>> Previously on "General Hospital" --
Monica: You win.
Skye: Oh, yes!
Jax: Nice work.
Lucky: Nice try.
Elizabeth: Are you kicking me out of bed?
Luke: Laura -- she's vanished.
Vince: That's impossible. This is all an act.
Luke: Not anymore.
Alexis: Carly signed the adoption papers.
Sonny: You're a great friend. Thanks.
Alexis: You' welcome.
Luke: What are you doing?
Laura: Playing poker. Two. What are you doing?
Luke: Me? Oh, nothing much. Just tearing around this tub like a raving lunatic turning everything inside out, making an idiot of myself with most of the crew and half the passengers. And why? Why? Because a note was slipped under our stateroom door which made me imagine all kinds of terrible things had happened to you, although nothing as terrible as what I see here.
Laura: Raise you 20.
Second man: I'm in.
Third man: Oh, I'm sticking around.
Second man: Call.
Man: What do you got, honey?
Laura: Uh --
Man: Bear them all, ladies.
Laura: Three jacks.
Luke: Three jacks. Nice play, honey. You know, I just was so close to calling the Coast Guard, it would make your head swim.
Laura: Really? Well, that's sweet of you, dear. Very sweet of you, but I don't need to be rescued. In fact, I am winning.
Man: She is winning.
Laura: And I never realized how much I like this game. And it seems that I'm pretty good at it, maybe even as good as you. And I'm having fun, which is only fair considering how much fun you've been having playing secret agent. In fact, why don't you pull up a chair, dear? Since you love to play games so much, why don't you join us? Ante up.
Elizabeth: Were you expecting someone else? And if so, what's her number so I can call her and let her know that I have first claim? I realize you weren't expecting me until New Year's, but my mom's doing a lot better, and I wanted to be here for Christmas, so I decided to surprise you. Okay, could you please say something?
Ned: Here, let me get --
Kristina: No, hang on. I got it, I got it.
Ned: I just tried --
Kristina: No, you know what? The buckle is frozen in place. I think you may be trapped inside this boot indefinitely. Don't panic, though. Don't panic.
Ned: Do I look panicked?
Kristina: Come on.
Kristina: You're not getting -- Ned, you promised! No cell phone.
Ned: Hold on a second.
Kristina: No cell phone.
Ned: I guess I'm just not as reformed as you think. Hello?
Kristina: Ned can't come to the phone! He can't talk!
Ned: Grandfather. What's wrong?
Edward: Oh, no, no. Nothing important. Just a board meeting which you inexplicably missed, thereby creating a vacuum for traitors and looters who have now opened the gates of E.L.Q. to the mongrel hordes.
A.J.: That'd be us -- "mongrel hordes."
Edward: Good-bye, Ned. God. Ugh.
Alice: You're my kind of woman.
Skye: Thanks for the cider.
Jax: Well, here's to getting what you want.
Skye: To teamwork, cooperation, exploring common goals.
Jax: And whatever, as long as it works to your advantage in the end.
Skye: When it comes to getting what I want, there's no end in sight. And as the newly appointed C.E.O. of E.L.Q., I'm in a position to make demands.
Jax: You mean make requests. Which, as soon-to-be Chairman of the Board and principal stockholder, I'll be in a position to turn you down.
Skye: Granted. But why say no when it's so much more fun to say yes?
Carly: Look, I signed the adoption papers and I already gave them to Alexis.
Sonny: I know.
Carly: So, then, what are you doing here?
Sonny: Okay, I -- I've come to let you know that you can stop the adoption. Can I come in?
Sonny: I didn't ask Alexis to come over here -- I didn't want you to feel any more pressure from my attorney or me.
Carly: Look, I signed the papers. It was my own decision.
Sonny: This won't be easy, Carly.
Carly: Look, Michael -- he loves you and he needs you, and I am not going to mess with that. Okay, I know that you've got no reason in the world to trust me on this, but I would never come between you and my son -- our son. I would never --
Sonny: No, I mean easy on you. For the rest of your life, you're -- you're going to be asked, how can, you know, a mother like you let a man like me adopt her son?
Carly: And I don't care.
Sonny: You'll never admit it. You'll probably tell them to shut up, you know. But deep down where you live, I know you, Carly. I wish that I could build an invisible shield around you to bounce the garbage off. But one thing I will promise is that I'll always be there for Michael. I will love him; I will lay down my life for him. I will always protect him with everything I got. If anybody ever tries to hurt him, they're going to have to get through me. He'll have everything he needs. He'll always be provided for. But that's not enough. You learned that the hard way. There has to be more.
Jax: I have to go, everyone. Thank you for a memorable evening. Oh, Edward. Don't look so glum. Your net worth is about to double, and you don't have to work anymore. But, you know, you're good. So if you ever need a job, all you need to do is pick up the phone. I mean, I didn't get to where I am by squandering talent.
Skye: I agree. And as the new C.E.O., I promise you there will always be a place for you.
Edward: Anyone who chooses you as C.E.O. deserves what he gets.
Ned: Threats only work when you're the top guy, Grandfather.
Edward: Oh, it's nice of you to show up, Ned.
Jax: Just in time. You have the tough job of convincing Edward that leisure is a gift in one's golden years.
Edward: Would you get off this property, please, before I call security?
Ned: Sounds like you've been a busy man.
Jax: Well, actually, your cousin did all the work. Good night, everyone. It's been a pleasure.
Skye: Good night.
A.J.: Good night.
Edward: Ned, you're -- you're too late. You see, the revolution is over. And the barbarians took everything, including the gates. So tell me -- what was so riveting that you couldn't tear yourself away, huh?
Alexis: Where have you been?
Kristina: Skiing --
Kristina: In the moonlight.
Alexis: In the moonlight? Wow.
Kristina: You know, that is exactly what Ned said. I practically had to push him down the slope.
Alexis: Oh, so -- I didn't know that Ned liked to ski without lights. Maybe it's not the Ned that I know.
Kristina: No, it was the Ned. It took a lot of convincing, but he finally gave in.
Alexis: How did that happen?
Kristina: Well, whatever you two were discussing, I guess, riled him up, although he was trying desperately not to show it -- kind of like a volcano trying not to erupt. So I thought, you know, it might be good to help him forget.
Alexis: Did it work?
Kristina: I think that Ned has found a new love.
Alexis: That's good. That's -- that's great. Ned was upset about something that I stupidly implied. I stupidly implied that he was trying to get back at me for something that I stupidly did to him a year ago exactly today.
Kristina: Today is your anniversary?
Alexis: I'd like to think that I'm not a cruel person, but today is the day, a year ago, that I left him standing at the altar.
Kristina: Oh, Alexis. I mean, it's not as if you planned that. That would've been cruel. But, no, I mean, you were afraid.
Alexis: How would you feel? I mean, what if this had happened to you, and the person that you loved, who swore loved you, turned and ran and left you standing there in front of a packed church?
Kristina: Well, Ned is okay. He had his moment, but he finally just gave in, and I think that he felt pure joy and pure freedom. He laughed. He laughed even when he was about to fall down the slope.
Alexis: You know, he deserves to, and I want that for him. And he needs to have that with someone who is spontaneous. Someone who can look at a cliff as a thing that you jump from, not something that you run from. He needs somebody different than me. Somebody like you.
Elizabeth: I missed you so much. You were never out of my mind. Literally, I kept talking to you in my head.
Lucky: I heard you, Elizabeth. You're what made me pull through. You told me to fight. I could see you.
Elizabeth: It feels like forever since you held me. I lost you, but now you're back. I can't wait for things to go back to the way they were. We can roll back time and pick up where we left off. We can do that, can't we? Lucky, you won. You beat Helena. It's over. We've got our love back. Right?
Laura: Gentlemen, you wouldn't mind if my old friend and colleague joins us, would you? Luke, this is Bart, Kendrick, Rollo. My old friend Luke Spencer.
Bart: How many?
[Bart and Kendrick groan]
Kendrick: I'm out.
Rollo: I'm out.
Bart: I'm -- I've had enough.
Rollo: I need a beer.
Laura: I didn't have anything that time.
Kendrick: Oh, boy.
Laura: Sit down.
Laura: Thanks. Oh, I'm sorry. This is Solomon. Luke Spencer. He's actually the one who told me about the game, came to get me once it started. My old friend.
Luke: Solomon. Okay, you've made your point. Let's go to the stateroom, shall we?
Kendrick: So, what's the story between you two, huh?
Laura: Hmm. We have a long, complicated history. But, you know, Luke is the one who's so good at spinning tales. In fact, why don't you tell them how we ended up on the great love boat adventure? I'm dying to hear that one myself.
Luke: I'd be happy to oblige back at the stateroom. Let's go.
Laura: Why should I fold now? I'm just getting warmed up.
Luke: The game's over and you won. Let's go somewhere where we can be alone and enjoy the spoils of your victory.
Sonny: There's a wall in me, Carly. You know because you hit it. I swear to you, Michael wonít. He'll never do anything to make me push him away. I'll never let him feel bad about himself. The door will never close on Michael, no matter what he does, right or wrong. Now, I know that you got no reason to trust me on this. But the only thing I can say is I'm giving you my word.
Carly: Look, I trust you, Sonny. I know who you are. Okay, I -- that's why I want you to be Michaelís father. I couldn't hope for a better father for him. And Michael -- he deserves to grow up happy and be loved, and I know that you will give him that. I wouldn't have signed those papers if I had any doubt about what kind of father you are.
Carly: Thank you for loving Michael so much.
Sonny: It's late. Are you expecting someone?
Jax: Hi. Didn't realize you had company.
A.J.: Hello. You know, I just had this blinding flash of insight. This wasn't just about sticking it to Grandfather and Sonny, was it? It's about Jax. You're falling for him, aren't you?
Skye: You are taking things way too seriously.
A.J.: Skye, to deal with Jax -- when you're using him the way he's using you, that's one thing. But don't let it -- don't let your heart get involved. It will blind you from the things you need to see.
Skye: Lighten up. I'm just having fun.
A.J.: I hope you're right.
Ned: So, after all the times Grandfather belittled you for choosing medicine over E.L.Q., you finally got to pay him back. You feel any better now?
Alice: Chow time.
Monica: Who requested this?
Skye: Oh, I thought it would be fun to have some food.
Monica: I am going to bed.
Skye: Monica, wait. Please, don't go.
Elizabeth: Are we okay now or not?
Lucky: Yes. Yes. We're better than okay. We're forever. Permanent lock.
Elizabeth: Then what's wrong?
Lucky: I don't want to go back to the past. There's just too much pain there for the both of us. I want to live for today.
Elizabeth: Want to start now?
Lucky: Yes, I do.
Laura: Oh, wow. Great props. So what's the plan here? We hide under the table, we wait for the married couple to show up, and then we jump them?
Luke: The plan was to sit down, have dinner, and talk without interruption.
Laura: But what about the mission and the microchip and Cupid? Shouldn't we be keeping our eye on him right now?
Luke: Okay, all -- I concede, all right? I -- just let me off the hook and I'll come clean about the whole secret mission thing.
Laura: Really? I can't believe that you went to all this trouble just to prove that you could -- I can't believe that you got me to abandon my entire life -- at Christmas, no less -- for a phony secret mission.
Luke: It isn't phony. The mission has a purpose.
Laura: Really? And what is that? To make a fool out of me?
Luke: No, to get you back.
Luke: I guess I could've sent flowers. I could've taken you out on the town. A date. God, I wouldn't even know where to begin with a date. We never dated. I mean, we didn't have time for slow romance. We -- we hit the road. We hid out from the bad guys. We fought them when we could. The whole world was our battlefield and our playground. And it didn't matter where we were, whether it was a dairy farm in Idaho or a bazaar in Istanbul. The point was we were together. And I just -- I wanted to see if that still works. The buzz, the rush, the connection. I didn't do this to embarrass you or to hurt you. I didn't really even do it to deceive you. I just wanted you to remember who you are and what you want. And I hoped that I was part of that. You understand?
Skye: Monica, I'm a thorn in your side. I know that. But we both love Alan. And in the end, you did vote with me. I know you were voting against Sonny because you hate him. But I feel the same way, which gives us two things in common. Don't you think that -- that we can start building something from those two things?
Monica: Well, I didn't vote against Sonny or for you. I voted for A.J., for my son, because that's what he wanted and I love him.
Skye: Well, I love him, too, and that gives us three things in common. Can't that be a start? You know, I'm not really that monster that you think I am.
Monica: I wish I could believe that, but I canít.
Kristina: Ned and me? You got to be kidding me.
Alexis: Why not?
Kristina: Because -- because Ned and I are friends. I like him, but I like him as a friend, and he likes me as a friend. And also, we're working together now. And also, my sister has a past with him.
Alexis: Well, it happens sometimes.
Kristina: Which means that it's not even something that you discuss.
Alexis: Why not? Ned's a great guy and he deserves somebody great, and you're really great.
Kristina: Let's be clear about something. If you ever meet an ex-boyfriend of mine and you feel some sort of attraction toward him, squelch it. Smother it.
Alexis: Okay. I just -- I know what an incredible man Ned is, and if someday you just happen to wake up and think that you want to be more than just friends with Ned, then --
Kristina: Are you not thinking clearly? Unless you're okay with me and Ned getting together -- which is never, ever, ever going to happen, by the way -- but you would be okay with it because your heart has moved on to someone else.
Jax: Is this bad timing?
Sonny: No, no. Actually, you're right on time. First you get in my face at the Quartermaines', and now you follow me here.
Jax: I don't know if you're paranoid or just unbelievably narcissistic, but your comings and goings don't remotely interest me. And we need a couple of hours, either now or tomorrow morning at 5:00.
Carly: About what?
Jax: We have a meeting at 8:00 that we need to prep.
Sonny: Well, prep this, mate. You can get in my face at the Quartermaines' and vote me out of E.L.Q. if it makes you feel important. But you mess with Carly, you wreck her dreams, squash her spirits, spoil her day, and I will promise you -- are you listening? I will grind you into dust.
Jax: Do you have any idea how twisted you are? You're not protecting Carly. You're trying to control her. You want to keep her dependent on you, just like you've done with every --
Carly: Okay, you know what? This conversation -- it stops right now. All right, this is my house, I have something to say, so the two of you, you're going to shut up and you're going to listen.
Carly: You don't like Sonny. Okay, I get that. But Sonny is my son's father, and we are making that legal, so he is --
Jax: You're kidding.
Carly: A fixture in my life, like it or not. Okay, you don't want to see him? Don't come by. Okay, we can meet at the office. But I will tell you, if you make any plans to hurt Sonny, don't let me find out about it because I will get in your way. Don't say anything negative about him in front of me. Okay, you know what? Better yet, just don't bring up his name. You're business, Jax. Sonny's personal, and business and personal, they just don't mix. For either of you. Okay, I know that you hate that I am partners with Jax. But get over it, okay? I am not working with him to annoy you. It's not personal, Sonny. It's business. How many times have you said that to me? I didn't quite get it before, but I do now, okay? So stay out of my business, all right? Look, I know that you're trying to protect me. And I think it's very, very -- very much who you are. But I don't need to be looked after. Okay, I'm doing okay, and I need to know that I'm doing it just by myself. So when you run into Jax -- which you will -- just don't say anything. All right? I know how you feel, and I will respect it. But I need you to respect me, too.
Sonny: My respect for you grows every day.
Alexis: Kristina, you have made several references about Sonny and me, and I know that on some level you are trying to be amusing. And I am now asking you to please stop it because Sonny is a very good friend of mine, and it's starting to make me feel uncomfortable. He's been very kind to me. He understands the choices that I've made. He's made similar ones himself. He also happens to be a principal client of mine who pays me a ridiculous amount of money to handle some of his business, which I do.
Kristina: Anything else?
Alexis: My point is there is no hidden agenda here. There is no romance. The only romance between Sonny and me is going on in your head.
Kristina: So you're saying that you're not attracted to Sonny?
Alexis: Kristina, I am telling you that I am attracted to Picassos, but it would never occur to me to steal them out of a museum. He's a married man.
Kristina: Sonny's getting divorced.
Alexis: On paper. In his heart, he's in love with his wife. He may always be in love with Carly. I have no idea.
Kristina: You have that much control over your feelings?
Alexis: I have control. I am the queen of control. In fact, control runs my life.
Ned: I think I've reached a turning point in regards to Alexis. I mean, after all, how many times do you hit a dead end before you realize that the road leads nowhere?
Monica: I wish I knew.
Ned: I've been stuck at that dead end for a year now. I think that's long enough.
Skye: Monica basically called me a monster. That's your idea of an olive branch?
Alan: She hasn't barred you from her house, and she dropped her defenses long enough to hear what you have to say.
Skye: She rejected what I have to say.
Alan: And you've never rejected what Monica has to say? She voted with you. That is huge.
Skye: It wasn't for me.
Alan: And it wasn't against you. You try and put yourself in my wife's position for a moment. She knows that I'm committed to you. And before she has a chance to get used to that, I tell her that your mother, a woman I once loved, is coming to join us for Christmas. How would you feel? Do you think that you could be gracious about that? Monica is trying, I can feel it. And nobody could ask more than that.
Laura: There is a connection between us that can never be broken. We both know that. But, Luke, a life lived on the run, being chased by the bad guys and jumping out of planes -- it's exciting. It's very exciting, I must admit, but it's not a life.
Luke: I thought it was.
Laura: It's not a life with children. Let me put it that way. And I love my children.
Luke: Well, darling, I love your children, too. I'm even learning to be in the same room with Nikolas without wanting to break something.
Laura: I know. And I appreciate that so much. I really do. But let's stay on track here for a minute, okay? This mission that you concocted -- it's crazy. I mean, you know that, don't you? I understand why you did it. I really do. That -- that wanting to hang on to the adrenaline high -- I'm sure that's hard to let go of.
Luke: Then let's don't.
Laura: But, Luke, what's the alternative? We'd keep cooking up adventure after adventure and we Miss Lesley Lu's childhood in the process, while we're jumping out of planes and hiding from the bad guys. I just can't do that. I do want normal -- most of the time, you know? Christmas, holidays, maybe a few soccer games. You know, I need something that I can count on.
Luke: You can count on me.
Alexis: How'd the meeting go?
Sonny: Uh, public.
Sonny: Skye Chandler wound up with enough votes to take E.L.Q. public.
Alexis: Ned wasn't there?
Sonny: Jax was. He has Skye wrapped around his finger. She has A.J. wrapped around hers. Everybody went against Edward, and the house of cards finally collapsed.
Alexis: How is Edward?
Sonny: I don't know. I left after the vote. Where are you going?
Alexis: I was just going down to that store on 4th and -- I ran out of popcorn.
Sonny: All right. I'll see you later.
Alexis: Sonny, I hope that I didn't make things worse for you and Carly.
Sonny: No, no. Everything's fine. The adoption is on. I was just over there.
Alexis: You look happy.
Sonny: I am.
Alexis: Well, sources tell me that's a good thing.
Sonny: Would you like to join me to celebrate? If you can do without popcorn for one night, I could make you dinner.
Alexis: Why not?
Sonny: That's an excellent answer.
Carly: I can't believe that you wrote me a script for our meeting with the zoning board.
Jax: Well, it's important to be prepared.
Carly: Okay, good. Well, you be prepared and I'll just go ahead and be myself.
Jax: Okay, fine. You be yourself, scripted.
Carly: I thought you were a risk taker.
Jax: You know, even in the middle of class-five rapids, sometimes you have to adjust for a tricky chute.
Carly: Oh, is that what you consider me? A tricky chute?
Carly: Okay, fine. I definitely have been called worse. All right, I will adjust. But if I forget and I start mouthing off like I did the last time --
Jax: I will steer you back to a moderate course. Trust me, I'm good at that.
Skye: I meant what I said before, you know -- about hiring you? I really do think that you can make a contribution.
Edward: Oh, a contribution to your success. Well, thank you for the crumb, my dear, but I think I'll pass. See, I participated in giving you away as a baby, and now you have taken my baby away. And that's a perfect revenge, isn't it? So I hope you enjoy it while it lasts because, trust me, it won't last long. You have cast your lot in with Jasper Jacks. And, my, he's a charming man. But, you know, charm is the most deceptive of gifts. It promises much but it delivers little, and you're about to find that out in the most painful and personal way. Because, you see, Jax is going to do to you what you did to me. And then you will be left with nothing. So I suggest that you prepare to experience your comeuppance.
Monica: I -- I've been thinking about Christmas.
Alan: Yeah, I have, too. Why don't you take Emily to Paris or to the Cayman Islands or wherever else you choose for Christmas Eve, and I will join you on Christmas Day.
Monica: Gee, 12 hours with Rae and Skye, probing the root of Skye's problems. You're going to be exhausted. I think I have a better plan. Why don't I stay right here with you and steel myself and try to be nice to Rae and avoid fighting with Skye.
Alan: You would do that?
Monica: I'm willing to give it a shot. Consider it your Christmas present.
Alan: Nice present. I love you very much.
Monica: I love you, too.
Elizabeth: Making new memories. I think I'm warming up to the idea. We can go skiing. We've never done that together. Or -- do you know how to snowboard?
Elizabeth: Well, we could learn. Oh, and I really, really, really want to go visit Emily. And then there's Christmas and New Yearís and Valentineís Day. Oh, we should do something really special for Valentineís Day, like -- like Bermuda or Hawaii. Someplace where we can just celebrate surviving everything.
Laura: I do depend on you, you know. When you were so sick and I thought that I was going to lose you, it was inconceivable to me. It was like the sun going down and never coming back up again. But, Luke, you know, you can't expect the sun to come and live with you, you know? To shine on you all day and all night, to be there when you're brushing your teeth and you're taking out the garbage and -- you just can't --
Luke: Snap out of it. I'm not the sun. I'm not even a distant planet. I'm just a guy with some offbeat ideas. But I know that I didn't need this cruise ship or some phony mission to save the world to know what I want is you.
Luke: I just wanted to know that the magic was still alive, and it is. It's magic when you laugh at my jokes.
[Champagne cork pops]
Luke: It's magic when you walk in a room. It's magic when we're not even speaking to each other.
Luke: I'm crazy about you.
Laura: I'm crazy about you, too, Luke.
Luke: Well, then let's be crazy. Let's do something completely off the wall. Marry me.
>> On the next "General Hospital" --
Woman: How do you go about finding someone in Port Charles?
Lucky: My love for Elizabeth -- I think it's gone.
Laura: Do you really want us to get married again?
Roy: You've been doing really well. Why do you want to throw it away all of a sudden?
Janine: I'd really like to help you, Mr. Corinthos. I'll tell you anything.