Just Leave
Damian Spinelli/Jason Morgan
Part 1 of 2

Dedication: to one of my fellow evil cosmic triplets who is feeling blue, to hopefully spread some cheer (through the use of angst and soap operas, of course) .

Disclaimer: Don't own GH, duh.

Spinelli is tired.

That about sums it up. He's tired of being the best friend, of being second choice, of being shushed and waved away and looked over. He's tired of being treated like an errant child, of getting odd looks. He's tired of all of this ,and then some.

He may be naive, too trusting, and maybe his heart is a little too open, but why does that have to be a bad thing? Spinelli sees so many people each day tucked away inside themselves, unwilling to let the world in and unhappy because of it. Spinelli has always been a believer that happiness is what you make of it. And you can't make happiness if you're not going to put some effort in.

Spinelli kicks an empty coke can, sending it skittering down the empty sidewalk. Normally he'd stop and pick it up (every little action helps) but right now his conscience is sitting back and pouting and he just can't be bothered to pull his hands from his pockets and do anything, really. He's been thinking about going to Maxie's, but he knows she'll want to know what happened and if he tells her there will be a hurricane Jones at the penthouse in minutes, kicking up a real storm on his behalf. That's really the last thing he needs right now, even if he could use the comfort of Maxie's undeterred belief in him.

He's been walking for a long time now, after a sulk at Kelly's that even two orange sodas and a bag of chips hadn't fixed, and the sun is going down over the city, the crowds on the streets petering out and shadows beginning to stretch out like the branches of trees until they touch from one side of the road to the other.

It's not even that Spinelli is mad at Jason, because he's not. He just wishes there wasn't this barrier of non-understanding between their views of life.

Spinelli knows how much all this means to Jason. How much Michael has always meant to Jason, how much revenge, unfortunately, has become such an important part of Jason. He just wishes Jason could understand his side of the story, of wanting to believe in good things, and not being willing to fake something that would lead to a murder charge.

He's not trying to say Claudia is a saint, or even anything close ,but she'd been nice to him before, hadn't she, and that wasn't something he saw often enough in his life that he could just throw it aside as meaningless. And maybe the Vixenella is guilty, as much as he doesn't want to believe it, but that's not the point, is it?

The point is Spinelli had stood up for something he'd really believed in, had wanted to keep his integrity existing and Jason had thrown all that aside like it was nothing.

Something inside Spinelli is aching, deep down and blossoming up like he's been kicked in the chest. He's not going to cry, or mope, or anything like that, thank you, but he's willing to admit that he's sad, and hurt, and he's not ready to go back to the penthouse and beg to be let in, not with a wounded pride and, yes, okay, a little bit of anger.

Spinelli finds himself out by the pier, the streetlamps just flickering on. The air is salty and fresh, the night cool. He hadn't grabbed his thicker coat when he'd left the penthouse and now he shivers a bit, ducking into himself as he sits on the bench. "The Jackal, once again, alone in the night..." he muses, but decides he isn't quite in the mood for dramatics or prose. Words haven't done him much good today, anyway.

He tries to imagine a different scenario, maybe -- Jason backing down, sighing. "You're right, Spinelli. I should never have asked you to do that." Maybe -- Sam, stepping up and saying "Spinelli, you don't have to do anything you don't want to." But, well...fantasy.

There's only one message on his phone and it's a picture from Maxie of a shoe, and it asks something inane like "how good would I look in this". It makes him smile when he texts back "perfect", even though at the same time he's disappointed that there isn't a missed call from Stone Cold. He doesn't even want an apology, really, but an acknowledgement...

Backseat again for the Jackal. When things are good he is a trusted sidekick, a dear friend, but when things heat up there's no place for him in the fire, especially if he is not willing to add fuel to the flame.

Over the sound of lapping waves, something shuffles in the dark. Spinelli cranes his head around. Although there is still a bit of orange light crawling out across the waters, the concrete of the city is mostly dark now.

"H-Hello?" Spinelli calls out. He feels a bit like an owl, wide eyed and peering around.

There is the shush of the waves against the beams of the pier and the skipping quiet sound that all cities hum even in the late. The Jackal is becoming paranoid in his distress.

Spinelli fingers the straps of his laptop bag. His laptop, his one companion who has always treated him without bias, without judgment. Trusty, reliable. It never gets angry at him, never rolls its eyes. He pulls it out, running the pads of his fingers over the cover, worn with scratches despite his best attempts to care for it. The look of a well used tool. "You would never ask me to do anything against my will, would you?"

Of course not, and Spinelli perks up a bit, caught up in reminiscing about the first time he ever got a computer, bright eyed and in awe that he'd finally scrapped together enough cash from the meager allowance his grandma managed to give him. The way it had been used and thrummed loudly when he did anything more complex than Solitaire, the way the screen seemed perpetually dusty and the way it ate floppies like they were snacks. Still, it had been beautiful.

"Hey - what you got there?"

And Spinelli almost spills his precious piece of technology right to the ground, scrambling off the bench in fright and clutching it close to his chest. "Oh! Oh wow, I -- you startled me."

Rough, is what Spinelli would describe the guy as, if he were the sort to judge. Short and wild hair, baggy clothes, scruffy trainers. He's got the dirty sort of look that Spinelli has seen often since coming to the city, like he's gone so long without washing his face the grime has become ingrained. He's got tiny dark eyes, darting around.

Right next to that ache, a nervous ball of sinking feeling forms in Spinelli's stomach.

"What you got there?" the man asks again.

Oh crap. Spinelli thinks, because -- hey, he's naive, not stupid. "It's -- um...just an--an old model, barely any RAM actually, was thinking of - uh throwing it away, you know, burial at sea...not really" Not really worth anything, he wants to say, but the more he talks the closer that guy is getting and each step takes his breath away, and he's backed up as far as he can go without walking off the pier.

"Oh yeah?" the guy spits, thick and disgusting, right at Spinelli's feet. "Then you won't mind if I take it off your hands, yeah?"

"W-what? O-oooh.." Spinelli's fingers clench on the hard plastic, and he's shaking his head. "Actually I -- well, there are fond memories between us, the laptop and I, and so the Jackal, he would -- I mean, I would rather, keep...."

"Just hand it over." There is a flickering, and the light catches on the cool gleam of metal, of a knife, so sudden and scary that Spinelli gasps and shutters his eyes, trying to fight against the urge to close them tight until all the bad things go away.

Spinelli loves his laptop, but he's not going to get stabbed over it.

He holds it out with shaking hands. It looks like a peace offering, stretched out between them, and he's relieved when the man takes it with a smirk.

"Smart choice." the man grins, wide and foul. Spinelli's lips twitch up nervously. His heart is hammering a million miles a minute. I have to get out of here.

"Y-yeah, okay. " Spinelli is inching around the man in slow, shuffling steps. The guy isn't even watching him any more, just looking at the laptop, and Spinelli thinks, rather meanly, that he probably doesn't even know how to open it, much less judge it for the fine piece of equipment that it is. "I'm just going to--"

Going to leave, he thinks, and darts past the man, eyes on the opening back into the street, back into civilization, to streetlamps that haven't started to flicker ominously like a bad scene from a horror movie, making Spinelli's mind run to a thousand and one places he just doesn't need to be thinking about right now.

"O-Oi!" the guy yells, startled, laptop clattering on the floor. Maybe theseā€¦these gangsters are like wild dogs; if you run they give chase. Maybe they're like compact stampedes, and as long as you stay in place they won't hit you.

Spinelli doesn't really feel anything, at first. It's an absence of feeling, mostly, the sensation of a tear, and the rip of his jacket, his shirt. His feet get all tangled up like a baby dear and he stumbles, trying to catch himself on air. For about five seconds he is on the ground, face first, and then his side is on fire, and he is screaming, and he realizes, suddenly, that he's just been stabbed.

"Shiiiiit." that man drawls, panicked, not so cool and suave now, is he, looking at his glittering red knife like he hasn't ever seen it before. "Shit, shit."

The last thing Spinelli sees is a ratty old sneaker, and it plants right into his side, right into the fire, and kicks him over the boards until he falls down, down, down into the inky, dark waters.