Brenda Barrett, the Heroine by Ann Holding


Devoted viewers,

The point of this storyline fantasy is this - back when Brenda was almost

turned into road pizza outside of Luke's last March, I was annoyed BEYOND

MEASURE at the way TPTB tried to make Lily look saintly by saving her, so I

decided to write my own story about it!

Some things you need to know before you read this:

1) This is a flashback, so Lily is alive in it. (It's all for Brenda's

sake.)

2) It's very long, but I hope you love it!

So, without further ado, I give you......

Brenda Barrett, The Heroine by Anissa Haddadi 1996 - All Rights Reserved

Flashback - Outside Luke's Club, March 31, 1996 - The Night of the Ward

House Benefit

Brenda and Jax have just come out of the club. Luke, Sonny, Lily and Edward

are already outside. Edward Quartermaine is grumbling about his parking

duties and everyone is laughing at him. Brenda's gaze drifts across the

street, and all of a sudden, she sees a man with a gun. In his eyes is all

the malice of a cold-blooded killer. He slowly levels the gun and points it

straight at Lily........

Brenda: Nooooooo!

Letting out a horrified scream, she races over to Lily with amazing speed,

tackles her and throws her to the ground. As she does, two shots ring out

into the night. Sonny races over to the two women, crying, "Luke, get that

guy!" He reaches Lily first as she dazedly gets to her feet. Sonny is

horrified when he sees blood on her clothes.

Sonny: (frantically) Are you all right? Huh?

Lily: I think so....(confused by the blood on her clothes until she sees

Brenda on the ground and a horrified expression comes to her face) Oh God,

Sonny, Brenda's been shot!!

Sonny: Oh, my God! (falling to his knees beside Brenda, he grabs her hand

in his and can't find a pulse) Oh God, no, please, Brenda, no.......(his

voice dissolves into an unintelligible sob)

Meanwhile, Edward and Jax have run inside the club for help. Jax has called

the ambulance and alerted Lois and Ned. Edward summons Alan, who had

attended the benefit. Edward, Jax, Alan, Mike and a frantic Lois and Ned

rush outside.

Lois: Oh, Brenda! God, no.......Alan, please help her......

Alan shoves Sonny out of the way. Sonny glares at him but backs off.

Alan: Brenda? You're gonna be okay, sweetie.....(He quickly examines her

wounds and his face becomes even more grim.) This wound in her leg got her

femoral artery, I think....I need towels, somebody, quick! We need to make

a tourniquet. (Mike runs inside and comes back with towels, which he then

helps Alan rip up for a tourniquet. Brenda is semiconscious at this point;

she is moaning in pain and shaking her head from side to side.) Talk to

her, Ned. Try and calm her down. She may be going into shock.

Ned kneels by Brenda and gently moves her head until it is resting on his

knee and tries to keep her still.

Ned: Brenda, sweetheart? I know that listening to me has gotten you in

trouble in the past, but I need you to listen to me now, okay? We love you.

We need you, and we can't lose you. We're not GOING to lose you. Do you

understand?

Lois: Alan, she's gonna be okay, right?

Alan: I don't know, Lois. All I know is that if we don't bind this wound

right now, she's going to bleed to death. (Lois starts to sob and Jax puts

his arms around her.) Brenda? Brenda, I'm sorry, but this is going to hurt.

(He tightens the tourniquet around Brenda's thigh and she screams in pain.

Sonny lunges at Alan.)

Sonny: (yelling) Would you be gentle with her?!?!!

Ned reaches out and pushes Sonny away; he falls to the ground.

Ned: He's trying to save her life! YOU stay away from her! You're the

reason she got shot!

Lois, still crying, reaches out and helps Sonny to his feet. They stand

together sadly and watch Alan work on Brenda.

Ned: (looking closely at Brenda) Alan, she's unconscious!

Alan: Well, the way she's feeling right now, that's to be expected. Where's

the ambulance!?

Just then, the ambulance drives up and two paramedics rush over with a

stretcher.

Paramedic: Dr. Quartermaine, what's going on?

Alan: (briskly) We've got two gunshot wounds, one to the left arm, one to

the left leg. She's bleeding out and she's going into shock. We've got to

get her out of here NOW.

The paramedics load Brenda onto the stretcher and rush off in the ambulance

with Alan, Lois and Ned in the back with Brenda. Jax speeds off to GH in

his car, and Sonny and Lily follow in the Jag with promises to keep Luke

and Mike posted...

Scene 2 - Emergency Room, General Hospital

Ned, Lois, Sonny, Lily and Jax pace and sit in unhappy silence. Bobbie is

there with them trying unsuccessfully to give some comfort. Tony comes out

wearing hospital greens and a frown on his face.

Ned: Tony, what's going on?

Tony: I wish the news were better.The CAT scan showed that she has a

concussion. We're treating her for the effects of the shock and we've

bandaged the wound on her arm...it's her leg that's giving us the trouble.

The bullet exited the wound, but it hit the femoral artery and caused

extensive blood loss and tissue damage. Brenda needs a blood transfusion,

but she has a very rare RH factor in her blood that no one in our current

supplies can match. The donor has to be someone here, and it has to be done

now.

Sonny: (immediately stepping forward) Me, Dr. Jones...let me.

Ned: I'm going too.

Lois: So am I. (Immediately, everyone says, "No, Lois,")

Tony: Lois, you're pregnant and you're under a lot of stress - you can't be

giving blood right now.

Lois: (unbelieving) But I have to help Brenda!

Ned: Tony's right, sweetheart. Now while I go get tested, you're going to

stay here and take care of yourself and the baby...you know that's what

Brenda would want. Jax will stay here with you, okay?

Jax: Actually, I'm going to be tested as well. I assume that's not a

problem, Dr. Jones?

Tony: No, but listen. While we're standing here trying to decide who does

what, Brenda needs this done. Ned, Sonny, Mr....Jax?

Jax: Jax.

Tony: Let's go.

The men head off to be tested. Lois sits in a chair with her coat around

her shoulders. Lily hovers, wanting to talk to her but knowing she

shouldn't. Bobbie brings the women cups of hot tea and sits quietly with

Lois.

Half an hour later, the men return, sporting identical bandages on their

arms. Lois runs over and hugs Ned, who is looking daggers at Sonny.

Lois: What happened? Did somebody's blood type match up?

Ned: (bitterly) Yes, and you'll never guess who the lucky man is.

Lois looks at Sonny, who is very pale and looks weak.

Lois: Sonny?....

Ned: You guessed it, sweetheart.....Sonny here hit the jackpot - his blood

type matched with Brenda's. But when you think about it, it's really not

surprising, considering that she once saved HIS worthless life with a blood

transfusion. In fact, they didn't even want to use his blood for that

reason, but they had no choice. (He goes over to Sonny and Lily). So, you

two must be pretty happy. After all, this hit was obviously aimed at one or

both of you, and you both escaped without a scratch on you. And if Brenda

dies, she'll be out of your hair forever. What a bonus.

Lily looks appropriately guilty, and Sonny glares at Ned but says nothing.

Lois comes over to Ned and leads him away quietly.

Scene Three - Emergency Room, General Hospital - 1 Hour Later

The crowd is sitting quietly, waiting for news. Lily is gone - Sonny has

sent her home to get some rest. Everyone is lost in their own thoughts.

Tony comes in, looking tired and somewhat flabbergasted. Everyone stands

and goes over to him.

Ned: Well?

Tony: She's coming around. The transfusion took - I think she's going to

make it.

Lois starts to cry with relief and hugs Ned and then Jax. Sonny leans his

head back, closes his eyes and whispers, "Oh, my brave girl..."

Ned: When can we see her?

Tony: Now, if you want. She's lucid, but she's very weak. She's asking for

Lois and Sonny.

At this, Lois and Sonny rush from the room toward the ICU unit. Tony calls

after them, "Keep it short - she needs to rest."

Scene Four - Intensive Care Unit, General Hospital

Sonny and Lois walk slowly into the room. Brenda is laying in bed and when

she sees them, she sighs faintly and holds out her arms. Lois goes over to

her, hugs her and then sits on the edge of the bed as best she can. Sonny

sits in a chair beside the bed.

Brenda: (softly, it hurts her to talk) What did the doctors say?

Sonny: You're gonna be fine, sweetheart.

Brenda: Well, if anything happens, I just wanted you guys to know how

much...how much I love you. I love you more than anything in the world....

Lois: (fighting back tears) We love you too, Bren....

Sonny: (leans forward and kisses her cheek. He whispers so only she can

hear) I love you, Brenda....

Brenda: (sits back and closes her eyes) I've never been so tired.

Lois: You go ahead and rest, honey. It's the best thing you can do for

yourself.

Brenda: (sighs as she drifts off to sleep) Come see me tomorrow......

Lois and Sonny smile lovingly at Brenda before they quietly leave the room.

Scene 5 - Intensive Care Unit, 3 a.m. the next morning

Sonny, looking worried and exhausted, sits by Brenda's bedside, holding his

head in his hands. Everyone else went home hours ago, but he couldn't sleep

or stand to be away from Brenda. He stares at her as she sleeps - she looks

pale and pained even in rest. In the chill and quiet of the empty room,

Sonny's mind starts to drift....

He remembers the day he made the marriage deal with Rivera...walking past

his love without being able to say anything to her, anything to ease the

pain that was so open on her beautiful face...coming home and finding

Brenda desperate to make the situation right, desperate to understand

it..."Ask him who he loves, Lily. Ask him!" He recalls his own words -

"STOP IT! Go home - stay away from me." How hard it had been to hurt her

and say those words when that had been the last thing he'd wanted.

Worst of all, he remembers how he hurt her when she tried to explain about

Lily's wedding dress..."You used to be a much better liar. You're a spoiled

little brat...you've got a big mouth....get out of here!"

A wave of nausea and guilt washes over him as his own harsh words

reverberate over and over in his mind. Tears well up in his eyes. "Oh, God,

how could I have been so cruel?"

The tears start to slide down his cheeks, falling onto Brenda's hand, which

he has picked up and pressed to his lips.

"I'm so sorry, baby," he whispers, looking intently at her and only praying

that she can hear him somehow. "Look at what I did to you, and all you ever

did was love me. I was just too stupid to see it." He sighs deeply, never

taking his eyes from her face. "I love you, Brenda ...you hear me? I love

you. I promise, I will never forget that. Please, sweetie, don't give up on

me...we can work this out. It can't be all over - not like this. It can't.

Baby, please give me another chance....." He can't say any more. Fade out

on the darkened room and Sonny holding Brenda's hand to his face......

Scene 6 - Brenda's Hospital Room, Two Days Later

It is late morning. Lois and Robin sit with Brenda, who looks pale and weak

but happy at least to be alive and with her friends. Brenda's private

hospital room is bright with sunlight and overflowing with flowers from her

friends. Lois is telling Brenda and Robin the latest about Irksome Edward Q.

Lois: I tell you, he's making life hell for me and my Eddie. I mean it's

every day, all day long, calling us, storming down to the gatehouse and

flipping out if he sees that Ned isn't hard at work on the latest ELQ

takeover - like he's got nothin' else to do with his life. If the man

doesn't calm down, he's gonna give himself a heart attack and end up right

in here with you, Bren....

Robin is laughing hysterically as Lois rambles on and on. Brenda, who does

not have the strength for such enthusiasm, smiles fondly at Lois. Suddenly,

there is a brisk knock at the door and Sonny pokes his head in.

Sonny: Hey....

Brenda: (ecstatic) Sonny!

She smiles radiantly and holds out her arms. Lois and Robin give each other

a LOOK and head for the door.

Lois: Look, the cafeteria's open, so we're gonna have a peek at the mystery

meat, okay? We won't be gone long....

Brenda: (smiling) Okaaaaaayyy....

Lois and Robin leave. Sonny comes into the room, never taking his eyes from

Brenda. He sighs heavily, sits down beside her and hugs her gently. After a

long moment, he pulls back and looks at her face....she smiles at him.

Sonny: (doesn't know what to say) You look better then you did

yesterday....

Brenda: (pleasantly surprised) You were here yesterday?

Sonny: (touches her face and reminds her gently) You were asleep.

The two smile at each other. Sonny reaches out and hands Brenda a package

that he brought in with him. She unwraps it and smiles broadly - it is a

huge box of Godiva chocolates.

Brenda: You know me so well....

He sees the pure, deep love for him in her face and suddenly, tears come to

his eyes and he starts to cry. He moans as if in pain and leans forward

until his head is resting on Brenda's shoulder. She reaches up and puts her

arms around him.

Brenda: Hey.....look at me. (Sonny is by now sobbing against her shoulder.)

Look at me. (She takes his face in her hands.) I'm here, okay? I'm right

here. I love you.

Sonny: (looks at her incredulously) You don't hate me?.....I...

Brenda: (trying to cheer him up by teasing him a little) Baby, if I was

gonna hate you, I would have been there already. (He frowns and looks

away.) Hey....(she's serious now) I don't regret what I did. You shouldn't

either.

Sonny: You saved Lily's life....Brenda.

Brenda: Look...Sonny. Lily and I might not get along. But as long as you're

married to her, you're responsible for her. Did you think for a minute that

I would just stand there and let someone hurt her? Or you? I'll never let

anyone hurt you....

Sonny leans forward and pulls her into his arms. He rains tender loving

kisses all over her cheeks and lips as she smiles and hugs him as best she

can with one arm. Fade out on the sunlit room with Brenda and Sonny

holding each other....

Part II - The Homecoming

Scene 1 - Luke's Club April 14, 1996 - Two Weeks after the accident

The club is dark, and the door opens - Lois is leading Brenda into the

room. Brenda can't see a thing. She is walking slowly and with a slight

limp because of her leg injury. She is wearing a black bodysuit and black

and beige striped drawstring pants. She looks very thin and pale, but

beautiful. Her hair is in a French twist and her dark lipstick accentuates

her pale complexion, but she would look washed out without makeup.

Brenda: (smiling but bewildered) What's going on? What is this, about

setting up for Eddie Maine's next gig?

Lois: (grinning) No...it's about this.

Suddenly, the lights come on and everyone yells, "Surprise!" The club is

decked out with streamers and balloons in various colors. There is a banner

that says, "Welcome Home Brenda". "Everyone" is Luke, Laura, Alan, Bobbie,

Mike, Robin, Ned, Lois, Jax, Kevin, Lucy, Lily and Sonny.

Brenda: Oh my God! (She covers her mouth with her hand and everyone

laughs.) Whose idea was this?

Ned: (giving Brenda a hug) Mike and Lois concocted it.

Mike: Well, actually, we all wanted to do something, and since we thought

everyone would be here anyway....

Brenda: Ha ha. (Everyone chuckles.)

Luke: So how you doin', doll?

Brenda: Doing fine, much better now that I'm home where I belong.

Lois: Boy, that's debatable.

Ned: Tell me about it.

Laura: What?

Sonny: Well, true to form, Miss Barrett here argued her way out of the

hospital. Listen to this.

Brenda: (giving Sonny a LOOK) Okay. Okay, they wanted to keep me for a few

more days, but I said absolutely not. All I needed to do by then was rest

and I couldn't POSSIBLY rest with all the noise that goes on in the

hospital all day long, not to mention the fact that they took my blood ten

thousand times a day and sent this psychotic nurse to do it. She was so

mean to me. (Lois rolls her eyes.) She was! This woman made Nurse Ratched

look like Florence Nightingale. (Everyone laughs.)

Lila and Edward come in.

Brenda: Oh, Lila!! (She goes over and kisses her cheek.)

Lila: Brenda, dear, you look absolutely lovely.

Brenda: Oh, thank you. Hello, Edward.

Edward: Hello, my dear. (He kisses her.) I'm sorry we're late, but Reginald

couldn't find a parking space wide enough for the limo. (Everyone laughs.)

Luke: Well, here. Champagne for everyone.

Mike: And ginger ale for you, Brenda...

Brenda: Thank you.

Ned: (putting his arms around Brenda and Lois) Well, I would just like to

say how lucky I am, and how happy my beautiful wife and I are to have our

beautiful baby's (he kisses Brenda's forehead) ...beautiful godmother home

safe with us.

Luke: And thank you, Mr. Ashton, for that beautiful, beautiful speech.

(Everyone laughs.) Well, raise your glasses, everyone. Here's to the most

stubborn....

Sonny: The most pig-headed...

Ned: The most obstinate....

Jax: (sees that this dissing is starting to annoy Brenda) The most

beautiful patient ever to come out of General Hospital. Welcome home,

Brenda.

Everyone: Cheers, Hear hear, etc.

Mike: And wait, I have something to add. (raises his glass to Brenda) Here

is to your next and last hospital stay being only if and when you have a

baby.

Brenda: Oh, Mike, that's so sweet. Thank you. (She kisses him.)

Sonny beckons to Brenda as the crowd scatters a little, she goes over to

him and Lily.

Brenda: Hi. Do you need something?

Lily: I just wanted to say....thank you, Brenda. That man was trying to

kill me, and he would have if you hadn't pushed me out of the way.

Brenda: It's no problem, really. I'm just glad that you're okay and that no

one else was hurt.

Sonny: (ruefully) No one but you.....

Brenda smiles shyly at him and shrugs. Lois, who has been glaring at Sonny

and Lily, comes over and pulls Brenda to a table laden with gifts.

Lois: Time for your presents!

Brenda: Presents, my goodness!

Lucy: Oh, mine! Mine! Open mine first! Here. This is from me and my Doc.

Brenda: Okay....oh, Lucy, it's beautiful! (It is a delicate, filmy red silk

scarf).

Lucy: I just saw it and thought of you .

Brenda: Thank you so much.

Jax: My turn. (He hands Brenda a small, oddly shaped package.)

Brenda: WHAT is....(she opens it, it is a small red rubber object shaped

like an egg.)....this?

Jax: Take it in your left hand and squeeze it as hard as you can.

Brenda: Okay - ouch!

Jax: It's to exercise the muscles in your arm.

Brenda: (ruefully) Well, I need all the help I can get. That's why I'm

starting physical therapy tomorrow, for my arm and my leg. The muscles have

been really stiff ever since...you know.

Alan: Was it your doctor's idea for you to do physical therapy?

Brenda: Actually, it was my idea.

Alan: (impressed) Well, it's a great idea. It may hurt a little at first,

but if you stick with it, (Brenda nods) you should get all the mobility

back in your arm and your leg.

Brenda: (resolutely) You can bet I'll stick with it. There is no WAY that

I'm carrying around reminders of these wounds for the rest of my life.

(Sonny looks guilty.)

Jax: Okay, this one might be more to your liking. (Hands her another, much

larger gift. Smiles widely at her.) Happy Godmother's Day.

Brenda: (Beams at him) Thank you...(She opens it - it is a Snugglie for

carrying babies.)

Jax: (smiling) For shopping expeditions with Brooke Lynn.

Brenda and Lois both exclaim, "Ohhh! That's so cute," etc. Ned looks

confused.

Ned: What is that?

Brenda: (She can't believe he doesn't know what it is) It's for carrying a

baby, you idiot.

Ned: What do you do, hang it from the ceiling? Is this thing even LEGAL?

(Brenda and Lois crack up.)

Brenda: (laughing) No, see, you wear it like this (she puts it on him) and

the baby leans against your chest and it calms them because it hears your

heartbeat and it reminds them of being in the womb.

Lois: That's right, but see, if the baby doesn't feel like being against

your chest, you can wear the Snugglie like this, (she adjusts it) and he or

she can look out on the world.

Brenda: It's wonderful, Jax. Thank you.

As Lois is thanking Jax, Brenda catches Sonny's eye....he is amused by the

Snugglie exchange with Ned but still looks sad and wistful. She can't seem

to tear her gaze away from him. She opens more gifts - there is a book of

poems by Elizabeth and Robert Browning from Lois and Ned, who know her

literary tastes, and Edward and Lila give her an exquisite antique crystal

perfume bottle.

Robin: (approaching) Here you go....(hands her a small, flat

package)..looks like I'm last.

Brenda: Oh, honey, thank you...you didn't have to get me anything.

Robin: It's for your room.

Brenda: Oh.....(weighing it in her hand) Well, it's too small to be new

curtains.

Ned: It's an air conditioning unit. (Laughter)

Brenda: (laughing) Well, I could use one of those. Ruby's never

gonna......(she opens the package, looks at it for a long moment and then

looks up at Robin, tears suddenly coming to her eyes)

Lois: Bren, what is it?

Unable to speak, Brenda turns the gift to show the guests...it is a picture

of Brenda and Stone in a silver frame, taken the day Stone walked on

stilts. They are sitting on the grass surrounded by their picnic and

smiling at the camera.They both look relaxed and happy. Everyone quietly

remarks on what a great picture it is.

Robin: I noticed you had a picture of Stone up in your room, so I thought

you might like a picture of both you guys together. He was so happy that

day....

Brenda: Do you....(she swallows hard) do you know what this means to me?

Robin: Yeah, I think I do...

The two friends hug. Brenda whispers, "I love you so much," and the same

comes back to her from her "little sister". Lois and Sonny are both a

little teary-eyed.

In the next scene, the party is winding down and everyone has had cake and

champagne to their heart's content. Jax, Lila and Edward have gone and

everyone else is standing in one big group. Ned turns to Brenda, who is

standing beside him. She looks a little tired.

Ned: Well, sweetheart, I think it's time for the coach to turn back into a

pumpkin.

Brenda: We don't have to leave on my account. I'm fine.

Ned: I know, but you have an early day tomorrow - your physical therapy

starts at 8:00 am, right? (Brenda grimaces.) Plus, Lois needs her rest too,

and I have to be at the office at 6:30 am for a conference call from

Tokyo....Grandfather's orders.

Brenda: Ugh....when is Edward gonna ease up?

Ned: When you make a bad fashion decision. (Everyone laughs.) Now, come on,

say your goodbyes. Even models need their beauty sleep - let's go.

Brenda gives him a LOOK and moves to say goodbye to everyone.

Brenda: Thank you, Mike...(She kisses his cheek.)

Mike: You're welcome, darlin'....did you enjoy your party?

Brenda: (beams at him) Yes, I did.

Mike: You sure it wasn't too much for you? We didn't overdo it?

Brenda: (looks at him and turns serious) I was happier tonight than I have

been in a year.

Mike: Well, that's not saying much. (He's concerned; he knows she hasn't

been happy at all.)

Brenda: (tears coming to her eyes and voice) Mike, you know what I mean.

Mike: Yeah, I know what you mean. (He gives her a big hug goodbye.)

Brenda says goodbye to everyone else and tells Robin that she'll call her

about plans for a girl's night out...Ned tells her, "We'll see if you're up

to it." Ned, Lois and Brenda move to the door. Everyone calls, "Bye,"

"Welcome home," "Good night," etc.

Everyone else starts to leave. Luke takes Lily home and Sonny tells them

that he'll be along in a minute. He sits at a table. Mike, who has finished

clearing up behind the bar, comes and sits down beside him.

Mike: Brenda looked beautiful tonight.

Sonny: Yeah, yeah, she did.

Mike: She looks better than she did when I saw her in the hospital five

days ago.

Sonny: That's for sure.

Mike: I think she liked her party....

Sonny: (getting impatient with Mike, as he is wont to do) What's your

point, Mike?

Mike: She's not happy, and there's only one reason for it.

Sonny: (his tones becoming crisp and controlled as he gets more and more

irritated) She got hurt, she survived, she'll recover. Thank God.

Mike: That's not what I mean....she still loves you. (Sonny doesn't say

anything.) Look, I know there are things about this situation that I don't

know about, and you gotta do what you gotta do. But Brenda saved your butt

the other night. She probably saved your life. Now that's gotta be worth

something.

Sonny: (nods, not looking at Mike) It is.

Mike: Then the least you can do is....think of her.

Sonny doesn't tell Mike that that's the ONLY thing he can do. Mike touches

Sonny's shoulder on his way upstairs.

Sonny sits alone at the table, fatigue from the strain of worry showing on

his face. His thoughts drift, as they constantly do, to Brenda. He closes

his eyes and sees her gentle smile, hears her laughter and remembers the

way she looked tonight....so beautiful, but wistful and lost...and all

because of him.

Sonny sighs heavily and leans his head back. A whisper comes from his lips,

soft as a prayer and so quiet that it can barely be heard..."I love you,

Brenda,"......

THE END

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