Without You

AU in that Jake dies. Takes place after all the Russian-kidnapping drama from a few weeks ago. Not mine. Would not exist without cynical sweater. Enjoy! Part 2 is almost done.


Part 1

"Stone Cold, I…"

Jason cut him off, standing firm as he held the door open. "Get out."

Spinelli stared in something akin to horror at the elder man. "I don't understand." He refused to move, despite the fact that the majority of his possessions now sat scattered about in the hallway, having been abruptly removed from the regrettably pink room.

"I said 'get out'." He roared, stone cold look coming through. "Now."

"No. The Jackal will not just abandon Casa De Stone Cold; will not just abandon Stone Cold himself in his most dire time of need!" He protested, totally thrown for a loop as to Jason's impromptu actions. He knew very little of what had happened with the Russians. He knew Jake was dead, and that his Mentor had barely said a word since having returned from the manhunt for the heathens responsible for taking his son. "Why…?"

"Because." Jason said, still very much glaring at the younger man. "I don't want you here."

Spinelli, combating his usual reactions to such comments, didn't budge. He knew what Jason was doing. He was pressing buttons in an attempt to get him to leave. Well, it wasn't going to work. "Why… why are you doing this?" He asked, folding his arms over his chest.

"Leave, Spinelli. I don't want you here anymore." The elder was sensing that his plans were not going to come about this way. He put up another barrier in his already heavily guarded heart and prepared to throw the punches that would get Spinelli out. "I can't take it anymore. The babbling, the… the nicknames, the insanity! The orange soda and barbeque chips. Sonny was right; you don't belong anywhere near me." One last look and he could see his roommate looked worse than he ever had after one of Sonny's abusive tirades. "Go back to Oakfield, for all I care, Damian."

"Damian?" Spinelli asked, confused by the name. It was his name, but the only time Jason had really ever used it was to question why he was calling himself Damian and pretending to be someone he wasn't. "The Jackal doesn't… understand."

Jason turned on him, then, crashing through numerous levels of personal space. "You're not the Jackal, okay?" He growled. "I'm not your Master, you're not my Grasshopper. You're just a kid who's good with computers. Not an Ace of Cyberspace. Just go. I don't need you."

Spinelli hesitated in the step he took toward the door. "I- Jason." His voice cracked.

"I'll have Max escort you out, if that's what it takes."

"Fine." Spinelli murmured. "I'm gone."

***

He found Maxie still at Crimson, working on some project or another for Kate. She startled when he appeared beside her, but he didn't really notice. "Jeez, Spinelli, don't do that!"

"The Jack- I apologize, Maximista." He said, as he slumped down into a nearby chair. Without even his messenger bag, he felt more alone than ever. He'd been in such a rush to escape Jason's words that he hadn't bothered to grab anything.

"What's wrong? Is it Jake?" His expression answered her question and reminded him that very few people had been informed of that fact. "Oh, no. Elizabeth must be…" She trailed off.

Spinelli wrung his hands, fidgeted more than usual. "Indeed. Jake was dead before Jason and Sam could reach him. The Russians' plan succeeded."

Maxie's arms wrapped around him. "Shouldn't you be with Jason? I'm sure he's planning all sorts of mob payback stuff about now." One thing the guy was useful for, she figured. He'd avenge the loss of Elizabeth's son.

"Jason is in no way capable of making rational choices regarding the Russians at the moment. He's far too distraught over the losing Jake." At least he hoped Jason wouldn't make any decisions on payback tonight. Kicking him out was one thing, starting a bigger mob war would be worse.

Evidently, that was enough to set Maxie off. "He's upset? What about Elizabeth?" She countered, standing up, pacing in front of him. "She was involved with Jason and they target her son for no reason? What right does he have to grieve when it's Elizabeth who lost someone tonight?"

Spinelli had forgotten that she hadn't been privy to Jason's secret pain. "Jake is… was his son." He confessed.

"What?"

"Jason and Elizabeth had an… indiscretion around the same time as Lulu and Dillon did. And… nine months later… Jake. They didn't want anyone to know out of fear that this would happen." He explained.

She sat down again, clearly winded by that information. "Whoa."

"Not to change the topic, but could I possibly stay with you tonight?"

"Wait a minute… You left Jason alone while he's dealing with the loss of his son?" Maxie completely reversed the nature of her previous arguments. "I'm surprised, Spinelli."

"It wasn't my decision to go." He offered.

"And why aren't you talking like you always do?" She inquired, realizing that they'd gone through this entire conversation without him using a word she would probably need a thesaurus to explain.

He folded his arms over his chest again. "No one talks like that."

Eyes searching his, as if they held the answers, she stared. "What? You talk like that."

"No one normal talks like that." He amended. "The Jackal is no more."

"What? Why? Spinelli, you can't blame what happened to Jake on yourself. You had nothing to do with it!"

"That's not what this is about." Spinelli shrugged. "Jason all but demanded I leave the penthouse. He has all of my stuff sitting in the hall. And he threatened to have Max escort me out if I didn't leave." The words that had come out of Jason's mouth were another matter entirely, one he didn't want to repeat.

"He did what?" The blond demanded, standing. "Spinelli," She hugged him tightly. "Stay here. I'm going to go have a few words with Jason. I'll be back soon." She promised, and was on the elevator before he could object.

***

She banged on the door to Penthouse 2, ignoring the protests of Max behind her. "Jason Morgan!" Maxie shouted, unrelenting. "If you don't open this door, I swear…"

It flew open with a force she hadn't predicted and she probably would have fallen if she'd missed catching the doorframe. "You swear, what?"

The man looked suitably annoyed by her presence. "I swear I'll call Mac down here and have him arrest you, that's what."

Jason just glared. "Spinelli's been to see you then?"

"He has." She shoved past him, not giving him the opportunity to close the door. "What the hell do you think you're doing to him?"

"I don't want him here."

"Bull." Maxie replied, standing just in front of him. "I know you want him here. He's your best friend just like he is mine. And you'd never make him leave, especially since you know the guy has to have some serious abandonment issues." Neither of them knew much of their mutual friends past, but a lot could be assumed. "How could you kick him out like that?"

"I told you. I didn't want him here." He repeated. "If he's staying with you, grab some of his bags on the way out." It was a hint to leave, but she wouldn't take it.

"And Spinelli wouldn't just walk out on you in the middle of all this just because you threatened to have your goons walk him out." She pondered. "You would have had to press some serious buttons to get him the shape you had him in. He's not even talking like himself. What did you say to him?"

Jason sighed. "I told him that Sonny was right about him. That I don't need him. That he's just a stupid kid who should have known better than to think I was his friend. Just like you should, too."

She slapped him. A daring move against the biggest mobster in town. He didn't react.

"You did WHAT?" The blond demanded, eyes on fire. "How could you do that to anyone as sweet as Spinelli? God, you don't know anything!"

"I know he's better off out there than near me."

"No!" Maxie protested. "You think you know that he's safer out there. But, you're just pushing him away because you couldn't protect Jake. You're pushing everyone who's close to you away so you don't have to get hurt again. You think you're protecting them, but you're just protecting yourself. Meanwhile, poor Spinelli is sitting alone at Crimson wondering what he did to deserve this abuse from the one person in Port Charles who he trusts and idolizes more than anyone."

He shook his head. "You don't know what you're talking about."

"Don't I?" She argued. "I lost Georgie less than a year ago. I've lost Jesse, and Coop, and I know I haven't lost a son or daughter, but I think most of the people I love come close to that."

Jason wasn't particularly happy that she knew the truth about Jake, but he knew she had a point. "He told you."

"Yes. In defense of you. Even though you've totally crushed him tonight, he's still defending you. He always defends you." She sighed. "Do you see what I mean? He'd do anything, absolutely anything for you. You can't let him go. He's good for you, as much as I hate to admit it."

"No." Jason said, and that would be it. "No. He can't come back."

Maxie grabbed his messenger bag and some of his clothes on the way out.