Sonny
Corinthos."
The applause died down as Sonny stepped up and smiled at everyone.

"Stone was the best." He began. "When he smiled, he made you smile. When he
laughed, he made you laugh. When Stone cried, it made you cry. He didn't live
an easy life. He didn't have much family except for his older brother Jagger
and his younger sister, Gina. But if there was one thing Stone had a lot of,
it was friends. Here is what I mean." Sonny motioned to the side of the
auditrorium. The lights dimmed and the film strip began. There were slides of
Stone and Robin, Stone and Sonny, Stone and Brenda, Stone with Brenda and
Sonny, Stone alone, Stone with Felicia, Stone with Lois, Stone everywhere.
There were pictures of Stone and Jagger and pictures of Stone with Gina.
Pictures of Stone with Jagger AND Gina. Pictures of Stone with Karen and
Jagger. There was even a picture of Stone with Mac.
There were more slides of baby Stone, when he was an infant to right before
he died. Just when everyone thought they couldn't take anymore, they heard a
voice start to sing. They heard several voices.
"Ladies and gentlemen, Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men!" Sonny shouted
enthusiastically. Everyone began clapping as the film strip ended and Mariah
and the Boyz started to sing "One Sweet Day".

SORRY I NEVER TOLD YOU
ALL I WANTED TO SAY
NOW IT'S TOO LATE TO HOLD YOU
'CAUSE YOU'VE FLOWN AWAY
SO FAR AWAY

Another filmstrip was put in. There was one picture of Stone and Robin and
underneath it said : STONE AND ROBIN FOREVER
There was one picture of Stone and Sonny and underneath the picture it said :
STONE AND SONNY: BEST FRIENDS FOR LIFE
The next slide was a picture of Stone and Brenda. When Brenda saw the
picture, she started to sob. Underneath this picture read: STONE AND BRENDA:
FRIENDS FOREVER

AND I KNOW YOU'RE SHINING DOWN ON ME
FROM HEAVEN
LIKE SO MANY FRIENDS WE'VE LOST ALONG
THE WAY
AND I KNOW EVENTUALLY WE'LL BE TOGETHER
ONE SWEET DAY

* * * * *

Brenda wiped her tears away. "Excuse me." She whispered softly. "Ladies
room."

ALTHOUGH THE SUN WILL NEVER SHINE
THE SAME
I'LL ALWAYS LOOK TO A BRIGHTER DAY
LORD I KNOW WHEN I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP
YOU WILL ALWAYS LISTEN AS I PRAY

Brenda closed and locked the door to the ladies room. She sobbed softly as
she made her way to the mirror.
"Brenda."
She turned. "Stone?" Stone appeared in the doorway of a stall.
"Hey, great party, huh?" He smiled.
"Yeah its great. Its dedicated to you, you know." She smiled.
"I know. Being dead doesn't mean I all of a sudden got stupid."
"I couldn't sit there and watch everything, Stone. I miss you so much. Its
not fair that you had to die." Stone shrugged.
"In a way, I'm alive. I'm not sick anymore. I feel alive, I feel great. You,
on the other hand..... Missing me isn't the only thing thats on your mind."
Stone sat on the counter, swinging his legs.
Brenda stared down at her feet. "You're right. Sonny." Brenda sniffled. "I'm
surprised you aren't ashamed of me for cheating on Jax with Sonny in the
caves. I am."
"Of course I am, Brenda. But I'm glad you did. It would of happened one time
or another. Sonny's my man, you know that. And your my girl" Stone smiled
"Well, one of them anyway. All I want is for you two to be happy. And I know
that the two of you were VERY happy after you made love. As happy as you
could be, anyway. But you have a responsibility to your husband, Brenda. Tell
him the truth and watch what happens from there."
Brenda shook her head.
"Stone, I already chose. I chose Jax. I love him." She smiled.
"Of course you love him, Brenda. But just how strong is that love if you keep
thinking of Sonny? I don't think you are all that happy with your choice
either, Brenda. Don't do whats expected of you or follow all the rumors and
lies going around. Follow your heart. 'Cause in the end, your heart is always
right." Brenda looked down at her feet. "I don't know, Stone." Brenda looked
back up. Stone was gone.
"Stone?" She checked the stalls. "Stone?" Brenda grabbed her things from the
counter and wiped her eyes.
"So long, buddy."
* * * * *

"And, now for the final part of the evening, Stone's beautiful sister in law,
Karen Cates M.D." Alan stood aside as Karen stepped up to the podium.

Thank you." Karen sighed. "Stone had a bright future ahead of him. He could
of been anything that he wanted to be if he just put his mind to it. But he
was robbed of a promising future. Stone got sick. He got very sick. And just
like millions of people today, Stone died from the virus he contacted. The
virus is AIDS, or Aquirred Immune Deficiency Syndrome. This disease destroys
the bodys immune system , therefore enabling the body to fight off common
diseases such as the chicken pox, the flu, pnemoanea... etcetera. There is
not a cure for this deadly disease and because of that, in the next year,
over 500,000 people will contact the AIDS virus or become HIV positive. Twice
that amount will die of AIDS. That is why we need your help. Ushers are
pasing aroung donation baskets, so please give all you can. Maybe this time,
we won't have to lose another person that we love to AIDS."

"Thank you, Karen. Now if you all will follow me." Alan left the stage.
Everyone followed Alan to the door of the new wing, where a big red ribbon
was slung across the door and the perimeter of the building. Alan gave Robin
the sisscors. "Robin, please do the honors."

Sonny, Jagger, Karen, and Gina stood behind Robin. Alan gave Jagger the
microphone. Brenda watched from the front of the crowd.
*Follow your heart* Stone had told her.

Jagger smiled as Robin cut the ribbon. "I now declare the Stone Cates
Memorial AIDS Wing officially open!" Everyone began clapping and cheering.
Jax took Brenda into his arms and hugged her tight. Brenda gently pulled
away, smiling.

This one's for you, Stone.
* * * * *

"Brenda Barret." Brenda heard a voice behind her. "Oh! I'd know that voice
anywhere!" Brenda exclaimed. She turned around.
"Jagger!!!" She screamed. She went over and hugged him tight. "God, its good
to see you. How are you holding up?"
"Fine, fine. As fine as to be expected. How are you?"
* * * * *

"Jax, honey, we need to talk." Brenda pulled Jax aside the next afternoon.
"Its important."
"What is it, Brender?" Jax looked concerned.
"Its us, Jax." *Follow your heart*
"What about us?" Jax was getting worried. "Is something wrong?"
*Follow your heart*

"Yes. Jax, there are things that happened in the cave.......between me and
Sonny that you need to know."
"I know every-"
"No, Jax, you don't." Brenda smiled. Jax was really very naive.
"Ok, what things?"

Brenda sighed. Tears suddenly formed, she just couldn't seem to fight them
these days. "Jax..... You know that Sonny and I thought that we were going to
die."
"Yes.... why do I get the feeling that I won't like this?"
Brenda smiled nervously through her tears. "Because you won't."
"Jax.... There were somethings that we had to tell each other. We didn't want
each other dying thinking that w hated each other or anything. I appologized
to Sonny for betraying him among other things and her did the same. We-we
told each other that we loved each other and we-" *Follow your heart* "We
made love." Brenda sighed with relief and she looked up into Jax's eyes. His
expression was unreadable. Thank you, Stone, thank you.
"You did what?" Jax asked.
"We made love." Brenda mumbled. "Jax...I'm sorry."

"Right, Brenda. I'm sorry too." Jax got up, fuming and angry.
"Jax, please, I need you to understand." Brenda begged Jax as her tears fell
more rapidly.

"Understand! Understand! Understand what?! That the woman I love and thought
loved me made love to someone else who just happens to be her exlover. How
does a man understand that?"
Brenda shook her head. "I don't know."
"Do you regret it?" Jax asked suddenly.
"What?"
"Do you regret making love to Sonny?" Jax looked deep into Brenda eyes.
"Jax, don't........" Brenda moaned.
"Answer me!" Jax screamed. Brenda flinched as she completly broke down. She
shook her head.
"What?"
She shook her head again.
"Brenda?" Jax was frantic.
"No! I don't regret it!" Brenda looked fiercly into Jax's eyes. Don't break,
she told her self.
Jax was completly taken aback by Brenda's tone. All he did was nod as tears
formed in his eyes.
"Right." he said bitterly. "I didn't think so. I guess that proves who you
REALLY love." Jax moved over to the window.
Brenda got up, hiccuping tyhrough her tears. She raised her hands, about to
put them on his shoulders. *Follow your heart*
Brenda stopped. She dropped her hands to her sides.
"I'll go pack."

* * * * *

Brenda drove down Charles Street, with the top down, her hair blowing in the
wind. The wind instantly drried her tears. She was free, and life was good.
Life was great. She followed her heart. She knew now what she had to do.
Brenda made a quick U-turn. She raised her hand toward the heavens and she
said, "Thank you, Stone, thank you."
Brenda laughed because she was so sure she heard Stone answer in return, "You
go girl!"

* * * * *

Sonny ran his hands along the bar. It was mid-afternoon on Saturday and
Luke's was jam-packed crowded. It was a private party, for all of Stone's
closest friends and family.
He thought about Brenda. He thought about her everyday now. God, he loved
Brenda. He would love her everyday of his life, he would love her when he was
dead. Even if they couldn't be together.

The door opened.

Brenda came strolling in, head held high. She noticed Sonny, his back was to
her. He was talking to Jason and Robin. Robin caught eyes with Brenda and
whisked Jason away. Sonny turned and saw Brenda. She looked so beautiful,
like an angel sent form heaven. She looked more beautiful than all the time
her had known her.
"Can we talk?" Brenda asked Sonny.
"Yeah. Outside?" Sonny followed Brenda outside.
"I told Jax." She said. "He, uh, wasn't too happy."
Sonny nodded. "I'm sure. Are you okay?"

Brenda smiled. "I'm hanging in there. I'm not as heartbroken as I thought I'd
be, but I hate that he's hurting. Its over, Sonny. Jax and Brenda are
through."
"You sure?" That was a stupid question.
"Positive. I want to be with you....forever."

"With me?" Sonny shook his head. "I dunno."
"Sonny....." Brenda warned. "Come on, I'm serious."
Sonny nodded. "I love you Brenda. Forever. I promise to love you forever just
as long as you don't cook me breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner. In fact, stay
out of the kitchen. You will if you know whats good for you."
Brenda laughed, caressing his face. "I have whats good for me. You. I love
you."

They came together in an earth shattering, foot stomping, HELLO kinda kiss.
Brenda laughed and rested her head on his shoulder.
"Come on, lets get back inside."
* * * * *

Mike saw Brenda and Sonny come back in, all over each other, nearly. He
immediatly knew what was happening.
"I propose a toast!" He called out. "To Sonny and Brenda!" Brenda laughed,
slightly embarrased.
"To Sonny and Brenda!" Everyone raised their glasses in a toast. Sonny and
Brenda kissed. Sonny handed her a glass of champagne.

"I'd like to propose another toast.' Sonny said, wrapping his arm around
Brenda's waist. "To Stone. The best poker player east of the Mississippi. May
he always live in our hearts." Brenda smiled at Sonny. "That was beautiful."

Everyone raised there glasses. "To Stone!"
* * * * *

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