Worth The Wait

AU in that I entirely distort the timeline of events as it is known to have occurred. Not so much actual events, but moreso the details of people involved in them. Which reminds me. I suppose I have to warn for mentions of underage involvement. Nothing graphic or messy, I promise. Partially co written with cynical_sweater and with lots and lots of aid courtesy of suerum. OC's are mine, recognizable characters are not. Reviews are loved. Enjoy!


Prologue: Part 1


The loud, incessant pounding on the door has become increasingly harder to ignore, as much as Jason has tried to do just that. He groans, and manages to disentangle himself from his bedmate without disturbing him. He spends a moment just watching the almost non-teen, seriously debating the benefits of ignoring his late night/early morning visitor.

Spinelli does look awfully tempting, all sleep softened and warm, but it's the violent bam-bam-bam at his door that snaps him out of his reverie. He's still tugging a t-shirt on over his head when he reaches the door. "Alright!" He roars, flinging it open. Two unidentified people stand in the hallway.

"Are you the man who has my son?" A woman several inches shorter than himself accuses of him, as she barges into his home, eyes searching the area for any traces of whatever it is she's after – it's far too early for any coherent thought beyond 'sleepbednow' to process. The man standing behind her does not appear to be in a good mood. He has the build of someone who has spent a lot of time behind a desk drowning in paperwork.

Jason looks between the intruders. "Can I help you two with something?" He asks, attempting politeness. It comes out with more biting irritation than anything else. The woman ignores his question in favor of yelling blindly, in the hopes of being heard by the unconscious boy up in their bedroom.

"Damian!" The woman shouts at the foot of the stairs. "Damian! Are you up there!?"

"Mm." The blue-eyed man protests through a yawn. "Spinelli sleeps like the dead. He won't hear you."

The man, who has been silent until this point, finally speaks. Jason had almost forgotten he was there. "So our son is here?"

"You're his parents?" Jason stares, surprise more than evident on his features.

"Oh!" The woman stops her uncalled for wake-up call and turns to face the man who greeted them, offering a hand. "How rude of us. I'm Lisa Spinelli, this is my husband Daniel."

He nods, accepting the hand and the introductions. "Jason Morgan."

Daniel's eyebrows shoot into his receding hairline, and that leads Jason to think that the man recognizes his name. He doesn't say anything, though, so neither does Jason.

"Why didn't anyone contact us?" Lisa demands, invading Jason's personal space to do so.

Everyone's gaze turns to the stairs a second later, with the sound of someone walking down them. Spinelli leans against the wall, yawning, dressed only in his boxers and one of Jason's old t-shirts. "Stone Cold, what's with all the yelling?" He rubs at his eyes, looking years younger than his age of almost two decades.

Before the younger man can register what was happening, he finds himself swept up into the woman's embrace, being lifted off his feet with the force of it. "My baby!" She sobs, holding him tight.

Jason notices his lover's look of wide-eyed terror, and immediately sets to work on prying him from his mother's grasp. "Your parents decided to pay you a visit." He helpfully supplies, once she has finally released him.

"No, no, we're not visiting; we're here to take him back home with us." Lisa nods, her arms still wrapped around the violently struggling Spinelli. They're both in danger of toppling down the stairs.

"What!?" Spinelli and Jason ask at the same time, both staring incredulously at the others.

"You heard us, Damian." His mother replies, smoothing down his sleep-rumpled hair and tapping her foot impatiently. "And we should get going soon."

Spinelli is doing that thing again. That thing where he paws and clings frantically at Jason, trying to get as close as possible without actually fusing with the other man. "Hey, hey, Stone Cold? Would it be possible for the Jackal to speak to you alone for a moment?"

Jason nods, pulling the younger man toward the kitchen, though he hears something along the lines of 'Oh, God, he's still talking like he's insane,' from the boy's father, and Jason mentally notes that such comments will not be tolerated should they continue.

"You… you're not gonna let them take me, are you?" Now Jason knows his young friend is upset, when the Spinelli-talk stops, it's all the clue he needs to know that's the case.

"They're your parents, you don't want to go with them?" He asks, just now realizing that he knows virtually nothing of his roommates past. "When was the last time you talked to them, anyway?"

Spinelli sinks into one of the chairs, staring up Jason with a hurt expression. "You d-don't want me here, Stone Cold?" He stammers, completely disregarding the other's question.

He shakes his head, and drops to his knees in front of Spinelli. "No, I want you here; of course I want you here. I just… don't know why you got so jumpy when you realized they were here."

"Just don't let them take me." He begs, and reaches out to the older man.

Jason nods. "Alright. Alright. I won't." He promises, and then promptly finds himself tackled in a hug. He stands and walks back into the other room with Spinelli still attached to his side.

"Son?" His father raises a curious eyebrow, staring suspiciously at the man holding onto his son.

"While the Jackal is…" The younger man pauses, fiddling with his hands and trying to decide on the right word. "…that is… I…"

Something is seriously wrong here. Not many things can turn Spinelli speechless. He's tried.

His mother glances at her watch. "Damian, go get your things, dear." She instructs, rolling her eyes and not even pretending to acknowledge the boys attempted protests.

"No." It's Jason who says it, and it effectively gets Spinelli's parents attention. "He wants to stay." He can feel Spinelli's wordless nod against his shoulder.

"Well, I'm his mother. He's coming with us. I thank you very much for taking him in and keeping him out of trouble, but you have no business when it comes to my family." She glances at her watch again with an exasperated sigh, and snaps her fingers. "Now, Damian. Let's get going."

Jason doesn't say anything to her, just keeps his cold glare on the woman before he turns to Spinelli, kissing him quickly. "Go back to bed. I'll be up in a minute." He tells the younger man, who had moved out of the pink room and into his room some months ago. Spinelli does as told without any further prompting, racing up the stairs faster than Jason has ever seen him move.

Both of them are staring intently at him, as everything clicked into place. "You…" Lisa's eyes widen in shock as she struggles to find words.

The obvious pencil-pusher clenches his fists, as his eyes take on a dangerous edge; it's a look that only a parent can assume in light of a child's pain. "I should have you arrested." Daniel finally says, seeming to settle for threatening him.

"Look, go ahead and try. Spinelli's old enough to make his own decisions. You can't make him leave if he doesn't want to." They hardly seem convinced of that. "But, I can make you leave. So…"

"I'm not leaving here without my son," Daniel as much as growls at him. "Damian!"

Jason is getting tired of this. "Leave." He orders in such a way that allows no room for argument. Lisa looks marginally threatened – at least she has stopped looking at her watch – but her husband stands what little ground he has claimed.

Daniel squares his shoulders, and balls his hands into fists before getting right up in Jason's face. "I know who you are. I'm not leaving my son anywhere near you."

"Dan?" The man's wife obviously isn't as clued into local current events as he is.

"Mr. Morgan here works for Sonny Corinthos. Not only is he evidently involved with Damian, he's gotten our son involved in the mob." Daniel glares, as his wife gasps in a mixture of horror and disbelief. "Isn't that right?"

"I'm going back to bed." Jason chooses to ignore the accusations entirely as he steps toward the front door. "Now, could you… leave?"

Neither makes a move, but after an intense staring contest Lisa takes a step forward and her husband follows suit. "We'll be back." The man warns, only to have the door slammed shut in his face.

With that problem taken care of, Jason proceeds back upstairs, though he promptly runs into Spinelli, who is waiting around the corner. Catching himself on Spinelli's shoulder, he leads the younger man back to their room with an arm wrapped low around his waist. Spinelli settles against him, and Jason can just feel that Spinelli is as exhausted as he is. "Okay, so, they're gone. Now what's going on?"

The look Spinelli gives him in response tells him that he isn't going to like where this conversation is going to go.

"Spinelli? What is it?"

"Could we perhaps continue this conversation in the morning?" Spinelli bites his lip, his face a sickly pallor, and refuses to focus his eyes on any one thing. "It is not that the Jackal wishes to conceal anything from his master, it is that... Ah, well. His customary verbosity fails him for the moment."

Jason sighs, aware of the distress affecting Spinelli's usual state of being. He's jumpy and his hands are shaking. It seems like his parent's showing up really unsettled him. He nods, sighing again as he runs a hand through Spinelli's messy hair, "Yeah, okay. First thing in the morning."

***

Morning comes a bit earlier than Jason had anticipated. He wakes at just after five, in a startlingly empty bed, to the sounds of Spinelli moving about in the pink room. Upon further investigation, Jason discovers that he is stocking a duffel bag with various articles of clothing.

Jason folds his arms across his chest and leans against the door frame as he watches the chaos unfolding in front of him. "You planning on going somewhere?"

Spinelli startles at his voice and halts his impromptu packing. "The Jackal has decided that avoiding this conversation is the better alternative than explaining my parental unit's presence here."

He raises an eyebrow at the explanation but makes no move to stop Spinelli's packing or prod further.

The inaction, it seems, gives Spinelli suitable pause and Jason's silent tactic succeeds in its desired effect. "Do you think I'm just trying to run away from my parents?"

"What am I supposed to think? They show up, you pack. You've been here for almost two years and I don't know anything about your past before you started working for Alcazar." Jason rationally explains as he moves into the room and sits down on the bed. "If not from them, what are you running away from? This conversation? Can't be that bad, can it?"

Spinelli frowns, because it very well may be that bad. "Very well. There is something you need to know, Stone Cold. The Jackal… ran away from home several years ago. Before working for Darth Alcazar, I was, as you know, attending college. In order to do so, without alerting the parental units, I had to… stretch some truths on the paperwork."

Jason nods, urging him to continue. So far, not so bad, Spinelli lied on a college application. Probably forged some documents to match it. Not the worst thing he's done by a long shot.

"I… had to lie about how old I was."

That does qualify as problematic. Alarm flares as he asks, "How old were you when we…?"

"It was a week before my sixteenth birthday, which we celebrated as my nineteenth." Spinelli answers before Jason can finish his question. He drops his head and wrings his hands, sitting down beside the older man as he waits for Jason's reaction.

Spinelli's birthday is April 27th. It's January 7th. That means close to four months before Spinelli even turns seventeen. Which makes everything Jason has done to him in the last eight months entirely illegal. As this silent processing stage about implodes his brain, he has another realization. "So, last night. When your parents threatened to have me arrested…"

"They were not in fact operating under some highly delusional state of being." He admits, cringing at the very thought of his Stone Cold one being arrested as a result of his slight obfuscation of facts.

"How long were you planning to keep this charade up, Spinelli?" Jason asks, his head in his hands.

Trust is not something that is thrown around lightly with Jason Morgan, Spinelli's knows that – likely better than anyone. Jason's trust in him and in his abilities is how he's managed to get so close to him, after all. And now he's broken it. "The Jackal was admittedly indifferent to it upon our original meeting." It was probably better in the long run for that part. If Jason had known he was so young then, he likely never would have been believed when he presented his falsified evidence against Fair Samantha. "And then the original Blonde One convinced you to allow me to reside here in the regrettably pink room, and the Jackal supposed that you still didn't really need to know." Jason probably would have sent him home if he had known. "By the time it mattered – when we became involved… How was I meant to tell you that I'd been deceiving you for a year?"

Hardly appeased by Spinelli's explanation, but understanding his reasoning, Jason shrugs. He can't change the past. He can't – and likely wouldn't - undo what has transpired between them. In truth, he has no idea how to fix this. "Were you ever going to tell me?"

Spinelli's silence answers his question.

"Damn it. Spinelli, they can say that I kidnapped you – which I did." He hisses in dismay. "I… I… I raped you. They can say I raped you."

"No! Nonononono! Nothing that Stone Cold did was ever, ever against the will of the Jackal. Perhaps, he, meaning I, the Jackal, would go so far as to say that he encouraged it." Spinelli counters, but that does nothing to ease the situation.

Jason shakes his head. "You were fifteen." He drags a hand down his face in his intense exasperation. "I… I need to think about this." Gesturing toward the half-packed bags, he adds, "Don't go anywhere, alright?" And takes his leave before Spinelli can agree or disagree.

***

He confines himself within their room. His room? Should he still call it their room now that he knows what he knows?

Spinelli's all of sixteen and some odd months old. Spinelli is a kid. Just a kid. Jason clenches his fists and leans his knuckles against the windowsill. Most sixteen year olds are chasing after sweethearts and stretching the limits on curfew. A sixteen year olds biggest worry should be passing the math test next week. Not this corrupt, mob life bullshit that can – and no doubt will – swallow him whole.

Jason grits his teeth and shakes with the urge to punch something. Preferably himself. He should have known. He should have picked up on it. Spinelli was way too... Too fragile, too immature, too naive... to be anything but a floundering teenager.

And the worst of it – because there is a worst of it part, aside from the whole raping Spinelli thing – is that, despite all of it, he still wants the kid. Not actively, in this very minute, but in that subconscious way that one always wants their other half. Jason still wants him. He doesn't think he'll ever not want him, sickening as it is to admit that.

Jason does lash out at that admission, slamming his fist hard against the wall. His knuckles scrape and bleed, leaving a bit of a red smear on the otherwise bland surface. He does it again, and again, and again. He keeps punching the wall, until there's a crunching of bone against plaster. He's satisfied to see he broke the wall, but he also broke his hand in the process.

He cradles his hand against his chest and surveys his handy work with a grim sense of accomplishment. He still wants Spinelli – his broken bones are a testament to that – but, to be fair, just an hour ago the kid was almost twenty, not barreling down on barely legal. Jason shakes his head and swears at his own depravity.

The noise that arises as a result of his unprovoked assault on the wall is enough to give Spinelli more than enough reason to interrupt Jason's need to be alone. The teenager comes charging into the room, and stops in his tracks when he spots the bloodied hand and the fist sized hole in the wall. "Why did…" Spinelli swallows and steps forward, catching the injured extremity in his own hands. "Did that accomplish… something?"

"Not so much, no." He admits, even though it did make him feel better, in the sick and twisted way this day is continuously befalling him with. Jason cringes as Spinelli examines the wounds on his knuckles and allows himself to be led to the bathroom.

"The Jackal believes that Stone Cold's injuries as a result of his brawl against the drywall are going to require the opinions of the medically inclined ones at General Hospital." He declares, as he soaks a small towel and drapes it carefully over the bloodied skin.

Jason shakes his head and pulls his hand away. "I'm not going to the hospital."

Spinelli frowns. "And why, pray tell, not?" He leans against Jason's back and reaches around to further inspect the damage caused by the wall, lifting off the cool towel to see how bad it looks now. "Your hand certainly looks as though it is in need of medical attention, it could be fractured."

Jason leans back against him, too, ignoring the pain in his hand and the question. Just for a second, everything is normal again. For about five seconds, before the same thoughts that caused him to punch the wall in the first place make their presence known yet again. He steps away, breaking Spinelli's hold on him.

"Stone Cold?" His voice wavers, ever so slightly, and Jason inhales and exhales shakily before turning to face him.

"We need to talk about this." Jason says, very much uncharacteristically. "We can't be together now." He wishes, desperately, that he had looked away before making such a declaration. Spinelli looks as if the world is crumbling around him. His mouth hangs open, with his lips barely parted, and his eyes widen fractionally.

"I, the Jackal..." He swallows – a motion that Jason definitely does not notice or file away for future fantasies, because Jason does not fantasize about teenage boys – and tries to form a sentence. "The Jackal does not understand the rationale behind his master's decision. What reason does Stone Cold have to deem the Jackal unworthy of his affections?"

"Spinelli, no," Jason shakes his head, stepping away from his self-appointed apprentice. Spinelli reaches out weakly, his hand hanging in thin air, but Jason ignores him. "You can't honestly be asking me that. You know why – why we can't be together. You're sixteen. And I've..." Words fail him, and Jason growls to himself. He can't even say it.

"Done nothing wrong," Spinelli supplies for him, oddly devoid of flowery poetry. "Stone Cold has only shown the Jackal what it truly means to be loved, utterly and completely. It is the greatest gift that this unworthy hacker has ever been given, and he makes an oath to spend his life giving that gift back."

Jason tries to interrupt him, but Spinelli continues, stumbling only slightly over his confession. "You were not even the Jackal's first bedmate, Stone Cold. And he, despicable man that he was, knew your grasshopper's true age, where you did not."

Something changes in Jason – something that Spinelli has only seen directed at their enemies. He snarls, a primal mixture of curse and nonsense, and slams his fist against the wall once further time. Spinelli watches, hands covering his mouth, as Jason stands, his muscles taunt and humming. The plaster is molded around his broken, bleeding hand, and he doesn't even flinch as he retracts his arm.

"Stone Cold, I... It wasn't..."

"Later, Spinelli," he interrupts in a voice without emotion or inflection, and picks bits of white out of the raw, pulsing mess that is his knuckles. "Tell me about it later. Not now, when I'm bleeding all over the floor."