Like Father, Like Son
by Becky McCulley

Part 1

Jason paced the floor of the third floor waiting room at Angel Grove General Hospital. He checked the clock every now and then... the time seemed to pass so slowly. I should be with her, he thought. I should be in there with Emily... However, due to the events that had transpired in the last eight months or so, he was not at his girlfriend's side, coaching her as she gave birth to their child. Emily's father didn't even want Jason at the hospital, but Jason had to be there. This was his child... his son-- he was the only one who knew for sure it was a boy-- and it was his job to be there. But a lot of things had happened between the night of passion Jason and Emily had shared and this moment, while Jason was waiting for his son to be born.


Eight months earlier...

Breaking the news to their friends had given Jason and Emily some confidence (SOME... the couple was still terrified) to tell their parents. Jason figured his parents would take it easier than Emily's, but he had no idea what breaking the news would bring about as he sat down and prepared to drop the bomb.

"Jason, what's wrong?" Lisa Scott asked her son with concern. "I've never seen you so... so scared before."

Jason exhaled slowly... there was only one way to do this. He had to just come right out and say it. In a voice that was filled with fear and regret, he said simply, "Emily's pregnant."

Jason looked away... he couldn't bear to look his parents in the eye. He stared downward at his hands, which were folded in his lap. He didn't look up until he felt his father's strong hand come to rest on his shoulder. Then, slowly, he lifted his gaze and looked at his father through teary eyes. "I'm so sorry, Dad," Jason whispered in a choking voice. "I never meant for it to happen..."

"I know son. I know."

Lisa watched her husband and son from her place on the couch. She was only upset with Jason for a moment... but the anger had disappeared when she'd seen the look on his face. It was a look of mixed fear and shame, and Lisa knew that look. She had seen it on her own husband's face nearly eighteen years ago when she had told him she was pregnant.

"You should tell him, Tim," Lisa whispered. "He needs to know." Jason only half-heard his mother, but his father's story rang loud and clear.

"Jason... you know your mother and I were high school sweethearts... right?"

Jason nodded slowly.

"Well what you don't know is...." Tim Scott hesitated and looked up at his wife. Maybe the best way to do this was to let Jason work out the math for himself. "Jason, when were you born?"

Jason looked confused for a moment before replying, "October tenth, 1979."

For a moment, the room remained silent. Jason was slowly beginning to understand what his father was trying to say, even from just that one question. "You... I...."

For the first time in his entire life, Jason saw tears in his father's eyes. "I was so ashamed," Tim told his son. "I hated myself for a long time because of it. But I loved your mother. And I loved you." He paused. "Do you understand now, son?"

"I do," Jason replied. "You got Mom pregnant in high school... and then you married her that summer... before I was born..."

Lisa nodded. Her eyes had filled with tears at the beginning of the story, and as the memories came flooding back, she'd let the tears overflow. "My father was so upset. He ranted and raved for what seemed like hours. And he hated your father most of all. He blamed it all on him." Lisa put an arm around her husband. "I was his little girl, and he felt that Tim had taken me away from him. I suspect Emily's father will feel much the same way."

"I know I screwed up," Jason said softly.

"Yeah, you did, son," Tim said gently. "But... I think this might never have happened if I had told you this story sooner. If you had known, you might have been able to learn from my mistakes. But since you didn't, you were doomed to repeat them. And for that, I'm sorry."

"Jason," Lisa said, "You know your father and I love you."

Jason nodded, tears glistening in his dark eyes. "I know."

"And whatever happens," Lisa continued, "We will be there for you. You need to know that, especially now. We love you, and we will never desert you."

Part 2

Jason may have had an easy enough time with his parents... but Emily's dad was another story. His first impulses were rash-- force his daughter to have an abortion and forbid her to have any further contact with Jason Lee Scott. However, after taking some time to calm down and to think about the reality of the situation, Howard Richards felt that he came to a very well thought out decision. His daughter, however, did not.

"I will not force you to abort your pregnancy," the former officer of the peace began, pacing back and forth in front of his daughter, "I do not, however, support you raising this child. You felt you were grown up enough to make a very adult decision, so to that end I feel you are grown up enough to get a job, get an apartment, and be a mother to your child."

Emily's eyes filled with tears. She could not believe what she had just heard. "You're throwing me out?"

Sergent Richards gave a single nod and continued to pace. "If you choose to keep the child, yes. It is not my baby to deal with, not my child to raise. It is yours and--" he paused and said the boy's name with a disgusted tone-- "Jason's."

That's not fair!" Emily exclaimed, getting to her feet and standing in her father's path, preventing him from pacing any more. "You can't do that!"

"Oh, on the contrary, Emily. I can do that. This is my house and you are almost eighteen. I know I am not the first American parent to come to this conclusion given these circumstances, and I am certain that I will not be the last."

There was a moment of silence as the anger rose inside Emily. Then, she faced her father with a cold, determined stare. "I'm keeping this baby," she began. "You can kick me out, you can cut me off financially, you can do whatever you damn well please, but I'm keeping this baby and I'm going to give it the best life I poissbly can. I love Jason, Dad." Emily paused, feeling the strength it gave her to say those words. "I love him. And I love this child unconditionally-- which is obviously something that you could never understand." And with that, Emily turned and walked out of the house.


When Emily arrived on the Scott family's doorstep, her cheeks flushed and tearstained and fresh tears swimming in her eyes, they immediately knew what had happened... considering the news they had received from their own son just two days earlier. Lisa opened the door and, upon seeing the look on Emily's face, immediately welcomed her into the family's home. "Jason's not here, Honey," Lisa said, giving Emily a gentle hug. "He's at the park with 'the guys'. But... come on in. Sit down... let's chat. Woman to woman."

Emily was going to say no, but Lisa Scott had such a warm smile... Emily didn't remember her own mother, who had died when Emily was just two months old, but Jason's mom sure was great. "Sure," she replied, attempting a smile in return.

Lisa Scott got some iced tea and sat down on the couch with her son's girlfriend. Looking at Emily, Lisa saw herself, seventeen and a half years ago. Terrified beyond belief, and so uncertain about the future... and wanting only to know that everything was going to be all right. Somehow, Lisa felt that by telling her own story, she could give Emily a little bit of that... after all, Lisa's life had turned out just fine. And so, with the words, "You know, there's something that I haven't told very many people, but that I think might help you..." Lisa began at the beginning and told the whole story.

"Wow," Emily said softly when Lisa had finished. "I knew Jason's folks were young, but I never--" Emily's sentence was interrupted by the slamming of the front door and the sound of Jason's voice, among others, as he and his friends entered the house.

"Mom, can I have the keys to--" Jason halted as he came to the archway between the kitchen and the family room. "Emily? What's wrong?" Tommy came up behind Jason and, seeing his friend's girlfriend sitting on the couch in the next room, quickly came to a wise decision. "You know, Jase, I think we're gonna hit the road. Catch you later, though."

"Sure thing, man." And with that, Tommy and the others were gone and Jason was left to face his mother and extremely distraught looking girlfriend. He sat down on the couch next to Emily and put his arm around her shoulders. "What happened?" he asked cautiously.

Fresh tears filled Emily's eyes to the brim and a moment later, spilled over. "My father kicked me out," she whispered, burying her face in Jason's chest as she cried. "Oh God, Jason, I don't know what I'm going to do!" Emily was a basket case, near hysterical, and Jason didn't know what to do. He looked over at his mother with a helpless glance. Lisa Scott gently reached out and stroked Emily's hair, whispering in a motherly tone Emily had never heard before, "It's ok, Emily. Everything's going to be all right."

Part 3

Howard Richards leaned back in his recliner in the darkness of an empty house. Damn, he thought to himself. He'd planned things out so carefully... and they had backfired. Boom-- they blew up right in front of his face. Well, that's alright, he told himself. I'll just come up with a new plan.

And thus he did.


The very next morning, Howard drove through Angel Grove and, although he had not been to this section of the town in quite awhile, arrived at the Scott residence in record time. Boldly, he stepped out of his Honda, walked up the sidewalk to the front door, and rang the bell. Moments later, the door was opened by whom he assumed to be Jason's mother, although you wouldn't have known it if you met her on the street. Unlike Jason, she had blond hair and was thin and lithe... and not a bad figure, he noted quickly before remembering his purpose.

"Hello, Mr. Richards," Lisa greeted the man cooly. She wanted so much to yell and scream at him about what he had done to Emily... but decided that maybe that would not be the best idea and kept her cool.

He reguarded Lisa with a simple nod. "Is my daughter here?"

"Yes, she is," Lisa replied, and took some pleasure in adding, "But she does not want to see you."

Howard sighed inwardly. This definitely a factor he forgot to figure into his plan. "I've come to take her home," he said simply.

"As far as she is concerned, Mr. Richards, she is home. You kicked her out and she has found consolement in my son."

"She's coming home with me," Howard insisted. "And if you keep her from me, I will have you and your husband arrested for kidnapping. So I highly suggest you allow me to see Emily before I call the police."

"And what are you going to do? Drag her out of here kicking and screaming?"

"Well, hopefully it won't come to that."

Sparing Howard a final glance, Lisa turned back into the house and returned shortly with Emily-- and the final factor. Jason.

"Come along Emily," Howard said, taking his daughter by the arm as if she were a small child who refused to leave the candy store. "We're going home."

"No," Emily said softly, as if it was the first time she had ever said that word to her father. "I'm not going anywhere with you."

"Yes, you are." Howard gripped his daughter's arm more tightly and began to pull her out the door.

"Stop it! You're hurting me!"

Emily's cries got an immediate response from Jason who, in a single motion, freed Emily from her father's hold and sent him crashing to the ground. "You heard her, Mr. Richards. She said no. And when a lady says no--"

"Save it, Jason." Richards pulled himself to his feet. "Emily is coming with me, and no matter what you think, no matter how much power you think you have over me now just because of that child, she is still my daughter. If she stays with you, I'll have your parents arrested for kidnapping and you--" he pointed his finger at Jason and glared into the boy's eyes. "Well, there'll be a special cell for you down at the Angel Grove Juvenile Correction Center. Now, either Emily is going home with me, or you suffer the consequences. The choice is yours."

Emily turned to Jason, teary eyed. "I can't let him do that to you, Jason. I have to go with him."

Jason knew she was right. Gently, he took her hands in his and kissed her. "I promise you," he whispered, "I'll always be here for you. Every day... all you have to do is pick up the phone." He embraced her for what would be the last time for nearly six months, although both he and Emily were unaware of that. Then, Emily kissed him softly on the cheek and turned and got into the passanger side of her father's Honda. As the car drove farther and farther out of sight, Jason sat down on his front lawn and did something that he rarely ever did-- he cried.

Part 4

The days rolled slowly by. Each one felt like an eternity to both Jason and Emily. Time passed, and lots of it. The days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months. Every night Emily cried herself to sleep. Every night, Jason devised a different plan on how to make some sort of contact with Emily. Every day, Jason walked through the halls of Angel Grove High in a daze. He cut himself off from his friends and even his parents, who had been so supportive in those first few days... And, of course, there was the fight with Tommy that Jason's future son had referred to upon his visit, which now seemed so long ago. The fight was about Jason's adittude as of late, of course, and his intrest (or more accurately, lack thereof) in everything that was happening that did not concern Emily. Jason's first reaction was to bite Tommy's head off... but, heeding his son's warning, he thought about what Tommy was saying and knew that his friend was right, and that he was only voicing his concern for Jason's well being. After that, Jason put a little more time into his schoolwork and his martial arts, and he even managed to pay attention in class at least half the time.

Emily's father pulled her out of AGH and hired a private tutor. After getting wind of the story of how Jason, too, had been conceived out of wedlock, Howard decided he was going to give that child the best care possible so that it would not turn out like its father and repeat his mistakes. Like father, like son, Howard had concluded. But not this time. Not with my flesh and blood. Jason Scott may have ruined my daughter's future but he is not going to doom the future of my grandchild.

Finally, the night arrived, and Emily went into labor. Howard calmly put his daughter in the front seat of his car and drove her the few blocks to Angel Grove General Hospital. Suddenly, even through the pain, Emily saw a glimmer of hope... they would surely ask about the father at the hospital. Then she could have them call Jason. Yes! It would work, she just knew it would. It had to...


It did work. Sort of. One of the nurses had called Jason upon Emily's request, and even though it was almost midnight, Tim Scott gladly drove his son down to Angel Grove General. Just as they reached the nurses station on the OB floor, however, they encountered the one obstacle they had not yet been able to overcome: Emily's father.

"What are you doing here?" Howard asked Jason in a challenging tone.

"I've come to see Emily. Look, Mr. Richards. You can keep Emily from me all you want and there's nothing I can do to stop you, but the fact is, that's my baby, too, and THAT will hold up in a court of law."

Howard Richards was struck silent. The boy was right. This WAS Jason's baby, too... and if Richards did not allow Jason to see the baby, without some sort of just cause, Jason could take him to court, and he could win. "Five minutes," Richards told Jason. "I don't want you to upset Emily under these circumstances. I'll give you five minutes, and that is all."

Jason looked at his own father, who shrugged. "Okay," Jason replied, figuring it was either this or nothing.


"Jason!" Emily exclaimed. Jason rushed to Emily's side and gave her a big hug... he held her for the longest time, not wanting to ever let go.

He did, however, and took a step back to look at Emily.

"I know," Emily said before Jason could get a word out. "I look like a giant whale."

Jason shook his head and kissed her softly. "I think," he began, "that you are just as beautiful as you have always been."

"That's sweet, Jason, but I don't believe a word of it," Emily replied.

Then she changed the subject. "I can't believe my father let you in here..."

"He didn't want to," Jason told her. "But... he had to. This is my baby, too, and I have a right to be here if I want to be." Jason looked around. "He said five minutes," he continued, "But now that I'm here... I don't want to ever let you out of my sight again."

Not much later, Howard Richards returned to the room. "Let's go, Jason," he said, approaching the young couple.

"No, Dad," Emily spoke up suddenly. "I want Jason to stay."

Howard looked his daughter in the eyes. "I'm sorry, Emily," the older man said, "but--" "But nothing," Emily interrupted. "I've been quiet long enough, Dad. You're not giving Jason a chance. He is going to be a very good father, and he has a right to be here to see the birth of his-- of our-- child."

Howard's eyes softened. "Don't you see what he's done to you?" he asked his daughter. "He ruined your future... he took it all away..."

"But he didn't do it alone, Dad," Emily replied. "I was there, too, and I was a willing part of it. This is not Jason's fault. He's not to blame."

Just then a doctor entered the room. He took note of the two men in the room and said, "I'm sorry, but one of you is going to have to leave now."

Jason and Mr. Richards looked at each other, and with a sigh, Jason headed for the door. He did not want to upset Emily and the best thing he could do to prevent that was to walk away. His hand was on the doorknob when another hand came to rest on his shoulder. "You stay." Jason could hardly believe what he was hearing. "This is your child, not mine. I raised my daughter. I was there when she was born... every father should have that right. I'll go."

It was right then and there that Jason saw something besides an evil villian inside Howard Richards. He wasn't really evil. He was caring, sensitive, and just a tad overprotective. Jason couldn't fault him for that. "Thanks, Mr. Richards."

"Howard," the man replied, holding out his hand.

Jason shook it. Then, he returned to Emily's side and hugged her.

Everything's going to be all right now, he thought. Everything is going to work out just fine.