A Call To Arms

This is stand-alone for now, but I'll probably revisit it at some point in the future and give it a less ominous ending. Characters are not mine and reviews are awesome. Enjoy!

Recognizing the sound of gunfire is something that is programmed into Jason's mind like breathing. It has to be, with the job he has and the people he associates himself with. It's saved his life and the lives of others time and time again.

So when he hears the rapid pop-pop-pop-pop of bullets being fired off near the warehouse entrance, where guards were stationed, he's immediately in motion and assessing the situation. His own gun is suddenly steady and weightless in his hand, more like a metallic extension of his own arm, and his mind files through the possible locations where a gunman would most likely be lurking in the mostly dark building on something like autopilot and all of the angles he needs to cover to defend against all of those possible locations.

"Stone Cold?" Spinelli's voice is low and anxious, and he grabs at Jason's arm as her swivels around to look for whatever threat Jason's locked in on so intently. He falls silent when Jason motions for it.

It doesn't help matters at all that he has Spinelli with him, but suddenly he's glad he agreed to join Spinelli on this detour on the way to the PI Offices, that he didn't just send Spinelli out here alone like he'd originally meant to. Now he's grabbing at Spinelli's arm and pulling him to whatever meager sort of cover he can find – in this case, behind a stack of wooden crates – and then he's watching.

Somewhere up ahead he sees the glint of a rifle barrel – and who uses a rifle in a shootout, really? – and so he advances, firing blindly in that direction, and is satisfied when he hears a mumbled curse and the sounds of the long-barreled weapon clattering to the ground. But then there's yelling coming from Spinelli and someone is hauling the boy to his feet and away from Jason.

"Stone Cold!" Spinelli shouts, sounding as desperate and terrified as he looks.

He raises his gun and opens his mouth to shout out demands and curses and 'get your hands off of him right now or I blow your brains out,' but the sight of Spinelli's eyes blowing wide in his direction gives him pause and he looks down at his own chest just in time to see an unnerving red dot center over his heart. He has no choice. He drops the gun and raises his hands.

"Good decision," the man currently wrestling Spinelli's arms behind his back declares. He calls out in the direction Jason had been firing, which is also the direction the little red dot is coming from (which at least explains the rifle, the guy's a sniper), "You okay?"

A muffled 'Fine,' comes in response.

"What do you want?" Jason growls, his trigger finger itching even though he no longer holds a weapon. "You've got him, so what do you want?"

"Not interested in you," Spinelli's captor claims. "We're just here for him."

Anger and blind rage build up in Jason's chest and he wants to move so badly, to go to Spinelli and make sure these guys – whoever the fuck they think they are, making a move like this – never get near him again. But, he can't. Can't risk gunfire.

"Why do you want him?" Jason asks, because he can't think of anyone who would kidnap Spinelli without the motive of the Organization behind it.

Before the man in charge can tell Jason that there's no chance in hell of giving up that information, Spinelli's moving. He squirms and struggles and fights and stomps down on his captor's foot so hard that he hears bones crack and then he's running to Jason because Jason is safety and protection and everything else that's ever been good. He should be running the fuck out of there.

Jason gets an armful of Spinelli about the same time that he realizes that Spinelli now has the red light. "Don't shoot," Jason orders, as panic and terror now win out over the anger building in his chest. If they want Spinelli, they won't try it. Not that they're going to get him.

But, the man who'd had Spinelli, who'd clearly been caught off-guard by Spinelli, curses colorfully, furious and doubled-over and glaring. "The orders stand. If – fucking fuck, that hurts - you have a shot, take it."

There's indistinguishable radio chatter over some sort of high-tech comm. system, and then the all too recognizable sound of gunfire comes again. All Jason can think is that they had orders to kill Spinelli if they couldn't take him, but the feel of a bullet ripping through his shoulder - about the only part of him they can get a clear shot at with Spinelli in front of him - tells him otherwise.

"Stone Cold!" Spinelli's grabbing at him, trying to keep him upright and stable, but it's not helping much.

That's about when he realizes that this isn't setting up like some random kidnapping attempt because it is not, in fact, some random – albeit, well-orchestrated – kidnapping attempt. This has all the signs of an all out special ops style, military extraction. They're intel probably hadn't accounted for Jason's presence, he's guessing, other than that, they'd been on point with their information.

But, if they want Spinelli, they're damn well not going to get him. Not unless they're dragging him out of here over Jason's dead body.

"Get out," Jason orders his self-proclaimed protégé even as the dizziness and shock hit him all at once. Another shot comes when he keeps his hold on Spinelli, this one nails him in the stomach. Meant to be a slow kill shot, that one. He takes a staggering crab-step toward the door, keeping his grip on Spinelli. "You get out of here and you, fuck, you run."

"The Jackal will do no such thing as long as Stone Cold remains. You are mortally wounded and need the aid of the medically inclined-"

"Forget about me, Spinelli." Jason says, swaying on his feet; the only reason he's still standing at all is because he's holding onto Spinelli. Another stomach shot makes that task increasingly more difficult and he knows he's essentially done for by then. With what is pretty much the last of his strength, he hauls Spinelli in close enough to offer as much of a hug as he possibly can – about all the goodbye he can give right now – and then shove him away. Mentally, he's begging, pleading, ordering, demanding him to get the fuck out of here.

But Spinelli doesn't run. The chatter on the radio is picking up again, just as it has before each of the shots, and Spinelli mumbles the words, 'not possible,' in response to the mere idea of forgetting Jason before he steps forward. "Stop!" He shouts into the darkness of the warehouse. "Stop, stop shooting. I… the Jackal will go with you willingly."

"That so?" The leader growls out, and holds up a hand to signal a cease fire from his man. "Come here, then."

When he pushed Spinelli away, Jason hit his knees. With glassy, glazed-over eyes and his hands pressed down firmly over the gushing, bloody wounds in his stomach and looking absolutely drained and powerless, it is a very disconcerting sight for Spinelli to behold. "Don't do this. Get out. Please."

Spinelli shakes his head. "There's no way out, Stone Cold, you know that." He frowns, bites his lip and takes one backward step away from Jason.

"Take him." The nameless leader of the group of kidnapper's orders. "Make sure we stall the locals and check that we're ready with transport."

"…You'll come save me, right, Stone Cold?" Spinelli calls back at him, asking for a promise that Jason can't make, even as someone new hauls his hands behind his back and zip ties them together at the wrist.

More unintelligible radio chatter and Jason can feel himself falling. He fights it as long as he possibly can – which is way longer than should be realistic - because they're taking Spinelli away from him and that just can't be happening.

He watches them drag Spinelli away as the rest of him hits the ground and he mumbles out a response that goes unheard by the one person who needs to hear it, "Won't stop til I do, Spinelli."