Author: Nora May French PM
A John Doe is brought into General Hospital without much chance of survival. Dante is called in to investigate. AURated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Friendship - Dante F. & Johnny Z. - Chapters: 7 - Words: 10,872 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 07-04-11 - Published: 12-12-10 - id: 6552156
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in this work of fiction.
A/N: Extremely AU
Day of the Pig
Bullets whizzed past his ear as Johnny dove for cover. Adrenaline in overdrive, he hid behind the rear wheel of the police cruiser, barely avoiding a shot aimed for his head. Just as he managed to slip behind the insufficient shelter of the vehicle, one of the thugs called out to him, "Johnny boy, ain't nowhere you can hide. Might as well just make it easy on yourself and die like the vermin that you are!"
He had his own weapon out and, taking a quick peek around the tail of the bullet-riddled car, brought his gun to bear. Cursing his lack of a good shot as bullets continued to hail down around him, he fired off a few quick rounds, unsure of whether they had met their mark or not, and ducked back behind his inadequate sanctuary.
Heart pumping, his hands shook slightly with the knowledge that this could very well be 'it' for him, he could buy it in an indiscriminate back alley and no one would mourn his passing. He'd broken it off with Olivia when he'd decided to become a cop a year ago. He hadn't wanted to drag her through the hell that he'd known his life would become once he'd irrevocably switched sides. His father, the psychopath, had already, for all intents and purposes, disowned him years before and Claudia, the reason he'd decided to join the 'good guys' in the first place, was dead. He was alone in this world and would be leaving it without anyone who cared to notice.
From the moment he'd set foot in the police academy, it seemed that everyone had set themselves up against him. Not something he was unfamiliar with, having grown up with Anthony Zacchara's rather unique style of parenting. He'd gritted his teeth when he was ridiculed and hazed, enduring everything they'd thrown his way in their failed, yet creative attempts to force him to quit.
He was grateful that, in all that his father had done to him, he'd learned to be a stubborn son-of-a-bitch who didn't quit when the going got tough. Developing such a thick skin had served him well. He had made no friends at the academy and had none in his precinct. He lived in a tiny apartment in the inner city where no one noticed his comings or goings.
As a bullet tore past his protective barrier and slammed into the brick wall inches away from his face in the alley he was crammed into behind Larry's Bar on Fifteenth and Carey, he closed his eyes and wished, not for the first time in the past several months, that Jason Morgan and not the incompetent, overweight partner he'd been assigned to, was here to back him up. He could have used the mobster's stone cold, calm demeanor on a number of occasions as his partner always seemed to find some way to absent himself from the action.
Even now, Johnny was alone, under a firestorm, bullets raining down around him. His partner, Gregory Vance, was nowhere in sight. Though, considering the man had set him up, Johnny wasn't all that surprised. He doubted very much that his shooting would get more than a cursory glance at best before it was chalked up to him being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not like his death would really be that much of a loss by their standards.
They saw him as a nuisance cop wannabe who would turn his back on the force if the money was right. It was ironic, in a way, that his death would be a cheap reflection of his past, of the life that he'd always wanted to run away from, but had not had the guts to until Officer Dante Falconari botched the case against Sonny Corinthos, making him a marked man, forcing him out of the mob.
"Park 'er in the alley," Gregory had ordered him. "I gotta check up on somethin'. Be right back."
Johnny hated having to take orders from the inept senior officer, it grated on his nerves when he ordered him about like a lackey, but he gritted his teeth and squeezed the police car into the alley. "Should I call for backup?" He'd asked.
"Nah just got some business to attend to," Gregory had waved him off and sauntered in the direction of the main street.
Johnny should have known that something was up when Gregory left him alone in the alley. He had his suspicions that the man was on the take. The older officer, close to retirement, had too much money at his disposal and was dumb enough to flaunt it. He'd been overly chummy throughout the morning as well, a sure sign that should have tipped him off, as his reluctant partner, paired with him only because no one else wanted to be partners with a former mobster, was normally quiet and gruff.
Instead of exercising caution, he'd leaned against the police cruiser, waiting for Gregory to return, picking absentmindedly at a piece of lint on his otherwise impeccably clean black and white uniform. A shadow encroached upon the entrance to the alley and he'd looked up just in time to take cover as Jimmy Vincino, one of his father's former goons, stepped into the alley.
He was joined seconds later by two other men whom Johnny knew only too well. Paulie and Vinnie, men who were called in when there was a need to get a job done no matter the mark or the risk. They were the best at their game and were known for their sure aim. That's when he knew that he wouldn't be getting out of this alive, that Gregory had signed his death warrant. He wondered, humorlessly, how much the man had been paid to turn him over to the mob. The irony of his situation was not lost on him and he laughed bitterly in spite of his dire circumstances.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't little Johnny Zacchara, the traitor," Jimmy'd spat. "Even your worthless partner knew that trash like you was worth more dead than alive. The fat slob set this whole thing up for far less than your dear father would have been willing to pay. He should've held out for more, but what do I know? Guess police salaries ain't enough to keep a working man honest."
The first bullet fired grazed his cheek; Johnny raised his own weapon and fired an aimless shot as he frantically, yet cool-headedly weighed his options. Deciding that he was not going down without a fight, he hunkered down, knowing that eventually the men would close in on him, and, if he was lucky, he might be able to take out one or two of them before they got him. Either way, he was going to do his damndest to make sure that when Jimmy reported back to Sonny and his father that the man would have to say that he'd not gone quietly. It was a matter of pride.
With this thought in mind, Johnny, realizing that he was just cowardly delaying the inevitable, moved out from his sketchy protection behind the police car, firing every shot his revolver held as he stood with a look of defiance on his face. All three hit men took careful, exact aim and fired as one.
He never knew whether or not any of his own shots hit their mark as three bullets simultaneously tore into his flesh. One wrenched his shoulder, causing his gun to fall forgotten to the littered floor of the alley. Another ripped, like molten lava, through his belly. The final bullet sent him flying back into the brick wall, knocking him unconscious as it punched its way mercilessly into his skull.
No final words or prayers to God begging for another chance at life to make things right had been afforded him. Johnny's body lay broken and bleeding in the darkened alley, his heart pumping blood out rapidly through the three precise holes puncturing it, lungs laboring at dragging in oxygen in a futile attempt to keep their oblivious host alive.
Jimmy Vincino walked over to the fallen officer and took a picture with his Polaroid camera. He needed proof that the job had been done to get his money and there was no way in hell Anthony's kid would survive this. Blood had already made a rather large pool beneath his head. With a satisfied grimace, he kicked the dying officer in the ribs and spit on him before gesturing for his comrades to join him.
Johnny Zacchara was not long for this world and Jimmy debated whether or not to end his life quickly or let his body shut down slowly and systematically on its own. He stooped, slapping the cop in the face and smiled at the lack of response the act received. Yeah, the kid was as good as dead and Anthony would wholly approve of the suffering his son would endure, hopefully he would wake up before the end, just enough to feel his last breaths come and go and to panic when he realized that his lungs were failing to cooperate. He wanted good ol' Johnny Zacchara's lungs to sear with the pain, gasping for air like a fish washed up on shore.
"He ain't gonna last long like that," Paulie stated as he watched the uneven rising and falling of Johnny's chest. Air bubbled in the bullet hole which pierced his stomach as blood seeped in a small rivulet from the gaping wound.
"Think we ought to leave 'im like this, let him suffer a little?" Jimmy asked. The other two shrugged. It really mattered very little to them how Johnny Zacchara, former mob prince, died. What mattered was that they'd accomplished the job for which they'd been paid.
Jimmy snapped another photograph as Johnny's body shuddered dramatically, his lungs endeavoring to keep the dying man alive even as they increasingly failed him. Brushing the hair out of the fallen officer's eyes, Jimmy stripped him of his badge and wallet, gesturing for Paulie to retrieve the dropped service revolver.
"Live like a pig, die like one," Vinnie added.
Grateful that the city turned a deaf ear to violence, as Johnny's police issued revolver hadn't had a silencer on it as their own weapons had, the three pocketed their weapons and walked out into the warm afternoon sunshine, content with the knowledge that they'd killed a turncoat.
Now all they had left to do was take care of the greedy bastard cop whose palm had been much too easy to grease, and make it look as though the two officers had killed each other, the former mobster turning on his partner who killed the rookie cop in self-defense. They'd save their bosses precious money and future headaches by cleaning up that particular loose end.
It was a good day for the mob. Whistling, Vinnie approached Gregory, laying his arm across the man's shoulder as though they were pals of longstanding, he led him into the alley. The man never heard the bullet that entered his temple, though his eyes went wide as he gazed down at Johnny's bullet pierced frame. Blood seeped from the wounds; the kid was bleeding like a stuck pig. He might not have liked the punk, but no officer deserved to go down like that, was Gregory Vance's final thought as irrevocable darkness took hold, and the officer's waning light was snuffed out for good.
Paulie and Jimmy arranged the bodies so that their positions would corroborate the story of the shootout between the cops their 'witness' would give the police half an hour from now. Jimmy snapped another picture, and the three left the two officers behind without a backward glance. They made a single call, grunted an affirmative to the question asked by the other party and drove away, oblivious to the lone figure standing at the mouth of the alley, hidden by the shadow of the building, who'd witnessed everything at the end.