Genre: Hurt/Comfort, Friendship, Romance.
Word Count: 2545
Pairings/Characters: Johnny Zacchara/Ethan Lovett, Luke Spencer
Synopsis: In which Johnny is also present when Luke rescues Ethan and is most definitely not happy about what he finds.
Comments: Haven’t written GH fic in a while, but after the 7/2/15 and 7/3/15 episodes aired, I felt the need. Sets up after Johnny leaves Port Charles and before Ethan randomly appears. Characters are not mine, please enjoy! Comments are awesome.
Johnny's been wandering pretty much aimlessly since he fled Port Charles months ago, and he's pretty much convinced himself that climbing out of the window in Sabrina's apartment, the cops in the other goddamned room, would be the last he'd see of the place, but so long as that means he never has to see Pentonville again, he's okay with that.
But, then he finds Ethan. It wasn't a goal, exactly, but the man is one of the few friends Johnny thinks he might have left, so when he gets wind of a potential location, he heads that way. Meets up with him in a bar in Miami, joins him for a while, running now and again to keep any of Helena's men off of their trail. It's still the most relaxed Johnny's been in years.
Something happens, though, about a month into their journey, the two of them trapped in a shitty hotel in Austin during a crazy storm, with too much alcohol and too much tension thrumming between them. They end up fighting over something, something so stupid Johnny doesn't even remember what it was, later, but at some point fighting turns to kissing, a rough, violent clash of lips and tongue and teeth dueling for control, a battle that spirals its way into bed, too, in a tangle of limbs and sheets. It ends in languid, lazy kisses as dawn approaches, and the weeks after that are even better than before, Johnny thinks.
Until one morning Johnny wakes to an empty bed, already gone cold, which suggests his bedmate has been gone quite a while. "Ethan?" he calls out, but he finds no trace of the man in the room they've been occupying, in Maine, this time. There's nothing left of Ethan's at all, which, at least, tells Johnny that Ethan left of his own accord and wasn't forcibly taken. That doesn't mean he's finding any of this any less fishy – why would Ethan up and leave in the middle of the night without telling him anything?
He tries calling, but gets sent to voicemail; he tries texting, but gets no response. What the hell?
Something isn't right, he decides, and he spends the next two weeks following dead end lead after dead end lead to try to find the other man, but he's gone to ground like he never has before, and Johnny comes up empty at every turn.
He even considers going back to Port Charles, as much of a risk as that would be for him, given his current wanted status, but maybe Luke or Lulu might know something, he thinks. He reaches out to one of the few contacts he has left and discovers that neither of the Spencer's are even in town at the moment, which is at least something he can try to follow, so he does.
Eventually, he ends up in British Columbia, of all places, tailing Luke and Laura and Holly and Lulu and some guy who isn't Dante as best he can. And it turns out that while Ethan might have left their room of his own free will, somewhere along the line that changed. Whoever has Ethan must have Lucky, too, he figures, though he remains unsure as to who's behind it or what their motivation might be - Luke has certainly accumulated plenty of enemies.
They lead him to some lumberyard in the middle of nowhere, which seems suspiciously unguarded given the infuriating photo he'd found when he'd broken into their hotel room this morning. He doesn't see any trace of the others as he sneaks through the gate, but he finally hears Luke's voice as he approaches a warehouse on the edge of the property and things don't sound like they're going smoothly. No gunfire, though, so he takes that as a good sign and heads in.
He's not sure what he's expecting to find, but what he walks in on is not it. At first, he doesn't really see what the problem is, what all the shouting is about - but Ethan is pale and sweaty, wavering where he stands, and Luke is working on something at Ethan's feet. "I don't think I can stand up much longer," Ethan says, after he nearly topples over, and then Johnny realizes. It's a god damned pressure bomb he's standing on.
Oh, Johnny's going to kill whoever did this.
But first, he's got to help get Ethan out of this.
"Hey," he calls, doesn't want to startle either of them when there's a live bomb in the room. "Let me help."
They're both surprised to see him, and Luke's hand goes to his gun for a second before he realizes that Johnny is here as an ally, not as an enemy.
"No, no more, I'm not risking anyone else I care about, get out of here," Ethan slurs at him, still swaying precariously. Johnny suspects that Luke didn't listen to that plea, either.
Johnny pockets his own gun and crosses the room, slides up behind Ethan, arms curling around him to keep him steady, to take some of his weight so he doesn't have to worry about his balance so much as just keeping his foot still. "I got you, guy," he promises, presses a quick kiss to the curve of Ethan's neck, feels his pulse beating thready and fast. "Almost done, you're almost out of here."
"Almost," Luke agrees, busy fiddling with an array of colored wires.
"You weren't supposed to follow me," Ethan mumbles, and Johnny can feel him shaking with the effort of keeping as still as he can. "Too dangerous for you."
"Too dangerous for me?" Johnny counters, rather incredulous given their current positions. "I'm not the one standing on a bomb, am I? And you're crazy if you thought I wouldn't come after you," Johnny admits, but now is not the time for that conversation. "We'll talk about you up and disappearing on me later, yeah? Once you're outta here."
"Never getting out of here," he laughs, and Johnny doesn't know how long he's been standing here but he seems to be edging on hysteria or delirium or something. Luke had better hurry this up.
"Alright," Luke declares, just a moment later, getting to his feet. "Think I got it," he says.
"You think?" Johnny challenges, wants to be sure before he puts Ethan's life (and his own) on the line for this.
"Well, I cut a wire and it didn't blow up. I think the odds are in our favor," Luke reasons, and there are definitely better arguments than that, but they probably don't have a lot of time until the guards show up or whoever is responsible for this mess decides to make an appearance. "Trust me."
"Okay," he says, doesn't have much of a choice.
The old man claps Ethan on the shoulder, "Let's get you out of here, Dodge."
But now it's Ethan's turn to argue. "Both of you get out of this warehouse, and I will step off once you're clear," Ethan bargains, trying to make it look like he's not about to topple over should Johnny let go of him. "I'm not letting you two risk yourselves if I can help it. You've got people who care about you, go!"
"No, not a chance," Luke insists. "You're my son and I'm not leaving this room without you."
But Johnny has a better argument. "I don't have anyone who cares about me outside of this room, but I care about you. So shut up about it already. I'm pulling you off of this on the count of three and nothing is stopping me, got it, guy?" It helps that Ethan's in no shape to fight him on the matter, still trapped in Johnny's arms. "One."
"Luke, go!" Ethan pleads, but the old man doesn't move.
"Two," Johnny continues.
But before he can hit three, he tackles Ethan to the ground, shields him with his own body because if that thing isn't disarmed, he's going to do everything he can to make sure that if anyone gets out of this alive, it's Ethan.
There's a collective sigh of relief with the realization that the bomb is indeed disarmed and slowly, Johnny releases his hold on Ethan. "Whoa," he says, when Ethan promptly tries to get to his feet. "You stay down for a minute, relax."
"But, Lucky, he's-" Ethan starts to protest, but Johnny keeps him down.
"Don't worry, we'll handle it," he looks to Luke, "Right?"
Before Ethan's father can agree or disagree, voices approach the room. Johnny scrambles back to his feet and draws his gun, ready to defend Ethan, but this time Luke has the better plan.
"Look, Johnny, you hide - we might need that kind of ace up our sleeve if this thing goes sideways, and by the sound of things, I'd say that might be the case." He argues, and Johnny has to admit, it's not a bad idea when they don't know how many people they're up against, what kind of weapons they might have. He ducks into the shadows behind a stack of crates in a corner of the room and leaves Luke to haul Ethan to his feet in case they have a chance to run.
The door bangs open just a second later, and a whole swarm of people are forced inside. Luke's group – Laura and Holly and Lulu and not-Dante, all forced in at gunpoint, with five guards behind them. Luke's disarmed and demanding answers and Johnny's pretty sure he's not going to get any, but then the culprit appears. Some old man, trapped in a wheel chair, and lucky for him, Johnny's good at killing old men. He doesn't care what the man's reasons are, what Luke did to piss him off enough to spend twenty years plotting his revenge, only that he left orders to stand Ethan on a bomb and leave him to die. As soon as he gets a shot, he's taking it.
But the evil villainous monologue part of the evening stretches on and on, and then Luke's down on his knees with a gun in his face, while the bastard behind all of this tries to make him choose between his family members. Not-Dante, Dillon, apparently, tries to put himself between the man and Lulu, but all that gets him is a pistol to the back of the head, and he's down for the count. Luke's arguing, trying to talk this guy, Frank Smith, into shooting him instead of any of the others, but it's not working. The gun goes off and Ethan goes down and Johnny sees red. He pops out from his cover and fires off a shot that takes out Smith and one of the two guards behind him. He gets off another shot before anyone even realizes what's happening and the other guard behind Smith falls. That leaves the three between the others and the door, "Get down," he shouts, though almost everyone already is, Lulu at Dillon's side, Holly and Laura scrambling to Ethan's, and Luke already on his knees. The other guards are drawing now, having holstered their weapons with six unarmed hostages seemingly under control. One falls to Johnny's third bullet, Luke tackles a fourth away from Laura,, reclaims his own gun, and the last takes aim at Johnny, gets off a shot that very nearly hits him in the head, before Johnny takes him out, too. And then, it's done.
"Make sure they're all down," Johnny snaps at Luke, because they certainly don't need this shit happening again twenty years from now. He's moving to fall with the others at Ethan's side, unaware of where Ethan was hit, how bad it is, but it seems that Ethan only took a shot to the arm.
"Guys, guys, it's not that bad," Ethan's saying, even as Johnny pulls off his jacket and wraps it around the wound to staunch the steady flow of blood. There's no exit wound, he notes, so the bullet is still in there, which means a trip to the hospital. He pulls the makeshift bandage tight, earns an, "Ow," for his trouble.
Everyone is talking, asking Ethan questions, asking him questions, and Johnny just zones it all out, tunnel-visioned in on Ethan. "You okay, guy?" He asks, helping Ethan stagger to his feet. He gets Ethan's good arm over his shoulder and keeps the other man upright, picking his way toward the door and away from the half a dozen bodies.
"I think so," Ethan says, glancing back over his shoulder as the others follow after, still talking, still questioning, still just a buzz of voices swirling around them. Johnny doesn't know what they're saying, doesn't care, he just wants to get Ethan out of here.
They stumble-step their way back to Johnny's car, parked in the woods outside of the lumberyard. Holly climbs in the driver's seat before Johnny can protest, but then he doesn't really want to, because that means he can herd Ethan into the back with him. The others don't follow, they're staying to try to track down any sign of Lucky, and Johnny's not going to complain about that, either, since it means less people around them, when he's used to it just being the two of them.
"Here," he says, pressing a bottle of water into Ethan's shaky hands, "Drink."
Ethan does, eagerly, and admits that he doesn't even know how long he was standing on the bomb – Holly interrupts, then, because she hadn't known there was a bomb – maybe close to a day? And that only makes Johnny all the more furious, makes him wish he'd put a few more bullets in the bastard who set all this up.
"Lucky called me," Ethan explains, leaning heavily against Johnny's side, speaking quietly so that Holly likely can't hear them. "He asked for my help, and I didn't want him turning you in. I didn't think I'd be gone long, but I got grabbed on the way to meet him, and-"
Johnny pulls him in closer, as they speed toward the nearest hospital. He presses a kiss to the top of Ethan's head and catches Holly eyeing him in the rear-view mirror, daring her to say anything after he just killed for her son. He wonders how badly this could have gone if he hadn't come, how it might have played out. Even the thought of losing Ethan is enough to set him on edge. "It's okay, we don't have to talk about that now, Eth'." It's a good reason, at least, Lucky might be an ex-cop, and Johnny an ex-criminal, but he's pretty sure that Lucky's morals might have forced him to put a call in to the PCPD, no matter his relationship with Ethan.
"'M sorry, is all. Should've told you, at least."
Johnny's not going to argue with that, "Yeah, you probably should have," he says, but he can't be mad about it right now, not when the blood is starting to seep through the makeshift bandage and Ethan is sliding down to rest his head in Johnny's lap, edging on sleep. "Doesn't matter," he whispers, dragging his fingers through Ethan's hair, "I'll always find you."