AN: My little entry for Jak-RPhreaks club at deviantArt. I figured it was long enough to post as a ficlet here. Also, please ignore failure to follow grammatical rules and avoid sentence fragments and sentences ending with prepositions. I prefer stylistic writing to technicality.

Disclaimer: I don't own the Jak series. Otherwise, Jak X wouldn't exist and I totally wouldn't have disregarded everything from the first game.

Scenario: Torn and Ashelin on a mission; before Jak and Daxter ever came into the picture.

Stray Bullet

Patience was a virtue, or at least, that's what he'd been told.

The moron who had come up with that idea better have lived a damned good life because after this Torn was going to hunt him down and gut him. With a rusty saw.

That idea brought a slight flicker of amusement to the man's face before he returned his concentration on the door that Ashelin would eventually exit from.

Eventually…

Any minute now.

Aww, who was he kidding? He'd been here for two and a half hours already. Knowing his luck, he'd be here for at least two more. It was like waiting for a woman to get ready for a date. Except this woman was packing heat, not make-up and probably wouldn't hesitate to pump lead into his mouth if he voiced his irritations on things that couldn't be helped.

But really, it was cold, it was wet, and here he was, hiding atop a building with a sniper rifle in his hands, ready to provide cover-fire for Ashelin the moment she was out in the open.

Because God knew that this dynamic duo couldn't do one damned mission without some sort of bang. Or explosion. Or catastrophe. Yeah, you get the picture.

Torn flexed his fingers in a feeble attempt to get the feeling back in them as he squinted in an attempt to see the door better. His vision was starting to blur and he could swear that he saw the door move.

Of course, after six times of 'swearing he saw the door move' he'd lost a little of his edge and swore that he'd go see an optometrist after this was over. He must be getting old. He twitched slightly at this idea.

And then, there she was, in all her hell-blazing glory as the door exploded right off its hinges and she did a tuck and roll to avoid the spouts of gunfire in all directions. Torn scrambled to attention, pivoting his rifle around to aim at the first guards who came into range, firing several shots that landed them dead in the water.

Already Ashelin had her guns drawn, firing at whatever dared to shoot in her direction with precision accuracy that rivaled even the most seasoned of guards. Torn could see her mouth moving and had no doubt that she was cursing the high heavens, or possibly him, for their predicament.

Not like he could help it, though. She was the one that had to blow shit up. He was just there to cover her sorry ass.

Fine ass.

Whatever.

It was when he thought things were turning toward their favor when all hell broke loose. And of all the rotten luck! A stray bullet fired in his direction hit the corner of the decrepit building he happened to be situated atop of, and normally, that wouldn't be a problem. One bullet couldn't stop the likes of Torn and Ashelin.

Except this one bullet was in cahoots with that slut, Lady Luck, and the bitch, Karma, and just happened to hit the really crappy, already-crumbling wall.

…Which decided to give way while Torn was going trigger-happy on the poor bastards below.

He gave a startled shout as the entire side of the building caved in, bringing him and his gun with him.

Ashelin used the dust cloud that arose from the building's cave-in as cover as she made her way to where her (hopefully not-dead) partner was. Upon reaching the rather large pile of rubble in front of what remained standing of the building, Ashelin scanned the area for any signs of the asshole she worked with.

A groan reached her ears amidst the shots being fired behind her (she briefly wondered if they were just shooting at each other now) and she quickly made her way to the source, finding Torn lying mostly atop the rubble in a rather awkward position, a grimace on his face. "Ow."

Ashelin rolled her eyes, putting away her weapons in favor of literally picking up her partner and tossing him over her shoulder before retreating.

Not the most glorious mission Torn had been on by far. After all, his pride was sorely wounded by having been beaten by a stray bullet that didn't even hit him, a wall to some lame-ass building that was once a button factory and being carried by his partner who happened to be a woman several years younger than him.

Definitely not a glorious victory. At least, not for Torn.

Ashelin got a good laugh out of it, though. As did the rest of the Krimzon Guard. Damn them.

And thus, as Torn ascended the ranks to the top of the KG, only the bravest dared to talk about that rather eventful mission without fear of having the shit beat out of them or being given some crappy mission from a certain badass brunette sporting tattoos and dreadlocks.

'Cept Ashelin, of course.

End.